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Iris Woods on the Widecombe Parish Apprentices

In 'The Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries Vol XXXV Part IV' (Autumn 1983), a journal of the Devon and Cornwall Record Society, Iris Woods writes about the apprenticeship records she finds in the Widecombe Parish Chest.

These are the same apprenticeship records that have now been digitised and are available to view online in the Widecombe Archive on this site.

Mrs Woods mentions Katherine Courters (or Courter) whose apprenticeship indenture is reproduced in the Welfare in Widecombe book (on page 91 - the archive catalogue reference is A052.047). Mrs Woods has done some more research into Katherine and suggests that the Catherine Curtis, who married Richard Stook in 1762, was likely to be the same person, although we cannot be completely certain of this.

Mrs Woods adds a postscript about Samuel Chapple, who lost his sight through smallpox. The townspeople of Crediton agreed that Samuel should be trained as an organist, given that he had shown some aptitude for music. He was apprenticed to a blind organist in Exeter and was thereafter appointed organist of Ashburton Parish Church, where he stayed until his death in 1833. He was a well-known figure in the district and he composed pieces for piano which had a wide popularity.

What a lovely story!

You can read a bit more about Samuel here.

Source: Woods, Iris, 'Parish Apprentices in Widecombe-in-the-Moor in the 18th and 19th centuries' in The Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries Vol XXXV Part IV (Autumn 1983), pages 143 - 150.