Victorian Diaries

Inspired by our visit to Blenheim Palace, the Year 5’s have been busy writing dairies of Victorian servants.

Tuesday 24th June 1884


Dear Diary,

5am- woken suddenly by a loud bell this morning, my day started badly, I was warm and cosy I am so tired, I didn’t get to sleep until 1am following the upstairs dinner party, I was left to clear up all the over food and dirty dishes on my own but I did manage to sneak some food up into my room.

However, my first job of the day was to build the enormous fire in the kitchen. I had to drag the bucket after bucket of heavy dirty coal from outside, its freeing, wet and I’m fed up already.

Next I was expected to pump gallons of water to fill the kettles, posts and pans. My arm felt like it was about to drop off!

I’d barely finished one job before more orders were yelled at me. I don’t know how many pairs of hands I have! l can still hear all their voices ringing in my head it was so irritating I wanted to shout back at them.

At least we got to have a bowl of Mrs Smith delicious porridge before my next list of jobs started.



Tuesday 24th June 1884

Dear diary

I am exhausted! It was such a tiring day but also amazing. As usual, I woke up to the sound of horses stamping and whinnying. I felt like going back to bed but reluctantly I got up. I heard the servants stirring as I pulled on my leggings, jersey and boots.

I traipsed down to the stable yard dragging my feet along the ground. Slowly, I looked down the list which listed my duties for the day. As I read down my boss and the 3 other stable lads strode into the yard. The boys budged me out the way to get to the board. The head stable hand shoved me over whilst he was trying to get to the board and guess what the others did laugh [!]. Sometimes I really hate my job.

Sighing, I walked over to where they kept my first horse to groom. As I was walking the boss called me over. Beside him the head lad was standing with his arms folded and a murderous expression on his face. The boss, clearly unfazed by the head lads’ antics, started talking. He complimented my keenness for perfection. He then said congratulations you are now head lad! He told me to follow the old head lads’ instructions and he would swap the duties over for tomorrow but I wasn’t paying attention to a word of what he was saying because in my head I was going yey, yey, yey, yey! I was so excited and happy.

My first new duty was [guess what?] groom the dukes horse and tack him up![that is a very honoured job along with the other things to do with her ladies and the dukes horses and stables.] I rushed off to this job with blood pumping through my veins. The Dukes horse is called Storm. He is bay with white socks and a star on his forehead. I groomed Storm so he was sparkling and then tacked him up with his expensive and gleaming tack. Finally I lead him out and held him as the duke mounted and rode off.

I spent the rest of the morning grooming and tacking up horses. Then the afternoon was spent mucking out boxes and brushing the yard. It was such a fun and exciting day. I am as tired as a turtle but looking forward to tomorrow

Yours Jack


Dear Diary,

Today I had to make the most enormous meal I have ever made. The Dukes friends came over and because I was cook, I had to cook dinner. I feel equally sorry for the other servants who have to set up the big table I had to cook seven chickens, five hundred carrots and 50,000 peas. There were lots and lots of assistance to prepare all that food.

Though I’m happy because one of the Dukes friends said well done to me. It was the best meal I had ever made and the duke gave me a better dinner. Happily I ate my best food I have ever had since ages and it was so yummy with sausage rolls and carrots.

For Lunch I had a bread and butter sandwich with water. Therefore I was hungry so I tried extra hard with my work for dinner. Also today I got to see the Duke when I handed out the food.

I’m also first aid trained and today a little girl called Martha was very ill and I had to take care of her. She was alright and today I earned a lot of money. I hope tomorrow would be as good as today.


Tuesday 24th June 1884

Dear diary.

Woken suddenly by a loud bell this morning , my day started badly. I was warm and cosy . I am so tired . I didn’t eat or sleep until 1am following the  upstairs dinner party.  I was left to clear up all the leftovers food and dirty dishes on my own. I did manage to sneak some food up into my room however my first job of the day was to boil the enormous fire in the kitchen. I had to drag bucket after bucket of heavy dirty coal from outside its freezing , wet and I’m fed up already. Next I was expected to pump gallons of water to till the kettles pots and pans, my arm felt like it was about to drop off I’d barely finished one job before more orders were yelled at me . I don’t know how many pairs of hands they think I have , I can hear all their voices in my head it was so irritant I wanted to shout back at least we got to have a big bowl of Mrs Smith’s   delicious porridge before my next list of job’s started.


Dear diary,

Today was a terrible day for me. It all started when I was walking along the corridor (the one I hate) the stags eyes always seem like they’re eyes are following you. I was walking towards the duchess’s room balancing a letter from Queen Victoria.

I eventually got to the end of what seemed like an everlasting 5 minutes and reached the duchess’s room. She could hear me and said “come in” she replied as soon as I stepped in to her room I heard a loud cry from the other side of the palace followed by the sound of the duke’s bell. I quickly walked out of the room after laying down the dish for the duchess see. (I walked because butlers aren’t allowed to run).

When I eventually got to the duke’s room I found all the other servants there to. This was definitely a serious matter! What had happened? I was terrified!

“Alright everyone somebody has stolen my wallet! Whoever it is own up now or the punishment will be worse than what I’m going to give you now” everyone was shaking although I felt I stood out the most. He asked me where I was before the bell rang. I replied the honest answer then he carried on to ask everyone else there. He came to the last person there the head maid she was the only one trembling now. He could tell it was her so he boomed in a furious voice that trembled the whole building and said… “Hand it over now!” reluctantly she handed over the wallet. “You’ll never work again!” the duke cried. The head maid ran out of the door back home crying.

Whenever I think of her I’m always thankful for my job. Surprisingly I had forgotten the next day.

Head Butler


Tuesday 24th June 1884 

 Dear diary,

Today I had been in the kitchen getting her lady’s food (she’s really strict.) I was walking though the freaky hallway with the really scary animal heads (they follow you they really do.) After lunch when I was taking her lady’s food back to the kitchen, I had to ask someone to come down the freaky corridor with me but he didn’t listen “Go down that corridor now!” he shouted I didn’t reply.

The doorman walked along the corridor to get to a room so I ran as quickly as a cheetah down so I wasn’t scared on my own. While I was in the kitchen I saw the scullery maid washing her lady’s clothes, suddenly I saw something… it couldn’t be… it was…her lady’s necklace it was in her pink long dress.

“Why have you got her lady’s necklace?” I asked the scullery maid

“I haven’t. Wait, what are you talking about?”

“You know what I’m talking about, you took it!” I was arguing for hours. The scullery maid went and told her lady’s main maid and she had a go at me when I didn’t do anything. I almost got fired from my job but the scullery maid got told something but I don’t know what it is because I was sent out of the room. I was so lucky that time.

I hope tomorrow is much better. I don’t get told off. Oh yes I almost forgot I had to dress her lady in the most amazing gown. It was as pretty as a butterfly’s wings. I hope someday I will be able to try on an amazing gown.

Goodbye for now I will write tomorrow

From Melissa.


Dear diary,

Today hasn’t been great at all (like it normally is).Sometimes I just hate being a stinking maid.

Hubert, the butler, is the only reason why I want to stay here, you see I have a crush on him (a huge crush). Even though he has to be serious I know he is very sweet inside.

Walking in the summer breeze is always a treat to me before I have to go to the chapel at six-thirty every tiring morning to do our religious prayers and hymns. Unfortunately I remembered that there were spooky dead bodies underneath me that made me shiver and feel awkward.

Before that was a nightmare: I had to get all the Dukes family dressed up. (The women are so fat and it’s hard to put their corsets on.)Wriggly and naughty are the only way to describe the dreadfully spoilt children , I just hate the job of dressing them. Serving  the breakfast to the family is quite a lovely job but my best friend(Celia) got to do it today.

As neat as a Chinese patterned tile was the way I set the great dining room up for lunch (the Chinese patterned tile was a gift for the Duke on Christmas from China).

Perfectly, Hubert served everyone charmingly as always. ( I spied on him in my secret passage in the palace.) Such a great butler! Anyway lunch went down the family in five short minutes. (They love food.)

Annoyingly, my master found me out of one of the exits from the secret passage. She made loads of dumb complaints just to tell me off because she hates me.

Sadly I stayed in my miserable room while the Dukes family were out in the sun having fun. Enviously so were all the maids and servants. How I longed to be out there with Hubert.

Now you see how harsh my day was and it will probably (definitely0 be like that for the rest of my dull life.


Rebecca Pips


Dear diary

Today was terrible. My job was to set the table and I did it wrong. I ‘m only an apprentice butler but I still got the cane. But that wasn’t the worst. Someone stole something of the duke’s. Every apprentice butler and every other servant was called into the grimy kitchen.

I was worried that everyone’d blame me. Then the head butler strode in and asked if we had seen anything suspicious. Everyone said no but some people were shaking with fear; I knew it was one of them.

Martha blamed me but the Head Butler knew it could not be me because I was setting the tables and the Duke’s bedroom is on the East stairs. However, Martha was on the East stairs.

She got suspended but it was her fault! My next job was to clean the chamber pots. As I walked down Stag corridor my best friend, George, jumped out at me and made me spill all the … (well, I don’t need to put in what is was but it was smelly!)  on her ladyship’s gown! Luckily she saw how it had happened. Crawling to my feet, I sincerely apologised but I still got the cane… again! And this is my last night at Blenheim Palace.

By Harvey Dean


Dear diary,

I can’t believe what happened today at lunch. Well what happened is I was eating my yummy lunch [which was half a slice of bread], then my master needed me to dress his beloved Queen Victoria! [Some people think it is a bad job but not me because it is my job].

Then I had to go down to the servants’ room. I walked down the beautiful stairs little Victoria walked by. Little Victoria normally as cute as a flower, was now looking scared as she walked down stag head corridor.

Awkwardly waiting in the servants’ room, I was wanted. Little Victoria needed dressing into her night clothes. I walked into her room.  I saw her spotty nightgown. Then I dressed her and tucked her into bed. Once I was done with everything it was 10 o’clock so I grabbed my candle and went to my room and wrote my diary.

Will tomorrow be better?

From Martha I will write tomorrow


Dear diary,

Today I was as busy as a bumble bee, rushing around the palace! At 6:00am I heard her lady’s bell ring, I wasn’t up yet, so quickly I sprung out of bed.

As I reached for the shiny door handle I made sure I was ready, then grabbed my candle and ran as quickly/quietly as I could. I faintly remember meeting Susan in a hurry to her duty as well. Slowly and shakily I reached for the door of her ladies royal bedroom. I was already 20minuets late! Was she going to be angry? Only one way to find out.

I knocked on the door and said “my lady are you there?”

“Oh do come in. Have you finally decided to come?” she said. My tummy gurgled.

“Chop! Chop! Tighten my corset, don’t keep me waiting!”

I did what I was told and tightened her corset. Next I tied on the bussel I might as well have seeing as I was there. Not stopping, I lowered the beautiful blue skirt before her. Finally I walked over to the oak wardrobe and drew the top half of the gown out of the wardrobe. I walked back over to her lady and opened up the sleeves for her to elegantly place in her arms.

I am too tired to remember anything else. See you tomorrow.

Martha xx



Dear diary

5- Am woken suddenly by a loud bell this morning, I was annoyed because I’m so tired, tired as I’ve ever been –  I’m like a zombie at this minute. My day started badly, I didn’t get to sleep until 1 Pm following upstairs dinner party,

I was left to clear all of the dishes on my own, I was starting to frustrated and left the room like that I left all of the dishes not cleaned up. I will probably get told off. But I don’t care because the way I’ve been treating is not right and I’m not happy about it.

Next I eventually couldn’t be bothered to clean the dishes then I realised the butler was there and I thought that I shouldn’t have left to clean the dishes what have I done I’m going to be in trouble now. I should probably go in there now and explain what I’ve done. So I went in there and told him should I help him clean all of those dishes look at this mess. Now I’m thinking I should tell him the truth.

Suddenly I saw some delicious food but I can’t take it otherwise the butler will tell me of and punish me for good but remember I have to tell him truth now. So I told him and he punished me badly and started to cry and I stomped down stairs to my bedroom and when I went in there people kept on shouting and screaming. I feel like I’m going to burst and go red and metal if they keep shouting I’m going to shout at them to stop.

I heard something and everyone just stopped like it was sounding like it was getting closer and closer. And the door just started opening. The butler was there… Then he told me not to do it again otherwise he would kick me out. So those chocolate cookies I’m not going to take.

Next I helped the butler clean the kitchen up. It looked a real mess so I cleaned it up and it took forever to clean. Now I think he has forgotten what happened as he then asked me to hand the food out to the now I think i feel fine now so I gave the food on a little bowl.

All of the people were so excited that they got yummy food.

Next I sneaked into bed and I was sleeping in bed and writing my diary or trying to finish it. I felt a bit funny because every body’s having fun and I’m just having a nap. When I woke up I went out of my room and told the butler what can I do he said to me that I should just go to my room because probably I missed the amazing party, (not).

But the problem was that I’ve just been I’m my room asleep doing my diary because I’m tired. So there’s no reason to hate just because I missed the party doesn’t mean anything. Next I realised that I thought I – should have something to eat because I’m hungry. –although nobody but the butler was there so why not, there’s food on the table. Then I took some food of the table and gobbled all of the food up less than 8 seconds.

So I’m thinking that I should just go to sleep till morning it’s getting late now it’s about 12:30.

By Oakley Snowdon

Tuesday 24th June 1884  

Dear diary,

Today has been a horrible day. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t a stupid maid.

Fiona (my best friend) is the reason I am still here! She is always there for me and I thank her for that. Firstly I was woken up by a loud crash at 4:00 am. I was so cross.

I could not get back to sleep so I tiptoed silently down stairs to see what it was. Unluckily the Dukes daughter woke up and asked me what I was up to.

I can’t explain how scared I was. She was very angry that I woke her up! She was so angry that she woke the duke up to tell me off. I was terrified!

After that nobody stood up for me except Fiona. (Thank you so much Fiona) I ran along the corridors to the kitchen in which I to set up the table.

After I had my lunch (which was cold ham and bread) I had to dress her lady.(it was very tiring!) First I put on her corset, then the bussle. Next I put on carefully the skirt and the top. Finally it was time for the dress – (it was to die for!)

It had greens and blues and purples. (it was the most amazing thing in my life I had never seen anything like it before!)


By Phoebe Vernon-Smith


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