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Apprenticeship Contract


On September 9, 2006, I took on Avelyn Grene (Kristen Sullivan) as an apprentice in cooking. As part of the ceremony, we had a proper contract drawn up, cut it into two parts, and sealed it.

The text is written in an early fifteenth century French secretary script, executed beautifully in oak-gall ink on vellum by Hrefna in heppna Thorgrimsdottir (Raven Fagelson).

The text was based on a couple different contracts for apprenticeship from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Transcribed, it reads:

Þis indenture made þe ixth day of ʃeptember, yn þe raene of our Soverand lorde King Felix þe ijnd, wyttneʃs þat Avelyn Grene doʃʃe bynd hyr ʃelf prentice to Eduard Halyday, cook, ʃo þat he may teach and inʃtruct her yn þe cokes krafte for a terme of no leʃs þan i complete and continuous yaere from þis date. During which term þe ʃeid Avelyn þe ʃeid Edouard as hyr maʃter yn all þynges well and faiþfully ʃhall ʃerue, hys conʃyll kepe, and hys lawfull and honest commaundements euerywhere gladly do. She ʃchall not do damage to hyr ʃeid maʃter wyþin þe ʃeid terme to þe value of xii pence or more per annum. She ʃchall not waste þe godes of hyr ʃeid maʃter nor lend þem wyþout hys order or ʃpecial commaundement. She ʃchall not commit fornication or adultery yn þe houʃe of hyr ʃeid maʃter or wyþout during þe ʃeid terme nor play any unlawful or unʃeemly gamys whereby hyr ʃeid maʃter may have any loʃs. She ʃchall not frequent a tavern ʃave to do þe buʃneʃs of hyr ʃeid maʃter nor ʃchall ʃhe make no promys of wedloke wyþ any man during þe ʃeid terme ʃave wyþ þe aʃʃent of her ʃeid maʃter. She ʃchall not wyþdraw unlawfully from þe ʃeruice of hyr ʃeid maʃter during þe ʃeid nor flee nor depart for any reaʃon, until ʃhe haʃ completed hyr apprenticeʃhip. And yf ʃhe ʃchall wyʃh to purchaʃe hyr freedom during þe ʃeid terme ʃhe may do ʃo for xxxiij ʃolidi. And þe ʃeid Edouard þe ʃeid Avelyn hys apprentice yn hys art which he uʃes bny þe beʃt and moʃt excellent means þat he knows ʃchall diligently teach and nʃtruch or cauʃe to be inʃtructed by oþers, puniʃhing in due manner, and noþyng to be hyd frome hyr þerof. And alʃo ʃchall find to þe ʃame aprentice ʃufficient victuals and apparel lynyn and ʃhoys and all oþer neceʃʃaries during all þee ʃeid terme as ys fitting to be found ʃuch an apprentice of þat art. In wyttines whereof þe aforeʃaid parties to þeʃe indentures interchangeably have put þeir ʃeals. Done at Flaming Gryphon on þe feʃt of Harueʃt Daies yn þe xliʃt yaere.

The seal bears my arms, along with the inscription "SIGILLVM EDOVARD HALIDAI" and my personal motto "CVM GRANO SALIS" (Latin: with a grain of salt). It is pressed into sealing wax made from bees wax and resin, which was kindly provided by Her Grace, Kateryn Bronwen (Katrina Strubler).

The seal is attached to the document by a fingerloop braid made by Emmelyne de Marksbury (Cindy Myers), from silk that she hand-reeled and dyed green with weld and indigo.