G Contract between Johan Roussel and Jan Janszoon Houblet
Born in 1633 in The Hague, clockmaker Johan Roussel was the eldest son of clockmaker Cornelis Roussel (Russell) and Cornelia de Vries, daughter of the rector of the Latin school in The Hague.
Johan was therefore probably first trained by his father. So did his younger brother Adriaen (1638), who also became a clockmaker and was one of the founders of the clockmakers' guild in 1688. Father Cornelius was born in London in 1608. The family's ties with London continued. For instance, Johan stayed there from 1655 to 1657, no doubt apprenticed to another clockmaker, perhaps Ahasverus Fromanteel.
This close connection between the Republic and London is not surprising. There was a lot of exchange of thoughts and people in those days. Just look at Christiaan Huygens' correspondence with all kinds of English scientists. And artisans, including clockmakers, also regularly undertook the sea voyage across the Channel. A well-known example, of course, is Ahasverus' son, John Fromanteel, born in about 1638, who went to work with Salomon Coster in 1657 to produce pendulum clocks. And he knew Johan Roussel. Both acted as witnesses to a notarial deed of 13 October 1657. Did they take the trip to The Hague together?
See image of the signatures of Johan Roussel and John Fromenteel under a notarial deed (Haags Gemeentearchief, notarial archive, access number 0372-01, inv.no. 183, fol.309)
Little or nothing is known about the apprentice Jan Janszoon Houblet. I have been unable to find him nor his father the coarse-grain worker (silk cloth worker) in the archives of Erfgoed Leiden after a cursory search.
The apprentice contract covers a period of eight years, during which the apprentice will be taught the craft of watchmaking. Johan will house his apprentice and provide him with everything he needs, such as wet and dry food and clothing. He will thus come into the house. In return, the father will only have to pay for the first year, 100 guilders in four instalments. Apparently, Roussel expects to benefit enough from his apprentice for the remaining seven years.
The original contract between Johan Roussel and Jan Janszoon Houblet.
Transcription of the contract.