Armourers' & Brasiers' Company apprenticeships

The Armourers' Company was founded in 1322; later the Brasiers' were amalgamated.

Its records are principally deposited at the Guildhall Library. The first apprenticeship register (Guildhall Library Ms 12,079/1) covers 1535-1602, but has no details of parentage, etc. The next volume (GL Ms 12,079/2 covering 1602-61) contains such details from about 1623, and it is from there that the details have been abstracted. However, from 1623 freedom admissions, which are interspersed with apprenticeships, give the details of pre-1623 apprenticeships. Puzzlingly, however, the original apprenticeships in these cases are, frequently, not to be found in their correct earlier chronological place. One can only assume that the register is a later compilation from two separate conflated records, and where an apprenticeship resulted in a freedom, the freedom admission was sometimes recorded with the apprenticeship details, rather as two separate entries. Dates in the early part of GL 12,079/2 are often expressed by Saints' Days. These have been rendered in the abstracts into the modern form of the date, with double-dating (ie Old Style and New Style) for the period before the 25th March each year. (NB The index to the abstracts uses only New Style dates.)

After a brief gap 1661-1665 (punctuated by a few entries for 1663; the court minutes for the period also give no details) the record resumes with GL Ms 12,080/1 which covers 1663, 1666-1721. This register is badly faded and many entries to the mid-1670s (and a few in 1702) are totally illegible. A number of entries were recovered (or corrected) however, from GL Ms 12,072 (rough court minutes 1643-70) and Ms 12,074/1 (rough court minutes 1670-1706), though these volumes are themselves damaged and do not consistently give details of apprenticeships.

Abstracts were also made from GL Ms 12,080/2 which covers 1721-1826. However, as usual in this series, no abstracts were made of records after the end of 1800. From the 1740s the premium paid, and after mid-1769, the residence and occupation of the master is given in the manuscript, but this has been omitted in this index.

The records of 3,509 Armourers' & Brasiers' apprenticeships have been abstracted.