View Full Version : Master grocer

Jill on the A272
27-10-08, 10:57
Ggg grandmother's death cert has just arrived and she is described as widow of John Hawes, Master Grocer. I knew he was a grocer from the census/trade directories, anyone know what a Master Grocer had to do to be described as such?

27-10-08, 11:00
The Worshipful Company of Grocers (http://www.timetravel-britain.com/articles/london/grocers.shtml)

This looks interesting ... maybe I ought to add it to your article in the magazine!!

27-10-08, 11:03
... A History of Food - Google Book Search (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=i4xuO9TsHf8C&pg=PA544&lpg=PA544&dq=Master+Grocer&source=web&ots=l-xPZEnw7O&sig=_5quh-gMndUM-JTlKSCpI3i6Neg&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result)


Jill on the A272
27-10-08, 11:15
It seems the archives are at the Guildhall library, so I feel a visit coming on.

Canadian Cousin
27-10-08, 16:56
My g-gf was listed as a Master Grocer on my gf's 1895 birth certificate (although the 1901 census just calls him a Grocer/Shopkeeper). However, as this was in Newton Abbot, Devon, I doubt that he had any connection with the Worshipful Company, which sounds as if it was restricted to London.

The Google Books reference that Caroline posted says that
"To become a master grocer you served a long apprenticeship, spent some time as a journeyman, and then had to pass examinations before your master's peers."However, this appears to be referring specifically to France, and I'm not sure if the rules changed after the French Revolution, when the trade corporations became trade associations.

Does anyone know if there would have been formal grocer apprenticeships in England in the latter part of the 19th century? I suspect that my g-gf may simply have been indicating that he was self-employed by using the term 'Master'.


Little Nell
27-10-08, 17:08
My husband's gt gt grandfather is described on his daughter's marriage cert and on his wife's death cert as a "Master Fishmonger" but the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers has no record of him, and as he was Jewish they think it unlikely he would have been a member.

I think it may have been a bit of aggrandisement, or implied that he was his own boss, or employed folk under him.

Jill on the A272
27-10-08, 17:50
My ancestor was described as a master grocer after his death on his wife's death cert, the informant (no idea who they were yet) also got his name wrong - John when his name was Jonathan so maybe he was just an average London grocer after all.

Olde Crone Holden
27-10-08, 17:56
My great grandfather (and both his brothers) are described as Grocer's Apprentices in 1891.

All worked for the Co-operative Society, so I wonder if this was a Co-op training scheme, rather than a "real" apprenticeship.

None became master grocers, nor even journeymen, although all reached the giddy heights of grocering in the higher echelons of the Co-op!


Little Nell
27-10-08, 19:25
Well Alan Bennett's father was a butcher for the Co-op.