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Title: Shipped out? : pauper apprentices of port towns during the Industrial Revolution, 1750-1870
Author: Withall, Caroline Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 3620
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis challenges popular generalisations about the trades, occupations and locations to which pauper apprentices were consigned, shining the spotlight away from the familiar narrative of factory children, onto the fate of their destitute peers in port towns. A comparative investigation of Liverpool, Bristol and Southampton, it adopts a deliberately broad definition of the term pauper apprenticeship in its multi-sourced approach, using 1710 Poor Law and charity apprenticeship records and previously unexamined New Poor Law and charity correspondence to provide new insight into the chronology, mechanisms and experience of pauper apprenticeship. Not all port children were shipped out. Significantly more children than has hitherto been acknowledged were placed in traditional occupations, the dominant form of apprenticeship for port children. The survival and entrenchment of this type of work is striking, as are the locations in which children were placed; nearly half of those bound to traditional trades remained within the vicinity of the port. The thesis also sheds new light on a largely overlooked aspect of pauper apprenticeship, the binding of boys into the Merchant service. Furthermore, the availability of sea apprenticeships as well as traditional placements caused some children to be shipped in to the ports for apprenticeships. Of those who were still shipped out to the factories, the evidence shows that far from dying out, as previously thought, the practice of batch apprenticeship persisted under the New Poor Law. The most significant finding of the thesis is the survival and endurance of pauper apprenticeship as an institution involving both Poor Law and charity children. Poor children were still being apprenticed late into the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Pauper apprenticeship is shown to have been a robust, resilient and resurgent institution. The evidence from port towns offers significant revision to the existing historiography of pauper apprenticeship.
Supervisor: Humphries, Jane Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Child labor--Great Britain--History--18th century ; Child labor--Great Britain--History--19th century ; Poor laws--Great Britain--History ; Apprentices--Great Britain--History ; Industrial revolution--Social aspects ; Great Britain--Economic conditions--1760-1860 ; Great Britain--Social conditions--18th century ; Great Britain--Social conditions--19th century