Only a house-parlourmaid kept and no extra help allowed.

6.15 a.m.: Light kitchen fire; do dining-room and library grates; sweep dining-room, library, and hall; clean front doorstep and brasses; clean boots; prepare and have kitchen breakfast; prepare and serve dining-room breakfast, tidy kitchen and larder; clear dining-room breakfast.

10.0: Receive orders for the day from the mistress; prepare and serve kitchen dinner and dining-room lunch, and do any special work; take an hour for kitchen dinner and rest. 2 p.m.: Wash up dinner things; tidy kitchen and scullery; do any light cleaning, or wash cloths. 4.0: Change dress; prepare and have kitchen tea. 7.30: Prepare late dinner; tidy kitchen and scullery; clean knives. 9.0: Have supper; wash up supper things. 10.0: Bed. is wisest to advertise for a cook-general rather than a cook, as, when so styled, the latter at times goes on strike and refuses to assist in the housework.


It may be well to note here that perquisites and commissions from the tradespeople should be absolutely forbidden, but it is wise to make this clear when engaging the cook. There is a popular idea that she has the right to sell dripping, bones, empty tins, jars, etc.; also to claim and receive a commission on the various bills paid, the usual sum being 1s. in each pound. It is difficult to stop the latter system; but the mistress must make sure she is only paying fair prices, Write her own orders, and keep a careful watch to see there is no waste or undue amounts used.

It is also well now and then to ascertain that the quantity of milk ordered is actually left, and to weigh meat and bread.

Where you have a conscientious, careful woman there is no need for supervision; she will do it herself. But where young and in-experienced girls are in charge it is hardly fair to put temptation in their way by leaving them to their own devices.

Usual Dress for Cooks

Cooks should always wear washing dresses and white aprons, with coarse ones for cleaning purposes. Black dresses and fine aprons are usually worn in the afternoon.

Frequently cooks do not wear caps, except in houses where they are expected to answer the front door.

The Duties of a Parlourmaid

In many large establishments parlourmaids have taken the place of menservants, it being thought that they are less expensive to keep, do more work, and ask lower wages. In many houses there may be a head parlourmaid, with one or more undermaids, or she may be single-handed, or classed as a house-parlourmaid.

Wages vary from about 18 to 30.

The correct wear for a parlourmaid in the morning is a print dress, white cap and apron; and in the afternoon a black dress, turned-down white collar and cuffs, and muslin cap and bib-apron.

These are usually provided by the maid herself. Should, as so often is the case, a uniform be worn, it would be supplied by the mistress.

Quiet shoes are one of the most important items in the dress of a parlourmaid, as not only are heavy, creaky ones most disturbing, but also the maid, in her endeavour to walk quietly, usually becomes awkward and slow of movement.

Care Of Hands

A parlourmaid is expected to take care that her hands do not become roughened and stained with her manual work, and even if she has a considerable amount of it to do, there is no reason why her hands should appear neglected if only she invariably wears washleather gloves when doing grates, etc., and frequently rubs her nails and hands with lemon.

The appearance of a parlourmaid is of considerable importance, those possessing tall, trim figures being in far greater demand than short, stout individuals on account of their more graceful movements when wailing at table. Unless already acquired, some slight drilling is often necessary to teach an inexperienced parlourmaid how to announce visitors, etc., in a clear, distinct, yet not loud voice.

Parlourmaids, as well as valeting the gentlemen, are often expected to help pack, etc., and render any assistance needed when there is no ladies'-maid.

Extra Duties

If the family is large, or there is not a between-maid, the parlourmaid is often relieved of the care of flowers, writing materials, etc., in order that she may have more time for her pantry work, silver, etc.

She would also have to do the grates of the dining-room and library, unless a special arrangement has been made that all grates are done by the housemaid, who, in her turn, is relieved of some of the dusting, or receives help from the parlourmaid in making the beds.