Servants of the Lord

Servants of the Lord

Availability: In stock

David S D Jones present a unique look into the lives, roles and responsibilities of the outdoor staff of the great country houses during the golden age of Queen Victoria's reign to World War I – the hermit, the gardener, the chauffeur, the warrener, postilion, etc.

A must read for anyone interested in family and social history and country house/estate life in a bygone era.



David S D Jones presents a unique look into the lives, roles and responsibilities of the outdoor staff of the great country houses during the golden age of Queen Victoria’s reign to World War 1.

Through his meticulous research of estate records, biographical works, private diaries and from many other sources, a fascinating and comprehensive insight is given into the relatively unexplored subject of the outdoor staff, despite them being the backbone to the sustainability of the great estates. These roles have been neglected both by book and journal over the years as much as been written about indoor servants, but in this well researched and fascinating book untold stories of hermits; gardeners; warrener; postilions; gamekeepers and many more are documented.

Beautifully illustrated with many rare and unpublished period photographs, together with historic documents from the author’s private collection. A must read for anyone interested in family and social history and country house/estate life in a bygone era.



David S D Jones has been an archivist and historian for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation for over a decade. He is descended from a long line of outdoor servants employed on country estates throughout England and Wales and numbers amongst his ancestors and relatives gamekeepers; hunt servants; gardeners; grooms; woodmen; farm workers; land agents and more. He owns the Gamekeeping Photographic Archive and the David S D Jones Photographic Collection. He is the author of a number of books including the widely acclaimed books Sporting Lodges (978-1-84689-168-7) with J C Jeremy Hobson). 

Book Specifications

Additional Information

Sub Heading Outdoor Staff at the Great Country Houses
ISBN 9781846892479
Author David S D Jones
Binding Hardback
Extent 246 x 189m, 192 pages
Illustrations Colour throughout
Ebook No

'I, like many here in Britain, and for that matter, around the world, have a great interest (bordering on voyeuristic curiosity) for life in the Great Country Estates of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. Jones has extensively researched every facet of Estate outdoor life in those times and provides his readers with almost encyclopaedic detail of the type of people who filled these jobs, their extraordinarily difficult working conditions and their spartan living situations etched out on meagre wages. To support Jones’s in-depth, dare I say almost all-encompassing text, the book is full of fascinating black and white period photos – many never published before.' -– Gary Creighton, British Country Sports

‘According to author David S D Jones, the golden age of the great country estates ran from the late 18th Century until the outbreak of World War 1… a period that provides the author with rich tales and a treasure trove of photographs that obviously took meticulous effort to find and collate. Together the words and pictures convey the true essence of life on these estates, which appear to have been run as independent, self-sufficient kingdoms with their own economy, their own rules and a formidable army of workers. ... This book is patently the work of a true countryman, and all the better for it.’ -– Land & Business, CLA

'...fascinating and comprehensive. David has meticulously researched estate records, biographies, private diaries and other sources to provide previously untold stories of hermits, gardeners, warreners, postillions, gamekeepers and others.  Once again, David has produced a gem on the subject of rural history.' -- NGO

'The book is extremely well structured. The chapters cover the different departments of the country estate, which was, in effect, a self-contained unit. The sheer number of different occupations is striking, from grooms, gardeners, land agents and hunt servants to lodge keepers, carpenters and ploughmen, and everything in between. If you have outdoor servants in your family tree, this book will help you to understand their roles on the country estate and their place within the servant hierarchy. It’s a  welcome addition to the family history bookshelf.'  -- Who Do You Think You Are Magazine

'The unsung heroes of the British countryside are the rural workers. Author David S Jones' new book charts their efforts through the ages. Philip Bowern reports... Using estate records, biographies, private diaries and other sources, David Jones explores a world that has all but disappeared in the years since the end of the First World War. High taxation and demographic changes which saw better jobs created in the towns and cities, creating rural staff shortages, fundamentally changed the face of the rural workforce... As valuable history and fascinating entertainment it nicely fills a gap in the library shelf.' - Philip Bowern, Western Morning News  

'This is a magical book, one that details a world that is rarely shown in the media, yet one that was a vital part of the captivating world of the 'Big House'. This is a book which will find a very permanent home on my bookshelf and which will undoubtedly be dipped into on many occasions.' -- Louise Broderick, Horse and Pony Ireland

'If you're into history books and enjoy countryside pursuits and lifestyle, this book is definitely for you. David S D Jones will take you back in time to experience the lives and roles of the outdoor staff of the great country houses pre-Queen Victoria's reign, all the way to WW1... Thanks to David Jones' meticulous research, you can almost experience walking in the servant's shoes. You can read all about fascinating lives of hermits, warreners, gamekeepers and more.' - Shooting and Conservation Magazine

Look Inside 🔍

You may also be interested in the following product(s)