Newsletter Steven Ferry

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, January 2019, The Wisdom of Butlers Past

Steven FerryThe Wisdom of Butlers Past

by Steven Ferry

Part 20 – Packing Suitcases

For years, the Institute has been training butlers on how to pack a suitcase, and in some cases, we have created our own techniques in order to achieve a specific goal in packing.

These techniques have been at variance with the ways other trainers suggest one pack a suitcase, and our problem with their methods is that they do not achieve the goal that we have set.

Reading through The Footman’s Directory and Butler’s Remembrancer, we were pleased to discover the exact same goal 200 years ago as the one to which we have been holding fast:

“As some wardrobes will not admit of the coats at full length, and as they must often be packed up into a small compass* for traveling, you must learn to fold them so that they may not be creased and rumpled, as that makes the handsomest coat look shabby on a gentleman’s back….The waistcoats and small clothes are easily done; but observe, the less they are folded the better.”

* There is no definition for this word in the English language that means something like “suitcase” (I checked my giant Oxford English Dictionary), but that is presumably what is meant here.

Extracted from the 1823 book, The Footman’s Directory and Butler’s Remembrancer, re-published in hardback by Pryor Publications.

You may obtain your discounted copy (with free s&h) by emailing the publisher: Mr. Pryor (alan AT


The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.