Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861
Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861

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The Queens Regulations and the Admiralty Instructions - 1861




When a Ship is ordered to be paid-off (unless ordered to be paid-off all standing), the stores of every kind are to be returned to the departments to which they severally belong, and the Captain is to put himself in communication with the heads of the different departments to expedite the service.

To facilitate the return of stores, an Officer is always to be sent with a working party to prepare the stores for reception, so that they may be received at once, and the accounts with the Officers of departments settled without delay. The Master is to attend at the Dock-yard daily, during working hours, whenever the Warrant Officers are returning stores.


The rigging is to be bighted in regular lengths, and properly tallied before being landed; - care being taken in clearing it, that it be not chopped or otherwise injured. To prevent losses and mistakes, and to facilitate the returns, the small stores for the several departments are to be sent on shore in separate boats and not mixed up with heavy or bulky articles. Lighters belonging to one department are on no account to be used for the conveyance of stores belonging to another department, without proper authority having been previously obtained for that purpose, through the Commander-in-chief.


All fittings made on board are to remain in the Ship; and such small stores as may have been supplied for the accommodation of the Captain, Officers, or Crew, although not on charge, are to be returned into store. The bulkheads and other internal fittings are not to be disturbed; and no stores or fittings of any kind or description are to be taken or supplied to other ships without due authority.


Any alterations which may have been made in the Ship, which the Officer who pays her off considers have been advantageous to her, together with any suggestions likely to prove beneficial if adopted, are to be reported by letter to the Secretary of the Admiralty, through the Commander-in chief; and a duplicate of the report is to be sent to the Superintendent of the Dock-yard.


The boats are to have the Ship's name painted on each bow before being returned.


While under orders to pay-off, more than ordinary precautions are requisite to prevent any peculation of the stores; additional sentries are to be posted at different parts of the Ship, and the police directed to be very vigilant in observing that nothing be surreptitiously passed through the ports or out of the Ship. The Officers of watches, - at night time especially, - are enjoined not to allow, without the sanction of the commanding Officer, any boat to remain alongside, or to hover about, the Ship. Hammock lashings, clews, &c., made of Government rope, are not to be taken out of the Ship, except to the Dock-yard; and the Captain is, generally, to adopt such measures as he may deem expedient to prevent the appropriation of any public stores to private purposes.


The Captain is to report to the Superintendent of the Dock-yard when the Ship will be ready for inspection by the proper Officers, to ascertain that her holds, magazines, store-rooms, &c., are perfectly clear and clean. After the Ship has been examined by the Dock-yard Officers, the magazines and store-rooms are be locked, and the keys delivered into the Master-Shipwright's Office. The Stokers are not to be withdrawn from the work immediately connected with the engine-room, but are to be at the disposal of the Engineer in charge, to enable that Officer to get the engine room, bilges, &c., clean and in proper order, previous to the inspection of the same by the Captain of the Steam Reserve. In Ships fitted with a screw, the same is to be raised ready for examination, previous to the day of paying off.


If the Ship be ordered to be paid-off all standing, or for re-commissioning, the unserviceable stores only are to be returned; and such as may be serviceable are to be kept in charge of the respective Officers, until they are superseded.


The Captain, as soon as he shall receive orders to pay-off, is to deliver to the Commander-in-chief, in a letter written and sealed with his own hand, the private signals with which he may have been furnished. He is also to return the Slave Trade papers in a letter to the Secretary of the Admiralty.


The Officers and Crew, on the day of paying-off, are, unless the Captain should receive orders to the contrary, to be disposed of as follow:-

i. All the Commission Officers not appointed to other Ships, with the exceptions hereafter mentioned, are to be discharged to the shore.

ii. Sub-Lieutenants, Second Masters, and Assistant Paymasters, if confirmed in those ranks, are to be discharged to the Commander-in-chief's Flag Ship, for disposal. Acting Sub-Lieutenants are to be discharged to Her Majesty's Ship "Excellent;" and Acting Second Masters to the Commander-in-chief's Flag Ship, at Portsmouth.

iii. All the Subordinate Officers not appointed to other Ships, with the exception of 2nd-class Assistant Engineers, are to be discharged to the Commander-in-chief's Flag Ship, for disposal.

iv. The Engineers and Assistant Engineers are to be discharged to the Guard Ship of the Steam Reserve.

v. The Boatswain and Carpenter are to be discharged to the Guard Ship of the Steam Reserve. The Gunner, if the Ship be paid-off at Woolwich, Sheerness, or Portsmouth, is to be discharged to the "Excellent," and if paid-off at Devonport, to the Gunnery Depôt there.

vi. The undermentioned Officers may, if necessary, be transferred, under the orders of the Commander-in-chief, to the books of the Flag Ship, Guard Ship, or Gunnery Depot at the port, as the case may be, and borne for full or sea pay while closing the accounts of the Ship from which they have been paid-off; but in no case are they to be so borne for a longer period than as follows:-

Master7 daysOn the books of the Flag Ship.
Paymaster, Assistant Paymasters, Clerks, Ship's Steward
     1st, 2nd, & 3rd Rates14 daysOn the books of the Flag Ship.
     4th, & 5th Rates10 "
     6th Rates and under7 "
Chief Engineer, or Senior Engineer Officer in charge7 days (Unless required for a longer period under Article 26, at page 179)On the books of the Guard Ship of the Steam Reserve.
Gunner7 daysOn the books of the Guard Ship of the Steam Reserve; except in the case of Gunners paid-off at Portsmouth or Devonport, where they are to be so borne on the books of the Gunnery Depot.
Boatswain7 "
Carpenter7 "

The necessary application to the foregoing effect, stating the names and rank of the individuals required to be borne as described, must be made by the Captain, to the Commander-in-chief a day or two before the Ship is paid-off.

vii. The continuous service Petty Officers, Seamen, and Boys, are to be discharged to the Flag Ship, Guard Ship, or Receiving Depot Ship at the Port to which they will return at the expiration of their leave. Such of the non-continuous service men as volunteer to remain in the service with a fresh entry, and are accepted, are to be discharged in the same way as continuous service men. (NOTE. If at the Port to which Stokers. Blacksmiths, and Blacksmith's Crew intend to return at the expiration of their leave, there be a Guard Ship of the Steam Reserve, they are to be discharged to such Ship, instead of to the Flag Ship.)

viii. The Seamen Gunners, and men acting as such, are to be discharged to the "Excellent" at Portsmouth, or to the Gunnery Depôt at Devonport, as they may elect to return to at the expiration of their leave. Men volunteering for either of the Gunnery Depot Ships on paying off, are to have their Leave Tickets made out to return to one of those Ships; and all eligible Petty Officers and Able Seamen, on their return to the Ship they were discharged to on going on leave, are to be asked the question, - "Do you wish to join either of the Gunnery Ships?' - and if they reply in the affirmative, they are to be allowed to do so, provided there are vacancies.

ix. The Marines, with their baggage, are to be landed at the nearest Divisional Head Quarters on the day the Ship pays-off. The Captain is to make application to the Commander-in-chief for boats to be sent at the time required to convey the Marines to the landing place. The parchment certificates of the Marines are to be sent to Head-Quarters with them.

x. Stewards, Domestics, Bandsmen, and the remainder of the Ship's Company, are to be discharged to the shore, with the exception of the Ship's Steward, who may, if he wishes it, be borne on the books of the Flag Ship, for disposal, provided he be a man of good character.

Continuous service men, non-continuous service men who re-enter, seamen gunners, and 1st and 2nd-class boys, are, on being paid their wages, to be furnished with passes, showing the extent of leave granted, the date at which it will expire, and the port and Ship to which they are ordered to return. Such men and boys are to be informed, before leaving the Ship, that should they fail to return within the proper time, they will incur the following penalties, namely: - continuous service men, or non-continuous service seamen gunners whose gunnery engagements may not have expired, and boys, the penalties of desertion, or straggling, as the case may be; and non-continuous service men taking fresh entries, forfeiture of time and pay from date of paying-off.


Non-continuous service men who volunteer on paying-off, and are accepted for further service, are to be made clearly to understand that their entry on the books of the Ship to which they are to return at the expiration of their leave is a fresh entry, dating from the day of their names being placed on the books of such Ship; and that, consequently, they will have no claim to be discharged on the ground of having served five years from the date of their original entry.


The character of each man, and boy, as recorded on his parchment certificate, is to be made known to him on the day before being paid-off.


With reference to Article 11, at page 132, of these Instructions, the Captain, immediately before the clothes and effects of seamen being landed for deposit in the Dock-yard, will cause the respective Divisional Officers to examine every article intended to be so deposited. The examining Officers are especially directed to see that the things are clean and dry; and that no lucifer matches, articles impregnated with oil, or anything susceptible of spontaneous ignition, are on any account sent to the yard.

The property is to be securely lashed up in bundles, and labelled with the owners' names, a clear list of the whole being made out in the following form:-

Table scrolls to the right►
H. M. S. _________________________List of effects, the property of the undermentioned Seamen and Boys belonging to this Ship, landed for deposit in the Dock-yard at ___________________________
Date ____________________________
To be filled up on boardTo be filled up by the storekeeper
Name. Rating. No. of Sack. Description of Property. Address. No. of Rack. Date of Admission.

At the foot of the list a certificate is to be written, signed by the examining Officers and approved by the Captain, to the effect that the articles have been carefully inspected, and found in a fit state to be deposited.

The list is to be sent to the Storekeeper of the Dock-yard, who will return it with a corresponding number of numbered sacks and tickets, one of each of which is to be given to every depositor. Each person's property is then to be put in his sack, and the number of the sack set down against his name on the list.

The articles, with the lists so made out, are then to be sent on shore in charge of an Officer, and placed in the custody of the Storekeeper, who will mark against each man's name on the list, the number of the rack in which his goods are deposited, and the date of their admission.

Each depositor is to be required to give an address, in case of its being necessary to call upon him to remove his goods.

Notice is to be given to each depositor that this accommodation will not be afforded beyond three calendar months from the date of his being paid-off, at the expiration of which period he will be called upon to remove whatever he may have deposited; and provided that is not done within another month, the articles will be sold, and the proceeds given to the Seamen's Hospital Ship. This notice is to be printed on the tickets.

Should any man enter a Ship at another port from that in which his kit is deposited, the commanding Officer of such Ship is to demand the same, sending the depositor's name and his numbered ticket, in order that the articles may be forwarded from the yard in which they may have been placed.


The Captain is to be careful that all the reports and returns, as specified in Article 28, at page 265, required from a Ship under orders to pay-off, or on the day of paying off, are duly made out, and lodged in office. He is to send the Marine Defaulters' Book, under sealed cover, to the Commandant of the nearest Divisional Head Quarters.


Whenever any of Her Majesty's Ships may be ordered to be put out of commission, a careful survey and inquiry shall be held, by two Captains and two Surgeons, as to the qualifications, character, and length of servitude, of all Continuous Service Men and Boys who may be represented by the Officer in command of the Ship, to be of decidedly of bad character, or weak and undersized, and unfit for Her Majesty's Service; and of all Continuous Service Ordinary Seamen and Boys who may be pointed out as not desirable to be retained in the service, either from mental or physical disability, or as not being likely to make good seamen.

The Men and Boys so reported are to be carefully mustered and examined by the Officers appointed to survey them, and the Captains are to be particular in inquiring into their characters and conduct, not only from the commission Officers, but also from the Warrant and Petty Officers of the Ship; and the Officer in command is to prepare a statement for this inspection, of the age, servitude, and character in former Ships, of such continuous Service Men and Boys, showing what Offences have been recorded against them, if any, and what punishments have been awarded.

The surveying Captains are to bear in mind that Continuous Service Men receive a higher rate of pay than other men, and that if of good character, and desirable for the service, they are not allowed to be discharged, if they wish it, except by purchase. Free discharge ought not to be obtained by bad conduct, unless it shall appear that the offender is incorrigible, when, if discharged, he is to be informed that he will not again be received into the Navy; and that, if accidentally re-entered, his former service will not be allowed to reckon as time served towards a pension.

Neither Man nor Boy should be condemned as a bad character whose offences arc of that venial nature as to merit only minor punishments, and it is only to those who commit flagrant breaches of discipline, and on whom punishment makes no impression, that the disgrace of bad character should attach with consequent loss of time, if discharged.

Having obtained full information, the particulars are to be reported to the Secretary of the Admiralty, through the Commander-in-chief, in duplicate, according to the form in the Appendix.


The Captain and all other Officers are especially enjoined to take every means in their power to prevent any stores, the property of the Crown, whether on charge or not, being sent out of the Ship, except to the department to which they may appertain.


The Captain is to cause the lists, showing the Ships the Men are to join at the expiration of their leave, to be read to them on the day of paying off; and he is to be careful that the Officers of Divisions sec that the Leave Tickets of the Men correspond in every particular with those lists, especially as regards the Ship and Port to which the Men are to return.

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