Today’s volume is ADM 25/1 Officer half-pay records for the period 1693-1704. This is an interesting volume that is a pretty important record. Unfortunately, my photos are.. not of a sufficiently high quality that I’ll make them widely available as they would not be really useful.
However, my poor images aside, this is an important record because it provides evidence, or at least the results of some of the Royal Navy’s early and successful efforts at managing its officers as a resource, which had not really been done previous to the Glorious Revolution. In the 1690s, the war from 1688-1697 showed that it was no longer really possible for officers to have commissions in both the Royal Navy and in the Regiments of the Army and to serve both well. Previously payments had been made to officers who were no longer serving in the Royal Navy, but these were signs of esteem from the King for good service. It wasn’t until the 1690s the half-pay was created in order to allow the Navy (or the Admiralty) to maintain ties with officers who were no longer actively serving or between periods of service. At the very same time, Parliament set aside funds for the Registration of Seamen (non-commissioned personnel) to try to manage common sailors in the same manner, although this proved to be much much less successful than half-pay measures.
This volume consists of a series of set of lists- each set comprising distinct lists for Flag Officers, Captains, Commanders, Lieutenants and Masters, and each set covers a distinct period- usually a single year. This allows a research to understand how half-pay was being used over a period of time that covered both wartime, and peacetime.