Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sinecures et al

A sinecure is a job that provides income without requiring much if any work, and they were a common source of income for the upper classes in the past. Usually, someone else was hired to do any necessary work at a much lower income.

There were also court appointments which did require some work, at the least attendance, but still paid very well as well as giving access to royalty with all the benefits that can bring. I came across this list of the household of Princess Augusta in the mid 18th century.

Princess Augusta was King George III's mother, so her household is grand. Why is she not queen? Because her husband, the Prince of Wales, died before becoming king.

Among the grand, we have:

Groom of Stole and Mistress of Robes

Hamilton had £500 as Groom of Stole and £400 as Mistress of Robes and possibly also £400 as Lady of Bedchamber. Middlesex was apparently only Mistress of Robes.

Hamilton, Lady Jane WS 12 July 1736 (Add. MS 24397 f. 90v). Res. offices of Groom of Stole and Mistress of Robes by 6 June 1745 when granted pension of £1200

Middlesex, Grace Countess of WS as Mistress of Robes 24 June 1747

900 pounds a year was a lot of money back then.


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