How were medieval servants treated

What servants were there?

House servant / butler

The valet, similar to the butler in Great Britain, was the valet of the landlord. He was responsible for the cloakroom and the wishes of the landlord, received guests, served at dinner. Often he was also in charge of the service staff.

Mamsell / housekeeper

Directing the service staff could also be the task of the housekeeper. She coordinated the various activities, gave instructions, received complaints from the employers and had to answer for them.

She also managed purchasing and stocking, and she paid the other servants' wages.

Governess / Head of House

The companion herself belonged to the upper class and usually did not see herself as a servant. She dined with the family and spent time with the gentlemen's older children.

The private tutor as a servant with professional training had a special position. He taught the children in the family home. Later this profession became less and less common, as compulsory schooling and a well-developed school system made it superfluous.

Nanny / nanny

The nanny looked after the family's young children. She used to be at the bottom of the servant hierarchy. In the course of time, the reputation of the nanny was valued more and more, parallel to the spread of the knowledge of how important childhood is for a person's development.


The chambermaid was responsible for the order and cleanliness in the manor's private apartments. She was usually neatly dressed with an apron and bonnet, as she could deal with the employers at any time.


The cook was responsible for planning and preparing the meals. She was the housekeeper’s right-hand man when it came to grocery shopping and supplies.

Kitchen maid

The kitchen maid helped the cook and did the menial work in the kitchen.

Coachman / chauffeur

He was responsible for the technical means of locomotion, i.e. the carriages or, later, the cars. He also had to be able to service them, so he needed technical know-how.


The farmhand could have different tasks: he could be responsible for the horses, chop the wood, carry water, clean toilets or empty the toilet buckets.

Status: 12.12.2017, 10:36