Rural History 2015

Panel 9

Organizers: Whittle, Jane

Affiliation: University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Rural servants: comparisons and contrasts

Despite the recognition of similar institutions of live-in service across rural western Europe from the fifteenth century onwards, a comparative history of rural servants has never been written. This session brings together leading researchers and new scholars from different regions of Europe to lay the foundations of such a comparison, aiming to provoke further discussion and build research links, with the intention of creating an edited volume on the subject. Issues for discussion include the number of servants employed in rural households, their gender balance and age profile, types of work performed by servants, variations in servants employment according to the type of rural economy and over time, wage rates and contracts including length of employment and method of hiring, servants’ relationship to their employers and their place within the household, and the benefits and drawbacks of service as a form of employment for servants and employers.


Papers (part I)

Chair: Raffaella Sarti, University of Urbino, Italy

Paper 1: The employment of servants in 15th and 16th century coastal Flanders: the case-study of Scueringhe near Bruges

Lies Vervaet, University of Ghent, Belgium

Paper 2: The institution of farm service in sixteenth-century Flanders

Thijs Lambrecht, University of Ghent, Belgium

Paper 3: Employment patterns of rural servants in England c.1520-1660

Jane Whittle, University of Exeter, UK

Paper 4: Life-cycle servant and servant for life: work and prospects in rural Sweden c. 1670-1730

Cristina Prytz, University of Uppsala, Sweden

Paper 5: Servants and domestic service in rural Spain: a regional perspective (XVIII-XIX centuries)

Francisco García González and Fátima Simón, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain


Papers (part II)

Chair: Jane Whittle, University of Exeter, UK

Paper 6: A comparison between rural servants in Denmark and Norway, ca. 1750-1850

Hanne Østhus, Sogn og Fjordane University College, Norway

Paper 7: Changes in the servant institution during the Swedish agrarian revolution – the political economy of subservience [+]

Carolina Uppenberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Paper 8: Farm Service and Hiring Practices in Mid-Nineteenth Century England: A Regional Perspective of the West Riding of Yorkshire

Sarah Holland, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Paper 9: Dutch live-in farm hands and maids in the long 19th century: the decline and near disappearance of the life cycle servant system for the rural lower class [+]

Richard Paping, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Paper 10: Life-cycle service: established interpretations and new (surprising) data (Europe and Italy, 18th-20th c.)

Raffaella Sarti, University of Urbino, Italy


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015