Meat and fie

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Ryohei56
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:19 pm

Meat and fie

Post by Ryohei56 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:29 pm

Hi. I recently came across a reference to an individual who "Is bound prentise and servant for the Space of fyve yeares and ane year for meat and fie". There's a faint bell ringing at the back of my mind, but I can't quite work out what the phrase 'meat and fie' means. I suspect in this context that it means the new 'prentise' has to work a standard period plus an extra years to cover the cost of his food etc. Equally, I could be well wide of the mark.

Does anyone have an idea what is meant here? Dr. Google is remarkably silent on the matter

Alan S.

Currie
Posts: 3806
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Meat and fie

Post by Currie » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:40 am

Hello Alan,

A search for “meat and fee” seems to bring up more results and explanations of exactly what it was seem to vary a bit.

Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, 1599-1858:
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=vh ... ce&f=false

The 1602 ‘Act concerning the admission of apprentices & Booking’ specified that ‘all apprentices to be entered shall remain no shorter space than seven years & the last two thereof for meat and fee’.Most trade apprenticeships of the time were contracted for this duration, with the apprentice earning a small wage, as well as his food, in the last two years served, though he became responsible for providing his own working clothes.

Scottish pewter-ware and pewterers
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=Lh ... ce&f=false

An apprentice by the rules of most of the trades incorporations was bound for a term of six years and one year extra to recoup his master for outlay and keep. In Perth, as was the case in some other towns, an apprentice was bound for a term of five years only, with the usual extra one year for meat and fee. After the expiry of his term he had to serve two more years as a journeyman, either to his old master or to some other of the same craft, before he could become a master craftsman himself.

Hope that helps,
Alan

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