Jun 1848 - Reserve of Seamen for the Royal Navy

Regulations for the Entry of Seamen-Riggers.

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, having taken into their consideration a proposal for the extension of extra seamen-riggers into Her Majesty's dockyards for the purpose and with the view of forming a reserve of seamen at such ports, have been pleased to issue the following regulations on the subject.

1. The seamen who enter as seamen-riggers must have served for a period of not less than six years in Her Majesty's service with the ratings of ordinary and A. B., and must produce certificates of good conduct and ability from the captain of the ship in which they last served. They will be entered subject to the express condition of being called upon to serve in any of Her Majesty's ships, should any sudden emergency require their services ; but it is not intended that the complements of Her Majesty's ships proceeding to foreign stations shall be filled up from such men, but only such ships as may be required to be suddenly manned or fitted for the home stations, or to aid in the navigation of ships from one port to another ; or in duties connected with the home ports, or to complete the complements of the experimental squadron during a few months' cruise.

2. For every 25 seamen there shall be entered one petty officer ; the pay of such petty officer to be 3s. 6d. per day.

All A. B. 's who are willing to enter under such conditions shall have the pay of 2s. 6d. per day, and the time of servitude of such petty officers and seamen shall be considered as sea time, and be allowed to count for pension.

3. All such seamen-riggers shall be allowed to have the privilege of obtaining slop-clothing from Her Majesty's stores at the same price as that now charged to the seamen of the fleet on demands made out by the Master-Attendant, and approved by the Rear-Admiral Superintendent of the Dock-yard, but not to a greater sum than 20s. per month, the same to be deducted from their weekly wages.

4. If absent from the port to which they belong, their wives and families shall be allowed to draw weekly one-half the pay due to the seaman himself, provided such seaman obtains a certificate from the commanding officer of the ship, which must be countersigned by the Master-Attendant of the Dockyard, that such man is embarked on service.

5. The seamen-riggers are to be under the directions of the Master-Attendant of the Dockyard, and shall perform all such duties in the yard as may be required.

6. On going on board any of Her Majesty's ships on service, they are to be entered as 'dockyard-riggers on special service;' and so long as they are so employed, they shall be granted the established allowance of provisions, according to the regulations of the service, in addition to their pay as seamen-riggers; but this privilege is not to extend for a longer period than two months, when they will then be placed on the ship's books, according to their respective ratings, and be paid accordingly, when they may make out allotments according to the Admiralty instructions.

7. The period of servitude as a seaman rigger shall not exceed 18 months at any one time ; but if they have been at sea during any time of such period, such sea time is to be granted over and above the 18 months, at the end of which time they will be discharged.

8. During the time of servitude as seamen-riggers they may volunteer for any of Her Majesty's ships fitting out at any of Her Majesty's ports, and shall have the privilege of entry into the ordinary on vacancies occurring, or into the permanent riggers, or dockyard or victualling craft.

9. They are to have all the benefits of the Royal Naval Hospitals, as the seamen of the fleet, and in case of death by accident while upon duty their widows shall be noted for entry as nurses in the hospital establishments, and their sons shall have the privilege of entry as boys in Her Majesty's service, provided they are properly qualified.

10. The captains of Her Majesty's ships are to recommend men for entry.

11. Seamen-riggers refusing to proceed in any of Her Majesty's ships when ordered to do so shall forfeit all claim to servitude and pension.

By command etc. H.G. Ward

^ back to top ^