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Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Registers of Changes of Masters

BT 336
Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Registers of Changes of Masters

Registers of changes of masters of United Kingdom registered vessels notified to the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen.

Each register contains lists of those masters who were in command of vessels registered in the United Kingdom, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Each entry contains the name of the vessel: the port where the master joined the vessel; date on which the master joined the vessel, and, name and seaman's number of the master.

Entries in the registers cease after 1948 due to changes in legislation. Each register contains entries with dates between 1893 to 1948.


The registers are arranged in numerical order by official number of the individual ship. This is not the master's certificate number or seaman's number.

To be able to access the various entries you need to know the official number of the vessel. This may be obtained from any collection of Lloyds Registers of Shipping, some of which are held at the PRO. A full collection of Lloyds Registers exist at the National Maritime Museum. To use these registers you will need to know the name of the vessel for which you are searching and also the approximate date of research.

Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, 1872-1992
Physical description:
20 volume(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

Changes of masters were required to be reported to the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen under section 19 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894. The reports were made using form 21 and the information entered into the registers. The original forms were later destroyed.

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