Gunmakers' Company apprenticeships

The historic archives of this company are preserved at the Guildhall Library, London. The Company was founded in 1637 and its court minutes start at that date. Due to opposition, principally from the Armourers' & Brasiers' Company, the charter was not finally enrolled until 1656 and only then did the Company start to bind apprentices.

The earlier entries are taken from the court minute book 1656-1745 (GL Ms 5220/2). Almost every entry in the first 20 years or so refers to apprenticeship to the same master, who was probably beadle of the Company. At the same time the apprentice is noted as having been 'turned over' to another master, who was the master for whom he or she was really intended. The name of the first master has been omitted here. A separate register especially for apprenticeships constitutes GL Ms 5224, which covers 1745-1902. This has been abstracted until the end of 1800. From about 1765 the address of the master has been given, but this has been omitted except where it is outside the London area.

The records of 1,837 Gunmakers' apprenticeships have been abstracted.