Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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Social Changes in Sussex.                  281
lambs, 7s. 6d. each; and 30 ewe lambs for £5. 5s.! So that it was not expensive to feed servants.
In the next 20 years—to 1656—there was a slight rise in wages. " My man," writes Mr. Anthony Stapley, " came with me to dwell and is to have £4. 5s. per annum wages. Martha Earle came to me April 10th and Elizabeth Lancaster May 5th. The former is to have £2 and the latter £2. 10s. per annum." And again, in 1657, "My man George came June 1st, and I am to give him £3. 15s. a-yeare, and he is to brew besides his other work. George Virgoe came to me as helper in the garden and is to have £4. per annum and to live in the house."
Anthony Stapley, Justice of the Peace, was gathered to his fathers and was succeeded by his son, also an Anthony, who continued the diary. But for the next 50 or 60 years there is little or no change in the rate of domestic wages at Hickstead. Passing on to 1730 we learn that "Mary White began her year May, 1731. Hannah Morley came and is to have £2 if she stay to Lady Day next. Paid Edward Harland and George Virgoe half-a-year's wages each, £3. 5s. James Hazlegrove came to live with me at £6. 5s. per annum."
From these entries it may be inferred that, whilst women's wages had remained stationary, or had even fallen, men's had risen a little. But then we must bear in mind the lower value of money. Perhaps £6. 5s. in 1730 would not command much more of the necessaries of life than £3 in 1630. But even the former sum sounds very small compared with a man­servant's yearly wages in 1882.
There is no reference in the Stapley Diaries to such domestic troubles as disturbed the peace of mind of the Rev. Giles Moore and Mr. Timothy Burrell. Servants came and went, of course; but no moral delinquencies are recorded. One motive for their leaving was that they might not gain a settlement in the parish by a twelvemonths' service; and so they left their service just before the year was completed and returned in a few days' time. Ex. gr.:—" 1743, March 25th,
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