Wednesday 28 November 2007

Bedfordshire apprentices far from home

How far away from Bedfordshire and home were youngster sent as apprentices?

A lot went to London, of course, but recently I discovered two Bedfordshire-born apprentices in Gloucester:

On 24 June 1598 William, son of Robert Wilshere a husbandman of Oakley, was apprenticed to Lawrence and Sarah Wilsheere, a weaver in Gloucester for 7 years.

On 21 May 1601 Thomas Phillippe, son of George Phillippes a yeoman of Westoning, was apprenticed to William Saunders, a haberdasher of Gloucester for 7 years, and was transferred to Peter Lugg, haberdasher, on 12 April 1605 to complete his term.

(source: A calendar of the apprentices of the city of Gloucester 1595-1700. Gloucestershire Record Series, vol 14. 2001)

It is reasonable to assume a family connection between the Wilshere apprentice and master but was there a similar connection between Phillippe and Saunders? If not, how did the connection occur? And, how did the youngsters travel?

Any ideas and also any other instances of Bedfordshire boys (or girls) being apprenticed at some distance from the county, especially at that period, would be gratefuly received.

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