Catalogue description Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Precedent Books, Establishment Papers, etc.

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Details of BT 167
Reference: BT 167
Title: Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Precedent Books, Establishment Papers, etc.

This series contains miscellaneous material from the Registrar General's office, which does not belong with the main series of registers, etc, from that office.

The records include historical material on the administration and organisation of the various register offices, 1702-1905; precedent books and papers, containing details of administrative procedure and decisions on method that were not provided for by legislation, 1835-1945; a series of reports on the administration of the office, 1856-1920, and Black Books which contain notes of disciplinary proceedings against holders of Certificates of Competency or Service, 1851-1893.

There are a few remaining records of the administration of the Seamen's Fund, set up in 1747, including some account books of the Exeter receiver of the seamen's sixpence, 1800-1852, giving the ship and master's names, the port, tonnage and number of crew of the ship and a note of her last voyage. The names of the men paying and their home towns, and the total sum paid are also given. There are also two series of registers, one covering the years 1837-49 and the other 1837-51. They give the names of the ship and master, the home port, tonnage and number of men and dates of payments, but no details of the amounts paid. There is one other register, covering the years 1831-52, noting year by year arrivals of ships with their names and their masters and the amounts paid. It also records money paid from other ports.

Also included is a register of steam vessels, 1840-1850; a list of merchant vessels taken off the register, 1908-1918; specimens of printed forms, stationery, etc, 1856 to 1927; copy letter books, 1889 to 1919 and various papers relating to the Coastguard, 1920 to 1950.

Date: 1702-1993

The page numbering of the Black Books is in a continuous series, and there are references to the page numbers in an index volume of the names of the men involved. There are also 'BB' references with page numbers in the registers of the men's certificates.

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

General Register and Record Office of Seamen, 1835-1872

Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, 1872-1992

Physical description: 181 bundles and volumes
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

from 1972 Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen

Accumulation dates: 1702-1993
Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

The 1747 Act setting up the Seamen's Fund provided that the masters or working owners of all English ships, and all serving merchant seamen, should pay sixpence a month to the fund while serving on the ship, and that this was to be deducted from their pay. Receivers were to be appointed in ports outside London to receive the Muster Rolls listing the men and to collect the sixpenny duty. In 1834 the duty was raised to two shillings for a master or owner and one shilling for a seaman. The fund was wound up in 1851.

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