Agreements and accounts of crew

Scope and Content

The first page of each Agreement and Account of Crew is stamped with "G. R. & R. O." date recieved. It records the name of ship as well as its official number, port of registry (all Leith), port number and date of registry, registered gross and net tonnage and nominal horse-power of engines (if any). It then records the name and address of the registered managing owner and the number of seamen for whom accomodation is certified as well as particulars as to load line. The terms of agreement are detailed, as is the voyage route which includes the outward and inward port as a minimum. The name of the witness to the signing of the agreement is recorded as well as the port and date of commencement of voyage, the port terminated, date of delivery of lists to Superintendent and the signature of the Master. Subsequent pages are numbered and contain the signature of each crew member as well as personal details including nationality, address, dates of joining ship and particulars of discharge. Entries also record wages and capacity in which they served. Thereafter entries record certificates or indorsements made by consuls or by Officers in British possessions abroad. Some agreements made before the 20th century also contain details of apprentices, deaths and marriages onboard. Some of the agreements are half-yearly agreements for when the ship was engaged in home trade only.

Agreements are for the following ships and dates:

Administrative / Biographical History

The Merchant Shipping Act of 1835 introduced the requirement for the Master of every ship, except ships of less than 80 tons exclusively employed in the coasting trade, to enter into an agreement with each member of his crew as to the conditions of their employment, including rates of pay as well as penalties to pay in the event of breaking any of the terms of contract. These agreements, sanctioned by The Board of Trade, took the form of documents called an Agreement and Account of Crew. These documents are also commonly referred to as Ship's Articles. Such agreements were drawn up by the Masters of the Wm Thomson & Co Baltic ships, before and after their incorporation as The Leith and St. Petersburg Shipping Co for each voyage undertaken by each ship.


Arranged chronologically within 8 subseries, which are arranged aphabetically by ship name.