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From obligation to agreement: concepts of servitude in early modern England Marple, Laura Reiko Simeon 1994

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FROM OBLIGATION TO AGREEMENT:CONCEPTS OF SERVITUDE IN EARLY MODERN ENGLANDBYLAURA REIKO SIMEON MARPLEB.A., BRYN MAWR COLLEGE, 1989A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSINTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDEPARThIENT OF HISTORYWE ACCEPT THIS THESIS AS CONFORMINGTO THE REQUIRED STANDARDTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAOCTOBER 1994© LAuRA REIK0 SIIVIEON MARPLE, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of_______________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate 22DE-6 (2)88)ABSTRACTOne very popular genre of literature during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries wasadvice (or prescriptive) literature, directed at husbands and wives, parents and children, mastersand servants. These books provided readers with detailed descriptions of the ideal relationshipsbetween family members, and the duties attendant upon individuals in each position. They arevaluable to historians in this capacity, as portrayals of desired behavior, rather than as depictionsof how things actually were. The relationship between masters and servants is a particularlydifficult one to understand, for servants occupied a unique place within the family. In many waysthey were similar to the master’s children, for they were unmarried minors, and temporarily underhis authority. Yet in other ways servants were quite different from the children of the family, forthere existed between them and their masters a contract for food, wages and lodging in return fortheir labor. Advice literature is a valuable source of information regarding the manner in whichseventeenth- and eighteenth-century individuals viewed the ambiguous relationship betweenmaster and servant. However, to date the secondary literature on servants has not made much useof advice literature, or examined its useftilness in this capacity.This thesis seeks to present a systematic examination of the prescriptive literature forservants published during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, comparing not only the typesof advice given to servants, but also the manner in which the advice was given. It will soon beapparent that the literature evolved dramatically over the course of the two centuries, reflectingboth new conceptions of the nature of servitude, as well as developments in society at large.These changes may be described as the transition from a view of servitude as a state whichimposed moral obligations on the servant, to one which saw it as a period of contractualagreement between servant and master.11TABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract 11Table of Contents iiiAcknowledgments ivIntroduction 1Chapter One: The Servant’s Life Examined 5A. Servants and ServitudeB. Servants in SocietyChapter Two: The Literature Concerning Servants 18A. Secondary SourcesB. Primary SourcesChapter Three: Advice Given to Servants: The Century of Moral Obligation 25A. Appearance and HygieneB. Religious and Moral DutiesC. Manner of Behaving Toward Master and FamilyD. The Place of ServiceE. Treatment of Masters’ PropertyF. The Attitude and Mental State of the ServantG. Daily Behavior and Other Practical AdviceH. General Commentary on Servitude as a ConditionChapter Four: The Transition from Moral Obligation to Contractual Agreement 43Chapter Five: Advice Given to Servants: The Century of Contractual Agreement 52A. Appearance and HygieneB. Religious and Moral DutiesC. Manner of Behaving toward Master and FamilyD. The Place of ServiceE. Treatment of Masters’ PropertyF. The Attitude and Mental State of the ServantG. Daily Behavior and Other Practical AdviceH. General Commentary on Servitude as a ConditionChapter Six: Conclusion 79Bibliography 81111ACKNOWLEDGMENTSFirst of all, I wish to thank my advisor, Dr. Christopher Friedrichs. His enthusiasm andgood humour made thesis-writing a very enjoyable task indeed. I also wish to thank my husband,Kirk Marple, who was patient and supportive for many months during which his wife was arecluse in front of the computer. My parents, Dr. and Mrs. George Simeon, deserve much creditfor never failing to encourage me in my academic pursuits. And, finally, a special word of thanksto my aunt, Dr. Catherine Papadakos, whose frequent letters and love for history have providedme with much inspiration over the years.ivINTRODUCTIONUntil quite recently, servants played a central role in European family life. Indeed, PeterLaslett has identified the widespread presence of servants and the participation by a significantpercentage of the population in life-cycle service as one of the four major characteristics of theWestern family.1 Early modern England was no exception, for nearly every householdparticipated in the institution of servitude, either through the presence of a servant in the family orby the departure of a child into servitude, or both. Contemporaries understood the importance ofservants in family life, and responded with a spate of advisory pamphlets directed at both servantsand masters. However, modern historians have been slower to recognize the significance ofservants. Despite the popularity of the fields of social and family history, and the fact thatservitude was an integral part of early modern English society at all levels, there still does notexist a comprehensive historical account of their lives and status within the family. 2There are several likely explanations for this relative neglect of servants. The historian isfirst of all confronted with a shortage of primary source material for the seventeenth and1The other three characteristics were nuclear families, a relatively late childbearing age forwomen, and a small age gap between spouses. Peter Laslett, Family Life and Illicit Love inEarlier Generations: Essays in Historical Sociology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1977), p. 13.2The following works represent the best efforts in this area to date, though none are thorough orcomprehensive enough to represent the final word on this topic. Kussmaul’s book is particularlysignificant, as one of the few devoted to the largest group of servants of all, farm servants. VioletA. Simpson, “Servants and Service in Eighteenth Century, Town and Country,” CornhillMagazine XIV (1903): 3 98-409; Dorothy Marshall, “The Domestic Servants of the EighteenthCentury,” Economica IX (1929): 15-40; Dorothy M. Stuart, The English Abigail (London:Macmillan and Co., 1946); Dorothy Marshall, The English Domestic Servant in History (London:The Historical Association, 1949); J. Jean Hecht, The Domestic Servant Class in Eighteenth-Century England (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1956); E.S. Turner, What the Butler Saw:Two Hundred and Fifty Years of the Servant Problem (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1963); AnnKussmaul, Servants in Husbandry in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress, 1981).1eighteenth centuries. One result is that the majority of secondary works on servants deal with theVictorian era, a period of relatively high literacy among all social classes, as well as a time ofexhaustive record keeping, census taking, and other activities which are useftil to the historians oftoday. A second factor is that servants did not conform to classic models of the English classstructure, possibly making them less satisfying to study than other working people. Early modernservants were a population in constant flux, with members who came from all strata of society,from gentlewomen in distress who became lady’s maids, to pauper children contracted out aslaundresses. Servitude was almost invariably a transitory stage on the road from childhood toadulthood, not a lifetime profession.3 There is much evidence that deep ties of personal affectionexisted between servants and masters, and little to show that servants felt any sort of “classconsciousness.”4 Indeed, far from feeling resentment, servants often did their utmost to ape thedress, accent and manners of their superiors. During this time period, servants reaped manyadvantages, since most lived side by side with their masters, allowing them to enjoy the sameliving conditions.5 They had a great deal of freedom of movement, and were able to move on toother households if they disliked the family they served.3Servitude was also a stage of life frequently punctuated by periods spent in the parental home.Children commonly returned to live with their parents between periods of service with differentmasters. Richard Wall, “Leaving Home and the Process ofHousehold Formation in Pre-industrialEngland,” Continuity and Change 2 (May 1987): 94.4For example, servants were frequently remembered in their masters’ wills. In one study, servantswere mentioned in 28.2 per cent of wills, with friends appearing 26.5 per cent of the time, sisters23.2 per cent, and grandchildren only 4.4 per cent. Peter Earle, The Making of the EnglishMiddle Class: Business, Society and Family Life in London, 1660-1730 (Berkeley: University ofCalifornia Press, 1989), p. 317. In addition, when female servants were about to be wed, theirmasters sometimes contributed the marriage portion in place of their fathers. Alan Macfarlane,Marriage and Love in England: Modes ofReproduction 1300-1840 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell,1986), p. 268.51n fact, servants in middle class London households frequently experienced a better standard ofliving than they would have at home. Earle, p. 279.2Because servants are so difficult to pin down and classify, some of the best informationabout them comes from historians who focus primarily on family life and trends in demographyrather than on servants per se. By studying the context in which servants appeared- that is, thehome life of the general populace - these researchers have inadvertently contributed greatly to ourunderstanding of the institution of service. Yet these historians generally have not availedthemselves of the multitude of prescriptive etiquette books written for servants during the earlymodern era. This genre of literature represents a potentially rich source of information onattitudes towards the master-servant relationship. Through the use of prescriptive literature, thisessay will explore the role servants were expected to play in family life in seventeenth- andeighteenth-century England, as well as how their role evolved over the course of the twocenturies. We shall also address the issue of what may be learned from these advice books -which questions it is appropriate to ask of them and what we might legitimately learn fromreading them.The dramatic political and economic changes which occurred in England during the courseof the early modern period could not help but have an impact on attitudes toward familyrelationships in general, and the master-servant relationship in particular. Although servitude wasan essentially conservative institution, one with origins in medieval concepts of paternalism anddeference, it could not fail to respond to many of the social changes of the early modern era. Theprescriptive literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries reveals a great deal about actualchanges in the master-servant relationship, as well as about conceptions of the form thisrelationship ought to take.Before embarking upon an analysis of the primary sources, however, it will be useful todiscuss the basic characteristics of servitude in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. After3doing so, we shall briefly review the nature of the secondary and primary sources, in order to putthe advice literature in its proper context. Finally, we shall examine the advice literature itself,dividing it, for ease of analysis, into works produced during the seventeenth and the eighteenthcenturies. The exact date of the transition from seventeenth to eighteenth century is not terriblysignificant, although the common dividing point 1714, marking the ascent of George I, may beassumed to apply here. As we are dealing here with general trends and developments, and as thetransition from the seventeenth to the eighteenth centuries was obviously not instantaneous, thereis no need for too much concern over the precise date of demarcation. However, dividing theadvice literature into these two great epochs does serve a purpose, for it will allow us to discernmore clearly the fundamental shift in attitude which, as will be argued below, made the masterservant relationship in the eighteenth century significantly different from what it had been in thepreceding century.4CHAPTER ONE: THE SERVANT’S LIFE EXAMINEDA. SERVANTS ANt) SERVITUDEDuring the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the word “family” referred to thecollection of individuals residing under one roof, whether blood relations or not.’ Far from beingsimply a matter of semantics, this reveals a fundamental characteristic of early modern householddynamics in which servants were an integral part of the family, not mere strangers hired to workin the home. They were felt to have obligations appropriate to their position as family members,and also possessed rights consonant with this status.The intimacy denoted by the use of the word family had considerableadvantages: food was shared, and where plentiful, it was plentiful formaid as well as master (or mistress). Indeed, the free regular provisionof food, and often clothing as well, placed the domestic in a privilegedposition not only compared to those many unfortunates at the verybottom of society.. .but also to their social equals, day-labourers.2The inclusion of servants in the definition of the word “family” lingered on into the nineteenthcentury, although by the time of the State Census of 1851 it had to be spelled out thatThe first, most intimate, and perhaps most important community,is the family, not considered as the children of one parent, but aspersons under one head; who is the occupier of the house, thehouseholder, master, husband, or father; while the other members ofthe family are, the wife, children, servants, relatives, visitors, andpersons constantly or accidentally in the house.3By the mid-nineteenth century, then, the word “family” required clarification; the contrastingdefinition, “the children of one parent,” is nearly identical to our modern understanding of the1lndeed, there was no word in early modern England which referred to all kin living under thesame roof. Kussmaul, p. 7.2Antonia Fraser, The Weaker Vessel: Woman’s Lot in Seventeenth-Century England (London:Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1984), p. 149.3Peter Laslett, ed., Household and Family in Past Time (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1972), p. 160.5family unit. Around this time, “servant” also took on the meaning it now possesses, as referringonly to indoor domestic workers, rather than to all hirelings housed under their master’s roof.4Clear-cut differences existed between servants, apprentices and laborers, even thoughtoday these terms are often used with little distinction.5 Servitude was merely a stage in the life-cycle, a form of preparation for marriage (and hence, adulthood) on both practical and economiclevels.6 Marriage was forbidden to servants, because membership in two families at once- that is,conflicting roles as head of one household and subservient member of another - would make itdifficult to fulfill one’s duties properly.7 In return for their labor, servants received board,lodging, clothing and money wages.84Keith D.M. Snell, “The Standard of Living, Social Relations, the Family and Labor Mobility inSouth-Eastern and Western Counties, c. 1700-1860” (Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge University,1979), pp. 67-8.5For example, one historian who used “servant” and “service” to refer to both agriculturalservants and apprentices nevertheless depended on apprentices for the bulk of her evidence. IlanaKrausman Ben-Amos, “Service and the Coming of Age of Young Men in Seventeenth-CenturyEngland,” Continuity and Change 3 (1988): 44. Two other historians frequently used the word“servant” to refer to apprentices as well as life-cycle servants. Peter Laslett, The World We Havei&., 3rd ed. (London: Methuen and Co., 1983), pp. 2-3; Graham Mayhew, “Life-cycle serviceand the family unit in early modern Rye,” Continuity and Change 6 (1991): 220-1.6Ben-Amos, p. 43.7Randolph Trumbach, The Rise of the Egalitarian Family: Aristocratic Kinship and DomesticRelations in Eighteenth-Century England (New York: Academic Press, 1978), p. 146.8Servants were paid wages at regular or irregular intervals varying from weekly to yearly, andoften dependent upon the financial situation of the master. The amount they were paid reflectedmany factors, such as their level of skill, job duties, and geographical location. Marshall, IEnglish Domestic, p 11. Servants also supplemented their cash wages with perquisites such ascandle-ends, leftover cooking fat, and vails (tips paid directly to servants by dinner guests).Simpson, p. 405.6The majority of apprentices were young men (and some women)9between the ages of 14and 21, whose parents paid a fee in return for seven years of room, board and training in a craft.Like servants, they could not marry while fulfilling the terms of their contract. Unlike servants,they possessed written contracts which stated quite specifically at which tasks they could andcould not be made to work. This precaution was an effort to avoid the abuses of greedy masterswho might be tempted to profit from apprentices’ fees without providing proper training,unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence. 10 While apprentices frequently were related to theirmasters, servants almost never were kin to those they served.’1Laboring, in contrast to both of the above, was a lifetime occupation often taken up after aperiod of servitude. Even though laborers frequently worked side by side with outdoor servants,they did not live with their masters and were fully independent adults and householders whoreceived a living wage and were free to marry if they so wished.Servants in the early modern period performed every type of work imaginable, frommilking cows and ploughing fields to cooking, laundering, waiting at table, minding children, andacting as messengers. In larger households there were distinct differences between the duties ofindoor and outdoor servants, but these distinctions vanished in more modest homes, whereservants took on a variety of tasks alongside their masters and mistresses. Great households alsohad an elaborate hierarchy of status, distinguishing upper servants from lower ones through their9Through the mid-eighteenth century it was not uncommon for girls to be apprenticed asblacksmiths, ironmongers, carpenters, bricklayers, shipwrights, or other predominantly maleprofessions. The lengths and terms of their apprenticeships were identical to those of boys. Snell,pp. 164, 178.10Earle, p. 96.11Laslett, “The Institution of Service,” p. 59.7dress and living conditions. Upper servants also had close personal contact with their masters andmistresses, and supervisory power over lower servants.In wealthier households, in the period from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, thegender balance among servants went from one extreme of the spectrum to the other. During theMiddle Ages, the majority of servants in large homes were male, often younger sons of the gentry,who regularly entered service as a means of pursuing a career in a nobleman’s entourage or on hisestate. With the economic and social changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,however, the number of stately homes filled with ostentatious displays of livened attendantsdeclined, and lesser-paid female servants became more prevalent in noble households. The desireto economize affected those of modest means as well, many of whom employed only femaleservants “because they were less expensive to keep and easier to control.”12 Male servants werestill hired for their heightened prestige value by those who could afford them, making the genderratio more equal during the early modern period than in Victorian times, when agriculture andindustry absorbed much of the male work force, while domestic service lost prestige and became apredominantly female provenance. 13It has already been stated that servitude was a period in an individual’s life betweenchildhood and marriage, but what did this mean in actual practice? What proportion ofyouthsexperienced servitude, and how early did their working lives begin? The only thing which can besaid for certain is that any absolute statement in this regard is subject to contradiction or debate.Economic variations, such as the availability locally of alternative sources of income, affected howmany children in any given community entered service. Individual factors, such as family size,12 Marshall, The English Domestic, p. 7.13Kussmaul, p. 48premature parental death and the amount of land the family owned, also influenced the fate ofyoung people. However a synthesis of figures based upon 63 different parishes covering the years1574 to 1821 gives a good overall impression of the situation. These figures show that 75 percent of servants were between the ages 15 to 24; and that, of the total population of 15 to 24 yearolds, 60 per cent were engaged in service.14 Among poor children, such as orphans, servicecould begin as early as age four, although eight was a more usual starting age. Service wasclearly a widespread phenomenon and a normal part of growing up in early modern England.Although it was common for young people to spend eight to ten years of their lives inservice, this should not lead to the conclusion that this entire period was spent with the samemaster. Children frequently returned to their parents’ home for several weeks or months betweenpositions, if their families needed extra help, or simply because they had left one place and not yetfound another. Other reasons for servant mobility included: poor treatment by the master ormistress; the desire for higher wages; illness; pregnancy; dismissal for dishonest behavior; the wishto serve a higher ranking family; and in order to change location (London was a populardestination for many country youths). Detailed records kept by one farmer in the late sixteenthcentury show variations in duration of service ranging from a matter of weeks to more than threeyears. Several servants repeatedly returned to work for him after absences of varying lengths.’5English servants in general had a great deal of freedom of movement when compared to theircolleagues on the Continent. European master-servant relations appear to have been much moreauthoritarian than was the case in England at the same time. An eighteenth-century Continentaltraveler in England noted with surprise that many a master was “cautious of striking his14Ibid., pp. 3, 173.15A. Hassell Smith, “Laborers in Late Sixteenth-Century England: A Case Study from NorthNorfolk,” Continuity and Change 4 (1989): 15.9domestics; for they. ..may. . .commence an action in a court ofjustice.”16 To Europeans, switchingmasters was taken to be a sign of shiftiness and unreliability, and often had severe repercussionsfor the servant.17 English servants, on the other hand, could count on receiving good characters(letters of recommendation) even at times from masters whom they had served poorly. Knowingthe significance of a good reference, many masters were loath to ruin their servants’ chances offuture employment by writing negative characters, even when they were deserved. HannahWoolley’s late eighteenth-century advice manual, “The Compleat Gentlewoman,” recommended“Do not.. .give her [servant] too bad a character; it will raise you little benefit though it may laythe basis of her utter ruin.”8 That these humanitarian tendencies extended beyond adviceliterature and into actual practice is evidenced by bitter complaints that characters were quiteuseless in determining the actual competence of a servant when masters and mistresses refused tospeak freely.19The levels of society from which servants were drawn is another area about which it isdangerous to make sweeping statements, not least because of difficulties in precisely demarcatingthe social classes. For example, Samuel Pepys’ mother was a former washmaid20(a positionlower on the scale of prestige than any other, apart from that of scullery maid), while BeauBrummell’s grandfather, William Brummell, was a valet.21 However, the seventeenth centurysaw the beginning of a general decline in the social origins of servants, as it “had become16Hecht, p. 79.17Simpson, p. 404.18Stuart, p. 46.19Marshall, “Eighteenth Century,” p. 29.20Stuart, p. 61.21Turner, p. 74.10demeaning for a gentleman to be a servant.”22 Subsequently, the majority of servants were drawnfrom middle or lower class origins. Much of this change was due to the shift away from theextravagant stately homes of the Middle Ages, and toward greater economy through the use offemale help. Servitude in a nobleman’s home had previously formed the chief path to politicalinfluence and economic success for the younger sons of the gentry, but by the seventeenth andeighteenth centuries, younger sons were flocking to respectable careers in occupations such asmedicine, law, the army and the church.23 The grandiose-sounding positions which they formerlyoccupied came to be filled by humbler people bearing humbler titles. The housekeeper took overthe duties of the clerk of the kitchen; the yeoman of the hall was replaced by the footman; the postof yeoman of the chamber was reduced to that of housemaid; and the gentleman usher became abutler.24 By Victorian times, servitude was heavily stigmatized as an occupation taken up only bythe lower orders.The number of servants per household during the early modern era also varied greatly. Toprovide a basis for comparison, in the mid-fifteenth century, the Earl ofWarwick had 600 servantsin livery, while in the sixteenth century, the Earl ofNorthumberland had 166 servants, and theBishop of Ely had 100. This number declined to the point where the average figure for aneighteenth-century nobleman was forty to fifty servants, evenly split between males and females.Numbers for the lesser gentry depended upon their relative prosperity and location (fewerservants were kept in London, due to higher costs), and generally ranged from five to twentyservants. As might be expected, the middle class too showed wide variations. The Milne22Mark Girouard, Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History (NewHaven: Yale University Press, 1978), p. 143.23Joan Thirsk, “Younger Sons in the Seventeenth Century,” History LIV (1969): 366.24Marshall, The English Domestic, p. 6.11brothers of Yorkshire, successful businessmen, had between six and twelve servants apiece in thelate eighteenth century.25 The majority of families of modest means had fewer servants,sometimes only one. Among farmers, differences in the size of their landholdings, number oflivestock, the availability of seasonal laborers, and how many children they had, all affected howmany servants they employed. It has been estimated, however, that servants accounted forbetween one-third and one-half of the agricultural workforce in early modern England.26B. SERVANTS IN SOCIETYHaving covered the basic characteristics of the lives of English servants, it still remains toaddress what impact their presence had on society as a whole. Even though the servant “class”cut across social and economic boundaries to a greater extent than any other occupational group,they were not organized into any formal representative bodies, and often were neither leisured norliterate enough to leave behind records of their thoughts and feelings. These factors combine tomake them a relatively invisible group, one whose influence on society at large might at first bedifficult to determine. Here we shall limit ourselves to two main themes for discussion: the role ofservants as geographically and socially mobile individuals; and the effect the institution ofservitude had on the early modern English family.One result of servitude was that it led to members of different social classes co-existing incloser proximity than would otherwise have been the case. This provided an avenue for the25Hecht, pp. 3-9.26Kussmaul, p. 4.12downward spread not only of certain originally urban elite habits, such as tea-drinking27andsnuff-taking; but also of less tangible characteristics of language, standards of behavior, personalhygiene, fashion, political viewpoints, and so on.28 This cultural diffusion traveled not only fromupper to lower class, but from city to country, as servants returned home to visit family andfriends in rural areas. Close contact between the classes did not lead in the seventeenth andeighteenth centuries to general servant solidarity against masters, but rather to a strong desire onthe part of many to mimic as closely as possible the habits of their social superiors. This wascommented upon time and again in satires such as the 1759 play by James Townley, “High LifeBelow Stairs,” which parodied the tendency of many servants to ape their masters’ “manners,morals, names, and speech.”29 In “Directions to Servants” which, according to Dorothy Stuart,was “a series of savage etchings.. .unredeemed by a single lighter touch,” Jonathan Swift lamentedthe fact that servants’ social ambitions wreaked havoc on what he believed to be legitimate classdivisions.30 This attitude was echoed by other social critics of the time. However, servantscontinued to aspire to better things, and a few even attained that most elusive goal of all: marriageinto the master’s family. Cases such as this were more common at lower levels of society, wheremaster and servant were equals or near equals in social status. However, there were scandalousepisodes in the higher echelons of society, such as when Lady Henrietta Wentworth, sister of27Marshall, The English Domestic, p. 18. Foreign visitors to England were often amazed at howcommon tea-drinking was among English servants, who demanded this indulgence as their right.During the eighteenth century, tea and sugar rations became a common supplement to manyservants’ wages. Simpson, p. 404.28Hecht, pp. 209-24.29The aping of names refers to the practice by which servants addressed each other according tothe rank of their master: for example, one footman might be a earl, while another might be a dukeor marquis, based upon their employer’s titles. This was yet another way, apart from one basedon their responsibilities within the household, in which servants established their own hierarchy ofprestige. Simpson, p. 398.30Stuart, p. 96.13Lord Rockingham, married John William Sturgeon, her footman, in 1764.31 Even though fewindividual servants rose to join a higher social class as a result of being in service, the intimatecontact which was a byproduct of the institution of servitude did have an effect on the culturalnorms and values of many individuals at all levels of society. 32The geographical mobility of servants has been the source of much debate and discussion,as it is a topic about which it is extremely difficult to find exact figures. Local records tend not toinclude precise information which would enable us to determine with great accuracy patterns ofpopulation migration. This is particularly true in the case ofyouths who were neitherhouseholders nor married and therefore nearly invisible in traditional records. Luckily there is onemajor exception to this discouraging situation: the village of Cardington in Bedfordshire. TheCardington registers provide in-depth detail on the origins, occupations and migration of the 199families resident in the parish in 1782. Service was the primary cause of movement into and outof Cardington, although 100 per cent of children under ten were living at home, many employedby the local textile and lace-spinning industries. The percentages of both boys and girls in servicerose as their ages increased, though through the age of 24, more than two-thirds were in servicein the parish of Cardington or within five miles of it. Overall, the situation illustrated by the311n reference to the Wentworth case, Gilly Williams, in a sarcastic commentary to HoraceWalpole, wrote “It is supposed she is with child by him [the footman], for they used to pass manyhours together, which she called teaching John the mathematics.” Turner, pp. 63-64.32Habits such as tea drinking, which servants learned from their middle and upper classemployers, may have more significance than previously imagined. For example, one researcherhas found a correlation between tea drinking and literacy (indicated by the ownership of booksand tea-drinking paraphernalia.) Carole Shamnias, “The Domestic Environment in Early ModernEngland and America,” Journal of Social History 14 (Fall 1980): 15.33For the age group 10 to 14, 16 per cent of boys and 9 per cent of girls were in service. For theages 15 to 19, we find 78 per cent ofboys and 29 per cent of girls in service; while the age group20 to 24 shows 68 per cent ofboys and 32 per cent of girls in service. R.S. Schofield, “AgeSpecific Mobility in an Eighteenth Century Rural English Parish,” Annales de DemographicHistoriciue (1970): 262-7.14village of Cardington confirms many beliefs modern historians hold about mobility, servitude, andemployment patterns. Parents preferred to send children into service within a few hours’ travelingdistance from home, the most usual way of locating placements being through commonacquaintances or word of mouth In addition, there tended not to be an abrupt age of departurefor service, but rather a gradual process of home-leaving during the adolescent years.Let us now consider the impact of servitude on the early modern English family. Withoutengaging in futile debates over what came first, servitude or the particular family structure whichaccommodated it, we can say quite certainly that service could not have been so widespread in adifferent sort of society. Cultures which practiced ancestor worship or in which extended familygroups lived together would not have been able to accommodate the institution of servitude. InEngland, family ties were loosened and diluted through the exposure of young people to thevalues, manners and authority of their masters and mistresses.34On a fundamental level, servitude served as a buffer for the operation of traditional forcesof demographic change, such as birth and death rates.35 Since householders could easily hireyoung people to work for them, infertility (or a lack of male offspring) was not as dire a fate as insocieties where families depended entirely on the labor of their own sons. Those who had morechildren than they could afford to raise could place the older ones in service, safely assured thatthey would be educated and cared for as well as or better than at home. The corrective effects ofthis high level of mobility between families resulted in the household size in England remainingremarkably stable, with roughly 4.75 members being the average from the 1600s through 1901.3634Michael Mitterauer, “Servants and Youth,” Continuity and Change 5:1 (1990): p. 29.35Laslett, Household and Family, p. 156.36Thid., p. 126.15This fi.indamental peculiarity ofEnglish society, the fact that bearing children was noteconomically necessary to the success of the household, in turn had profound psychologicaleffects for the family. One of the main themes of Alan Macfarlane’ s Marriage and Love inEngland is the development of the concept of children as a source of personal pleasure. Whenyoung, children’s antics amused and entertained adults rather like pets; later they came to befriends and companions to their parents, not merely contributors to the family income.37Childless individuals could compensate even for the entertainment value of children by hiringservants as companions. An explicit example of this is a statement by Lady Osborne (néePenelope Verney) who in the seventeenth century wrote “...by 6 or 7 of ye clocke I am at home,and do find ye nights so long. Had God blest me with a Dau[ghtejr I had not kept a maid.”38Service removed children from their parents’ direct supervision just as they were on theverge of adolescence, with all its attendant emotional upheaval and challenges to the domesticorder.39 Since the bearing or not bearing of children did not severely hinder the economicadvancement of adults, and since children had a means of paying their own way if they wished torise above their parents’ rank40 my contention is that service represented a flindamental weaknessin and threat to the patriarchal order. That is, service allowed fathers to retain the outwardtrappings of paternal authority, while preventing the actual limits of their power from being put tothe test. The day to day discipline of one’s own children- a primary duty of the family patriarch -was placed in the hands of strangers to whom the youths bore a contractual obligation.37Macfarlane, p. 55.38No date was given for this letter. Stuart, p. 46.39Edmund S. Morgan, The Puritan Family: Religion and Domestic Relations in SeventeenthCentury New England (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1966), p. 78.40For example, by saving wages to amass a larger marriage portion than the parents could afford;by currying favor with an influential or wealthy master; or by acquiring an education - academicor practical - while in service in order to enter a profession afterwards.16Paradoxically, this act simultaneously undermined and supported the very ground upon whichpatriarchalism rested. As Randolph Trumbach so succinctly put it, “Patriarchal deference wasdifficult to maintain in a contractual society.”41Even on an economic level, servitude diminished the control of parent over child. Parentalauthority was already weaker in England than on the Continent, because one important principleof Anglo-Saxon law was that property descends, but does not ascend. As a result, parents did notautomatically have a right to lay claim to their children’s wages as they did on the Continent, norwere children required to name parents as beneficiaries in their wills.42 Researchers have lookedin vain for evidence that early modern English servants sent portions of their wages home to theirfamilies.43 To date, all the evidence points to very weak economic links between parents andchildren, with ties of affection being the main source of continuing familial bonds.41Trumbach, p. 139.42Macfarlane, Marriage and Love, p. 334.43 The researchers referred to by Macfarlane, apart from himself, were Keith Wrightson, RichardSmith and Ann Kussmaul. Ibid., p. 84.17CHAPTER Two: THE LITERATURE CONCERNING SERVANTsA. SECONDARY SOURCESAs mentioned previously, servitude in early modem England has received much lessattention from historians than topics such as marriage and childhood.1 Even those works whichdo tackle the subject of servitude suffer from a number of deficiencies.Although works specifically devoted to servitude provide us with the majority of statisticsrelating to servants’ ages and the duration of service, most of the interpretive insights regardingthe role played by the institution of service in society come from family historians. The first majorweakness in the historical literature concerning servants is that it frequently does not go farbeyond statistical data collection and the recitation of anecdotes in order to place servants into thewider context of society at large. There is clearly a need for family historians to focus their effortsand techniques on servitude, rather than looking mainly at marriage and childhood, and forhistorians of service to adopt many of the analytical techniques of the family historians. J. JeanHecht’ s 1956 analysis of the eighteenth-century domestic servant was an admirable attempt toremedy this shortcoming. Hecht’s book was significant because it went further than most inanalyzing service and servitude, rather than simply relating interesting stories and curious tidbitsof information. She put forward the theory that servants were a “cultural nexus” for theinterchange of lifestyle habits, values, and fashions between the classes, particularly from the topdown. Other historians have since expanded on this theme. Alan Macfarlane, RandolphTrumbach, and Peter Laslett, among others, have proposed links between service and the rise of1Two books about French servants, Sarah C. Maza’s Servants and Masters in Eighteenth CenturyFrance and Cissie Fairchilds’ Domestic Enemies do an admirable job of addressing the manyfacets of servants’ private lives, while also discussing their significance in society at large.However, both these books exhibit the same restrictions of time and class as many of the workson English servants, concentrating on servants of wealthy masters in the eighteenth century.18capitalism, the decline of the patriarchal system, the development of the modem family and thehampering of demographic forces.2 However, none of these authors were primarily concernedwith the topic of servants per Se.Another weakness in the secondary literature has to do with breadth of focus: the vastmajority of studies are about eighteenth-century domestic servants either in large noblehouseholds of the county seats, or in the middle and upper class homes of London. To date it hasnot been possible to locate any books devoted to the servants of seventeenth-century England.Even though the eighteenth century seems well-documented by comparison to the seventeenth, itpales when measured against all that has been published on the nineteenth century. Oneexplanation for this lies in the primary source material, which multiplies in abundance as thecenturies pass. It is also more likely that the diaries and letters of the middle and upper classeswould be more plentiful to start with, as well as being more likely to have been preserved forposterity. The unfortunate result of this distribution of materials is that we have received frommost historians a skewed picture of service, one based to a large degree upon those who formedthe smallest portion of all servants: indoor domestics serving the upper echelons of society.A third criticism has to do with the types of sources used by many historians of servitude.The smattering of autobiographical writings by eighteenth-century servants (and former servants)have surprisingly not been exploited by researchers to the degree one might expect. Indeed, theseprecious insights into servants’ minds have mostly been overlooked in favor of the diaries, letters,memoirs and satires of well-known men such as such as Samuel Pepys, Daniel Defoe and2For example, see Alan Macfarlane’s Marriage and Love in England: Modes ofReproduction,1300-1840; Randolph Trumbach’s The Rise of the Egalitarian Family: Aristocratic Kinship andDomestic Relations in Eighteenth-Century England; and Peter Laslett’s Household and Family inPast Time.19Jonathan Swift. This has been balanced by the publication by others of the diaries and memoirs ofindividuals more typical of their time, such as parsons, small shopkeepers, country doctors andmiddling-level farmers. Nonetheless, it still remains for the writings of servants themselves and ofmasters of the humbler sort to be fully incorporated into studies of early modern servants.3Yet another rich source of information neglected by many researchers is the genre ofadvice literature, which flourished in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The strengths andweaknesses of prescriptive literature as a source of knowledge about actual conditions will bedealt with later in more detail. For now it suffices to say that too little attention has been paid tothe most potentially fruitful type of advice literature (straightforward works of etiquette andcorrect behavior), while too much has been paid to what could be considered the least useful (thegenre of satires and diatribes). Referring to France, Sarah Maza wrote:A whole body of prescriptive literature published in the seventeenth andeighteenth centuries offered readers an ideal of master-servant relationswhich I have termed “aristocratic paternalism.” The main features, andindeed the very existence of such an ideal, offer clues and raise questionsabout the meaning of the master-servant relationship in society at large.4This statement holds true for England as well. Family historians who speculate about thedownfall of paternalism could do worse than to examine the changing ideals portrayed in adviceliterature over the course of the early modern era. Many earlier works on servants, such as those3Satirical attacks on servants by Defoe, Swift and Townley were used by Alice Clark, E.S.Turner, Dorothy Marshall, and Violet Simpson. Hannah Woolley’s “The Gentlewoman’sCompanion,” a book directed at an elite group (waiting women, who were generally gentlewomenby birth) was used extensively by Antonia Fraser. Peter Earle relied primarily on Pepys’ diary forevidence about the master-servant relationship, while E.S. Turner used Boswell’s diary. DorothyMargaret Stuart concentrated primarily on servants in royal households and those who servedwell-known masters such as Pepys, Johnson, the Verneys, and so on. For literary sources, ratherthan servant poets, she turned to Richardson, Gay, Pope, Shakespeare and Congreve.4Sarah C. Maza, Servants and Masters in Eighteenth Century France: The Uses of Loyalty(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), p. 7.20by Hecht, Stuart, Marshall, Turner and Simpson, lent too much credence to canting critiques bybitter satirists from the educated classes, such as Swift and Defoe. These writers oftenexaggerated the faults and abuses of contemporary servants, comparing them unfavorably with themythical servants of bygone eras who were honest, obedient, clean, and diligent. Straightforwardadvice literature would have provided more insight into the changing norms and expectationsconfronting servants at all levels of society.B. PRIMARY SOURCESHaving considered the strengths and shortcomings of the secondary literature concerningservants, let us now turn our attention to the primary literature. The primary sources ofinformation about servants may be divided into four main categories: diaries, letters and memoirsof masters; diaries and memoirs of servants; prescriptive literature offering advice related toservitude; and satirical literature directed against servants.The first category, diaries, letters and memoirs of masters, spans both the seventeenth andeighteenth centuries, with a preponderance of material emerging from the later period. Someauthors, such as Ralph Josselin, Nehemiah Wallington, and the Verney family, have becomefamiliar to us through in-depth historical examination, whereas others, such as Claver Morris,Roger Lowe and Sylas Neville are less well known. Drawing on the latter set of accounts willhelp to shift the emphasis away from London and the servants of the upper strata of society. It isimportant to bear in mind that few diaries and memoirs were unselfconscious outpourings orsimple factual accounts of the events in an individual’s life. All the advantages of insight whichdiaries provide are offset by the consideration that those who took the time for introspectivewriting were in many ways atypical by definition. They were undoubtedly more literate than the21average person, possibly more leisured, and probably more self-absorbed or, at the very least,more concerned with posterity. Many diarists stated explicitly that the purpose of their writingwas to provide a record for their descendants or to honor God, and these conscious intentionsmust be taken into account while reading the texts, along, of course, with apparently unconsciousones. Many diaries were edited prior to publication, by the diarist or his or her relatives.Unflattering portrayals of the author and his family were sometimes expunged, and thus we mustbe particularly careful when reading about highly emotional events, such as the dismissal ordiscipline of servants. Nevertheless, much valuable information can be gleaned from thesesources which the authors perhaps never imagined would be of interest, such as the daily relationsbetween household members, and the routine aspects of running a household.The second category of information, the diaries and memoirs of servants, is comprisedentirely of works from the eighteenth century, and is unfortunately quite sparse. Relatively littlehas survived from the pen of early modern servants themselves, and not all of the survivingdocuments are available to researchers in North America. Strangely, most of these diaries, asmentioned before, have been ignored by historians writing about service. One possible reason forthis, at least in the years before social history gained scholarly credibility, might have been amistrust of the source of the information. Dorothy Marshall confronted the prejudice some of herreaders may have felt toward a woman writing about the history of home life by boldly givingvoice to their potential objections: “Women writing about domestic troubles are rarely impartialwitnesses1 - and servants too, it may be hinted, are sometimes unreasonable.”5Many scholarsundoubtedly assumed that a master’s account would be less biased than a servant’s. Yet, despite5Marshall, The English Domestic, p. 3.22her relatively sympathetic stance towards servants, even Marshall did not take much notice ofservants’ diaries and memoirs.The third type of primary source, advice literature, existed in abundance between thesixteenth and nineteenth centuries, although here we shall only consider what was written duringthe seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Servants were not the only group in society singled outfor instruction and moral improvement; apprentices, married couples, parents, and children werealso the targets of advice-givers.6While we cannot determine to what degree individuals modeledtheir behavior after the advice given in prescriptive works, these documents are valuable for theirportrayal of ideal relationships, in accordance with the standards of the time. It is also possible,based on the nature of the advice given, to come to conclusions about the general concerns of thetime. The advice literature of the early modern era cannot help but reflect many of the matters ofconsequence to masters and servants of that time, such as the proper hierarchy within the family,the uses and abuses of power, and the duties and obligations of each individual. Even though it islikely that many servants and masters did not consciously follow the advice contained in theseworks, the fact that they were published in such abundance indicates that there was a market forthem. We can deduce from their sheer number that a significant proportion of the population wasexposed to their contents directly, and that many more were at least aware of the ideals portrayedin them.The fourth and final category of primary literature is satires about servitude. These didnot portray ideal relationships; in fact they did quite the opposite, and in a rude and inflammatory6lndeed, prior to the publication in 1744 of John Newbery’s “A Little Pretty Pocket-Book,” thereexisted no books for children designed purely to provide them with pleasure and entertainment.Up until this time children were given schoolbooks and works of moral edification. F.J. HarveyDarton, Children’s Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 1982), p. 1.23manner. Satirical spoofs of the master-servant relationship were a product of the eighteenth-century literary milieu, and therefore do not allow for consistent comparison over the course ofthe seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In addition, these works have been emphasized by otherhistorians to such a degree that consistent analysis of straightforward prescriptive literature hasnot yet been undertaken. Satirical works also reflected the attitudes and mores of an elite groupof London intellectuals; they did not necessarily reflect the manners, beliefs or morals of thetypical master of modest means in early modern England. For these reasons, satires have beenexcluded entirely from this analysis.24CHAPTER THREE: ADVICE GWEN TO SERVANTS: THE CENTURY OF MORAL OBLIGATIONA startling variety of different duties expected of servants was outlined in the prescriptiveliterature of early modern England. These exhortations were usually given in no particular order,but the advice itself can clearly be categorized according to its nature. While some advice books(those which were heavily theological in emphasis, for example) dealt primarily with one aspect ofservitude, the majority had something to say about nearly every aspect of a servant’s life. Overall,the advice may be classified as relating to: appearance and hygiene; religious and moral duties;maimer ofbehaving toward master and family; the place of service; treatment of master’sproperty; the attitude and mental state of the servant; daily behavior and other practical advice;and general commentaries on servitude as a condition. The final category cannot strictly beconsidered advice; but rather represents musings on theoretical aspects of servitude, the familyhierarchy, and other related topics.On occasion the lines between various categories can be fuzzy, and certain specific piecesof advice might arguably be classified other than as they appear here. However, there tends to bea clear internal coherence to the divisions, which allows certain patterns to emerge. This willbecome even more apparent when one makes comparisons between categories and acrosscenturies. Plucked from their context, amidst unending, repetitive Biblical quotations and allowedto stand alone, these admonitions take on a startling clarity. The unequal emphasis authors ofdifferent centuries gave to each category is plain to see, along with the absence of some types ofadvice and the emergence of new types. Let us now examine, one by one, the diverse categoriesof advice and admonition given to servants in the seventeenth century. Later we will consider thesame topics as they were discussed in the literature of the eighteenth century.25A. APPEARANCE AND HYGIENEA topic which attracted relatively little notice from advice writers of the seventeenthcentury was that of appearance and hygiene. Very few of the authors surveyed mentioned it at all,although one placed proper appearance in the context of humility (i.e. not dressing above yourstation),1while another described it as a way of showing suitable reverence for one’s master.2Nathaniel Crouch discussed appropriate dress in more detail than most seventeenth-centurywriters, framing modest apparel as an issue of humility and respect, and threatening a dire end fortransgressors.Exceeding faulty therefore are those Servants who are so excessivein their Apparel, that there is no distinction between them and theirMasters.. .Let such proud Servants take heed for if God hath threatnedto visit the Children ofPrinces that walk in strange Apparel, Zeph. 1.8.it is much to be feared that he will more severely visit them.3Dressing too finely therefore took its place alongside other transgressions relating to pride, suchas behaving too familiarly toward one’s master or treating him without enough ceremony.Hygiene was not mentioned at all in seventeenth-century books of advice. As will be seen later,however, this lack of concern during the 1600s was more than compensated for in the century tofollow.B. RELIGIOUS AND MoRAL DuTIEsThe realm of religious or moral duties was mostly dealt with in the context of service bywriters of the seventeenth century. Servants were admonished by advice-givers not to blaspheme1Thomas Carter, Carters christian common wealth; or domesticall dutyes deciphered (London:1627), p. 268.2William Gouge, Of domesticall duties (London: 1622), p. 600.3Nathaniel Crouch, [Richard Burton], The apprentices companion, containing plain and usefuldirections for servants (London: 1681), p. 24.26or take the name of the Lord in vain.4 Others urged them to attend church, pray regularly, andremember their Heavenly Father.5 One difficult issue which arose in connection to highlyreligious servants, was the possibility that they might begin to think too independently and makedecisions for themselves, rather than simply obeying their masters. In addition, the more time aservant spent engaged in religious activities, the less time he had to devote to service. Eventhough every prescriptive book emphasized that obedience is a servant’s “chief and principalduty,”6 five of them qualified this requirement by making exceptions for orders which werecontrary to God’s commands.7 Thomas Fossett offered advice to servants who wished to resistan ungodly command from an irreligious master:All obedience must bee subordinate unto the devine obediencedue unto God. If thy Master bid thee doe evill. . .then say as Christ,the Master of us all said... Who (saith he) is my mother, and who aremy brethren &c.8Richard Lucas contradicted the above advice outright, writing that “Servants are not to disputenor interpret, but obey the Commands of their Master, for they are not to answer for thediscretion or reasonableness of his Commands.”9 This would appear at first to be inconsistentwith the advice given fifteen pages later by the same author, who stated that the servant should“. . .carefiilly resist the Temptations of the Family you are in; let not the Authority of great4Carter, p. 267; Crouch, p. 78.5Crouch, p. 148; John Dod and Robert Clever, A godly forme of houshold government (London:1630), fol. A25; Gouge, p. 594.6Crouch, p. 27.7Richard Allestree, The whole duty of man (London: 1664), p. 311; Richard Baxter, A Christiandirectory, (London: 1673), p. 554; Crouch, p 28; Thomas Fossett, The servants dutie, or thecalling and condition of servants (London: 1613), p. 35; and Gouge, p. 628.8Fossett, p. 35.9Richard Lucas, The duty of servants (London: 1685), pp. 89-90.27examples delude or deceive thee.”10 However, Lucas distinguished between acquiescence withdirect orders and a complete loss of moral judgment over personal temptations to which onemight be exposed.Even though Lucas drew this clear distinction between obeying service-related orders andone’s own private behavior, it is not hard to imagine situations where there would be conflicts ofinterest between the servant and the family she served. The memoirs of the servant ElisabethWest provide us with an example of a servant’s religious convictions interfering with her loyaltyto her master and mistress. In April 1695 West underwent a spiritual transformation after hearinga particularly inspiring sermon. At the time, however, she served “a very carnal family,” andtherefore attempted to keep quiet her new dedication to religion. By May 1703 West’s situationhad become intolerable, as she learned that the family was mocking her behind her back for herreligiosity. For this reason she left the family, an action which was frowned upon by prescriptivewriters, in order to enter service with a more congenial one.’1It is unlikely that most masters would have appreciated a servant informing them that theirorders were contrary to God’s commands - indeed, it seems more probable that such behaviorwould have been regarded as impertinent and disrespectful; a challenge to his proper authority. Itis also unlikely that most masters would have taken kindly to servants departing from their homebecause they were too “carnal”. Seen in this light, it is not surprising that the advice concerningthe religious behavior of servants was often quite ambiguous.10Ibid., p. 185.11Elisabeth West, Memoirs, or spiritual exercises of Elisabeth West (Exeter, New Hampshire: C.Norris, 1817), pp. 30, 222-223.28C. MANNER OF BEHAVING TOWARD MASTER AND FAIvfflXCommon themes in the category of appropriate behavior toward one’s master and familywere the maintenance of an appropriate degree of distance and reverence between master andservant, and the preservation of the reputation of the family one served. Various authors of theseventeenth century emphasized that one must obey with fear and trembling,12“as though [one]served God himselfe,”13 with fear and awe rather than overfamiliarity,14with honor andsubjection,15 and so on in this vein. As William Perkins put it,The dutie of a servant is, faithfully and diligently to demeanhimselfe in the affairs of his master, and to doe service unto him,as unto Christ, though he [the master] be froward and hardhearted.16This humble manner was to extend as well to one’s carriage and overall demeanor.17 Forexample, Dod and Clever wrote that servants should “be reverent and lowly to them [theirmasters] in their words and gestures.”18 Deferential speech was discussed in more precision bysome. It included practices such as not interrupting your master when he was speaking,19beingcareful not to anger him unnecessarily, and being sure to beg his forgiveness if you did upsethim.20 The servant also had to be careful not to reveal his master’s secrets to others21Provided that they be not such secrets as tend to the dishonour ofGod, or to the danger of the Commonwealth and Church, no nor of a12Carter, pp. 243-44; Crouch, pp. 6-7.t3Dod and Clever, fol. A25.‘4Gouge, pp. 594, 602.15Wiffiam Ames, Conscience, with the power and causes thereof (London: 1643), p. 160.16William Perkins, Christian oeconomie (London: 1618), p. 697.17Crouch, p. 19; Gouge, p. 596.18Dod and Clever, fol. A25; Baxter also advised being reverent and distant towards one’s master,p. 555.‘9Gouge, p. 600.20Dod and Clever, fol. A26.21Gouge, p. 623.29private person: for Jonathan is commended for discovering themischief which Saul had secretly intended against David.22Another way of showing proper respect was by submitting humbly to correction, howeverunjust it may have been. It was never proper for a servant to answer back if he was rebuked;instead he was told to bear the correction patiently.23 The authors advised an almost martyr-likesubmission and restraint on the part of servants, saying that “though correction be unjustlyinflicted yet it is patiently to be endured: therefore much more when it is deserved”24and that “St.Peter directs them [servants] patiently to suffer even the most undeserved correction, even whenthey do well and suffer for it.”25 In other words, a servant was never justified in answering backor speaking up in self-defense.Servants thus could show respect in three ways: through submissive postures andattitudes, through obedient and compliant behavior, and through respectfiul speech. Theseobservances extended to other family members as well. The servant was urged to be an exampleof upright behavior in the family, so as not to corrupt his mistress, the children of the family, orthe other servants.26 He was not to flirt or dally familiarly with the master’s wife and daughtersor with other maidens.27 Claver Morris, a country doctor, was forced to dismiss one of hisservants for this reason.I turn’d off my Servant Charles Cook. ..Because he was too much infavour with my Servant Hannah Beal, & was bolted in his Chamber withher Sunday Oct: 3 for a considerable time. ..When I gave him lOs for 27days since Mlchaelmass, he was not contented, & Swore often, ‘till Ithreatend to make him pay for Swearing 3 times, By God.. .Aflerwards,p. 628.23Crouch, pp. 48-9; Dod and Clever, fol. A26; Perkins, p. 697.24Gouge, p. 612.25Allestree, p. 313.26Dod and Clever, fol. A25.p. A25.30he sent Will Clark to my Study Door, for a Character of him. And Ianswer’d I would give none: For he had not behaved himself, for me togive him a good one.28Servants were also urged, among other things, to take good care of the children of thefamily.29 Care consisted of “being loving and kind to them, and by avoiding vain, idle, andprophane discourses before them.”30 It was also vital for the servant to behave respectfullytowards boarders, guests, and other family visitors.31 A surly or neglectful servant would giveothers a negative impression of the capacity of the master to control his own family. Indeed, thepower of a servant’s tongue was well recognized. Living in intimate contact with the family, andwith ample opportunities for mischief-making, servants posed a unique threat the to the family’sintegrity and the master’s image abroad. Servants’ gossip could quite easily spread to otherhouseholds, reaching the ears of the master’s colleagues and social circle. A malicious servantcould also take advantage of intra-family disputes and squabbles in order to have a little fin at themaster’s expense. Writers therefore frequently emphasized that a servant should not indulge insecret gossip about his master or family.32 Servants were instructed to go even further anddefend the family’s name and reputation against the slights of others.33Several writers admonished servants to treat each other well.34 This piece of advicewould benefit both the master and mistress (for they would not have to deal with disruptivesquabbles or turnover of the servant body due to personal quarrels) as well as the servant himself28Diary entry dated October 26, 1725. Edmund Hobhouse, ed., The Diary of a West CountryPhysician, A.D. 1684-1726 (Rochester: Stanhope Press, 1934), pp. 123-4.29Gouge, p. 623; Lucas, pp. 137-9.30Crouch, p. 66.31Ibid., pp. 153-55.32Carter, pp. 261-22; Crouch, p. 19; Gouge, pp. 600, 623, 628; Lucas, p. 85.33Lucas, p. 189.34Carter, p. 263; Crouch, pp. 64-5; Gouge, p. 623; Lucas, p. 160.31(his home and work environment would become more pleasant and he would not risk losing hisplace). However, if it went too far, one could envisage a situation in which the servants in afamily felt more loyalty toward each other than to their mutual master. Therefore this advice wasqualified with the requirement that if one servant caught another doing wrong, he must firstrebuke him, and then (if the behavior did not cease) report him to their master.35 On the otherhand, telling tales within the family, simply to stir up trouble, was strictly forbidden.36 In reality,however, following the former piece of advice could easily lead to the latter sort of trouble, asdemonstrated by the following diary entry. On December, 29 1709, Claver Morris wrote thatwhile traveling together by coach, his man, John Curtis, told him that he feared the familycookmaid, Anne Carpenderhas accused him to me of being too lavish of the Strong Beer,& therefore he would if I pleas’d part from my Service atCandlemass. I told him he should do as he thought best: I wouldnot perswade him from his Inclination: But that I never before...heard any such Accusation of him from her. I took then an occasionto tell him some of his Faults which I had not wholy enumeratedtill my coming quite home stopp’d me.37This quotation reveals the complications that could arise when one servant threatened to tell talesto the master, whether true or not. John, in a fit of pique, gave notice, probably anticipating thathis master would beg him to stay and chide Anne for sowing dissent. However, Morris’ reactionwas a skillful demonstration of the divide and conquer technique, as well as of the advantagewhich masters possessed when their servants were willing to inform on each other. Rather thanrising to the bait, Morris simply acknowledged John’s notice and took advantage of his man’s35Lucas, pp. 113-4.36Carter, p. 263.37Hobhouse, p. 59.32afready weakened position in order to lecture him on a number of his failings. However, neitherservant was dismissed as a result of this incident.D. THE PLACE OF SERVICEThe topic of choosing a place of service was touched upon by Dod and Clever, whowarned servants not to live “with any such masters as are prophane and wicked, or in such townesand parishes where there wants good meanes, and exercises both of preaching and catechising.”38Even though servants were uniformly told to obey their masters, no argument was presented inany of the prescriptive manuals of the seventeenth century to indicate that a servant should not beentitled to a choice of families to serve with. It was only once the servant had placed himselfunder the dominion of a particular master that he was obliged to obey unfailingly. Even passivesolutions to unjust punishment by a harsh master - such as running away, or getting married inorder to get out of servitude39 - were forbidden to servants. They were clearly prohibited fromrunning away from their masters “because they have not power of their owne selves,” nor shouldthey break the master-servant covenant, which would go against “the lawes of God or men.”4°The servant who might have felt that God was with him in his particular situation, and thattherefore it was not sinful for him to run away, was made very aware of the fact that he would stillbreak civil laws by leaving.38Dod and Clever, fol. A28.39Gouge, p. 607.40Fossett, p. 19. A similar idea was expressed by Gouge, p. 607.33E. TREATMENT OF MASTERS’ PROPERTYThe advice pertaining to the treatment of one’s master’s property in the seventeenthcentury was quite straightforward and in keeping with Biblical teaching and general thrift.Servants were cautioned not to steal from their masters,4’nor to waste their goods.42 John Dodand Robert Clever wrote that servants should be well-organized with food, and not “make spoileand havock of their masters goods,”43 particularly leftover food. Servants were also warned notto give food to the poor out of charity without the master’s permission.44 Overall, quite little wassaId in this respect compared to what appeared in the literature of the eighteenth century,indicating either that certain abuses which appear in the eighteenth century were not widespreadat this time (e.g. bribing charwomen with food and the practice of the “market penny”) or thatmanual writers in the seventeenth century had different preoccupations.F. THE ATTITUDE AND MENTAL STATE OF THE SERVANTThe most difficult, if not entirely impossible, aspect of a servant for a master to controlwas his attitude or mental state. Outward behavior, apparel and speech could all be molded to adegree to suit the master’s preferences, whether through rewards, persuasion or threat ofpunishment. However, the inner mental state of the servant remained his own. Because thedangers of autonomy in this area were recognized, authors of advice literature of the seventeenth41Allestree, p. 312; Baxter, p. 554; Carter, p. 269; Dod and Clever, fol. A27; Gouge, pp. 623,625; Lucas, p. 97; Perkins, p. 697.42Baxter, p. 555; Gouge, p. 625; Lucas, p. 119.43Dod and Clever, fol. A27.Crouch, p. 32; Gouge, p. 607.34century devoted a great deal of attention to it. Typically, servants were exhorted to be cheerfiuland willing to please, as well as to do what they were bidden.45In order to explain why a servant’s inner feelings should matter at all, a proper mentalattitude was presented primarily as a necessary component of properly fulfilling one’s duties.Specifically, the servant had to be content in his station46 and feel love towards his master andmistress.47 While it may seem rather extreme to require feelings of love for the family one served,it is important to bear in mind the position the servant held within the family. He had anobligation to “love them, and to be affectioned towards them, as a dutifull childe is to hisfather”48 because he really was a member of the family during the period of his service. Chancesare he was also closer in age to the children of the family than to the parents. The age factor,combined with the servant’s lack of full adult status, made the master-servant relationship morenearly parallel to that of a child and his father than any other. As the servant Roger Lowe wrotein his diary on 25 July 1663, he “rid upon one of Raph Hasleden’s horses to Leigh to our child’schristeninge. He was named Edward.”49 Here “our child” referred to the master and mistress’child, but the feeling of belonging to the family was well illustrated by his choice of language.William Ames commented explicitly on the many differences between the position of a servantand that of a child, yet this contrast would not have made sense if there were not also manysimilarities.Servitude is much different from the state of a child. First, In respect, it isnot from nature, as that of a child, but either undertaken by voluntaryconsent or else imposed by way of punishment. Secondly, In that the45Baxter, p. 555; Dod and Clever, fol. A25; Fossett, p. 24; Gouge, pp. 590, 618.46Lucas, p. 64.47Dod and Clever, fol. A25; Lucas, pp. 123, 188.48Dod and Clever, fol. A25.49William L. Sachse, The Diary of Roger Lowe of Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, 1663-74(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938), p. 24.35condition of a Sonne tendeth chiefly to his owne proper good, not of hisFather; but servitude doth aime directly at the good of the Master, and notof the Servant. Thirdly, in that Children are not ordinarily enjoyned anyworke, but what is ingenuous, but Servants are bound to doe all kind ofworke. Fourthly, In that the subjection of Children is not aiwayes in thesame proportion and equality, but Servants owe their perpetual endeavourswithout all distinction of time; Fifthly, That in all things, Children are moretenderly and favourably to be used then Servants, Prov, 29.21.50In addition, due to the all-encompassing and very demanding nature of obligations laidupon servants, Lucas quite wisely stated that contentment, “is a Virtue which is extremelynecessary in Servants, it being a very difficult matter to do their Duty without it.”5’ Resentment,or even indifference, would naturally interfere with the wholehearted performance of a servant’sduties as enumerated in the literature. After all, a servant who loved his master was probablymore likely to serve him honestly and diligently than one who served grudgingly. The regulationof a servant’s feelings and moods therefore appears to have been of more direct benefit to themaster than to the servant.However, the manual writers did not fail to mention that a proper attitude could also haverewards for the servant himself. As Gouge put it, “Let there be cheerfulnesse in a servants minde,and he is as free as his master: for such a servant is the Lordsfreeman (1 Cor 7.22).”52According to this reasoning, even if you were not free in body, being bound by contract to yourmaster’s service, nevertheless you could be free in spirit. Richard Allestree provided a differentpoint of view for servants who were struggling to achieve the proper attitude of goodwill and lovetowards their masters:God has commanded servants thus to obey their Masters; andtherefore the obedience they pay is to God, which may well make50Ames, p. 159.51Lucas, p. 123.52Gouge, p. 619; Crouch expressed a similar idea, p. 39.36them do it cheerfully, how harsh or unworthy soever the Master be...53Lucas made his point from yet another angle: if you did not achieve happiness and peace of mindin your station you would never be satisfied with your life, no matter how greatly your conditionsimproved. As he wrote on the topic of contentment:.this is a Duty necessary to your own Happiness, necessary to theService of your Master, and necessary to the Honour of God...forthough Circumstances be never so good, yet if you do not think ‘emso, you must needs be uneasie. . .you can never serve him [your master]well, if you do not serve him chearfiully, and from the heart..This paragraph not only includes both the rationales already discussed, it also brings up yetanother reason for a suitably happy and contented mental state: the religious justification.According to this argument, the master was the intermediary through serving whom the servantserved God. Truly believing this might have enabled a servant to forgive the injustices and cruelbehavior of an earthly master and concentrate on the rewards awaiting him in heaven. As ThomasFossett put it, “Servants must performe their services, and doe their duties willingly andhartily.. .because in serving their maisters they serve God.”55 This was related to the belief,expressed in many works of the time, that each individual’s status on earth was divinelydetermined. One’s merit came from the proper fulfillment of whatever role one was called toperform. Therefore even a humble servant in his limited capacity had the potential to reap bothheavenly and earthly rewards simply by doing all that he was enjoined to do:‘Tis certain that every man’s Duty, is his Interest, and that inwhatever station a man is, there is nothing can render him moreprosperous in it, or more effectually recommend him to a betterthan a faithful and conscientious discharge of the Duties of his place.5653Allestree, p. 311.54Lucas, pp. 71-2.55Fossett, p. 24.56Lucas, p. 181.37Also to be classified with the duties of contentment and cheerfi.ilness are pieces of advicerelating to other states of being. These included not being proud, arrogant, or fhll of disdain foryour master57 for such feelings would lead to scorn for a master who was infirm, poor, orunkind.58 Apart from avoiding these negative feelings, the servant was also told to strive to befaithful and sincere.59 Fidelity and sincerity encompassed duties such as not lying or stealing, aswell as not betraying or deceiving one’s master in any way. Lucas went even fUrther anddiscussed these duties in all their moral and theological ramifications:Fidelity.., comprehends a great many Duties.. .That he [the servantjendeavour.. .to promote the Virtue, and procure the Salvation of hisMaster.. .partly by Prayer to God for him, partly by Advice and goodDiscourse; if his Master give him any such opportunity, or admit himinto any such freedom.. .but if he cannot serve him in this way, he mustat least take care that he be not guilty of the contrary; he must not be anIncentive to, or Instrument of his sin; he must not be a Contriver of, orPurveyor for his lust; he must not flatter and applaud him in hiswickedness; for this is the worst sort of unfaithfUlness, the betraying thevery Soul of his Master...60G. DAILy BEHAVIOR AND OTHER PRACTICAL ADVICEThe advice literature of the seventeenth century contained a miscellaneous set of counselspertaining to daily behavior in a global sense. These exhortations did not have to do specificallywith morality, master-servant relations, intangible sentiments or physical appearance. Instead,they included aspects of each, but for the most part also transcended them. For example, servants57Carter, p. 268; Gouge, p. 600.58Gouge, p. 600.59Baxter, p. 555; Crouch, p. 54; Dod and Clever, fol. A25; Gouge, pp. 590, 617; Lucas, p. 64.Lucas, pp. 94-5.38were advised to avoid gaming,61 lewdness,62 and bad company.63 All of the above were piecesof advice which would have been given to any young man or woman at this time. These werehabits which were considered corrupting and likely to lead to financial ruin, loss of reputation anda general decline in morals, among other things. Other failings which any young person wouldhave been warned against were: being saucy,64 gossiping,65telling lies,66 swearing,67being idle,slothful, negligent or tardy,68 and muttering in discontent.69In this category, but related more to servitude specifically, were exhortations not to be “aneye-servant or man-pleaser,” which was a Biblical phrase to denote one who only performed hisduties well when others were watching.70 A man-pleaser could not be trusted to do his workwithout direct supervision and forgot that the purpose of fulfilling obligations is “not so much toescape the Masters anger as Gods.”71 Servants were instructed to speak well of their formermasters72 and not to seek their own profit while in service.73 A more passive type ofinsubordination was “stoutness,” that is, not speaking up when doing so might have saved your61Allestree, p. 314; Crouch, p. 153; Dod and Clever, fol. A27.62Crouch, p. 88; Dod and Clever, fol. A27; Gouge, p. 606.63Allestree, p. 314; Crouch, p. 77; Lucas, p. 184.64Gouge, p. 599.65Dod and Clever, fol. A27; Lucas, p. 190.66Baxter, p. 544; Crouch, p. 15; Dod and Clever, fol. A27; Fossett, p. 29; Gouge, p. 600; Lucas,p. 121; Perkins, p. 697.67Dod and Clever, fol. A27.68Allestree, p. 314; Baxter, p. 554; Crouch, p. 70; Gouge, pp. 590, 600; Lucas, p. 115; Perkins,p. 697.69Gouge, p. 600.70Allestree, p. 312; Baxter, p. 554; Gouge, p. 590; Perkins, p. 697.71Allestree, p. 314.72Lucas, p. 18973Gouge, p. 606.39master some trouble.74 On the other hand, acting of your own accord was also forbidden, asGouge explained:Servants ought to forbeare doing of things on their owne heads without oragainst consent of their masters, because while the time of their servicelasteth, they are not their owne, neither ought the things which they doe, tobe for themselves: both their persons and their actions are all theirmasters.75The ideal servant, in other words, was one who obeyed his master’s orders as well as God’s laws,and who did not attempt to think or act for himself.H. GENERAL COMMENTARY ON SERVITUDE AS A CoNDrrIoNWhen authors were neither relating stories of faithful servants of yore (quoting illustrativeexamples from the Bible76)nor listing dozens of duties a servant must fhlfihl, they often turned tomusing on the condition of servitude itself. The majority of advice-givers of the seventeenthcentury dwelt heavily upon the topic of obedience and why one should obey, generally within thecontext of living according to God’s command. After all, servants “doe not onely owe thissubjection and obedience to good and mild Masters, but also to the bad and harsh.. .because theprimary ground of this duty is not the merit of the Masters, but the ordinance of God.”77 OnlyLucas discussed duties in terms of obligations of the servant to himself, rather than merely toheavenly or earthly masters.78 While the advice itself (being religious, avoiding bad company,74Crouch, p. 12; Gouge, p. 599.75Gouge, p. 604.76Especially popular as examples were Sarah and Hagar (cited by Carter, p. 253; Crouch, p. 34;Fossett, pp. 18-9 and Gouge, p. 591) and Jacob and Laban (Carter, p. 206; Crouch, p. 30 andFossett, p. 36).77Ames, p. 160. The same rationale was provided by Carter, p. 246; Fossett, pp. 7-8; Gouge,p. 620; and Lucas, pp. 196-7.78Lucas, pp. 181ff.40defending the family name, loving one’s family, and avoiding the temptations of a corrupt family)was not unique to this author, his manner of describing it was. However, Lucas joined theremaining manual writers in referring to obedience and duty as part of God’s will.The promise of a heavenly reward was also held out for those neglected on earth, for“Virtue can no more be conceal’d than the Light” and the good servant “has God for hisSpectator and Patron.”79 This advice may have brought some comfort to servants who felt thattheir earthly labors were not properly appreciated. At the very least they could consider that theywere doing their duty mainly for God’s sake and not their master’s. Indeed, unjust treatmentcould be seen as a matter for rejoicing. Fossett made an explicit comparison with Christ when hewrote of the servant who was punished unfairly, “yea let him rejoyce, in as much as yee are madethereby partakers of Christs sufferings.”80 If that were not enough to persuade a servant that heshould submit meekly under all circumstances, the disobedient servant was warned that hisbehavior was “a violation of the Law ofNature.. .a manifest breach of the Servant’s Covenant,which he entred into with his Master...[and] a downright contempt of God’s revealed Will”81 andthat he “shall bee beaten with many stripes.”82Even though the servant had inherited a difficult position on earth, the conditions ofservitude itself made his affliction necessary since, “men beeing all of one and the same naturehave divers callings the King to rule, the maister to teach and command, & the servant to obey:yea, the servant is called to three things, to labour, to suffer, and to serve.”83 And, once again,the power of positive thinking must not be underestimated:79Lucas, p. 191. Another writer also made this point. Carter, pp. 255-56.80Fossett, p. 20.81Lucas, p. 88.82Carter, pp. 24 1-42.83Fossett, p. 12.41• . .if you consider your state aright, you have no reason at all of murmuringagainst God, as dealing unequally with you.. .the Beauties of Creation...thefreshness of the Air, the coolness of the Stream, the fragrancy of theSpring are imparted as bountifully to you, as any others whoever. Youhave Rational and Immortal Spirits.. .healthy, strong and active Bodies...Food [and].. .Raiment. . . [are] every where to be had; the things whereinGod has made a difference between you and others, are trifles, imaginaryand phantastick, not real Advantages.. .your Labour is not half so great aburden to you, as is their Idleness to them...8484Lucas, pp. 73-4.42CHAPTER FOuR: THE TRANSITION FROM MORAL OBLIGATION TO CONTRACTUALAGREEMENTWhile it would be unrealistic to maintain that attitudes toward family life underwent anabrupt change at the turn of the century, we can nevertheless detect general societal shifts overthe course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These trends lent to each era a distinctcharacter and influenced those guardians of moral rectitude, the writers of advice literature.During the seventeenth century, the general tenor of prescriptive literature was quite stern.Unquestioning obedience was stressed, as were the duties appropriate to one’s station in life. Forthe most part, situations were presented as morally unambiguous; servants were not expected tothink for themselves, nor to make independent decisions about right and wrong, and the adviceliterature reflected this. Much emphasis was placed on the point that servants were in no wayjustified in going against certain precepts (such as obedience, loyalty and humility), regardless ofhow exceptional they might have felt their particular situation to have been. Even though theadvice was directed at servants, the concerns and interests of the servant were not oftenconsidered. Indeed, the writers of prescriptive literature appeared to have had an interest only inwhat would benefit the master most, even when this advice would harm or hinder the well-beingof the servant. Bearing these points in mind, we can consider some of the external factors whichsupported these attitudes, as well as influential changes which occurred over the course of thefollowing decades. This information will help bridge the transition to the advice literature of theeighteenth century, which we shall consider later. While it would be futile to attempt to determinecause and effect in this instance, there can be no doubt that several factors converged to producean eighteenth-century England in which very different attitudes towards the master-servantrelationship were expressed. These factors included the rise of literacy and secularism; changes inthe conventions of the institution of servitude itself, and the rapid emergence of the middle class.43The question of literacy was an important one, as the ability to read and write opened upnew avenues of knowledge and gave literate individuals the chance to confront their socialsuperiors from a position of greater advantage. The Puritan Revolution was a significant turningpoint in the rise of literacy in early modern England. 1 By the time of James II, “In a very realsense, reading and writing had become established as part of the popular culture of England, skillseverywhere apparent among some people and in some degree.”2 This was due in great part to thePuritans’ belief in the importance of education as an aid to the worship of God. Nevertheless,efforts to measure exact levels of literacy in the early modern period have been plagued withdifficulty. The usual method of teaching at this time was reading first, with writing being taught“only after the attainment of a reasonable reading standard.”3 As a result, most attempts tomeasure levels of literacy probably underestimate the actual situation, since they do not take intoaccount individuals who were capable of reading, yet who had not stayed in school long enoughto learn to write.During the eighteenth century “uneducated poets,” the likes of which the literary worldhad never seen before, were all the rage.4 These poets included Elizabeth Hands (a farm servant),Mary Collier (a laundress, housekeeper, and farm servant), Mary Leapor (a kitchen maid) andAnn Yearsley (a milkmaid).5 Another example of this phenomenon was the footman Robert1Lawrence Stone, “Literacy and Education in England 1640-1900,” Past and Present 42 (1969):79.2Keith Wrightson, English Society 1580-1680 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1982),pp. 194-5.3Wrightson, p. 187.4H. Gustav Klaus, The Literature of Labour: Two Hundred Years of Working-Class Writing(Brighton: The Harvester Press, 1985), p. 2.5Donna Landry, The Muses of Resistance: Laboring Class Women’s Poetry in Britain, 1739-1796 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 56, 79, 120, 187.44Dodsley,6who turned his hand to advice literature as well as poetry. Dodsley offered thefollowing criticism of masters who treat their animals better than their servants: “If we look intothe Histories of the Greeks and Romans we shall find that those great and wise People frequentlymade use of their Servants in their most important Affairs.”7 This statement, and the illustrativepassages which followed it, marked an abrupt departure from the usual Biblical examples used byother advice-givers of the time. While the Bible was familiar to individuals of the entire socialspectrum, classical knowledge was the provenance of the privileged, educated classes. Byadopting examples familiar to many masters (and, no doubt, unfamiliar to the many more who hadnot had the benefit of an advanced education), Dodsley gained credibility for himself and hisfellow servants. He preached to masters using examples from their own literary territory. Hisremark was symbolic of the eighteenth century’s appreciation of secular, classical culture, butbeyond that it stood as a monument to the bold claim many servants made for fair treatment andhuman dignity. Even though Dodsley may have been remarkable for his time, by 1811 literacyhad advanced far enough for Dr. William Kitchiner, in The Housekeeper’s Oracle, to advise thatone should “Hire no servant who cannot read or write.”8Apart from literacy, a second area which witnessed a transition between the seventeenthand eighteenth centuries was that of religion. The basic trend during the eighteenth century wastowards greater secularism. During the early 1 700s, some wealthy families retained the custom oftwice-daily prayer; however, this custom had all but died out by the middle of the century.96Dodsley was a remarkable individual. He first published his poetry while still a footman, andlater entered employment as a publisher. Hecht, p. 73.7Robert Dodsley. The footman’s friendly advice to his brethren of the livery and to all servants ingeneral (London: 1731), pp. 7-8.8Turner, pp. 108-9.9Trumbach, p. 142.45Overall there was less concern with saving children’s souls, and more “concern with secularambitions for their futures as adults”10 which would clearly have repercussions for those ersatzchildren, the family servants. If anything, one would expect religion during this time to have beenconsidered important not so much for the spiritual benefits it would confer, as for its potential as atool for keeping servants amiable and obedient. Indeed, the eighteenth-century advice literatureshowed a new preoccupation with the subject of appearances, with servants being advised thatavoiding church might give others a poor impression of them, rather than that it was sinful. Thenew secular attitudes of the 1700s were accompanied by a rise in individualism, as a result ofwhich family prayers suffered a serious decline.11A third factor which influenced the master-servant relationship during the eighteenthcentury was the increasing influence of the urban, middle class segment of the population. By theyear 1700, approximately 5 per cent of the English population were members of the urban middleclass, while another 10 per cent of the rural population led their lives according to similarvalues.12 As a result of this, two significant changes in the institution of servitude came intobeing, both ofwhich affected the institution of servitude. These were the custom of tipping bydinner guests, called vails; and the habit of servants lodging in inns rather than living with thefamily, called board wages. Both helped to estrange masters and servants from one another,undermining the patriarchal norms of times past.Vails-giving was a particularly controversial custom, which became widespread during theeighteenth century. Its origins are murky,13 but its impact was quite clear. The purpose of vails10Earle, p. 232.Trumbach, p. 143.12Earle, p. 335.13Some trace the origins of vails-giving to the Tudor period, but it appears not to have becomewidespread until the 1700s. Marshall, The English Domestic, p. 18.46giving- to compensate servants who worked extra hours when guests came to supper - wastheoretically quite benign, yet this custom had the actual effect of making servants less dependentupon their regular wages. Masters who were concerned about their social prestige had no choicebut to entertain regularly, leaving them at the mercy of their servants, who could turn the eveninginto an excruciating embarrassment if they so chose. Not only would some servants inquire howoften the master entertained visitors before accepting a place, some even went as far as tohumiliate guests who were known to be stingy with vails, by serving them last, ignoring theirrequests, spilling food onto their clothes, or injuring their horses. 14Board wages were often given to menservants during the eighteenth century, particularlyby wealthier masters in London. Instead of receiving free food and lodging with the family, aswas the norm heretofore, board wages were meant cover residence in an inn. E.S. Turnerconsidered the custom ofboard wages to be one of the most significant causes of change in themaster-servant relationship, along with the English Civil War (which destroyed many of the grandold households) and the exodus of county families to London (where they attempted to lead the afashionable lifestyle, all the while neglecting their estates).15 Board wages may also be seen as asymbol of the weakening patriarchy.16 Not only did this custom place servants out of theimmediate reach of their masters, it also contributed to a high level of solidarity amongmenservants, by setting them apart from their peers and masters. Rather than living intimatelywith the family they served, menservants instead spent their leisure time together, drinking andplaying cards.14Hecht, p. 162.15Turner, pp. 14-15.16Trumbach, p. 140.47The custom ofboard wages may be viewed as part of the desire of the middle class toremove themselves and their daily activities from the scrutiny of servants. Indeed, the eighteenthcentury saw the advent of other changes in living arrangements which served to promote this wishfor privacy. Beginning in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, houses began to bebuilt with corridors, so that people did not need to pass through room after room in order tomove about the house. In addition, bedrooms began to be placed upstairs, away from theintrusive traffic ofvisitors.17 Yet another household change was the common use, from the1760s and 1770s onwards, of the bell system.18 This method of signaling to servants did awaywith the need for them to sit constantly outside rooms, waiting to be called and, undoubtedly,eavesdropping on all that transpired. The conscious separation of servants from the rest of thefamily acted to reinforce the notion that they were not true members of the family unit, of as muchimportance as the children of the household, but in reality simply employees, hired to performspecific tasks in return for wages.All of the developments of the eighteenth century which have been described above reflecta fundamental shift taking place at a higher level in society at large: the spread of the contracttheory of government as put forward by John Locke and others.19 A century earlier, the contracttheory of government would have been the subject of even more controversy than it was when it17Lawrence Stone, The Family. Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800 (Middlesex: PenguinBooks, 1979), p. 169.18Girouard, p. 219.19Even though Locke’s Two Treatises on Civil Government is the most well-known statement ofthis theory, he had contemporaries who also argued against absolutism, such as Edward Gee(Divine Right and Original of the Civil Magistrate, 1658) and James Tyrrell (Patriarcha nonMonarcha, 1680). However, Locke was the most eloquent proponent of contractual reciprocity,and as it was he who brought this theory greater attention and acceptance than it had heretoforereceived. Gordon J. Schochet, Patriarchalism in Political Thought: The Authoritarian Family andPolitical Speculation and Attitudes, Especially in Seventeenth-Century England, (Oxford: BasilBlackwell, 1975), pp. 268-9.48first appeared in the mid-1600s. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the imposition ofpatriarchal authority (of both the head of state and the head of the family) was seen as a necessarymeans for keeping in check the destructive tendencies of individuality and self-interest. However,by the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century, a new conception of human relationshipsbegan to emerge, one based on economic roles and rational, contractual ties rather than moral,patriarchal obligations. Rather than seeing individuality as harmfUl and destructive, the pursuit ofone’s own best interests (along with respect for the rights of others to do the same) became“synonymous with the public good.”2°It was impossible for the debate outlined above to have taken place simply at the loftylevel of socio-political theory, for at this time a clear division between state and family, politicaland personal, simply did not exist. As Gordon Schochet put it, “virtually all social relationships -not merely those between fathers and children and magistrates and subjects - were regarded aspatriarchal or familial in essence. The family was looked upon as the basis of the entire socialorder in seventeenth-century England.”21 Therefore, any theory which challenged politicalpatriarchalism would by necessity also have an impact on family relationships. Following on theheels of the Puritan and Glorious Revolutions of the seventeenth century in England, it was not somuch the arguments of theorists which led to the decline of patriarchalism, but rather “its ownirrelevance as a political symbol.”22 Once the authority of the monarch had been challenged, itwas inevitable that the authority of the father would similarly come under scrutiny, for the familyhad long been regarded as being “the organizational precursor of the political order.”2320Stone, Family. Sex and Marriage, p. 172.21Schochet, p. 65.pp. 274.p. 268.49The developments outlined above led to a curious ambiguity regarding the position of theservant. On the one hand, each side could be seen as an equal participant in the transaction of aneconomic contract; on the other hand, deep-seated ideas about paternal obligation and familyrelationships did not simply vanish overnight. Nevertheless, these two seemingly contradictoryideas could, and did, coexist in the early modern family:Service demonstrates that familial relationships and contractualrelationships are by no means necessarily opposed, since the servant isboth contractually and familistically related to the master, contractuallybecause a period of service and its conditions are overtly or implicitlycontracted for on both sides, the parents or even the friends ofyoungservants often being party to the contract; servants are related familisticallyto their masters because they become household members for the period ofservice and are subject to the household regime.24Even though the contractual aspect of servitude existed during the seventeenth century (that is,servants were often hired for set periods of time and wages were negotiated), this aspect of it wasnot mentioned in the prescriptive literature, nor was it viewed as the most important feature ofservitude as an institution. Instead, the familial dimension, and the parallel between master andservant, father and child, ruler and ruled were at the forefront. During the eighteenth century,however, writers of advice literature began to make frequent and unambiguous references toservitude as a contractual agreement. In a parallel to Locke’s theories of legitimate government,writers of advice literature began to argue that if the master failed to uphold his half of thecontract, the other party to the agreement, the servant, was fully justified in disobeying. Inaddition, the interests of the servant began to merit attention, in contrast to the seventeenthcentury literature in which servants appeared to have many duties, but few interests of their own.24Peter Laslett, “The Institution of Service,” Local Population Studies Society 40 (Spring 1988):59-60.50A systematic examination of the eighteenth-century sources will show how and to what degreethe changes we have discussed were reflected in the advice given by prescriptive writers.51CHAPTER FIVE: ADVICE GIVEN TO SERVANTS: THE CENTURY OF CONTRACTUALAGREEMENTA. APPEARMJCE ANt) HYGIENEIn contrast to the seventeenth century, advice literature of the eighteenth century placed agreat deal of emphasis on matters relating to appearance and hygiene. Servants were advised todress modestly’ and not to imitate the latest fashions.2 In dress, the servant was told to strive tolook clean and neat, but never affected or foppish.3 The kitchen maid was told that she must“never attempt to dress above her station.”4 According to Eliza Haywood, “Apeing the Fashion”or “imitating your Betters” was a failing to be avoided, because simple dress was considered morebecoming in a servant, and mistresses did not like to have their every fashion imitated by theirmaids.5 She went on to explain that servants were not paid to spend time at their toilet, and thatif a servant dressed excessively finely, her “Honesty is likely to be call’d in question,” for peoplewill wonder how she came to avoid her nice clothes.6 An anonymous author, on the other hand,criticized fine dress because it would fill the servant’s head with vanity and cause her to thinkherself the equal of her mistress. He blamed mistresses themselves for encouraging such excesses,which made servants unduly proud.I am sensible some Persons thinking themselves honour’d by the Habit oftheir Domesticks, expect that they should dress up as much as possible, andare most pleased when they are superfine, assisting ‘em with the Materials,1Anne Barker, The complete servant maid: or young woman’s best companion (London: 1770),p. 7; A present for servants, from their ministers, masters, or other friends (London: 1787), p. 73;The servants calling; with some advice to the apprentice (London: 1725), p. 19; Sarah Trimmer,The servant’s friend, an exemplary tale (London: 1787), p. 49.2E1i2 Haywood, A present for a servant-maid: or, the sure means of gaining love and esteem(London: 1743), pp. 22-3.3Dodsley, pp. 21-2.4Barker, p. 45.5Haywood, p. 22.6lbid., 23.52which are often the rich Clothes that they themselves have worn...There can be no doubt that servants themselves took pride in their dress. Strother, a youth offifteen apprenticed to a draper in York, described a visit to the theater in his diary: “I first gave apenny to go into the organ loft, but it being filled with servants and liveries, I took myself away,as it hurts my pride.”7 The plainly dressed apprentice clearly felt self-conscious next to the crowdof liveried servants.Cleanliness was to be encouraged among all servants, but especially among cooks,8 a signthat masters were becoming particular about the preparation of their food. The health aspect ofhygiene was recognized by many. Verdigris not properly removed from copper cooking utensilswas believed to cause death “of which the melancholy affair at Salt-hill is a recent proof.”9 Foodwas “unwholsome if it be unclean. For foul feeding is a slow Poison.”10 Snuff was criticized forsoiling everything it came into contact with, as well as for harming one’s health. Thehousemaid had to have clean feet,12 presumably for the sake of appearances, and because shewould damage fine carpets if she walked about the house with soot-covered feet. The moststrongly worded advice relating to cleanliness came from the anonymous author who wrote thatcleanliness “tis a Branch of Decency, and a Piece of Respect paid to the Family in which he [the7Diary entry dated July 7, 1785. Caesar Caine, ed. Strother’s Journal (London: A. Brown & Sons,1912), p. 101.8Barker, pp. 6, 43-4; Francis Collingwood and John Woollams, The universal cook, and city andcountry housekeeper (London: 1792), p. 1; Haywood, p. 8; The servants calling, p. 62.9Collingwood, p. 1.10The servants calling, p. 63.11Haywood, p. 8.12Hannah Glass, The servant’s directory, or house-keeper’s companion (London: 1760), p. 23.The implication was that housemaids walked about barefoot, as no mention was made of shoes.53servant] lives.. .An unclean Object must be offensive to anyone... [and an unclean servant] defilesevery thing he touches, and scares every one that looks upon him.”13The contrast here between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is remarkable. Theonly justification given for modest dress in the previous century was that it was a way of showingproper respect for one’s master. This was still a concern in the eighteenth century, but additionalreasons given here for general physical cleanliness were more practical, relating to the fulfillmentof one’s job, health concerns, and negative repercussions for one’s own reputation.B. RELIGIOUS AND MORAL DuTIEsDuring the seventeenth century, advice relating to religious and moral duties was morenegative than positive in character: servants were instructed not to obey orders whichcontradicted the laws of God, nor to allow the wicked examples of their superiors to corruptthem. A century later, servants were given much more detailed and varied instructions, and thegeneral tone of these directions was much less authoritarian. In 1613, Thomas Fossett warnedservants that “All obedience must bee subordinate unto the devine obedience due unto God.”14By contrast, an anonymous writer of the eighteenth century phrased duty to God in very differentterms. He instructed servants to.give up yourselves to God, and our Lord Jesus Christ, by a solemnCovenant and Contract.. .1 this Day call and invite you into the Familyof God, the Houshold ofFaith: Will you accept of his Terms, and consentto the Covenant?1513The servants calling, p. 62.14Fossett, p. 35.15A present for servants, p. 22.54Obedience to God was here presented in terms analogous to those used for the agreement madebetween a master and his servant or apprentice.Servants were also advised to attend church regularly.16 Haywood told them that goodmasters should give them at least every other Sunday off for this purpose, although if Sundaywere their only free day, they were permitted to skip church in order to visit their parents.17 Shealso warned them that pretending to attend church and then not doing so would lead to thesuspicion that they were irreligious.18 The anonymous author mentioned above instructedservants regularly to hold “Christian Conference” in order to discuss sermons they had heard atchurch and pray together. 19 He even inspired them with the hope that through their godlyexamples, they might inspire and enlighten their masters and mistresses.20In the area of general moral duties, chastity21 and honesty22 were the most frequentlymentioned. In contrast to the previous century, the justifications for moral behavior had more todo with servants’ self-interest than with obligations to God. For example, Robert Dodsley toldservants they should be honest, not only because they would otherwise be dismissed from theirplace without a character, but also because it was wrong to cheat the person who fed and clothed‘6Haywood, p. 37; A present for servants, p. 71.17Haywood, pp. 3 7-9.18Ibid., p. 37.19A present for servants, p. 46.p. 47.21Haywood, pp. 43-4; A present for servants, p. 73; The servants calling, p. 42.22Dodsley, pp. 16-7; William Fleetwood, “The relative duties of parents and children, husbandsand wives, masters and servants” in A compleat collection of the sermons, tracts and pieces of allkinds (London: 1737), p. 315; Haywood, p. 23; A present for servants, p. 73; The servantscalling, p. 47; Trimmer, p. 45.55you.23 William Fleetwood commented that between honesty and industry, the former was in aservant’s best interest. As he explained:Faithfulness and Honesty give Servants better Credit, than Industry andLabour; because that People naturally expect a Blessing should attendthem.. .they will rather leave room for Providence, and trust to honesty andjustice, than favour the Skilful and Industrious, although they know noharm by them, but are not certain of the other good Qualities.24Rather than confronting the subject of moral duties in religious terms, the advice writers of theeighteenth century instead sought to persuade servants by showing them the unfortunateconsequences of immoral behavior.On the topic of chastity, female servants were instructed to be civil and serious, but notproud or prudish, around their male colleagues.25 They were to be careful around menservants26and avoid too much familiarity with them.27 On the other hand, they were not to act as if everyword or action from a man was a design upon their virtue, nor were they to play favorites amongthe men of the household.28 No advice was given specifically to male servants on the topic ofchastity, perhaps because the consequences for men who erred were less severe than those forwomen. Eliza Haywood painted an ominous portrait of the fate awaiting the naive female, luredinto sinful behavior: “Every Street affords you Instances of poor unhappy Creatures, who oncewere innocent til seduc’d by the deceitful Promises of their Undoers.”29 From there sheproceeded with a series of practical methods for repelling the advances of lascivious men, always23Dodsley, pp. 16-7.24Fleetwood, p. 326.25Barker, p. 10.26Trimmer, p. 49.27A present for servants, p. 42.28Haywood, p. 35.p. 44.56being careful to explain the specific techniques one should use, “according to the differentCharacters of the Persons who solicit you.” For example, if your master solicited sexual favorsfrom you, it could be quite difficult to fight him off. “It is a Duty, however, owing to yourself toendeavour” to persuade him to desist. In the case of temptation from the master’s son, Haywoodreminded female servants that marriages between master and servant were rare and seldomsuccessful, so they should not count on such a match leading to lifelong happiness and prosperity.They therefore were warned to remain on their guard against flattery, empty promises andproposals of marriage. If gentleman lodgers attempted to seduce a female servant, she was to letthem know plainly that she did not wish to compromise her virtue, should avoid them wheneverpossible, and should tell her mistress if they persisted in their attentions. Most importantly,however, the female servant should not accept any gifts from them, because they would expectsomething in return and then “you will be accounted a Jilt” and it would harm your reputation.30Thomas Turner was able to advise a female servant of his who was put into a very difficultsituation. The servant, Ann Smith, had performed sexual favors for her previous employer, inreturn for which he paid off a debt she could not afford. However, now that Ann had left hisservice, the former master decided to demand his money back, claiming that it was merely a loan.Thomas advised Ann that if her story were really true, she should hold her ground and not worryabout being obliged to reimburse him.31 There is no further mention of the incident in Turner’sdiary, so presumably the lecherous master gave up his efforts to reclaim his money from Ann.30Ibid., pp. 44-49.31Diary entry for March 3, 1756. David Vaisey, ed. The Diary of Thomas Turner, 1754-1765(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), pp. 3 3-4.57During the seventeenth century, the only reference to servants’ sexual behavior had beenan admonition to male servants not to flirt with the women of the family.32 Not only were theconcerns of female servants rarely addressed directly in the advice literature of the 1 600s, maidswere also not given any advice on how to deal with relationships between the sexes. Perhaps thiswas a result of the fact that all the advice-givers of that century were male, and therefore lesslikely to consider issues from the perspective of a female servant. Even during the 1 700s, it wasonly the female authors who went into any detail about female chastity and the consequences oflewd behavior.C. MANNER OF BEHAVING TOWARD MASTER AND FAMILYIn the prescriptive literature of the eighteenth century, the previously frequent referencesto “fear and trembling” were noticeably absent. Even though admonitions to obey one’s masterwere frequent,33 these statements were made with less vehemence and more qualification than inthe past. Robert Dodsley advised servants that they should submit patiently to rebuke, but not putup with blame or punishment if they were not guilty.34 Anne Barker, on the other hand, said thata servant should not argue with her mistress, even if she behaved unjustly.35 Saucy answers,36giving one’s opinion too freely (both to one’s equals and one’s superiors),37and contradictingothers38 were also to be avoided. An anonymous writer urged servants to avoid flattery, as it was32Dod and Clever, fol. A25.33Dodsley, pp. 18-9; Fleetwood, p. 312; A present for servants, p. 73; Trimmer, p. 45.34Dodsley, pp. 20-1. An writer also decreed that it is part of a servant’s duty to submit withpatience, even to an ill-tempered master. A present for servants, p. 34.35Barker, p. 8.36Haywood, p. 21; A present for servants, p. 40; The servants calling, p. 52.37Haywood, p. 42.38A present for servants, p. 74.58“Deceit of the worst Tendency.” He went on to blame the flattery of servants for many of thevices of the upper class, as well asthat Excess ofPride which sometimes appears in the weaker Heads ofsome noble Families, may be owing in a great Measure to the frequentFlatteries they meet with from their Domesticks.39Some writers countered potential remonstrances by servants by offering practical adviceon how to deal with difficult or abusive masters. Practical advice for dealing with a violent masterincluded going to a magistrate if he attempted to injure you, but otherwise trying not to provokehis wrath as much as possible.40 One anonymous writer acknowledged that if you had a very badmaster “your Duty is more difficult [because] it is hard to honour a Fool, or reverence one thatyou frequently see in his Vomit of Drunkenness, or Venom ofMalice and Passion.” Therefore,one should attempt to honor his God-given authority and position, instead of the man himself.41Eliza Haywood advised that a modest answer would benefit a servant more than a saucy retort,and might placate one’s mistress enough for her to treat you better.42 After all, even masters andmistresses with “very odd Humours” could probably be soothed in some way.43 An anonymousauthor concurred with this advice, because “it more generally happens that a Servant who iscarefUl to discharge a good Conscience, will be valued even by bad Masters; who.. .just for theirown sakes give the Preference to him, and be disposed to use him well.”4439The servants calling, p. 49.40A present for servants, p. 40.41Ibid., p. 34.42Haywood, p. 21.43Ibid., p. 3.44The servants calling, p. 11.59Several reasons for obeying one’s master were mentioned, such as the fi.ilfillment of thecontract into which the servant had entered. As Robert Dodsley wrote,Purchas’d by annual Wages,Cloathes and MeatTheirs is our Time, our Hands,our Head, our Feet...Whilst we receive the covenanted HireActive Obedience justly they require:If we dislike, and think it too severe,We’re free to leave, and seek a Place elsewhere.45Exceptions to this rule of obedience were cases in which the master gave orders whichcontradicted the, laws of God or the state.46 Since “Obedience, without Restriction or Reserve,belongs to no mortal Man,” there would surely arise instances where a servant should not obey:.the Laws of God are certainly to be preferred to all the Commands ofMasters, Mistresses, and all Superiors.. .And so it is, Secondly, with theLaws of the Land; they also are to be preferred to all the Commands ofMasters and Superiors, because they are above them, and were beforethem.47The reputation of the family continued to attract the attention of advice-givers during thiscentury, although, as we have seen before, the emphasis was slightly different. Once again, adviceon this matter often included pointers to help the servant himself, rather than only his master andmistress. Servants were instructed not to gossip or complain about the family they served.48 Ifthey did speak of their master or mistress to others, they were to “magnify their Virtues, and whatFailings they may have, shadow over as much as possibly you can.”49 The servant was also not to45Dodsley, p. 19.46Fleetwood, p. 313; A present for servants, p. 39; The servants calling, pp. 13-4.47Fleetwood, p. 313.48Barker, p. 9; Dodsley, pp. 24-6; Haywood, pp. 9-10; A present for servants, p. 74.49Haywood, p. 31.60listen to criticism of her master and mistress without speaking up in their defense.50 On the otherhand, if a servant heard criticism of her master or mistress, Eliza Haywood advised her to saynothing about it to them. Passing on to them what you had heard could backfire and make youlook either “like a Pickthank” or simply suspicious, because they might believe that “nobodywould have taken the Liberty to say such Things to you, if you had not given Room for it by someComplaints of your own.”51 Another piece of advice from Haywood illustrates well theperspective from which she and other eighteenth-century authors wrote, one which was asconcerned with the servants’ welfare as with the masters’. Even the seemingly innocuous act of amistress asking her servant for her opinion was believed by Haywood to be fraught with danger.She warned servants to be very careful if this occurred, as it could be a trap. The best answer wasto say humbly that “you are utterly incapable” of giving any opinion and to continue to be evasiveif the mistress pressed you to respond.52Eighteenth-century advice concerning family relationships in general was quite similar tothat of the preceding century. Apart from the general instruction to preserve peace in thefamily,53 servants were especially supposed to treat the sick tenderly,54putting aside pastdisputes or disagreements.55 The rationale for this advice was that unkind treatment of a sickperson would work against you once the person recovered, and that it would make you appear tobe devoid “of all Humanity, and to be capable of every Thing that is ill.”5650Barker, p. 9; Haywood, p. 31.51Haywood, pp. 3 1-2.52fl,id p. 43.53Barker, p. 6.54A present for servants, p. 47; Trimmer, p. 108.55Haywood, pp. 33-4.pp. 34-5.61When it came to one’s master’s children, “any harshness.. .is a barbarity which nothing canexcuse,” according to Anne Barker.57 She went on to describe in some detail the duties of thenursery maid, who “may be considered as their [the children’s] first tutor.” She was instructed towatch the children careflully; always be aware ofwho they were with and what they ate; treat themaffably and not too harshly; tell their parents if they became ill; teach them their prayers; explainthe Ten Commandments to them; teach them how to read; not show favoritism towards them; notuse improper expressions around them; be patient with them; and not let them tattle on oneother. 58 Eliza Haywood said nothing was “less pardonable” than neglecting the children of thefamily. She instructed servants not to “omit giving it Food,” treat the child harshly, or hideaccidents from their masters and mistresses out of fear of punishment. She illustrated her pointgraphically with several stories ofunfortunate children who were crippled or maimed for life bycareless servants.59The treatment of one’s fellow servants was another area of behavior in which much advicewas given. Advice-givers told servants that they should get along well with one another,60respect apprentices living under the same roof,61 not try to have other servants dismissed becausethey disliked them,62 and watch over each other’s souls.63 Harmony between servants was57Barker, p. 7.58Ibid., pp. 29-32.59Haywood, pp. 13-15.60Barker, pp. 6,10; Haywood, pp. 32-3; A present for servants, p. 47; Trimmer, pp. 45, 72.61Apprentices were said to be worthy of honor because they were “often of a better Birth andEducation than those they serve.” Haywood, p. 35-6. In addition, their special status entitledthem to respect, for “they are servants only to become masters, and should therefore be treatednot only with kindness but civility.” Barker, p. 10.62Coachman, A treatise of the use and abuse of the second, commonly called, the steward’s table,in families of the first rank (London: 1758), p. 6.63A present for servants, p. 42.62important because conflict between them had repercussions for the rest of the family. On July 15,1789, Mary Hardy’s maids Amy Green and Sarah Clark had a fight, during the course of whichSarah struck Amy. As a result of this quarrel, Amy left the Hardy home that very same day. OnJuly 25, 1789, Hardy wrote that “Amy Green our late servant served a warrant on Sarah Clark forstriking her, but got no redress.”64 A fight between servants therefore could not only disruptfamily life, but also inconvenience the master and mistress, if a servant gave notice as a result of adisagreement.Another aspect of getting along with other servants consisted of minding one’s ownbusiness (not trying to be in on everyone else’s secrets), and not taking sides in quarrels. Theconsequences for such nosiness were jealousy, suspicion and resentment from others.65 In thespirit of mutual help, one author went so far as to recommend that literate servants teach theothers how to read.66 This provides an insight into the spread of literacy, and the expectationfirstly, that some servants would be literate enough to teach their fellows, and secondly, that theability to read was a beneficial skill for servants to possess. Sarah Trimmer demonstrated thistwice in her cautionary tale. Thomas (a footboy) and Kitty (a housemaid), both of whom weresimple, unsophisticated country servants were portrayed as capable of reading books ofprescriptive literature,67 and of writing a note to their master and mistress, warning them of the64Basil Cozens-Hardy, ed. Mary Hardy’s Diary (Norfolk: Norfolk Record Society, 1968), pp.70-1.65Haywood, pp. 10-11.66A present for servants, p. 47. John MacDonald was taught to read by fellow servants at the ageof 9 or 10 (1750-51). Later his mistress sent him to school, where he learned reading, writing andarithmetic. John Beresford, ed. Memoirs of an Eighteenth-Century Footman (London: GeorgeRoutledge and Sons, 1927) pp. 27, 30.67The books they read were A present for servants and Serious advice and warning to servants.Trimmer, p. 61.63wicked behavior of a fellow servant. This act earned them much commendation.68 JamesWoodforde, a parson, paid a schoolmaster out of his own pocket to “teach my Servants Ben andWill to write and read.”69Even though servants were supposed to maintain good relationships with each other, theywere also warned to guard against bad influences and not allow ungodly examples to corruptthem.70 The proper approach to take if a servant caught one of his fellows doing wrong variedfrom author to author. Sarah Trimmer recommended that servants report each other’smisdemeanors to their master and mistress,71 while another writer advocated direct and openconfrontation of the guilty party.72 Eliza Haywood disagreed with this advice, as a strongadvocate of keeping out of other’s affairs. As she put it, good servants “stand in no Need of anything you can say” whereas in the case of bad servants, “it is not your Business to search into theirFaults.” However, she added that any action by another servant which caused harm to the familyshould be reported to the master and mistress. She qualified this advice with the warning that oneshould never speak without being quite certain of the truth of the charges, else others would turnagainst you.73All in all, the ideal relationship between the servant and the family he served was depictedas less authoritarian by eighteenth-century advice-givers, in comparison to their seventeenth68Trimmer, p 59. It might be noted that a century earlier schoolchildren were taught to write“only after the attainment of a reasonable reading standard.” Wrightson, p. 187. The fact thatThomas and Kitty were able to write as well as read may indicate that the level of educationamong country servants was relatively high.69JBeresford, ed. The Diary of a Country Parson: the Reverend James Woodforde, 5 vols.(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1924), 1:194.70Haywood, p. 10; A present for servants, p. 43.71Trimmer, p. 45.72A present for servants, p. 44.73Haywood, p. 10.64century predecessors. Rather than emphasizing distance, fear and intimidation as components ofthe master-servant relationship, these writers framed their advice in terms of the interests of bothparties and the harmonious functioning of the family as a whole.D. THE PLACE OF SERVICEIn contrast to the scanty attention paid to matters relating to the place of service in theprevious century, eighteenth-century advice-givers had a great deal to say on this topic. First ofall, it was important to enter service in the right sort of home: one in which the family memberswere good Christians and there was access to a good parish church.74 Even if the house appearedto be respectable, the servant was advised that it might contain “such Scenes ofDebauchery aswould startle even the Owners of some common Brothels.”75 Therefore it was important to askaround to discover whether the home had a good reputation before accepting a position there.76Service in inns posed a particular danger to young women, because innocent country maidenswere sometimes hired and then forced into prostitution.77In contrast to previous writers’ stress on staying put, valid reasons for leaving a place ofservice were put forward by Eliza Haywood. She offered three good reasons for giving notice,although she did admonish servants not to enter service with a family unless their intention was tostay, and not to give notice for minor reasons.78 Nevertheless, she felt that if a servant were notgiven time off to attend church, she should insist that it was her right “and rather quit your Place74A present for servants, p. 31.75Haywood, p. 2.76Haywood, p. 2; Trimmer, pp. 91-3.77Haywood, p. 3.pp. 2-3.65than be refiised.”79 A second reason for leaving was sexual advances from the master. It was toodangerous to remain in the same home with a master who seemed likely to force himself upon hismaid. In this situation, she advised leaving at once, without giving the customary month’s notice.The usual penalty for doing so was loss of the month’s wages, but Haywood said that chanceswere he would not keep the wages “for fear you should declare the Cause of your quitting hisService.” Even if he were careless of his reputation and insisted on keeping the money, sheadvised that it was much preferable to forfeit some money than to remain in service with someoneof that nature.8°When the culprit was married, the situation became much more difficult.Haywood advised a servant in this case to give notice “but be very careful not to let your Mistressknow the Motive of it” as she would probably take her husband’s side and slander yourcharacter.81 The third reason for leaving a place of service was being overburdened with work.In this situation, Haywood advised the servant to inform her mistress that she could not handleher assigned duties. But if the mistress were not sympathetic “it is much better to give Warning,”since she “cannot refuse giving you a Character” ifyou are at least honest.82Another woman writer of the eighteenth century, Sarah Trimmer, offered advice on howto leave a place in a way which would inconvenience one’s master as little as possible. In hercautionary story, the young servant Thomas refused to enter service with Mr. Brown before hisold master had found a replacement, even though the new position represented a real rise in statusfor Thomas (his old master was only a humble farmer). As Trimmer explained, “Mr. and Mrs.Brown were not that kind of gentlefolks who think the world only made for them, and so that79Ibid., p. 38.80Ibid., p. 46.pp. 46-7.82Thid., pp. 28-9.66they are served do not care what becomes of other people; they considered that it would be worsefor the farmer to lose one of his hands, than for them to make shift without a footboy.”83 In thiscase, Trimmer did not criticize Thomas for seeking a new place; rather she illustrated the propermanner of leaving a family.What is remarkable about Haywood’ s advice is that it accorded servants rights (the rightto worship and to control access to one’s own body) well beyond anything granted them by mostauthors of prescriptive literature. Her advice relating to lascivious masters taught female servantsnot only that they could wield power tantamount to blackmail (that they could threaten topublicize their reasons for leaving if the master held back wages as punishment); but also that theywere justified in putting their own well-being ahead of the obligation to obey.E. TREATMENT OF MASTERS’ PROPERTYEighteenth-century advice regarding the treatment of masters’ property was much moredetailed than that of the previous era, and there is indication that new abuses in the master-servantrelationship caught the eye of prescriptive writers. The first category of advice relating toproperty matters contained familiar warnings against waste84 and theft.85 However, mention ofthe abuses of the market-penny system86 was restricted to the 1 700s. The market penny was asystem by which tradesmen would agree to mark up the prices of their wares and give thedifference (between the actual and the inflated prices) to the servant. The servant would thereforereceive a monetary bonus in return for her loyalty in frequenting a particular shop. The master83Trimmer, p. 42.84Barker, p. 9; Fleetwood, p. 320; Haywood, pp. 29-31; A present for servants, p. 73; Theservants calling, p. 34; Trimmer, p. 45.85Barker, p. 8; Fleetwood, p. 321; Haywood, p. 23; A present for servants, p. 74.86Barker, p. 8; Haywood, pp. 24-5; The servants calling, p. 37.67and mistress were kept in the dark, for the tradesman’s receipt would of course show only thehigher price. “And what is this but stealing with more Art” asked one anonymous writer.87Haywood told servants in no uncertain terms that the market penny practice was as good asstealing right out of your master’s pockets. She added that if you do your best to find the bestvalues you will “have the innate Pleasure in a Consciousness of having discharg’d your Duty,”whereas dishonesty will “fill the Breast with a thousand Apprehensions ofDiscovery.”88 Not tomention that when your deceit was discovered you would never be trusted again, and that in timeyour petty crimes “may bring you to the most shameful Death.”89 As an adjunct to this, theservant was instructed that seeking out the best buys at the market was part of her duty,90 andthat success in this area would enhance the regard her mistress felt for her.91Another abuse which surfaced in the prescriptive literature of this century was that ofservants using their masters’ food to bribe charwomen to do their work for them. Eliza Haywoodreferred to this practice as “a Complication ofHypocrisy, Deceit and Injustice to those youserve.”92 This practice not only exposed the house to burglary, it exposed the servant herself tosuspicion if something went missing.93One commonly expressed idea was that carelessness or waste (of time, food or property)was as bad as outright theft.94 In accordance with this concept came admonitions to be careful87The servants calling, p. 37.88Haywood, p. 24.89Thjd., p. 25.90Ibid., pp. 24-5.91Barker, p. 8.92Haywood, p. 27.93Ibid., pp. 27-9.94Dodsley, pp. 17-8; Haywood, p. 9; A present for servants, p. 35; The servants calling, p. 34;Trimmer, p. 45.68about thieves95 and frugal in dispensing with property and food.96 Actual theft from a master,even on a petty scale, was labeled the worst crime of all: “They are greater Villains than otherPeople that steal more, because they have bound themselves to be exactly Honest.”97 In the caseof servants, theft alone was not the only issue; the gravity of the charge was compounded by thecontract existing between master and servant for “there is no Word strong enough to express theBaseness of such Perfidy.”98 In addition, wasting God’s resources “is a Crime of a much deeperDye, than those imagine who dare be guilty of it.”99 Even though wastage was such a great sin,servants were told not to give away food out of charity without first asking permission, even if itwere about to spoil.100 After all, it was not theirs to dispense with as they pleased, even if theintentions were good.Eliza Haywood had more to say on the topic of food, all of which gives us a glimpse intothe minor abuses that went on behind the scenes. She advised servants not to pilfer food that theirmistresses had asked them to set aside,10’and not to steal part of every meal before it was served,because they considered waiting for leftovers to be beneath them.102 Haywood’s gentlereproaches stood in stark contrast to the overall tone of seventeenth-century advice. Forexample, she reminded servants that even though a kind mistress will give you a taste “of everything in Season,” you should not expect to eat seasonal delicacies as often or in as great quantityas she does because “that were to destroy all Disparity, and put you too much on a level with95Haywood, pp. 16-18.96Barker, p. 9; Fleetwood, p. 320; Haywood, p. 27.97Fleetwood, p. 322.98The servants calling, p. 32.99Haywood, p. 29.100bid., p. 27.101bid., pp. 21-2.p. 29.69those you serve. This, perhaps, you think a hard lesson.”103 The last sentence is quite revealingof the usual expectations of an eighteenth-century maid; Haywood anticipated that her readermight be put out to hear that she was not deserving of as fine food as her mistress received.F. THE ATTiTuDE AND MENTAL STATE OF THE SERVANTAdvice on the mental state of the servant changed relatively little over the centuries,though it received less attention during the eighteenth century than it did during the seventeenth.Love or affection for the family one served104 and contentment105 were still required of servants,but advice-givers did not lay as much emphasis on these points as they did during the seventeenthcentury. Nevertheless, familiar arguments appeared, such as “how sweet the lowest State may bemade.. .by Quietness and Contentment.”106 As well, servants were encouraged to think of thoseless fortunate than themselves, such as “the miserable Vagrants” and “the Slaves in thePlantations.”07 They were also reminded that those who appeared to be more fortunate, such astheir master and mistress, actually bore heavier burdens of responsibility. 108 One anonymousauthor acknowledged that trying to feel love for a difficult master “is against the Grain,” rather“like the Love to Enemies” that was also required of Christians.109 Eliza Haywood wrote thatnot to love one’s master and mistress “would be the highest Ingratitude,” even if they are unkind,because “it is their Bed you lie upon, their Food that sustains you, and their Money which103Ibid., p. 30.104Haywood, p. 31; A present for servants, p. 74; The servants calling, p. 47.105A present for servants, p. 57; The servants calling, p. 61; Trimmer, p. 45.106A present for servants, p. 57.107bid., pp. 58-9.108A present for servants, pp. 60-1; Haywood, p. 30.109The servants calling, p. 50.70cloathes you.”110 Love was characterized here as the proper restitution owed for physicalsustenance, rather than as a godly duty. In addition, failure to fulfill this obligation was labeled asungratefl.il rather than sinful.Other attitudes considered suitable for a servant to display were humility,111 timidity ormeekness,112 and submission.113 Humility was considered to be a valuable trait, for not only wasit true that “The Service is doubled when the Mind serves as well as the Hands” but “Humilityalso begets Patience, which eases Mind and Body of much of the Burden of Servitude.”114 Agood temper was recommended for all,115 but particularly for female servants, as it was “the mostvaluable of female qualifications.”116 In Sarah Trimmer’s cautionary tale, Kitty the maid was toldby her mistress that she should “avoid putting herself in a passion, as meekness is a great virtue inevery woman, and particularly requisite in those who are placed in a state of servitude.”117 Thebenefits of a cheerful and affectionate temperament were described in terms of the servant’s bestinterests, for “when the Froward are once gain’d by it, none are more good and gentle than theyare: for ‘tis but another Species of Self-Love, to love those that love them.”118In contrast to the seventeenth century, during the eighteenth century God and spiritualitywere not mentioned in the context of appropriate feelings for servants. Indeed, advice-givers ofthis time period generally did not discuss rationales for why a servant ought to behave meekly,110Haywood, p. 31.111Barker, p. 7; Haywood, p. 21; A present for servants, p. 73; The servants calling, p. 11.112Haywood, p. 4; Trimmer, p. 49.113A present for servants, p. 33; Trimmer, p. 45.114The servants calling, pp. 12-3.115A present for servants, p. 74; The servants calling, pp. 51-2; Trimmer, pp. 67-8.116Barker, p. 6.117Trimmer, p. 49.118The servants calling, pp. 51-2.71feel content or preserve a good temper. Those writers who did attempt to justif,’ their counselsgave reasons for obedience which were thoroughly in the spirit of the eighteenth century.Servants were told that they themselves would benefit from following the advice contained in thebooks (for example, feeling content would make them happier in their situation and cheerfulnesswould bring better treatment from their masters). Alternatively, certain obligations wereportrayed as being part and parcel of the contract into which they had entered (in return for beingfed and sheltered, the servant owed his master and mistress feelings of love).G. DMLY BEHAVIOR it OTHER PRACTICAL ADVICEAdvice for day to day living can be divided into that which was relevant only to those inservice, and that which pertained to any young person of the time. The latter category includedadvice such as: do not tell lies,119 behave in an orderly fashion,120 admit your errors rather thantrying to hide them,121 be careful with fire and candles,122 do not gossip,123 and do not go“Gadding Abroad.”124 In addition, temperance was strongly encouraged in the consumption offood and drink.125 Advice-givers frowned upon intoxication,126 as well as gambling,127cursing,128 listening to fortune-tellers,129and attending public shows.130 Eliza Haywood vividly119Haywood, pp. 20-2 1; A present for servants, p. 74.120Trimmer, p. 45.121Barker, p. 7.122Haywood, pp. 15-6.123Barker, p. 6; Haywood, p. 11; The servants calling, p. 47.124A present for servants, pp. 73-4.‘25Haywood, pp. 6-7; A present for servants, p. 73; Trimmer, p. 45.126Haywood, p. 7; A present for servants, p. 36; The servants calling, p. 56.127A present for servants, p. 36.128The servants calling, p. 42.129Haywood, pp. 18-20.130Ibid., pp. 40-1.72described the evils of public entertainment: “They are a kind of delicious Poison to the Mind” andmake “too strong an Impression...[which is] entirely inconsistent with good Housewifery.”131Many authors denounced laziness’32 and particularly warned against sleeping too muchand lingering at meals.133 People in general, and servants in particular, were cautioned that slothwould render you “incapable of doing your Duty either to God or Man.”134 Eliza Haywoodinstructed women that “Industry and Frugality” would benefit them and would help to “getyourselves good Husbands.” She continued, “Consider, my dear Girls, that you have no Portions,and endeavour to supply the Deficiencies of Fortune by Mind.”135 William Fleetwood remindedservants that idleness was harmthl not only to their masters, but also “injurious to themselves,[and would] make them incapable of answering the Designs of their Parents or Friends, in puttingthem to Trades and Callings.”136 However, he tempered his own admonition by adding that eventhough God saw and disapproves of sloth, “it would not be true, to tell them [servants] that everyFit of Idleness and Sloth were faulty before God, and that all loss of Time were Sinful; for it is notso, something of that kind is unavoidable: But they must needs indulge as little as possible tothem.”137Advice which was directed especially at servants included admonitions against loitering onerrands,138 dining with other servants at their masters’ expense,139 being careless while delivering131Ibid., p. 41.132Dodsley, pp. 19-20; Fleetwood, p. 315; Haywood, pp. 5-6, 39-40; A present for servants, pp.67, 73; The servants calling, pp. 32, 47; Trimmer, p. 45.133Haywood, p. 6.134Ibid., pp. 5-6.135Ibid., pp. 39-40.136Fleetwood, p. 318.137Ibid., p. 319.‘38Haywood, pp. 8-9.139Barker,p. 11.73and receiving messages,140 and being overly familiar with strangers (which could expose thehouse and its contents to thieves).141 Cautions against eye-service appeared in eighteenth-century prescriptive literature,142 but they were less frequent and less severe than in seventeenth-century manuals. For example, Eliza Haywood, rather than referring to God’s anger over eye-service (as Richard Aflestree did in the previous century), i43 instead wrote that people keepservants to increase “their Ease, not to increase their Care,” and that therefore “nothing can bemore cruel, as well as more unjust, than to disappoint them” by being an eye-pleaser.As was the case in other categories of advice, eighteenth-century writers relied less onabsolute commands and more on persuasive reasoning to convince servants that they ought tobehave in certain ways. Appeals to servants’ self-interest and warnings of dire consequences tothemselves were perhaps the most compelling arguments authors had at their disposal, theycertainly did not neglect to avail themselves of such justifications.H. GENERAL COMMENTARY ON SERVITUDE AS A CONDITIONThe observations contained in the category of general commentary on servitude as acondition were less harshly authoritarian during the eighteenth than during the seventeenthcentury. References to God and servants’ duties as illustrated by the Bible took on a differenttone, and many secular justifications for obedience were put forward. For example, WilliamFleetwood appealed to self-interest when he told servants that those who obeyed their masterswould go on to more success in the world. In addition, he added the political justification that140Dodsley, pp. 22-3.141Barker, p. 7; Haywood, p. 18.142Fleetwood, p. 312; Haywood, p. 12; The servants calling, p. 47.143Allestree, p. 314.144Haywood, p. 12.74obedience by servants “is very useful to the Good and Order of Mankind, and to the Welfare ofthe World.”145 Sarah Trimmer’s commentary was more akin to that of the seventeenth century,although she still spoke of rewards for the servant if he obeyed. For example, Thomas, a youngservant, studied the Bible in order to learn about his proper duties, and “From these texts helearnt, that serving a master faithfully, for conscience sake, is esteemed by the Lord as servicedone to himself, and will be rewarded accordingly in the other world.”146 References to themaster-servant contract were also apparent. Eliza Haywood wrote that “your Time belongs tothose who pay you for it.”47 An anonymous writer expressed a similar idea, advising servantsthat “When you hired yourselves, you sold your Time and Labour to your Masters, all but whatGod and Nature more immediately required to be reserved.”148In the matter of status, the role of servant was not a clear cut one, and obligations ran inboth directions, not simply from servant to master. In addition, servants were not anindistinguishable mass: within the servant body distinct categories were recognized. Oneanonymous author divided servants into three main groups. First he described servants of state,those who lived in great houses and led lives of ease. Next came slaves and vassals, who werelowly and humble and often bound into servitude as punishment for a crime they had committed.Finally he spoke of the middling sort of servant, those who were “most usual among us, asmaking up a Part of every Family; and...are such as by reason of Poverty, or a meaner Conditionin the World, have voluntarily submitted themselves, by Contract, for a certain Time, to theDisposal of others, according to the Word of God, and the Laws of the Realm.”149 William145Fleetwood, pp. 314, 317.146Trimmer, p. 44.147Haywood, p. 9.148A present for servants, p. 35.149A present for servants, pp. 14-5.75Fleetwood confirmed this division by stressing that there was a great difference between hired,contractual servants and those who were slaves. These distinctions affected their daily roles:servants being “of different Sorts and Degrees, are not alike obliged to serve and obey theirMasters in all Particulars . . .Every Servant is therefore commanded by God to discharge the Dutyand Service which his Station or Agreement require ofhim.”150When it came to the matter of mutual obligations, Robert Dodsley was the mostoutspoken writer, advising masters that they should be properly appreciative if they have anorganized and diligent servant. One way to show consideration was for the master“to inform himself of the Times which he [the servant] sets apart for such and such things, and ifpossible not to interrupt him in the Prosecution of them; but, if any Business happens, either toemploy another Servant, or...defer it till a further Opportunity.”151 William Fleetwood wrote thatboth partners in a contract have equal obligations to each other, despite an inequality in status,“For Justice and Religion know no Difference of Parties or Relations.. .They only have Regard towhat the Agreement is, and how it is performed.”52 Therefore, as an anonymous writer put it, itwas not “he that has the highest, but he that acts his Part best (whatever it is) must be preferablein the true Scale ofMerit.”153 The tenor of this advice was in keeping with other advice of theeighteenth century, and in contrast to the emphasis on distance evident during the seventeenthcentury.Another theme which emerged during the eighteenth century was the observation thatmaster and servant are different in earthly status but fundamentally equal in nature. Therefore,150Fleetwood, pp. 314-5.‘51Dodsley, pp. 11-2.152Fleetwood, p. 329.153The servants calling, p. 7.76even though a master might recognize that he was above his servant in rank, he was instructed byRobert Dodsley to remember that he was “yet nearly related to him by Nature; and that had it notbeen for some accidental Circumstances, he might perhaps have been in his Condition.”154 It issymbolic of the changing attitudes of the eighteenth century that Dodsley referred to “accidentalCircumstances,” rather than God’s divine order, when accounting for differing stations in life.Eliza Haywood pointed out to servants the advantages of the close relationship which coulddevelop between herself and the family she served. When leaving service for marriage, theservant could expect to receive her mistress’ help and advice. Later, when she had children of herown, they could enter service with the same family. If the servant were unlucky enough to marrya man who mistreated her, she could turn to the family for help. Haywood added that “An oldand tried Servant is looked upon as a Relation, is treated with little less Respect, and perhaps amore hearty Welcome.”155 This conception of the master-servant relationship is qualitativelydifferent - both warmer and more personal - than that generally put forward during the precedingcentury.As during the seventeenth century, servants were sometimes told by eighteenth-centurywriters that they should be gratefhl for all the advantages of their situation. William Fleetwoodwrote that servants “have more of the Labours ofLife, but.. .less of the Cares.. .their Bodies aremore fatigued.. .but their IVlinds are less perplexed: they are only concerned in one Matter, to dothe Work that lies before them, whilst others have a World of Things to think on, and lookafter.”156 Even though servitude was acknowledged to be a difficult calling, servants were notallowed the luxury of complaining about their situation. Instead they were instructed to think154Dodsley, p. 6.155Haywood, pp. 49-50.156Fleetwood, p. 326.77about how God had spared them the temptations of “Ambition, Idleness and Luxury, which arethe great Incentives to sin and folly in other men”157 and to remember that “Obedience itself isnot only a much plainer, but also a much easier Duty than Government.”158157Lucas, p. 32.l58p.jj,7578CHAPTER Six: CONCLUSIONOur examination of the prescriptive literature written for servants during the seventeenthand eighteenth centuries has shown that this genre has much to offer in terms of insights intochanging patterns and ideals of behavior in the early modern family. Even though it is importantto bear in mind that advice literature portrayed life as it ought to have been (according to itsauthors) and not necessarily how it truly was, this does not mean that we cannot learn anythingabout actual family relationships from it. By looking at changes in individual categories of adviceand the sorts of behavior which were of concern to the writers, it is possible to recognizedevelopments in the master-servant relationship over time. For example, extravagant dress anddemands for better food and greater privileges on the part of servants were issues which came tothe forefront in eighteenth-century literature. These trends reflected the economic prosperity ofthe times, the concern of the middle classes with conspicuous consumption (which trickled downto their servants as well), and a breakdown in traditional deference and religiosity, as servantsstrove to dress, eat, and behave as their masters and mistresses did.The reasons given by writers of advice literature to justify why servants ought to obeywere often even more revealing of changes in attitude than the advice itself. Here a distinctchange between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries may be perceived. During theseventeenth century, little more justification was given to servants than that they must obeybecause it was their duty to do so, and that it was part of God’s will on earth that they fuffihl therequirements of their place. During the eighteenth century, however, advice-givers began toargue that obedience not only was beneficial to the servant himself, but that it was an essentialpart of fulfilling the contract into which the servant had entered. Writers also began to reason thatif one accepted food, shelter and wages from one’s master it was only fair to be obedient, honest79and hard-working in return. This was a clear expression of the concept of contractual agreement.Rather than having a moral obligation, based on God or family, servants were portrayed aspartners in a contract in which each party had a responsibility to uphold their end of the bargain.In conclusion, therefore, we have seen that there were distinct changes in the adviceliterature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These changes were reflective of widerdevelopments in the society at large, as England began the transition from patriarchal tocontractual relationships, in the spheres ofboth family and political life.80BIBLIOGRAPHYPRIMARY SOURCESAdvice LiteratureAllestree, Richard. The whole duty of man. London: 1664.Ames, William. Conscience, with the power and causes thereof. London: 1643.Barker, Anne. The complete servant maid: or young woman’s best companion. London: [1770].Baxter, Richard. A Christian directory. London: 1673.Carter, Thomas. Carters christian common wealth, or domesticall dutyes deciphered. London:1627.Coachman. A treatise of the use and abuse of the second, commonly called, the steward’s table, infamilies of the first rank. London: 1758.Coflingwood, Francis and John Woollams. The universal cook, and city and country housekeeper.London: 1792.Crouch, Nathaniel [Richard Burton]. The apprentices companion, containing plain and usefuldirections for servants. London: 1681.Dod, John and Robert Clever. A godly forme of houshold government. London: 1630.Dodsley, Robert. The footman’s friendly advice to his brethren of the livery, and to all servants ingeneral. London: 1731.Fleetwood, William. “The relative duties of parents and children, husbands and wives, masters andservants.” In A compleat collection of the sermons, tracts and pieces of all kinds. London:1737.Fossett, Thomas. The servants dutie, or the calling and condition of servants. London: 1613.Glass, Hannah. The servant’s directory, or house-keeper’s companion. London: 1760.Gouge, William. Of domesticall duties. London: 1622.Haywood, Eliza. A present for a servant-maid: or, the sure means of gaining love and esteem.London: 1743.Lucas, Richard. The duty of servants. London: 1685.81M., J. “A health to the gentlemanly profession of servingmen: or, the servingmans comfort.” InInedited Tracts: Illustrating the Manners. Opinions and Occupations ofEnglishmen Duringthe Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Edited by W.C. Hazlitt. New York: BurtFranklin, 1868.Dudley, Francis, Baron North. Observations and advices oeconomical. London: 1669.Perkins, William. Christian oeconomie. London: 1618.A present for servants, from their ministers, masters, or other friends. London: 1787.The servants calling. London: 1725.Townley, James [Oliver Grey]. An apology for the servants. London: 1760.Trimmer, Sarah. The servant’s friend, an exemplary tale. London: 1787.Autobiographical Works by ServantsJones, Charles. History of Charles Jones, the footman, written by himself. Philadelphia: 1800.Beresford, John, ed. Memoirs of an Eihteenth-Centurv Footman. London: George Routledgeand Sons, 1927.Caine, Caesar, ed. Strother’s Journal. London: A. Brown & Sons, Ltd., 1912.Sachse, William L., ed. The Diary ofRoger Lowe of Ashton-in-Makerfield. Lancashire, 1663-74.New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938.West, Elisabeth. Memoirs, or spiritual exercises ofElisabeth West. Exeter, New Hampshire:C. Norris, 1817.Autobiographical Works by MastersBeresford, John, ed. The Diary of a Country Parson: the Reverend James Woodforde. 5 vols.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1924.Cozens-Hardy, Basil, ed. Mary Hardy’s Diary. Norfolk: Norfolk Record Society, 1968.Hobhouse, Edmund, ed. The Diary of a West Country Physician, A.D. 1684-1726. Rochester:Stanhope Press, 1934.82Stokes, Francis Griffin, ed. The Blecheley Diary of the Rev. William Cole. London: Constable &Co., Ltd., 1931.Vaisey, David, ed. The Diary of Thomas Turner. 1754-1765. Oxford: Oxford University Press,1984.SECONDARY SOURCESBooksBurke, Peter. Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe. London: Maurice Temple Smith Ltd,1978.Clark, Alice. Working Life of Women in the Seventeenth Century. London: Frank Cass & Co.Ltd., 1968.Darton, F.J. Harvey. Children’s Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1982.Earle, Peter. The Making of the English Middle Class: Business, Society and Family Life inLondon, 1660-1730. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.Fairchilds, Cissie. Domestic Enemies: Servants and Their Masters in Old Regime France.Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.Fraser, Antonia. The Weaker Vessel: Woman’s Lot in Seventeenth-Century England. London:Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1984.Girouard, Mark. Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History. NewHaven: Yale University Press, 1978.Gulls, John R. Youth and History: Tradition and Change in European Age Relations 1770 -Present. New York: Academic Press, 1974.Hecht, J. Jean. The Domestic Servant Class in Eighteenth-Century England. London: Routledgeand Kegan Paul, 1956.Houlbrooke, Ralph A. The English Family 1450-1700. London: Longman Group Limited, 1984.James, Mervyn. Family, Lineage, and Civil Society: A Study of Society. Politics, and Mentality inthe Durham Region, 1500-1640. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974.Klaus, H. Gustav. The Literature of Labour: Two Hundred Years ofWorking-Class Writing.Brighton: The Harvester Press, 1985.83Kussmaul, Ann. Servants in Husbandry in Early Modern England. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 1981.Landry, Donna. The Muses ofResistance: Laboring Class Women’s Poetry in Britain, 1739-1796.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.Laslett, Peter. Family Life and Illicit Love in Earlier Generations: Essays in Historical Sociology.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977._______ed. Household and Family in Past Time. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.The World We Have Lost. 3rd ed. London: Methuen and Co., Ltd., 1983.Macfarlane, Alan. The Family Life of Ralph Josselin, a Seventeenth Century Clergyman: An Essayin Historical Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970.Marriage and Love in England: Modes of Reproduction. 1300-1840. Oxford: BasilBlackwell, 1986.The Origins of English Individualism: The Family, Property and Social Transition.Oxford: Basil Blackwéll, 1978.Marshall, Dorothy. The English Domestic Servant in History. London: The HistoricalAssociation, 1949.Maza, Sarah C. Servants and Masters in Eighteenth Century France: the Uses of Loyalty.Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983.Morgan, Edmund S. The Puritan Family: Religion and Domestic Relations in Seventeenth-Century New England. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1966.Seaver, Paul S. Wallington’s World: A Puritan Artisan in Seventeenth-Century London. Stanford:Stanford University Press, 1985.Schochet, Gordon J. Patriarchalism in Political Thought: The Authoritarian Family and PoliticalSpeculation and Attitudes, Especially in Seventeenth-Century England. Oxford: BasilBlackwell, 1975.Shorter, Edward. The Making of the Modern Family. New York: Basic Books Publishers, 1977.Slater, Miriam. Family Life in the Seventeenth Century: the Verneys of Claydon House. London:Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984.Stone, Lawrence. The Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800. Middlesex: PenguinBooks, 1979.84Stuart, Dorothy Margaret. The English Abigail. London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1946.Trumbach, Randolph. The Rise of the Egalitarian Family: Aristocratic Kinship and DomesticRelations in Eighteenth-Century England. New York: Academic Press, 1978.Turner, E.S. What the Butler Saw: Two Hundred and Fifty Years of the Servant Problem. NewYork: St. Martin’s Press, 1963.Wrightson, Keith. English Society 1580-1680. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1982.ArticlesBen-Amos, Ilana Krausman. “Service and the Coming of Age of Young Men in Seventeenth-Century England.” Continuity and Change 3 (1988): 41-64.Davidoff, Leonore. “Mastered for Life: Servant and Wife in Victorian and Edwardian England.”Journal of Social History 7 (Summer 1974): 406-428.Hassell Smith, A. “Labourers in late sixteenth-century England: a case study from north Norfolk.”Continuity and Change 4 (1989): 11-52.Laslett, Peter. “The Institution of Service.” Local Population Studies Society 40 (Spring 1988):55-60.Lockwood, Leonore Davidoff. “Domestic Service and the Working-Class Life Cycle.” Society forthe Study of Labour History Bulletin 26 (Spring 1973): 10-13.Marshall, Dorothy. “The Domestic Servants of the Eighteenth Century.” Economica IX (1929):15-40.Mayhew, Graham. “Life-cycle service and the family unit in early modern Rye.” Continuity andChange 6 (1991): 201-226.Mechling, Jay. “Advice to Historians on Advice to Mothers.” Journal of Social History 9 (1975):44-63.Mltterauer, Michael. “Servants and Youth.” Continuity and Change 5 (1990): 11-38.Schofield, R.S.S. “Age-Specific Mobility in an Eighteenth Century Rural English Parish.” Annalesde Demographic Historigue (1970): 26 1-274.Shammas, Carole. “The Domestic Environment in Early Modern England and America.” Journalof Social History 14 (Fall 1980): 3-24.85Sharpe, Pamela. ‘Poor children as apprentices in Colyton, 1598-1830.” Continuity and Change 6(1991): 253-270.Simpson, Violet A. “Servants and Service in [the] Eighteenth Century, Town and Country.”Cornhill Magazine XIV (1903): 398-409.Smith, Steven R. “London Apprentices as Seventeenth-Century Adolescents.” Past and Present61 (November 1973): 149-161.Stone, Lawrence. “Literacy and Education in England 1640-1900.” Past and Present 42 (1969):69- 139.Thirsk, Joan. “Younger Sons in the Seventeenth Century.” History 54 (1969): 358-77.Wall, Richard. “The Age at Leaving Home.” Journal of Family History 3 (Summer 1978):181-202._______“Leaving Home and the Process of Household Formation in Pre-industrial England.”Continuity and Change 2 (May 1987): 77-101.Unpublished Ph.D. DissertationSnell, Keith “The Standard of Living, Social Relations, the Family and Labour Mobility in SouthEastern and Western Counties, circa 1700-1860.” Ph.D. dissertation, CambridgeUniversity, 1979.86

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