Apprenticeship Oath and Ceremony

Apprenticeship Oath and Ceremony: 

At Defending the Gate 2024, I apprenticed to Sir Joselin D'Outremer in a short ceremony after morning court. I felt very welcomed by the household with a wonderful dayboard spread prepared by my squirebrother, Giles, a cast household badge pin from Mistress Symone, and a lovely blue belt from my peer Sir Joselin. 

The blue belt is unique to House Oldcastle, a venerable household that values a dedication to excellence, service, and study. I'm very honored to be a part of such a storied lineage, and hope I can contribute in my own small way. 

An amazing dayboard prepared by my squirebrother, Giles. All of it was delicious. 

Gorgeous blue leather belt by Sir Joselin, and a cast household badge pin for the Companions D'Outremer. 

My Oath: 

Be it known to all that I, Ava Deinhardt, swear my fealty to Sir Joselin, to be his apprentice of the arts and sciences. I pledge to well and faithfully bear myself both in words and deeds as a member of his household, to heed his honest and lawful commandments, to study diligently of the arts and to share my knowledge freely with the kingdom. With the gathered as witness, I swear my bond. 

I based my oath on a 1392 indecture contract for a young woman and a master silkthrowster, borrowing language to form something pertinent to my relationship with my peer. 

Scan of original text, hosted by the London Metropolitan Archives. 

Original Text: 

Silkthrowster Indenture Contract (1392)

John Nougle puts his Sister Katherine Apprentice to Avice Wodeford for Seven Years

This indenture witnesseth that John Nougle of London haberdasher has put Katherine Nougle his sister apprentice to Avice Wodeford silkthrowster of London to learn her art and to dwell with her and serve her after the manner of an apprentice from the feast of Pentecost in the fifteenth year of the reign of King Richard II until the end of seven years thence next following and fully complete. During which term the said Katherine the said Avice as her lady and mistress in all things lawful and honest well and faithfully courteously and diligently to her power everywhere shall serve, her secrets keep, and her lawful and honest commandments everywhere gladly do. She shall not do damage to her said mistress within the said term nor see to be done by others to the value of twelve pence or more per annum but to her power shall impede the same or forthwith give warning thereof to her mistress. She shall not waste inordinately the goods of her said mistress nor lend them to anyone without her order or special commandment. She shall not commit fornication or adultery in the house of her said mistress or without during the said term nor play any unlawful or unseemly games whereby her said mistress may have any loss. She shall not customarily frequent a tavern save to do there the business of her said mistress nor shall she contract matrimony with any man during the said term save with the assent will and counsel of the said John and of Thomas Nougle citizen and tailor of London uncle of the same apprentice. She shall not withdraw unlawfully from the service of her said mistress save by reason of such matrimony as is aforesaid during the said term nor absent herself by day or by night. With her own money or other during the said term she shall not buy or sell without the licence and will of her said mistress nor knowingly keep any secret that may be to the loss or prejudice of her said mistress from her. But well and faithfully honestly and obediently shall bear and hold herself both in words and deeds towards her said mistress and all hers as a good and faithful apprentice ought to bear and hold herself according to the usage and custom of the City of London during all the said term. And the said Avice the said Katherine her apprentice in her art which she uses by the best and most excellent means that she knows or can shall diligently teach treat and instruct or cause to be instructed by others, punishing in due manner. And also shall find to the same apprentice sufficient victuals and apparel linen and wool caps shoes and lodging and all other necessaries during all the said term as is fitting to be found such an apprentice of that art according to the custom of the said City. And for the fidelity of the said apprentice and that all and singular the aforesaid covenants on her part shall be well and faithfully kept fulfilled and observed in all things as is aforesaid Adam Byell citizen and tailor of London shall be pledge and mainpernor binding himself his heirs and executors for the said apprentice by these present and the said apprentice binds herself firmly and all her goods present and future wherever they may be found. In witness whereof the aforesaid parties together with the aforenamed pledge to these indentures interchangeably have put their seals.

John Hende then mayor of the City of London John Shadworth and Henry Vanner then sheriffs of the same City. Given at London on the feast of Pentecost in the fifteenth year aforesaid.

Yellow maple, birch, and walnut spoons carved as gifts. 

My Contributions: 

For my apprenticeship ceremony, I wove a silk belt based from a 1322 pattern, full documentation can be found here

I also carved three spoons, each a gift to a member of my new household of the Companions D'Outremer, and each from a unique wood. The first two are a paired couple of general medieval soup spoons, one of yellow maple and the other of birch, both appropriate for feastware and finished with walnut oil. The third spoon was for my squirebrother Giles, who in addition to being a fierce fighter is also a trained chef. I carved him a larger spoon which could be used for eating or serving; I made the bowl asymetrical with a somewhat pointed side to help scrape the sides of pots/bowls, also finished with walnut oil. 


London Metropolitan Archives

Transcript of Katherine Nougle's Indenture, 1392