Board of Stamps - Apprenticeship Books


Cat No.:   GB1337:

IR1/1-19 City (Town) Registers October 1711 to July 1754.

IR1/41-51 Country Registers May 1710 to August 1754

The Registers were kept by the Board of Stamps as a record of the moneys received in payment of the duty on apprentices' indentures. In addition to the sums received the registers record the names, addresses and trades of the masters, the names of the apprentices and the dates of the articles.

Until the year 1752 the names of the apprentices' parents are given, but after that year very rarely.

These are fabulous resources for historians and genealogists. Just the few records given below show London Masters taking on boys (and girls!) from the City itself and from further afield, too.

Here is an example, the first few records from IR1/1, the City (Town) Registers. October 1 1711:

On page 1

1. Geo. Dottin Cit. & Barber Surgeon of London. Wm Son of Thos Thorisby of the Tower Liberty Tin Plate Worker 4 Sept

2. Kath Wright of London Seamstress. Felicia Daughter of Wm Barnwell of Millbrooke in Com Bedfd Clerk 4 May

3. Thos Botter Cit. & Basker of London. Jno Son Jno Bittany late Cit & Fishmonger of London Decd 10 Aug

4. Jno Grace Cit. & Joyner of London. Joshua Son of Geo Smith late of Manchester Com Lanc Chapman Decd 4 Sept

5. Jacob Aiworth of Woolwich Com Kent Master Shipwright. Fran Son of Francis Willcocks of Woolwich Afsd Baker 20 Sept

6. Jno Hain Cit & Tallow Chandler of London. James Son of James Edge Late of London Goldsmith Decd 9 Oct

7. Tho Smith Cit & Fonder of London. Peter Son of Wm Wales Cit & Joyner of London 3 Sept

To explain further. If we take the 4th record, it tells us that John Grace was the Master and he took on Joshua Smith as an apprentice 'Joyner'. Joshua's father was from Manchester and was dead by the time that the Master paid the duty on Joshua's apprenticeship.

But what is the date at the end of each entry? Well, the entries actually span across two pages of the register. The left hand page records the information as shown above and the right hand page shows 'Dates and Memorials of Indentures Articles &c', 'Terms of Years', 'Sums and Values of £50 or under' and the 'Duty' paid, 'Sums and Values above £50' and the 'Duty' paid.

In the case of Joshua Smith the date of 4 Sept is the date that his apprenticeship started. The facing page shows that his was a Common Indenture for seven years from 4th September. The Indenture was for £20 (the amount that was paid to John Grace) and the duty that Mr Grace paid at the end of Joshua's apprenticeship was 10 shillings.

The fact that the duty was paid in October 1711 would indicate that the apprenticeship began in 1704. It was usually the case that boys were apprenticed at the age of about 14, but this is very much a 'rule of thumb' and should not generally be used as guide to a year of birth.

It should be noted that although called City (Town) Registers these are not exclusively London Masters. There are literally hundreds of masters and apprentices listed from all over the country.

IR1/41-51 Country Registers May 1710 to August 1754

The Country Registers follow the same format as the City Registers with the exception being that the name of the county collector of the duty is also identified. The Registers cover the whole of England and, unlike the City Registers, there is a surname index of the collectors at the beginning of each Register book.

No. of CDs is:  5 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  ;

FastFind:  No;  ISBN No.:   unavailable;