Gloucester History

Bromsberrow apprentices in seventeenth century Gloucester

Bromsberrow apprentices in seventeenth century Gloucester

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

Bromsberrow

Bromsberrow is a village and civil parish in the Forest of Dean district of northern Gloucestershire. It lies near the junction of Counties Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The ancient name of the place was Brunman’s-barrow which the Normans shortened to Bromsberrow.[1] In 1631 Edward Bromwich held the manor of Bromsberrow by ancient inheritance. He was succeeded by his son Isaac Bromwich.[2] In 1669 Isaac’s widow, Anne, was buried at St. Mary’s church in the parish.[3] This article follows where it can the young men, and they are all young men, who left Bromsberrow to become apprentices in trade in the surrounding big cities.

Apprenticeship

The origin of the apprenticeship system is unknown. The term apprentice appears as early as 1261 in a London ordinance and Bristol was one of the first cities after London to make enactments for apprentices. By the fifteenth century other towns and trade guilds followed with their own laws. Parliament soon got involved to regulate the different bye-laws which had developed across the country. Various Acts of Parliament were issued which culminated with the statute of 1563 which made apprenticeship compulsory for all who wished to enter a trade. It was not until the reign of George III that this legal obligation was repealed though it had become a dead letter long before then.[4]

The development of apprenticeship, during medieval times, from a private contract between a master and his pupil, into a universal, recognised state system suited all concerned. To the master it gave complete control over a pupil while the latter benefited from good training. For the trade guilds, the system regulated the flow of new entrants and so prevented over-supply of the market and with consequent cutting of prices and wages by traders. It also prevented inferior workmanship. The town corporations also earned money by charging 6d to enrol an indenture, and collected a further 4s 6d for granting an apprentice freedom to trade in the borough. The state also earned money from a good tax-paying group while keeping the feudal rights of the principal government ministers from collapse.[5]

Bromsberrow apprentices

It would seem that when people from Bromsberrow went away to become apprentices in trade that they didn’t go too far outside of Gloucestershire. No person from Bromsberrow was listed as an apprentice at Bristol between 1532 and 1573.[6] Similarly no person from Bromsberrow went to Oxford to become an apprentice between 1513 and 1602.[7]

1640 at Gloucester

The first Bromsberrow apprentice appears in Gloucester in 1640 on the eve of the Civil War. On 29th September 1640 Thomas Stock, son of Christopher Stock, clerk of Bromsberrow, was made apprentice to James Ricketts, saddler of Gloucester, for eight years.[8] Thomas Stock was born in 1625 to Christopher and Joan Stock and was baptised on 10th October. The birth must have been difficult as Joan became sick and died shortly after. She was buried on 19th October at Bromsberrow. Thomas had an older brother called William born in 1624 to Christopher and Joan Stock.[9]

Christopher Stock was appointed rector of Bromsberrow in September 1620 and remained in charge into the 1630s. Christopher’s first wife, Elizabeth Stock was buried on 15th December 1621, two days after the baptism of her daughter, Elizabeth. Child birth was a dangerous event in those days and still with all modern medicine can be a dangerous for mother and child. After the death of Joan, Christopher Stock remarried for a third time by August 1628 and his new wife was called Elizabeth. They had a number of sons who survived infancy including Charles (born 1630), John (born 1632), Herbert (born 1637), Richard (born 1639), Edward and a daughter Hanna (born 1635).[10]

 

Bromesberrow_St_Mary's_Church by Derek Meek

St. Mary’s church, Bromsberrow by Derek Meek

Thomas Stock was the first known apprentice taken on by James Ricketts. On 2nd March 1631 James Ricketts learnt his trade as apprentice to Thomas Pedlingham, saddler of Gloucester, and his wife Susannah. In turn Thomas Pedlingham, son of Richard Pedlingham, tailor of Tibberton, had learnt his trade as saddler in 1623 from Richard Batten, saddler of Gloucester.[11] James Ricketts was the son of James Ricketts, yeoman of Hardwick.[12]

James Ricketts was a possible relation of another James Ricketts, son of John Ricketts of Hardwick, who in May 1629 was made apprentice to John Wood, tanner of Gloucester.[13] In September 1635 Edward Ricketts, son of James Ricketts, yeoman of Hardwick, became apprentice at Gloucester to Richard Green, baker, and his wife Cristel.[14] It seems likely that Edward Ricketts was a brother of James Ricketts, saddler.

In October 1652 John Ricketts, son of James Ricketts, deceased husbandman of Hardwick, was taken as apprentice by Thomas Pedlingham, saddler, and Susannah his wife. This was the same Thomas Pedlingham who taught James Ricketts, the master of Thomas Stock of Bromsberrow. John Ricketts was highly likely to be a younger brother of James Ricketts.

After his training had concluded in 1648 it would seem that Thomas Stock went away from Gloucester and from Bromsberrow – he doesn’t appear in the later parish registers. This was a common occurrence in the apprentices who attended training at Gloucester, Bristol and Oxford. Many apprentices in these cities failed to become freemen of these cities and moved to other locations but the lack of extensive documentation means that a true picture cannot be determined. It was also true that a large number of people failed to complete their apprenticeships. It has been estimate that in the sixteenth century nearly half of London apprentices dropped out before completing their training.[15]

1646 at Gloucester

On 17th May 1646 William Angell, son of Richard Angell, gentleman of Bromsberrow, became apprentice for seven years to Walter Harris, cordwainer, and his wife Elizabeth of Gloucester.[16] The business of commerce was slowly returning to normal in those May days of 1646 as the English Civil War neared its end. King Charles surrendered to the Scots on 5th May and on 24th June Oxford, the Royalist capital, surrendered. The last Royalist stronghold surrendered in March 1647.[17]

It is unlikely that William Angell was the son of Richard Angell who was baptised in 1641 in Bromsberrow parish.[18] Walter Harris was the son of John Harris, yeoman of Whaddon, and in 1623 learnt his trade as a cordwainer from Arnold Ockold of Gloucester.[19] In 1654, the year after William Angell qualified as a cordwainer he heard of the birth of a baby sister, Anne and the death of his brother James Angell.[20] The cycle of life and death that travels through all ages.

1669 at Gloucester

On 28th April 1669 Robert Stone, son of John Stone, yeoman of Bromsberrow, became apprentice for seven years to Edward Clayfield junior, tanner of Gloucester, and his wife Katherine.[21] Edward Clayfield was the son of Edward Clayfield senior, tanner of Gloucester, and his wife Alice Clayfield.

1672 at Gloucester

On 28th June 1672 Simon Lawrence, son of William Lawrence, yeoman of Bromsberrow, was made apprentice for seven years to Thomas Selwyn, currier of Gloucester, and his wife Martha.[22] A currier was a person who dressed the hides after it had been tanned, by paring the flesh side to a uniform thickness, and beating and colouring the leather.[23]

1673 at Gloucester

On 8th February 1673 Thomas Lawrence, son of William Lawrence, yeoman of Bromsberrow, became apprentice for seven years to Josiah Randle, baker of Gloucester, and his wife Margery.[24] By 1680 Thomas Lawrence would have qualified as a baker yet it was near twenty years later in 1700 that he took on his first apprentice. That first apprentice was another member of the Lawrence family from Bromsberrow – see below.

1677 at Gloucester

On 28th March 1677 William Stone, son of William Stone, tailor of Bromsberrow, became apprentice to William Randle, tailor of Gloucester, and his wife, Hester, for seven years.[25] Members of the Stone family appear in the 1522 Gloucester military survey as living in and around Bromsberrow.[26] The Bromsberrow parish registers record in 1665 the baptism of William Stone, son of William and Elizabeth Stone.

If this is the same William Stone that apprenticed in 1677 then he was twelve years old and would have been nineteen years at the end of term in 1684. In that year or maybe before his term was ended William Stone went to London where in 1684 he died.[27] The Statute of Artificers of 1563 stipulated that the apprentice’s term of training should not end before he was twenty four-years old.[28] Did William Stone go to London for more training in a city of greater opportunity to succeed in business? – The unanswered questions of history.

William Stone’s master in Gloucester was William Randle, son of James Randle, yeoman of Charlton Kings. On 4th September 1660 William Randle became apprentice, for seven years, under William Bicknell, tailor of Gloucester, and his wife Dorothy.[29] William Bicknell learnt his trade outside Gloucester and first appears in the apprenticeship registers in 1652 when he took on Henry Cox to be a tailor. William Bicknell was still taking on apprentices in 1700 when he accepted Thomas Morse.[30] William Randle took on his first apprentice, Josiah Yate, in 1671 for an eight year term. In 1681 Josiah Yate began a new apprenticeship under Danial Yate, cordwainer, for an additional seven years.[31] As said previously, an apprentice’s term of training could not end before he was twenty four-years old. Perhaps Josiah Yate was too young to become a qualified tradesman after his first apprenticeship or maybe he wanted to expand his skill base. The same Statute said that the minimum term of an apprenticeship was seven years.[32]

250px-Gloucester_Skyline

View over Gloucester

1688 at Gloucester

On 26th March 1688 Hugh Austin, son of Richard Austin of Bromsberrow, became apprentice for seven years to George Perkins, pinmaker of Gloucester, and Sarah his wife.[33] Hugh Austin was born in 1676 to Richard and Anne Austin and thus twelve years old at the start of his apprenticeship.[34] This was the first apprentice that George Perkins took on. It would seem that George Perkins learnt his trade outside Gloucester as he doesn’t appear in the registers before 1688. In 1700 another George Perkins operated in Gloucester as a baker but it is unclear if they are one and the same person.[35]

1700 at Gloucester

On 26th September 1700 Eleazor Lawrence, son of William Lawrence, yeoman of Bromsberrow, was made apprentice to Thomas Lawrence, baker of Gloucester, and his wife, Margaret, for seven years.[36] Thomas Lawrence was from Bromsberrow like his apprentice and it is likely that they were related to each other.

The published registers of apprentices at Gloucester end in 1700 and so does our story. Yet the apprenticeship system continued on and in later manuscript registers it may be possible to find other people from Bromsberrow who became apprentices. Other manuscripts may add more to the life stories of the apprentices from Bromsberrow in the seventeenth century but for the moment our story comes to an end until another day.

 

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End of post

 

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[1] W. St. Clair Baddeley, Place-names of Gloucestershire (John Bellows, Gloucester, 1913), p. 32

[2] W.P.W. Phillimore & George S. Fry (eds.), Abstracts of Gloucestershire Inquisitions Post Mortem of King Charles the First (British Record Society, 1895), pp. 189, 190

[3] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wrag44/bromsberrow/bromsberrowvol1pt3.htm accessed on 25 June 2016

[4] Denzil Hollis (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part 1, 1532-1542 (Bristol Record Society, Vol. XIV, 1948), p. 3

[5] Denzil Hollis (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part 1, 1532-1542, p. 6.

[6] D. Hollis (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part 1, 1532-1542 (Bristol Record Society, Vol. XIV, 1948); Elizabeth Ralph & Nora M. Hardwick (eds.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part II, 1542-1552 (Bristol Record Society, Vol. XXXIII, 1980); Elizabeth Ralph (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part III, 1552-1565 (Bristol Record Society, Vol. XLIII, 1992), no. 894; Margaret McGregor (ed.), Bristol Apprentice Book 1566-1573 (Bristol and Avon F.H.S. no date)

[7] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602 (Oxford Historical Society, New Series, Vol. XLIV, 2012)

[8] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700 (Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Gloucester Record Series, Vol. 14, 2001), no. 1/546

[9] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wrag44/bromsberrow/bromsberrowvol1pt2.htm accessed on 25 June 2016

[10] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wrag44/bromsberrow/bromsberrowvol1pt3.htm accessed on 25 June 2016

[11] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 1/324

[12] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 1/401

[13] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 1/383

[14] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 1/460

[15] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, pp. L, Li

[16] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 1/586

[17] Wilfrid Emberton, The English Civil War day by day (Sutton Publishing, 1995), pp. 184, 187

[18] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wrag44/bromsberrow/bromsberrowvol1pt3.htm accessed on 25 June 2016

[19] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 1/332

[20] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wrag44/bromsberrow/bromsberrowvol1pt3.htm accessed on 25 June 2016

[21] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 3/24

[22] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 3/72

[23] D. Hollis (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part 1, 1532-1542 (Bristol Record Society, Vol. XIV, 1948), p. 203

[24] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 3/84

[25] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 3/160

[26] R.W. Hoyle (ed.), The military survey of Gloucestershire, 1522 (Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Gloucester Record Series, Vol. 6, 1993), pp. 60, 61

[27] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wrag44/bromsberrow/bromsberrowvol1pt3.htm accessed on 25 June 2016

[28] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, p. xviii

[29] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 2/260

[30] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, nos. 2/90, 3/396

[31] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, nos. 3/62, 3/219

[32] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, p. xviii

[33] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 3/289

[34] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wrag44/bromsberrow/bromsberrowvol1pt3.htm accessed on 25 June 2016

[35] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 3/395

[36] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester 1595-1700, no. 3/400

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