Newsletter Steven Ferry

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

Steven FerryThe Wisdom of Butlers Past

by Steven Ferry

Part 25: Food & Beverage

The next section of the book deals with F&B—Food and Beverage—starting with the need for a Butler’s Pantry to store crystal, glass, and china. The main issue being that dirty tasks, such as beating dust out of clothes or polishing shoes, should not be done in the pantry but elsewhere (a mud room or wet pantry, for example).

The butler was expected to wash the china in boiling water in one wooden bowl and the glasses in hot water in another, and to use separate cloths to dry them.


Because there might be grease on the china that would transfer to the glasses…which begs the question: Were they not using soap or detergent? There is no mention of it.

There seems to have been a problem with any items with handles—tea pots, cups, glass jugs—as they were easily snapped off from the body.

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

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