A summary of Liverpool Ships Musters for the year 1812 from records held at The National Archives UK accompanied by an index of the ships created by (c) J. Fawcett
Source: TNA, BT 98/70 Port of Liverpool Musters.
For an overall summary of musters go to Liverpool Ships Musters 1772 – 1850
1812 Liverpool Musters
1812 Musters are not just a record of ships that sailed back into the port of Liverpool in 1812. There are voyages ranging from as early 1805 which were only filed in 1812. And some ships voyages for the year 1812 will not be filed until ensuing years, when they returned to port or when their Master or Agent/Owner fulfilled their obligation to file their ship’s Muster.
Each of the 1812 Musters is usually one page in length. Later these were bundled and bound in a register. Each page consists of a Muster (document) number, the date the Muster was filed, the name of the vessel and her master, and from where the ship came. The exceptions being when make is included (bark, snow, sloop etc) and tonnage, if she belonged to Liverpool and if it was a “return” trip.
Excepting home-ports trade, Musters typically record one voyage but does not include details of every port visited in between.So usually the major port of departure is listed.
The captain, agent or owner of the vessel usually signed a Muster which also records the name of each of the men, their “station” (Mate, Boatswain, Seaman, etc), their Abode, and dates when they ‘signed on’ and were ‘discharged’. Later year’s musters might include the former ships of service, or native place, though this does not seem strictly reliable.
It is usually recorded by date and place when any of the men Deserted (Ran/Run), Died, were Impressed (taken from the ship) for service in the Royal Navy, or if they were left at a port due to poor health. If Impressed, the name of the RN ship is also commonly recorded.
Sometimes there is a notation (written in later years) indicating that seaman achieved further certification (i.e. he obtained a higher rank, such as Boatswain, Engineer, Mate, and Master). These notations are written in a different hand and ink, and usually the man’s name also will have a ‘tick’ next to their name, indicating someone was checking back on earlier records, probably to confirm a seaman’s prior service.
There are 466 vessel Musters for the Port of Liverpool for the year 1812 in BT98/70 which have been indexed, with the exception of documents numbered 243 and 435 (missing). Total tonnage is undeterminable as that information is rarely provided this year. Though 6569 crew were’ declared’, there is a total of 8978 seamen named as some vessels filed more than one voyage per muster, so some men’s names appear more than once per document.
Twenty three of the Musters are for vessels Lost (including the Lovely Lass in Govt. service) as well as those Sold, Captured, Stranded or Supposed Foundered (or Lost) or whalers from The British Fishery. No small coastal boats or vessels seem to have made these particular Musters so tonnage was probably a consideration in determining which vessels needed to file a Muster.
Agents and Owners are recorded by Surname, First Name and their role (A)=Agent, (O)=Owner
Due care has been taken in compiling the index but researchers can contact the author for clarification or view the original documents at TNA.
January 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
February 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
March 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
April 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
May 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
June 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
July 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
August 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
September 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
October 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
November 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters
December 1812 Liverpool Ship Musters