Life in Elizabethan England Next

Paying The Servants

Ordinary household servants are hired at an annual wage and paid by the quarter (on quarter days). Most such servants earn between 2 and 5 per year, not adjusting for vails and fines.

Paying the Servants

They also get bed and board and 2 or 3 suits of livery clothing per year.

Some servant wages for 1550, Ingatestone Hall, Essex,the country manor of Privy Secretary Sir William Petre:

By the quarter:
The laundress, cook, butler, and the children's nurse were paid 10s each.

The youngest housemaid got 5s, as did a part-time brewer.

The gardeners got 10s 6d each.

Best paid:
Chaplain: 13s/4d (3 5s per year)

Bailiff: 11s/8d ( 2/6s/8d per year)

By contrast, in 1568 the Queen's laundress, Mistress Taylor, got £4 per year, with an extra £6 for her livery gown.

The Queen's Maids of Honor get a stipend of £40 per year. The Privy Secretary gets an annual income of £100, exclusive of fees, fines, bribes, doucers, etc.

Royal accounts show the Queen's household expenses at about £55,000 per year. For the period of July 1566 to April 1567, her master embroiderer, David Smith, was paid £203/15/7 from the Privy Purse from the Privy Purse to cover his salary and all expenses of his office. His assistant, William Middleton, got £25/11/11.

Henslow's Diary shows actors being paid 10s a week in town and 5s on the road in the 1590s. Actors!

::  Money - The Basics
::  Greasing the Wheels
::  Masters & Servants
::  The Steward and His Office
::  The Steward in Matters Domestical
::  Staffing a Great Household
::  Household Management

Erickson: The First Elizabeth
Emmison: The Tudor Secretary
Henslow's Diary

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27 March 2008 mps