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Learning in Elizabeth City County

More than the usual attention was paid to learning in Elizabeth City. The court and vestry were particularly vigilant in seeing that all poor children were bound to useful trades and taught by their employers to read and write. The following may be given as examples:

16 June 1725. Upon the petition of Ann Grove setting forth that James Servant had not learned her son, Armisted House, to read, write and cipher according to his agreement when he took him by Indenture, The court are of opinion that the said Indenture is void and of no effect and it is, therefore, considered that the said Armistead House be discharged from the service of his late master James Servant.

17 Nov. 1723. Thomas Wilson and Mary Randall came into Court and made oath that Thomas Davis was 14 years of age the 24th October Last who not having Estate sufficient to maintain him. It is Ordered that he be bound an apprentice to Nicholson Parker till he attain the age of twenty-one years, who is to teach him the trade of Shoemaker as also to have him taught to read and write. It is further ordered that they sign Indentures before any justice of this county.

15 Dec. 1725. Francis Berry is bound apprentice to Mathew Small til he is of Age; the said Small obliges himself to learn him the trade of a Taylor and to read and write. The Boy is eleven years of age.

Page thirty-three

16 Febry 1725. John Hicks apprenticed to George Minson to learn to read & write & the trade of a carpenter.

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