Regulations & Instructions - 1808 - Of the Provisions.

Regulations & Instructions - 1808

Relating to His majesty's service at sea.

Section IX - Chapter I

Of the Provisions.

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Page 287
Article I
There shall be allowed to every person serving in His Majesty’s Ships, a daily proportion of Provisions, as expressed in the following Table : Allowance of Provisions.

  Bisket pounds avoir-du-poise Beer gallons
Wine measure
Beef pounds avoir-du-poise Pork pounds avoir-du-poise Pease
Pints Winchester measure
Pints Winchester measure
Sugar ounces Butter ounces Cheese ounces
Sunday 1 1 - 1 ˝ - - - -
Monday 1 1 - - - ˝ 2 2 4
Tuesday 1 1 2 - - - - - -
Wednesday 1 1 - - ˝ ˝ 2 2 4
Thursday 1 1 - 1 ˝ - - - -
Friday 1 1 - - ˝ ˝ 2 2 4
Saturday 1 1 2 - - - - - -
Forming a weekly proportion to each man of : 7 7 4 2 2 6 6 12

together with an allowance of vinegar, not exceeding half a pint to each man per week.  
Page 288
Article II
In case it should be found necessary to alter any of the foregoing particulars of Provisions, and to issue other species as their substitutes it is to be observed ;

That a pint of Wine, or half a pint of Rum, Brandy, or other Spirits, holds proportion to a gallon of Beer ;

That four pounds of Flour, or three pounds thereof, with one pound of Raisins, are equal to a four pound piece of salt Beef ;

That half a pound of Currants, or half a pound of Beef Suet, is equal to one pound of Raisins ;

That four pounds of fresh Beef, or three pounds of Mutton, are equal to four pounds of salt Beef, and three pounds of fresh Beef, or Mutton, to a two pound piece of salt Pork, with Pease ;

That one pint of Calavances or Dholl is equal to a pint of Pease ;

That whenever Rice is issued either for Bread, Pease, Oatmeal or Cheese, one pound of Rice is to be considered as equal to a pound of Bread, a pint of Pease, a quart of Oatmeal, or a pound of Cheese ;

That a pint of Wheat, or of Pot Barley, is equal to a pint of pint of Oatmeal ;

That five pounds and three quarters of Molasses are equal to one gallon of Oatmeal ;

Then when Sugar is substituted for Butter or Cheese, one pound of Sugar is equal to one pound of Butter, or two pounds of Cheese ;

That one Pint of oil is equal to a pound of Butter, or two pounds of Cheese : and that a half pound of Cocoa, or a quarter pound of Tea, is equal to one pound of cheese.

Change of some species of Provisions for others as the Service may require.
Page 289
Article III
It is left to the Commanders of Squadrons to shorten the aforesaid Allowance of Provisions, according to the exigencies of the Service : taking care that the men be punctually paid for the deficiency ; and the like power is given to the Captain of single Ships, in cases of absolute necessity. All men are however to be equal in point of victualling ; and therefore it is hereby strictly forbidden to supply any officer or other person at whole while the rest of the Company are at short allowance. Allowance of Provisions to be shortened when the Service requires it.
Page 290
Article IV
As all are to be equal in point of victualling, so no provisions or victualling stores are to be drawn or taken up on shore, or to be sent out of the Ship, on any private account whatever: And as the allowance of provisions is calculated and intended for daily subsistence only, no savings made either by the Officers or others of the crew shall be paid them in kind, such practice being highly detrimental to the Crown; but the Purser shall pay for the same, on the behalf of Government, agreeably to the instructions contained in the chapter of payment for savings. No Provisions are to be used on shore, or sent out of the Ship on any private account, nor Savings to be paid in kind.

Savings to be purchased on the part of the Government.

Article V
As the issuing of Provisions in small quantities is attended with considerable waste, and the several articles are otherwise liable to shrinkage and. loss, or to be eaten and destroyed by rats or other vermin, the Purser, in full indemnity for such waste, loss or destruction (wherein are included scrapings of Butter and Cheese, and siftings of dust from breads shall, on the passing of his accounts at the Victualling Office, have credit for one eighth part of the several species of provisions allowed for victualling the crews of His Majesty’s Ships and Vessels, Flesh excepted. One eighth of the Provisions issued by Weight or Measure, allowed to Purser for Waste, Loss, &c.
Page 291
Article VI
The Beef provided for His Majesty's Ships is to be cut into eight pound pieces, and the pork into four, or occasionally six pounds pieces; and no unusual pieces are to be put up with the Meat ; such as Leg Bones, Shins of Oxen, Cheeks of Hogs, Ox Hearts, &c. How Beef and Pork are to be cut, and what Pieces cut to be put up.
Article VII
Every cask and package of provisions sent on board His Majesty's Ships, whether wet or dry (bread only excepted, which generally is to be in bags containing one hundred and twelve pounds each) are to have the contents thereof, as to species and quantity, marked thereon, together with a number, and the time when and place where packed; observing that the casks are to be marked on the heads, and the packages on some proper and conspicuous part of them. The casks with beer, being gauged by a sworn gauger, are to have the contents in gallons wine measure marked by him on their heads: and in all cases of provisions, under warranty, the same is to be notified to the Purser, when sent on board. All packages of Provisions to have the contents marked on them.

Beer casks guaged, and marked by a sworn guager.

Page 292
Article VIII
For the better preservation of the health of the Ship's company, it is ordered that on every beef day there shall be issued a proportion of flour, raisins, or suet, in lieu of half the beef; but the quantities supplied the ship for this purpose shall not extend beyond four months victualling at one time; and there shall be supplied once a year from the Victualling Office, a proportion of canvas for pudding bags, after the rate of one ell to every sixteen men, Flour and suet in lieu of Beef.

But not to exceed four months victualling.

Canvas to be supplied for pudding bags.

Article IX
In the victualling of His Majesty's Ships for foreign or other voyages, there shall not be supplied more than three months butter and cheese; but the remainder shall be made up by such of the substitutes described in the 2d article of this chapter as shall be found most expedient. Butter and Cheese not to be supplied for more than three months.
Article X
All casks supplied to Ships bound on foreign voyages, whether for beer or water, shall be new, to prevent any occasion for buying casks abroad. Casks for foreign service to be new.
Page 293
Article XI
All His Majesty's, Ships, whether victualled for Channel or Foreign Service, are to be furnished with as many water casks as their Captains or Commanders shall demand ; and as the same are to be supplied of such sizes as the Captains shall apply for, either leaguers, butts, puncheons, hogsheads, barrels, or half hogsheads, all Commanders are to have regard thereto, and to apply for such quantities and species of water cask as they can conveniently stow ; observing that leagers are to be demanded and supplied for the ground tier only. Water casks to be supplied agreeably to demand from the Captain.

Leagers for Ground Tier only.

Article XII
The very great demand for beer and water casks at the out ports, making it extremely difficult, more especially in time of war, to raise and fit them fast enough, and the expense attending the same being very great ; and as both the difficulty and expense would be materially lessened if the beer and water casks on board Ships employed in Home or Channel service were not to be shaken, all Commanders of His Majesty's Ships so employed are hereby most strictly required, never to suffer the empty beer or water casks to be shaken unless in cases of absolute necessity ; and when such necessity shall arise, to give particular orders that the casks be very carefully taken to pieces, and the staves and heading marked and packed in such manner as shall enable the Cooper to set them up again ; that the iron hoops be very carefully stowed away in bundles, without being bent or otherwise injured ; and that they be either returned, when a proper opportunity may offer, into His Majesty's victualling stores, or be again set up if wanted. And the said Commanders are hereby further directed to transmit quarterly, to the Commissioners of the Victualling, a particular account of all beer and water casks which may have been so shaken, stating whether they have again been set up, or the staves and hoops returned into store, and at what place. Empty beer and water casks not to be shaken but in cases of absolute necessity.
Page 294
Article XIII
Though all warrants for Victualling do properly issue from the Lord High Admiral, or Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, yet if any of His Majesty's Ships shall happen to come into port in want of provisions, the warrant of a Commander in Chief shall be sufficient to the agent, or other instrument of the victualling, to supply the quantity wanted ; and in urgent cases, where delay may he hurtful, the warrant of the Captain of the Ship shall be of equal effect. Provisions to be supplied by order of the Commander in Chief.

Or of a Captain in urgent cases.

Article XIV
When Vessels go on board with provisions or Victualling Stores they are not to be suffered to loiter by the Ship’s side, but forthwith to be unladen and send away ; and in the event of their being unnecessarily detained, the Commanding Officer is to grant the Master of the Vessel a Certificate, stating the time of her detention, and the occasion thereof ; to the end that the Crown may not be subjected to any unreasonable charge for demurrage, observing that, if it should appear that any Vessels have been improperly detained, the expense will be charged against the Wages of the Commanding Officer, by or through whom such unnecessary detention shall have taken place. Victualling Vessels to be dispatched and if unavoidably detained, a Certificate to be granted their Masters of the cause, and period of their detention.
Page 295
Article XV
All supplies of Provisions are to be put on board His Majesty’s Ships, without any charge to the Purser for lighterage, porterage, or otherwise, and with all dispatch possible ; and on the arrival of the Vessels conveying such supplies on board, the Commanding Officer is to cause the provisions to be put into the slings or tackle of the Ship, by careful men, belonging to her, and to receive from the master of the Vessel a perfect bill of lading, under the hand of the Victualling Officer, in order that he may see if the whole be duly brought on board. But whenever this service can be performed by the Ship’s boats, the Commanding Officer is to cause them to be so employed, so as thereby to prevent unnecessary expense to the Crown. Provisions to be sent on board without charge to the Purser and delivered into the Slings of the Ship.
Page 296
Article XVI
If any provisions or stores slip out of the slings, or are otherwise damaged or lost by malice or carelessness of any of the Ship’s company, the Captain is to charge the value against the wages of the Offender or Offenders, and to give the Purser a Certificate, expressing how the same happened, with the name of the Offender or Offenders, and the amount of the sum charged against him or them, to the end that he may be allowed credit for the same on his accounts. Provisions or Victualling Stores damaged or lost through malice or carelessness to be paid for by the offenders.
Article XVII
No provisions sent for the supply of His Majesty's Ships shall be refused on being refused on pretence of being old or unfit for keeping ; but where there shall be reasonable ground of objection against any provisions, the Captain or Commanding Officer shall cause the same to be surveyed by the proper Officers, who are faithfully to report to him under their hands of state and condition thereof ; and if the said provisions shall then appear unfit for the use of the Ship, and she shall be at an established Victualling Port in England, he is to direct the Purser to return them to the Agent, or other proper officer of the victualling, who sent them off, together with a duplicate survey for his justification in so returning them. But if the said provisions shall be received from or returned to Agents abroad, he is in such case to direct the Purser immediately to transmit a Duplicate Survey to the Commissioners of the Victualling, noting on the Survey subjoined or annexed to the original order for taking it (which order and survey the Purser is carefully to keep, in order to be produced on the passing of his accounts) when and by what conveyance the Duplicate Survey was so forwarded. No Provisions to be refused until surveyed.
Page 297
Article XVIII
The Captain is frequently to order the proper Officers to inspect into the state and condition of the Provisions, especially on Foreign voyages ; and if the bread prove damp, to have it aired upon the quarter-deck or poop ; and also if any pickle shall have leaked out of the flesh casks, to cause the deficiency to be supplied from other casks which shall have been opened (the pickle of which is to be occasionally reserved for such purpose) the casks to be new drove, and thereby, or otherwise, to be made tight and secure. Condition of the Provisions to be frequently inspected.
Article XIX
When any of His Majesty's Ships shall come into Port either at home or abroad, they shall, if it can be done conveniently, at a reasonable rate, and without endangering the spoiling of the salt meat on board, be supplied two days in a week with fresh beef or mutton, which the Ship's boats are to convey on board, one day in lieu of salt beef, and the other to lieu of salt pork. But this proportion is not to be exceeded, except in cases of the Ship being at an established victualling Port in England, where the Agent shall be under orders to issue a larger quantity, and excepting also in urgent instances abroad, wherein the Captain may find it indispensably necessary to depart from this general rule ; the particular circumstances whereof he is to state in his order to the Purser, which order, or a properly attested Copy of it, is to be produced by the Purser on passing his accounts : nor is more fresh beef to be taken on either of the two days or otherwise, than the proper proportion, as near as may be, for the number of men actually on board. And it a to be observed, as has been already noticed in the 2d Article of this Chapter, that three pounds of mutton are equal to four pounds of salt beef, or to a two pound piece of salt pork with pease. Fresh beef to be supplied twice a Week in Port when convenient.
Page 298
Article XX
In all cases where fresh meat is received on board His Majesty's Ships, the Commanders are respectively to take care that it be perfectly good and wholesome: and in order to a just distribution thereof, and to prevent any occasion of complaint, the same, if beef, is to be sent on board in quarters, and, if mutton, in carcases, which in number and weight are to be entered in the Log-book as they come on board, together with the place whence and person from whom they are received. Conformably to which weight the quarters or carcases are to be cut up into the usual mess pieces, in some convenient and public part of the Ship, open to the view of the Company, and under the particular inspection and supervisal of a Lieutenant, the Master, and a Mate, to be appointed by, the Captain for that purpose. When the meat is boiled, it is to be delivered out in the customary manner of pricking fairly for it ; and no quarters, carcases, or particular pieces are to be reserved or picked for the Officers, petty Officers, or any other persons, of any distinction, favour or partiality shewn therein. And the better to cheque the receipt and expenditure of fresh meat, and to ascertain, in case of ,complaints, under whose inspection it was cut up, the names of the Lieutenant, Master, and Mate, together with she number of quarters of beef or carcases of mutton cut up in their presence, the number of pieces of beef or pork produced therefrom, and the time when the same were received on board, are to be inserted in the Log-book. Rules to be observed in the receiving and serving of fresh beef.
Page 299
And whereas some of the eldest Pursers of the Royal Navy did formerly present a memorial, in behalf of themselves, and the rest of their brethren, representing that it had been their constant practice, as often as their respective Ships were victualled with fresh meat, to boil such a quantity of greens and roots with it as to give sufficient satisfaction to the men, and (in order to afford them no room to murmur on account of the saving of pease by boiling fresh meat) to boil Pease for their Monday's dinner, besides their allowed oatmeal for breakfast; and proposing if the greens and roots furnished by them, should not be judged sufficient for the men, to increase the same to any quantity that should be prescribed ; all Commanders are to take care that their respective Pursers do comply with what is contained in the said Memorial, by furnishing a sufficient quantity of roots and greens to the Seamen with their fresh meat (when they can be procured, and not at any time exceeding the value of the pease saved, at the Purser's credit price) or to make it known to the Secretary of the Admiralty if they fail therein. Pursers to supply greens and roots when their Ships are victualled with fresh meat, in lieu of the pease thereby saved.
Page 300
Article XXI
Whenever any of His Majesty's Ships or Vessels are supplied with rum, brandy, or other spirituous liquors, in lieu of beer, the same is to be sent on board in casks of such sizes as can be most conveniently stowed : but as the keeping as well as issuing of the said liquors is liable to dangerous accidents, if proper care be not taken for preventing the same, when the said liquors are wanted, either to be issued to the Ship's Company, or to be started into smaller or other casks, they are to be hoisted on the upper deck ; and whilst this is doing, proper sentinels are to be placed to prevent candles being brought near the hatches while they are open, or near the liquors while they are serving or starting, neither of which is ever to be done but by day-light.

All Commanders of His Majesty's Ships are hereby strictly required and directed to be very careful that the whole of the said methods be put into execution ; if the store-rooms can be fitted in the manner before-mentioned ; but if they cannot be so fitted, all the other precautions of placing proper sentinels, of not suffering candles to be carried near the liquors, causing the same always to be issued and started upon the upper deck, and of never suffering either to be done but by day light, are to be most punctually observed.

Rules to be observed in relation to spirituous liquors.
Page 301
Article XXII
As it is of very pernicious consequence to suffer the Seamen to drink, in drams, the allowance made to them of any kind of spirituous liquor in lieu of beer;, and it having been found by experience, that the serving of it mixed with water is very conducive to the .preservation of their health ; every Commander is therefore strictly charged, never to suffer any kind of spirituous liquor to be issued by itself to the Company of the Ship or Vessel under his Command, but to cause the allowance for all the Officers and Company to be every day mixed, with a due proportion of water upon deck, in the presence of the Lieutenant; ,and two other Officers of the watch, who are to be strictly charged to take care that the men be not defrauded of their allowance; and he is also to give strict charge to all his Officers to be very Careful in their respective watches, to prevent spirituous liquors of any kind being conveyed on board the Ship, and to use all possible diligence to prevent drams being drunk by any of the Ship’s Company. Spirituous liquors always to be served mixed with water.

No person to be suffered to drink drams.

Page 302
Article XXIII
It appearing that considerable quantities of wine and spirituous liquors have been fraudulently run on-shore from His Majesty's Ships of War and Transports, to the great prejudice of His Majesty's Naval Service, and diminution of the Revenue ; for the better preventing of such practice in future, and for punishing those who shall dare to continue or renew it, all Captains or Commanders of His Majesty s Ships or Vessels are hereby strictly required, and positively directed, not to suffer any of those species to be ever issued to the Companies, or any part of the Companies, of the Ships or Vessels respectively under their command ; whilst in the Hone Parts, nor at Sea, until after the Beer is all expended ; and further, when wine or spirits are issued, to take care that no more be served out than the daily allowance, and not any for the paying of debts in lieu of other Previsions, or on any other pretence whatever, And as cocoa and tea may occasionally be substituted for butter and cheese, the Captains or Commanders when no employed on Foreign Service, are at the foot of the accounts of Provisions received, lent &c., (directed by the 26th Article of this Chapter, to be sent every three Months to the Victualling Officer) to certify the number of gallons of Wine and spirituous liquors (describing them particularly) and pounds of cocoa and tea, issued to the companies of their respective Ships or Vessels within the time of each of the said accounts, and also to cause the same to he regularly inserted in the general account of Provisions received, lent, &c. directed also by the aforesaid Article of this Chapter to be delivered into the Victualling-office for passing their accounts ; and lastly to make it known to the Officers, that whenever any allowance of wine, or spirituous liquors, or cocoa, or tea, is discovered to be carried out of the Ship, any Officers concerned therein wilt be called to strict account. Wine or spirituous liquors never to be issued in the home ports, or at sea until the beer is expended ; nor more than the daily allowance at any time.

Quantities of wine, spirits, cocoa and tea issued to be certified in quarterly accounts.

Officers concerned in smuggling allowance liquors, cocoa or tea, to be called to a strict account.

Page 303
Article XXIV
Commanders of Ships or Vessels stationed m parts where there is an Agent, Contractor, Correspondent; or other instrument of the victualling for furnishing Provisions to his majesty's Ships, are most strictly charged to cause whatever Provisions they may have occasion for, to be received from such Agent, Contractor, &c. and, to that end to make timely and regular demands for the species and quantities wanted, as set forth in Article 3Oth of the Purser's Instructions; and never to procure Provisions in any other manner, while such Agent, Contractor, Correspondent, or other instrument of the victualling, can supply the same. But Commanders of Ships or Vessels stationed in the West Indies, or any part of North America, are never to complete their Provisions to more than three months for their complements at whole allowance, unless any particular service they may be going upon shall necessarily require it : nor are they, when they return home, to complete to a larger proportion than three months for their passage ; taking notice that they are to be accountable for any loss which may accrue to his Majesty, in case they fail in punctually complying therewith. Provisions always to be procured from Agents, Contractors, &c., where there are any.

Ships in the West Indies or North America, never to complete for more than three months, nor for their passage home.

Page 304-5
Article XXV
Whenever any of His Majesty's Ships or Vessels are ordered to be victualled for a certain time, and the Provisions to be kept complete until the Ship or Vessel sails, her Commander is always to see that the oldest Provisions on board be first expended, and that the same be replaced with new from the Victualling Stores on shore, keeping up the said Provisions complete according to orders ; and to do the same with respect to the beer. The oldest Provisions to be first expended and replaced with new.
Article XXVI
The want of proper and timely accounts being transmitted to the Commissioners of the Victualling, having occasioned frequent mistakes, in making out Purser's balance, bills, &c. to the prejudice of the Crown ; every Commander of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels is strictly enjoined to make up at the end of every quarter of the year, viz. on the 31st March, 30th June, 30th September, 31st December, and to transmit to the said Commissioners, as soon after as opportunity shall offer, accounts of all Provisions (including water if purchased) and victualling stores received, .and of those returned, lent, cast by survey, lost by accident or action with the enemy, and of any extra expense of casks, staves, and hoops, that may happen in such quarter: likewise an account of the receipt and expenditure of fresh meat, (as directed in the 34th Article of the Purse's Instructions (signed by himself, the Master and the Purser, after being totalled and certified as per forms (No. 16) and to cause each of the said three accounts to be entered in two books, totalled, certified and signed at the end of each quarter as before-mentioned, one to remain with himself the other with the Purser, to be produced on passing their respective accounts. At the bottom of each account so entered, mention is to be made by what conveyance the original was sent to the Victualling Office ; and all Commanders are to take notice, that if any mistake shall happen to the prejudice of the Crown, from their failing to comply herewith, the same is to be made good out of their wages. Accounts of Provisions received, lent, &c., to be sent every quarter to the Victualling Office and of receipt and expenditure of fresh meat.

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