The live-in teacher or governess would come from a respectable background, but may have been without property or fortune in her own right, and in a precarious financial and social position. When her charges had grown, a governess would find another position, so it was important for her to be employed by a good family.
When a governess became too old to work and remained unmarried, she could have faced destitution. In Dublin in the nineteenth century a charitable home for the care of aged governesses was established in Marlborough Street, later moving to Harcourt Terrace.
ALSO ON THE ATTIC FLOOR: