Posted by P. Bingham on March 25, 1998 at 22:12:58:
In response to Out of the running..., written by Marie Bernadette on March 23, 1998 at 13:29:53
I could not find what you were referring to, about the issue of a master and female servant, however, I believe I've heard this before. It was not the norm, however, as I understand it. Most female servants got the axe. I suppose it might depend on the morality of the master, the period, and also upon whether it was a close-knit society. If it happened in London, for instance, the servant would less likely have someone to come to her aid. If it happened in the country, perhaps a minister might help to repair things. But if you remember the earlier post, from the onset of the 19th century, these sort of aids became less and less available.
I did find in Stone's book however, a little matter concerning bastards (around pg.332). There was an ethical code that was said to govern the lives of gentlemen, emplying that women of lower social class, but not ladies of one's own rank, were fair game for sexual exploitation. Girls who, for a fixed allowance, became the mistresses of noblemen and wealthy gentlemen were nearly all women from a well-to-do professional or merchant background whose father's had gone bankrupt, and who found being a mistress the only way they could support themselves in the stand way to which they were accustomed. Bastards were tolerantly accepted into the household, at least by some wives. "John, Duke of Buckingham (in 1721) mentioned many bastards in his will and he left them all with full confidence in care of his widow." Lord Mudgrove said in the House of Lords in 1800 "bastardy is of little comparitive consequence to the male children." Illegitimate female children however, "have to stuggle with every disadvantage from their rank in life", since the only career open to a woman of this class was marriage. Only a small minority were as successful as the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Walpole, who in 1759 married the second Lord Waldegrave, and on his death, George III's brother, the Duke of Glouchester. Gentlemen often brought their bastards up openly, giving them an education, keeping them on intimate terms with the wife. But these would not have been children from servants or any issue from the lower classes. They would have been from mistresses who were from the merchant or the professional class, whose fathers, as was mentioned earlier, had fallen upon hard times.
- It still amazes me the amount of inform. U can provide :-) nfm Constanza 11:03:49 3/26/98 (0)
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