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Under the 1563 Statute of Apprentices no-one could enter a trade without having served an apprenticeship, and this Statute (with some modifications) remained on the books until 1814. Apprenticeship served the purpose not only of teaching a trade but of helping to ensure a supply of labour and keeping adolescents under control. The apprenticeship indenture was a legal document which bound a boy (and more rarely a girl) to a master, with a premium paid to the master by apprentice's parents, or, in the case of paupers, by the overseer of the poor). In addition to the training, this arrangement included the master providing the apprentice with board and lodging. Depending on the trade, and presumably the apprentice's progress, the term of an apprenticeship was seven years or more and during this time the apprentice was forbidden to marry to marry or to set up business on their own.

In practice, however, large numbers of apprentices either failed to complete their training or did not become masters at the end of their term.

(Source : David Hey, The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History).

The following is a listing, which RTF obtained from the Society of Genealogists in 1930, of  various Fretwell boys who where apprenticed between the years 1714-1762. Where noted, the young lads are recognised as members of the Fretwell families that I am researching. For the others I have no further information, but the INL reference is given in case anyone else wishes to claim them. Furthermore, I do not know if they were model students, or if they completed their apprenticeships and went on to make a success of their chosen trade.


Richard Frettwell of Balderton, Notts
27 May 1714, to
Thomas OTTIWELL of Denby, Derby
Fee 3
INL 120 1/43
Robert Frettwell, s/o George Fretwell of Gringley Notts
1 August 1717, to
John PARKER of East Retford, Notts
(no trade given)
Fee 40
INL 21 (Not sure of this reference)
William Fretwell, s/o William Fretwell of Pontefract
1 December 1721, to
Benjamin HOLDGATE of the same
Tallow Chandler
Fee 10
INL 157 1/47
William Fretwell, s/o James Fretwell of Thorp, Yeoman
2 April 1723, to
Henry ABBEY of Doncaster
Fee 23
INL 61 1/9
Maltby Fretwells
John Fretwell, s/o Vincent Fretwell of Haynor Derby
27 July 1723, to
Abraham BOOTH of Nottingham
Framework Knitter
Fee 2
INL 1 48 38
John Fretwell, s/o John Fretwell (decd)
8 May 1745, to
John HAWKSWORTH of Barnsley
Fee 63
INL 130 1/17
Cawthorne Fretwells

Robert Fretwell, s/o Robert Fretwell of Bawtry
16 May 1745, to
Richard BUSTON of Wakefield
Cloth Dresser
Fee 122.18
INL 133 1/17

Ralph Fretwell, s/o Richard Fretwell of Maltby
1 July 1745, to
John FOSS of Bawlry
Mercer and Grocer
Fee 40
INL 147 1/17
Maltby Fretwells
John Fretwell, s/o John Fretwell
26 October 1748, to
William FRETWELL of Sheffield
Fee 80
INL 143 1/18


William Fretwell, s/o Ruth Fretwell (w/o Richard F of Maltby)
27 May 1749, to
John FOSS of Bawtry *
Mercer and Draper
Fee 40
INL 188 1/18
* See also Ralph Fretwell above
Maltby Fretwells

John Fretwell, s/o John Fretwell
14 December 1749, to
William MONTGOMERY of Ye Middle Temple
Fee 105
INL 226 1/18

Richard Fretwell
3 May 1760, to
Samuel GARMAN of Stoake-Ferry, Norfolk
Fee 5.10
INL 210 1/53
William Fretwell
4 December 1762, to
Thomas EGLESTON of Burton (?)
Fee 12.12

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This page was last updated on 18 November, 2007