Tallow Chandlers' Company Apprenticeships

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

The first register of apprentices (Guildhall Library Ms 6158/1 covering 1633-45) is only in roughly chronological order. Presumably the entries were made as they were registered at court, and the date of apprenticeship may therefore be some time before. Although there are only substantial numbers of entries from 1632, there is one isolated entry from 1629, presumably because of this factor. After the mid-1640s there are only occasional apprenticeships out of their correct chronological sequence.

The series continues with GL Ms 6158/2, containing apprenticeships 1662-85, which is damaged by what appears to be acidic damage to the paper in the middle of each page. It has invariably been possible to make good the name of the apprentice and master from the index at the back of the volume (which gives both these names) or from the Wardens' Accounts 1653-1701 (GL Ms 6152/3) which have been used (silently). The accounts also only give the bare names of the parties and the account year (as do earlier accounts from 1551). There are also two rough apprenticeship binding books (GL Ms 6159/1-2 covering 1686-1720 and 1720-82). These do contain full details and have been silently used to correct and add information. From late 1778 to 1782, indeed, GL Ms 6159/2 has been the primary source of information. However this lack of detail in some alternate sources means some information has been irretrievably lost. GL Ms 6161A contains presentation of apprentices 1674-85, bare names only, but exact dates which helped in a few cases.

After 1782, there is a full list of apprentices and masters in the Orphans' Duty book 1694-1867 (GL Ms 6160) in which, as usual, no details are given. The Court Minute Books (GL Ms 6153/12: 1747-79; GL Ms 6153/13: 1774-93 and GL Ms 6153/14: 1793-1821 give turnovers and also usually the name of the father of those apprentices admitted to the freedom. However, there is also in this period a rough Court Minute book (GL Ms 6154/4: 1782-98) which gives full details in almost all cases. A combination of these sources means that almost all details are available except for the period November 1798 to December 1799.

The records of 6,062 Tallow Chandlers' apprenticeships have been abstracted.