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Paymaster in Chief Sleeve.png
Paymaster-in-Chief Sleeve
Paymaster in Chief Shoulder Board.png
Paymaster-in-Chief 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
Next higher rankPaymaster Director-General
Next lower rankFleet Paymaster
Equivalent ranksCaptain

Paymaster-in-Chief was a rank in the Accountant Branch of the Royal Navy. It was introduced on the retired list in 1852 and as a rank on the active list in 1903. The rank was renamed to Paymaster Captain in 1918


By Order in Council of 5 April, 1852, the retired rank of Paymaster-in-Chief was created, "to be filled by officers who have long and meritorious sea service; the number to be limited to ten." They had the equivalent rank of Commander and wore the uniform of Secretaries to Commanders-in-Chief.

By Order in Council of 9 October, 1903, the rank of Paymaster-in-Chief was instituted on the Active List from 1 October. It had the relative rank of Captains of three years' seniority. Promotion was by selection from officers with twenty years' service, including time as Secretary, Paymaster, Acting Paymaster and not more than four years' time as Assistant Paymaster. The ages for optional and compulsory retirement were fifty-five and sixty respectively.