Sunday, January 01, 2012

Counting the cost of Christmas

Well, the festivities are all over for another year. Now all we have to worry about is those pesky credit card bills. In case you're feeling guilty about overspending, it might make you feel better, (or worse!), to know that you could well have shelled out more than it would have taken to keep a modest home in London running two hundred years ago.

According to Venetia Murray's book, High Society, when Mary Berry became engaged to General O'Hare she prepared the following estimate of their future expenses for her fiance.

£123 for one pair of horses inclusive of coachman's wages for 8 months of the year
£25 Annual repairs to carriage
£40 Two men servants
£55 An upper man servant
£58 4 women servants, a housekeeper, a cook, housemaid and lady's maid
£80 Liveries for men servants and coachman
£200 House rent and taxes
£50 Coals
£25 Candles
£25 Beer
£100 Wine
£480 Housekeeping
£800 To you
£200 To me

That equates to roughtly $4,000, so if you spent that much this year, just think, in Regency days that would have kept you in style for up to a year! A sobering thought.

Happy new year everyone.


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