Victorian London - Publications - Humour - Punch - Female Clerks


The Master of the Rolls has, it is said, appointed a female to a clerkship in the State Paper Office. We do not vouch for the truth of the statement (which is copied from the Spectator), but we see no objection to female clerks, who will, at all events, be sure to have something to say, and will be free from that offensive taciturnity which is often the most irritating attribute of official underlings. We rather tremble, however, at the idea of a female in the State Paper Office, for we know what an awful propensity most women have to put papers to rights, and the inextricable confusion into which papers are generally thrown by the process. Perhaps, however, the State Papers are not intended for reference, and as most of them are possibly mere waste paper by this time, a female hand may be very useful in cramming them into all sorts of holes and corners, where they will be quite out of everybody's way, and utterly inaccessible. If such are the duties the new clerk has to perform, the appointment of a female is a most judicious one.

Punch, February 16, 1856

see also Arthur Munby's Diary - click here