In June 2022 the IHR’s Centre for the History of People, Place and Community will participate in the Becket Pageant for London – part of our renewed focus on London history, which also includes the exciting IHR London Summer School.
IHR resources and interpretation at the event will focus on apprenticeships. How did people learn trades in London in the medieval past – and how does that relatehttps://www.history.ac.uk/research/centre-history-people-place-and-community to apprenticeships and training in the present?
The year 2020 marked the 850th anniversary of the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, martyr, saint, and Londoner. It also marked the 800th anniversary of the translation of his body to the shrine in which it currently sits at Canterbury Cathedral, and most likely also the 900th anniversary of his birth. Many of the celebrations planned for 2020 were sadly curtailed because of pandemic restrictions.
One of the most exciting events planned for London is now being staged on 17th and 18th June 2022: the Becket Pageant for London at Guildhall Yard, in the heart of the City of London. The IHR will be there as part of the Livery Crafts Fair to spread the word about our projects on the history of London: Records of London Livery Companies Online and Layers of London.
The centrepiece of the Becket Pageant for London will be a staging of a new musical play entitled ‘London’s Turbulent Son’, an interpretation of the 1519 Skinners’ Company street pageant about Becket’s life. Tickets for the performance, and details about the free Crafts Fair can be found at the Becket Pageant for London website.
The IHR’s Centre for the History of People, Place and Community is particularly excited to be involved in the Becket Pageant for London as part of our renewed focus on London history. During the summer of 2022 we will also be launching the IHR London Summer School and a new annual series of public lectures in London history in honour of the late Professor Derek Keene. In September 2022 we will also be hosting a special symposium celebrating the work and influence of Professor Keene.
Our presence at the Becket Pageant for London will be particularly focused upon apprenticeship. Together with City & Guilds and Pathway CTM we will help visitors to learn about apprenticeship past, present, and future. The City of London had a highly organised apprenticeship system in which boys, and occasionally girls, would be ‘bound’ to a master craftsman or merchant for a period of seven years. At the end of this, the apprentice was not only qualified to practice their trade, but was also expected to become a freeman of London. For this reason, the City and its livery companies kept very thorough records of when each apprentice began and completed their term; many, but far from all, of these records survive. Our free-to-use project website Records of London Livery Companies Online contains the records of over 87,000 apprentices of London’s Livery Companies from 1400 to1900.