Many genealogists will find ancestors who spent at least some of their lives in the army during family history research, and it might be that they served long enough to be entitled to a pension. There were two categories of Chelsea pensioner, being in-pensioners and out-pensioners. In-Pensioners were retired pensioners who surrendered their Army Pension and were admitted as residents of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Out-pensioners were those who lived ‘out’ of the Royal Hospital, in the UK or abroad, and received their pension in cash from agents around the country.
Until 1842-1843 payment of out-pensions was made through convenient local officials, such as Excise officers and Chief Constables of Police, but it was then made the responsibility of the Staff Officers of Pensioners who were appointed responsible for a number of districts. They were required to make regular returns to London recording pensioners who had moved into or out of their districts as well as those whose who had died. In 1877 this responsibility passed to Army Paymasters. Since 1882 payment has been through a convenient Post Office.
Originally out-pensions were paid annually in arrears, but since 1754 they have been paid in advance; at first half-yearly; from 1812 quarterly; from 1842 quarterly, monthly or weekly as desired; and from 1877 quarterly.
Do you have military ancestors who may have received a pension? Contact us to find out more today.