Name Index


A Domestic Servant's Indenture of Apprenticeship

Devon Notes & Queries, Vol. 1, (1900) pp.13-14.



Prepared by Michael Steer

An Apprenticeship Indenture is a legal document binding a child (usually around the age of 12 or 13 but sometimes as young as 7) to a master or mistress for seven or more years. A sum of money (premium or consideration) was usually paid to the master, and in exchange he (or more rarely, she) agreed to train the child in their trade or profession, and to supply them with appropriate food, clothing and lodging for the duration of the apprenticeship. An indenture needed the signature of a Justice of the Peace in order to become legally enforceable. Two copies of any indenture were normally made, one of which was kept by the parents (or parish) on behalf of the apprentice, and the other by the master. The wavy edge on one side of most indentures was designed to act as a guarantee that the two copies were created as part of a single legal agreement. Indentures were formal documents normally drawn up by a professional clerk and contain a large amount of formulaic language and legal jargon. Google with the Archive Organization has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. The Internet Archive makes available, in its Community Texts Collection (originally known as Open Source Books), books that have been digitised by Google from a number of libraries. These are books on which copyright has expired, and are available free for educational and research use. This rare book was produced from a copy held by the New York Public Library, and is available from the Internet Archive.


Boger, Edmund, yeoman14
Elford, John14
Ffortescue, Mary13
George II13
Knight, Ruth13-4
Knighton, James13
Lawrence, Jacob13
Pollard, Thomas13
Pyne, Thomas14
Stephens, Thomas14
Voisay, George14