This article was researched and written by students on work experience placements.
After breakfast with the children, the first job of the lady of the house would be to talk to the housekeeper. It would be important for them to communicate about the other servants, making sure they were doing their jobs properly and behaving correctly above and below stairs.
They would also discuss the evening meal. If visitors were expected, the lady would choose meals that were lavish and unusual. (They loved showing off.) When these matters were dealt with the wife would then check through the household accounts. Bills for meat, candles and flour would usually be paid weekly. When the early morning activities were finished, the social whirl would begin! High society ladies would either receive calls or visit others. Tea would be drunk and snacks eaten.
A very agreeable pastime for a young Regency lady (especially a Brunswick town resident) was to show off their latest fans and fashions along the sea front. To stroll along the promenade at Brighton was a popular way to spend a few hours.
In Brunswick Square the lady of the house would have aspired to be the best dressed in town. Different outfits would be laid out by the maid for each section of the day. Politically, the French Revolution was a major talking point, thus introducing popular French fashions. At this time Napoleon had declared himself ruler of the Empire, and we see the emergence of the 'Empire Line' dress. This style raised the waist-line to sit under the breast.
This design pushed away from the need of the uncomfortable boned corsets. However if corsets were to be worn, the lady would be helped to dress by a maid. The maid would pull the strings tight at the back of the garment until the lady was laced in. On top of this would be placed a range of petticoats, then finally a 'Morning Dress'.
A Regency woman would change her clothes up to 6 times a day and would have had a number of different outfits for every conceivable occasion.