The Known Apprentices of Prince & Cattles of York 1804-1807
Benjamin Harrison Son of John Harrison the engraver at Hampston, Prince & Cattles. Term of Indenture: Eight years as from 23rd January 1805. Benjamin Harrison was to stay with the company for nearly thirty years, from apprentice to foreman. He died in 1836.
John Burrill Son of Thomas Burrill, Butcher of York. Term of Indenture: Seven years as from 10th September 1806. Free 1814. Assay Master at York 1839-c.1857. He died on the 14th April 1864, aged 73.
John Burrill was the subject of a damming report following a visit from the Wardens of the London Goldsmiths Company on 11th October 1851 as shown below.
The Goldsmiths Company of York consists of two persons, viz., James Barber, a manufacturing silversmith, who likewise makes wedding rings, and keeps the principal silversmiths and jewellers shop in York. He is Warden of the Company, and a magistrate of the city of York. John Bell, who keeps a retail silversmiths shop, is a manufacturer of wedding rings and a small worker in silver. John Burrill is the Assay Master, and John (Sic. Should be Stephen) Baker, a chemist, is the Clerk. John Burrill, the Assay Master was a worn-out spoonmaker in the employ of Mr Barber, the Warden, and evidently is, and always was, quite unfit for the employment of an assayer, being ignorant of the business, to which he was appointed 13 years since; he is paid Â£7 a year by Mr Barber, and Â£3 a year by Mr Bell, and keeps a small public house, which is also the nominal assay office. He has the charge of the punches, and marks what is sent to him by Mr Barber and Mr Bell, but he has no apparatus for assaying, nor even any pretensions to making assays. As he makes no assays, of course he keeps no diet, nor any check of what he marks, as bound by law. He asserted, that after making the necessary drawings and scrapings, the same were sent, either by himself, Mr Barber, or Mr Bell, to London, to Messrs. Johnson, in Hatton Garden, to be assayed, and if found correct, the articles were duly marked; but this assertion, made to Mr Johnson himself, having been shown to be false, he at length confessed his custom was to rely on the correctness of the two Wardens, who were the only manufacturers, and who had the silver from London, from Messers. Collins & Furber, which silver came with an assay, showing it to be standard; it was then manufactured so long as it lasted, and no assay was made, and that he marked it on the word of the manufacturer that it was correct.
That with regard to wedding rings, he was assured they were made from sovereigns; he therefore marked them as of 22 carat gold, without any assay.
The report appeared to do John Burrill little harm, as he remained the Assay Master at York for another six years.