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Armourer's Prentices

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By: (1823-1901)

Set in the sixteenth century, two young boys are left orphans and are turned out of their home by their older brother, or, more particularly, his shrewish wife. John has taken over their father's position as verdurer, but what are young Ambrose and Stephen to do? Visit and seek counsel from their old and infirm uncle, who lives on charity after leading a military life? Or chase the dream of finding their ne'er-do-well maternal uncle, who has reputedly made his fortune in the king's court.

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Transcribed by David Price, email



I have attempted here to sketch citizen life in the early Tudor days, aided therein by Stowe's Survey of London, supplemented by Mr. Loftie's excellent history, and Dr. Burton's English Merchants.

Stowe gives a full account of the relations of apprentices to their masters; though I confess that I do not know whether Edmund Burgess could have become a citizen of York after serving an apprenticeship in London. Evil May Day is closely described in Hall's Chronicle. The ballad, said to be by Churchill, a contemporary, does not agree with it in all respects; but the story teller may surely have license to follow whatever is most suitable to the purpose. The sermon is exactly as given by Hall, who is also responsible for the description of the King's sports and of the Field of the Cloth of Gold and of Ardres. Knight's admirable Pictorial History of England tells of Barlow, the archer, dubbed by Henry VIII. the King of Shoreditch... Continue reading book >>

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