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Zelenka
02-10-2009, 06:10 AM
Does anyone know of a source of information on the type of staff / servants employed at gentlemens' clubs in London in the 19th Century? I'm trying to find information on the hierarchy.

I know they had their own kitchens so presumably the usual kitchen staff, but many of the clubs also had rooms for members, so were there other household servants too, and if so did they live in?

dirtsider
02-10-2009, 05:54 PM
Either find the Victorian House (a documentary series where people stayed in a Victorian house and lived the lifestyle) or watch one of the BBC dramas like Bleak House. If you want to find the Victorian House series, try Googling it or either A&E or History.com. I think there's a book out on the Victorian lifestyle but I'm not sure if they have something on a Gentleman's club. (Got it but haven't read it yet and don't have the name at hand.) I'm sure the info can be altered to fit though.

But if I recall correctly, I think the kitchen staff and other servants stayed in the basement area or in the back in room specifically set aside for their use.

Zelenka
02-10-2009, 08:02 PM
Either find the Victorian House (a documentary series where people stayed in a Victorian house and lived the lifestyle) or watch one of the BBC dramas like Bleak House. If you want to find the Victorian House series, try Googling it or either A&E or History.com. I think there's a book out on the Victorian lifestyle but I'm not sure if they have something on a Gentleman's club. (Got it but haven't read it yet and don't have the name at hand.) I'm sure the info can be altered to fit though.

But if I recall correctly, I think the kitchen staff and other servants stayed in the basement area or in the back in room specifically set aside for their use.

Thanks, I have. Actually I'd moved onto The Edwardian House series last night, which is the same thing. The closest I've got to information on the clubs, though, was an episode of 'The Victorian Kitchen' which featured the Reform Club's kitchen.

dirtsider
02-10-2009, 11:49 PM
Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I just remembered the documentary on - I guess it would be the Edwardian House. (I saw bits and pieces here and there.) The one I really remember was the marathon of Stoneage Britain.

Ok, funny story: When Colonial House aired, several of my friends who are re-enactors tore that show apart due to the inaccuracies. That's probably why they didn't get picked to be a part of the show during the auditions. They knew too much.

Zelenka
02-11-2009, 12:12 AM
Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I just remembered the documentary on - I guess it would be the Edwardian House. (I saw bits and pieces here and there.) The one I really remember was the marathon of Stoneage Britain.

Ok, funny story: When Colonial House aired, several of my friends who are re-enactors tore that show apart due to the inaccuracies. That's probably why they didn't get picked to be a part of the show during the auditions. They knew too much.

I appreciate the help :) Haven't seen the Stoneage one. Funnily enough I had a colleague at the tour company I worked for rejected for the series 'The 1940s House' as well, and he was convinced it was because he'd put down that he was an expert on the period.

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-11-2009, 01:07 AM
You needed the same kitchen staff as any large house: cook or cooks, undercooks, scullery maids/boys, footmen to wait on the members. A hall porter, a manager (corresponding to a large home's butler).

If they had overnight or longer-term facilities they also had the requisite chambermaids, housekeeper, laundry staff (unless they sent the linens out).

Some of the clubs (I'm channelling a book I have on London life and clubs - it's in storage) had 100% male staff, others had some females, but not young and pretty ones. There were bordellos for that sort of thing. It would be rare for a member to see a female employee.

IceCreamEmpress
02-11-2009, 05:24 AM
I would write to the staff of the Reform Club. They seem to be the most history-focused of the big clubs--they may have staff lists, etc., from the past. Anthony Lejeune's book is pretty helpful if you can find it, but more focused on the membership than the staffs of the clubs.

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-12-2009, 12:21 AM
Clubs and Club Life in London By John Timbs
The Clubs of London By Charles Marsh

Both available on Google Books as PDF

pdr
02-12-2009, 03:46 AM
Jess, check out Resources by Era down in Historical. Look in the Victorian thread, there are a couple of dictionary reference books which cover clubs.

Zelenka
02-12-2009, 03:55 AM
Tsu Dho Nimh - Thanks, I shall check those out straight away! Really appreciate it.

pdr - Thanks, actually the resources by era thread gave me the lead on the 'Victorian Kitchen' series, which I've managed to track down and which has been invaluable. So far anything on the clubs though tends to focus on the members or architecture more than anything else.

pdr
02-12-2009, 09:20 AM
I thought the London Dictionary- url in Resources - covered Clubs.

One of those down there does because I 'wasted' an enjoyable half hour reading it.