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From Servants to Staff: the Whole Community in the Chatsworth Household 1700-2000

We are delighted to announce three AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Awards co-supervised by Chatsworth and the University of Sheffield.

Application deadline: 12pm, Thursday 23 April 2015
Interviews: interviews will take place on 11 May 2015


Project Description

Chatsworth ImageThe aim of this project is to use the extensive archival materials in the Devonshire Collection in order to gain an understanding of the wider community who have lived and worked at Chatsworth over the past three centuries, brought together by relationships of work and service. It will employ an interdisciplinary linguistic-historical approach to explore the changing relationship between masters and servants between 1700 and 2000.

Key research questions to be addressed include:

  • how has the language used about servants and estate workers in these archives changed across this time?
  • how have the working conditions of those employed in and around the house changed?
  • how has Chatsworth functioned as a community at different times?
  • how can Chatsworth represent the stories of the people who have worked for the Cavendish family in an ethical and engaging manner?

The project comprises three interconnected PhD projects, each focusing on a different century. Each will be a coherent project in its own right, but taken together the three projects will chart a compelling narrative across three centuries of social and economic change.


Studentship Descriptions

Click on the project titles for more information

Community, Conflict and Change at Chatsworth, 1700-1820

A Community of Masters and Servants? Chatsworth, 1811-1914

The Making of a Modern Estate: Employment & Service at Chatsworth in the 20th Century


Award Details

The award will cover the cost of UK/EU tuition fees and provides an annual maintenance grant at the standard RCUK rate (full-time rate £14,057 in 2015-16) for three years (see eligibility). The studentship will commence on 1 October 2015.



The general eligibility requirements are:

  • Applicants should normally have, or be studying for, a Master's degree, or equivalent qualification, in a relevant area.
  • Applicants should also have a 2.1 in a BA degree, or equivalent qualification, in a relevant discipline such as: History, English Literature, English Language, Sociology.
  • Awards are open to UK and EU applicants. EU students are eligible for a fees only award unless they have been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately prior to taking up the award.

Download the studentship description for full details.


How to apply

Please email the following documents to

  • An CV detailing your academic record
  • An 800 word supporting statement.
  • Academic transcripts
  • Names and contact details for two referees. Please note referees must be able to supply their references by 11 May at the latest, if required.

Download the studentship description for full details including guidance on the supporting statement.


Any academic enquiries should be directed to the academic supervisors.

Any questions about the application process should be directed to