Two Questions about maids and valets

Jun 4, 2003
Hi! Two more questions just came to my mind:
1) Did the first class passengers' maids and valets have their own private quarters or stayed with their employers? I am aware of the inside rooms in B deck suites.
2) Were they treated as passengers or only as employees? I know some first class passengers had their servants travel with them in second class. Was that possible? How did they serve them during the voyage?

Brian R Peterson

Hi George!

To the best of my knowledge the help were booked according to their necessity during the voyage. Those who handled day to day business affairs such as personal secretaries would most likely be booked in First Class in the same or adjoining cabin to their employer, while maids, cooks servants, chauffeurs and the like who were not needed aboard the ship would be booked in Second Class and all were treated equally as passengers with the same privileges as their employers.

Best Regards,

Jul 20, 2000

Can I correct part of your answer? All of the maids and valets [they would have been needed on a daily basis by their employers] were in 1st Class with their employers; as were the several nurses, governesses and secretaries. Some were near their employers others were not. Lady Duff-Gordon was on A-deck, Miss Francatelli was on E-deck. Mrs Douglas' maid seems to have been a room near to her, sharing with Mrs Carters' maid. - The Carter's were on B-deck, the Douglasses were on C-deck. Neither Harrison or Payne were particularly close to their employers. That is unless Payne was in B-73 and Mrs Hays' maid in B-24 [?].

The Allison's cook and most chauffeurs were in 2nd Class.

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
It seems (from the Cave list) that it was not uncommon for a lady travelling in First Class to share a cabin with her personal maid. But for most it wasn't the 'done thing' to sit down at table with a servant, so the maids and valets berthed in First Class cabins were provided with their own dining room on C deck, where the menu was probably more akin to Second Class. Lester, am I right in thinking that the servants travelled at a reduced rate, which implies they were denied access to other First Class facilities like the gymnasium and Turkish bath?
Jul 20, 2000
Hi Bob,

Yes, the Servant's rate was 15 pounds 10/-. The minimum for a 1st Class Passenger was 26 pounds; which could be reduced to 23 pounds if no meals were taken in the main Dining Room. While a few servants shared with their employers or the children of I believe that the lack of room numbers for most of the servants is not to be read as "shared with their employers".
For the Oceanic it is specifically stated in a Fare Rate booklet: "Servants berthed in rooms set apart for them".
To a degree the idea of sharing falls over when you look at the rooms occupied and the fact that there were in many cases a husband and wife. - With maid sharing I doubt it. - So why consider such an idea for single ladies?

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