Tabitha Lambert-Bramwell

Tabitha Lambert-Bramwell

Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Domestic Servants, Professionalisation and the Women's Emancipation Movement, 1870-1914
SupervisorDr Zoë Thomas and Dr Laura Schwartz (University of Warwick)
PhD History


  • BA History (First) University of Birmingham
  • MA Modern British Studies (Distinction) University of Birmingham


Following the completion of my BA in History (2019) and MA in Modern British Studies (2020) at the University of Birmingham, I began my PhD in the Department of History in 2022, funded by the AHRC via Midlands4Cities. As a researcher, I am interested in histories of gender, class and labour in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I also spent several years working and volunteering in the heritage sector, and most recently worked as a Visitor Experience Assistant at Middleton Hall and Gardens in North Warwickshire between completing my MA and beginning my PhD.


  • PGTA, The Making of the Contemporary World


My thesis examines the relationships between domestic servants and newly professionalised middle-class women in Britain between 1870 and 1914. The emergence of professional women workers coincided with a period of time when domestic servants made up the largest occupational group of women workers. The vast majority of middle-class households would have employed at least one servant. I consider the role played by servants in facilitating middle-class women’s entry into formal education and professional work and aim to illuminate the agency of servants in their own right. My thesis examines the formation of middle-class women’s identities - how did middle-class women navigate their dual roles as employers of servants and professional workers, and how did these relationships influence cross-class relationships more widely in modern Britain? I question how middle-class women working from home and their servants navigated the shared space of the home, the influence that this had on privacy at home, and how servants’ roles were influenced by travel and migration.

As well as utilising life-writing, correspondence, periodicals and other forms of published literature, my research will benefit from quantitative methodologies. At present there are no established statistics regarding the correlation between women who took up professional work in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and whether they employed fewer or more servants than unemployed middle-class women. Through a combination of census records and employment advertisements, I will contribute towards a wider understanding of the scale and interconnectedness of the women’s labour force in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain.

Other activities

Research Papers

  • 'Hands Across the Sea’: Domestic Service, Imperialism and the British Women’s Emigration Association, 1884-1914’ Women’s History Network Annual Conference: Women and Migration, 1st September 2023
  • Poster presentation, Culture, Power and Identity: School of History and Cultures Postgraduate Research Conference, University of Birmingham, 5th May 2023
  • ‘Women’s Experiences of Workhouses, 1858-1918’ Historical Perspectives Online Seminar Series, 19th October 2022
  • I have been a guest speaker at branches of the Women’s Institute, the National Women’s Register and local historic societies.


  • Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership/AHRC, 2022-2026
  • Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures Masters Scholarship, 2019-2020