Paymaster

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Paymaster
Paymaster Sleeve.png
Paymaster Sleeve
Paymaster Shoulder Board.png
StaffPaymaster Shoulder Board
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
Service branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom from 1801.png Royal Navy
Accountant Branch
Formation1852-1918
Next higher rankStaff Paymaster
Next lower rankAssistant Paymaster
Equivalent ranksLieutenant

A Paymaster was a rank of the British Royal Navy. The person responsible overseeing the supply and issue of victuals, slops (clothes) and other consumables and from 1825 he was responsible for the handling of money on board. They were part of the Accountant Branch of the navy.[1]

History

The rank evolved out of the earlier post of Purser that title was altered to Purser and Paymaster in 1842, and the warrant officer rank was elevated to commissioned Officer in 1843. The title of Purser finally disappeared in 1852 and he became the Paymaster. In 1855 the status of these officers was clarified by Order in Council. They were to be "Accountant officers for cash to the Accountant-General of the Navy ..." and the ranks of assistant paymaster, clerk, and assistant clerk emerged. In 1864, these officers were authorised to wear a white strip of distinction cloth between the gold rings on their arms.[2]

By 1867, it was laid down that a Paymaster of 15 years' seniority should rank with a Commander and in 1886 followed the distinction between fleet paymaster (ranking with commander) and staff paymaster (ranking with Lieutenants of 8 years' seniority). A paymaster-in-chief ranked with a four-stripe Captain.[3]

In March 1918 a paymaster-in-chief was appointed paymaster director-general and, on 8 November 1918, the then paymaster director-general, William Whyte, was given the rank and style of paymaster rear-admiral. At the same time, the branch's other ranks were standardized: a paymaster-in-chief became paymaster captain; fleet paymaster became paymaster commander; staff paymaster became paymaster lieutenant-commander; paymaster became paymaster lieutenant; assistant paymaster became paymaster sub-lieutenant; clerk became paymaster midshipman and assistant clerk became paymaster cadet. Paymaster rear-admiral was established as a rank in its own right by Order in Council of 20 December 1918 applied retroactively to 6 March 1918.[4]

References

  1. Navy, Royal. (2014). Naval Ranks: Information sheet no 096. Library and Information Services. National Museum of the Royal Navy. Portsmouth, England.
  2. National Museum of the Royal Navy.
  3. National Museum of the Royal Navy.
  4. National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Bibliography

  1. Navy, Royal. (2014). Naval Ranks: Information sheet no 096. Library and Information Services. National Museum of the Royal Navy. Portsmouth, England.