Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Social Changes in Sussex.                2jg
—"1704. Will. Gates came to me as footman at 50s. per annum; he is to have a hat, coat and breeches once in two years. If I turn him away the first year I am to give him 5s. more and take his livery. He died in 1713."
That is, after a service, and doubtless a faithful one, of nine years. If we mistake not, it is the master or mistress who, now-a-days, holds out the bait of higher wages to servants if they remain in their places. In Timothy Burrell's time it was the servant who sought to guard against the chances of dismissal.
Yet masters still had their troubles, and in 1706, as in 1877, it is.the drinking that is the fonset origo malorum. Ex. gr.:—"Aug. For a periwigg for John, 14s. So he has had in all £6. 2s. 5d. in full of his year's wages, and 2s. 5d. over; and I gave him notice that I would not allow him any longer for the livery being worn two years, since 'twas to be all spent in drunkenness"
The next entry gives us a glimpse of female servants' wages:—" Paid Nanny West her wages in full, due 25th, £2 and more is. iod. Paid Sarah Wade two years' wages, £5"
Thus £2 and £2. 10s. were still the salaries of female servants in a gentleman's family 170 years ago.
Later on, in 1710, he pays W. Gates £3. 10s. as his year's wages; to Mary Chaloner (how low had the Chaloners, once the first people in the county, sunk!) £$ for two years' wages; and to Mary, the cook (in 1715), for her year's wages, £2. 15s."
This is the last entry of Mr. Timothy Burrell as to pay­ments to servants, and it shows that during his life the wages of domestics had not risen much; for in 1686—above 30 years previously—he paid his cook £2. 10s. a-year. A rise of 5s. in 31 years! As much in as many days would be expected now-a-days!
The Stapley Diaries, extending from 1682 to 1743, come next in order of succession to those of the Rev. Giles Moore
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