Since the period of apprenticeship did not begin for most occupations until the age of 14 the problem of the child’s education before this was not the master’s but the parent’s concern. Clearly educational levels and requirements varied enormously from the poorest crafts, through the prosperous trades to the professions, but no occupation normally specified in the indentures that the apprentice would be taught anything more than the master’s “art and mystery”; formal education was either presumed in some occupations or unnecessary in others. Education, therefore, for apprentices could comprise any or all of the skills of reading, writing, counting and craft instruction, as well as religious and social training. Not all of these were necessary or taught in every occupation and of them only literacy can in any way be estimated. Assessment of literacy is, however, difficult, since signing a name cannot be taken as proof of the apprentice’s ability to do much more than this. Although an estimate of 30 per cent literacy for English males has been made for 1642,1 it is difficult to tell how far apprentices were able to read and write at this period. It has been noted in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that apprentices to a particularly literate trade, the Stationers’ Company, tended to come from towns where grammar schools were established, although special provision was made in 1602 for one boy whom a printer was only allowed to apprentice provided the child was first sent to school to learn to read and write.2