It’s always interesting to see how much other people are paid. Even more so if its one of your ancestors from over a hundred years ago! Many of our collections have records that shed light on how wealthy or destitute our ancestors really were.

The Herbrand-Russell Special Collection contains many receipts and invoices as well as records of pay. Like the below image of the ‘Servants pay list’ from 1890.

‘Charles Harris’ was the horse groom for the wealthy ‘Lord Herbrand-Russell’ and was paid £2.5s1d (pounds, shillings and penny) each week. According to the list, his pay was handed to him in two separate lumps twice a week. 

This equates to £135 in today’s money. His two helpers received £123 per week and were also paid in two instalments each week.

On this kind of pay the servants certainly wouldn’t of been able to afford the kind of luxuries that Lord Herbrand-Russell treated himself to on a weekly basis. Luxuries that are now days considered essentials.

Servants Pay List.

DSC 1578 thumb Cost of Living in the 1890

A bill for three days worth of meat from the local butchers £1.6s 8d (£80 in today’s money).

DSC 1594 thumb Cost of Living in the 1890

Monthly grocery invoice for Lord Herbrand-Russell £14,2s 11d (£847 in today’s money).

DSC 1585 thumb Cost of Living in the 1890

Bill for a bottle of Sherry £0.5s (£15 in today’s money).

DSC 1593 thumb Cost of Living in the 1890

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