Story: Manners and social behaviour

Colonial egalitarianism

Colonial egalitarianism

The subject of 'uppity' servants provided endless scope for humour in 19th century New Zealand newspapers. Because there was a shortage of domestic help in colonial times, servants could afford to insist on respect from their employers. This 1868 cartoon tacitly concedes that point, while also mocking what the cartoonist sees as pretensions. Jemima Ann uses high-flown language, but incorrectly: she rejects the word 'wages', preferring to describe her earnings as an 'onner-raryum' (honorarium).

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: J-065-001

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Manners and social behaviour - 19th-century manners', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2023)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 5 Sep 2013