New Military Finance 1797

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Extracts concentrating on regulations and procedures for the Paymaster General of the Forces and Regimental Paymasters from : 

"The New Military Finance" published by Lieutenant Nathaniel Hood 1804


THE many alterations which have taken place in the military department since the first publication of the Old Finance and now differing so far from its arrangements have induced me to undertake a modification of its obsolete antiquity, for the necessary purpose of affording the true official information to every individual concerned in the general line and branches of the Army.

It must reflect a satisfaction to all ranks from the highest downward to have an immediate recourse to the information of rights, and know the different allowances each is entitled to by His MAJESTY's most gracious pleasure.

To meet this object, I have availed myself of the most important, yet simple measures: comprehending, within the compass of a small scale, those Regulations now in force, as, in the power of their existence, cancel and annul all others of a former date, not corresponding with the times.

The time may come when this will have its errors too: but as I presume, it is time only, with its subsequent alterations, can have the effect, I trust at present, it will be found useful, and in every respect, satisfactory, according to the general Regulations formed and warranted by Royal Authority:--on which I found the whole of my proceeding.


London Sept 1. 1804.


George Rose & Lord Charles Somerset

PMGs July 1804 - February 1806

Instructions for the Paymaster General

Whenever money is wanted for the services of the army the paymaster general is by a memorial delivered to the treasury to state the particular sums wanted and to pray that they may be issued to the governor and company of the Bank of England on his account.

On receiving this memorial the commissioners of His Majesty's treasury for the time being are to direct the auditor of the exchequer to issue the sum required to the officers of the bank in the same manner as they have heretofore been issued to the paymasters general and all such monies so issued are to be placed to an account kept in the books of the governor and company of the bank of England entitled "The Account of the Paymastergeneral of His Majesty's Forces" and the name of such paymaster general for the time being specified so that henceforward no money is to be paid immediately from the exchequer into the hands of the paymaster general, but that officer, or his deputy, is to draw occasionally for all army services upon the bank inserting in his drafts the heads of service to which the sums therein mentioned are to be applied In the first memorial of each month to the treasury the paymaster general is to specify the balance of public money then lying in the bank on his account which balance on the death or removal of a paymaster is to vest in his successor.

He is also to make up an annual account from the 24th of December to the 24th of December following of the ordinary and extraordinary services of the army entitled The Account of the Paymaster general of His Majesty's Forces to be signed and attested by every paymaster general who may have paid or discharged any part of the said account  This account is to be transmitted together with proper vouchers to the auditor of the imprest who is within six months to examine it and if found satisfactory to present it to the proper officer for declaration after which an acquittance in the usual form is to be given to the paymaster.

Instructions for Regimental Paymasters January 1798

Paymasters in the corps of the line are not to hold any other commission, to rank as captains in their respective regiments, have baggage and forage money the same, and to chuse rooms in barracks or quarters according to the dates of their commissions, but not to have any military command. They are to give security to the Secretary at War for the time being; themselves in £2000 and two sureties in £1000 each. In the militia the security is each £1000 and their sureties £500 each. The above sums to become forfeit on proof of malefaction neglect of duty or consideration directly or indirectly given to obtain the appointment. In regiments of the line their pay is 15s per day; in the militia they are allowed to hold another commission, and their pay made up to the above sum, they hold their situation by a commission from His MAJESTY, and are not removable but by his command, or the sentence of a general court martial.

When there is a vacancy in any regiment of a paymaster, the accounts are to be taken by the major, or if he is absent the commanding officer, and the two next officers in seniority are to act as a committee, to make up and transmit the pay lists and other accounts to the agent; for which trouble, by special application to the Secretary at War, they will be remunerated.

When a paymaster is appointed to a regiment on foreign service, he is only allowed 5s per day till he joins: the remainder going to those who do the duty in his absence. A clerk is allowed to the paymaster who is not borne in addition to the number of the corps for which an allowance of 1s 6½d is made per day. The paymaster has an allowance of £20 per annum for postage and stationary.

By His Majesty's Command the following Instructions are for the guidance of Paymasters January 19 1798

1. The paymaster is to make out monthly pay lists of the corps to which he belongs to the 24th of each month inclusive being the day to which the men are required to be accounted with according to the King's regulation. He is also to make up monthly, under their respective heads, accounts of the different regimental services for which payments have been made within the period.

2. The paymaster, whose office includes that of muster master, is also to muster the corps he belongs to by his pay list on the 24th of each month. The adjutant is to produce at the said musters, monthly rolls made up by himself, which are to be compared with the pay lists, and to be certified by the commanding officer.

3. These monthly lists and rolls are to be made out by troops or companies according, to the seniority of their respective captains.

4. The names of the serjeants, corporals, trumpeters, drummers, and privates are each to be arranged in their several troops or companies, in alphabetical order, without any regard to the period, whether complete or broken, for which they may have been paid.

5. The officers and men absent are to be stated in their proper place accordingly, in the paymaster's list, as well as in the adjutant's rolls. No charge however is to be inserted in the paymaster's lists, but for persons and times for which payment has actually and bona fide been made by the paymaster, within the period of the account.

6. Opposite to the name of each individual for whom a charge is made, are to be inserted the dates from, and to, and the number of days for which he has been paid; as also the amount paid to him.

7. The pay issued to commissioned officers present, is to be separately vouched by their signatures in the column of Remarks, opposite to the sum charged for each of them respectively; and the amount of pay of the non commissioned officers and privates of each troop or company, by certificates signed by the officers commanding the same respectively, and the sum is to be inserted in words at length in their own hand writing.

8. In the column of Remarks, all persons of the regiment, absent, or charged for broken periods, as well as those whose names, as belonging to the same troop or company, have not appeared in the preceding,, or are likely not to be found in the subsequent pay list, are to be particularly accounted for. When men are charged for the first time in the paymaster's list, the ground for which the charge is made to commence, from the date stated, must be shewn; and if subsisted before, it must be specified at what place and by whom.

9. No transfer of men from one troop or company to another, is to be permitted to take place but on the 25th day of the month, being the period of commencement of each monthly account.

10. Paymasters of regiments at home are to supply all the recruiting parties of the corps to which they belong, with money for subsistence and other services, as the officers commanding the said parties will not be allowed to draw on the agent.

Paymasters may issue subsistence for the said parties monthly in advance: the issues for the other branches of the recruiting service are to be made from time to time, and to such amount only, as occasion may require and as shall be approved and cetified by the officer commanding the regiment.

The officers commanding the several recruiting parties are to transmit to the head quarters of the respective corps to which they belong (in time to be annexed to the paymaster's monthly pay lists, and to be included in his general state) monthly accounts of their recruiting disbursements, distinguishing under their several heads, the sums actually paid by them within the month. The attestations of all recruits raised within the month, and the certificates of intermediate approbation, if any are also to be transmitted with the said monthly recruiting accounts. These accounts are to be vouched by certificates from the officers commanding the parties respectively, in like manner as the monthly accounts for the several companies, and are to be further authenticated by the signature of the officer commanding the regiment

11. Paymasters of regiments serving abroad, are to take recruits into their pay list only from the time to which they shall have been subsisted on embarkation. A paymaster will be appointed to each recruiting district at home, who is to account for the respective parties within the same, till their arrival at the depôt,. or place of embarkation.

12. To each monthly account is to be annexed a state of the effects and credits or debts of the non commissioned officers and private men deceased, or who may have deserted within the said month

13. When any deductions are to be made from the soldier on account of victualling, either at stations abroad, or on the passage thereto, the paymaster is to charge only the nett subsistence paid to the men, agreeably to the rates specified in the schedule annexed to the regulation of the 5th of July 1797, respecting the pay of corps serving out of Great Britain, which rates are stated therein under the head of Nett pay.

14. The monthly pay lists and accounts are to be vouched by certificates from the commanding officer and adjutant, and by an affidavit from the paymaster, in the words assigned for each of them respectively in the printed forms. The sums, and in cavalry regiments, the number of troop horses also, are to be inserted in the paymaster's affidavit, in words at length, in the hand-writing of the paymaster, and without any erasure; after which the affidavit is to be taken before the mayor or chief magistrate of the town where the regiment is stationed, in the presence of the commanding officer and adjutant, and to be further authenticated by their signatures as witnesses.

15. Monthly pay lists, and accounts of the same kind, are also to be made up for distant detachments and parties, at the above mentioned period, by the respective commanding officers, who are to be responsible in the first instance for the said lists and accounts; and to transmit them, authenticated by themselves, to head quarters, where they are to be annexed to the regimental lists and accounts.

16. Paymasters' lists and accounts are to be transmitted regularly, and by the earliest opportunities, to the agents . From regiments at home they are to be dispatched on or before the first day of the month subsequent to that in which they terminate They are to be sent in an open envelope, under cover, to the Secretary at War, accompanied by a duplicate of the general state, for the immediate use of the War Office. The adjutant's rolls are to be transmitted to the War Office at the same times as the pay lists and accounts, but under separate covers.

17. Paymasters of regiments stationed abroad are to transmit, by the earliest opportunities of a separate conveyance, duplicates of all the monthly pay lists and accounts for the agents, and of the general states for the use of the War Office These duplicates are to be addressed in like manner as the originals

18. The pay lists thus made out and authenticated, will be deemed to have the full credit and authority of muster rolls, and to be entire and incontrovertible vouchers. The accounts will be settled upon them finally; and no subsequent appeal will be admitted on those parts to which they extend; as to the other parts no alteration will be allowed after settlement.

19, Paymaster's lists and adjutant's rolls, with the certificate and affidavit required, must be agreeable to the appointed form.

Orders have been given from the War Office for the supply of paymaster's lists and adjutant's rolls adapted, to the different establishments, upon application from the respective agents, And the expence thereof not exceeding the numbers hereafter mentioned, will be allowed to be charged in the public accounts.

Two books of paymaster's lists, two of adjutant's rolls, and one separate copy of the general state, per month, for each of the regiments stationed at home Three books of paymaster's lists two of adjutant's rolls and two separate copies of the general state per month, for each regiment stationed abroad

20. Paymasters of regiments, whether at home or abroad, are not to advance or issue any money for services not provided for by the King's regulations, unless a special direction shall have been previously obtained by the commanding officer from the Secretary at War, if the corps is at home, or, if abroad, from the general or other officer commanding in chief on the station; with this exception, that if the services should be so sudden and pressing as not to admit of the previous application, in that case the paymaster may advance or issue the sum required, on a positive order in writing from the commanding officer of the corps such commanding officer engaging to be responsible for the same, until the consent of the Secretary at War, or of the general, or other officer commanding in chief as aforesaid, shall have been obtained. It is further to be observed, that in requisitions of this kind, on foreign stations, the charges, when consented to, are not to be placed in the accounts of the corps, but are to be defrayed by the respective officers commanding in chief, and charged in their accounts with government.

21 If a corps shall be stationed in any place abroad, for which there is no acting deputy paymaster general, the paymaster shall be responsible for negotiating his bills at the most favourable rate of exchange that can be obtained, and at the least possible commission. He shall note on each bill the course of exchange at which the same is drawn. He will also be held accountable for all the money he shall procure for bills negotiated by him, as aforesaid, and shall give credit for the same in the regimental accounts of the period; annexing as his voucher for the amount, a certificate or certificates, under the signature of two respectable merchants. In case of actual loss the amount shall be charged and certified in like manner.

22. As to all points not specially provided for in these instructions, the paymaster is to have recourse to the previous regulations, respecting pay, allowances, recruiting, and contingent disbursements; and as it must be well known in corps, what parts of the several regulations, relative to these heads of service, had ceased to be in force prior to the 24th of December last, it is expected and required, that any inexperienced paymaster who may be appointed under the new system shall be furnished with all necessary information in this respect by, or by order of the commanding officer of the corps to which he may belong. Should any further inquiry be found requisite, the paymaster is to apply to the regimental agent, who can refer to the War Office, if there should be occasion.

23 Paymasters are to be amenable, in the ordinary course, to martial law for every part of their conduct which may appear inconsistent with military discipline, the rules of the service, or the obedience due to the colonel or commanding officer of the corps, or other their superior officer, but shall not be liable to receive orders touching the manner of making up their pay lists and accounts, unless under a special instruction, in writing from the officer commanding in chief on the station, if abroad; or if at home, from the KING, through the Commander in Chief of the forces, or the Secretary at War.

24 In case of imputed misdemeanour in the execution of office, it shall be in the power of the commanding officer in chief on the station, if abroad (but of no other), to suspend them from duty, until proper inquiry can be made into the charges alledged, and to provide in such manner as he, the said officer commanding in chief, shall think fit for the temporary supply of the department.

25 In case of a paymaster's death, or incapacity from accident, his papers of accounts shall be taken into the possession of the major, if present, if not of the commanding officer, and the two officers next in seniority, who are to act as a committee of paymastership, and to make up and transmit the several pay lists and accounts above specified, at the same periods and under the like regulations as are prescribed for paymasters until further provision.

26 Paymasters once appointed shall not be removable, except by command of the KING, or by the sentence of a general court martial.

27 Paymasters of regular regiments, not being allowed to hold regimental commissions, will receive a special military commission under the sign manual: but they are in no shape whatever to have claim to military rank.

28 Pay at the rate of fifteen shillings will be annexed to the paymaster's commission, but is to commence only from the time of his joining: till his arrival at head quarters, the person or persons executing the duties of the paymastership, according to the present regulations, will receive 10s per day from the commencement of such duty: and the paymaster himself, if his corps is serving abroad, will receive 15s per day from the date of his embarkation to join.

29 Each paymaster will be allowed £20 per annum for postage and stationary.

30 In regiments of militia, where officers hold the paymastership with their regimental commissions, they are exempt from all duties with arms, and their daily pay is made up to 15s the difference being placed as an extra charge under the head of Paymaster, The rate of baggage and forage money, and the choice of quarters, will be regulated in every instance, by the paymaster's regimental commission.

31 Till the appointment of a paymaster takes place, the officer or officers executing the duties of that department, according to the new regulations, will have the former allowances continued to them.

32 A charge will be admitted in the accompts of the respective regiments for the paymaster's stationary and postage.

Infantry per annum

For 180 and under 300 men £10

For 360 and under 500 men £15

For 500 and upwards            £20

For cavalry more or less       £20

February 6 1799 GEORGE R

Whereas we think it expedient, as well for the sake of uniformity, as with the view of simplifying the accompts of the non commissioned officers and men of our forces, and of facilitating the settlement thereof, to order that the deductions to be taken in certain cases, from the pay of our said non commissioned officers and men, shall hereafter be the same for all ranks, and in all corps under the like circumstances of service; our will and pleasure, is that instead of the several deductions specified in the schedule annexed to our warrant of the 5th day of July 1797, and in any subsequent regulations issued from the office of our Commander in Chief, or Secretary at War, there shall be taken a deduction of 6d a day from the full pay of every serjeant, corporal, trumpeter, drummer, fifer, and private man of our regiments, when serving out of Great Britain, on stations at which provisions are supplied by the public also; when embarked in transports, or other vessels, (except while serving as marines or during their passage to and from India, at the expence of the East India Company); also when prisoners of war, and maintained at the expence of Great Britain; and likewise when in general hospitals, either at home or abroad; in which several cases a stoppage from the pay of our troops, on account of provisions, has always been made.

And it is our will and pleasure that there shall be made a deduction of 3½d a day from the full pay of each of the above, when stationed in Jamaica, in New South Wales, at Gibraltar (the loss by exchange at the latter place continuing as before), and while on their passage to and from India, at the expense of the East India Company; in which several cases no stoppage has heretofore been made on account of provisions.

It is our further will and pleasure, that while any of the non commissioned officers and men shall serve as marines, they shall not be liable to any deduction whatever from their full pay, on account of provisions.

And it is our will and pleasure that the deductions aforementioned shall be considered as commencing, in regard to the troops at home, from the 25th day of February 1799, inclusive and in regard to the troops abroad, from the 25th day of April 1799, inclusive or as soon thereafter as this our warrant shall have been received by the respective officers commanding on foreign stations, and shall have been given out in general orders, according to the custom of our service

Given at our Court at St James's this 6th day of February 1799 in the 39th year of our reign,

By his Majesty's command


Additional Instructions May 11 1801

1 Every regimental paymaster shall between the 14th and 17th of each month, lay before the commanding officer an estimate, according to the prescribed form, of the sums that shall appear to be necessary for the services of the regiment, to be defrayed by the paymaster, during the period commencing on the 25th of that month, and ending on the 24th of the month following, both inclusive, distinctly stated under each head of service; and he shall, at the same time, add or deduct at the foot, of the estimate, the probable amount of the sum that will remain in his hands, or be due from the public, on the 24th of the month in which the estimate shall be prepared. The paymaster will also insert, in the column allotted for that purpose, the names of the officers, and the number of non commissioned officers and private men, belonging to the regiment, who are not expected to be paid through the paymaster for the same period.

The commanding officer shall examine the said estimate, and if satisfied, as to the numbers and other circumstances upon which the same shall have been formed, he is to sign the certificate subjoined thereto; and to cause the estimate and a duplicate thereof, to be transmitted to the Secretary at War, so that the same may be received at the War office in due course of post, on or before the 23d of the month.

2 If after the said estimate shall have been transmitted as before directed, unexpected occurrences should make it appear that the total amount of the estimate would be insufficient to defray the services of the period, a supplementary estimate of the farther sum wanted for that purpose in which should be fully explained the occasion of the deficiency, is to be prepared and certified as above mentioned, and together with a duplicate thereof, to be sent off under the orders of the commanding officer, who is to be responsible for its being done, before any bills shall be drawn on account of such deficiency.

3 The draughts or requisitions of the paymasters founded, upon the said estimates, shall be made for such sums only, and at such intervals within the month, as shall be absolutely necessary to enable them to defray the services regularly, and at the periods, when by the custom of the army, they are usually defrayed. If at any time it shall appear to the agent, that this rule is not duly attended to, the agent is to make a representation thereupon to the commanding officer, who will, without loss of time, inquire into the circumstances that may have rendered it expedient for the paymaster to increase the amount of his draughts beyond the usual proportion; and will, with all convenient dispatch, communicate to the agent the result of his inquiries, with his opinion relative thereto, in order that the same may, if necessary, be laid befere the Secretary at War.

4 No draught or requisition whatever shall be deemed valid and of proper authority by the agent unless expressing all the services for which it shall be made (distinguishing the proportion for each), and referring to the particular estimate in which such service shall have been included.

5 The paymaster's draughts on the agents shall not in future be made payable after date; but at the greatest number of days after sight, at which the paymasters may be able to negotiate their bills at par. If upon particular occasions it should be found necessary to draw at sight, the paymasters are hereby required to send letters of advice to the agents, one day at least before that on which they shall issue their draughts, specifying in the said letters the total amount of each bill to be drawn, and the proportional sum included therein, for each head of service: and the paymasters will be held responsible for any detriment that his Majesty's service may suffer, in consequence of the non payment of any bill of which the agent shall not have been advised as above directed, unless in any particular instance, wherein it shall be proved, that it was impossible to give such previous advice.

6 The services charged in each month shall be invariably and completely liquidated within the same, out of the monies drawn or remitted for them; and the captains of troops and companies, or the officers duly appointed to pay troops and companies, are hereby required to attend particularly to this rule, as they are, and will be held, severally responsible for any misapplication in the amount of the sums issued to each of them by the paymaster, in regular course, for the use of their respective troops or companies.

7 In every pay list the paymaster shall give credit, distinctly and separately, for all the sums drawn by, or required to be remitted to him, for the services of the month for which the pay list is made, distinguishing therein the estimated sum drawn, or required to be remitted, for each head of service, the date of each draught or requisition, the period when payable, and to whom; he shall also constantly notice them in like manner, in his abstracts for the agent; and in the last paragraph of his affidavit, shall accordingly include the sums that shall have been required to be remitted as well as those received.

8 The paymaster shall keep a book, in which shall be regularly entered, on one side the total sums charged in each month; and on the opposite side, all the draughts and requisitions made by him on the public service of the regiment; the amount of each draught or requisition, the period when, and the persons to whom payable; classing them in both instances under the respective heads of service as drawn or paid.

9 The said several sums are to be added up correctly in the book by the paymaster, as soon as possible after the termination of each of the monthly periods of account, in the manner pointed out in the prescribed form; so as to shew at one view, the total amount of the payments and receipts from the 25th of December, up to the latest period in each year; the said books are to be always open to the inspection of the commanding officer, and to that of any inspecting general officer, if demanded and a duplicate thereof signed by the paymaster, is to be transmitted to the Secretary at War, with the supplementary pay list required by the 12th article of these instructions.

10 When officers or parties( not having been subsisted through the regimental paymaster) shall join in the course of the month, the paymaster will give immediate notice thereof to the agent, specifying the name of each officer, and the number of each party, and also require information as to the periods to which they may have respectively been subsisted by the agent or district paymaster, in order that he may issue their pay accordingly.

11 When officers or parties, shall leave the regiment in the course of the month the paymaster will give immediate notice thereof to the agent, specifying the name of each officer, the number and destination of each party, inform the agent to what periods they have been respectively subsisted by him; and from whom, and in what manner, they are to receive subsistence in future The agent will, without delay, make the necessary communication to the district paymaster accordingly.

12 In regard to services, which, from particular circumstances may not have been defrayed before the termination of the year to which they belonged, and cannot therefore be included in the last monthly pay list of the year, they are to be charged distinctly in a supplementary manuscript pay list, to be vouched in like manner as the monthly pay lists, as to the actual payment of the sums charged, in conformity of the regulations: the said supplementary pay list to be closed and exactly balanced, and to be transmitted, with a duplicate of the general state thereof, for the use of the agent, immediately after the 24th of March ensuing. Estimates of the sums wanted for these services are to be prepared and transmitted at the earliest opportunity and draughts and ,requisitions for the same are to be made according to the rules prescribed in articles 2 and 5 of these instructions.

Ration Allowances 1802


Sample Army Pay Rates issued June 1802
Showing the Daily, Monthly and Yearly cost of a Regiment's Pay



Editorial Notes:

The position of Paymaster General of the Forces was abolished in 1836 on the creation of the post of Her Majesty's Paymaster General.   This post was created  by the merger of the positions of Paymaster of the Forces, Treasurer of the Navy, Paymaster and Treasurer of Chelsea Hospital and Treasurer of the Ordnance. From 1848 to 1868, the post was held concurrently with that of Vice-President of the Board of Trade. The first holder of the post, in 1836, was Henry Parnell, the First Baron Congleton.  


In 1848 a new Royal Warrant & Regulations for Army Services was published by the War Office. See here!

The John Clarke Cup

This very fine George II (1752) silver cup, an example of how well regarded were some "New Military Finance" Paymasters, was identified in a silversmiths by a former RAPC officer, Brigadier DE Grant. He realised the strong connection it had with his Corps and with funds from retired and serving officers of the Corps it was purchased.


John Clarke became the paymaster of the South Worcester Volunteers on 7th May 1804 and to take up his appointment he had to provide a bond of £1000 as a guarantee of his future honesty! He also had to find two sureties, each to deposit an additional £500 each! After three years exceptional service, the cup was presented on the day that Lt Clarke was promoted to captain.

The inscription reads:


By the Officers of the



Lieut John Clarke

their Paymaster

In testimony of his zeal & attention

to the duties of the Regiment

23 Nov 1807

Editorial Note:

in 1992 with the formation of the AGC, the cup along with all other RAPC Officers' Mess silver items was passed to the AGC, who initially failing to recognise the unique nature of this cup, re-designated and had it engraved on the reverse for use by the Army Legal Services as their Golf Championship Trophy!!

It was recovered into RHQ AGC in 2009!