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Title: Apprenticeship in mid-eighteenth century England : how did this ancient institution operate during the commencement of industrialisation?
Author: Marshall, Tom David Spencer
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 2764
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines how the apprenticeship system operated in England over the course of the eighteenth century as the nation saw the economy develop in the run up to the Industrial Revolution. Many have contended that this was a time when the apprenticeship system withered and declined, but it would appear that it actually possessed a degree of flexibility and adaptability to allow it to remain relevant to the new working environments that were beginning to emerge. By examining the apprenticeship indentures signed at the start of the training relationship it is possible to create a picture of how this ancient system operated during this time of change. These indentures provide not only a detailed picture of the background of the apprentices and the obstacles they overcame in order to undertake their training, but also allow for a greater understanding of the contract itself. The apprenticeship contracts were not as rigid as some historians have contended, as they were drawn up to take account of the specific circumstances faced by each pair of master and apprentice, and often made provisions for the situation of each party. This apparent flexibility in the contract differs from the traditional view of this type of working contract, and it was perhaps due to this method in which apprentices were contracted that allowed this traditional institution to continue to remain a key method of learning during this period. Various judicial records allow the study to develop beyond the original contract and highlight some common problem s arising between the two parties, as well as show that in addition to there being some flexibility in the contracting of the apprentices, the execution of this contract could vary greatly between individual apprentices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available