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Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1990-08 > 0651079418


From: Kay Allen AG <>
Subject: Re: Age of competency
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 1990 08:23:38 -0700


Renia wrote:
>
> Kay Allen AG wrote:
>
> > Renia wrote:
> > >

Snipped.

>
> >
> > The copies of the records also do not seem to have the ususal
> > stipulations that the master should take care to educate him in reading
> > and writing which appear in the apprenticeship papers of young children.
>
> How usual was this? Penty of later apprentices I have come across, years
> after
> their apprentices finished, could not read or write. Perhaps it was the
> custom in
> certain areas, at certain times, but not at all times.

This was Puritan Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, and it appears to be
a fairly common stipulation. In any case, he could at least sign his
name in a neat, legible hand.
>
> > This is one reason that I felt that he might be an older lad already
> > able to read and write. And there are cases of adults apprenticing
> > themselves to a trade for a longish period of time which would end after
> > the 21st birthday.
>
> I don't know. In this case, 11 years is so long, that it's more probable
> that he was a young apprentice, rather than an older one, in order that
> someone was financially responsible for him. (Is it possible, that the
> signature was that of his father, bearing the same name?)

There is no trace of any parentage on this side of the pond. I will have
to re-read the document, but I believe it says that he is apprenticing
himself.

Kay Allen AG
>
> Doubtless, others will enter this interesting discussion with their
> views.
>
> Renia
>
> >
> >

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