Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: How was a Greenwich Out-Pension paid?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:15 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:40 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Sunderland, England
Some of you may remember that I have various posts on here about my ggg.grandfather Barney Appleby.
I know he was awarded a Greenwich out-pension, for life, in December 1814 (for a lame hand) and he received that untill his death in 1857. This was £14-0-0d per annum, paid at £3-10-0d quarterly. I have numerous documents of the award, the payment records and other mentions of him being a Greenwich Pensioner, including his death cert.

My question is - how would that have been paid out to him?

He lived in Sunderland and I believe that is where the monies were paid to him (or possibly a Newcastle 'office'). Would he have gone to a special office and collected them, or a local bank? Would he have to have taken the cash away home with him or again, would he have some 'bank' account or 'pension' account and drawn cash as he needed it?
A conversion on TNA site suggests, over the period, £3-10s was equivelent to 11-24 days pay for a skilled man, so a tidy sum to be carrying around.
Anyone any thoughts, please?

Cheers, MTS

I have asked this on another forum (Napoleonic Wars Forum) - but thought I'd spread the question around a bit. Sorry if some of you are seeing this twice

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 Post subject: Re: How was a Greenwich Out-Pension paid?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2023 5:24 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 9:32 pm
Posts: 31
Better late than never...

His out-Pension would have been available to pick up in person once every 3 months. Anyone attempting perpetrating "benefit fraud" would be in trouble, as impersonating a Greenwich or a Chelsea out-Pensioner was punishable by death! I would have thought that some kind of docket was issued when a pension was granted, and thereafter the clerk would know the out-Pensioner.

Whilst better than nothing, the out-Pensioner would have had a "day job" of some description, quite often being an agricultural labourer. Given that marines were recruited away from port cities, with The Enclosure Act and the automation of the textile industry being the "push" that made men join the marines, they will have tried to go back to whatever profession they had held prior to enlistment. The out-Pensioner and former marine John Milham appears as an agricultural labour on the census, I recall.

The out-Pensioner would attend a Pay Office to collect said pension. Several Pay Offices would be in a Pay District. I am guessing that either Newcastle or Durham would be the Pay District under which your man's Pay Office related to. Here is a partially completed listing.

I got the impression that the logistics of communicating the Naval General Service Medal & the Military General Service Medal to the masses, that had survived, was facilitated by these Pay Offices. The out-Pensioner would have been able to make an application via the Pay Office. Any medals to be issued could be done so via the Pay Office, in the same manner that their quarterly payment was done in a secure manner.

The clerks of the Pay Districts would undertake "variance analysis" reporting. This would document newly admitted out-Pensioners, and those who had died, for whom no further out-Pension payments would be forthcoming. Those that have survived have been collated in the WO 22 series of archival records. FindMyPast digitised these records in 2016, if I remember rightly.

Whilst army service does seem to have had the pension as a deferred remuneration, I got the impression from Bruno Pappalardo's book on navy records, and Matthew Little's book on Royal Marine genealogy, that navy pensions were for the "deserving poor" who were "worn out" or injured only.

It is a shame that the Napoleonic Wars forum is no more. There is the following alternative, but it has more land-based content:


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