The Victorian Servant

The Cook

In 1881, the cook at Shibden was Mary Greaves who was 44. She was born at Wetherby in Yorkshire.


As with many other roles, the duties of the cook varied enormously depending on the size of the household and the number of assistants that she had to help her in her tasks. In very large and grand households, a chef would be employed to prepare the food who would have many assistants to help. Shibden, however, was a relatively small establishment and so the cook would have many different jobs to do.


Not only did the cook have to prepare all the food but it was her duty to keep the kitchen in order, including scrubbing floors and pots and pans. She may also have had to help the Housemaid in her duties, such as laying the fires and keeping the house clean and tidy.

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