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Duties of Butler

Duties of Butler

What is a Butler

The Domestic worker is generally called a Butler. The upper-class houses are sometimes divided into various departments, Butler normally looks after the dining room, wine cellar, and pantry. The word butler originates from the French word ‘Bouteillier’ which means ‘a bottle-bearer’.

Originally a butler was a cupbearer who eventually became the servant in charge of the wine cellar. It was during Victorian England that Butler became the head servant.

Duties of Butler
Butlers during the Victorian Era

Though A butler is usually male, and in charge of male servants, while a housekeeper is usually a woman and in charge of female servants. The butler ranks the highest among male servants. Honorably He can also be sometimes used as a chauffeur.

Victorian Era Butlers

during the Victorian era, as the materialistic desires increased the number of butlers and other domestic servants also increased proportionately. Butler who was initially just the in charge of dining also became in charge of the more modern wine cellar, the “buttery” or pantry. The Upper-class houses also had other senior stewards to assist the Butler in his duties.

Role Of Butlers

  • Stand at the door to greet and announce the arrival of a formal guest
  • help his employer into his Coat
  • in charge of the dining room, the wine cellar, pantry, and sometimes the entire main floor.
  • Waiting on the table at mealtimes
  • Looking after the silver in the house
  • Locking up the house at night
  • Cleaning the knives and the shoes
  • Cleaning the furniture
  • Looking after his master’s clothes
  • Taking letters from/to his master and mistress
  • Winding the clocks

Butler’s Gloves And His Clothing

The butler who was the highest paid servant generally wore a formal black suit. He was always dressed in a special uniform, different from the junior staff and he was expected to look neat and immaculately groomed at all times. The fancier the livery, the more status for the family.

For morning breakfast he wore white linen and dark colored trousers and a short dinner coat. After lunch, he used to change his clothes and get ready for the evening attire for dinner and tea. He then wore a white studded shirt, standing collar with tie and black waistcoat. Tailored coats were worn above the waistcoats.

Duties of Butler
Butler Gloves

Gloves were the most important piece of the complete uniform. The fashion regarding gloves changed numerous times throughout the century, but some things remained constant.

Duties of Butler

The wearing of gloves was strongly encouraged to keep the hands of the Butler clean and unstained as hygiene was an important aspect of a butler’s duty. They also protected hands while dusting and cleaning, and added sophistication to the family’s status.

Fitting of the gloves was an essential part since the butler had to serve his masters without any fault. Generally, his gloves were made of cotton but for certain occasions, he wore satin gloves, white gloves were specifically chosen to add a touch of sophistication and also present a cleaner look.

The Butler had to dress Perfectly for serving at cocktail and holiday parties, weddings, banquets, and other social gatherings.

More Info On- A Brief Biography of Samuel ButlerVictorian Era LiteratureVictorian Era Servants