My Ancestor was an Apprentice is a research project led by Professor Patrick Wallis. I teach and research economic and social history at the Department of Economic History at the London School of Economics.

To find out more, please contact me at p.h.wallis@lse.ac.uk. If you have information to share, please submit this via the dedicated email address apprenticehistory@gmail.com. For detailed guidance on participating, look at the how to contribute page.

You can read the results of some of the research that we have carried out on apprenticeship at my academia.edu webpage or in Apprenticeship in Early Modern Europe, published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press. Some of the articles are listed below.


‘Between Apprenticeship and Skill: Acquiring Knowledge outside the academy in Early Modern England.’ Science in Context, 32:2 (2019): 155-70.

‘Failure or flexibility? Exits from apprenticeship training in pre-modern Europe’ Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 48: 2 (2017): 131-158 (with Claire Lemercier & Ruben Schalk).

‘The price of human capital in a pre-industrial economy: Premiums and apprenticeship contracts in 18th century England’, Explorations in Economic History, 50: 3 (2013), 335-350 (with C. Minns). DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2013.02.001

‘Picking winners? Family investment strategies in pre-modern societies: Human Capital, Migration, and Birth Order in seventeenth and eighteenth century England’ European Review of Economic History, 17 (2013): 210-232 (with M. Klemp, C. Minns, J. Weisdorf). DOI 10.1093/ereh/het004

‘Labour, law and training in early modern London: apprenticeship and the city’s institutions’, Journal of British Studies, 51: 4 (2012), 781-819. DOI 10.1086/666731

‘Rules and reality: quantifying the practice of apprenticeship in early modern England’, Economic History Review 65:2 (2012), 556-79. (with Chris Minns) DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2010.00591.x

‘Networks in the Pre-modern Economy: the Market for London Apprenticeships, 1600-1749’, Journal of Economic History 72:2 (2011), 413-443 (with Tim Leunig and Chris Minns). DOI 10.1017/S0022050711001586

‘The Education and Training of Gentry in Early modern England’, Social History 36:1 (2011), 36-53 (with Cliff Webb) DOI 10.1080/03071022.2010.542905

‘Leaving Home and Entering Service: The Age of Apprenticeship in Early Modern London’, Continuity and Change 25: 3 (2010), 356-376 (with Cliff Webb and Chris Minns) DOI 10.1017/S0268416010000299

‘Apprenticeship and Training in Premodern England’, Journal of Economic History 68: 3 (2008), 832-861. DOI 10.1017/S002205070800065X