The Sea-Man's Vade Mecum, 1707.

The Pursers Duty.

Once every Moth, at the Muster, to procure a Warrant from the Clerk of the Cheque for the Month ensuing Victuals for their Ships Company, and deliver the same to the Victualler, to be supply'd accordingly.

2. To attend on turns, and lodge on Board every third Night,and take care to the Watch for Candles, &c. in the Absence of the Boatswain and Gunner.

3. To see the Cook dress all the Companies Victuals on Board, and not to suffer any of them, either to discount them with the Victualler, with Money in lieu thereof, or to dress or eat them at their own Houses.

4. They are to keep an exact Prick and Cheque-Book, of the Time and Entry, Discharge, Attendance, running away, death and Absence of all and every Man, Boy and Grommet belonging to the Ship, when they are at Sea; and out of that Book make and deliver under their Hands, to the Parties that are lawfully discharged, a Ticket or Pass, which is also to be signed by the Captain, Master and Boatswain, or any two or three, whereof the Captain, if present, is to be one, containing their true Name, Entry, Office, Discharge, and the Cause thereof; and at the return of the Ship from Sea, deliver the said Book under their Hands to the Treasurer, or other the principal Officers to pay their Men accordingly; and to make no Stoppage upon any Tickets, but what shall be really for Cloaths.

5. They are once every ten Days to muster their Ships Company, and therein to take notice who is present, sick, a Shore, dead, run away, left behind, or upon any Occasion absent, whereby he may be able, upon all Demands, to justifie the Attendance or Neglect of all or any of the said Company; and by his Book so stated, ballance the Expence for the Sea time, charging the Victualler with the Remains (if servicable) to be spent in ordinary upon the return of the Ship, or delivered to the Victuallers Instruments, to supply part of the Re-victualling at Sea.

6. When the Ship to which he belongs is commanded to Sea, he is to demand from the Surveyor or Clerk of the Survey, and the Office of the Ordnance, true Copies under their Hands, of all Indentures and Proportions of Stores by them issued for the present Service and Supply of the Ship to the Boatswain, Gunner and Carpenter: and after the Ship enters into Sea Wages, to keep an exact Journal Book of the expences of all Provisions committed to their Trust respectively; requiring the Boatswain, Gunner and Carpenter, at their Perils, not to cut any Cable, take down or put up any Rigging, scale and Guns, give any Salutes, repair or new build any Cabbins, Bulk Heads, or Steward Rooms, &c. without giving Notice to him to enter the same; that he may upon each of their Accompts make a distinct Entry of the Quality and Quantity of each Material expended, specifying the Time when, the Place where, the Cause why, and the Party by whose Command the same were expended; and after the same entry made, take the Captain and Masters Hands to his Book, to justifie the Truth of the Entry, and the Boatswain, Gunner and Carpenters Hands, to prevent all future Cavils upon the Ballance of their several Accompts.

Note, The Boatswain and Pursers Duty is according to the Custom of the English Navy, but the Duty of the other Officers is according to the Custom of France, but most of the Orders are observed by the English.

[pp 142-144]

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.