Butchers' Company apprenticeships

The older records of this Company are deposited at the Guildhall Library.

Detailed records start being kept for this company in the Warden's Accounts for 1585. They run to 1588 (Guildhall Library Ms 6440/1), and there is then a gap to 1592, when the series resumes (GL Ms 6440/2 1592-1646). There is a further gap after 1646, until surviving registers of apprentices as such start to be kept for this Company in 1654.

There is some considerable evidence that the compilation of the 1654-1730 volume was conducted very carelessly. The names of both people and places, therefore, are frequently contorted into an unrecognisable form. To give some examples an apprentice quite clearly called Quenenn in the Ms, comes from the Guildford butcher family of Quennell (indeed his brother is apprenticed later, correctly spelled). It would seem likely that the volume was compiled from another, and copied inaccurately. Another is stated come from 'Worton Overy' which is clearly Burton Overy and another 'Cook Norton' instead of Hook Norton.

There are gaps between Sep 1659 and Oct 1662 and the end of Aug 1666 and the beginning of May 1667 which cannot be filled from any other source. The register is in one hand from 1662 to 1713. Since there was more than one change of clerk in this period, it would seem to be a copy from another, now lost, source. Thus may be at least a contributory factor in the poor orthography noted above.

There is a gap in the records of apprenticeship bindings from 1730-43. This is made up by a combination of the Orphans' Tax book which survives for the period and the warden's accounts (GL Ms 6440/7). Unfortunately, there is also a gap in the warden's accounts after 1738, made worse by the defective nature of the Orphans' Tax book, from which many apprenticeships are omitted in the period which can be checked against the wardens' accounts. The court minutes at this time give turnovers, but not original apprenticeships. At this period, however, parentage is only rarely given in the freedom registers and never in other records. For those apprentices who were made free this has been ascertained from the register of freedom admissions (GL Ms 6446/1). Furthermore this period has been checked against the Inland Revenue Apprenticeship Registers indexes at the Society of Genealogists for those not found in the freedom admissions.

The series resumes with GL Ms 6447/3 (1743-49), GL Ms 6447/4 (1749-82) and GL Ms 6447/5 (1782-1821). As usual in this series, the last volume has been copied to the end of 1800 only.

There are 9,659 apprenticeships recorded in this index