Court people

Court people (двірські люди; dvirski liudy). Servant staff of a prince’s court in the 10th–14th century. The staff consisted of stewards, young warriors, pages, butlers, waiters, drink pourers, and so on. Later, under the Russian Empire, court people were simply household servants of the landed gentry. They were often transferred by their masters to work in shops and factories. Most of them had a status similar to that of the serfs. In 1861 these domestic serfs were emancipated but were not granted plots of land.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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