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Slops (seamen's clothing)

Published Sources
Slops were working clothes issued to seamen by the ship’s purser, or a captain undertaking the role of purser.

Clothing was issued to individual seamen as required from stores supplied by the navy board. Heavier, warmer clothing was usually issued to all the ship’s company as a vessel approached colder regions.

Pursers were charged for clothing against their accounts. They in turn charged seamen against the ship’s pay book.

This arrangement was open to abuse by the purser, who could record having sold clothing to men who in the course of a voyage had died or deserted. This then allowed him to claim payment against money due to the next of kin of the dead man, or wages forfeited by deserters. However, clerks of the navy board were alert to the potential for fraud and were likely to query pursers’ accounts showing excessive amounts of clothing issued to men.


Created: 20 March 2004

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000383

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