This page gathers together various bits of information I have managed to acquire about wages in the 18th century. Wages did vary over time and place and so should be regarded only as approximate.
Annual Wages for Female Servants
|Head Woman (of female servants)||£20|
Annual Wages for Male Servants
|Assistant Head Coachman||£9-10|
*Footmen in the first half of the century might expect to make considerably more than their salary from tips or vails. By the end of the 1760's this practice had largely died out. In 1765 a footman's job was advertised for £17 but noting that the vails were small.
Changing wages throughout the century
The table represents notional annual wage for someone working full-time throughout the year. This was not necessarily the same as the actual wage, particularly for agricultural and general labourers whose employment depended on the time of year or available work.
|Labourers and other Menials|
|Messengers and Porters (exc. govt.)||£31||£34||£34||£34||£58|
|Police, Guards, Watchmen||£13||£26||£26||£48||£47|
|Skilled in Shipbuilding||£36||£37||£39||£45||£51|
|Skilled in Engineering||£41||£42||£44||£51||£58|
|Skilled in Building Trades||£29||£29||£31||£36||£41|
|Skilled in Textiles||£34||£34||£36||£42||£48|
|Skilled in Printing Trades||£43||£44||£46||£54||£67|
|Professionals, Clergymen and Teachers|
|Solicitors and Barristers||£113||£178||£231||£242||£165|
|Clerks (exc. govt.)||£44||£68||£64||£102||£135|
|Surgeons, Medical Officers||£52||£57||£62||£88||£175|
Teachers should perhaps have been included with the Menials. Teaching was not a high status profession in the 18th century.
Sourced from here (rounded to the nearest pound), citing Williamson 1982 The Structure of Pay in Britain, 1710- Research in Economic History, 7
Wages in 1825
The following annual wages would be paid at the household establishment of a Country Gentleman with an income of around 16,000 - 18,000 pounds per annum.
|A French Man-Cook||80|
|Groom - His Liveries and a Gratuity|
|Nursery - Room Boy , Clothes and a gratuity|
|Head Game - Keeper 70 Guineas a year, and 13s per Week for Board - Wages ; -a Cottage and Firing|
|Under Ditto, one Guinea per Week|
|Gardener 40 Guineas a year, and 13s per Week for Board - Wages ; a House and Firing|
|Assistant Ditto, 12s per Week|
When the family was not in residence, servants would receive a Board Wage of 10s. per week for women and 12s. per week for men.
Source: Samuel and Sarah Adams, The Complete Servant: Being A Practical Guide To The Peculiar Duties And Business Of All Descriptions Of Servants, 1825
|Ship's Boy||£2 10s|
|First Commissioner to the Admiralty||£3,000|
|First Lord of the Treasury||£4,000|
|Position||Weekly Wage||Yearly Retainer|
|Skilled Labour (turning,throwing)||7s - 9s||£1 10s - £2 2s|
|Less Skilled Labour (slipmaking,grinding)||-|
|Boy Labour||10d - 2s 8d||0d - 1s|
|Girl's Labour||1s - 2s||0d - 1s|
Wages paid by John Whieldon 1750-1760. The ranges varied over time - I have included the full lowest to highest across the period.