General History

Index of modern history articles published on this Blog

Index of modern history articles published on this Blog

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

On 14th August 2013 the first article in the modern history blog was published. Since then a total of forty posts were published – thirty-nine history articles and one poem. The articles covered a wide range of subjects across a wide geographical area. Many articles cover the West Waterford – East Cork area where I live. Beyond that there are a number of articles relating to Counties Kilkenny and Carlow. After that there are a number of articles from different Counties across Ireland. Overseas Oxford has a number of articles relating to people and places. Many articles explored people I have met in old books and places I have went to or read about.

Some articles have generated good viewing figures such as 703 viewers for https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/some-tallow-people-who-died-in-the-great-war/ which article gathers a short biography on people from Tallow, Co. Waterford who died in the Great War (otherwise known as World War One). Other articles generated no viewers such as the one on https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/bromsgrove-apprentices-1540-1663/. The article followed the life and times of apprentices from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire who went to learn a trade in Bristol, Oxford or Gloucester.

But viewing figures are not the end result. Some articles may not have had great viewing figures but the reaction to the articles was the pleasure. A descendent of William Spotswood Green got in touch to say she was delighted with the article. = https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/william-spotswood-green-a-biography/

A relative of a former chaplain at Villierstown also got in touch to say thanks in response to another article. = https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/villierstown-chapel-and-chaplains/

Another article = https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/a-very-long-lease-ummeraboy-in-duhallow/ = helped a person doing some family history research to solve a problem in his research that had him perplexed for years.

Another article = https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/the-vicars-of-tallow-co-waterford-1639-1910/ = inspired another historian to do his own research into Protestant churches in his area. You can’t unsurpass those pleasures by just looking at viewing figures.

Not all the articles are of modern (post 1534) history. A few are about Prehistoric Ireland. The medieval period (400 to 1534) is covered in another blog site that I have = http://celtic2realms-medievalnews.blogspot.ie/

The name of the blog is Exploring history with Niall and that is it – the joy and wonder of discovering new things, of people and places long since forgotten brought back to life to live again. There are many more articles in various stages of production and hopefully will see the publishing date in the not too distant future. For the moment, below is an index and link to the published articles and hopefully you, the viewer, will find something of interest.

 

Compass map

 

Index and link to the published articles

 

Published 19th August 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/john-burgess-an-evicted-carlow-tenant-reinstated/

25 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 11th August 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/devonshire-arms-hotel-and-lawlors-hotel-dungarvan/

34 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 2nd August 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/an-account-of-thomas-mallinson-of-oxford/

3 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 28th June 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/bromsgrove-apprentices-1540-1663/

No views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 27th June 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/bromsberrow-apprentices-in-seventeenth-century-gloucester/

2 views by 26th August 2016

Published 8th June 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/in-search-of-a-cromlech-near-mocollop-co-waterford-part-one/

44 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 4th June 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/margaret-ringrose-of-moynoe-and-her-mitochondrial-dna/

37 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 3rd June 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/browneshill-dolmen-co-carlow/

19 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 30th May 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/irish-general-elections-of-1832-1835-and-1837/

9 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 21st February 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/exploring-layde-graveyard-darragh-mccurry/

24 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 17th February 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/arrears-of-rent-act-1882-in-carlow/

73 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 8th February 2016

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/shanakill-townland-in-the-barony-of-kinnatalloon-county-cork-2/

86 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 20th October 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/mill-island-mill-in-mallardstown-parish-co-kilkenny/

34 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 13th October 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/a-callan-lease-of-1839-and-griffiths-valuation/

21 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 1st October 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/kenneth-l-p-lely-in-castlehyde-graveyard/

22 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 9th September 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/denis-murphy-of-the-royal-munster-fusiliers/

10 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 26th August 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/lord-walter-bagenal-and-bagenalstown/

43 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 1st July 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/observations-on-villierstown-in-1841-and-1851/

249 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 7th May 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/villierstown-chapel-and-chaplains/

119 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 14th April 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/this-day/

A poem = 15 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 24th March 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/the-dromana-estate-in-1640/

43 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 9th March 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/villierstown-and-the-linen-industry/

273 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 4th January 2015

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/shipping-news-on-this-day-4th-january-in-and-out-of-youghal-1938-1941/

72 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 24th December 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/christmas-on-the-river-bride-for-merchant-sailing-vessels/

20 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 8th December 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/thomas-harriot-and-molana-abbey/

69 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 6th October 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/a-very-long-lease-ummeraboy-in-duhallow/

126 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 14th September 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/colonel-matthew-appleyard-2/

44 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 27th August 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/the-gilberts-and-the-calendar-of-ancient-records-of-dublin/

21 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 19th July 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/leon-foucault-and-the-pendulum/

68 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 17th July 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/some-notes-on-garbrand-harks-and-family-of-oxford/

226 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 4th July 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/sapperton-where-cometh-a-name/

113 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 27th June 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/no-garden-games-in-tudor-oxford-4/

31 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 6th June 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/some-tallow-people-who-died-in-the-great-war/

703 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 15th May 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/the-vicars-of-tallow-co-waterford-1639-1910/

88 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 23rd April 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/grant-family-of-kilmurry-co-cork/

596 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 12th April 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/youghal-harbour-arrivals-and-sailings-february-1936-3/

164 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 22nd March 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/a-seventeenth-century-horse-troop-in-tallow-2/

256 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 8th March 2014

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/william-spotswood-green-a-biography/

234 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 1st September 2013

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/kilwatermoy-landlords-in-1851/

238 views by 26th August 2016

 

Published 14th August 2013

https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/kilwatermoy-people-and-townlands-in-the-subsidy-roll-1662-2/

121 views by 26th August 2016

 

Trinity-College-Library-Dublin1

 

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Oxford History

An account of Thomas Mallinson of Oxford

An account of Thomas Mallinson of Oxford

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

 

Thomas Mallinson was a successful Oxford business man who served as M.P. for the city in the reign of Queen Mary. In an account written in 1982 it was said that his origins and profession are unknown. This article sets out to add further information to the story of Thomas Mallinson.[1]

Thomas Mallinson was born about 1514 and was admitted a freeman in 1534-5. His origins and early business career are unknown but by 1543 he had become one of the wealthier townsmen with his goods worth £20 in the subsidy roll in the 1540s. By 1550 his goods increased in value to £25 and in 1551 were worth £28. In June 1541 he claimed payment of a bill as Thomas Mallinson, tailor. By 1541 Thomas Mallinson was a common councilman in the city.[2]

First apprentice

On 5th February 1542 Thomas Mallinson, tailor, took on his first known apprentice. This person was Clemence Hunt, son of William Hunt, tailor of Thame, Oxford. The apprenticeship was to start on 24th February and last seven years. At the end of this term Clemence Hunt was to serve an extra year in which he was to receive 40s and double apparel.[3] This extra year maybe on the recommendation of the Tailor’s Guild to slow down and control the numbers entering the profession. Another possibility is that Clemence Hunt may not reach the age of twenty one at the end of term.[4]

On 14th March 1542 Thomas Mallinson took on another apprentice, Giles Taylour, for seven years beginning on 2nd February 1543. Giles Taylour was the son of John Taylour, husbandman of Hanbury in Worcestershire and the first of only two people from Hanbury to serve as apprentices in Oxford.[5] The evidence of taking on two apprentices at about the same time shows the high level of business conducted by Thomas Mallinson. Most masters only took on one apprentice at a time or took on a second a few years into the first apprenticeship. With the apprentices it is likely that Thomas Mallinson employed experience workers as he wouldn’t have to spare time to engaged in civic life if he was just one his own.

It would seem that Clemence Hunt and Giles Taylour left Oxford after the completion of their apprenticeship. Certainly they don’t appear as masters to any later apprenticeships. Overall only a small proportion of Oxford apprentices took up citizenship in the city. Acquiring the status of freeman carried privileges but also was saddled with burdens. It would seem that many apprentices moved to another town or city on qualification and this is repeated in other cities such as London, Bristol and Gloucester. It is also true that many members of the tailor’s guild subsidiary company, the journeymen’s company, came to Oxford after serving their time elsewhere.[6]

Oxford high street

View over Oxford

Property activities 

While taking on his first apprentices, Thomas Mallinson was also involved in some property dealing. In November 1542 he compounded for the office of chamberlain by agreeing to finish work on a new building; six months later he was commissioned to finish two chimneys on the same building. Elsewhere Thomas Mallinson leased of a tenement which became the Crown Inn, and was held by John Davenant early in the 17th century.[7] In 1548 Thomas Mallinson held a tenement in St. Martin’s parish near Cornmarket and beside a shop belonging to Christ Church.[8]

Further apprentices and family life

By 1547 Thomas Mallinson had changed his trade description from tailor to that of draper. On 21st December 1546 (indenture signed on 10th January 1547) Thomas Mallinson took on Robert Gosse for eight years. Presumingly Clemence Hunt and Giles Taylour were still in Mallinson’s employment. Robert Gosee was the son of the late William Gosse of Oxford. At the end of the apprenticeship Robert Gosse was to serve an extra year at which he would receive double apparel and £3 6s 8d.[9]

It is possible that Robert Gosse was a cousin, or even nephew-in-law, of Thomas Mallinson as by 1544 Thomas had married Agnes Gosse. This Agnes Gosse was the widow of William Gosse, a common councilman at Oxford in 1535. Although Thomas Mallinson was a rising star in the Oxford business world his money was not always sufficient for easy living. At one time Agnes Gosse, then wife of Thomas Mallinson, was arrested for debt and appeared before Chancellor Audley the keeper of the Bocardo prison, as a former prisoner.[10]

At some date Agnes Gosse died and Thomas Mallinson married a woman called Anne who was his widow in 1557.

Town offices and later apprentices

The activities of married life, training apprentices, and operating a draper’s business didn’t totally take up Thomas’s day; he still had time for involvement in civic life. After becoming a common councilman Thomas Mallinson went on to be city bailiff in 1545-6, and again in 1548-9. In 1547 he was made a subsidy collector and by 1550 was a city alderman.[11]

On 20th November 1550 Thomas Mallinson, draper, signed an indenture with William Rogerson to serve as apprentice for eight years from 29th September 1551. At the end of term William was to receive double apparel and 26s 8d. William Rogerson was the son of Henry Rogerson, cooper of Abingdon, Berkshire.[12]

On 3rd December 1550 Thomas Mallinson signed another indenture of apprenticeship. His new student was Simon Higgins of Wendlebury in Oxfordshire and son of William Higgins, husbandman. Simon Higgins had started his apprenticeship on 29th September 1550 and was to serve nine years. At the end of term he was to get double apparel and 40s while Thomas Mallinson agreed to pay Simon’s application for freedom.[13] Simon Higgins would have qualified as a draper in 1558 but does not appear in later records as taking on an apprentice.

M.P. for Oxford

In April 1554 Thomas Mallinson furthered his civic career when he became M.P. for Oxford in the second Parliament of Queen Mary.[14] At first Thomas Mallinson didn’t have far to travel as the first session of the Parliament was held in Oxford before moving to Westminster. The Parliament was dissolved on 5th May 1554.[15] One of the main items of business of the parliament was to pass an Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain. The Act made provision for the impending marriage of Queen Mary and Prince Philip whereby Philip was to be King of England and Ireland; the dating of documents was by their joint reigns and the opening of Parliament was by their joint authority. There were also controls on Philip’s power in terms of appointing foreigners and his authority of England if Queen Mary should die first. The Act remained on the statute books until 1863 when it was repealed.[16]

The 1554 Parliament was more noted for the Acts it didn’t pass as for those it did. A bill of heresy and another on abbey lands passed the Commons but were defeated in the Lords. The battle between a Protestant England and a Catholic England which Mary wanted to restore was played out in 1554 and heated up with the 1555 Parliament. It is not known which side Thomas Mallinson was on – we do know that his business associate and fellow Oxford M.P. Thomas Williams was on the Catholic side.

Supposed other property of Thomas Mallinson

Between 1615 and 1622 Christ Church was in legal dispute with the city council on the ownership of Oxford castle. In 1617 a number of witnesses appeared to give their opinion on who owned what. John Woodson of St. Thomas parish claimed that in about 1555 Alderman Thomas Mallinson had a lease from Christ Church of Warham Bank for 80 years and that the lease descended to Woodson’s father. By 1617 the city council had the lease. Rev. Salter gave his opinion that the lease to Mallinson was incorrect.[17]

The new fulling mill

On 16th July 1555 Thomas Mallinson did receive a lease from Christ Church of land and watercourses by Rewley as a site to erect a new fulling mill. A fulling mill, also known as a tuck mill (In Wales known as pandy mill in such places as Tonypandy), was where newly woven woollen loth was pounded in an alkaline solution to produce a stronger and denser material. The cloth was then dried by stretching it on a tenter frame.[18]

The lease for the new fulling mill was for 99 years at 2s per year rent. Thomas Mallinson was to erect the fulling mill by 25th March 1556 and maintain the associated water courses. He could enter the grounds of Rewley mansion to make banks and channels for the ‘better conveyance of the water to the said fulling mill’. But Thomas Mallinson was to take care that by closing the floodgates of the mill that he would not flood the houses of the Rewley residents. In times of drought Thomas Mallinson was not to take excessive water as to deprive Oseney mill of its supply.

Within the area of the lease Thomas Mallinson was not allowed total privacy. He could erect two doors between the High Bridge and the mill stream lock and keep the doors closed between ten at night and five in the morning. But at other times the doors were to be left open so people could still cross the ground as they did previously.[19] Thomas Williams, another M.P. for Oxford (1553), was involved with Thomas Mallinson in the new fulling mill.[20]

800px-Fulling_mill_bockler

A fulling mill about 1661

In a separate lease Christ Church gave Rewley mansion house and the surrounding grounds to Nicholas Woodson, yeoman, in 1553 for 30 years. In July 1555 Nicholas Woodson leased part of the grounds to his wife Christiana for 30 years while reserving to Nicholas the job of keeping open the locks to the fulling mill of Thomas Mallinson. Nicholas Woodson also took it upon himself to ensure that the Castle mill and Oseney mill got sufficient water in times of drought. In 1569 Nicholas Woodson got a new lease from Christ Church of Rewley for 41 years to start after the first two leases had expired.[21] Unfortunately Thomas Mallinson didn’t get to enjoy the fruits of the new fulling mill as he died within two years of its construction.

The death of Thomas Mallinson was also the signal for death of the cloth trade in Oxford. Although there were plans to increase the number of fulling mills in the Oxford area after Thomas’s death, such as that of 1565 to Thomas and James Atwood of the site of Oseney abbey and the surrounding ground, the long term position was decline. Other towns such as Witney had better advantages over Oxford. After 1600 there are fewer references to dyer, fullers and shermen in Oxford compared to their appearances in medieval documents.[22]

Last apprentice of Thomas Mallinson

By 1555 Thomas Mallinson had again changed his trade description from draper to weaver. On 2nd February 1555 Thomas Mallinson took on his last apprentice (indenture signed on 18th August 1555), Edward Bacheler of Bicester, Oxfordshire and son of Robert Bacheler, mercer. Edward Bacheler was to serve twelve years as an apprentice at the end of which time he was to receive double apparel and 40s.[23] In total there were four people from Bicester who became apprentices in Oxford between 1513 and 1602. The first of these was Thomas Scott who became apprentice in June 1547 to William Tylcock, white-baker.[24] Ten years later William Tylcock as mayor of Oxford would enter the story of Thomas Mallinson in an important manner.

The will of Thomas Mallinson and sudden death

Thomas Mallinson wrote his will on 17th April 1557 and named his wife Anne as principal legatee and executrix. Much of the will was devoted to the charity fund established by Thomas Mallinson. Two days previously Thomas Mallinson had concluded a deal with the then mayor of Oxford, William Tylcock to establish a fund of £200 to be used for ‘setting the poor people of the city at work’ in the clothing industry. If the city failed to live up to this condition, New College was to take the money; otherwise Tylcock was to hold it for ten years and thereafter no one was to have it for more than eight. Whoever held it was bound to keep an obit yearly for Mallinson’s soul.

On 27th April 1557 Thomas Mallinson was replaced as alderman. One month later, on 27th May 1557, Thomas Mallinson attended his last city council meeting. At the meeting an argument erupted between Thomas Mallinson and Mayor Tylcock in which Thomas uttered opprobrious words against Tylcock. Within a few hours of the meeting Thomas Mallinson died. His will was proved the following day in a bid to forestall any challenges. But the attempt failed as in 1562 the city council institute proceedings against William Tylcock for £200 given by Thomas Mallinson.[25]

Disputed over the Mallinson charity

But arguments over the Mallinson charity began within a short time of Thomas’s death. Shortly after the death of Thomas Mallinson, William Tylcock brought a chancery suit against Thomas Mayott, a Merchant Taylor of London, over a debt of £77 which was to have formed part of Mallinson’s £200 but which Mayott had paid to the widow on her plea that ‘she being the occasion of great wealth unto the said testator her late husband was not so substantially left by her said husband but that she had much need of such debt’.[26] Thomas’s first wife Agnes was also in financial trouble at times. It seems that Thomas Mallinson was good in business and civic affairs but his wives appear to have got a poor deal.

The subsequent history of the charity is unknown but if the challenge by the city council in 1562 is anything to go by the charity didn’t get off the ground in any meaningful way.

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[1] S.T. Bindoff (ed.), The House of Commons 1509-1581 (Secker &Warburg, London, 1982), 561

[2] http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/mallinson-thomas-1514-57 accessed on 1 August 2016

[3] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602 (Oxford Historical Society, New Series, Vol. XLIV2012), no. 124

[4] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, pp. xviii, xix

[5] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, nos. 126, 1976

[6] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, pp. l, li

[7] http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/mallinson-thomas-1514-57 accessed 1 August 2016

[8] Rev. H.E. Salter (ed.), Cartulary of Oseney Abbey (Oxford Historical Society, Vol. XC, 1929), Vol. II, p. 20

[9] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, no. 200

[10] http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/mallinson-thomas-1514-57 accessed 1 August 2016

[11] Oxford Recs. 162, 178, 192; E179/162/261, 282

[12] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, no. 279

[13] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, no. 281

[14] http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/mallinson-thomas-1514-57 accessed 1 August 2016

[15] http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/parliament/1554

[16] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_for_the_Marriage_of_Queen_Mary_to_Philip_of_Spain

[17] Rev. H.E. Salter (ed.), Cartulary of Oseney Abbey (Oxford Historical Society, Vol. XCI, 1931), Vol. III, p. 17

[18] Denis Power, Shelia Lane and others (eds.), Archaeological Inventory of County Cork Volume 4: North Cork Part 2 (Stationery Office, Dublin, 2000), p. 699

[19] Rev. H.E. Salter (ed.), Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Vol. III, p. 99

[20] http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/williams-thomas-i-1518-7990 accessed on 1 August 2016

[21] Rev. H.E. Salter (ed.), Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Vol. III, pp. 101, 102

[22] Rev. H.E. Salter (ed.), Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Vol. III, pp. 96, 99

[23] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, no. 387

[24] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, no. 209

[25] Bodl. wills Oxon. 181, ff. 199-200v; C1/1475/39; Oxford Recs. 224-5, 261, 266, 293

[26] C1/1084/20, 1475/39-40; Oxford Recs. 134

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Bristol History, Gloucester History, Oxford History, Worcester History

Bromsgrove apprentices 1540-1663

Bromsgrove apprentices 1540-1663

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Introduction

From 1540 to 1663 apprentices from Bromsgrove in Worcestershire appear in the apprentice registers at Bristol, Oxford and Gloucester. This article follows those apprentices and endeavours to learn their story. Bromsgrove is a town in the northern end of the County of Worcestershire. It is about sixteen miles north-east of the county town of Worcester and about thirteen miles south-west of Birmingham. Bromsgrove was first mentioned in the early ninth century. After the Norman Conquest the area became the property of the King and had attached to it thirteen salt pans at Droitwich.

In 1200 the market was confirmed by a royal grant. In 1317 a Tuesday market was granted with a three day annual fair in August. In medieval times the local economy was woodland and arable farming. From about 1500 the wool trade grew in importance.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

St_John_the_Baptist_Church_Bromsgrove_May_2015

Church of St. John the Baptist at Bromsgrove

1540 at Bristol

The earliest apprentice from Bromsgrove that is recorded in the three cities was that at Bristol in 1540. Yet the connection between Bristol and Bromsgrove went back further than 1540. In about 804 Aethelric, son of Aethelmund, held land at Bromsgrove and at Westbury, just to the north-west of Bristol.[4]

On 5th February 1540 Gilbert Barnsley, son of Nicholas Barnsley, gentleman of Bromsgrove, Worcester, became apprentice for ten years to Thomas Launsdon, haberdresser of Bristol (the word grocer was crossed out), and Elizabeth his wife.[5] The Barnsley family had interests in Bromsgrove in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. They owned Barnsley Hall until the late seventeenth century. In 1771 the old hall was taken down.[6]

On 12th November 1544 Gilbert Barnsley had his apprenticeship changed. His new master was Roger Jones, grocer of Bristol, and his wife Elizabeth. The new apprenticeship was for seven years or roughly the remainder of his term with Thomas Launsdon.[7] Roger Jones was still operating as a grocer in 1572 and taking on new apprentices. His new apprentice was Roger Barnsley, son of Gilbert Barnsley of Bromsgrove.[8] In October 1574 Roger Jones made his will.[9]

It was often the case that a master would look for an apprentice in the geographical area that he came from or that an apprentice would travel to the bug city to meet a master that had previously come from his own area.[10] On 3rd December 1550 Nicholas Carter, son of Thomas Carter, tailor of Bromsgrove, was made apprentice for ten years to Gilbert Barnsley, grocer of Bristol.[11]

1543 at Bristol

On 27th April 1543 William Roberts, son of David Roberts, husbandman of Bromsgrove, became apprentice for nine years to Francis Woseley, merchant of Bristol, and Margery his wife.[12] Francis Woseley was the son of William Woseley, merchant of Bristol, and in 1533 was apprenticed to William Spratt, merchant of Bristol.[13] Francis Woseley imported wine and exported hides, cloth and Manchester cotton from Bristol.[14]

1550 at Bristol

On 19th August 1550 Simon Barnsley, son of Nicholas Barnsley, husbandman of Bromsgrove, became apprentice to Richard Morse, merchant of Bristol, and his wife Joyce for twelve years.[15] No further information could be found about Simon Barnsley or Richard Morse.

STC138922

STC138922 Map of Bristol, from ‘Civitates Orbis Terrarum’ by Georg Braun (1541-1622) and Frans Hogenberg (1535-90) c.1572-1617 (coloured engraving); by Hoefnagel, Joris (1542-1600) (after); Private Collection; The Stapleton Collection; Flemish, out of copyright

Map of old Bristol

1552 at Bristol

On 6th April 1552 Geoffrey Barnsley, son of Nicholas Barnsley, husbandman of Bromsgrove, became apprentice to Henry Manning, merchant of Bristol, and his wife Elizabeth for nine years.[16] In December 1550 Henry Manning imported to Bristol 31 tun of wine and in May 1551 he exported out of Bristol twelve pieces of cloth and three old organ pipes.[17] Henry Manning took on another apprentice in November 1552 but he seems to disappear from the records after that.[18] On 28th July 1553 Geoffrey Barnsley changed his apprenticeship to serve under Richard Maunsell, merchant of Bristol, and his wife Agnes for ten years. During that time Geoffrey Barnsley was to serve one year in Spain.[19] Richard Maunsell was also involved in exporting cloth from Bristol in the 1550s and importing Welsh cloth.[20]

Bromsgrove was a centre of the wool trade from about 1500 and a flourishing trade in narrow cloth and friezes continued until the end of the 18th century.[21] Learning the trade of buying and selling textiles from Henry Manning and Richard Maunsell would have greatly benefitted Geoffrey Barnsley and his home town of Bromsgrove. Another citizen from Bromsgrove arrived in Bristol in the same year as Geoffrey Barnsley to learn the textile trade. On 8th June 1552 Robert Johmuner, son of John Johmuner, weaver of Bromsgrove, became apprentice for eight years to John Smyth, weaver of Bristol.[22] From his father’s occupation Robert Johmuner had a head start in his learning. In many cases apprentices often learnt different trades to that of their father.

1559 at Bristol

On 19th June 1559 Nicholas Chans, son of William Chans, deceased of Bromsgrove, was given as apprentice for ten years to Richard Fownes, merchant of Bristol, and his wife Joan.[23] On the same day (19th June) Gilbert, son of William Chans of Bromsgrove, was given as apprentice for twelve years to William Jones, merchant of Bristol, and Mary his wife.[24] We are not told the trade of William Chans but clearly he had hopes for his two sons to see the world beyond Bromsgrove and northern Worcester and Bristol was the commercial centre of the west of England. Richard Fownes exported cloth (continuing the Bromsgrove textile story), and imported wine and figs.[25] William Jones imported wine, figs and olive oil and exported cloth.[26]

1562 at Bristol

On 15th July 1562 Michael Hill, son of John Hill of Bromsgrove, became apprentice to Philip Jenkins, grocer of Bristol, and Alice his wife for nine years.[27] It was not the best of times to settle in Bristol as a bad dose of the plague hit the city in 1564-5 and still lingered in 1568.[28] It is not known if Michael Hill survived the plague, his master certainly did. In 1566 Philip Jenkins took on William Lawse of Ilchester, Somerset, as apprentice and around the same time took on Henry Skurfield of Hereford.[29] Philip Jenkins was the son of Jenkin Banner of Brecknock in Wales and learnt his trade in 1546 from Roger Jones, grocer of Bristol; the same Roger Jones who taught Gilbert Barnsley of Bromsgrove.[30] Philip Jenkins was still accepting apprentices in 1572.[31]

1563 at Oxford

Michael Hill of Bromsgrove was the last apprentice from there to go to Bristol in the apprentice registers so far published. There may be other Bromsgrove apprentices in the unpublished manuscript registers.

In 1563 a new location for Bromsgrove apprentices presents itself for the modern historian. On 12th March 1563 Thomas Shreve, son of Humphrey Shreve, husbandman of Bromsgrove, became apprentice for seven years to George Phylbye, currier of Oxford. At the end of the term Thomas Shreve was to have 13s 4d and double apparel.[32] George Phylbye took on his first apprentice as currier in November 1549 when Robert Pearson, son of John Pearson, husbandman of Iffley in Oxfordshire, came into his household.[33]

Oxford St Mary Magdalene church

St. Mary Magdalene church at Oxford

George Phylbye took on other apprentices in 1552, 1554, 1558 and 1566.[34] By 1578 George Phylbye was living in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen, in the suburbs of Oxford, with his wife Alice. Sometime before December 1583 George Phylbye died and his widow, Alice, reassigned their apprentice, John Feryman of Tewkesbury, to her son Richard Phylbye, currier of Oxford.[35] Richard Phylbye had originally trained as a tailor (1569) but later changed his occupation to that of currier, like his father.[36]

Thomas Shreve does not appear in the later Oxford apprentice registers and it would seem that he didn’t operate his business there. He could have returned to Bromsgrove or gone on to the third location. There is a reference to Thomas Shreve, pipe-maker, living in the parish of St. Thomas at Oxford in 1723 but it cannot be said with any certainty if he was any relation to the Thomas Shreve from Bromsgrove.[37]

1625 at Gloucester

In the seventeenth century Gloucester provides the third location for Bromsgrove apprentices to learn a trade. It is possible that people from Bromsgrove went to Gloucester before 1595 but the records before that year no longer exist. On 5th June 1625 Humphrey Edwards became apprentice to Henry and Anne Hockham (Hookam), butcher of Gloucester. Humphrey Edwards was the son of William Edwards, cooper of Bromsgrove, Worcester. The length of the apprenticeship was seven years with 40s payable at the end of term.[38]

Records show that Humphrey Edwards was born in 1591 and so was thirty-four when he became an apprentice. This seems very old to start a new career but family circumstances may have played a part. In 1622 Humphrey Edwards had a son called William baptised at Bromsgrove but the child died after only a month. In February 1625 Humphrey Edwards had a second child called Henry but this child died within a week or so of his birth.[39] This double loss may have played on Humphrey’s mind and he left Bromsgrove to begin a new life.

The master of Humphrey Edwards was Henry Hookam who first appears in Gloucester as an apprentice master in 1619 when he took on Nathanial Hookam, son of John Hookam of Lea in Wiltshire.[40] It is possible that Henry Hookam came from Lea or somewhere nearby.

On 25th December 1622 Henry and Anne Hookam, butcher, took on as apprentice John Howlett, son of Anthony Howlett, deceased pre February 1621, butcher of Gloucester. The term was for eight years with 5s payable at the end. This must have been a nice Christmas present for the Howlett family. On 2nd February 1621 John’s brother, Anthony Howlett, was made apprentice for eight years to Richard Kirke, pewterer of Gloucester.[41] The Howlett family also had connections with Lea in Wiltshire as on 25th May 1608 Anthony Howlett, butcher of Gloucester, and his wife, Anne Howlett, took on as apprentice Henry Hawcome, son of John Hawcome, shepherd of Lea.[42]

250px-Gloucester_Skyline

View over Gloucester 

1663 at Gloucester

On 21st February 1663 Thomas Baker, son of Thomas Baker, yeoman of Bromsgrove, Worcester, was made apprentice to Edward Clayfield, tanner of Gloucester, and his wife, Anne, for eight years.[43] A child called Thomas Baker was born in 1639 to Thomas and Martha Baker but it is unclear if this was the same person as our apprentice.[44]

The master of Thomas Baker was Edward Clayfield who was the son of Samuel Clayfield (deceased by 1631), clothier of Bisley, Gloucestershire. On 8th October 1631 Edward Clayfield was made apprentice to William Lugge, tanner of Gloucester, and Eleanor, his wife, for an eight year term.[45] In 1639-40 Edward Clayfield was made a freeman of Gloucester.[46] In February 1645 Edward Clayfield took on his first apprentice and was married to Alice.[47] By 1659 Alice Clayfield had died and Edward had remarried with Anne Clayfield as his new wife.[48] In 1669 Edward Clayfield was still married to Anne and worked as a tanner. In the same year, his son, Edward Clayfield junior and his wife, Katherine, took on their first apprentice, Robert Stone of Bromsberrow, Gloucestershire.[49] For apprentices from Bromsberrow in the seventeenth century see = https://niallbrn.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/bromsberrow-apprentices-in-seventeenth-century-gloucester/

It would seem that Thomas Baker didn’t settled in Gloucester after qualifying as a tanner and possibly returned home to Bromsgrove or went to a third location. His disappearance from the records ends the search for Bromsgrove apprentices that started in Bristol back in the days of King Henry VIII when that king used to grant the manor of Bromsgrove to his many wives.[50]

Concluding comments

In all ten apprentices from Bromsgrove are known in the published apprentice records for Bristol, Oxford and Gloucester. Of these only one, Robert Johmuner (1552 at Bristol), followed the trade of his father and became a weaver. The largest number of apprentices, four (1543, 1550, 1552, and 1559 at Bristol), became merchants, while two others became grocers (1540 and 1562 at Bristol). Two other apprentices went into the textile trade as a tanner (1663 at Gloucester) and a currier (1563 at Oxford) while a third Bromsgrove apprentice became a butcher (1625 at Gloucester) to help get the hides for the two others.

These people from Bromsgrove saw the world far beyond their parish and the county bounds of Worcester. They went to three far away cities to train in various trades. The six merchants and grocers could be said to have a longer vision with the buying and selling of goods from faraway places. Future research may find more information on the ten apprentices but for the moment our story concludes.

 

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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromsgrove accessed on 25 June 2016

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

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

[4] Nicholas Orme & Jon Cannon, Westbury-on-Trym: Monastery, Minster and College (Bristol Record Society, Vol. 62, 2010), p. 6

[5] D. Hollis (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part 1, MS. p. 167

[6] http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/worcs/vol3/pp19-33 accessed on 25 June 2016

[7] Elizabeth Ralph & Nora M. Hardwick (eds.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part II, 1542-1552 (Bristol Record Society, Vol. XXXIII, 1980), no. 311

[8] Margaret McGregor (ed.), Bristol Apprentice Book 1566-1573 (Bristol and Avon F.H.S. no date), p. 26

[9] Edward A. Fry (ed.), A calendar of wills proved in the consistory court of the Bishop of Bristol 1572-1792 and also a calendar of wills in the Great Orphan Books 1379-1674 (British Record Society, 1897), p. 127

[10] 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), pp. xxiv, xxv

[11] Elizabeth Ralph & Nora Hardwick (eds.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book, part II, no. 1537

[12] Elizabeth Ralph & Nora Hardwick (eds.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book, part II, no. 86

[13] D. Hollis (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part 1, MS. p. 20

[14] Susan Flavin & Evan T. Jones (eds.), Bristol’s trade with Ireland and the Continent 1503-1601 (Bristol Record Society, Vol. 61, 2009), pp. 304, 384, 573

[15] Elizabeth Ralph & Nora M. Hardwick (eds.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book, part II, no. 1460

[16] Elizabeth Ralph & Nora Hardwick (eds.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part II, no. 1767

[17] Susan Flavin & Evan Jones (eds.), Bristol’s trade with Ireland and the Continent 1503-1601, pp. 564, 596

[18] Elizabeth Ralph (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part III, 1552-1565 (Bristol Record Society, Vol. XLIII, 1992), no. 11

[19] Elizabeth Ralph (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part III, no. 121

[20] Susan Flavin & Evan Jones (eds.), Bristol’s trade with Ireland and the Continent 1503-1601, pp. 564, 569

[21] http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/worcs/vol3/pp19-33 accessed on 25 June 2016

[22] Elizabeth Ralph & Nora Hardwick (eds.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part II, no. 1772

[23] Elizabeth Ralph (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part III, no. 894

[24] Elizabeth Ralph (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part III, 1552-1565, no. 895

[25] Susan Flavin & Evan Jones (eds.), Bristol’s trade with Ireland and the Continent 1503-1601, pp. 709, 714, 729

[26] Susan Flavin & Evan Jones (eds.), Bristol’s trade with Ireland and the Continent 1503-1601, pp. 568, 569, 616

[27] Elizabeth Ralph (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part III, no. 1255

[28] Rosemary Hatherly & Olive Johnson, ‘Bristol 1567-1568’, in Notes on Bristol History, No. 4, edited by E. Ralph & P.V. McGrath (University of Bristol, 1980), p. 10

[29] Elizabeth Ralph (ed.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part III, nos. 1329, 1509

[30] Elizabeth Ralph & Nora Hardwick (eds.), Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book 1532-1565, part II, no. 618

[31] Margaret McGregor (ed.), Bristol Apprentice Book 1566-1573, p. 26

[32] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602 (Oxford Historical Society, New Series, Vol. XLIV, 2012), no. 547

[33] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, no. 259

[34] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, nos. 309, 365, 433, 649

[35] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, no. 966

[36] Alan Crossley (ed.), Oxford City Apprentices 1513-1602, nos. 708, 833

[37] Rev. H.E. Salter (ed.), Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, volume II (Oxford Historical Society, vol. XC, 1929), p. 525

[38] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, no. 1/342

[39] http://www.dustydocs.com/link/41/37131/124510/baptisms-1590-1874-archersoftware.html accessed on 25 June 2016

[40] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, no. 1/279

[41] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, nos. 1/300, 1/322

[42] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, no. 1/169

[43] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, no. 2/294

[44] http://www.dustydocs.com/link/41/37131/124510/baptisms-1590-1874-archersoftware.html accessed on 25 June 2016

[45] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, no. 1/407

[46] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, p. 272

[47] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, no. 1/570

[48] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, no. 2/235

[49] Jill Barlow (ed.), A Calendar of the Registers of Apprentices of the City of Gloucester, nos. 3/23, 3/24

[50] http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/worcs/vol3/pp19-33 accessed on 25 June 2016

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