Footman's livery uniform, 1820. England. Servant uniform of a coat of light blue-green cloth, trimmed in red cloth and wool braid.  This was the livery of the 3rd Earl of Ashburnham, Sussex.

Footman's livery uniform, 1820. England. Servant uniform of a coat of light blue-green cloth, trimmed in red cloth and wool braid. This was the livery of the 3rd Earl of Ashburnham, Sussex.

However, the requirements of court dress kept alive the textile and embroidery industries of the 18th century. The embroidery for the coat and waistcoat were done first, in the areas where it was required for the finished garment. Although made of different fabrics the coat and waistcoat share the same embroidery design. They would have been sold together by a silk mercer, then taken to the tailor to be made to fit the purchaser.

Court coat and waistcoat

However, the requirements of court dress kept alive the textile and embroidery industries of the 18th century. The embroidery for the coat and waistcoat were done first, in the areas where it was required for the finished garment. Although made of different fabrics the coat and waistcoat share the same embroidery design. They would have been sold together by a silk mercer, then taken to the tailor to be made to fit the purchaser.

1840-60 Detail of Footman's Livery Uniform, European. Distinctive livery was a feature of male servant's dress in aristocratic households for two centuries from the Restoration of Charles ll in 1660. This livery outfit with its bold yellow colouring for the breeches and waistcoat, dates from the middle of the nineteenth century and still shows features of eighteenth century dress including the style of the coat, and the breeches. manchestergalleries.org

1840-60 Detail of Footman's Livery Uniform, European. Distinctive livery was a feature of male servant's dress in aristocratic households for two centuries from the Restoration of Charles ll in 1660. This livery outfit with its bold yellow colouring for the breeches and waistcoat, dates from the middle of the nineteenth century and still shows features of eighteenth century dress including the style of the coat, and the breeches. manchestergalleries.org

Parlourmaid's uniform from 1933-1937 (item 1953.392/5 from the Manchester City Galleries). Traditional servant's uniforms were worn well beyond the First World War, up to the 1930s, although reliable staff became increasingly difficult to secure, as the lowly salaries, arduous work and personal restrictions were unpopular amongst people with new choices afforded by technology.

Parlourmaid's uniform from 1933-1937 (item 1953.392/5 from the Manchester City Galleries). Traditional servant's uniforms were worn well beyond the First World War, up to the 1930s, although reliable staff became increasingly difficult to secure, as the lowly salaries, arduous work and personal restrictions were unpopular amongst people with new choices afforded by technology.

Most servants employed during the Victorian era were female 'maids of all work' (maid of all work)

Hiring Servants in the Regency Era and Later

Most servants employed during the Victorian era were female 'maids of all work' (maid of all work)

Full dress frock coat of a Captain. The frock is of blue wool with button back lapels faced with white and edged with gold lace. Although it...

Full dress frock coat of a Captain. The frock is of blue wool with button back lapels faced with white and edged with gold lace. Although it...

Men's dress coat, 1801-1828. Swallow tail coat, made of navy wool, facecloth with plush dark blue velvet collar. This coat is double brested, and with tails. The coat is combined in this image with breeches of beige colour. Museum of London.

Men's dress coat, 1801-1828. Swallow tail coat, made of navy wool, facecloth with plush dark blue velvet collar. This coat is double brested, and with tails. The coat is combined in this image with breeches of beige colour. Museum of London.

DRESS COAT BEARING THE LIVERY OF THE KING OF FRANCE Circa1785 Dark blue wool fabric, red wool twill lining, linen oilcloth, braid, silk & linen trim. Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

DRESS COAT BEARING THE LIVERY OF THE KING OF FRANCE Circa1785 Dark blue wool fabric, red wool twill lining, linen oilcloth, braid, silk & linen trim. Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

Livery Coat and Waistcoat  1810-1850; Britain; Wool broadcloth trimmed with wool livery lace, lined with wool and linen  Some suits of livery were highly elaborate in appearance, despite the relatively low status of the wearer. The suits were intended to proclaim the wealth of the employer, not the employee.

Livery Coat and Waistcoat 1810-1850; Britain; Wool broadcloth trimmed with wool livery lace, lined with wool and linen Some suits of livery were highly elaborate in appearance, despite the relatively low status of the wearer. The suits were intended to proclaim the wealth of the employer, not the employee.

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