Plumbers' Company apprenticeships

This company was already well-established when it received its first grant of ordinances in 1365. A charter was granted in 1611. The Company is 31st in order of precedence.

The older records of the Company are deposited at the Guildhall Library. There are two specific registers of apprenticeship bindings. The first (GL Ms 2223/1), commencing in 1571 continues to 29 Dec 1680. The first 37 entries (containing 1571 to about 1580) are partially lost. The handwriting up to about 1600 is extremely crabbed and difficult and the orthography eccentric in the extreme. This, together with the habit of frequently omitting county names has left a larger than usual number of place-names which Cliff Webb has been unable to identify firmly. For example, in one example which was elucidated but only because access to the baptism register was available, Weybridge in Surrey was rendered in the manuscript 'Wakefield'. Until the 1620s, many dates are expressed as Saint's days. These have been rendered in ordinary dates in the abstracts.

The second register (GL Ms 2223/2) continues the record from 29 Dec 1680 to 1758. However, much of the record has been taken from the Court Minutes. These run 1669 to 1683 (GL Ms 2208/4), 1683 to 14 Nov 1711 (GL Ms 2208/5), 29 Dec 1711 to 29 Sep 1740 (GL Ms 2208/6), 29 Oct 1740 to 9 Nov 1775 (GL Ms 2208/7) and 25 Apr 1776 to 29 Dec 1800 (GL Ms 2208/8). From 1758, however, the primary record has been taken from the Orphan's Tax book 1694 to 1864 (GL Ms 2211). Although this record only gives the bare names of apprentices and masters, it is a useful checklist against the scattered (and thus easily missed) entries in the Court Minute books.

The register in the early eighteenth century is unusual in that it doesn't entirely restrict itself to bindings, turnovers and freedom admissions. In several cases entries are made giving such information as 'gone to sea' or 'become an Anabaptist preacher'. This is usually (though not always) when a master wanted to take on another apprentice in place of one who had not formally 'graduated'.

The records of 1,970 Plumbers' apprenticeships have been abstracted.