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Apprenticeships

Terry Vincent

Brummie babby
Hello, my gg'f Alf Richard Baker b1866c, Barr St/Wheeler St was a journeyman brass founder in 1894 & a master window cleaner in 1900 so he would have served 2 apprenticeships? Does anyone know where/if any such apprenticeship lists are kept?
[by the way I can't find his birth or baptism - there is another Alf Rich b68 born to a different twig on the family tree - & he doesn't appear in any of the census 1871/81/91 so researching his story is challenging to say the least]
 

Genestracer

Brummie babby
Hi there, I doubt if any apprenticeship was required for either of these occupations. A journeyman was someone who travelled to sell produce, these days would be known as a travelling salesman. In your 2x grandfathers case it was brass items.
As a Master window cleaner from my experience of Ancestry records and census information it suggests that it may have been his own business. Check out the 1901 census and see if he states whether he was an employer of men. If you are not sure of his D of B use the + or- age tool. Good hunting.
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
I am not so sure if a master window cleaner was seen as a skilled occupation, meaning I just don’t to any degree of certainty.


I would however say that most certainly a journeyman brass founder was actually highly skilled. It seems that people who worked in metal, brass and bronze were highly skilled in an occupation that has a history extending back many thousands of years and were highly valued.


Usage of language does change over time, but generally a journeyman was a person who had completed a recognised apprenticeship, normally in the construction industry or building trade crafts. As a journeyman you could then apply to one of the craft guilds to become a master craftsman. I was a building craft apprentice and still have a set of indentures all signed, stamped and sealed.


Birmingham did have a distinction of allowing people to work without being members of trade guilds.
 

boomy

master brummie
I am not so sure if a master window cleaner was seen as a skilled occupation, meaning I just don’t to any degree of certainty.


I would however say that most certainly a journeyman brass founder was actually highly skilled. It seems that people who worked in metal, brass and bronze were highly skilled in an occupation that has a history extending back many thousands of years and were highly valued.


Usage of language does change over time, but generally a journeyman was a person who had completed a recognised apprenticeship, normally in the construction industry or building trade crafts. As a journeyman you could then apply to one of the craft guilds to become a master craftsman. I was a building craft apprentice and still have a set of indentures all signed, stamped and sealed.


Birmingham did have a distinction of allowing people to work without being members of trade guilds.
Having served a 5 year apprenticeship myself in the motor trade 60 years ago, I acquired an interesting copy of an Apprentices Indenture off eBay some months ago, for the apprenticeship of a William Herbert Beauchamp, who lived in Whitmore Road, Small Heath, and served a 4 1/2 year apprenticeship with Alldays & Onions Pneumatic Engineering Co. Ltd.
Starting in 1894 his wages were 6 shillings per week, rising to 10 shillings per week in 1898, and his mother had to pay Alldays a £60 Premium for his apprenticeship.
His terms included that "the said William Herbert Beauchamp shall not play at cards, dice tables, nor any unlawful game, and shall not haunt taverns nor ale houses".
William was working for Wolseley Motors Ltd., in 1921, in a managerial position, and was then living in South Yardley, so he did well after serving his "time" with Alldays.
Boomy
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Terry,

Welcome to the Forum. As far as I know, the ones online stop at 1811. Check out the National Archives or stick the keywords "indentures England" (without the quotes) into Google. Postcard fairs, which generally have a paper ephemera section, and generally have lots of random ones, but I know of no complete lists for that time period.

Maurice
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Slightly off topic but I discovered some time ago why these were called 'indentures' originally. I was looking at papers from the 1700's (actually vellum and to do with land) and remarked that the left hand side was 'wavy'. The librarian said that there were always two copies, one for the master and one for the apprentice, or seller and purchaser, and once they have been confirmed as exactly the same they were put together and left hand side was indented so that they could be matched at any time to make sure they were the originals.
 

Genestracer

Brummie babby
It took me about 20mins yesterday to put together the ancestry of Alfred Robert Baker who was born in 1868. His father was also Alfred Robert Baker and a son was named Alfred Robert Baker also. ARB 1868 who's wife is named Elizabeth is shown as a Window Cleaner until his death in 1928. No mention was found of a "Master" window cleaner, probably that he had a lot of experience in all those years. Back to the "Journeyman" he would have been the go between with manufacturer and purchaser not necessarily the skilled maker of the items. Birmingham brass makers were world renowned for their skills however, especially in the making of bedsteads and bicycle frames.
 

Noodles

proper brummie kid
The original 'Journeyman' term applied to those who had fulfilled an Indentured Apprenticeship and worked for an identical term in the service of the Master. So a father - often with the means to afford to pay a Master Craftsman (skilled in whatever trade he wished his son (or more rarely a daughter) to learn) - would contact the Master and agree an Indenture fee. From 1760 onwards this would include a Duty Tax which had to be paid by the Master to the Revenue within two months of the Indenture date. The Master's fee would then be paid all up front or over a set period, which varied from Master to Master and trade to trade. Once signed sealed and delivered the new Apprentice would be committed to serve the Master (and join his household with food and tools provided but no wage as such) until his term was served, from between 5 -7 years, the latter being the norm.

Once the term was complete the Master would be required to issue his ex-Apprentice a Trade Certificate as proof that he is now a skilled tradesman, and who from now on can earn a wage, (out of which he must provide his own board and lodgings). The tradesman is now known as a 'Journeyman' and providing he was bound by a formal Indenture, will be further bound to offer his services to the Master for the same period as the Apprenticeship. Only by following this course can a Journeyman hope to become a Guild recognised 'Master' in his own right, and of course offer his own Indentures.

I have a Master Carpenter/Wheelwright in my family and luckily his father - a Yeoman Farmer in North Warwickshire - in 1733 (when his son was 13) could afford the Indenture Fee of £14.00 (worth about £2,500 in today's money). His son went on to serve a 7 year term as Apprentice, and the same again as Journeyman; finally making Master c 1748. He married shortly after this (Apprentices by the way are not allowed to marry until out of time, and even as Journeymen, can usually ill afford to). He ran his own workshop in Coventry, joined the Wheelwrights Guild and took on Apprentices. Eventually, as a serving Guild Member he was sponsored for Freeman status, which he eventually earned by Royal Charter in 1775. With that amount of work and dedication I think he fully deserved it.
 

Noodles

proper brummie kid
Probably not overly important perhaps, but for the sake of accuracy, the duty tax on Apprentice Indentures came into being in 1710 and not 1760. Sorry about that.
 

Terry Vincent

Brummie babby
There is an Alfred Baker baptised at Christ Church in November 1866. Is that him? Parents William and Harriet
Thanks very much & so sorry for the delay in replying. I've checked them out & it's not him. In 4 years of looking I must have followed almost all the Alfred's b1866c - the only fact I have is when he married he gave his father as also Alfred Richard but I can't find him either. I have a best guess family but there are many discrepancies. Hence I've been trying to find him via his occupations. Many thanks for your help
 

Terry Vincent

Brummie babby
I am not so sure if a master window cleaner was seen as a skilled occupation, meaning I just don’t to any degree of certainty.


I would however say that most certainly a journeyman brass founder was actually highly skilled. It seems that people who worked in metal, brass and bronze were highly skilled in an occupation that has a history extending back many thousands of years and were highly valued.


Usage of language does change over time, but generally a journeyman was a person who had completed a recognised apprenticeship, normally in the construction industry or building trade crafts. As a journeyman you could then apply to one of the craft guilds to become a master craftsman. I was a building craft apprentice and still have a set of indentures all signed, stamped and sealed.


Birmingham did have a distinction of allowing people to work without being members of trade guilds.
I am not so sure if a master window cleaner was seen as a skilled occupation, meaning I just don’t to any degree of certainty.


I would however say that most certainly a journeyman brass founder was actually highly skilled. It seems that people who worked in metal, brass and bronze were highly skilled in an occupation that has a history extending back many thousands of years and were highly valued.


Usage of language does change over time, but generally a journeyman was a person who had completed a recognised apprenticeship, normally in the construction industry or building trade crafts. As a journeyman you could then apply to one of the craft guilds to become a master craftsman. I was a building craft apprentice and still have a set of indentures all signed, stamped and sealed.


Birmingham did have a distinction of allowing people to work without being members of trade guilds.
Thank you very much for the information, really useful. This gg'f is a mystery, not found on census's 1871~91 or a birth record so I was focussing on his occupations in the hope of tracing him before 1894. I'm trying to imagine being a window cleaner then, assuming only the big houses/factories etc would need/be able to afford window cleaners & I can't even find any window cleaning companies in the trades directories. Then I'm thinking why go from brass founder to window cleaning unless for better pay or because of an injury when he comes from a family of jewellers, if I've guessed the correct one.
How great that you have your indenture documents, a treasure.
Sent with my apologies for the delay in replying, best wishes
 

Terry Vincent

Brummie babby
Having served a 5 year apprenticeship myself in the motor trade 60 years ago, I acquired an interesting copy of an Apprentices Indenture off eBay some months ago, for the apprenticeship of a William Herbert Beauchamp, who lived in Whitmore Road, Small Heath, and served a 4 1/2 year apprenticeship with Alldays & Onions Pneumatic Engineering Co. Ltd.
Starting in 1894 his wages were 6 shillings per week, rising to 10 shillings per week in 1898, and his mother had to pay Alldays a £60 Premium for his apprenticeship.
His terms included that "the said William Herbert Beauchamp shall not play at cards, dice tables, nor any unlawful game, and shall not haunt taverns nor ale houses".
William was working for Wolseley Motors Ltd., in 1921, in a managerial position, and was then living in South Yardley, so he did well after serving his "time" with Alldays.
Boomy
I love to read indentures when I find them online. Good for William. Many thanks for the information
 

Terry Vincent

Brummie babby
Terry,

Welcome to the Forum. As far as I know, the ones online stop at 1811. Check out the National Archives or stick the keywords "indentures England" (without the quotes) into Google. Postcard fairs, which generally have a paper ephemera section, and generally have lots of random ones, but I know of no complete lists for that time period.

Maurice
Many thanks, that's given me new avenues to check [so sorry for the delay in replying]
 

Terry Vincent

Brummie babby
It took me about 20mins yesterday to put together the ancestry of Alfred Robert Baker who was born in 1868. His father was also Alfred Robert Baker and a son was named Alfred Robert Baker also. ARB 1868 who's wife is named Elizabeth is shown as a Window Cleaner until his death in 1928. No mention was found of a "Master" window cleaner, probably that he had a lot of experience in all those years. Back to the "Journeyman" he would have been the go between with manufacturer and purchaser not necessarily the skilled maker of the items. Birmingham brass makers were world renowned for their skills however, especially in the making of bedsteads and bicycle frames.
Wow, that's brilliant! I will definitely check that information out. He always went by Alfred Richard & I thought I'd checked out every other possible similar name - clearly I hadn't - there are many similarities for me to follow up. Thanks again. I'll let you know what I find. [please accept my apologies, I didn't realise I had all these replies but that would be down to my lack of skill online] NB it's his life up to 1894 which is a blank, hhis first 30 years
 

Terry Vincent

Brummie babby
The original 'Journeyman' term applied to those who had fulfilled an Indentured Apprenticeship and worked for an identical term in the service of the Master. So a father - often with the means to afford to pay a Master Craftsman (skilled in whatever trade he wished his son (or more rarely a daughter) to learn) - would contact the Master and agree an Indenture fee. From 1760 onwards this would include a Duty Tax which had to be paid by the Master to the Revenue within two months of the Indenture date. The Master's fee would then be paid all up front or over a set period, which varied from Master to Master and trade to trade. Once signed sealed and delivered the new Apprentice would be committed to serve the Master (and join his household with food and tools provided but no wage as such) until his term was served, from between 5 -7 years, the latter being the norm.

Once the term was complete the Master would be required to issue his ex-Apprentice a Trade Certificate as proof that he is now a skilled tradesman, and who from now on can earn a wage, (out of which he must provide his own board and lodgings). The tradesman is now known as a 'Journeyman' and providing he was bound by a formal Indenture, will be further bound to offer his services to the Master for the same period as the Apprenticeship. Only by following this course can a Journeyman hope to become a Guild recognised 'Master' in his own right, and of course offer his own Indentures.

I have a Master Carpenter/Wheelwright in my family and luckily his father - a Yeoman Farmer in North Warwickshire - in 1733 (when his son was 13) could afford the Indenture Fee of £14.00 (worth about £2,500 in today's money). His son went on to serve a 7 year term as Apprentice, and the same again as Journeyman; finally making Master c 1748. He married shortly after this (Apprentices by the way are not allowed to marry until out of time, and even as Journeymen, can usually ill afford to). He ran his own workshop in Coventry, joined the Wheelwrights Guild and took on Apprentices. Eventually, as a serving Guild Member he was sponsored for Freeman status, which he eventually earned by Royal Charter in 1775. With that amount of work and dedication I think he fully deserved it.
Thank you, that was so interesting - I hope to get to that level of detail with as many people in my family as I can, I have many snippets & a lot more work to do. I agree that with that amount of work & dedication he fully deserved his status & reputation.
 

Brummie Grandbaby

proper brummie kid
The original 'Journeyman' term applied to those who had fulfilled an Indentured Apprenticeship and worked for an identical term in the service of the Master. So a father - often with the means to afford to pay a Master Craftsman (skilled in whatever trade he wished his son (or more rarely a daughter) to learn) - would contact the Master and agree an Indenture fee. From 1760 onwards this would include a Duty Tax which had to be paid by the Master to the Revenue within two months of the Indenture date. The Master's fee would then be paid all up front or over a set period, which varied from Master to Master and trade to trade. Once signed sealed and delivered the new Apprentice would be committed to serve the Master (and join his household with food and tools provided but no wage as such) until his term was served, from between 5 -7 years, the latter being the norm.

Once the term was complete the Master would be required to issue his ex-Apprentice a Trade Certificate as proof that he is now a skilled tradesman, and who from now on can earn a wage, (out of which he must provide his own board and lodgings). The tradesman is now known as a 'Journeyman' and providing he was bound by a formal Indenture, will be further bound to offer his services to the Master for the same period as the Apprenticeship. Only by following this course can a Journeyman hope to become a Guild recognised 'Master' in his own right, and of course offer his own Indentures.

I have a Master Carpenter/Wheelwright in my family and luckily his father - a Yeoman Farmer in North Warwickshire - in 1733 (when his son was 13) could afford the Indenture Fee of £14.00 (worth about £2,500 in today's money). His son went on to serve a 7 year term as Apprentice, and the same again as Journeyman; finally making Master c 1748. He married shortly after this (Apprentices by the way are not allowed to marry until out of time, and even as Journeymen, can usually ill afford to). He ran his own workshop in Coventry, joined the Wheelwrights Guild and took on Apprentices. Eventually, as a serving Guild Member he was sponsored for Freeman status, which he eventually earned by Royal Charter in 1775. With that amount of work and dedication I think he fully deserved it.
Noodles - Thank you for all the interesting information. Did you find the details of your relative through apprenticeship research. I am trying to find such information for my Great-grandfather. Could you tell me where I would find information on his apprenticeship?
 
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