This article applies a range of spreadsheet and database tools to apprentice records in an examination of their contribution to the economic and social transition of Liverpool from a small port of little national importance, in the late seventeenth century, to be the second largest port in England by 1750. This is taken from an unpublished assignment for the Advanced Diploma in Local History, Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, 2013.
The period 1650 to 1750 saw a transition, across England, from a pre-modern network of towns to a nascent industrial urban system with a rise in population and attendant changes in the structure of towns, the society and culture; a change of some considerable scale for Liverpool . The topography of Liverpool and its hinterland is described and sets the context for an examination of these changes in trade and town development. An introduction to apprenticeship in Liverpool and examination of the records that survive provide the source and setting for an analysis and record-linking that draws upon a balance of long, medium and short-term records in developing the themes of: apprentice origins and in-migration, occupational background and advancement, participation in trade and commerce, from indenture to freemen and, the attainment of position, wealth and power. The historiographical debate over the economic contribution of craft guilds and apprenticeships, in the pre-modern economy, is considered in light of a broader debate as to whether the significant ‘pre-industrial’ growth of Liverpool could be considered gradual or a consequence of discontinuity. A conclusion is then drawn as to the contribution of apprentices, including those who became freemen, to the economic and social development of Liverpool as a town and of the individual. Liverpool grew from a minor port of coastal and Irish trade, in the seventeenth century, to surpass Bristol by the mid-eighteenth century as a leading trading centre for the Atlantic, with a four-fold increase in population engaged in an increasing range of trading activity, and with infrastructural and town development offering considerable work opportunities for locals and migrants including apprentices. Liverpool, until the late seventeenth century, was as a port and customs centre overshadowed by Chester and with poor road communications throughout its hinterland in south-west Lancashire it remained socially and economically undeveloped, relative to a then leading regional port such as Bristol. The river Mersey was tidal and, without wharves, vessels anchored out in the river, beached on the shore or took shelter in the ‘Lever Pool’, then a shallow inlet south of the town . A charter, of 1626, vested in the burgesses full powers of legislation for all inhabitants of the borough and the right to hold a court under the Statute of Merchants . Liverpool’s economy was initially reliant upon coastal trade and Ireland but by 1700 saw rapid growth in trade across the Atlantic with considerable expansion of its port activities, infrastructure and associated industry. The north-west was the fastest region for growth in towns in this period and saw the population of Liverpool rise from around 5,000 by early eighteenth century to reach an estimated 22,000 by the mid-eighteenth century, by which time there were around 222 streets, squares, lanes and alleys; the significant growth of which is apparent from a comparison with Bristol over the period 1695 to 1773 (figure one) .
Governance was by a closed corporation that by 1695 had reduced to forty councillors: comprising twelve aldermen (past mayors) and the remainder councillors; all of whom served for life and who elected, annually, the corporation comprising the mayor and two bailiffs; without recourse to the wider body of freemen. Over the period 1700 to 1750, the council was increasingly dominated by merchants and mariners, many of whom were apprentice masters, who took the initiative to improve the port and town, an early example of which was in the approval of England’s first wet dock for cargo handling, which opened in 1715 with a first-hand observation by Nicholas Blundell in a diary entry for August 31st, recording: “I went to Leverp: and saw the Mulbury, the Batchlor and the Robert all in ye dock, they came in this Morning and were ye first Ships as ever went into it; the Mulbury was ye first…” . The turnpike network through the hinterland to St Helens, Warrington and Northwich was improved from 1720 while the poor road connections east of the Mersey were still common by 1750 . Daniel Defoe, set up the town context for an introduction to apprenticeship and the analysis of the surviving records, when in 1724 he observed: “The town has now an opulent, flourishing and encreasing trade, not rivalling Bristol, in the trade to Virginia, and the English island colonies in America only, but is in a fair way to exceed and eclipse it, by encreasing every way in wealth and shipping. They trade round the whole island, send ships to Norway, to Hamburgh, and to the Baltick, as also to Holland and Flanders; so that, in a word, they are almost become like the Londoners, universal merchants . The primary sources are abstracted in the Liverpool Community Database, and comprise a mixture of: long, medium and short-term records that are used in conjunction with the register of apprentices; which, was instituted by the crown to raise a tax on premiums paid on enrolments; and, through analysis and record-linking support the development of five themes examining apprentice participation in the economic and social transition of Liverpool from 1650 to 1750. The sources for apprentices are selected abstracts of primary sources in the Liverpool Community Database (LCDB) and comprise: a longer-term series for council cohorts in the Town Book (1649-1750); a medium-term series in the Liverpool Apprentice Register (1709-1750) and Vestry Book (1682-1750), the Plantation Register of ships (1713-1748) and the Freemen Book (1650-1708); and, snapshot records of the customs regulated trade in the Port Book (1709) and the local taxes in the Rate Assessment Books (1708 & 1743); and, the diary of Nicholas Blundell, of recusant gentry from nearby Crosby, writing in 1702-1727 . The 1563 Statute of Artificers legally required apprenticeship for all but a few trades and remained in law until repealed in 1814; with, exclusions from apprenticeship for the children of the poor and rural labourers; however, by the early eighteenth century, these were rarely applied . Apprenticed youths entered into an indenture that was normally seven years in length, with completion by at least twenty-four years of age: they trained and lived with masters, often in urban locations, such as Liverpool, and often required migration from a considerable distance from their place of origin . A maximum fee for enrolment was fixed at 2s.6d. by statute and paid to a clerk or beadle . By this time, the control of many aspects of urban economic activity by gilds was in decline, yet, apprenticeship remained the right of passage for occupational entry into most trades; and, it was also the route to freedom of the town and access to civic rights. The apprentice register arose from a statute of Queen Anne, in 1709, which sought to finance, in part, a war with France through a variable charge ad valorem on the premium paid when a ‘Clerk, Apprentice or Servant put or placed to or with any Master or Mistress in any Profession, Trade or Employment’ . Stamp duty clerks, usually local attorneys working in county or corporate towns, recorded: the date of indenture, the names of the parties, the place of residence and social status or trade of the apprentice’s father or mother, the trade of the master, the length of the term, the premium paid, the amount of duty and when this was paid. The masters did not have to pay stamp duty nor the stamp duty clerk record any apprenticeships for which there was no premium or who were assigned by the common or public charge of any township or parish. In London, the guilds did record enrolments even when no premium was paid, a practice that is also evident in the original records for Liverpool, which are contiguous in handwriting, and for the years 1741-1743 there are no entries; but, unusually, there is not a single premium recorded across the 695 enrolments from 1709 to 1748. Mary Green the daughter of a dead innkeeper from Lisbon, recorded in 1713, is the only female apprentice along with a record of only two female masters, one a silversmith; and, for 20.4 per cent of the cohort the father had died; with ten others recorded as sponsored by the overseers of the poor (figure two) . The general trend can be seen to be one of relative decline with apprentices in the City of London, by 1700, a disputed 11 per cent of the population in 1720, a high figure when compared with Bristol between 1724 and 1750 which was under one per cent, and Liverpool which was around one per cent in 1709 and reduced to 0.03 per cent by 1744 .
The Liverpool register may reflect under-registration, which increased in the late seventeenth-century from the unwillingness of courts to uphold gild suits; and, there is additional evidence of un-enrolled ‘apprentices’ in towns such as in Southampton . From the 1720s, omissions in the records include the father’s occupation and from the 1750s, his origin and that of the master, and by the 1760s only the masters name, date and the duty paid were recorded; omissions evident in many of the Liverpool records . Further issues with the use of the other sources are raised in the footnotes relevant to their use. The contribution of apprentices to the economic and social development of Liverpool is principally traced through record-linkage between the apprentice registers, the associated masters, many of whom were themselves apprentices, and their progress and provenance asserted in the Town and Port Books, the Rate assessments of 1708 and 1743 and, investment in vessels recorded in the Plantation Register. These are used to develop five themes, relating to: migration and enrolment, occupational background and advancement, participation in trade and commerce, transition to freemen, and the attainment of wealth, position and power. So, where did Liverpool’s apprentices come from? The extent to which apprentices would migrate into towns, for economic and social gain, varied significantly across England with London and Liverpool displaying the longest distances, in a possible response to significantly greater opportunity and a superior knowledge network that more effectively informed distant potential apprentices. In Southern England, the distance travelled by a sample of 226 apprentices varied by social status with labourers (3%) averaging 11.8Km, husbandmen (21%) averaging 18.3Km, yeomen (45%) averaging 16.2Km and gentry (31%) averaging a more significant 47.8Km . By contrast, many London apprentices migrated over 160 Km to the capital for training and in an analysis of 35,838 enrolments, that tested the notion that incomplete information might force a migrant into choosing a gild company better known ‘of old’ in their place of origin showed no obvious correlation, concluding that distance was not a barrier . For most towns, it was only later in the eighteenth century that the balance of fertility and mortality could inherently support economic growth and apprentices by then were sourced locally; but, this was not the case for Liverpool which maintained a net in-migration above seventy per cent of the population increase as late as 1790, with contemporary evidence from Enfield who, in 1773, estimated a shortfall of 1200 ‘strangers’ . Ascott et al considered that this migration in Liverpool was, up until 1717, sourced from agricultural and coalfield townships within 24 to 32 Km, after which Lancashire’s immediate south-west hinterland responded to the labour demand. Their analysis of the Liverpool apprentice records from 1707 to 1757 concluded that the majority came from the hinterland with a significant minority from the American plantations and Orkney . However, while a detailed analysis of the Apprentice Register confirms a single indenture from Jamaica in 1721, one from Virginia in 1727 and three from Orkney, the average migration for all other apprentices, taken by line of sight distance from known parental origins, across 451 records is 59.5Km (figure three)
It is also clear that more distant migration was already well underway in the early eighteenth-century with an average of only 16.4 per cent of apprentices, across sample years, and less so with 5.9 per cent across all enrolments that were local to Liverpool (table one) . As early as 1699, Gauci cites a boast from the town of its success with… “many gentlemen’s sons of the counties of Lancaster, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and North Wales are put apprentices in the town”; and still evident by 1740 . This degree of in-migration is significantly higher than Bristol which from a sample of 3,062 records, shows a balance of Bristolian apprentices, from 1705 to 1726, growing from 43 to 51 per cent over in-migrants .
Rappaport has proposed that trade routes with other towns created information flows about apprentice opportunity, which for Liverpool is confirmed by McCade who used social network analysis to compare the relationships within the Bristol and Liverpool slave merchant investment communities, in the eighteenth century, and concluded that Liverpool merchants invested in or worked with over four times more people than Bristol and throughout this trade network seeded more opportunity and knowledge for potential recruits who in return persisted from afar . Kinship as a social network for apprenticeship recruitment is an active debate, with London and Liverpool displaying a low incidence that excludes this as a major reason for apprentices seeking participation in Liverpool’s growing economic progress. Kinship is cited by many as a key element in pre-modern social networks with Ogilvie finding, on the continent, that the majority of new masters in Wildberg were the sons of existing masters . Northampton innkeepers from 1560 to 1760 and Oxfordshire boatmen from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries are occupations known to have recruited largely from within kinship networks . However, a substantial study of 35,838 London apprentices and 12,320 masters between 1600 and 1750, for whom there was proxy evidence of origin through the father, concluded that for ‘unusual surnames’ the incidence of direct kin relationship was only 0.5 per cent, the majority of which were father and son; with a caveat that masters may have taken on maternally related kin who are unrecognisable in the guild company records . The evidence from the Liverpool register for ‘non-common’ surnames records is higher with over five per cent of apprentices enrolled with kin, for which 52 per cent were relatives and the remainder fathers . For Liverpool, kinship ties were neither a major factor in the selection of apprentices by masters nor by families seeking out masters. Much of the research into occupations of apprentice fathers suggests that the majority of migrants were of gentry or primary sector workers; which, initially, was the case for Liverpool but later changed to the supply of youths from tertiary and secondary sector workers with a corresponding change in demand from masters in secondary and tertiary trades to be later dominated by the merchant marine sector. An examination of 118,000 London apprentice records, between 1600 and 1750, that applied Wrigley’s Primary Secondary Tertiary (PST) sector coding to match the father’s occupation, found that only 40 per cent were sons of men in secondary or tertiary occupations and that the largest share was of gentry and from those in the primary sector such as in agriculture . This is consistent with Brooks who argues that from the mid-seventeenth century there was shift in the social background of migrating apprentices from husbandmen and artisans to yeomen and lesser gentry . Within Lancashire, from the time of George I in 1714, there is evidence that many gentry sent their sons to be apprenticed with Manchester manufacturers and sought merchantile companies or wealthier trades such as apothecaries, more able to mutually exploit their background and education; a finding that is not uniform with contrary evidence from Bristol where a gentlemans’ son enrolled with a labourer’s son in the trade of wire-drawing, perhaps remunerative, or perhaps the result of a downturn in the personal fortunes of the father . The application of Wrigley’s PST coding to fathers occupations, for Liverpool apprentices, for the high enrolment years of 1710,1731 and 1740 shows an early supply of apprentices from the primary sector (51.4 per cent) and, in time, consistent with other studies a change to a supply of youths from the tertiary sector (64.3 per cent), albeit of a smaller sample, and later to the secondary sector (66.7 per cent) as can be seen in table two. The demand from Master Occupations (MO) was consistently high from the tertiary sector across all three years, dominated by the merchant marine sector; and, in the earlier period it was common for them to take apprentices to train as sailors; however, by 1740, the demand was for secondary occupational backgrounds which may have been a response to vertical integration arising from merchants combining shipping with other trade-related occupations such as sugar refining, glass-making and rope-making .
The merchant marine occupational structure of Liverpool engaged almost half of all apprentices who supported considerable expansion of coastal and Atlantic trade either directly as an apprentice sailor, or supporting a factor and later supervising the ancillary trades that were added to shipping. The occupational structure of the population of Liverpool from 1660 to 1750 is estimated at 29.8 per cent marine and 8.1 per cent merchant . Early trade was in copper from Anglesey and grain and dairy produce from Ireland that connected Liverpool with Dublin, Drogheda, Belfast, Newry, Londonderry and the Isle of Man . Importing tobacco from America, sugar from the Caribbean islands complemented coastal shipping of salt, naval stores, irons and the reselling of wine from Bordeaux . Liverpool’s later significant slave trade to America grew out of this earlier expansion and through a trade triangle increased merchants profitability but is argued not to have redirected long-term growth that was already underway by 1700 . The extent to which apprentices supported this trade is evident in table three which presents the change in trading pattern in 1665 and in 1709 and the distribution of 128 apprentices that directly supported these masters and their trade as well as the apprentices they employed from then to 1748; in total 315 or 45.3 per cent of all apprentices on the register; and if marine related trades such as shipwright are added, then another 76 apprentices account for 56.3 per cent of all apprentices enrolled .
Liverpool merchants, in contrast to those in London who worked on commissions, sent factors and apprentices to the plantations who bought and stored local cargoes, often on credit through bills of exchange, thus reducing turnover times and port costs and ensuring full loads; while at the same time offering an opportunity for smuggling unknown cargoes and, the opportunity, with tobacco, for false declaration of cargo weights, and local repacking to full weight and coastal on-selling . Within this, we gain some insight into the role of apprentices, in this trade, from the diary of Nicholas Blundell, whose brother was a factor in Virginia, when in Sept 1704 he writes ‘I bound John Blund: Apprentice for Virginia before Mr. Mair of Leverpoole’ and the next day when “I went to Leverp: and put John Blund: on Bord ye Lorrell for Virginia, I paid £5 to Cap:Tarlton for his passage” . This suggests that the many Liverpool apprentices served as sailors or as support for factors and may, with training, have become factors in their own right. The reduction in the indenture periods to a mode of five years by 1740, by predominantly merchant marine masters, may have been a response to falling demand or a more effective training schedule (table one). The payment of passage may also suggest that Liverpool’s merchant marine may have found a way to circumvent the crown, as with tobacco, through a payment in kind for an apprentice’s passage in lieu of a higher premium on which tax would be paid. Successful completion of an apprenticeship led to civic rights such as property ownership and political participation, as freemen, in a benefit that was widely eroded by purchase or patrimony from the last half of the seventeenth century, a trend evident in Liverpool. From the seventeenth century on, there is considerable evidence for the failure of apprentices to complete their training and in a comparative study of the freedom registers for London and Bristol in the late seventeenth century confirmed a persistent failure rate of 65 per cent for the former and a rate of at 55 per cent for the latter to become freemen . Excluded from completion, between 1690 and 1720 were 5.1 and 7.7 % of apprentices in London who received court discharges, but there was only one ‘dispute’ recorded in the Liverpool Register . Minns and Wallis also found that in both ‘cities’ the local apprentices were more likely to become freemen than migrants, a conclusion in common with Ben-Amos who saw towns as providers of training to the country with advantages in securing local resources for a newly independent trader . The transition to master was also likely to involve a period of work as a journeyman, especially for those from poorer backgrounds, with most towns, in the fifteenth century, already had a growing body of workmen in every craft who remained journeymen . Of those merchants admitted as freemen, in Bristol, over the period 1600 to 1699, some 203 were by patrimony and 341 by apprenticeship; but, a significant proportion of those born free were also apprenticed . For those who were admitted, there was a minimum legal sum of 3s. 4d. to be paid, which for Liverpool applied to admittance of the freeborn but apprentices paid 6d.8s. . Gauci noted that only thirteen of the one 100 Liverpool apprentices in 1699 ever became freemen . For Liverpool, of the 3047 admittances in the Freemen Registers (1650-1708): 1616 or 53.0 per cent bought their freedom; 205 or 6.7 per cent were given it (gratis); 642 or 21.0 per cent were apprentices; 338 or 11.1 per cent were born free, ten of whom were also recorded as apprentices; and, 584 or 19.2 per cent were rejected . For Liverpool, the freemen admissions for 1707 and 1708 include apprentices indentured some seven years earlier, yet are the closest available to the first apprentice register indenture of 1707;
And for each year, there is a 34 per cent admission by apprenticeship with an equal or higher entry from those who bought their freedom for from between £2 to £30 (table four) . If this were applied to the cohort from 1708 to 1750, then the 49 who are entered in the town book or held a vestry office, at 7.1 per cent, would seem an underrepresentation of the 695 total enrolment. The high degree of merchant marine apprentices may also have resulted in serving in any one of their major trading ports which would not qualify them as a freemen of Liverpool. Apprentices as freemen participated and invested in coastal and Atlantic trade, in property, were as town officers and council members produced several mayors between 1660 and 1750. The nature of power, from 1660, in Liverpool is argued to have been increasingly held by merchants and from 1700, their decision to build England’s first commercial wet dock accelerated the subsequent and significant economic development of the eighteenth century . A number of apprentices, enrolled between 1709 to 1748, had gained wealth and position including: the part-ownership of 13.9 per cent by tonnage of plantation registered vessels; the ownership of 79 properties by 22 now freemen, rated at £244.00 in 1743; and, the attainment of town office by thirty-one with Thomas Blease, Henry Winstanley and Charles Pole serving as town bailiff . Apprentices who had already attained freemen status by the 1709 property tax owned 7.7 per cent of the 1943 properties rated in 1709 at a value of £16.39. For the later cohort, only John Thompson, the town water bailiff, had by 1740 any investment in a plantation registered ship, perhaps reflecting a now significant outlay that was beyond a craftsman in a period that lacked the credit facility of the earlier 1700s . Merchants could be expected to be over represented in the councils of many port towns and accounted for 83 per cent of seats in Bristol in the early seventeenth century and along with marine councillors in Liverpool represented 61.6 per cent of the council for the half-century to 1699 rising to 75.8 per cent for the next fifty years . The brief biography of two apprentices who both became mayor is constructed from the source records to gain an understanding of individual contribution made to Liverpool and of their personal attainment. Richard Gildart was an in-migrant from Lancashire, born about 1674 and who began as an apprentice in around 1691; free in 1698 on payment of 6s.8d.to be later recorded, in the town book, as a merchant appraiser in 1708, rising to bailiff in 1712 and mayor in 1714, 1731 and 1736; by 1743, he remained and alderman with 67 properties worth £429.38; a merchant trader who with his brother James became the largest shipper of slaves to the Chesapeake and is later recorded in the plantation register with shares in two ships with a total capacity of 180 tons; and, from 1734 to 1754 served as MP for Liverpool in parliament . Foster Cunliffe, was an apprentice of Sir Thomas Johnson, a mariner and tobacco merchant, made free in 1706, initially specialised in trade with the Isle of Man but later with his sons became the second largest shipper of slaves to the Chesapeake; took his first town post as inspector of inmates in 1707, to rise to bailiff in 1708 and was mayor in 1716, 1729 and 1735; still recorded as an alderman in 1748; had acquired six properties rated at £39.50 by 1743; and, is recorded, in the plantation register, as part-owner of seven ships with a total capacity of 620 tons . In addition, it is quite likely that a considerable number of Liverpool’s merchant apprentices completed their indentures abroad and may well have made their way economically and socially in the trading network of partners and factors outside of Liverpool. The contribution of early modern apprenticeship to economic development remains a debate with opponents condemning its rigidity, inflexibility and bad regulation, and its defenders citing its role in skill formation and socialisation is arguably less relevant to Liverpool, dominated by trade and this role in industrialisation is a more important debate of gradualism over discontinuity; and where apprentices could be considered tools of gradual long-term change. The economic contribution of craft guilds and apprenticeships, in the pre-modern economy, is subject to a vigorous debate in historiography with general agreement of decline by the mid-eighteenth century and this is evident in the fall-off in enrolments for Liverpool (figure two) . Ogilvie claims that guilds were economically inefficient and refutes the contention from self-called revisionists like Epstein, who she terms ‘rehabilitation theorists’, that they sustained systems for the transmission of skills and technical innovation . For Liverpool, as the trading centre and driver of significant ‘pre-industrial’ growth, there is however, another more relevant debate is whether industrialization was a gradual change in the economy over a longer period of time, rejected by an industrial revolutionist, like Timmins, citing evidence of the earlier growth in Lancashire cotton imports which averaged 18.7 per cent for the forty years to 1750 and 124.6 per cent for the 40 years beyond 1780 as a major discontinuity . In this debate, McFarlane discounts ‘revolutionary’ processes such as industrialisation as agents of change and as a revisionist instead argues that a focus on individualism and nuclear, as in the case of Ralph Josselin, led England to early and successful capitalist development, economic growth and industrial development . A gradualist emphasis on national economic growth is thought to mask the possibility of discontinuous change taking place at a local level in relatively few regions, such as Liverpool and its hinterland . The ‘industrial’ output of Liverpool, measured in total tonnage, grew thirteen-fold over the first half of the eighteenth century whilst its population more than trebled, which exceeded other towns on both counts . There was already evidence of a large scale change in occupational structure by 1710, in Lancashire, when the male secondary sector share of employment was the highest in England at 48 per cent compared with 39 per cent in the southern counties; and, in Liverpool’s hinterland including Manchester would have been significantly higher . There is a small contribution the Liverpool’s apprentices might make to this debate which is reflected in the enrolment pattern which can be seen as a discontinuous process with three concentrated periods all significantly in the hands of individual merchants and consequently more in line with McFarlane’s thinking (figure 3). In conclusion, this essay examines the contribution apprentices made to the economic and social transition of Liverpool from a minor port of coastal and Irish trade in the seventeenth century to become a leading trading centre for the Atlantic by 1750, with a four-fold increase in population engaged in an increasing range of trading activity, and with infrastructural and town development offering considerable work opportunities for locals and migrants including apprentices to one that supplanted Bristol as the second largest port in England by 1750. The sources are taken from the Liverpool Community Database, an abstraction of the primary records and comprising, a mixture of long, medium and short-term records that are used in conjunction with the register of apprentices; and, which were instituted by the crown to raise a tax on premiums paid on enrolments. Although inconsistent and incomplete, the data supports analysis and record-linking in the development of five themes that relate to the participation of apprentices in the economic and social transition of Liverpool. Firstly, the extent to which apprentices migrated, for economic and social gain, places Liverpool on a par with London as the longest sustained average distances, in a possible response to significantly greater opportunity and superior information across a more intensely developed trade network. Secondly, kinship is cited as a social network for apprenticeship recruitment which for Liverpool, like London, displays a low incidence of and was not a major reason for seeking participation in Liverpool’s growing economic progress. Thirdly, much of the research into occupations of apprentice fathers suggests that the majority of migrants were of gentry or primary sector workers; which, initially, was the case for Liverpool but later changed to the supply of youths from tertiary and secondary sector workers with a corresponding change in demand from masters in secondary and tertiary trades to be later dominated by the merchant marine sector. Fourthly, the merchant marine occupational structure of Liverpool engaged almost half of all apprentices who supported considerable expansion of coastal and Atlantic trade either directly as a sailor, supporting a factor and later supervising the ancillary trades that were added to shipping through vertical integration. Fifthly, successful completion of an apprenticeship led to civic rights such as property ownership and political participation, as freemen, in a benefit that was widely eroded by purchase or patrimony from the last half of the seventeenth century, a trend evident in Liverpool. Liverpool apprentices, as freemen, invested in coastal and Atlantic trade and in property; they, were town officers as council members and produced several mayors between 1660 and 1750, which included; Richard Gildart, an in-migrant from Lancashire with a major property portfolio by 1743 and, Foster Cunliffe, an apprentice of a mariner and tobacco merchant with six properties by 1743 and a part-owner of seven ships by 1748; both of whom were major slave traders and both mayor three times. The contribution of apprentices to the economic and social development of Liverpool is significant as agents, factors and personal extensions of merchant marine masters acting in self-interest and for the town.
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