The Economic History Review

Parish apprenticeship and the old poor law in London

Volume 63 Issue 4
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Pages: 915-941Authors: ALYSA LEVENE
Published online: December 3, 2009DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00485.x

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This article offers an examination of the patterns and motivations behind parish apprenticeship in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century London. It stresses continuity in outlook from parish officials binding children, which involved placements in both the traditional and industrializing sectors of the economy. Evidence on the ages, employment types, and locations of 3,285 pauper apprentices bound from different parts of London between 1767 and 1833 indicates a variety of local patterns. The analysis reveals a pattern of youthful age at binding, a range of employment experiences, and parish-specific links to particular trades and manufactures.