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A rum deal : the purser’s measure and accounting control of materials in the Royal Navy, 1665–1832.

McBride, Karen and Hines, Tony and Craig, Russell (2016) 'A rum deal : the purser’s measure and accounting control of materials in the Royal Navy, 1665–1832.', Business hstory., 58 (6). pp. 925-946.


We draw on archival resources and maritime and accounting history literature to explore the role of Royal Navy (RN) pursers between 1665 and 1832. Through an agency theory lens, we investigate accounting-related practices pursers used to control consumable rations, including the ‘purser’s (short) measure.’ The records pursers were required to keep suggest that the RN was at the forefront of the development of cost and materials accounting, and in the keeping of detailed accounting records. We provide fresh insights in to the purser’s role and his association with the gestation of materials waste controls, standard costing, and audit and accountability processes.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Business hstory on 2 March 2016 available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:17 April 2019
Date of first online publication:02 March 2016
Date first made open access:17 April 2019

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