Apprentice Painter of Glass in Georgian London
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Jeremiah Joyce's daughter Helen recorded that at the age of 14 in 1777 her father was placed as apprentice to a 'Mr. Willis, Painter and Glazier, in the Strand'. Joyce's master Willis —who later became the master of the guild of painters and glaziers—was therefore well placed to exploit the growing market for expensive decoration in an ever-expanding Georgian London. Many painters of glass went to drawing school where they would learn about perspective and architectural styles. The main type of glass used for stained glass windows was 'Crown glass', which was blown and spun into a disc from which sheets were cut and had been produced in London from 1678. London life had many contrary and poignant lessons to offer the young Joyce. London-based groups such as the Society for Supporters of the Bill of Rights and the Society for Constitutional Information which resisted the power of government, all had connections with the Essex Street Chapel.