apprentice, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special sense of general English apprentice one learning a craft or trade while bound to serve the employer for a fixed period.
historical
An indentured servant (usually a former slave, or the child of a slave) registered with a particular master (often the former slave-owner) for a fixed number of years; frequently a euphemism for ‘slave’ (see quotation 1934); inboekseling. Also attributive.
1820 in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1902) XII. 128Return showing the Population and Cattle in the Possession of Individuals at the Cape of Good Hope. Christians:..Free Blacks, Hottentots, Negro Apprentices, Slaves.
1835 G. Champion Jrnl (1968) 10The slaves, (apprentices rather, for now the Colony is free from the evil of slavery, in name,) we were told were eager for instruction.
1836 Ordinance 3 in Cape of G.H. Govt Gaz. 3 June 2And be it further enacted, that..the said Commissioners..shall jointly with the Master or Mistress of the said Apprentice, execute and sign a form of Indenture, to contain such provisions and covenants for the protection of the interest of such Apprentice.
1837 N. Polson Subaltern’s Sick Leave 108The servants on the farms and in the houses of the Boers are chiefly free apprentices (late slaves), and some Hottentots.
1841 J. Collett Diary. II.Hired Adonis free Aprentice to day for one year @ 6 Rd.
1852 M.B. Hudson S. Afr. Frontier Life 252There was only one exception to the general insurrection, in the person of an old emancipated Mozambique apprentice, who gave undoubted evidence of the guilt of the whole Hottentot population.
1928 E.A. Walker Hist. of S. Afr. 282Some of the commissioners closed the inquiry..and returned home (with a black apprentice bought on the scene of their labours).
1934 C.P. Swart Supplement to Pettman. 6Apprentice,..Originally it meant a slave retained legally in servitude for a term of years after manumission. Afterwards the word became more elastic in meaning, signifying freedmen and captives held in servitude indefinitely and illegally.
1949 O. Walker Proud Zulu (1951) 37He proclaimed all the land up to the Tugela as his in addition to the 40,000 cattle plundered and 1,000 ‘apprentices’, young Zulu children, orphaned by war, whom the Dutch vrous demanded for their share of booty as labour in their households.
1973 J. Meintjes Voortrekkers 55The British..decided to implement abolition on 1 December 1834, compromising only by allowing slaves to remain with their masters for the next four years as apprentices — on probation as it were.
1986 P. Maylam Hist. of Afr. People 130The Ndzundza Ndebele chiefdom was broken up and its people given over to boer farms as apprentice labour.
1989 Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 126Although the importation of slaves was banned in 1807, it was not until 1834 that slaves were officially granted their freedom, and even then they were obliged to work as ‘apprentices’ for their former owners — unpaid — for a period of four years.
An indentured servant (usually a former slave, or the child of a slave) registered with a particular master (often the former slave-owner) for a fixed number of years; frequently a euphemism for ‘slave’ (see quotation 1934); inboekseling. Also attributive.
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