Thursday 16 October 2008

More Bedfordshire apprentices far from home

Following the posting about Bedfordshire boys being apprenticed in Gloucester, two more Bedfordshire boys have turned up out-of-county as apprentices, this time in Oxford. They are:

Thomas Gillett, son of George Gillett late of Clanfield (ie Cranfield) yeoman, deceased, who was apprenticed to John Knibb clockmaker of Oxford on 24 June 1698, presumably for 7 years although the record does not mention the period,


James Keats, son of Thomas Keats of Ampthill yeoman apprenticed to Edward Pittaway locksmith of Oxford for 7 years from 8 February 1741/2.

These two entries are from the published list of Oxford City Apprentices 1697-1800, edited by Malcolm Graham, 1987 (Oxford Historical Society, new series, vol. 31). The introduction to the volume describes the records and the system of apprenticeship in Oxford. Records of apprentices survive from the sixteenth century in various of the Oxford City Council books and maybe there are more Bedfordshire boys (and maybe even girls) apprenticed in Oxford in the earlier period.

What happened to these two boys after their apprenticeship? Did they remain where they were, return home or move on elsewhere?

Can anyone out there add the names of other Bedfordshire boys and girls apprenticed outside the county?

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