Grimsby's Fishing Apprentices

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          Extract from the Registers, 32 Fishing Apprentices who signed Indentures in November 1888

Registers of Sea Going Apprentices of Grimsby 1879 - 1937

     In 1878 the Board of Trade directed that an an inquiry be held into the apprenticeship system to address complaints and criticism about the system. The two commissioners appointed were instructed to confine their inquiries to the port of Grimsby where the fishing trade had increased with great rapidity - In ten years, smacks sailing from the port had increased from not more than 100, to five times that number. It was estimated that 2,000 apprentices were engaged in the business and regulations for conducting the trade had not kept pace with its extraordinary development.

     The report submitted was favourable to apprenticeship system generally but it did stress that the condition of the apprentices was not altogether satisfactory, due mainly to the want of proper supervision. They made specific "Proposals with the view to the Improvement of the Fishery Apprenticeship System". One of those which was accepted and implemented almost immediately was that the Superintendent of Mercantile Marine to record ". . . all assignments, cancellations, and terminations of indenture . . ." and to keep similar records of character and complaints relating to apprentices.

     These records were started in June 1880. The entries were opened when the boy signed his indenture and the initial record gave details concerning the boy, name, age, where from, term to be served, master and where the boy was to live. Additional details were added when the Superintendent interviewed the boy during the period of his apprenticeship and as reports of the boy's activities and progress were recieved.

     Fortunately these records have survived and are another valuable source for the family historian.

Notes     - The records show in the period 1880 - 89, 3,312 apprentices signed indentures, of these 1,184 completed term of service, 1,039 absconded, 200 died or were killed and 889 indentures were cancelled or annulled.

Extract from the Registers

32 Fishing Apprentices of Grimsby Signed Indentures in November 1888.

     32 boys signed indentures in November 1888. . This extract from the Registers lists their names, masters and vessels and some of the details recorded. Where possible I have adhered to the abbreviations, (of which there are many!) and spellings used by the book-keeper. None of the 32 boys in this list figure in casualties, (loss of life).

     Four of the vessels are recorded in David Boswell's  "Loss List of Grimsby Vessels 1800 - 1960"
They are:-
  5th January 1889 'Sappo' (Dandy 59.5) Collision with 'Glenavon', of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, about
24 miles N.E. of Spurn Point.
  17th August 1893 'Fortuna' (Ketch 77.7) Collision with S.T. 'Ibis', of Glasgow - about 280 miles
E. 1/2 S. of Spurn Point.
  27th November 1898 'Paragon' (Dandy 89.6) Collision with floating wreckage - about 40 miles
W.N.W. of Kinnaird's Head, Aberdeenshire.
  5th April 1899 'Express' (Smack 7.0) Floundered about 21/2 miles S.W. of Inner Dowsing Buoy,
River Humber.
  Fate of the crews not recorded!

Apprentice D o B Indentured Vol / Page Additional Information
ASHTON George Arthur 12 Sep 1870, 15 Nov 1888, Page 134 Absconded Apr '89
    Master: Walter Crampin, Vessel: 'Little Emma'. 28 Feb'89 sentenced to 1 month with hard labour -
    for theft - on completion would not return from Hull - 'Warrent' - not seen since!
BERRIMAN Arthur William 07 Mar 1871, 09 Nov 1888, Page 128 Absconded
    Master: Augustus Culyer, Vessel: 'Paragon'. 4th Dec'88 Sentenced to one month with hard labour -
    for theft of clothes - has not been seen since released from gaol.
BROOKER John Charles 07 May 1872, 21 Nov 1888, Page 145 Term Served, V.G. (41/2 years)
CANEY Michael 21 Apr 1873, 17 Nov 1888, Page 138 Term Served   (61/2 years)
CLARIDGE Alfred 15 Mar 1871, 09 Nov 1888, Page 127 Term Served V.G. (34/12 years)
    Boy born Edinboro, Master: Willm J'n Plowman, Vessel: 'Primadonna', 6th Sept.'89 Deserted -
    forgiven by Mag's on promise of improvement.
CLAY John William 24 Jul 1871, 14 Nov 1888, Page 133 Absconded
COPPING Arthur 15 Dec 1873, 06 Nov 1888, Page 125 Absconded
    Term 6 years, Master: Leo Lewis, Vessel: 'Vigil', Absconded. 29th Jun.'94 - Now in Caistor Union.
    Lad has disappointed, master has disappointed. (Comment by Sup't).
COPPING William 11 Sep 1874, 06 Nov 1888, Page 124 Term Served   (61/2 years)
    Master: Leo Lewis, Vessel: 'Vigil', 29th Jun.'94 - Is serving in 'Heroine' - G. I. Co., Leo Lewis is -
    Skipper. (Comments by Sup't).
DAVIS Maurice 02 Sep 1873, 17 Nov 1888, Page 141 Term Served   (511/12 years)
    Master: S. T. C., Vessel: 'Virgo',
DENFORD Lawrence 26 May 1873, 21 Nov 1888, Page 144 Cancelled -
    Master has no vessel.
DEWHIRST Charles 05 Jul 1872, 16 Nov 1888, Page 136 5th Feb'92 Absconded
    Master: Wm Hy Munson. Vessel: 'James Emptage'. Term: 5 years. Absconded 19th Aug'89 -
    forgiven on a promise - absconded Feb'92 - 'warrent' - not seen since - Time Expired.
GIBSON Charles William 25 Jul 1871, 05 Nov 1888, Page 123 Cancelled 29th Mar'89.
    Master: Geo. H'y Charlton. Vessel: 'Ben More'. Term: 31/2 years. Vessel taken by -
    Mortgaugers - Master gives clothes.
GOODERSON   John 06 Jun 1872, 12 Nov 1888, Page 132 Absconded Mar'89.
    Master: Harvey Chantor. Vessel: 'Fortuna'. Term: 41/2 years. Deserted Mar'89, stole 5.5s
    worth of clothes -Has been writing falsehoods to father to get money - very artful.
HARRISON George William 16 May 1868, 22 Nov 1888, Page 124 Term Served   (3 years)
HAWKLEY James 27 Feb 1872, 27 Nov 1888, Page 148 Absconded
HILL William 30 Jun 1874, 17 Nov 1888, Page 137 Term Served  (61/2 years)
HODSON John 05 Aug 1871, 01 Nov 1888, Page 119 Absconded  (21st Aug1890
JONES James Frederick 03 Jan 1872, 02 Nov 1888, Page 121 Term Served  (4 years)
    Master: John Guzzwell, Vessel: 'Sappho'. Previous - "Loafing about W'hampton". 2nd Jan 1890 -
    Deserted -'W' - 17th Feb. Bro. before Mags. for desert'n & refusal of duty - 14 Days.
    Mar'91 Absconded 'W' - unpunished. 6th Feb'92 Deserted - 'W' Bro. before Mags. - 21 Days.
McHALE John 26 Jan 1874, 02 Nov 1888, Page 120 Absconded
    Master: Matthew Roiall, Vessel: 'Harvest Moon'. Boy from L'pool Kirkdale Ind. School,
    hair: red, eyes: brown, Ht 5' 3". 3rd Mar'89 Jumped O'board and attempted to swim to another
    vessel - saved with some difficulty - promised not to make similar attempt. 15th Mar'89 -
    Stopped ship - 'W' - 21th Mar'89 - sentenced to 14 Days. Absconded 18th Sep'89 - not seen since.
MORRIS Samuel 11 Jun 1874, 17 Nov 1888, Page 139 Term 67/12 years   Annulled.
NUNN William 28 Apr 1875, 12 Nov 1888, Page 131   Cancelled 11th Oct'92.
    Master: John Randall, Vessel: 'Maritana'. Term 6 years, Cancelled 11th Oct'92 - mutual consent -
    no vessel to employ lad - lad has his freedom & clothes.
OLAFSEN Olaf Tobeias 24 Jun 1870, 08 Nov 1888, Page 126 Term Served   (4 years).
    Master: Henry Chas Rhodes, Vessel: 'Star of Hope'. Mother in Norway - Brother sails with master.
PAYNE Samuel William 24 Jul 1873, 02 Nov 1888, Page 122 Term Served   (5 years).
    Master: John S Bedford, Vessel: 'John & Lizzie'. Lad born in Plymouth - came from Greenwich -
PING Thomas Fred 02 Jul 1875, 29 Nov 1888, Page 150 No other details!   
PRITCHARD John 22 Jun 1874, 17 Nov 1888, Page 140 Term Served   (67/12 years).
    Master: Steam Trawling Co, Vessel: 'Virgo'.
ROBERTS Frederick 25 Dec 1872, 27 Nov 1888, Page 149 Cancelled  Lad unfit for sea.
SITCH William 10 Nov 1871, 10 Nov 1888, Page 130 Absconded
    Master: Alfred Lidman, Vessel: 'Thistle'. Lad born in Essex - Term 4 years.
    Absconded 15th Mar'89 - not seen since.
TURNER John DoB-'nr'-, 23 Nov 1888, Page 147 4th Oct'89, Gaoled for theft -
     of a soverign from lodgings, newspaper cutting of court report, pasted in register.
    Master: -'nr'-, Vessel: 'Express'.
UPTON John 12 Jul 1874, 17 Nov 1888, Page 142 Term Served   (67/12 years).
    Master: Steam Trawling Co, Vessel: 'Virgo'. Lad born in Birkenhead.
WATSON Albert Edward 09 Feb 1873, 10 Nov 1888, Page 129 Absconded.
    Master: James Plastow, Vessel: 'Mysterious'. Term 51/2 years. Absconded 16th Apr'90 - unpunished.
    Absconded 28th Oct'91 - not seen since.
WESSON George Henry 12 Jul 1873, 15 Nov 1888, Page 135 1st Dec'92, Cancelled.
    Master: Walter Crampin, Vessel: 'Little Emma'. Term 6 years. Absconded twice - unpunished.
WOODS William James 26 May 1873, 17 Nov 1888, Page 143 * Term Served.
    Master:Fred Osborne, Vessel: 'Amity'. Term 51/2 years. 31st Oct'93, Cancelled, master has no vessel.
    * Term Served - recorded in register by Sup't.

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