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While country-house service is well traveled by historians, less so are the detailed personal lives of servants. Trentham was the Staffordshire home of the Leveson-Gower family, the Dukes of Sutherland, in the mid-19th century, said to be the richest non-royal family in the UK. They owned many other country houses and estates, bound to each other by a complex management system. The resulting family archive is huge. Combining these records with family history sources, it is possible to unravel some of the personal triumphs and tragedies of their servants: who they were, what they did, and what happened to them after their service at Trentham ended. With its strict social structure and its sometimes bizarre regulations, the world of Trentham in the 1830s can seem alien to us now, but families are always families, responsibilities can always be burdensome, and sorrow is always around the corner. The stories of Trentham's servants are not just family histories; they reveal experiences and unravel relationships to which we can all relate, and demonstrate how people coped in the face of the immense change brought about by the Industrial Revolution.