Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Question from DeclareJeNos - Forms of address between children and adults

Although there is much information recorded in books and online regarding forms of address for Tudor dynasty royalty, nobles and common folk, I find there is relatively little/no information on how children would address adults, especially in the ‘education system’ as it were.

For example:
How would school-boys in a grammar school address their tutors?
How would a chorister address his master of the choristers?
How would an apprentice address his craftsman?
How would a non-noble child address is father and/or mother (formally)?

I would be fascinated if anyone could throw some light on this subject. Many thanks.


PhD Historian said...

Your is a very specific question, DeclareJeNos, and unfortunately it deals with the history of children, an area that is neither well documented nor well researched. The best I can do is to hazard a guess and assume that the same rigid heirarchical patterns of deference that applied to adults would apply to children.
School boys, choristers, and apprentices would no doubt address their superiors, all of whom would have been male, as "Master Surname."
The child-parent relationship is a little better documented, so I can say that children would have addressed their parents quite formally as "Mother" and "Father," sometimes with an adjective attached, e.g., beloved, revered, etc. Or at least that is what appears in written documents. We cannot reliably know what was said verbally. Did they say "mum" and "pops"? We just don't know.

DeclareJeNos said...

Many thanks PhD Historian.

My interest was sparked by reading these two documents:

Bishop Beckington’s 'Rules for his choristers at Wells' (1443): Rev HE Edwards, Wells cathedral.
-See 'A MS History of Wells' by Nathaniel Chyle


Richard Edwardes rather lovely (1561?) patent for the poaching of boys for the Chapel Royal (which I have copy/pasted below for your amusement):

To all mayours sherifs bayliefes constables and all other our officers gretinge. For that it is mete that our chappell royall should be furnysshed with well singing children from tyme to tyme we have and by these presentes do authorise our welbeloued servaunt Richard Edwardes master of our sayd chappell ..... to take as manye well singinge children as he .... shall thinke mete in all chathedrall and collegiate churches as well within liberties as without within this our realme of England whatsoever they be , And also at tymes necessarie , horses , boates , barges , cartes , and carres ,as he for the conveyance of the sayd children from any place to our sayd chappell royall shall thinke mete ,with all maner of necessaries apperteyning to the sayd children as well by lande as water at our prices ordynarye to be redely payed when they for our service shall remove to any place or places .....Wherefor we will and commaunde you and everie of you to whom this our comyssion shall come to be helpinge aydinge and assistinge to the uttermost of your powers as ye will answer at your uttermost perylles.