DEVON-L ArchivesArchiver > DEVON > 2007-06 > 1180685896
Subject: [DEV] Bastards
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2007 04:18:16 EDT
I suspect that a lot of young girls in the service were "taken advantage
of" by their male employers or employer's sons. I understand that these girls
went to work as servants at age 13. Is that correct?
Dennis Locke, Canada.
Well, at the risk of being told I am talking more old wives' tales...!
My great-grandmother (on my mother's mother's side) was in service on a
large Hay on Wye farm from a young age. By 1887 she was pregnant by the son of
the household. To refuse his advances would have meant the loss of her
position, and to be found to be pregnant would have meant the loss of her
The family obviously wanted to hush up the incident to protect their "good
family name".... and so they paid their farm bailliff, a widower, 22 years my
g-grandmother's senior, and with 5 children, to take her away to Gloucester
and marry her and keep her out of the way. The marriage was a successful one,
they had 4 daughters and a son (amongst them, my grandmother, and my
great-uncle became a magistrate and Mayor of Swansea) but owing to the large age
difference my g-grandmother spent many years as a widow. My g-grandfather died
in 1916 and my g-grandmother in 1948.