Apprentices title
Finding a place for Pauper children



The Transcription Regulations Further Reading


The Aylsham Union Register of Servants and Apprentices records the details of 88 Pauper children who were placed in employment by the Poor Law Guardians between 1880 and 1903.   The document has been transcribed and the entries are tabulated below.  An on-line copy can be viewed on the FamilySearch web site, hidden within the Indoor Relief Lists of the Union on the images numbered 1878-1894.  The corresponding Norfolk Record Office (NRO) Catalogue Reference is C/GP 1/492.

Apprentices Cover Inside pages Sample pages
Front cover Inside pages Example entries

The Transcription

Name of Child Sex Age Date of hiring Name of Master/Mistress Trade of Master/Mistress Residence Signature of Master/Overseer
Bullman Selina Female 15 7 July 1880 Mrs. Patrick Laundress Aylsham Rob. Ives 
<County Magistrate>
Dodman Charles Male 14 8 November 1880 R. Ives Esq. Gentleman Calthorpe Rob. Ives 
<County Magistrate>
Hunt Ellen Female 15 11 March 1881 Mr. Nepe Dentist Aylsham Rob. Ives 
<County Magistrate>
Roper Julia Female 15 22 July 1881 Mr. England Draper Aylsham Rob. Ives 
<County Magistrate>
Pratt Charles Male 14 10 September 1881 Mr. Gambling Merchant Buxton Rob. Ives 
<County Magistrate>
Pratt Walter Male 14 17 December 1881 R. Ives Esq. Gentleman Calthorpe Rob. Ives 
<County Magistrate>
Varden John Male 14 20 December 1881 Lady Lothian   Blickling Rob. Ives 
<County Magistrate>
Andrews Laura Female 13 24 January 1882 Mr. Beckham Publican Hindolvestone R.C. Barker
<Guardian?  Farmer of Blickling.>
Ives Susan Female 13 13 June 1882 Mr. Gambling Merchant Buxton J.S. Hickling
<Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
King Elijah Male 14 7 August 1882 R. Ives Esq. Gentleman Calthorpe J.S. Hickling
<Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
Stratton Ellen Female 13 20 September 1882 Mr. Anderton Exciseman South Creake J.S. Hickling
<Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
King Thomas Male 14 9 October 1882 Mr. R. Chapman Farmer &c. Wolterton W. Case
<Vice-Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
Willmott John Male 13 21 November 1882 Mr. Tunmore Bricklayer &c. Coltishall E.T. Learner
<Vice-Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
Jones George Male 14 5 December 1882 Mr. Howe Baker &c. Aylsham J.S. Hickling
<Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
Holmes Jeary Male 14 14 March 1883 Revd. J.B. Meadows Vicar Hoveton Vicarage J.S. Hickling
<Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
Andrews Minnie Female 13 3 November 1883 Mr. William Shepheard Farmer &c. Erpingham J.S. Hickling
<Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
Pratt Fanny Female 12 March 1884 Mr. Wright Glazier &c. Reepham J.S. Hickling
<Chairman of the Board of Guardians>
Platten James   13 21 June 1884 Mr. Fitt Greengrocer Aylsham  
Burton Jane   12 23 July 1884 Mrs. Petre Lady Westwick  
Burton Emma   11 22 November 1884 Mrs. Petre Lady Westwick  
Buck Sarah Female 13 10 February 1886 Mrs. Shilcock   38 Oakington Road, Harrow Road, London W.  
Ives Samuel M. 15 15 June 1886   Gone to Sea    
Codling Walter M. 14 15 June 1886   Gone to Sea    
Daniels George M. 16 15 June 1886   Gone to Sea    
King George M. 15 26 June 1886 Taken out by Grandfather      
Eke Matthew M. 14 3 July 1886   Gone to Sea    
Barnes George M. 14 8 September 1886   Gone to Sea    
Stratton Harry M. 12 23 September 1886 Taken out by Uncle Harness-Maker Buxton  
Ives Caroline F. 13 30 September 1886 Taken out by Uncle Servant Yarmouth  
Jackson Ellen F. 14 11 October 1886 Mr. Nicholson Farmer Thurgarton  
Lane Selina F 14 June 1887 Mrs. Petre  Westwick Lady Westwick Norwich  
Money Elizabeth F 14 June 1887 Mrs. Petre  Westwick Lady Westwick Norwich  
Bowles Gertrude F 14 October 1887 Mrs. Nurse  Norwich Wife of Superintendent of Police Norwich  
Savage William M 13 November 1887 Mr. King  Sprowston Brush Maker Sprowston  
Lane Edward M 13 June 1888 To Miss McPherson's Home Emigrated to Canada Canada  
Gayley Fredk. M 13 June 1888 To Miss McPherson's Home Emigrated to Canada Canada  
Buck Elizabeth F 13 December 1888 Revd. Davies Clergyman Antingham  
Dent William M 15 July 1889 To Miss McPherson's Home Emigrated to Canada Canada  
Jackson George M 15 July 1889 To Miss McPherson's Home Emigrated to Canada Canada  
Dewing William M 14 July 1889 To Miss McPherson's Home Emigrated to Canada Canada  
Buck William M 14 July 1889 To Miss McPherson's Home Emigrated to Canada Canada  
Money Benjamin M 14 August 1889 Mr. Bales  Scottow Farmer Scottow  
Andrews William M 14 September 1889 Mr. Dack Blacksmith Hindolveston  
Savage Hannah F 13 May 1887 Mrs Mash Superintendent of Police Downham Market  
Holmes Florence F 14 January 1888 Mrs. Petre Lady Westwick Norwich  
Pilch Gladys F 12 4 November 1890 Mrs. Fleming Lady Rockland St. Peter  
Otway Maud F 11 22 September 1890 Mrs. Grant Lady 148 Dereham Road, Norwich  
Holmes Henry M 15 24 September 1891 Mr. Bartram Builder Aylsham  
Howard Edwd. M 14 20 October 1891 Colonel Bulwer Gentleman Heydon Hall  
Farrow Albert M 14 27 October 1891 Mr. Phillips Farmer Swanton Abbott  
Newstead Fredk. M 14 15 December 1891 Mr. Bartram Builder Aylsham  
Codling John M 14 17 May 1892 Mr. Skelton Builder Norwich  
Money Edward M 14 19 June 1892 General Bulwer Gentleman Heydon Hall  
Money Edith F 14- 1 December 1892 Mrs. Petre Lady Westwick Hall  
Ives Wm. M 15 24 April 1893 Mr. Sainty Baker Foulsham  
Farrow Hannah F 14 11 October 1893 Mr. Sharpins Farmer Banningham  
Balls Maria F 14 28 October 1893 Mrs . Palmer Engineer's Chief Clerk Melton Constable  
Hudson James M 14 19 June 1894 General Bulwer Gentleman Heydon  
Buck Margaret F 14 5 July 1894 Mrs. Wigg Lady Surrey Road, Norwich  
Southgate Hannah F 14 18 September 1894 Mr. Muskett Farmer Wymondham  
Pilch Lilly F 12 9 July 1895 Mrs. Matthews Gate house keeper Aylsham  
Ottway Rosa F 14 26 March 1896 Miss Thirtle Lodging House Keeper Sherringham  
Smith Anna F 14 30 June 1896 Mrs. Green Butcher Cawston  
Buck Benjamin M 15 21 August 1896 Mr. Kybird Carrier Cawston  
Southgate Emma F 14 16 October 1896 Mr. Perrett Farmer Blickling  
Hudson June F 15 13 October 1896 Mr. Burton Builder Buxton  
Cooper Herbert M 15 22 March 1897 Queen Royal Navy Devonport  
Burton Fredk. M 15 3 April 1897 Mr. Johnson Farmer Erpingham  
Ottway Ethel F 15 11 March 1898 Mr. Butcher Grocer &c. Cawston  
Fish May F 13 9 May 1898 Mr. Larwood Lodging House Keeper Cromer  
Arthurton William M 14 15 October 1898 Mr. Burton Bricklayer Buxton Came back into House through Scarlet Fever 10.2.99.
Southgate Henry M 14 9 March 1899 Mr. Raven Grocer & Postmaster Foulsham  
Arthurton William M 15 17 March 1899 Mr. Hubbard Farmer Themelthorpe  
Scottow Maria F 14 21 September 1899 Sent to Breydon Home   Yarmouth  
Ulph Emma F 14 19 March 1900 Mr. Walter Wade Builder Aylsham Came back into House having left the service of Mr. Wade 11.10.00.
Hudson Miriam F 12 23 May 1900 Mrs. Daniels Labourer's Wife Coltishall  
Hudson Ernest M 14 23 April 1901 Mrs. Wyatt Farmer Themelthorpe  
Ulph Emma F 14 23 April 1901 Mrs. Wyatt Farmer Themelthorpe  
Smith Ellen F 14 05 June 1901 Mrs. Larwood Lodging House Keeper Cromer  
Arthurton Rosa F 14 03 July 1901 Mrs. Arniss Lodging House Keeper Cromer Returned to House 17.9.00.
Arthurton Rosa F 15 09 September 1901 Mrs. Austin Butcher Hackford Returned to House 8.1.02.
Arthurton Peter M 14 13 May 1903 Mrs. Wyett Farmer Themelthorpe  
Barrett Frederick M 14 13 May 1903 Mrs. Sainty Baker Foulsham  
Fish Margery F 15 22 June 1903 Mrs. Arnold Farmer Kerdiston  
Arthurton Rosa F 16 11 August 1903 Mrs. Goulder Farmer Aylsham  
Spink William M 14 08 October 1903 Miss Buckworth Independent Coltishall  
Arthurton Thomas M 14 26 October 1903 Mr. Cole Baker & Butcher Hackford  
Fish Margery F 16   Mrs. Arnold Farmer Kerdsiton Returned to House 26.1.05.



A regulated system of apprenticeship existed in England since Elizabethan times when the Statute of Artificers was introduced by Parliament in 1563.  The Statute remained in force for the next 250 years, until the deteriorating standards and exploitation of children prompted a series of Acts of Parliament that gave apprentices more protection.

The following Articles were in force at the time of the Aylsham register; taken from the 'General Consolidated and Other Orders of the Poor Law Commissioners and the Poor Law Board,' Seventh Edition Dated 1871.  There are numerous explanatory footnotes in the original document (view/download at

Art. 52.—No child under the age of nine years, and no child (other than a deaf and dumb child) who cannot read and write his own name, shall be bound apprentice by the Guardians.

Art. 53.—No child shall be so bound to a person who is not a housekeeper, or assessed to the poor-rate in his own name.

Or who is a journeyman, or a person not carrying on trade or business on his own account;
Or who is under the age of twenty-one;
Or who is a married woman.

Art. 54.—No premium, other than clothing for the apprentice, shall be given upon the binding of any person above the age of sixteen years, unless such person be maimed, deformed, or suffering from some permanent bodily infirmity, such as may render him unfit for certain trades or sorts of work.

Art. 55.—Where any premium is given, it shall in part consist of clothes supplied to the apprentice at the commencement of the binding, and in part of money, one moiety whereof shall be paid to the master at the binding, and the residue at the termination of the first year of the binding.

Art. 56.—No apprentice shall be bound by the Guardians for more than eight years.

Art. 57.—No person above fourteen years of age shall be so bound without his consent.  And no child under the age of sixteen years shall be so bound without the consent of the father of such child ; or if the father be dead, or be disqualified to give such consent, as hereinafter provided, or if such child be a bastard, without the consent of the mother, if living, of such child.  Provided, that where such parent is transported beyond the seas, or is in custody of the law, having been convicted of some felony, or for the space of six calendar months before the time of executing the indenture has deserted such child, or for such space of time has been in the service of her Majesty, or of the East India Company, in any place out of the United Kingdom, such parent, if the father, shall be deemed to be disqualified as hereinbefore stated ; and if it be the mother, no such consent shall be required.

Art. 58.—No child shall be bound to a master whose place of business, whereat the child is to work and live, is distant more than thirty miles from the place in which the child is residing at the time of the proposed binding, or at the time of his being sent on trial to such master, unless in any particular case the Commissioners shall, on application to them, otherwise permit.

Art. 59.—If the child whom it is proposed to bind apprentice be in the Workhouse, and under the age of fourteen years, the Guardians shall require a certificate in writing from the Medical Officer of the Workhouse as to the fitness in regard to bodily health and strength of such child to be bound apprentice to the proposed trade, and shall also ascertain from the Master of the Workhouse the capacity of the child for such binding in other respects.

Art. 60.—If the child be not in the Workhouse, but in the Union by the Guardians of which it is proposed that he shall be bound, the Relieving Officer of the district in which the child is residing shall examine into the circumstances of the case, the condition of the child, and of his parents, if any, and the residence of the proposed master, the nature of his trade, the number of other apprentices, if any, then bound to him, and generally as to the fitness of the particular binding, and shall report the result of his inquiry to the Guardians.

Art. 61.—If in any case within Article 60 tho Guardians think proper to proceed with the binding, they shall, when the child is under the age of fourteen years, direct the Relieving Officer to take the child to the Medical Officer of the district, to be examined as to his fitness in respect of bodily health and strength for the proposed trade or business; and such Medical Officer shall certify in writing according to his judgment in the matter, which certificate shall
be produced by the said Relieving Officer to the next meeting of the Guardians.

Art. 62.—If the child be not residing within the Union, the Guardians who propose to bind him shall not proceed to do so unless they receive such a report as is required in Article 60 from the Relieving Officer of the district in which such child is residing, and a certificate from some medical man practising in the neighbourhood of the child’s residence to the effect required in Article 61.

Art. 63.—When it is proposed to give a premium other than clothing upon the binding of any person above the age of sixteen years, the Guardians shall require a certificate in writing from some medical practitioner, certifying that the person is maimed, deformed, or disabled, to the extent specified in such Article, and shall cause a copy of such certificate to be entered on their minutes before they proceed to execute the indenture.

Art. 64.—When such certificate, as is required by Articles 59, 61, 62, and 63, is received, or in case, from the ago of the child, no such certificate is required, the Guardians shall direct that the child and the proposed master, or some person on his behalf, and, in case the child be under the age of sixteen, that the parent or person in whose custody such child shall be then living, attend some meeting of the Board to be then appointed.

Art. 65.—At such meeting, if such parties appear, the Guardians shall examine into the circumstances of the case; and if, after making all due inquiries, and hearing the objections (if any be made) on the part of the relatives or friends of such child, they deem it proper that the binding be effected, they may forthwith cause the indenture to be prepared, and, if the master be present, to be executed ; but if he be not present, they shall cause the same to be transmitted to him for execution ; and when executed by him, and returned to the Guardians, the same shall be executed by the latter, and shall be signed by the child, as provided in Article 67.

Art. 66.—If the proposed master reside out of the Union, but in some other Union or Parish under a Board of Guardians, whether formed under the provisions of the first recited Act, or of the Act of the twenty- second year of the reign of King George the Third, intititled “ An Act for the better Relief and Employment of the Poor," or of any local Act, the Guardians shall, before proceeding to effect the binding, communicate in writing the proposal to the Guardians of such other Union or Parish, and request to be informed whether such binding is open to any objection; and if no objection be reported by such Guardians within the space of one calendar month, or if the objection does not appear to the Guardians proposing to bind the child to be sufficient to prevent the binding, the same may be proceeded with; and when the indenture shall have been executed, the Clerk to the Guardians who executed the same shall send notice thereof in writing to the Guardians of the Union or Parish wherein the said apprentice is to reside.

Dora's indenture

A typical indenture from January 1926
Dora Lines was my Mother

Art. 67.—The indenture shall be executed in duplicate, by the master and the Guardians, and shall not be valid unless signed by the proposed apprentice with his name, or, if deaf and dumb, with his mark, in the presence of the said Guardians ; and the consent of the parent, where requisite, shall be testified by such parent signing with his name or mark, to be properly attested, at the foot of the said indenture; and where such consent is dispensed with under
Article 57, the cause of such dispensation shall be stated at the foot of tho indenture by the Clerk.

Art. 68.—The name of the place or places at which the apprentice is to work and live shall be inserted in the indenture. 

Art. 69.—One part of such indenture, when executed shall be kept by tho Guardians ; the other shall be delivered to the master.

Art. 70.—And We do hereby prescribe the duties of the master to whom such poor child may be apprenticed, and the terms and conditions to be inserted in the said indenture, to be as follows:

No. 1. The master shall teach the child the trade, business, or employment set forth in the indenture, unless tho Guardians authorize the substitution of another trade, business, or employment.
No. 2. He shall maintain the said child with proper food and nourishment.
No. 3. He shall provide a proper lodging for the said child.
No. 4. He shall supply the said child with proper clothing during the term of the binding, together with the necessary provision of linen.
No. 5. He shall, in case the said child be affected with any disease or sickness, or meet with any accident, procure, at his own cost, adequate medical or surgical assistance, from some duly qualified medical man, for such child.
No. 6. He shall, once at least on every Sunday, cause the child to attend some place of divine worship, if there be any such within a reasonable distance, according to the religious persuasion in which the child has been brought up, so, however, that no child shall be required by the master to attend any place of worship to which his parents, or surviving parent may object, nor, when he shall be above the age of sixteen, any place to which he may himself object.
No. 7. Where such parents or parent or next of kin desire it, he shall allow the said child to attend any Sunday or other school, which shall be situated ’within the same parish, or within two miles’ distance from his residence, on every Sunday ; and if there be no such school which such child can attend, he shall, at some reasonable hour on every Sunday, allow any minister of the religious persuasion of the child to have access to such child for the purpose of imparting religious instruction.
No. 8. Where the apprentice continues bound after the age of seventeen years, the master shall, in every case, where the Guardians require him so to do, pay to such apprentice, for and in respect of every week that he duly and properly serves the Said master, as a remuneration, a sum to be inserted in the indenture, or to be agreed upon by the Guardians and the said master when that time arrives, or, if they cannot agree, to be settled by some person to be then chosen by the said master and such Guardians, and, until such sum be agreed upon or settled, not less than one-fourth of the amount then commonly paid as wages to journeymen in the said trade, business, or employment.
No. 9. The master shall, himself or by his agent, produce the apprentice to the Guardians by whom such apprentice was bound at their ordinary meeting next preceding the end of the first year of the binding, and before the receipt of the remainder of the premium, if any be due, and shall in like manner produce the said apprentice at some one of their ordinary meetings, to be held at or about the middle of the term, and whenever afterwards required to do so by the said Guardians: Provided, that if the apprentice reside out of the Union by the Guardians whereof he was bound, the apprentice shall be produced, as hereinbefore directed, to the Guardians of the Union or Parish, as described in Article 66, in which the apprentice may be residing.
No. 10. The master shall not cause the said apprentice to work or live more than ten miles from the place or places mentioned in the indenture, according to Article 68, without the leave of the Guardians so binding him, t  be given under their common seal: Provided, that such Guardians may in such licence so to be given under their common seal, by express words to that effect, if they think fit, authorize the master, at any time during the residue of the term of the apprenticeship, to change the place of the abode or service of the apprentice, without any further application to them or their successors.

Art. 71.—These duties of the master set forth in Article 70 shall be enforced by covenants and conditions to be inserted in the indenture to be executed by him.

Art. 72.—The master shall also covenant, under a penalty to be specified in the covenant, not to assign or cancel the indenture, without the consent of the Guardians, under their common seal, previously obtained, and to pay to the said Guardians all costs and expenses that they may incur in consequence
of the said apprentice not being supplied with medical or surgical assistance by the master, in case the same shall be at any time requisite.

Art. 73. The indenture shall be made subject to the following provisoes:—

No. 1. That if the master take the benefit of any Act for the relief of insolvent debtors or be discharged under any such Act, such indenture shall forthwith become of no further force or effect.
No. 2. That if, on a conviction for a breach of any one of the aforesaid covenants and conditions before a Justice of the Peace, the Guardians who may be parties to the said indenture declare by a resolution that the indenture is determined, and transmit a copy of such resolution, under the hand of their Clerk, by the post or otherwise, to the said master, such indenture shall, except in respect of all rights and liabilities then accrued, forthwith become of no further force or effect.

Art. 74.—Nothing contained in this Order shall apply to the apprenticing of poor children to the sea service.

Further Reading

English Apprenticeship & Child Labour - A History, by O. Joceyln Dunlop, published the Macmillan Company, 1912.  Read/Download at