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Westphalian Nobleman Christian Franz Dietrich von Fürstenberg Provides Instructions on the Education of his Daughters (1743)

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Concerning Marie-Elisabeth and other nannies

One will need to talk to the Mademoiselle about Maria Elisabeth, as the latter now is not responsible for one or two children but for all children, how she is now not a waiting girl but the first nanny. The question is what her pay is. This should be properly reduced for her, or otherwise she would have to express thanks for it and perform waiting services all the more diligently. On this matter, one finds something noted in the enclosed quart foliis volantibus [four loose sheets] just as there is on the distribution of my daughters’ clothes. I could then put aside these loose sheets, enclosing them into a pro memoria pro me; in the course of time, the children decide about their clothes themselves; in the course of time, one disposes in a different way over the more valuable clothes for sons and daughters than simply wanting to leave these items as prey for the servants.

Concerning the number of maids

When Wilhelmina departs, Maria Elisabeth and French Elisabeth will suffice for four daughters.

When Bernhardina departs, another domestic servant will have to be present, of which my wife will take care. In the course of time, the two wet nurses will have to cut, and the fewer women are together, the quieter things will be. Once the daughters are finally 21 years old etc., one can hire a separate maid for each one of them.

Ita finio [Thus I conclude] on January 29, 1743

Source: Archive of the Counts of Fürstenberg-Stammheim, Opladen, No. 23/10m

Reprinted in Jürgen Schlumbohm, ed., Kinderstuben, Wie Kinder zu Bauern, Bürgern, Aristokraten wurden 1700-1850 [Upbringing, How Children Became Farmers, Middle-Class Citizens, and Aristocrats 1700-1850]. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1983, pp. 181-86.

Translation: Erwin Fink

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