Catalogue description Royal Hospital Chelsea: Prize Records

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Details of WO 164
Reference: WO 164
Title: Royal Hospital Chelsea: Prize Records

This series contains a list of entitlements to shares in war prize won in military actions between 1779 and 1858. Most of the records are registers of shares unclaimed, with entries of the dates on which any eventual claims were settled, and notes of the recipients. There are specific volumes of out-letter books for claims relating to the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo, and these include lists of original payments. Also contained are warrants, correspondence, quarterly accounts and other miscellaneous papers.

Many of the registers remained open for several decades after the original payments and this explains the apparently extreme dates of some of the entries. However, the bulk of the payments in any volume tend to fall within five or ten years of the opening date.

The books relating to the Peninsular War cover the following six periods; 2nd-12th May 1809, 5th March-16th May 1811, 13th January-5th April 1812, 14th May-21st October 1812, 14th May - 31st December1813 and 1st January-10th April 1814. The forces were entitled to war prize according to their participation in successful campaigns during the six periods. A list of all the forces, noting their eligibility for each payment will be found in the front of volume 379.

Date: 1720-1899

The registers are arranged by the year of the actions, and within each year alphabetically by the location of the action. The entries are arranged by regiment or detachment, specifying rank.

The registers relating to the Peninsular War are arranged in numerical order of Regiment within the following categories; Staff, Artillery and Engineers, Life guards, Horseguards, Dragon Guards, Foot Guards, Light Dragoons, Infantry Regiments, Infantry Detachments and the King's German Legion.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Royal Hospital Chelsea, 1682-

Physical description: 663 volume(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

In 1792 the Gibraltar Prize Fund was transferred to the Hospital, but it was only from 1809 that the Hospital received a statutory right to administer the unclaimed prize monies for naval and military encounters. The interest accruing on the investment of these large sums provided a secure endowment, and even though a good deal was paid out to claimants, much was never claimed (often because of the death of the person eligible to claim) and became forfeit to the Hospital.

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