Monday 6 June 2011

Behind every great man...

stands a great woman - or so the saying goes.

Red Lion Mary was a popular servant at 17 Red Lion Square
where William Morris and Burne-Jones lived from 1856 to 1859.
She was later depicted at Red House, but standing, 
as befitted her station, on the other side of the garden fence.
Morris was a man of prodigious energy 
and died as his doctor wryly observed of, 
'simply being William Morris and having done more work 
than most ten men.'
Thank goodness then that I see from the 1861 census 
that he had a little extra help:
Thomas Reynolds - groom
Jane Chapman - housemaid
Charlotte Cooper - cook
Elzabeth Reynolds - private nurse
and by 1871 when he had moved to Queen's Square in London
he had three servants:
Eliza Searle
Agnes Turner
Marie Hughes

I just thought they deserved a mention.


  1. Hello Lucille:
    Ah, but this is so often the case. Things not quite as they might at first appear!

    But in that respect the household was, possibly, no more than might be expected of someone of Morris' social standing.

  2. Indeed. And with his Socialist principles the staff were probably well treated. His wife was after all, an ostler's daughter, destined for work as a servant herself, before she met W.M.

  3. That was a useful and beautiful piece of justice. I knew Blogtopia would one day right a wrong.