Life in Elizabethan England Next

Staffing a Great Household

Anthony Viscount Montague, 1595

from A Book of Orders and Rules, edited from the original ms. by Sir Sibbald David Scott, Bart., in Sussex Archaeological Collections, vol. vii, London 1854.

"A Book of Orders and Rules, established by me Anthony Viscount Montague for the better direction and gouvernment of my household and family..."

1. Steward of the Household 21. Clerk of the Officer's Chambers
2. Comptroller 22. Yeoman of the Horse
3. High steward of the Courts 23. Yeoman of the Cellar
4. Auditor 24. Yeoman of the Ewery
5. General Receiver 25. Yeoman of the Pantry
6. Solicitor 26. Yeoman of the Buttery
7. Other principal officers 27. Yeoman of the Wardrobe
8. Secretary 28. Yeoman waiters
9. Gentlemen Ushers 29. Second cook, and the rest
10. Carver 30. Porter
11. Sewer (server) 31. Granator
12. Gentlemen of the Chamber 32. Bailiff
13. Gentlemen of Horse 33. Baker
14. Gentlemen waiters 34. Brewer
15. Marshall of the Hall 35. Grooms of the Great Chamber
16. Clerk of the Kitchen 36. Almoner
17. Yeomen of the Great Chamber 37. Scullery man
18. Usher of the Hall
19. Chief cook
20. Yeomen of the chamber

Read the complete text of Anthony Maria Browne's Book of Orders and Rules at Managing a Noble Household: A Book of Orders and Rules, 1595.

An Ambassadorial Household: 1604

In 1604 the Earl of Hertford's embassy to Brussels included: 20 Knights, 2 barons, and 7 gentlemen, plus their servants to a total of 90.

And in the earl's personal train:
2 chaplains 1 surgeon 6 pages
1 steward 1 physician 3 wardrobers
1 secretary 1 apothecary 16 gentlemen waiters
1 gentleman of the horse 8 musicians 30 yeoman waiters
2 gentlemen ushers 8 trumpeters 30 kitchen, buttery, & pantry staff
1 harbinger 6 footmen 4 gentlemen of the chamber
1 master of carriages 10 lackeys

Some fines and rules in Sir John Harington's house

  • A servant must not be absent from morning or evening meals or prayers lest he be fined 2 pence for each time.
  • Any servant late to dinner would be fined 2 pence.
  • Any man waiting table without a trencher in his hand, except for good excuse, would be fined 1 penny.
  • For each oath, a servant would be fined a penny.
  • Any man provoking another to strike, or striking another, would be liable to dismissal.
  • For a dirty shirt on Sunday or a missing button, the fine would be sixpence.
  • After 8:00 am no bed must be found unmade and no fireplace or candle box left uncleaned, or the fine would be one penny.
  • The hall must be cleaned in an hour.
  • Any man leaving a door open that he found shut would be fined one penny unless he could show good cause.
  • The whole house must be swept and dusted each Friday.

::  Dinner at Cowdray House
::  Masters & Servants
::  The Steward and His Office
::  The Steward in Matters Domestical
::  Paying the Servants
::  Plan of Ingatestone Hall, a Country House of the Latter Sixteenth Century
::  Household Management


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MaggiRos
8 August 2008 pkm