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Articles of Clerkship

This article was posted in Essex Resources, Miscellaneous.

Articles of Clerkship is a new archive on Ancestry.co.uk.

This is all about the legal profession. Articles of clerkship were contracts between an apprentice clerk, who wanted to become an attorney or solicitor, and an attorney who agreed to train the clerk for the profession. The contracts were often entered into by fathers (or other sponsors) on their sons’ behalf, with terms typically lasting 5–7 years.

A quick look at the archive reveals there are over 800 records which give the apprentice clerk’s residence as Essex (it also gives the town or parish). Although you may not have a legal professional in your family tree it is worth checking. They may have dropped out and did not complete the apprenticeship.

The records come in two forms: an affidavit and registers. Both can provide information such as clerks name, father’s name, place of residence, attorney’s name, date and terms of clerkship.

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