Purser

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Purser
Country United Kingdom
Service branchRoyal Navy
Formationc.14th C-1852
Next lower rankCaptain's Clerk
(1690-1805)

A Purser was a senior Warrant Officer 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 purser joined the warrant officer ranks of the Royal Navy in the early 14th century. Pursers were warranted by the Admiralty but did not require professional qualifications. However, some kind of financial guarantee was required. The duties were to oversee supply and issue of victuals, slops (clothes) and other consumables. [2] In 1825, the Purser became responsible for the payment of the crew and added Paymaster to his title thus Purser Paymaster and in 1842 became a commissioned rank.[3] The term Purser disappeared in 1852 leaving the role as Paymaster. The Accountant Branch changed in October 1944 to become part of the Supply and Secretariat branch and the Paymaster ranks became Supply Officers. The term “Pusser” – being derived from Purser – is still an historic nickname used for the modern ranks of Logistics Officers.[4]

From 1603 to 1683 he was appointed by the Surveyor-General of Victuals and from 1683 to 1832 he was appointed by the Victualling Board there after the Board of Admiralty.

Footnotes

  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.