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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course English: Taxes, Lists, Business, Electoral and Insurance Records  by Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Licences

A licence was required by many of our ancestors in order to conduct their business or trade, and two kinds of records were usually kept:

  • A register of licences issued with names, dates, any fees paid, any oaths or agreements signed, and perhaps occupations and addresses.
  • Paper licences issued to the applicant. These are less likely to have survived.

Some of these licences are listed examples transcribed below.


Chart: Licenses

Alehouses
1552 -----
Appraisers
Abolished 1949
Auctioneers
Abolished 1949
Badgers, Higglers and Hucksters
1552-1772
Barges
1795-1871
Butchers
17th Century
Carriages
c 1868 until at least 1875
Corn (wheat) dealers

Dissenters Meeting Houses
1688 -----
Game Duty During the period 1784 to 1807 all persons qualified to kill or sell game had to register with the Clerk of the Peace, where they paid a fee for a certificate to do so. Deputed gamekeepers paid £1.5.0 and all others £3.13.6. Anyone killing game without a certificate was fined £20).
House agents Abolished 1949
Licensed Victuallers 1752-1828, 1871----- A victualler is one who provides food or provisions, whilst a licensed victualler is one who possesses a license to provide alcoholic beverages. The publican would appear annually to renew his license and signed a recognizance to keep an orderly house and not allow whatever games were illegal at the time (see chart 45).
Licences to Pass Beyond the Seas An early form of passport issued from late 16th century until 1677
Literary and Scientific Societies 1799 -----
Lying-In Hospitals 1773 -----
Midwives 1530s -----
Music and Dancing Establishments
Physicians and Surgeons 1530s -----
Plate dealers Abolished 1949
Printing Presses 1799-1869
Racecourses 1879 -----
Retail Liquor Excise Licenses 1957-1967
Schoolmasters 1530s -----
Slaughterhouses 1786 -----


Chart: Register of Ale House Licences 1828 Harlow Hundred, Essex (Markwell and Saul)

PARISH PERSONS LICENSED SIGNS SURETIES
Latton Thomas Tarling Bull and Horse Shoes James Smith
Matching Elizabeth Foster Fox John Church
Metterwell Jonathan Palmer
John Trimmer
Greyhound
Chequers
John Hutchin
James Clark
Parndon, Great Thomas Markwell Three Horse Shoes  Isaac Collins
Roydon Town William Rodwell
Thomas Vines
White Hart
New Inn
Thomas Pavely
Matthew Roe
Sheering James Bright
William Smith
Crown Cock Thomas Chapman
Charles Threader
Thornwood Hamlet Philip Law Blacksmiths Arms Makepeace Freshwater


Chart: Licensed Badgers and Hucksters from Michaelma Quater Sessions 1759 Canterbury, Kent

The like Licence to John SCOT of Milsted Labourer
The like Licence to Peter BANN of Linsted Labourer
The like Licence to James BEDWELL of Borden Labourer
The like Licence to Elizabeth DAWSON of Bapchild Widow


Chart: Registration of a Barge 1795 Cheshire (Markwell and Saul)

I, Wm Worthington of Northwich in the County of Chester, being the owner of the flats here undermentioned do hereby require the Clerk of the Peace of the County of Chester, or his deputy, to register the same and to grant certificates thereof, pursuant to an Act of Parliament passed in the 35th year of the reign of his present Majesty King George the Third intituled An Act for requiring all Boats, Barges and other Vessels, of certain descriptions used on navigable rivers, and on Inland Navigations in Great Britain to be registered.
Name and Sort of Vessel Burthen by Admeasurement Master’s Name Number of men employed Capacities
The Ann Flat 51 ¾ tons James Vernon, Northwich One Master assistant
The Willy Flat 56 ¾ tons Jno Vernon of Northwich One Master assistant

And I do declare that the line and extent of the Navigation which the said Flats have been usually navigated upon is from Northwich to Liverpool extending Thirty Miles, from Liverpool to Ravenhead extending Thirty two Miles, and from Ravenhead to Northwich extending Thirty Miles, or Thereabouts.

Dated this 31st Day of August 1795.

For Wm Worthington

Rd Oldham



Carriage Licence15T.jpg

Corndealers Licence15T.jpg

Chart: Licensed Victualler’s Recognizance 1821 FHL film 0088184

1Victuallers15T.jpg


Early records, such as the licences required by midwives, schoolmasters, physicians and surgeons after the Reformation, may be found in diocesan archives. Others were issued by local authorities such as boroughs or county quarter sessions and will be found with their records. A few were nationally administered, such as the licences to pass beyond the seas and surviving records will be at TNA. Many are filmed, particularly in collections of local material, so a detailed search of the FHLC for contents of each film for your area at parish and county levels will be fruitful.


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Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course English: Taxes, Lists, Business, Electoral and Insurance Records offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.

  • This page was last modified on 9 September 2014, at 00:06.
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