Coachmakers' & Coach Harness Makers' Company apprenticeships

The Company was founded in 1677 and controlled its trade completely until the nineteenth century. It may be of interest to note that Lionel Lukin, sometime master of the Company, and frequently the master in apprenticeships recorded herein, was the inventor of the lifeboat.

Such records as survive are principally deposited at the Guildhall Library. Much of the archive of the Coachmakers' and Coach Harnessmakers' Company was lost through enemy action in World War II. Most fortunately, G. Elland (who produced a history of the Company) had compiled a list of pre-1800 apprentices on slips, and from these slips (which presumably no longer survive) Colonel F. Wall compiled a typescript index, of which there are copies in the Company's archives (preserved at the Guildhall Library) and at the Society of Genealogists. This current index was prepared from the copy at the Society of Genealogists.

Some editorial changes have been made in preparing the abstracts. Christian names have been extended, modernised and standardised. 'Auty' and 'Anty', which both appear in the typescript, have both been rendered Anthony. Place-names, where they can be identified with certainty, have been modernised. A differential is made between 'in Ms' which notes dubious entries in the typescript itself, and 'in Ts', which references annotations made by Cliff Webb. Unidentified places have been placed in single inverted commas - these inverted commas do not appear in the typescript. Parishes have been allocated (in square brackets) to some smaller places - these again do not appear in the typescript. In some cases, the original copyist has shown pre-1752 dates in double-dated form, e.g. 1727/8. In most cases, however, this has not been done to dates from 1st January to 24th March. In all these cases in this index, there has been no alternative to retaining the form used in the typescript, which leaves it uncertain whether, for example, 1 Jan 1727 is actually 1726/7 or 1727/8.

Due to the loss of the original manuscripts from which the slips and thus the typescript was compiled (not the case for the abstracts for other Companies records) any information given in the typescript has been included here, including a few freedom admissions, except that the designation citizen and coachmaker has been omitted where a master is being named, since he must always be a member of the Coachmakers' Company. In a number of cases the apprentice is shown in the typescript as being apprenticed 'to W.W.'. From other entries this is clearly 'to William Watson' and has been so rendered here.

A few entries pre-date the foundation of the Company in 1677. In these cases (e.g. Richard Foordham), apprentices to masters who were members of other companies took their freedom as of this company.

The records of 3,802 Coachmakers' & Coach Harness Makers' apprenticeships have been abstracted.