The Dirty Duke

I found this story in E.S. Turner’s What the Butler Saw. This, in particular, references the shift from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century in which the divide between masters and servants grew greater. Where once a master would go out drinking with his valet and footmen, now he would not lower himself to do so.

“Drunkenness still raged above and below stairs, but politer days were not far distant. By the time the last Hanoverian monarch had left the throne the gentlemen of England rarely required to be dragged from under the table by their servants and put to bed. Some of the old guard were incorrigible. The eleventh Duke of Norfolk, ‘the dirty duke,’ also known as ‘the Jockey,’ regularly drank himself insensible, which gave his servants their only chance to wash him, for he could not face soap and water when sober.

“But masters also looked after their drunken servants. Sir Walter Scott, finding his men incapable at the roadside, would solicitously drag them into the shade where they could sleep it off” (96).

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3 Responses to The Dirty Duke

  1. Becky Black says:

    “His Grace is getting pretty stinky again. Give him more wine and start heating some water.”


  2. Pingback: BizarreVictoria: Celebrating 3 Years | BizarreVictoria

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