On the duties of a valet, according to An Encyclopædia of Domestic Economy
- As his master goes out, the valet hands him his gloves and hat, opens the door for him, and receives his orders for the rest of the day.
- He puts his master’s dressing-room in order, cleaning combs and brushes, folding clothes and putting them in drawers.
- If his master has no clothes sense, the valet will select suitable clothes, making sure they are clean, particularly the collars, and maintained in good repair.
- He consults with the tailor, perfumer, and linen-draper.
- The valet stands ready to help his master dress for dinner or any other occasion.
- In case of wet weather, when his master has returned from riding, the valet lays out a change of dry linen and clothing, and is ready to assist his master out of the damp clothing.
- He helps his master prepare for journeys, packing enough linen and other clothing for the trip. At the Inns, he takes charge of his master’s comfort as he would at home, and has everything ready to assist his master in dressing and undressing.
- Hats are kept well brushed on the outside with a soft brush, and wiped inside with a clean handerchief.
- Clothes placed in a wardrobe are covered with brown holland or linen wrappers to secure them from dust.
- He places boots and shoes cleaned by the under footman in the dressing room.
- Slippers are aired by the fire.
- Before he hangs damp clothing by the fire, he rubs the cloth with a sponge until the smoothness of the nap is restored. If the clothes are allowed to dry before brushing, then later brushing might not remove the roughness.
(via Jane Austen’s World)