Surgeon ancestor in Haddington with lots of apprentices

I recently discovered Ancestry’s database of apprentice indenture duties. As the blurb there says:

This collection contains registers of the money received for the payment on taxes for an apprentice’s indenture between 1710-1811. The registers kept track of the money paid by masters of a trade to have an apprentice. The dates in the records are for when the tax was paid and may be some years after the apprenticeship, not when it started or finished.

The original records are held in The National Archives at Kew, London.

Searching for Somner found lots of references to Dr Richard Somner (1731-1804), my surgeon and apothecary ancestor at Haddington, East Lothian. I reckon he was active as a surgeon in the town from the 1750s through to the 1790s or so. And he seems to have taken on a lot of apprentices, as the list of names below shows:

  • 24 Oct 1766: Alexr Dickson
  • 17 Dec 1766: Alexr Hamilton
  • 30 Oct 1769: Alexr Swanston
  • 14 Jul 1772: Jno Maitland
  • 18 Nov 1772: James Thomas Buchanan
  • 27 Nov 1772: Ja: Baillie
  • 27 Nov 1772: Wm Grieve
  • 27 Jan 1774: James Rennie
  • 5 Feb 1777: Jno Yule
  • 2 Dec 1777: Rob: Baillie
  • 10 Dec 1777: Jno McArthur
  • 30 Oct 1780: Wm Swanston
  • 30 Oct 1780: Jno Mcclarran

Richard’s Haddington practice was continued by his son, Dr George Somner, who later went into partnership with Jane Welsh Carlyle’s father. Later generations of the family were also medics.

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About vivdunstan

Academic historian, genealogist, former computer scientist, and Doctor Who fan.
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