The Estimated Salaries of Downton's Downstairs
We've grown quite fond of the staff that keeps Downton Abbey running, so we got to thinking: How much would they have made?
Thankfully, as the British of the time had a proper way of doing everything, we need only look at the proper British household bible: Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, ladies running a household turned to Mrs. Beeton for tips on all aspects of running a household — including servant salaries. When writing Downton Abbey, the writers even used this book for the Abbey's elaborate menus!
Mrs. Beeton’s was first published in 1861, but fortunately for our Downton staff, an updated version was released in 1907 — just a few years before Season 1 starts! — that's kinder to the help's pocketbooks. We took those numbers, crunched them through an inflation calculator, then converted them to USD. Keep in mind that these annual salaries include room and board, but… those were some different times.