Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The History Of Maids And Their Place In Society

Welcome my fellow learners, today’s topic is about the common maid, how they originated, and how they have evolved in today’s society.

When hearing the word maid, one automatically thinks only the rich and wealthy could afford one. While this was very true many years ago, today is a totally different story. However, I am getting ahead of myself, so lets start from the beginning shall we.

Throughout history being a maid was associated of being at the bottom rung of all social societies. However, without these ladies, a gentle woman would not have been able to run her household efficiently.  While a maids wages were to be honest a joke, especially for the work she was required to do, the one good thing was she got free room and board.  A maids duties were long arduous and varied, ranging from cooking, cleaning, house hold maintenance, and in some cases looking after the mistress of the house children.

However, did you know that maids came in all shapes and sizes, a ladies maid for instance was higher in rank that of a chamber maid. So even then there were social statuses for even the hired help.

A prime example of this is, and many of my English readers will remember the popular series of Upstairs And Downstairs, which depicted the different life and styles of the help and the elite.

Anyway, enough of that, where was I? Oh yes, different types of maids. Like I said the lady’s maid only answered to the lady of the house, her social standing was higher and her wages more. Her main duty was to look after her mistress, in such things as clothing, hair stylist and even a seamstress.

Even the cook had a kitchen maid and scullery maid, to help her perform her duties within the kitchen. But did you know that a kitchen maid had a chance of promotion to head cook in time, but the poor old scullery maid would never advance in her choosen career.  

Other maid jobs included a parlour maid, chamber maid, and the nursery maid. These 3 ladies were all assigned specific duties within a household, and never crossed paths until their chores were completed.

In today’s age, the job of a maid has radically changed. It’s not often that they will live in, but instead come daily, weekly or even monthly when required. However, her have basically remained the same.

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