Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Apprenticeship and training in premodern England

By Patrick Wallis


This paper re-examines the economics of premodern apprenticeship in England. I present new data showing that a high proportion of apprenticeships in seventeenth century London ended before the term of service was finished. I then propose a new account of how training costs and repayments were distributed over the apprenticeship contract such that neither master or apprentice risked significant loss from early termination. This new account fits with the characteristics of premodern apprenticeship, as well as with what is known about the acquisition of skills in modern and premodern societies

Topics: D204 Modern History, HD Industries. Land use. Labor, DA Great Britain
Publisher: Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    1. A Calendar of Southampton Apprenticeship Registers, doi
    2. (1967). A Merchant Guild of Sixteenth-Century France: The Grocers of Paris.” Economic History Review 2nd series, doi
    3. (1994). A Theoretical Model of on-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition.”
    4. (1994). Achieving the Guild Effect without Guilds: Crafts and Craftsmen in Late Medieval Douai.” In Les Metiers Au Moyen Age: Aspects Economiques Et Sociaux, edited by Jean -Pierre Sosson and Pascale Lambrechts,
    5. (1994). Adolescence and Youth in Early Modern England. doi
    6. An Index to the Association Oath Rolls for City of London,
    7. (1999). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 2 vols. Edited by Andrew Skinner. doi
    8. (1994). An Irresistible Phalanx’: Journeymen Associations doi
    9. (1985). Annals of the Labouring Poor: Social Change and Agrarian England, 1660-1900. Cambridge: doi
    10. (1914). Apprentice Contracts and the Apprentice System in doi
    11. (1979). Apprentices as Adolescents in Sixteenth Century Bristol.” doi
    12. (1996). Apprenticeship in England, doi
    13. (2006). Apprenticeship in Later Medieval London,
    14. (1998). Apprenticeship, and Technological Change in Preindustrial Europe.” doi
    15. (1994). Apprenticeship, Health and Social. Cohesion in Early Modern London.” doi
    16. (1989). Apprenticeship: From Theory to Method and Back Again. doi
    17. (1995). Apprenticeships and Freedoms: The Computer Analysis of the Records of the
    18. (2006). Artists by Numbers: Quantifying Artist’s Trades
    19. (2006). Basingstoke: West Sussex Family History Society Record Series Publications,
    20. (1999). Being Like a Field’: Corporate Identity in the Stationers’ Company, 1557-1684.” D.Phil. diss.,
    21. (1999). Beyond Becker: Training doi
    22. (1980). Calendar of the Bristol Apprentice Book,
    23. (1995). Child and Adolescent Labour in the Late Medieval City: A Flemish Model in Regional Perspective." doi
    24. (1995). Cognition in the Wild. doi
    25. (1986). Crafts in Transformation: Masters, Journeymen and Apprentices in a Swedish Towns, 1800-1850.” doi
    26. (1997). Cultural Analysis and Early Modern Artisans.”
    27. (1979). Desolation of a City: Coventry and the Urban Crisis of the Late Middle Ages. Cambridge: doi
    28. (1998). Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence.” doi
    29. (1995). Enforcement in Apprenticeship Contracts: Were Runaways a Serious Problem? Evidence from doi
    30. (1964). English Apprenticeship: A Neglected Factor in the First Industrial Revolution.” doi
    31. (1973). Exeter Freemen, doi
    32. (1991). Failure to Become Freemen: Urban Apprentices in Early Modern England.” doi
    33. (2000). Food Prices and the Standard of Living in London doi
    34. (2003). General Training by Firms, Apprentice Contracts, and Public Policy.” doi
    35. (1991). Group Strategies and Trade Strategies: The Turin Tailors Guild doi
    36. (1993). Growing up in Medieval London : The Experience of Childhood in History. doi
    37. (1997). Guilds, and Work Identity: Perspectives from Sixteenth-Century Paris.” doi
    38. (1902). History of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers of the City of London Based Upon Their Own Records. London: Blades East and Blades,
    39. (1993). Implicit Learning : Theoretical and Empirical Issues, Essays in Cognitive Psychology. Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd.,
    40. (2003). In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, edited by Joel Mokyr. doi
    41. (1993). L’apprentissage À Paris Au Xviiie Siècle.” Revue d’Histoire Moderne et
    42. (2005). L’apprentissage Hors Des Corporations Les Formations Professionnelles Alternatives a Paris Sous L’ancien Regime.”
    43. Londinensis: Or, the City Law.
    44. (1987). London Apprentices in the Seventeenth Century: Some Problems.”
    45. (1996). London Apprentices. 44 vols. London: Society of Genealogists,
    46. (1992). London in the Age of Industrialisation: Entrepreneurs, Labour Force and Living Conditions, 1700-1850. Cambridge: doi
    47. (1966). London Inhabitants within the Walls, doi
    48. (1970). Lyon Et Les Lyonnais Au Xviiie Siècle. Paris: Société d’édition Les Belles-lettres, doi
    49. (1932). Masons and Apprenticeship in doi
    50. (1989). Medieval Artisans: An Urban Class in Late Medieval England. doi
    51. (1942). Medieval Gilds Reconsidered.”
    52. (1983). Medieval Labor Law and English Local Custom.” The American journal of legal history doi
    53. (1962). Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. doi
    54. (2000). Politics and Government.” In Cambridge Urban History of Britain. Volume Ii. 1540-1840, edited by Peter Clark. Cambridge: doi
    55. (1991). Politics and the EighteenthCentury French Trades. Cambridge: doi
    56. (1991). Poor Children as Apprentices in Colyton, 1598– 1830.” Continuity and. doi
    57. Privilegia Londini: Or, the Rights,
    58. (1991). Prosecution and Punishment: Petty Crime and the Law in London and Rural Middlesex, C.1660-1725. Cambridge: doi
    59. (1991). Reconsidering Apprenticeship in Sixteenth-Century London.” In Renaissance Society and Culture, edited by John Monfasani
    60. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: doi
    61. Social Mobility and the Middling Sort, 1550-1800.” In The Middling Sort of People: Culture, Society and Politics in England, 1550-1800, edited by Jonathan Barry and C. doi
    62. (1978). Social Problems in Elizabethan London.” doi
    63. (1987). Society: A London Suburb in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge: doi
    64. (1971). Sources for Urban History.
    65. (1968). Southampton: Southampton Records Series. doi
    66. (1997). State Corporatism and Proto-Industry: The Württemberg Black Forest, 1580-1797. Cambridge: doi
    67. (1972). Structural Constraints on Learning.” In Learning to Work, edited by Blanche Geer.
    68. (1998). The Apprentice in History.” In Apprenticeship: Towards a New Paradigm of Learning, edited by Patrick Ainley and Helen Rainbird,
    69. (1996). The Apprenticeship System in British History: The Fragmentation of a Cultural Institution.” doi
    70. The Breakdown of Gild and Corporation Control over the Handicraft and Retail Trade in doi
    71. (1979). The City and the Court, 1603-1643. Cambridge: doi
    72. (1998). The Common Lot: Sickness, Medical Occupations and the Urban Poor in Early Modern England. doi
    73. (1987). The Complete English Tradesman. Gloucester: Alan Sutton,
    74. (1939). The Corporation of Leicester 1689-1836.
    75. The Countrey
    76. (2000). The Decline of Apprenticeship in North America: Evidence from doi
    77. (1960). The Development of the London Livery Companies: An Historical Essay and a Select Bibliography. Cambridge MA.: Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, doi
    78. (2000). The Economics of the Apprenticeship System. doi
    79. (1956). The Enforcement of English Apprenticeship. doi
    80. (1986). The Extent of the Guild Control of Trades in England C.1660-1820: A Study Based on a Sample of Provincial Towns 46 and London Companies.” Ph.D. Thesis,
    81. (1991). The Fiery Blades of Hallamshire: Sheffield and Its Neighbourhood, 1660-1740, Communities, Contexts and Cultures. Leicester: doi
    82. (1992). The Fontana History of Chemistry. doi
    83. (1973). The London Apprentices as doi
    84. (2003). The Magistrate, the Community and the Maintenance of an doi
    85. (1989). The Making of the English Middle Class: Business, Society and Family Life in London, doi
    86. (1996). The Market for Montreal Apprentices: Contract Length and Information.” doi
    87. (1991). The Matter in Variance: Adolescents and Domestic Conflict in the Pre-Industrial Economy of Northeast England." doi
    88. (1991). The Pursuit of Stability: Social Relations in Elizabethan London. Cambridge: doi
    89. (1971). The Reasons of Misrule: Youth Groups and Charivaris doi
    90. The Register of the
    91. (1973). The Social and Geographical Origins of the London Apprentices,
    92. (2000). The Statutory Regulation of Colonial Servitude: An Incomplete-Contract Approach.” doi
    93. (1994). The Tailors of London and Their Guild, c.1300-1500.” D.Phil. diss.,
    94. (1991). The Widening Gate: Bristol and the Atlantic Economy, doi
    95. Training and Poaching Externalities.” In Acquiring Skills: Market Failures, Their Symptoms and Policy Responses, edited by doi
    96. (1991). Wage Labor and Guilds in Medieval Europe. doi
    97. (1999). Ways of Knowing, doi
    98. (1989). Why Apprenticeship Persisted in Britain but Not in the United States.” doi
    99. (1989). Worlds within Worlds: Structures of Life in SixteenthCentury London. Cambridge: doi
    100. (1996). Youth and Authority: Formative Experiences in England, doi

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.