The Sea-Man's Vade Mecum, 1707.

The Duty of the Clerk, Pilot, Mate, Surgeon and Sea-men of a Ship, according to the Custom of France.

The Duty of the Clerk.

The Clerk shall be obliged to keep a Register or Journal, quoted and flourished on every Page by the Lieutenant of the Admiralty, or to the principal Owners of the Ship.

2. He shall insert in his Register, all the Rigging, Arms, Munitions and Victuals of the Ship; the Goods loaded and unloaded; the Names of the Passengers; what is due for their Fraight or Passage; a List of the Ship's Company and their VVages; the Names of such as decease during the Voyage; the day of their Death; and if possible, the quality of their Distemper, and the manner of their Death; what shall be bought for the Ship from the time of their Departure; and generally, every thing that concerns the Expences of the Voyage.

3. He shall likewise write down the Deliberations and Resolutions taken in the Ship, with the Names of those that Vote; who shall subscribe themselves, if they can, and if not, he shall make mention of the Reason why he dont.

4. He shall have an Eye to the Distribution and Conservation of the Provisions, and shall write down in his Book, what has been bought during the Voyage, and put into the Hands of the Stewards, of whom he shall exact an Account every 8 days.

5. We give him Power to receive the Testaments of dying Persons, to take an Inventory of the Effects left by them in the Ship, and to the Clerk of the Criminal Processor.

6. The Clerk's Record shall be authentick in Law; and we forbid him on pain of Death, to write any thing in it, contrary to the Truth.

7. Bills of Lading signed by the Clerk for his Kinsfolks, shall be flourished in Foreign Places by the Consuls; and in England, by one of the principal Owners of the Ship, or else they shall be of no Effect.

8. The Clerk shall not leave the Ship till the Voyage be accomplish'd, on Pain of losing of his Wages, and an Arbitrary Fine.

9. Four and twenty Hours after the Voyage is ended, he shall be obliged to give in to the Admiralty-Office, Minutes of the Inventories, Informations and Testaments during the Voyage, to which he may be compelled by Imprisonment.

[pp 133-135]

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.