Oxford City Apprentices, 1513-1602 (BOK)
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Oxford greatly expanded and flourished under the Tudors, as the reviving University provided a growing body of consumers and trade for shopkeepers and craftsmen. They needed apprentices - and in huge numbers, as the material in this volume demonstrates. It calendars the enrolments of over two thousand apprenticeship contracts made during this period; they are a familiar source for social and economic history and genealogy, but the Oxford material, in both quantity and detail, is quite exceptional. Moreover, sixteenth-century enrolments are much fuller than their more familiar seventeenth-century successors, containing miscellaneous information of great interest, notably lists of working tools, details of journeymen's wages, and stipulations about apprentices' behaviour. The data is discussed in an Introduction which re-examines the apprenticeship system on the basis of the unusually plentiful statistics, throwing new light on such matters as length of service, payment of premiums, and the rates of career failure and success. Oxford recruited apprentices from an astonishingly wide area; their places of origin are identified and mapped, and an analysis of their social and geographical origins breaks new ground in the field of migration studies. More prosaically the calendar provides the genealogist and local historian with the names, parentage, and places of origin of thousands of young men from all over England and Wales - crucial raw material for much-needed further research.on the later movements of qualified apprentices. Alan Crossley is a member of the modern history faculty, University of Oxford.