Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1, Treasury Officials 1660-1870. Originally published by University of London, London, 1972.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Housekeeper (Necessary Woman) c. 1712-1851
The office of Housekeeper, which was invariably held by a woman, had its origin in the position of Cleaner which is first mentioned in 1712. It appears in the establishment list of 1715 under the designation Sweeper. (fn. 1) The right of appointment probably rested originally with the Office Keeper. In 1728 the Board was concerning itself with the succession to the office which was then known as that of Necessary Woman. (fn. 2) Although the term Housekeeper was in general use in the latter part of the eighteenth century to describe holders of the office it was not until 1805 that it was employed in the minutes. (fn. 3) The office was united to that of Office Keeper in 1852. (fn. 4)
The salary attached to the office in 1712 was £12 payable by the Office Keeper. (fn. 5) In 1786 the Housekeeper had the use of apartments in the Treasury and an income from various sources of £131 8s out of which she paid two servants and other expenses. (fn. 6) In 1793 a salary of £130 clear of all deductions was substituted. This was reduced to £100 in 1799. (fn. 7) It was fixed at £130 in 1805, at £180 in 1810 and at £100 in 1835. (fn. 8)