Seniority Listings showing the Bengal Pilot Service



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/8/6 - Lists of Pilots in the Bengal Pilot Service 1796-1836


This is one of two volumes covering 1796 to 1869 in total. Effectively these are seniority lists in rough alphabetical order.





Lemondine Philip


21 Octr 1805

2nd Mates

1 Feby 1807

1st Mates

14 June 1810


25 Jany 1815

Branch Pilots

25 Novr 1824


Pensioned 1st March 1831



Source: BL: IOR: L/MAR/8/9 - Quarterly Returns and Casualty Returns of Europeans in the Bengal Pilot Establishment January 1854 to October 1862


This is one of three volumes, covering 1836 to 1869. These hand-written lists only cover the Bengal Pilot Service, inasmuch as I have found no evidence of any individuals being on the Bengal Marine’s steamers.

They were compiled seemingly in seniority order (close to but not identical to that in the East-Company Register and Army List). They are in effect, musters, with enough other information to construct ‘service histories’. There are slight differences, depending on their status.

Examples taken from the quarterly return from 1st February to 30th April 1854:-


General Number


No. of Station



J Wells


Branch Pilot

To what Pilot Vefsel attached


Age at the time of Entry Yrs Mths


Time of Entry into the Service

1817 June 11

Time of Service Yrs Mths Dys

26 10 20

When last promoted

1845 May 30th




*        Not shown individually, but every five



For volunteers


General Number


No of Station



D.F. Duncan

To what Pilot Vefsel attached


Age at the time of Entry Yrs Mths

15 4

Date of Certificate of appointment by the Honble the Court of Directors

1850 June 11

Date of arrival Bengal

1850 October 17

By what Ship


Time of Service yrs ms ds

3 6 15





The ‘Casualty’ Lists are self-explanatory except of the categories. These were:-


Suspended, Mifsing, Dismifsed, Dead, Resigned, Discharged, Absence, Pensioner and Promoted.



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