The old Poor Law system gave powers to overseers of the poor of each parish. They could apprentice poor children with the consent of the justices of the peace.
People in trade had to accept apprentices on penalty of a fine. An Act of Parliament of 42 George III [1801 – 2] required overseers to keep a register of children apprenticed. There was a penalty of £5 for not complying.
The register covers 1802-1827. Digital images are available for 1803 only. You can order the original register to view in our Reading Room.
The left-hand page of the register gives the
- name, sex and age of each pauper child
- details of parents and their address.
The facing right-hand page gives the
- name, trade and address of the person or master to whom the child is to be bound
- term of the apprenticeship
- names of the overseers
- signature of the assenting magistrate.
The name index is by Zoe Ellsmore.