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Old 11-05-2019, 04:57 AM   #11
The Colonel
 
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Tasks for a manservant

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
That pun was lost on me until you brought that up. Most stories about Alfred's origins were that he got his start as a butler serving officers in WWI, so he was actually a batman.
I believe the same applies to Lara Croft's butler type person - who was her father's batman IIRC. Possibly in one of the regiments of foot-guards.

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
Despite the many things a manservant doesn't do, they do do them in odd circumstances. They may very well be expected to launder sheets or cook meals or drive their gentleman if staff is not available, for instance if they are travelling overseas. In odd circumstances a manservant tends to specific needs for his master, for instance a batman would personally maintain his officer's arms and in some cases oversee the maintenance of his airplane.
In a lot of cases, a valet would not so much do these things as ensure that someone does them - he would not actually carry water or do laundry, but would track down the bhisti and dhobi wallah, set them to work and pay them.

Actually, that's another job for a valet or butler - paying the bills. Settling your master's accounts with the various tradesmen on his behalf.

Other random manservant roles from history:
Body slave - like a valet, but owned (think, for example, Caesar's body slave Posca in HBO's Rome - the other main examples are women).
Squire - apprentice as well as servant, and of the same social class as his master.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:24 PM   #12
Black Leviathan
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Default Re: Tasks for a manservant

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
In a lot of cases, a valet would not so much do these things as ensure that someone does them
Ideally a valet would have household staff to delegate to so that he can be present and attentive to his master's needs but in any given household arrangement there won't be staff to handle a task or it won't be practical to hire someone to deal with a problem or it will just require the personal attention of someone the gentleman trusts implicitly. In those instances the Valet is the man with the plan.
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