Farriers' Company apprenticeships

The Farriers' Company has medieval origins, though its first charter seems to have been granted in 1674. As well as shoe-ers of horses, the Company also included veterinary surgeons.

The archives of the Company are deposited at the Guildhall Library, and two apprenticeship binding books, the first (Guildhall Library Ms 5526/1) starting in 1619, and the second (GL Ms 5526/2 starting in 1744) have been abstracted to compile this index. GL Ms 5526/2 continues to 1811, but entries have only been extracted to the end of 1800.

Clearly at one time there was a volume previous to ours, since an apprenticeship of 1616 is noted in a turn over (see entry for Tatom). There are no entries between 24 Jul 1634 and 26 Oct 1635, so it would seem likely that a page or more is missing at this point.

There is evidence that this volume (like no doubt many others) was compiled (in the manner of many parish registers) from slips of paper en masse. There are some errors which appear almost certainly to be mistranscription rather than phonetic errors. It would also seem to be the case from the number of late interpolated entries in correct chronological order, and the general orderliness of a lot of the pages.

From 1728 to 1741 the entries are quite frequently annotated 'free' and less frequently with other notes such as 'dead'. These and the occasional similar notes at other times have been reproduced in the abstracts.

There are several masters whose name appears to change rather more than the normal to be expected variations in orthography. Examples are: Jesse Pollet or Pollett who is sometimes known as Jesse Polley; Samuel Mobbs who seems later to have been consistently Samuel Mabbs; and Bulmer Hodgson also called Bulmer Hutchins. In places a master appears clearly as John Leaford, in others as more like John Seaford. Similarly, William Avery the apprentice is almost certainly William Every the master. It is possible there are some unrecognised examples, eg: William Bryan who disappears and William Browning who immediately appears as a master.

The records of 3,708 Farriers' apprenticeships have been abstracted.