[Apprentices] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [no Bondmen.]331

[Apprentices] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [no Bondmen.]

take no Notice what the Civil or Imperial Laws determine in such Cases.

But for further and more particular Satisfaction in so weighty a Matter as this is, both for the Honour of the City, whose Magistrates and Members are constituted of such as have first been Apprentices, and for the Encouragement of Gentlemen to send up their Sons to London, to take Business and Employments upon them, and to become useful Members of the Commonwealth, and to advance themselves in the World, I shall declare a Matter that fell out above fourscore Years ago, and what happened thereupon, tending to the clearing this Business. A young Gentleman whose Father had been an Apprentice in London, but of a good Family, was affronted in Company for this very thing, as tho' he were no Gentleman born; implying that his Father's Apprenticeship had corrupted his Blood. The Gentleman the Father was stirred at this not a little; and was fully bent to get this Matter fully debated. And again, another Gentleman's Son, Apprentice in London, being much discouraged at this supposed Degradation, wrote to his Father, that by reading certain Books at his spare Hours, and conferring with some who took upon them to have Skill in Heraldry, he was brought to believe, that by being an Apprentice he lost his Birthright, and the Right of his Blood, both by Father and Mother; which was, to be a Gentleman: Which Dishonour, added he, I had rather die then to endure. The Gentleman upon this Letter of his Son, was very earnest, as was the other, to have the Point cleared, and to receive Satisfaction from such as were skilful in such Matters: Nor cared he for Charge, for the getting it decided. And protested, that if it were as his Son had writ, he should not stay on London, tho' it cost him 500l.

An Accident that happened for the further clearing this matter.

For the Satisfaction of both these Gentlemen, a certain learned Herald, (supposed to be Philipot, Somerset) to whom the former had writ, set himself to study the Point, himself reckoning it very fit to be resolved, because nothing lightly could be a greater Disparagement, than for the Free to become a kind of Bondman, or to be sprung of such as were so. And because such an Opinion was so apt to breed bad Affections among People of the same Nation, whence great Mischiefs often arose, even to Hatred, Quarrel, and Homicide. And lastly, because of that Disdain in some, to seem either Citizens and City-bred, or owe any thing of their Worship or Estate to either.

The Herald shewed, that Apprenticeship was no true Bondage, nor no Bondage at all. For the Indentures that pass'd between the Master and Apprentice were nothing but Civil Contracts; namely, that by an indented Instrument for the true and faithful Service of a few Years, the Master should teach his Apprentice his own Trade or Mystery, and how to gain thereby honestly, and raise himself. Which kind of Contracts, all the World knows, Bondmen were uncapable of doing. It is a mutual Obligation or Convention between both Parties. And the Act of binding is no more, but that the Master might be determinately for the Time, and sufficiently for the manner, sure to enjoy his Apprentice. And only such as are free born are capable to make a Contract with Effect.

Apprenticeship no Bondage.

That which constituted a Bondman among the old Romans, was such a Power and Right vested in the Lord over the very Body of his Bondman or Slave, as descending to him under some received Title, or other Jure Gentium, and was maintained by him Jure civili Romanorum. By vertue whereof, he became Proprietary in the Person of his Bondman, as in the Body of hisOx, Horse, or ant other Beast he had. Which Propriety was indeterminable, but only by Manumission. And that Act meerly depended upon the Will of the Lord, without any Indenture or Condition on behalf of the Slave. Finally, Servus, a Slave, among them nullum Caput habuit; i.e. had no Head in Law, and neither was in Censu, nor in Lustro condita: as much to say, they were out of the number of Men, their Names being neither put (as among such as had wherewith to pay) in the Rolls of their Exchequer, or Tables of their Capitol, nor as Bodies wherewith to serve in the general Musters of the Commonweal; but were reputed Civiliter mortui, dead in Law; Death and Bondage being alike among them; and without any more Reputation of being Members in the Body than brute Cattel. For Bondmen were reputed Nobody. And in case of Manumission, the Bondman after Manumission continued in such a relation to his late Lord, that in cetain Cases (as that of Ingratitude) he who was once enfranchised, was adjuged back to his Patron, and condemn'd again to a far more miserable Service than ever. But nothing like all this in Apprenticeship.

What makes a Bondman.

Servi pro nullis habiti.

He shewed further, that by the old common Law of England, descending from the Civil, there are two sorts of Bondmen, viz. Villains in gross, and Villains regardant to a Manour. Now it is certain, our Apprentice or Scholar in City Mysteries, is neither one nor other of them.

Two sorts of Bondmen.

And as for Work, Restraint, and Correction, which were things Bondmen were subject to: but so are Scholars and Soldiers; who were never look'd upon to be in a State of Bondage, or to lose their Quality for being so. Restraint and Correction is but for a Year or two, while the Apprentice is commonly at the Age of a Boy, or at the most but a Lad or a Stripling. And as for the Work and Labour he is to do, 'tis true some things there are sometimes imposed upon him which a Gentleman would not do, that lived sui Juris. Yet on the other side, we constantly deny, that he does any of these as servile, or as servilely, but propter finem nobilem; i.e. for a noble End: that is, to learn an honest Mystery, to enable him to the Service of God and his Country in the Station, Place, and Calling of a Citizen. And all is in Ordine, in order, and in the way to Mastership, and to the Estate of a Citizen. And the Master in the mean while serves his Apprentice with Instruction, and universal Conformation and moulding of him to an Art; as the Apprentice serves his Master with Obedience, Faith and Industry. So that an Apprentice's Condition is but like the well being of a Child under his Father, who may restrain, rebuke, and correct him, and lay Work upon him; yet he doth all for his Good.

Work, Restraint and Correction makes not a Bondman.

For the Master's Power is not Despoticum Imperium; that is, not such Power as an absolute Lord hath over his Slave; but as is were Curatura, A Guardianship, and a Trust; and he is in very Truth a Discipliner or Teacher, endued with Authority of using moderate Correction as a Father, not as a Tyrant.

The Master's Power is not despotical.

Whatsoever their Indentures do purport, and howsoever they seem conditional, Servants are in Truth not bound to do or suffer things more grievous than young Soldiers in Armies, or Scholars in Schools, or Novices in Noviceships. Each of whom in their kinds usually do and suffer things as base and vile in their own Quality, simply and in themselves considered, as perhaps the very meanest of Five thousand Apprentices in London.

Apprentices no Slaves.

City's Advoc. printed 1629.

So that Apprenticeship in London is no Dishonour, nor Degradation; but rather an Honour, and a Degree. He is very hardy that shall embase honest Industry with disgraceful Censures,

Apprenticeship an Honour, and a Degree.