In my book on William Ince I stated that there were no apprentice records for his father, John Ince. Well, I was wrong!
I knew that John Ince was born in 1699 in the village of Stone in Worcestershire and moved to London where he worked as a glass-grinder. He died in 1746 and was buried back in Stone.
Now thanks to the new database British and Irish Furniture Makers Online (BIFMO) I have found his apprentice records from the Joiners’ Company. In this record he was described as the son of William Ince, husbandman of Stone and was apprenticed to James Welch for seven years from 26th July 1720.
I wondered how come a twenty-one year old from Worcestershire would be apprenticed to someone in London, so I looked up James Welch on the same database. There I found an apprentice record for a James Welch from Stourbridge, Worcestershire dated 1699. Stourbridge is only eight miles from Stone, so it seems very likely that the families knew one another.
James was the son of Henry Welch, a tailor and was apprenticed to John Smalwell for 7 years, from 27 Feb 1699. However the record then says that this was turned over to John Wight Cit. & Haberdasher of London to learne the Art of a Joyner by consent, so at some stage of his apprenticeship James Welch went to London. He did well there and was Made free by servitude on 11 Nov 1718. On the report of Thomas Taxon Cit & Haberdasher of London and William Hayes Cit & Grocer of London the said Wight being out of Towne. (I am not sure how haberdashers taught him how to be a joiner.)
He was at ‘The Rose & Crown’, Broadway in July 1724 when he advertised his ability to supply wholesale or retail a great Variety of Peer, Chimney or Sconce Glasses, fine Dressing-Glasses, Coach, Chariot or Chair-Glasses, with Plate Sash-Glasses &c. He also offered to clean and modernise old glasses. [Daily Courant, 29 July 1724]
If John Ince completed his seven years apprenticeship he would have been working for James Welch in 1724, presumably as a glass-grinder. John and Mary Ince’s first child, Timothias, was born in 1725 and was baptised in St Faith’s Church, near St Paul’s Cathedral so hopefully John was earning a wage by then, and able to support his family. Their next child to be born was Elizabeth in 1728, by which time he would certainly have finished his apprenticeship. See Chapter 5 of William Ince Cabinet Maker for more details.
Sarah Ingle is the great great great great grand-daughter of William Ince and has been researching her family history for a number of years. She thoroughly enjoyed the detective work involved in tracing William’s lineage.