Plaisterers' Company apprenticeships

The Plaisterers (plasterers) were incorporated in 1501, and they are 46th in order of precedence.

The first Court Minute book of the Company (Guildhall Library Ms 6122/1) starts in 1571. However, detailed records of apprenticeships do not begin until 1597. Even thereafter, details are omitted in some entries, including almost all from 1605 to 1611. However, any entry, even if un-detailed, has been noted from 1597 onwards.

The register as it stands today is in considerable chronological disarray. It is not clear whether loose gatherings have been bound up out of order, or whether the misordering took place when the volume was rebound. Whatever the case, the current order of entries is as follows: 1571-1607; 1619-30; 1612-19; 1608-12; 1607-08; 1630-34.

The last entries in the volume are dated 13 Oct 1634 and the next volume (GL Ms 6122/2) records its first apprenticeship, without a break in continuity, on 13 Nov 1634. Its last entries are dated 29 Aug 1662. There is now a major gap, for which no record at all seems to survive of Plaisterers' apprenticeships. This is a great loss, as apprenticeships are being entered into at a record rate as the register ends. There do survive quarterage books for the period, from which the membership can be followed.

The next volume of Court Minutes (GL Ms 6122/3) does not commence until 13 Oct 1698. Its last entries are for 10 Sep 1761. Court Minutes continue with GL Ms 6122/4 whose first entry is of 9 Nov 1761. This register's last entries are dated 9 Nov 1793. The next volume of minutes was deposited in the Guildhall Library as Ms 6122/5 but has been withdrawn by the Company. The first entry is for 1 Apr 1794. Permission was granted to extract those entries dating from before the end of 1800. A few more years were searched for 'turn overs' of pre-1801 apprentices.

The records of 2,990 Plaisterers' apprenticeships have been abstracted.