Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Suits for serving men 1613

It is always good when you get accounts that give some sort of detail to the clothing provided to male servants in a gentry household, though if they are not always entered into the accounts in a logical order it can be difficult to disentangle them.

Below are the January 1613 accounts for clothing four men: Mr Barton, Abel Barbie, Robert Hargreaves and John Leigh (or Lee), and three “boies.” Elsewhere in the accounts are references to the cook’s boy, the kitchen boy, the crow boy, the boy Bill, and the boy Whitehead, so some of these may be the three boys of the accounts. These men and boys would have received their lodging, food, and clothes, plus wages. In July 1613 John Leigh received a quarters wages of 16s 8d for three months work, equating to £3 6s 8d for the year. There are also other references in the accounts to clothing these men. (1) Image 1 shows a servant in a tavern setting from the broadside ballad A Bill of Fare. British Library