"I heard of a situation, as plain cook"


A plain cook performed many housekeeping duties. She might be expected to dust and sweep the dining room or parlour, light the fires, sweep the front hall and even clean the grates—all in addition to her work in the kitchen.  She would have to rise early, light the kitchen fire, do her upstairs chores and then cook breakfast.

Plain cooks cooked only simple meals, as the description implies. After dinner, she would wash the dishes and clean the kitchen. All her duties had to be completed before she went to bed.

For this work, she would be paid about £25 to £30 a year.