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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Julia Report 14 Apr 2012 09:41

Could anyone please give me a lead as to where I would look for Apprentiships in the 1700's. Is there a register of sorts, or similar.

Many,many thanks

Julia in Derbyshire


Maddie Report 14 Apr 2012 10:45

Find my past has some records for 1710 - 1774
anyone in particular ?


Ivy Report 14 Apr 2012 10:47

Indentures had to be stamped, so records were kept by the Stamp Office (1710 to 1811)

National Archives have published a couple of research guides on these - see:



Julia Report 14 Apr 2012 10:54

Thank you both for this information.
Maddie what happened is this. My 6 x Gt Grandfather in his will left to his grandson John Rower b 1740 Peterborough,'£5 to be paid whenhe is of age to be apprenticed'. At the time of the will John was 12 years old. I then find him in Elton, Huntingdonshire, when he was about 32 years old. I do not know in what trade he was apprenticed, but the family were farmering stock.
I suppose I am clutching at straws really, but you have to try
I do know when I worked in the printing trade, about 25 years ago, the company took on 3 apprentices, which served 5 years. I do understand that apprentiships were longer, years ago, and they had to have their papers stamped when finishing it.
I hope this helps somewhat.
Many,many thanks for the interest.

Julia in Derbyshire


Maddie Report 14 Apr 2012 11:05

sorry, can't see him on fmp


Julia Report 14 Apr 2012 12:05

Thanks for trying Maddie. Perhaps I will come across apprentices when least lookong for it.

Many,many Thanks

Julia in Derbyshire


Andysmum Report 14 Apr 2012 12:27

This is from Wikipedia

Early history
Apprenticeships have a long tradition in the United Kingdom, dating back to around the 12th century and flourishing by the 14th century. The parents or guardians of a minor would agree with a Guild's Master craftsman the conditions for an apprenticeship which would bind the minor for 5–9 years (e.g. from age 14 to 21). They would pay a premium to the craftsman and the contract would be recorded in an indenture.[15] In 1563, the Statute of Artificers and Apprentices was passed to regulate and protect the apprenticeship system, forbidding anyone from practising a trade or craft without first serving a 7-year period as an apprentice to a master[16] (though in practice Freemen's sons could negotiate shorter terms).[17]
From 1601, 'parish' apprenticeships under the Elizabethan Poor Law came to be used as a way of providing for poor, illegitimate and orphaned children of both sexes alongside the regular system of skilled apprenticeships, which tended to provide for boys from slightly more affluent backgrounds. These parish apprenticeships, which could be created with the assent of two Justices of the Peace, supplied apprentices for occupations of lower status such as farm labouring, brickmaking and menial household service.[15]
In the early years of the Industrial Revolution entrepreneurs began to resist the restrictions of the apprenticeship system,[18] and a legal ruling established that the Statute of Apprentices did not apply to trades that were not in existence when it was passed in 1563, thus excluding many new 18th century industries.[16] In 1814 compulsory apprenticeship by indenture was abolished.

Perhaps he was apprenticed as a farm labourer. I think the Society of Genealogists has an Index of Apprentices, but I don't know how complete it is, nor who can look at it. No doubt somebody on here will be able to advise further.


SuffolkVera Report 14 Apr 2012 18:09

Hello Julia
As you have a name and rough date is it worth trying the record offices that cover Peterborough and Huntingdon to see if they hold any apprenticeship documents? The Peterborough & District Family History Society has a list of the offices that cover the area (

I've gone down this route, although mine was a bit later - early 1800s. Devon Record Office found me an indenture and sent me a photocopy at a very reasonable cost. My ancestor, who was the vicar, took on an apprentice who was a 10 year old poor girl from the parish and she was to stay with him till she was 21 to learn "husbandry". I hope he was kind to her but I bet the poor child wasn't much more than a drudge.

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 14 Apr 2012 18:32

UK, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710-1811

(the above on Ancestry, but not seeing anything relating, sadly)

Chris :)