Apprentice Indenture Paper 1885

I have in my possession the agreement of the indenture as apprentice of George Clevett Junior to Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner of Dorking. Stone and Turner was an Ironmongers shop in Dorking where I grew up in the 1950s and 60s, but originally they made as well as sold things having come to the town and been established as general smiths in 1876.

The Indenture is an agreement between Stone & Turner, George Clevett, George Clevett Junior (the apprentice) and the Trustees of the Dorking Charities provided funding. It came to me from my father who was given it by my great uncle Ron Martin, who married my grandmother’s sister Ada. Auntie Ada and Uncle Ron were a big part of my childhood, filling the role of grandparents really, and I remember them both with great fondness. I think George Clevett was Ron’s stepfather but I have not actually researched the ancestry.

I  transcribed the document because I found it hard to read more than a couple of lines of the handwriting without losing understanding – there is not a great deal of punctuation or separation into paragraphs and sentences. It has taken me quite a few hours to transcribe but as I have done it I have found the document fascinating, both in the insights it gives into the society of the time ad the manner and process of its creation.

I share the transcription here for those who may also find it of interest. I will put scans of the original on my Facebook page – maybe I will pay for an upgrade to WordPress so that I can put them here too.


The document is written on a single sheet of good quality paper that is folded in half to make four sides. The paper is 400 by 232 millimetres in size, folded to 200 by 232, which does not match any standard size I can find.

Three sides are written top to bottom, labelled below as pages 1 to 3 of the document. The document is then folded neatly in half twice, at right angles to the original fold, such that the fourth side has four panels, referred to as panels 1 – 4 below. Two have receipts for the Trustees payments, one is effectively the title page and the last is certification of the completion of the apprenticeship.

The process of writing the document can be deduced from looking at it closely. The majority of the text is written in the same size of font with one pen nib, spaces being left for later addition of dates and a other details. Important elements, notably names, were written in a larger font and I think with a different nib, though it is hard to tell. A few very important words are written larger still with a heavy italic nib so they stand out boldly. It appears that these words were first written lightly with the main pen, and then overwritten later in bold italic. The faint lines of the first writing can be discerned trailing below the final letters.

At the time of signing a smaller font and a different nib and ink are used. The effort and he technique of the lawyers clerk is impressive.

I am unable to reproduce the font sizes here but bold text represents the large bold italic writing. I have tried to reproduce the capitals and punctuation exactly.


This Indenture  made the 20th day of May One thousand eight hundred and eighty five between  George Clevett of Flint Hill Dorking in the County of Surrey Laborer of the first part George Clevett the Younger now aged Seventeen years or thereabouts Son of the said George Clevett of the second part Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner both of Dorking aforesaid General Smiths of the third part and The Venerable Arch deacon Atkinson, Thomas Flood Grocer, The Reverend Edmund Dawe Wickham, The Right Honorable George Cubitt M.P., John Young Brewer, Arthur Powell Esquire, Robert Barclay Esquire, John Attlee Corn Merchant, William Davnall Gentleman, John Heart Esquire, George Kirkham Paron Esquire, William John Rossiter Gentleman, William Thomas Butler, Grocer, Lachlan Mackintosh Bate Esquire and Frederic Durant Chemist, Trustees of the Dorking Charities hereafter called the Trustees, of the fourth part. Witnesseth  that the said George Clevett the younger with the privity and consent of the said George Clevett testified by his executing these presents doth put himself Apprentice to the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner after the manner of an Apprentice to serve from the First day of march One Thousand eight hundred and eighty five for and during and until the full end and term of Four years from thence next ensuing during which time the said Apprentice his said Masters faithfully shall serve their secrets keep their lawful commands everywhere gladly do he shall do no damage to his said Masters nor see it to be done by others but to his power shall let or forthwith give warning to his said Masters He shall not haunt taverns playhouses or alehouses nor absent himself from his said Masters service unlawfully but in all things as a faithful Apprentice shall behave himself


towards his said Masters and all theirs during the said term. And this Indenture also witnesseth  that in consideration of the promises and in consideration of Ten pounds of lawful money of Great Britain to be paid by the said Trustees out of certain monies vested in them arising from certain charitable devises and bequests made for the purposes of putting Apprentice poor children of the Parish of Dorking at the times following namely the sum of Five pounds on the execution hereof and the remaining sum of Five pounds (subject as hereafter mentioned) on the first day of march One thousand eight hundred and eighty seven the receipt of which first mentioned sum of Five pounds the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner do hereby acknowledge They the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner do hereby for themselves their heirs executors and administrators and each of them doth hereby for himself his heirs executors and administrators covenant promise and agree with and to the said George Clevett his executors and administrators and also as a separate and distinct covenant with the said Trustees and the survivors and survivor of them that they the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner their said Apprentice in the Art of a General Smith which they now carry on shall teach and instruct or cause to be taught and instructed, in the best manner they can during the said term. And also will pay unto the said George Clevett the Younger the sum of Four shillings per week and every week during the first year of the said term the sum of Five shillings per week and every week during the second year of the said term the sum of Seven shillings per week and every week during the third year of the said term and the sum of Ten shillings per week and every week during the fourth and final year of the said term Provided nevertheless that in case the said Apprentice shall from any cause whatever be absent from the service of his said Masters – – – – – – without leave), it shall be lawful for the said Masters to discontinue such weekly payments either in whole or in part or make such abatement of deduction from the


same as they shall in their entire discretion under and any such circumstances deem proper And the said George Clevett in consideration of the covenants hereinbefore contained on the part of the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner to be observed and Performed doth hereby for himself his heirs executors and administrators covenant with the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner their executors and administrators and also a separate and distinct covenant with the said Trustees and the survivors and survivor of them that he the said George Clevett his executors & administrators or assigns will at his own charges find provide and allow unto the said George Clevett the younger proper and sufficient meat drink lodging wearing apparel washing and mending of linen physic in case of sickness surgical and medical attendance and all other necessaries during the said term And also that the said George Clevett the younger will faithfully serve the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner as and Apprentice during all the said term in manner aforesaid Provided and it is hereby expressly declared and agreed by and between all the said parties of these presents that they the said Trustees or the Trustees for the time being of the Dorking Charities shall be at liberty and they are hereby expressly authorised and empowered at their discretion to withhold payment altogether of the whole of the said sum of Five pounds being the second moiety of the said sum of Ten pounds or any part thereof on the said First day of march One thousand eight hundred and eighty seven in case the said George Clevett the younger shall not be then serving the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner as an apprentice under this Indenture or in case the conduct or treatment of the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner or either of them toward the said Apprentice shall not have been during any part of the said term in the judgement of the said Trustees satisfactory without prejudice nevertheless to any remedy which the said George Clevett or the said trustees may have against the said Walter Stone and Henry Edward Turner or either of them in respect of any preceding breach of any of the covenants on their part herein contained. In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written .

Signed Sealed and Delivered
by the above named. George
Clevett, George Clevett the younger, Walter
Stone and Henry Edward Turner in
the presence of   .   .   .   .   .   .
                               Clerk to mers. Down Scott & Down

The signed section above is offset to the left of the main body of text into the margin and is at the bottom of the page. To its right is a vertical line drawn, with a little circle top and bottom, from the word ‘delivered’ through the ‘r’ of ‘Walter’ to the line of dots. The Clerk’s signature is underneath.

To the right of the vertical line , each accompanied by a red seal on the rightmost side of the paper, are 4 signatures.

The mark of
George  X Clevett

George Clevett Junr




Panels are transcribed left to right from the viewpoint of reading the title panel.


This is to certify that George Clevett has served the whole term of his apprenticeship to our satisfaction.
Stone & Turner

PANEL 2, the front panel when folded (Document Title)

Dated 10th May 1885

George Clevett Jr

With the consent of his father

George Clevett

______  (to) ______

Messr Stone & Turner


______  (of) ______



Received the Thirty first day of October 1888 the sum of Five pounds being the second moiety of premium within mentioned to be paid by the Trustees of the Dorking Charities to us.

Henry Chillery

To the right of this there is a one penny stamp with the signatures of Stone & Turner over it, and some initials to the left in red ink that may be H J B.

Note that the second payment is made nineteen months later than the date on page 2. I wonder why.


Received the day and year first written within the sum of Five pounds being the first moiety of premium within mentioned to be paid by the Trustees of the Dorking Charities to us.

Geo. Gardiner

To the right of this there is a one penny stamp with the signatures of Stone & Turner over it, and some initials to the right in red ink that may be P H.