We can show, for example: (1) that the Statute of Apprenticeship did not stand alone; it was one of a long series of similar measures, beginning more than two centuries before, which in their turn join on to the municipal and gild regulations of the middle ages; one of an important group of statutes, more or less closely interwoven throughout their history, administered by local authorities whose functions had grown largely in connexion with this legislation and the gradual differentiation of the trades and callings to which it related.
Oaths and the taking of life were absolutely forbidden; hence the magistracy and the army were for the Mennonite unlawful callings; but magistrates were to be obeyed in all things not prohibited by Scripture.
To them only two callings were generally open, that of the churchman and that of the soldier, and the latter as a rule offered greater attractions than the former in an era of much licence and little learning.
The Indo-Mauritians are now dominant in commercial, agricultural and domestic callings, and much town and agricultural land has been transferred from the Creole planters to Indians and Chinese.
The man who brought the grain from Africa to the public stores at Ostia, the baker who made it into loaves for distribution, the butchers who brought pigs from Samnium, Lucania or Bruttium, the purveyors of wine and oil, the men who fed the furnaces of the public baths, were bound to their callings from one generation to another.