THEY were members of the 4,000-strong hidden army that kept one of England’s most historic estates running for 250 years.
“From the 18th Century onwards, domestic service became more professionalised. Rich and fashionable homeowners began to search out employees with specialised skills, and in relation to this, foreign born servants became particularly sought after,” Fiona Clapperton said.
“German governesses were in demand because they could teach their pupils a modern foreign language and because they were considered to be good disciplinarians. Yet, Fraulein von Bloem, who was employed to teach the children of the 9th Duke of Devonshire, turned out to be a very poor governess indeed. The Duchess found her to be especially difficult to get on with.”