Guilds and crafts
Britain was described as a nation of shopkeepers in the 18th century, and thousands of apprentices to drapers, grocers, ironmongers and other useful trades are listed in apprenticeship records from 1710, searchable on the main subscription websites, where lists of freemen entitled to trade in various cities can also be found. Guilds regulated craftspeople in each town, and records of London livery companies can be searched at londonroll.org. The official
online at thegazette. published notices of
co.uk, business partnerships, bankruptcies, and also promotions in the military.
Clive of India dramatically extended the East India Company’s grip over the Indian Subcontinent, claiming command over Bengal during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). Records of the company’s military men, employees and other workers who travelled to India are held at the British Library (see bl.uk/reshelp/ findhelpregion/asia/india/ indiaofficerecordsfamily history/occupations/ occupations.html), where George III’s magnificent collection of books is also housed in the glistening glass King’s Library Tower. Findmypast. co.uk has many records scanned from the India Office collections.
Although Britain made huge territorial gains in India and Australia, George III keenly felt