Domestic Servants' Pay

Although work was hard, employment as a domestic servant was well-paid in comparison with agricultural and factory jobs.

Rates of pay varied greatly with job title, the amount of responsibility, and location. For example, a 'housekeeper' in a grand house was the most senior female servant and managed the household budget and the team of female staff. In a smaller house in a rural area, pay was much lower than for the same size of house in a large city. Other variables were whether the post came with accommodation or food. A live-in house keeper in a large house earned £25 per annum in the 1840s, rising to £65 after the First World War.

In the 1920s a housekeeper in a suburban home, but without accommodation, earned £35, excluding meals. This figure comes from a house builder's brochure for Beckenham, Kent. The builder describes how much you can save by having an efficient, modern house:


It will be readily seen that with the labour saving devices we are supplying with these houses, a domestic servant would be quite unnecessary, and apart from the advantage of being free from the troubles and inconveniences usually prevailing where maids are employed, it is interesting to note the financial aspect and see what is actually saved where their services are dispensed with.













or £2 a week apart from the question of extra light and heat consumed.