So, what about Robertâ€™s sons being â€œput to prenticeâ€?
Remember that at the time he died he had the following living children: Robert, William, Thomas, Elizabeth, Sibella, George and Lawrence. Now, his will talks about his â€œchildrenâ€ not his â€œsonsâ€ being apprenticed. It certainly did happen for girls to be apprenticed, but usually that was in cases where a poor orphaned girl had an apprenticeship in â€œhousewiferyâ€ arranged by the parish overseers. Since this family do not seem to be struggling financially, and since no apprenticeship records for his daughters have turned up so far, we will not spend any time searching for them in apprenticeship records.
The Court Minutes of the Pewterers Company show that in 1634 (which is before Robert senior died) "Robert Wenborne sonne of Robert of Wadhurst in Sussex" was apprenticed for 8 years to Thomas Wilkinson, member of the Pewterers Company of London. This Robert (the pewterer) died in 1639 and was buried in Wadhurst.
The East Sussex Records Office Additional Manuscripts, Catalogue V (reference AMS6227/50) has a conveyance dated 16 June 1659 from â€œWilliam Wemborne of Southwark, stationer (eldest son of Robert Wemborne of Wadhurst, gent, deceasedâ€ where he sells land in Ticehurst that had originally belonged to his uncle George Cruttal, and which came to William via his sister Sybyl. So although I have not yet found details of Williamâ€™s apprenticeship, it appears he was apprenticed as a stationer.
The Manuscripts section of the Guildhall Library has found the following information for me on the apprenticeship of Thomas from the register of apprentice bindings and freedom admissions for the Skinnersâ€™ Company.
4 Apr 1637
Thomas Wenborne sonne of Robert Wenborne of Wadhurst in the Countie of Sussex gent hath put himselfe apprentice to Nicholas Warren Citizen and Skynner of London for nine years from our Ladie last (i.e. last Lady Day, which is the 25th March)
7 Jan 1644/5
Thomas Wenborne late apprentice with Nicholas Warren having served eighte yeares and upwards of the tearme on his Indenture was this day preferred to his freedome
8 May 1668
Thomas Wenborne sonn of Thomas Wenborne C[itizen] & Skinn[er] of London was appr[enticed] to his said Father for 7 years from this day.
The will of Thomas Wenborne was written 5th February 1685 and was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on the 23rd March 1686. In it he describes himself as â€œThomas Wenborne, Citizen and Skinner of Londonâ€, and he mentions his son Thomas Wenborne, his daughter Hester Hudson widow, his daughter Elizabeth the wife of Nicholas Bakewell ironmonger, and his daughter Marah the wife of Thomas Rowney, linen draper. He also mentions his brother William Wenborne and his friends Daniel Mercer of London and John Bourkes of Southwark and his wife Hannah Wenborne (whom he makes his executrix). No other children are mentioned.
Now, checking the registers of St George Baptisms in St George the Martyr in Southwark (where Robert Wenborne and Elizabeth Cruttall were married), I found the following baptisms
21 Sep 1656 â€“ Hester daughter of Thomas and Jane Wonborne
27 Jul 1658 â€“ Joane ye daughter of Thomas Wonborn
6 Sep 1661 â€“ Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Wenborne
30 Mar 1663 â€“ Mary daughter of Thomas Wonborne
And the following burial
10 Mar 1685/6 â€“ Thomas Wenbourn, Skynner
On the 1st Dec 1680 a marriage license was issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury for Nicholas Bakewell, of Birmingham, co. Warw., Ironmonger, Bach, abt 26, & Mrs Elizabeth Wenborne, of St Georgeâ€™s, Southwark, Surrey, spinster, about 19, with consent of her father. Marriage to take place at St Mary le Bow, London.
Remember that at that time â€œMrsâ€ does not stand for Missus (i.e. a married lady), it is an abbreviation for â€œMistressâ€ and is applied to people of a higher (but not aristocratic) class.
Then on the 10th May 1681 a marriage license was granted to Thomas Rowney of Birmingham, co. Warw., Linen Draper, bach, about 26, & Mrs Marra Wenborne, of St. Georgeâ€™s Sourthwark, Surrey, spin, about 18, with consent of her father Thomas Wenborne, of the same, Citizen and Skinner. Marriage to take place at St Mary Le Bow, London.
Now, looking at the baptisms above, they certainly seem to match with at least 3 of Thomasâ€™s children (I think Mary, Marah and Marra are the same person, the differences being accounted for by the varing degrees of literacy of the parish clerks concerned). Joane probably died before her father, although she was not buried at St Georgeâ€™s Southwark. I think Thomas must have been baptised somewhere else, probably about 1654, as boys were usually apprenticed at 14.
Another interesting point is that Hesterâ€™s mother is Jane, whereas at the time of his death Thomasâ€™s wife was named as Hester, so he had probably married twice (even though there is no burial of Jane, and no record has been found to date of either wife).