Tobacco Pipe Maker Apprentices of Greater London

by Peter Hammond

The following list of over 270 separate apprenticeships has been compiled over several years from a variety of sources held within various repositories, mainly in London. Such records provide proof of names and addresses of master pipe makers as well as the exact dates when they were taking on their apprentices – many of whom later became master pipe makers in their own right. As such it extends the working dates of many makers as well as proving links between them, some of the apprentices for example subsequently working for the same masters as journeymen and some later taking over their businesses. Occasionally apprentices were bound over or reassigned to different master pipe makers – mainly through the deaths of the masters concerned and occasionally through mutual agreement – thus providing further evidence of their working lives.

Several of the master pipe makers are not recorded elsewhere so this list will hopefully allow for improved identification of marks found on surviving pipes within the archaeological record.

This research has involved hours of sifting through piles of original Parish and Poor Law Union indentures plus searching through a great many Apprenticeship Registers to extract those entries relating to pipe makers. The sources searched myself are mainly held at the London Metropolitan Archives, the Guildhall Library, the Society of Genealogists, and the Westminster Record Office, plus some miscellaneous records elsewhere – some in private hands and some published, in particular the series on London Apprentices by Cliff Webb. In addition I have extracted the relevant entries recorded within the Inland Revenue Apprenticeship Registers held at the National Archives (see Hammond, 2004). Interestingly, some parishes were found to list unusually high concentrations of pipe makers, notably St. Pancras, St. Giles in the Fields, and St. James Clerkenwell (London Metropolitan Archives) [see also Hammond, 1988] and St Botolph Aldgate (Guildhall Library), whereas several other parishes where pipe makers would have been expected to be found in these types of records did not include any.

I am very much indebted to the late Phillip Woollard who searched the records of Freedom Admissions held at the Corporation of London Record Office and to Colin Tatman who likewise searched the records of the London Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers held at the Guildhall Library, all of which have been included within the following lists to ensure it is as complete as possible. The only ones omitted, to my knowledge, are some references to Freedom Admissions published in Atkinson and Oswald (1969), which do not correlate with Phillip Woollard’s own research, particularly with earlier records, and so these may need to be verified at some stage in the future.

Please note that especially in the cases of the Freedom Admissions not only have I attempted to make sense of Phillip’s photocopied handwritten notes, some of which themselves duplicated, but also Phillip himself had issues with the poor handwriting of the original records. Some I queried while he was still alive and he responded and checked them accordingly, but some entries were left ambiguous and where they are still uncertain I have left a question mark. However it was thought best to still publish these in full as these records are undoubtedly a wonderful source, and without Phillip’s time and effort in transcribing these sets of records we would have been much the worse off.

No doubt further apprenticeship records will surface in the future but I am confident that the majority of the relevant London collections have now been searched. A few parishes within the Guildhall Library collection for example still require searching.

Key to sources in lists:

CoTPM Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers, Guildhall Library (c/o Colin Tatman)

Crisp Collection held by the Society of Genealogists FA Freedom Admissions, Corporation of London Record Office (c/o Phillip Woollard)

GL Guildhall Library, followed by name of the parish (for original indentures and/or apprenticeship registers)

IR Inland Revenue Registers, National Archives

MA Metropolitan Archives, followed by name of the parish (for original indentures and/or apprenticeship registers)

Priv coll Private collection, photocopy held by Peter Hammond

TPM enrolment books Enrolments to the Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers extracted from the enrolment books, Corporation of London Record Office

Webb Cliff Webb London Apprentices series, with volume number

Westminster Westminster Record Office, followed by name of the parish (for original indentures and/or apprenticeship registers) or charity



Atkinson, D. and Oswald, A. 1969 ‘London Clay Tobacco Pipes’, Journal of the Archaeological Association, Third Series, XXXII, 171–227.

Hammond, P. 1988, ‘Apprentice Tobacco Pipe Makers’, Society for Clay Pipe Research Newsletter, 19, 13-16.

Hammond, P. 2004, ‘Tobacco Pipe Makers Extracted from the Inland Revenue Apprenticeship Books 1763 – 1810’, Society for Clay Pipe Research Newsletter, 65, 22–30.


Click HERE to download a copy of the Excel table. There are 3 tabs. The first arranges all the entries in date order. The second tab is arranged alphabtically in Master Pipemaker order by date. Finally, the third tab is arranged alphabetically in apprentice name order by date.


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