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Indenture agreeing an apothecary apprenticeship, England, 1822

An indenture is a contract between two people, in which one person normally is apprenticed to the other. In the early 1800s, apprenticeships remained the usual way to study and gain entry into a profession and to a trade guild. This indenture was agreed between Thomas George Slaughter, son of John Slaughter of Northiam, Sussex, a surgeon, and Richard Painter, an apothecary. Slaughter agreed to a seven-year apprenticeship under Painter to learn the trade of an apothecary. To secure the apprenticeship, Slaughter had to pay Painter £195 (just over £14,000 today). The contract contains a number of restrictive conditions whereby Slaughter could not marry, gamble or go to pubs and theatres. In return Painter provided Slaughter with food, drink, study materials and a place to stay.

Object number:

1981-1786/1

 

Glossary:

Glossary: indenture

Legally binding agreements between two or more parties. Usually contracts binding one person to work for another for a given period of time.

Glossary: apothecary

A term used until about 1800 to describe someone who prepares and sells drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes. Today the term ‘pharmacist’ or ‘pharmaceutical chemist’ is used instead.

Glossary: apprenticeship

An agreement where a person learns a trade from a skilled worker over a fixed period of time.