How Would a Housekeeper in Victorian England Greet a Lady?

Housekeepers in Victorian England functioned as house managers who frequently addressed their employers.
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In Victorian England, people of every class were expected to act with decorum at all times. Proper titles were used to define status within the community as well as within the household. For servants, the hierarchy within the household, as well as the titles held by their employers, established clear social expectations. As the supervisor of the household, a housekeeper communicated often with her employer -- most often, the lady of the house.

1 How to Greet a Lady

Housekeepers, as well as other household staff, most often used the term "m'Lady", a diminutive for "my Lady." The greeting could also be extended to upper class female friends and guests. In formal settings and conversations, some would also use the full term "My Ladyship" or "Her Ladyship" for introductions. Though there were many titles held by upper class families, depending on social and political rank, servants most often used "my Lady" and "my Lord" to address their employers.

Based in the Pacific Northwest and educated at the University of Washington, Rosanne Tomyn has been writing historical, cultural and political articles since 2005. Tomyn was awarded the International Labor Communicators Award for Best Profile and Best Labor History Story in 2011.