This last week the Queen of England celebrated 60 years on the throne with a Diamond Jubilee. She has now served longer than any other monarch since Queen Victoria, who reined for 63 years. Many residents of Morgan have English ancestry.
In celebration of this event, FindMyPast.com released the Royal Household Staff Lists. In their communication they said:
Have you ever wondered who works in a Royal Household, or whether you might have a connection to someone who served the Royal Family? In celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, family history website findmypast.co.uk, in association with the Royal Archives, has today launched the Royal Household Staff Lists, a detailed collection made available online for the first time.
Previously only accessible at Windsor Castle by appointment, these rarely viewed records cover royal residences across the UK including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and St. James’ Palace, and include 50,000 staff records from the reign of King Charles II to King George V between 1660 and 1924. With details such as name, occupation, age, length of service and salary, the records paint a vivid picture of life in a Royal court, revealing what it takes to run a Royal Household and the wide range of duties involved in serving the British Monarchy.
Debra Chatfield, family historian at findmypast.co.uk, commented: “To be able to view these records online for the first time is incredibly exciting - not only for people worldwide with an interest in the British Monarchy, but also for anyone wanting to confirm family rumors about connections to those who worked for the Royal Household! With such a broad range of trades and occupations spanning four centuries of Royal Household history, almost anyone could find they’re connected to those who served the Crown!”
A reigning monarch typically had 1000 staff in the Royal Household. The biggest department was the Lord Chamberlain’s Department, which had on average 700 staff and was responsible for the ceremonial and social life of the Court. Traditionally, employees in this department included the ‘above stairs’ servants such as pages, craftsmen, chaplains, physicians, musicians, watermen and Yeomen of the Guard. There are also a number of most unusual occupations listed among the Royal Household staff:
Extraordinary Job Titles in the Royal Household:
Chocolate Maker to the Queen
Yeoman of the Mouth to Her Majesty Queen Mary in the Pantry
Necessary Woman to the Corridor and Entrance Hall
Keeper of the Lions in the Tower
Master of the Game of Cock Fighting
Groom of the Removing Wardrobe
Groom of the Stole
Srewer of Herbs
Laundress of the Body Linen
The records reveal charming details of life in the Royal Household. Queen Anne, for example, had such a penchant for barley cream and posset, according to records from 1702, that she engaged two women of the Bedchamber to make them and other ‘spoon meats’ for £60 per annum. Examples like this provide a fascinating snapshot into royal tastes centuries ago.
Inside the Royal Kitchen in the run up to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, it is also interesting to compare how the Royal Household prepared for previous Jubilee celebrations, including that of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee 115 years ago.
According to the records, Gabriel Tschumi was Master Chef to three monarchs: Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V, having joined the Royal Household as a cook’s apprentice at the age of 16. For Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee banquet in 1897, 24 additional chefs were brought over from Paris to help with the cooking. What’s more, the younger apprentices in the kitchens attempted to grow their moustaches to resemble those of their French superiors!
The Royal Family and their guests, including several crowned heads of Europe, dined on a banquet of Normandy sole, lamb chops, roast beef, quail and tongue, with pineapple fritters and meringue for dessert.
Debra Chatfield concluded: “People across the globe continue to be fascinated by the British Royal Family, as well as the relationship between ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ life. In the year of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, this is the perfect opportunity to explore your family history and discover whether you have an ancestor who worked for the Royal Household.”
This is a fun record set to browse even if your family did not serve in the Royal Household. Who knows, it may have been your ancestor who was the Royal Chocolatier.