In the name of God Amen

I Robert Abraham of Salt House near Holt Market

In the County of Norfolk and now Purser of her Majesties

Ship Greenwich being in sound mind and perfect memory

Do hereby nominate this my last Will and Testament in

Manner and form following. Impris I give and bequeath unto

My loving Mother Ann Abraham the sum of Twenty ~

Pounds per annum during her life to be paid out of the

Interest of fourteen hundred sixty two pounds being in

two Bills of credit upon my pursering accounts and now in

South Sea Stock. I give to my loving Aunt Elizabeth Daniell in

Plow Alley Wapping the sum of Ten pounds. I give to my

Aunt Tomason Meekins of Blakeney in Holt Hundred in the

County of Norfolk the sum of Ten pounds. I give to my

Cousin Muriall Abraham the sum of five pound. I give to

my cousins Henry Stanforth John Stanforth and Abraham

Stanforth the sum of twenty shillings each. I give to Mr

Henry Beach belonging to the Navy Office the sum of Thirty

Pounds. I give to Mr John White Tallow Chandler in White

Chapple the sum of Ten pounds. I give to Mr William

Cornwall carpenter of Her Majesties Ship Greenwich the sum

Of Ten pounds. I give to my Steward William Pamphillo

The sum of Ten pounds. And I do hereby constitute and

Appoint my loving sister Ann Abraham the wife of Robert

Abraham sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament.

Giving and bequeathing unto my said loving Sister Ann

Abraham all such Lands Tenements sum and sums

Of money as is hereafter mentioned. I give to my Sister two

Houses with the land belonging thereto with two Bills of

Creditt for victualling of fourteen hundred sixty two pounds

Now in the South Sea Stock the Bills being in Mr John White’s

Hand which I desire may be delivered to my Sister upon

Demand after my decease. I give and bequeath unto my

said Sister all such sum and sums of money as may appear

to be due to me by Salary Victualling or any other ways or

means whatsoever. And I further desire that my loving Mother

may have the twenty pounds per annum by me afore

mentioned only paid by this my Executor at the end of

every year during her Life then to return to my Sister

aforesaid and her heires forever and that all other Legacies

by me here appointed may be payed within twelve months

after my decease. And I do hereby appoint Mr Henry

Beach and Mr John White to oversee and inspect into the

performance of this my last Will and Testament Ratifying

and confirming the same to be my last and only Will. As

witness my hand in Port Mahon this third day of February

1714 O.S. And in the Twelfth year of the Reign of our Sovereign

Lady Queen Ann of Great Britain and Ireland. Robt Abraham

Signed sealed and published in the presence of Wm Abernethy

Tho: Slightholme Humpy Hall


Jean Jeggo 2010

From Wikipedia:

A ship's purser (also purser or pusser) [1] is the person on a ship responsible for the handling of money on board. On modern merchant ships the purser is the officer responsible for all administration and supply; frequently the cooks and stewards answer to him/her as well.

The purser joined the warrant officer ranks of the Royal Navy in the early fourteenth century and existed as a Naval rank until 1852. The development of the warrant officer system began in 1040 when five English ports began furnishing warships to King Edward the Confessor in exchange for certain privileges, they also furnished crews whose officers were the Master , Boatswain , Carpenter and Cook . Later these officers were "warranted" by the British Admiralty . Pursers received no pay but were expected to make a profit through their business activities. In the 18th century a purser would buy his warrant for £65 and was required to post sureties totalling £2,100 with the Admiralty. [2] They maintained and sailed the ships and were the standing officers of the navy, staying with the ships in port between voyages as caretakers supervising repairs and refitting. [3]

In charge of supplies such as food and drink, clothing, bedding, candles, the purser was originally known as "the clerk of burser." [3] They would usually charge the supplier a 5% commission for making a purchase and it is recorded they charged a considerable markup when they on-sold the goods to the crew. The purser was not actually in charge of pay, but of necessity had to track it closely, since the crew had to pay for all their supplies, and it was the purser's job to deduct those expenses from their wages. The purser bought everything (except food and drink) on credit, acting almost as a private merchant. In addition to his official responsibilities, it was customary for the purser to act as a literal private merchant for luxuries such as tobacco, and to be the crew's banker.

As a result, the purser could be at risk of losing money and being thrown into debtor's prison ; conversely, the crew and officers habitually suspected the purser of making an illicit profit out of his complex dealings. It was the common practice of pursers forging pay tickets to claim wages for "phantom" crew members that led to the Navy's implementation of muster inspection to confirm who actually worked on a vessel. [2] The position, though unpaid, was very sought after due to the expectation of making a reasonable profit; although there were wealthy pursers, it was due to side businesses facilitated by their ships' travels.


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