During the Victorian age, the senior most female who used to be the member of the staff for doing the domestic help was called the housekeeper. She used to work directly under the mistress.
A housekeeper was the head of the house and was the one who is in charge of all the female servants but she had no control over lady’s maid and head nurse as they were directly under the mistress.
The housekeeper was in charge that used to look after everything including what happens during the daily running of the household. Furthermore, she had to keep weekly account of the daily expenses in a ledger, paying off the bills and filing receipts.
Duties of Housekeeper
During the Victorian age, a housekeeper was known as the second in the command of the house except in large establishments where house steward took the place. The expectations of the duties of a housekeeper were to bring and maintain the different qualities among the management of the household in a way that she would bring as being the head of her own family.
These qualities included honesty, vigilance, and industry. She had to be constantly careful enough to keep a watch on anyone and check them.
The most important, as well as the main expectation for her, was that she should be able to understand accounts completely. For one or more purposes, she had to write each and every payment made, current expenses of the household, bills of tradesmen as well as other expenses.
The accounts managed by her are periodically balanced. Furthermore, the accounts by her are also checked by the head of the house. In this situation, it was very important to maintain the level of satisfaction between the employer and the employee.
She would be an in-charge of any wrongdoing that happens during any domestic help; she had to make sure that the working of every department is going properly and smoothly.
Not only this, the housekeeper has to look after everything that goes on in the household as well as takes charge of the duties of all servants. Moreover, she also took care that every servant is able to work comfortably.
Character of Housekeeper
Cleanliness, order, punctuality, and method used to decide about the character of a housekeeper. The most important of these qualities was cleanliness as no one can manage any household without this quality.
Punctuality is the second and another equally important because the no staff or servant would be able to work properly without this. Moreover, all the members under her will take lessons from the qualities she has.
Being everything in order is very crucial and that is why an order is another significant quality. As well as, there should be an order for everything from housekeeper to everyone under her. The method is important to keep everything going correctly as well as timely too.
Daily Duties of Housekeeper
Duties of housekeepers are very much organized. During the early morning, she would rise just to keep in check whether the domestics are performing their respective duties well or not.
Also, it was her duty to maintain the feeling of satisfaction for the breakfast in the family and household. After the breakfast, she needed to check carefully whether the household linen and the furniture of the household are rubbed and polished properly or not.
If we talk about her physical appearance then she had to be healthy as well as strong. Along with the clean hands, it was necessary for her to have a nice inviting appearance. She had to make sure that the household runs smoothly as well as economically.
More Info On- Scullery Maid and her Duties, Life, and Duties of a Victorian Dairy Maid, Victorian Era Servants in Homes