Bengal Marine Establishment and Casualty Lists



Source: BL: IOR: L/MAR/8/11 - List of Europeans employed in the Bengal Marine Department, giving name and rank, casualty returns, condition of pilot vessels May 1793-Dec 1833

Fragmentary for the 1790s, these are seniority lists through from the master attendant; his deputies; the senior pilot, and down through pilots, masters, mates, boatswains and seamen. It must be stated that they do not show which vessels they were serving on, although some show dates, presumably of arrival or taking that station.

The Casualty lists can be highly enlightening.

For the more senior individuals, from c.1814 reference should also be made to publications such as the Calcutta Annual Register and Directory and The Bengal Almanac.

Also, for those interested there are lists of their vessels; giving their rigs; where and when built; when last coppered; and their present conditions. Most, but not all, also give their dispositions.



Source: BL: IOR: L/MAR/8/12 - Statements and abstracts of the Bengal Marine Establishment as of the 1 May 1834. Includes lists of Europeans and Indian members of staff and their dependants drawing salaries or pensions; accounts for each department, list of steam vessels and their crews 1834

Again compiled as a seniority list, this is highly useful for all sorts of research reasons. In relation to seagoing craft, these are under useful headings, identifying their type, dispositions and duties (from steam vessels through to hulks).



Source: BL: IOR: L/MAR/8/13 - Lists of seamen employed by the Bengal Marine Establishment, giving name, vessel to which attached, date and place of discharge and wages due; with separate casualty lists giving name, vessels to which attached, date and place of casualty and wages due January 1811 to 7 September 1821

This relates only to seamen of the service’s ‘Cruizers and Surveying Vefsels’. Compiled by vessel, it would appear that only men that had been discharged (for any reason including joining H.M. Navy and death), pensioned or that were absent that are shown. This was a list drawn up in September 1821, but some entries go back as far as January 1811

The casualty lists only mention those dead and normally give the place and date.



Source: BL: IOR: L/MAR/8/14 - Bengal Marine Department and Steam Engineers Establishment Returns and Casualty Lists September 1848 to December 1852

This is one of two volumes, covering 1848 to 1869 in total. The catalogue states:-

‘Returns for officers, petty officers and seamen of the Bengal Marine Department, giving name, rank, dates of appointment to present rank and entry into government service. Returns of engineers, boiler makers, artificers and apprentices attached to the Bengal Steam Engineers Establishment (plus abstracts of the returns) giving name, race, rank, rate of pay, dates of appointment to present rank and entry into government service. Lists of casualties and staff changes in the Bengal Marine Department and Steam Engineers Establishment, including name, rank and nature of casualty’.

Although hand-written, damaged and faded in places, these are excellent records. It should also be pointed out that these primarily relate to the steam organisation. While some sailing vessels are mentioned, seemingly not all and only their principal officers.



Source: BL: IOR: L/MAR/8/16 - Staff Lists for the Bengal Marine Establishments, giving name, dates of entry into government service and appointment to present position, monthly and annual rate of pay 21st March 1873 to 31st March 1874

Compiled by establishment and vessel, there are two of these listings, for March of both years. In describing the vessels, there is some basic technical information and dispositions. Native crewmembers are sometimes mentioned by name, but not always.



Source: BL: IOR: L/MAR/8/18 - Bengal Civil and Marine Departments Casualty List December 1856 to February 1864

 This is one of two volumes, covering 1824 to 1864. There is a neat, alphabetical index at the front. The reports tend to follow a simple format and denote those resigned, pensioned, dismissed and dead (at sea and otherwise, such as by suicide). Only officers down to volunteers are shown. There are no petty officers, European seamen or natives.



Go to the main Bengal Marine Page

Go to the main Bombay Marine Page

Go to the main H.E.I.C. Page