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The hall boy or hallboy[1] was a position held by a young male domestic worker on the staff of a great house, usually a young teenager. The name derives from the fact that the hall boy usually slept in the servants' hall.[2]

Like his female counterpart, the scullery maid, the hall boy would have been expected to work up to 16 hours per day, seven days per week. His duties were often among the most disagreeable in the house, such as emptying chamber pots for the higher-ranking servants. In the absence of a boot boy, he also cleaned the boots not just of the family members but also those of the butler and those of the visitors.[3] The hall boy also waited on more senior servants when they took their meals in the servants hall.[4]

The hall boy was the lowest-ranked male servant, but he could rise to a higher position in the household.[5], eventually becoming a valet or butler. Arthur Inch, butler technical consultant for the film Gosford Park, stated in an interview that he began his life in service as a hall boy at the age of 15.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tony Davies (15 March 2014). The Knutsford Lads Who Never Came Home. Dolman Scott Publishing. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-9568294-7-4.
  2. ^ Joy, E.; Seaman, M.; Bell, K.; Ramsey, M. (9 December 2007). Cultural Studies of the Modern Middle Ages. Palgrave Macmillan US. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-230-61004-0.
  3. ^ Horn, Pamela (15 September 2012). Life Below Stairs: The Real Lives of Servants, the Edwardian Era to 1939. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 9781445615783.
  4. ^ Evans, Sian (2013). Life Below Stairs - in the Victorian and Edwardian Country House. Pavilion Books. ISBN 9781907892585.
  5. ^ Bathroom Readers' Institute (2015). Uncle John's FACTASTIC Bathroom Reader. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781626864276.
  6. ^ Rogers, Patricia Dane (30 November 2003). "The butler did it--but how?". Chicago Tribune. The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 July 2013.