dead shares

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An additional allowance of pay enjoyed by the officers and warrant officers of the British Navy in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was achieved by the entry in the ship's muster-book of fictitious names, for which sea pay and victuals were drawn and the proceeds divided among the ship's crew. The scale of payment ranged from 50 shares for an admiral to half a share for the cook's mate. It was introduced during the reign of King Henry VIII (1509–47) and remained in force until 1733. However, from 1695 the proceeds were diverted from the officers and given to Greenwich Royal Hospital to help provide pensions for widows of seamen killed in action.

See also widows' men.

See also widows' men.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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