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Wealthy Masters: The Household at Holkham 1697-1842

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An in-depth study of the servants of Holkham Hall, Norfolk for the first two earls of Leicester, based on the Holkham Archives. A wonderful account of where they came from, what they did, wore,  ate, earned and much more.  A London house, as well as a country mansion, were serviced by this small army of male and female servants, who in turn were cared for by their ‘wealthy masters’.

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The army of servants who served a grand estate such as Holkham Hall in Norfolk was essential, but all too often overlooked and under-valued.  In this book the servants, from the steward to the lowest scullery maid, take centre stage.

Who were they? Where did they come from? What did they earn, eat, wear? What exactly were their daily tasks? What happened when they were sick or wished to be married? From a wonderful series of Household Accounts, Mary Anne-Garry is able to answer all these questions and more.  In doing so she paints a Frith-like picture of the household of the Coke family, under Thomas Coke who would become the first Earl of Leicester and then under his great-nephew, T.W. Coke who would become the second Earl.

“A remarkable reconstruction of the Holkham ‘family’ from 1697-1842.  Mary-Anne Garry shows [how] servants underpinned every aspect of life at Holkham.  Any producer contemplating a successor to Downton Abbey might profitably turn to this book.”
Professor Richard Wilson, University of East Anglia

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