Family History Novels

extract from Eliza Julia Pugh 1870-1943

Wednesbury 1881-1890: The Life of a Maid
t was Eliza’s first day as a maid servant. She was just eleven years old and she was very nervous. She had done well to start in the service of two elderly ladies, and in a household that had two other servants- the cook and the gardener. They were obviously well-to-do to be able to afford to have three servants, and her mother was very proud of her. Her older sister, Elizabeth, had prepared her for what she was expected to do - her main responsibilities would be to run errands, clean the house, scrub the floors, and prepare the tables for meals. She would be expected to start work early in the morning and finish, most nights, quite late.
It was quite a long way from where she lived in School Street, King’s Hill - down the hill, across the fields passing the Ironworks, up the steep hill to the churches, through St Bart’s churchyard and along the alleyway that was Squire’s Walk. The snow was deep in the fields, the paths were slippery and the snow had collected in the alleyway through to the house, so it took her much longer than she had planned. The two elderly ladies both greeted her at the door on that snowy January morning, “Good morning, my dear, come on in out of the cold”. Eliza stepped through the door. This was the first and last time she would ever use the front door. “This is ‘Cook’, and she will look after you, won’t you”, they said addressing ‘Cook’. “Yes ma’am”, responded ‘Cook’. Eliza was immediately in awe of this large red-faced woman. In all the time Eliza was there, she never actually found out ‘Cook’s real name - she didn’t actually think she had one! “When you have instructed little Eliza and dressed her suitably then we would like to see her, so bring her up to the drawing room”. “Yes ma’am”, responded Cook again, curtsying, and lead Eliza firmly by her arm down to the kitchen.............

Wednesbury Churches : as seen from Darlaston across the smoke and glows of the many Steel Foundries.

To find out more about Eliza and other members of the Family please contact me.

Novels: Set in: Period: Status:

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