Eloping with the footman
Posted by Helen on November 12, 1997 at 10:45:28:
In response to Interesting!, written by Caroline on November 08, 1997 at 23:43:09
] In the late 17th century this made no difference as many upper servants were ladies and gentlemen in distressed circumstances. As servants began to rise up through that ranks giving the tickets to the servants raised the chances of young madam of good fortune eloping with the tall, handsome footman (footmen were chosen, in part for their height).
] Interesting! Would you like to expand on this?(And are we really talking late 17thand not late 18th?)
I know there were some cases of this in the C16th and 17th (really the C17th), where women who had access to their own money ran off with whichever young servant took their fancy. And there is the John Churchill saga - he got his start in life through being the lover of one of King Charles' mistresses and went on to be responsible for building Blenheim Palace (where Branagh's Hamlet was filmed - a big place) and for being involved in various major European battles, besides creating the family line that led to Winston Churchill...
But I still think Nash's rules for balls draw attention to the "meat market" aspect of society life, rather than its potential as an ideal of elegant behaviour. I mean, what would you do if you thought you were one of the eligibles and then were told to sit on a bench because you were past it...
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.