About Us.

Operating since 1845.

In 1845, Sarah Massey, having been left destitute with two children on the death of her husband, received a proposal from a Miss Williamson that as a gift she should take over the business she ran in King Street, Derby supplying local situations with the servants they required.

Thus, Mrs Massey’s Agency was born.

In 1875, the second Mrs Sarah Massey took over. She made a great success of it “so that throughout the country Mrs Massey’s became a household name, and she became an authority on matters pertaining to Domestic Service”.

Our History.

A breakdown of our story.

In 1890

Ernest Massey inherited the agency on the death of his mother. He was a somewhat reluctant businessman; regarding himself as an artist by profession. Nevertheless, he had learnt a great deal about the agency resulting in the introduction of ‘Certificates of Character’ now known as ‘References’.

In 1920

The London branch of Massey’s Agency was opened at 100 Baker Street under the control of Mrs Ruth Massey. It traded from this address for over 60 years.

In 1930s

Saw a gradual decline in the number of servants caused by social changes, the attraction of better paid work and the introduction of ‘labour-saving’ devices.

In 1968

Carol Ellis (the founder’s great, great-granddaughter) and her husband took over the running of the agency. They were ably supported by Mrs Bates, the doyen of domestic staff recruiters, who retired in 1986 after serving Massey’s Agency for over 50 years.

In 2020

The agency was sold to its present owners who remain committed to maintaining the excellent reputation built up by the Massey family over the years.

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