I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve had enough of the doom and gloom of COVID19.  I haven’t bought into ‘I’m going to die should I get this’! I believe it’s time that we channelled some of the ‘tough genes’ these women below did, certainly the fear of ‘viruses/bugs/plagues, never got in their way! 

In 1948 a young Roman Catholic nun from the Ottoman Empire decided to head over to India to help the poor.  She received some basic medical training and then she was off doing all she could for the sick and needy which in 1948 was far from straightforward.

This young nun went on to be known worldwide as Mother Teresa and only a few years later she formed a group within the Catholic Church known as the missionaries of charity. Her organisation went on from 13 members to over 4000 members and amongst her many achievements and lives changed she was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. 

Keeping in the spirit of Women in History Month I wanted to take you on a journey back through time to investigate the history of maids and celebrate two more inspirational women in History. Whenever I hear about the accomplishments of Mother Teresa I think about the truly miraculous positives human beings bring out into the world at their most giving and being able to spend some time to research some truly amazing women has shown me even more examples of that. The idea of being able to do something for someone else so that they can go out and do the same. Whilst I wouldn’t call us saints here at JHCS, we do like to think of ourselves as the ‘Queens of Clean’ the whole mission and vision behind what we do is to take the pressure off of you, ensuring that your health and wellbeing is in tip top shape, so you can focus on what’s important to you, beit focusing on your business, education OR just plain timeout, because we can’t do it all! 

Ok last one and then a speedy look at the history of maids. Our final contestant for historical women worth appreciating lived through two world wars and her role was a little different to most. Known to us as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and referred to as QM from here on in she became known as the “Smiling Duchess” due to her constant display of positivity and hope during World II when her husband King George VI was the King of England. The QM played a lucrative role during and after the war despite dealing with a number of personal challenges and losing her husband in 1952. She lived to be 102 and was a beloved figure throughout her life. As a member of the royal family, one thing is for she certainly would have been outsourcing her cleaning duties, but I guess maybe that’s fair enough when you’re touring war zones.

A Brief History of Cleaners

It may come as no surprise that historically house cleaners, housekeepers or maids……call us what you like, one thing’s for certain though if they do a good job you’ll want to call us back,  were almost exclusively employed by the very wealthy. (Thankfully we can all benefit now;) In fact early incarnations saw maids contributing to large networks of servants within wealthy and affluent households. Butlers would take care of the needs of male residents and maids for the female. The term maid actually was an abbreviation of maiden meaning “virgin” as the women in these roles were often expected to remain unmarried, in fact being unmarried was common amongst all staff.  Those were the days…not! 

Within these large households, there were various ranks that divided different responsibilities within the household. Unlike today where we get stuck in and tackle any challenge ahead of us, we also get to head back to our homes and a husband is allowed as well. Some of the various roles included:

The Parlourmaid: In charge of cleaning the main reception and living areas of a morning and serving refreshments or dinner as well and would usually be called by a bell. (Use your mobile if you need me thanks)

Nursery Maid: Reporting to the nanny the nursery maid worked in the children’s nursery keeping things in order.  A harder task today, back then children did as they were told LOL! 

The Lady’s maid: Generally one of the senior staff she’d be responsible for reporting directly to the lady of the house, taking care of her Mistresses hair, clothes and sometimes advisor.

Quite an interesting history to learn about and to see where we have gotten to in our current incarnation (and thankfully you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to get your house cleaned anymore).