Custom House Ship Registers

By Grahame Farr, published February 1969


Ship registers and the information they give have gone through several changes since 1786 when the first Registration Act came into force. Modifications and further details were added to the registers with the Acts that followed, mainly in 1824, 1836 and 1855. The 1786 Act merely specified a folio that listed the main characteristics of the ship such as her name, owner, kind, number of decks and masts, length, and tonnage. In 1824, a new Act 4 introduced some modifications to the register in order to make them more business-like. The following Act 5 come into force in 1836, introduced new measurements required as details for every vessel. A final Act in 1855, was necessary due to the great variety of shipping that had appeared in that period. Modifications were made to folio sizes, and every vessel was required to bear an Official Number that would make it unique and recognizable. Finally, a last section was added to specify the kind of propulsion of the ship: sail or steam.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration | Harbours & Dockyards | Merchant Marines | Miscellaneous

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