Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Social Changes in Sussex.                    275
earliest entries (in 1656) is as follows:—" I entertained for my yearly servant John Dawes at Old Lady-day, promising to make his wages as good as they were under Mr. Pell [his predecessor in the Rectory]. I payed him his half-yeares wages on the 2nd of Oct., £2. 1os. Rose Colman came to me on the 7th Sept. I bargained to give her £1 per annum."
We need hardly say that money was worth more in 1656 than it is now; but even double or treble £$ a-year for a man-servant, or £3 a-year for a female, and what house-wife would not rejoice ?
Sometimes, too, lower wages than the above were taken. Thus, in 1666-7 (writes Mr. Moore), "Anne Sayers, of Lind-field, came to live with me as mayd servant, with whom I bargained not, for under 40s. a-year she said she would not serve. I gave her 6d."
What an unreasonable personage Anne Sayers, of Lind-field, must have been ! We wonder if there are any M of that ilk" still in the parish! Not to come for a mayd servant under £2 a-year! Domestic wages must have been rising to justify such ideas!
A little further on we read as follows: " Mary Ward packed up and went her way, having lived with me 1 quarter and a weeke, for which I payd her 12s. 18th Feb., being Shrove Tuesday, Anne Grove, from Mr. Wyatt's [a neighbouring farm-stead, we presume] came to live with mee, for whom I bargained at the rate of 45s. per an." So Mary Ward got an advance of 5s. a year on Anne Sayers 1
It seems curious to us that Mr. Moore, and not Mrs. Moore, "bargained with " female as well as male servants. But so it was. And the Rev. Gentleman does not seem to have been particularly lucky in his choice. Ex. gr.:—" Thos. Dumbrell came to mee as servant, to dwell with mee, with whom I agreed to give after the rate of £$ a yeare. On the 22nd Dec. I payed him up to that time£i. 8s.: that same night I found him sleeping with my mayd Mary, and I packed them off."
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