Watch this video about kids in the Victorian era that had jobs in big houses…
After that you should have a better idea of what sort of jobs kids would have to do in a big house.
Why were there so many jobs for kids as servants in houses?
Well the Victorian era was a time of a massive financial boom in England.
Thousands of new factories were helping to produce more goods in greater quantities than ever. Thanks to the railways, and steam-powered sailing ships, these goods could be sold across the world. This increased demand made many families very rich indeed.
This meant more people could afford to employ servants to help manage their homes.
After hearing about kids working in sewers and mines working in a house doesn’t sound too bad?
It’s true that these jobs weren’t as dirty as working in the mines but they were still very hard.
Most kids who worked in houses were from the countryside but most of the houses were in the cities. This ment that they had to move away from home to work in the houses.
No one liked moving away from their family but these families were very poor and for most of them this was just a way they could get some money so that they could eat.
So what sort of jobs would kids do in the house?
Well if you were a girl you might be a Scullery Girl and if you were a boy you might have been a Hall Boy.
These are the girls that would work in the kitchens.
They would have to wash hundreds of pots, pans, plates and saucers every night as the residents of the house would usually have lavish meals that the kitchen team prepared.
They would stay up all night cleaning and when they were finished they might have to stay in the kitchen all night to keep the fire going. They might be able to sleep a bit under the table but that was about it.
These would do jobs around the halls of the house like cleaning for example.
They wouldn’t usually get much sleep either. They could only do some of their jobs once everyone in the house had gone to bed.
For example, they would have to clean everyone’s shoes but only once they had all gone to bed. This meant that if people were up until 1am then the Hall Boy could be up until 3am cleaning shoes and doing his other jobs.