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Unmaking apprenticeship in early modern London: Goldsmiths’ apprentices and the Lord Mayor’s Court, 1597–1720

Chaffin, W. LaJean and Wallis, Patrick ORCID: 0000-0003-1434-515X (2023) Unmaking apprenticeship in early modern London: Goldsmiths’ apprentices and the Lord Mayor’s Court, 1597–1720. London Journal, 48 (2). 99 - 121. ISSN 0305-8034

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Identification Number: 10.1080/03058034.2022.2152976

Abstract

Apprenticeship in London was the concern of both livery company and city institutions. In this article, we connect evidence about the petitions submitted by apprentices to the Lord Mayor’s Court for early discharge from their indentures with the entries recording their apprenticeship and freedom surviving in the records of Goldsmiths’ Company. Each contains a distinct set of complementary information about apprenticeship in London. By positioning appeals to the Lord Mayor’s Court against the company’s records of youths’ trajectories through apprenticeship, we can expand our understanding of the contractual framework of training and associated enforcement mechanisms in early modern London. As we show, the Court was used to negotiate with masters, as well as to terminate contracts. Quitting an apprenticeship through the court did mildly ‘scar’ the chances of youths (not masters), but the Court process appears to have largely protected reputations. Finally, we provide the first estimate of gaps in livery company registration of apprentices, particularly female apprentices.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/yldn20
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s).
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N33 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: Pre-1913
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2022 16:27
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 04:09
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/117413

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