Catalogue description Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Register of Seamen's Tickets

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Details of BT 113
Reference: BT 113
Title: Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Register of Seamen's Tickets

Numerical registers, kept by the General Registry and Record Office of Seamen, of the tickets required by all British merchant seamen before sailing.

On the ticket were recorded the seaman's name, date and place of birth, date and capacity of first going to sea and capacity since, the ships he had served in the Royal Navy, if any, and his capacity, his current employment at sea, and home address. The registers in this series and in BT 114 are far from complete and many numbers in BT 113 have no names or details marked up.

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Date: 1845-1854
Related material:

For indexes to these registers see BT 114

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

General Register and Record Office of Seamen, 1835-1872

Physical description: 283 volume(s)
Access conditions: Available in digital format unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

The difficulties in maintaining a fully indexed register of all seamen's names from the returns of crew lists led to a reorganisation of the system of registration. The Merchant Seamen Act 1844 (7 & 8 Vict c. 112) provided that no British seamen should leave the United Kingdom without a Register Ticket, which was to be procured by personal application. From this register a new register was started. It recorded the information on the Tickets, and the men were registered in numerical order.

Both registers give details of voyages made after 1847, but in a coded form which is now not fully intelligible. As the Ticket system was greatly disliked by seamen and there was widespread evasion of the law, the Mercantile Marine Act 1850 (13 & 14 Vict c 93) gave the Board of Trade power to dispense with the Tickets. In 1853 the board decided the difficulties of the system and the hostility it aroused justified its abolition, and it was discontinued on 1 October 1853, to be replaced by a new register.

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