James Woodforde’s diaries record his wage bill for his live-in staff. 1778-1785.
A farm manager £10 per year.
A manservant £5. 5s per year and tea twice daily.
An upper maid £5. 5s per year and tea twice daily.
A middle maid £3. 3s per year.
An under maid £2. 10s per year.
An errand boy £1. 1s. per year.
A skilled labourer 1s 6d per day. (when needed)
A washer-woman 6d per day and food. (weekly)
Parson Woodforde also had to pay the Servant Tax,
imposed by King George 3 to help pay for his War on his own subjects in America. The Servant Tax of £2 10s per year, for a male and 10s per year for a female, caused many servants to be sacked. ‘The King taxes everything from newspapers to ships tonnage, to serving wenches, to tea, to wigs, wine & windows.’
The King's Civil List (money for nothing) averaged £700,000 per year every year of Woodforde's life 1740-1803.
An under maid, one of the lucky youngsters who avoided the mines and factories. Maids usually worked from 5 am - 9 pm. Sunday’s off were called ‘a holiday.’ The only other holidays were Saints Days. Maids were often sexually abused. Those who complained were instantly dismissed. Losing both job and home.
Parsonage. Weston Longville, Norfolk.
Parson Woodforde’s diary, 1777, records. ‘Smuggler Andrews 10s 6d for one pound of tea.’
Church property, ‘which Revenue Officers respectfully did never search’ was often used to distribute smuggled goods.
Parson Woodforde recorded his annual trips to his native Somerset. The Norwich coach left at 9 pm, taking 17 hours to reach London – where he would spend a few days before taking the Bath coach, at 5 am for a 15 hour trip to Shepton Mallet.
The Norwich to Somerset (return) fare & accommodation, for one, cost £14. That was five-and-a-half years wages to an under maid!
Children who worked down coal and iron mines and in factories became the property of their employer.
When a mine or factory was sold the children were sold on to the next owner as Works Equipment.
Everything the present Queen is doing illustrates how she longs to see
children once again listed as Works Equipment.
Norfolk Coast 1750-1850
Watch The Wall My Darlings As The Gentlemen Go By
The steady growth of smuggling, or the Owlers Trade,
was due to the respectable rich who simply disagreed with
increasingly unfair high taxes.
As one Georgian lady put it. 'The King tax's everything we can
not live without.'
In the reign of King George
2nd there were 800 Customs & Excise Acts (import and export taxes)
designed to fill the King's coffers. King George 3rd added another 1,300.
In Devon, Kent, Essex and Norfolk
Owlers out-numbered Revenue Officers by one-hundred to one. From 1723 just 299
Riding Officers were expected to guard England's coasts from illegal landings and exports! When they spotted
gangs of smugglers and mule trains on the beach Riding Officers usually rode the other way.