19th Century Royal Navy

Miscellaneous Notes

  1. 1623, Slop clothing instituted.

  2. 1666, Gratuities for wounds granted to Captains

  3. 1670, Captain's Clerks instituted.

  4. 1673, Half pay first granted to a limited number of Captains.

  5. 1675, Half pay extended to a limited number of masters.

  6. 1683 Victualling Commissioners appointed and victualling by contract abolished.

  7. 1694, Greenwich Hospital established.

  8. 1702, Proclamation establishing prize money shares.

  9. 1748, Uniform for officers introduced.

  10. 1757, establishment of regular methods of payment of their wages enabling seamen to remit or allot monies to support of their wives.

  11. 1777, Bill to abolish Press defeated.

  12. 1782, Steele's Navy List first published.

  13. 1793, Rank of Commander introduced.

  14. 1795, New Act for raising seamen establishes a quota to come from each county.

  15. 1796, Pay and half pay of lieutenants raised.

  16. 1797, Mutinies at Spithead and Nore. Pay to be improved. Men to receive full rations instead of only seven-eighths and "Savings" to be officially recognised.

  17. It is of importance to Commerce that our Naval Officers should be informed, it is not requisite, on retaking a vessel, to bring or send her into port, in order to be entitled to salvage, or to ascertain its amount. It has been recently established, in the Case of Sir E. Pellew, that notes from the papers of the recapture, with the affidavit of three of the crew (which every captain of a man of war is competent to take), is sufficient evidence; and that to detain a ship to the possible loss of her voyage, instead of permitting her to pursue it immediately, is as unnecessary as injurious. Naval Chronicle p. 31 Vol. 1, 1799.

  18. Circa Apr 1801 to ameliorate the situation of Pilots on board his Majesty's vessels, by giving them births in their respective ships (to which they have not hitherto been entitled), and by placing them in a more respectable situation in other circumstances, with respect to the Officers and crews of such vessels, than they have before experienced.

  19. Circa June 1801 the Naval Chronicle observes that the Channel Fleet is now victualled, by sending out live bullocks, and plenty of vegetables, in every vessel that sails from Plymouth to join it, the seamen have regularly three dinners of fresh beef and vegetables in the week. The expence is trifling to Government, while the benefits derived from this system, in preserving the health, and adding to the comforts, of our brave seamen and marines, is incalculable.

  20. 1 Jul 1801 orders were issued this day from the Sick and Hurt Board, by order of the Admiralty, that in future all officers of the Royal Navy who come on shore on sick quarter tickets, from their respective ships, are not to be as heretofore in private lodgings, but to repair to the officers wards in the Royal Naval Hospital at Stonehouse, in this port, which have been recently fitted up for the purpose of receiving such sick or wounded officers as may want the assistance of the Physicians, &c. of this truly noble fabric.

  21. circa 23 Jul 1801 the Malta, Capt Bertie, and Texel, Capt Incledon, are now ordered to be stationed at St Helen's, for the purpose of examining all vessels coming into Portsmouth harbour, and preventing any designs that may be formed by the enemy. Similar orders have been issued to the other Port Admirals ; and all Captains and other officers are enjoined to sleep on board their respective ships.

  22. 10 Oct 1801 following the signing of the Peace of Amiens of circa 3 Oct the Admiralty have issued orders to each port to suspend all hostile operations against France, Spain and Holland. Orders for 20,000 hogs and 6 - 7,000 head of cattle have been cancelled by Mr Mealish, Contractor for the Navy.

  23. 12 Oct 1801 the Admiralty has ordered a number of vessels to be paid off at Portsmouth following the signing of the Peace of Amiens. And as an innovative step forward to ensure that the men don't lose their hard earned money when they're paid off, they will be paid a small sum in advance, before leaving the vessel, so assist with their travel home, along with an order to their local Provincial Collector of Excise, Customs or Taxes to be paid upon the men "reaching their houses."

  24. 15 Oct 1801 it was announced in the Downs that the cutter with a signal for a convoy for the Westward, has struck the signal and that it appears that in future vessels will depart independently.
  25. 16 Oct 1801 orders were sent down to Dr. Blane, one of the Commissioners of the Hurt and Sick Board, to pay off all the Assistant Surgeons and Dispensers at the Mill Prison, orders having been issued for the convalescent and invalid prisoners and boys to be sent home in cartels to France directly.

  26. 23 Oct 1801 orders came down to Plymouth for 8 of the hired armed vessels to strip for paying off when ordered.

  27. 1801 It is noted that Great Britain have not forgotten how much of her consequence this country owes to her Naval Power, which derives no small portion of its strength from the constant supplies of seamen that our Newfoundland Fishery affords ; one of the conditions on which a vessel is allowed to engage in that lucrative trade being, that of taking on board three men who have never been at sea for one regular seaman : thus training every year many thousands for the future service of the country. Obviously this predates 1801. N.C.

  28. 1802, St. Vincent's visitation of the dockyards, with a view to making further attempts to reduce corruption.

  29. 2 Jan 1801 daily newspapers report that the Lords of the Admiralty have sent orders for an immediate reduction to take place in the fresh consumption of fresh beef on board all HM Ships employed on home service ; and for substituting salt provisions in part, with flour, suet and raisins, in the usual proportions.

  30. 11 Jan 1802 from the Evening Mail it is understood that it is the intention of the Lords of the Admiralty, amongst many other things, that the pursers of ships that are to be sold or broken up at the conclusion of the War, are to be provided for by giving them an adequate compensation to the Pay etc. of their former ships, until vacancies occur.

  31. 18 Jan 1802 the following notice was stuck up at the entrance of Sheerness Dockyard :
    Navy Office, 30 Dec 1801, Sir, In pursuance of the direction of the Right Hon. the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, signified in Mr Marsdon's letter of 28th instant, we desire you will not allow any seaman or marine landing at the Dockyard to pass the gates, or to enter the Yard from without. We are, Sir, Your humble servants, A.S. Hammond, H. Duncan, J. Henslow, Commissioner Coffin.

  32. 17 Feb 1802, as in Sep 1783, following the signing of the Definitive Treaty, it has been ordered that when ships are paid off at Plymouth, and other home ports, that the seamen who belong to Ireland, Scotland, Liverpool and other distant ports, are to be sent round to the respective homes in tenders, free of expense.

  33. 20 Mar 1802 the following Pro Forma Template for captains to draw up when the Their Lordships have ordered a ship to be paid off appeared in the Morning Post newspaper :
    Portsmouth Dock,
    The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having ordered His Majesty's __________ under your command, to be paid off at this Port, I am to request that you will cause to be made out and delivered to my office as early as possible, a complete set of pay books, with alphabets, slop book, open list on pay paper, and the muster book complete to the day of payment, in order that the said ship may be paid accordingly. I am, Sir, your most humble servant,
    Captain __________of His Majesty's __________.

  34. 7 Apr 1802 orders came down to Plymouth to the Commanders of ships to make returns of Masters and all the petty Officers on board, including Mates and Midshipmen, who have served their time, and also a report of their qualifications, by which it is understood that some provision is to be made for this valuable class of Officers, who may truly be called the sinews of the British Navy, [to remain in the service, during what turned out to be a relatively short period of Peace].

  35. 13 Apr 1802 the plan about to be adopted to regulate the state of ships in ordinary, at Plymouth, Portsmouth, Chatham and Sheerness, if carried into execution, prove of great benefit to the Navy, in the event of another war, besides employing a number of meritorious officers, petty officers, and seamen, during peace, without incumbring the peace establishment of the Navy by unnecessary expence. The ordinary will most likely be divided into divisions of 6 ships, each ship to have a Lieutenant, petty officers, and seamen, in proportion, who are to see the ship properly aired, ventilated and kept clean, and to make a weekly report to the Captain of the Division, who is to report to the Port Admiral the state of his division regularly. A less number of guardships will be wanted, and a larger number of frigates employed.

  36. 17 Apr 1802 where seamen take advantage of the Admiralty's offer to provide RN transport by sea to the area where the man was recruited, men who take their passage in ships of war, appointed for that purpose, men are to be victualled and rated as supernumeraries on the ship's books, till they arrive at their destined ports e.g. vessels were provided at Plymouth to take seamen to the various ports in Ireland ; Wales and Liverpool ; and Scotland and the North of England, and the Autumn was provided at Sheerness to take men to ports in the North of England and Scotland.

  37. 26 Apr 1802 the Secretary of the Admiralty wrote to the Commanders-in-Chief at Portsmouth, Plymouth, Sheerness and Chatham : I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to signify their direction to you to acquaint the Captains and Commanders of HM ships and vessels which may be ordered to be paid off at [any of the above ports], that, in order to give employment to as many Master's mates and Midshipmen as possible, their Lordships have increased the number of Petty Officers to be borne on board the ships and vessels intended to be employed in time of peace ; and that such of the said Master's mates and Midshipmen who have passed for Lieutenants, or may have already served their time to qualify themselves to pass, and are desirous of employment without being able to obtain it, should make known their wishes to me, the latter (sic) stating the times of their service, and transmitting the certificates of Captains and Commanders with whom they have last served, of their behaviour during such service. I am, Sir &c. Evan Nepean.

  38. 28 Apr 1802 all frigates 44 and 38, on the Peace establishment, are, by order of the Admiralty, to have four Lieutenants each ; all frigates of 36, three Lieutenants each ; and all below that rate two Lieutenants each ; with Masters Mates and Midshipmen in proportion.

  39. 5 May 1802 it is reported that half-pay for officers will be augmented as follows :
    A Senior Post Captain 12s. per diem.
    A Junior Post Captain 10s. do.
    Commander 8s. do.
    Lieutenant 5s. do.

  40. 5 May 1802 it has been announced that with effect from HM Birthday Royal Marine cloathing (sic) faced with white, is to be faced with blue.

  41. 8 May 1802 letters received Plymouth state that £2,000 had been raised by the Army and Navy, in Egypt, to take down, pack, and send to England the celebrated and ancient Cleopatra's Needle as a present to HM.

  42. 18 May 1802 it is reported that the Commissioners of the Navy at the Outports are all to be reduced, except Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth, following the signing of the Treaty of the Peace of Amiens, and those always to be filled up on vacancy from the list of Post Captains.

  43. 18 May 1802 yesterday the Admiralty was reported to be crowded with several hundred Navy Officer's widows, who attended to be sworn as to their being widows previous to their receiving their pensions the ensuing pay day ; and what has been so long talked of, is at length to take place, namely, an augmentation of their pittance of £20 per annum to £30.

  44. 20 Jun 1802 the newspapers of the day report that many visitors from England to France have discovered that they require a passport to land at Calais &c., only obtainable from M. Otto, in London. A few days down the road, circa the 25th, the British introduced a similar rule, and the French are now required carry passports when entering the country signed by Mr Merry in Paris, and British should now carry a passport signed by Lord Hawkesbury in addition to one from M. Otto, which I would suggest is almost akin to the visa now required for some countries these days.

  45. 27 Aug 1802 a new regulation is about to take place among the riggers' labourers, and the men in the ships in ordinary ; all landmen are to be discharged, and replaced with prime seamen lately paid off, by which useful arrangements at this port, there will be constantly ready for immediate service, nearly 2000 good seamen, enough to lay a foundation for manning ten sail of the line at a trifling expence.

  46. 18 May 1803 following the breakdown in the Peace of Amiens and the recommencement of hostilities, to increase the number of volunteers joining the RN, it was announced in the London Gazette that the bounty would be increased to £5 for fit Able Seamen volunteers, aged between 20 and 50, signing on between the 18 May - 30 Jun 1803, following the declaration of war ; similarly a bounty of £2 10s. 0d. was payable to Ordinary Seamen aged 20-35 ; and Landsmen due £1. 10s. 0d.

  47. 2 Jul 1803 those very salutary regulations for the health of the seamen and mariners of the fleet are again about to take place, which, in the late war, in the long cruise of 18 weeks off Brest, conduced so much to keep off the dreadful pest to our brave tars, the sea scurvy, viz. a regular and plentiful supply of vegetables of all descriptions that will keep, including turnips, cabbage», onions, carrots, leeks, &c. by which means each ship's company can have three fresh meals per week. Hampshire Telegraph.

  48. 13 Sep 1803 the Prince of Wales when visiting Portsmouth Dockyard, having visited the fleet moored out at Spithead, was taken around the working parts of the Yard and in the rope house watched a cable for a first rate being laid down ; at the smithy men were working on an anchor ; observed the Royal William being undocked and the Pandour replacing her at low water ; but the bit that seems to have caught HM's interest was the steam engine which powered various machines used for making blocks and pulleys, or blocks and tackles, for HM ships, something which it was only possible to produce a limited number, now permitted many of these items to be produced, probably one of the first tools invented for mass production, although I've not seen any figures regarding who was put out of work, if any, since it was wartime and skills with wood would have been at a premium.

  49. Arming the small vessels on the Hampshire coast
    Circa 31 Oct 1803, Portsmouth, Mr Rose has proposed to Government a plan for arming the small vessels on the Hampshire coast with a single gun each, for the defence of the coast, which has obtained the sanction of the Admiralty, and is now carrying into effect.

    Circa 5 Nov 1803, Southampton, some officers of the Sheerness Dockyard have arrived here, and commenced fitting the fishing smacks, and other vessels and boats, to receive a gun each, and some two.

    Circa 12 Nov 1803 the Brighton fishing boats are also equipping to encounter the French Leviathan with 12lb carronades, should the monster escape the nets of our ships of war.

    Circa 12 Nov 1803 Orders have been received at Portsmouth Dockyard to fit every boat here capable of receiving a carronade.

  50. Circa 28 Nov 1803 it is reported in the Hampshire Telegraph that as a consequence of the many deaths of Surgeons and Pursers, particularly in the West Indies, the Navy Board intends to have cabins built for these officers between decks, instead of sleeping, as now, in the cockpit.

  51. Circa 26 Nov 1803 it has been announced that a number of Russian Officers are expected in England, to be distributed on board our ships, and to be initiated into the practice of British Naval Tactics.

  52. Circa 26 Nov 1803 a ship with two lights, hung each on a separate mast, is sitting at the west end of the Galloper Shoal, for the benefit of HM cruisers....the usual notices having been published.

  53. Circa 17 Dec 1803 it is reported at Portsmouth that owing to the very dry summer of 1803, butter and cheese has become scarce and cannot be obtained in sufficient quantities to supply the Navy, and that as a consequence Cocoa, Tea and Sugar, are for the present, to be substituted for butter and cheese.

  54. 7 Jan 1804 following a recent incident when a Revenue Vessel was unexpectedly involved in naval manoeuvres and was unable to respond to the flag ship, not being in possession of the Navy's signals, and concerns were expressed regarding the vessel, before she was approached and identified, a steps have now been taken to ensure that Revenue Vessels are au fait with naval signals in the future.

  55. 14 Jan 1804 the Ant departed Spithead with convicts from the hulks in Langstone harbour, who are to serve on board men of war.

  56. Circa 23 Apr 1804 in consequence of a representation made by the Pursers of the Navy, in a memorial couched by N. P. Rothery, Esq., Secretary to our Naval Commander-in-Chief, his Majesty has been graciously, and most generously pleased to direct that the allowance made to them of one ninth, as an indemnification for waste and leakage of provisions, be increased to one eighth ; and that the salary now made to them, for the providing of necessaries for their respective ships, be increased in all ships and vessels of the 4th rate and downwards, in such proportion as increases their annual receipts from £260 to £315 for the 4th rate ; £147 to £190 for the 5th rate ; £106 to £144 for the 6th rate ; and for sloops &c., from £37 to £81.

  57. Circa 12 May 1804 the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have been pleased, on the recommendation of the Commissioners for Sick and Wounded Seamen, to direct that all Surgeons of the Navy, who shall have served 5 years, shall be allowed the pay and emoluments of a third rate, in whatever ship they may serve ; all who have served three years, the pay and emoluments of a fourth rate.

  58. Circa 12 May 1804 in light of the possibility of invasion by France : The following order is issued to the ships at Spithead this morning, is of more serious expectation than any that has been made known since we were first threatened : To have slip buoys to the cables ; keep the top-gallants-yards across ; clear for action every evening at sunset ; the signal for unmooring to be considered as the signal for action ; and to keep in momentary readiness for putting to sea, as that instant it may be expected to be engaged with the enemy.

  59. The Hampshire Telegraph of 28 May 1804 reports that a Private in the Army Reserve, quartered in the Isle of Wight, being about to be punished for a misdemeanour, informed the commanding officer that her sex rendered it impossible for her to undergo military chastisement. She was ordered to be taken to the hospital and examined, when when proved to be female, though she had served unsuspected in the ranks for upwards of 4 months.

  60. Jun 1804 Orders have been received at the Nore for arming 14 large transports as block ships ; the three at the Nore are immediately to be taken in hand.
  61. 14 Jul 1804 the Navy Office published a notice, by public advertisement, to all masters in the Navy, at present unemployed, that they must immediately send information to the Navy Office of their place of abode, and whether they are capable of Service or not ; if unfit for Service a certificate from a medical practitioner is to accompany such information. In case of not complying to this requisition within the given time, they will be struck off the list of masters. At a time when the exigencies of the State call for such heavy imposts upon the public purse and when every man capable of active service should be employed, we cannot too much commend the vigilance of the Commissioners of the Navy Office.

  62. Artillery
  63. Circa 18 Aug 1804 it has been reported at Portsmouth that the Royal Marines are to be trained to use the mortars used by the Royal Naval bombs, in order that they can replace the Royal Artillery, who, since they live ashore between operations, have found it difficult to adjust to being at sea having spent time ashore, mal de mare I would guess ? I suppose that even remaining on board out at Spithead between operations would be progress, but I seem to remember reading some years ago that the Army officers were reluctant passengers any way, and that there were other problems with the arrangement, which now escape me ?

  64. Circa 25 Aug 1804 the Board of Admiralty is to direct that Physicians at the Royal Hospitals are to be granted an additional £100 to their annual salaries.
  65. Circa 15 Dec 1804 the Hampshire Telegraph reports that they understand that a new class of officer, to be Sub Lieutenants, are to be appointed in the Navy, to be selected from Midshipmen who have served their time. They are to receive half-pay.
  66. Circa 15 Dec 1804 it is understood that an augmentation of the pay of Surgeons of the Navy will take place next month.
  67. Circa 19 Dec 1804 whilst lying in Guernsey Roads the weather was so bad the Niobe had to cut away her main and fore-masts and mizen top, and the Thisbe and Sylph were totally dismasted by the weather and in danger of driving on the rocks ; the Pigmy cutter parted her cables and drove on shore at the back of the South Pier, but has since got off. The Niobe has since arrived at Plymouth. The Severn, despite every effort, ran on shore in Granville Bay, Jersey and was lost. The Alcmene was similarly threatened but managed to ride out the gale. 18 Dec 1804 the Starling went ashore in thick weather, near Calais, and was burnt by Lieut Guyon and crew to avoid capture. Circa 22 Dec 1804 the Blonde was reported to have gone ashore in a gale Thursday last, in Torbay, and it was later thought that she could be got off. The original writer was pleased to state that no lives were lost in any of these disasters, and that the reported loss of the Texel on Margate Sands was untrue, she being safe at Leith.
  68. Circa 29 Dec 1804 the armed defence ships which have been guarding the coast for several months are now ordered to be fitted for the reception of troops at Portsmouth and Sheerness, several of them having already arrived at Portsmouth.
  69. 1805 Surgeons granted commissioned rank.

  70. 1806 Pay of officers and men increased.

  71. 1808 Masters granted commissioned rank.

  72. 1814 Navy List first published.

  73. 1814 Pursers granted half pay and to rank with lieutenants.

  74. 1817 Alterations in pay to be introduced 1 Jan 1817.

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  76. A new regulation has taken place in the pay of the crews of Revenue Cruisers - men who are not prime seamen will have £1 1s. per month, the others £2 as formerly. Naval Chronicle Jan-Feb 1817.

  77. Additional pension scheme introduced for Widows and orphans of Medical Officers of the Navy.
    A measure has just been sanctioned by the Board of Admiralty, for the benefit of the Families of this meritorious class of Officers, which redounds so much to the credit of the corps itself with which it originated, and to the praise of Government, by whom it was very zealously encouraged, that we are desirous of making it generally known.
    In common with the Widows of other Naval Officers, the Widows of Surgeons have hitherto had pensions of £40 per annum from Government. But the subordinate and not less useful class of Assistant Surgeons have had no such provision. It was therefore determined, by means of a small contribution from each member of the corps (compulsatory on those hereafter entering the service, but optional to the present members) to establish a Supplemental Fund, in order to grant additional pensions of £40 a year to the Widows and certain other benefits to the Orphans, of such of the Medical Officers of the Navy, of every description, as should desire to avail themselves of the privilege of this Institution; such additional pension not to be reckoned as private income, or as tending to deprive the Widow of the King's pension. Consistently with the present regulations, therefore, a Medical Officer's Widow may in future hold the two pensions of £40 each, besides £80 of private income. This Fund has now been established by his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, a copy of whose Order in Council we subjoin. It is not the least encouraging part of the plan, that the management of the Fund is vested in the First Lord and Secretary of the Admiralty for the time being, with a Court of Directors, composed of the principal Medical Officers. Naval Chronicle pp. 415-416 Vol. 38, 1817

  78. 2 Mar 1822 the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury have directed that the forces employed for the prevention of smuggling on the Coast, (with the exception of the Coast Blockade on the coasts of Sussex and Kent), consisting of Revenue Cruisers, Preventive Waterguard, and Riding Officers, to be consolidated and placed under the orders of the Board of Customs.

  79. 20 Mar 1822 Contract for Black Silk Handkerchiefs. Navy-Office, 20 Mar 1822 the Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty Navy do hereby give notice, that on Thursday the 4th of April next, at one o'clock, they will be ready to treat with such persons as may be willing to contract for supplying His Majesty's Yard at Deptford with Black Silk Handkerchiefs, for the use of the Seamen of the Royal Navy.
    A form of the tender may be seen at this Office.
    No tender will be received after one o'clock on the day of treaty, nor any noticed, unless the party, or an agent for him, attends.
    Every tender must be accompanied by a letter addressed to the Navy Board, and signed by a responsible person, engaging to become bound with the person tendering in the sum of £400, for the due performance of the Contract. G. Smith. Per London Gazette of 26 Mar 1822 Issue: 17803

  80. Dec 1822, Falmouth Packets.- We are at length able to state. that as far as the decision of his Majesty's Ministers may be so considered, the question so long agitated respecting the direction of the Falmouth Packets, is at length finally settled. The following communication has been received at Falmouth from the highest official authority:-" The Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury have determined on the expediency of transferring the superintendence of the Falmouth Post Office packets to the Board of Admiralty," but " that no alteration will be made in regard to the station from which those packets now sail; that the ordinary refitting of the packets of Falmouth will continue as heretofore ; and that the Navy Board will adopt all the present contractor, and will continue the persons now employed. It is understood that the first building of the packets has not heretofore been wholly confined to Falmouth, and in future it will probably take place (at least in the time of peace) in the King's Dock Yards. "West Briton"

  81. 1824, Grog allowance reduced and men granted 2s. per month "packet money" in lieu. Rations much altered.
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  83. Sep 1824 At Portsmouth it is reported, that the British naval uniform is about to undergo a change - to be blue coat, faced red, red waistcoat and breeches, the latter of silk plush : it is suggested in naval circles where this alteration is by no means popular, that yellow stockings and red night-caps would make an appropriate finish to this whimsical uniform. County Chronicle. [Which as far as I know came to nought.]

  84. 1825, monthly advance of pay introduced for men - no further details known.

  85. 1826, The Hampshire Chronicle of 26 June 1826 reports that, by order in council, the fee due to be paid by officers of the RN requesting to take leave of absence abroad is discontinued in the future.

  86. 5 Oct 1826 HMS Clio arrived Spithead from the Nore with sets of Sir Wm. Congreve's life saving apparatus for saving crews without assistance from ashore, for trials of the equipment to be carried out. Clio later returned to Chatham.

  87. 7 Jul 1828 It is reported in the Hampshire Chronicle that all future students at the R.N. College are to pay for their education, according to rank of relatives etc. and the number of students is increased from 70 to 80, a half of whom are to be sons of Naval and Army officers, and the rest sons of civilians, who will have to pay the full fee of £125 p.a., the sons of officers according to rank.
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  89. Feb 1829 Reductions in the Navy and Victualling Boards. It is reported that the Navy Board is to be reduced from :

    1 Comptroller, 2 Surveyors and 6 Commissioners to 1 Comptroller, 1 Surveyors and 4 Commissioners, and

    The Victualling Board will also be reduced from 1 Chairman, 1 Deputy Chairman, and 5 Commissioners, although details have yet to be finalised, but it may disappear altogether.

    March 1829 it would appear that the reductions mentioned above have been abandoned for the present.

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  91. Oct 1829 newly invented paddles wheels were being trialled on board the Confiance.
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  93. Oct 1829, as a trial, the Briton has been fitted with a Voice Pipe, that runs from the quarter-deck to the maintop, for use in heavy weather, the idea of Mr Parsons of Portsmouth Dockyard.

  94. 24 July 1830. The King of France has presented gold medals to Lieutenants James and Prattent, of the Coast Blockade, and silver medals to 16 of their men, for the heroic and humane exertions in saving the crew of La Constance, French fishing vessel, wrecked under the cliffs, at Fairlight, near Hastings, in January last.

  95. 1830, Award of the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal introduced for ratings.

  96. 1830, Widows of the following warrant officers : Gunners, Carpenters and Boatswains, lose their entitlement to Widows Pensions.

  97. 1830, the First Gunnery Training ship, HMS EXCELLENT, fitted out at Portsmouth.
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  99. Nov 1830, Warrant Punishment : Admiralty modified and restricted the award of corporal punishment, and introduced the use of warrants for every case. Whilst the power to inflict punishment remained with the commanding officer the number of lashes was limited to 48. In addition at least 12 hours should elapse, except in cases of mutiny, between the signing of the warrant and infliction of the punishment. In flagships the signature of the flag officer had to be obtained. Warrants were to be transmitted quarterly to the Admiralty in lieu of the present Reports of Punishment.

  100. Admiralty-Office, 27th Nov. 1830. His Majesty has been pleased to annul, with regard to flag officers, so much of the regulation of the l0th July 1830, with respect to uniforms, as prohibits the wearing of gold lace on the trowsers ; and all flag officers (but no others) are in future to wear the said gold lace on their trowsers as prior to the said order of July 10th, 1830. By command of their Lordships, J. W. Croker.

  101. Memorandum Admiralty-Office, Dec. 2nd, 1830. His Majesty has been pleased to command that none but commissioned officers of the Royal Navy do attend His Majesty's Levees. George Elliot.

  102. The regulation as to widows marrying again, applies to those who may marry subsequent to 31 December 1830, not 30th June 1830.

  103. 1831 Beer ration abolished.
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  105. Feb 1831 It is reported that the Coast Blockade is to be disbanded over the next few months, and that the work of this organisation will be taken over by the Coast Guard.

  106. 13 Apr 1831 The Lords of the Admiralty have taken under their patronage the appointment of all surgeons and assistant-surgeons to His Majesty's ships.

  107. 20 May 1831 The Admiralty has ordered that in future no pursers are to be attached to His Majesty's vessels commanded by Lieutenants, but the charge of victualling the men is to be under the direction of passed clerks.

  108. 20 May 1831 the present appointments of Lieutenants in the Navy to the Coast Guard Service, requires that officers shall be under forty years of age. The allowance to them is 4s. per day, and the appointment is for an indefinite period. It is placed entirely under the direction of the Customhouse, the appointments being in the gift of the Admiralty.

  109. 25 May 1831 orders have been issued, that ships directed to be paid off, and fit for re-commissioning, are not to be stripped, nor any thing removed, but to be kept in readiness to proceed to sea the day after being paid off, if required.
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  111. 27th June, 1831, Joseph Hume, an MP with radical views, suggested that the difficulty experienced in manning the fleet was "that sailors would go only with certain captains, and this must be the case while these officers retained the power of inflicting arbitrary punishments without holding a court-martial. Sailors in ships of war ought to be placed on as good a footing as those in the merchant service. In some ships lash was not given from year's end to year's end, while in others a week never elapsed without it."

  112. Mar 1832 a partial change is shortly due to take place in the naval uniforms for surgeons, masters and pursers, wearing the same uniform as Lieutenants, with the exception of the distinguishing buttons, and of which there is only a single row on the breast.-Hants. Adv.

  113. 1832, Graham's reforms. Navy Board, Victualling Board and Sick and Hurt Commissioners abolished.
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  115. 7 May 1832 the restoration of Lord Dundonald to the Service was to be celebrated by certain officers at Portsmouth with a public dinner.

  116. 14 May 1832 by a recent order of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, two midshipment, denominated Extra Midshipmen, are to be allowed to each of his Majesty's ships.

  117. 9 Jun 1832 arrangements have been made to place the dockyards at Portsmouth and Plymouth, as one of the measures arising out of the abolition of the Navy Board, under other control. The office of the Commissioner is to be annulled, as at all the other ports, but instead of substituting for it the appointment of a Superintendent, in the person of a Captain of one of the Royal Yachts, as has been in other cases observed, the duties are under the regulation of the respective Commanders-in-Chief. This will be put into force come January 1833.

  118. 19 Nov 1832 the papers of the day report that The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have directed that, in future, chocolate is to be issued instead of cocoa.

  119. 9 Jun 1833 it is intended that in all future appointments of Naval and Military officers to civil appointments, no pensions shall be granted on retirement, but that such officers, on giving up their employments, shall come on the half-pay list. But this is to cause no injury to present office holders.

  120. Circa Apr 1833 The punishment for smuggling that compelled offenders to serve 5 years in the Navy is abolished ; fine and imprisonment will in future be the only penalty.

  121. Circa Apr 1833 It is now finally determined that the present tower over the rigging loft, in the [Portsmouth] Dock-yard, is to be the future semaphore, instead of the erection at Lump's Fort, now used for that purpose. The only alteration which will be requisite consists of a new shaft, with wings to work, and which have been ordered to be constructed and fixed forthwith.-Ports. Her.

  122. Circa Apr 1833 All students discharged from the Naval College after July 1833, are, by order in council, to serve five years on board sea-going ships, before they can be examined for Lieutenants, without reference to the time allowed them for their studies at the College, wherein they are required to remain two years.-Hants. Telegraph.

  123. Circa Apr 1833 The Admiralty, by a recent regulation, are determined to mate the Island of Ascension a valuable source of revenue to the mother country. The Governor there has been ordered to charge all applicants thirty shillings each for turtle, and remit home an account of the amount.-Hants. Tel.

  124. Jul 1833, All students discharged from the Naval College after July 1833, are, by Order in Council, to serve five years on board sea-going ships before they can be examined for Lieutenants, without reference to the time allowed them for their studies at the College, wherein they are required to remain two years. Plym. Her.

  125. 1833 By a recent Admiralty order, issued at the suggestion of the Board of Customs, all Lieutenants, who have served three years as chief officers in the coast guard service, and who are unequal to the duties, by reason of age, ill health, want of energy, or other causes, are subject to be displaced. By accounts from Plymouth, we find that the first consequence of this order is, that fourteen Lieutenants have received orders that their services will not be required at the expiration of three months. Ports. Her.

  126. 1833 The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have directed that the extra Clerk allowed to be borne in lieu of a seaman in all rated ships, may be selected from among such as may have passed an examination for Purser, without limitation as to the time of passing, and not as heretofore only from those passed prior to 1829.

  127. 1833 Mates and Midshipmen are in future to be considered qualified to be entered as Admiralty Mates or Midshipmen, after having passed for seamanship abroad, or both examinations, if at home, one complete year, and not as heretofore, only those passed prior to 1830.

  128. 1833 By a recent Admiralty order, Pursers of ships in commission are to negotiate their bills for the payment of monthly allowance through merchants or bankers, instead of presenting them to the resident pay clerks at the different ports.

  129. 1833 The Lords of the Admiralty have ordered a certain proportion of blue cloth and blue Flushing, to be supplied to the Navy, in lieu of made up jackets and trousers ; an order which cannot fail to give satisfaction throughout the fleet. Seamen, &c. will thereby be enabled to have those articles made up on board, fitted to each respectively, instead of wearing the unseemly clothing hitherto issued.-Devon Tel.

  130. Appeared in the Nautical Magazine for Sep. 1833
    The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have directed that the extra Clerk allowed to be borne in lieu of a seaman in all rated ships, may be selected from among such as may have passed an examination for Purser, without limitation as to the time of passing, and not as heretofore only from those passed prior to 1829.

  131. Appeared in the Nautical Magazine for Sep. 1833
    Mates and Midshipmen are in future to be considered qualified to be entered as Admiralty Mates or Midshipmen, after having passed for seamanship abroad, or both examinations, if at home, one complete year, and not as heretofore, only those passed prior to 1830.
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  133. Dec 1833 an order received increases the portion of monthly pay to the seamen ; at present it is 4s. a-month ; in future the portion is to be regulated by the seaman's rating on the ships books, by the quantity of slops he may have taken up, and by the amount of allotment he makes to his family. A new scale of the rate at which foreign specie shall be issued to the seamen in the different quarters of the world is also attached to this order. -Hampshire Telegraph.

    [I suspect that this is a reflection on the amount of money seamen are allowed to be paid in advance and at other stages through a ship's commission.]
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  135. Dec 1833 Devonport A public meeting of unemployed seamen who have served in His Majesty's navy was held at the Clarence Inn, for the purpose of framing an address to the House of Commons, petitioning for some relief. The meeting was conducted in a very orderly manner, and an address was resolved on. It details their distress arising from want of employment, and points out no other remedy but early employment for subsistence, and testifying their readiness to proceed to any part of the World in His Majesty's service.

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  137. Oct 1834. The Lords of the Admiralty have issued a Circular limiting the entry of young gentlemen as "First Class Volunteers," to those who have already served in the Navy.

  138. Circa 1834. Naval Bills. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have given notice, that all bills drawn upon the Accountant-General of the Navy, by officers of his Majesty's Navy, for stores purchased, necessary money, savings of provisions, &c., are wholly exempt from stamp duty by the 8th and 29th sections of the act of the 2d Wm. IV. cap. 40.
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  140. Oct 1834. The Lords of the Admiralty have issued a Circular directing that 2nd rate ships and below are to enter double the number of first class boy seamen, in lieu of adult seamen.
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  142. Oct 1834. The Lords of the Admiralty have issued a Circular which states that Master's Assistants may only be borne as a part of the ship's complement, and are to replace an Able Seaman.
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  144. Apr 1835 Chaplains in the Royal Navy - Work as Schoolmasters. It is intended that Chaplains in future admitted into the Navy shall qualify themselves to teach the young gentlemen in their respective ships such a course of mathematics as is requisite to further their knowledge of navigation.

    Chaplains are at present allowed to act as schoolmasters, but they generally avoid it ; the intention is therefore to impose on them this useful and necessary duty.
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  146. 1835 Ship Building for the Royal Navy. We have much satisfaction in announcing to the nation that the present disgraceful state of English naval architecture is likely to become the subject of a formal, and we trust, serious and candid inquiry in the next session of Parliament. Mr. G. F. Young has placed upon the order-book of the House of Commons the following notice of motion :-

    " That a select committee be appointed to inquire into the system at present adopted in the construction of ships for His Majesty's navy ; to report how far that system is calculated to insure, for the public service, the advantages of scientific and practical knowledge of naval architecture, and of improvements in naval construction ; and to suggest the best means for submitting to the test of impartial examination and fair competition the relative, qualities of ships constructed on the plans of different naval architects."

    Such an investigation is most imperiously demanded, and it will be as important as it will be beneficial to the nation, if properly conducted and carried on without any reference to the interests of individuals in office, but, on the contrary, with an entire disregard to every thing but the attainment of the truth.

    The question to be tried, as proposed by Mr. Young, is, whether professional science is or is not to be preferred as forming part of the education of a naval constructor; and bearing, as it does, upon the shipbuilding, both military and mercantile, of this great maritime nation, it can only be justly esteemed as a most vital one, involving the national character, the national safety, and vast expenditure of the national treasure. Let it, then be tried upon its own merits. Let not official power and chicanery be allowed to step in to defeat the object of this inquiry, but let it be announced to the world that the British Parliament is not prepared to sanction such a piece of Vandalism as the suppression of science in our dockyards, or to deny it as fair a trial as the "system at present adopted in the construction of the ships of His Majesty's navy." Let but this inquiry be conducted without evasion, and it will of necessity lead to the establishment of "some fundamental principles in naval architecture, and shortly to perpetuate a correct system of construction."

    Let the question be treated with the candour and temper in which we approach a geometrical proposition, and it must of necessity lead to an exposure of the infinite mischief which has resulted and will yet result from allowing English naval architecture to be the sport of "intuitive" chimeras, and of the urgent want of a scientific cultivation of naval design. It never can be allowed that the country of Newton and other illustrious philosophers should see its ships delivered over to the hands of those who treat shipbuilding, and talk of it, as a species of hocus pocus, and who, in fact, instead of regarding a ship as a machine, look upon it rather as a sentient being, having its likes and dislikes and thereby deliver themselves over to the most egregious delusions and dreamy absurdities.
    United Services Gazette.

    [As an aside it is interesting to note that those senior officers, eg the Flag Officer of the West Indies and North America Station, who criticised apparent design deficiencies in HM ships, and in particular in HMS VERNON and the way she behaved in certain sea conditions, who made suggestions that might improve her performance, were not treated as serious criticisms, but as frivolous and political comments. What a way to run a Navy. It is said that the Vernon was probably the best sailing ship in the Service in a fairly calm sea state, but that once the sea state deteriorated so did her performance and she became a dog and one of the worst ships in the Service to sail, a problem that was later rectified, but not before a great deal of political venom and hot air had been expended.]

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  148. 1835 Vessels fitted out for slaving can now be detained, in addition to those actually carrying slaves. Whilst this may be all very well it is noted that most of the vessels detained will be sold by the Admiralty and bought by those with vested interests in the slave industry, the profits being so great that this merely becomes an additional incidental expense.

    1837 Further to the above - it was agreed that condemned vessels from some nations could be broken up.
    He Majesty's Commissioners to Viscount Palmerston.-(Received December 16.)
    Sierra Leone, 2d October, 1837.
    My Lord,
    We beg leave to make reference to that portion of our Despatch to your Lordship marked Spain, of the 20th July, 1836, respecting the expense of cutting up slave-vessels condemned in the British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice established here, and to state that finding from the facilities which now exist that the rate of expense at which such vessels had hitherto been cut up could be considerably reduced witbout prejudice to the manner in which this service is executed, we have directed that in future the following scale of remuneration be adopted in lieu of that described in the Despatch above alluded to.
    For the first 60 tons an allowance of 3s. per ton.
    For the further tonnage of a condemned vessel at the rate of 1s. 6d. per ton.
    We have, &c.
    (Signed) Walter W. Lewis, R. Doherty.

    The Right Hon. Viscount Palmerston, G.C.B.

    Further to the above it is noted that the Portuguese slave brig Paquete de Cabo Verde, captured by the Scout on 11 Jan 1837 and sold by auction on 11 Mar., having been condemned a few days previously, was sold to people who it was known were involved in the slave trade, namely a Mr. John Dean Lake, who then passed the vessel on to a Miguel Bertinote, with whom Lake had had previous dealings, and both of whom had connections with the slave trade. It would therefore appear that the slave trade was sufficiently lucrative to enable those involved not to worry about the cost of transporting slaves across the Atlantic ?

  149. 1835, First Chief Engineer and Inspector of Machinery appointed.

  150. 1835 Officers employed on the Coast Guard Service will not be eligible to vote in the Election of Members of Parliament, until after they have quitted such employment for a year. Per Hampshire Telegraph of 12 Oct 1835.

  151. 1836, Seaman Schoolmasters established.
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  153. Promotion of Clerks to the rank of Purser. From 1829 to 1835, inclusive, the Admiralty have promoted 10 suitable clerks to the rank of Purser per annum. However only six are to be promoted this year, and from next year have stated that in future, for every three vacancies there will only be one promotion. [It would therefore appear that there is a surplus of Pursers in the Navy, and the Admiralty are using this as a device to reduce the number.]
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  155. May 1836 Master's Assistants - complements for various classes of ship. The Admiralty have directed that in future HM ships are to be complemented for Master's Assistants as follows :
    Line of battle-ships . . . 3
    Other rated ships . . . 2
    Sloops . . . 1
    And that in default of Captains applying for same, the Admiralty will appoint that number to each ship in commission, from amongst the most deserving.
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  157. June 1836. Trials with India Rubber. Mr. Brockedon's lecture last night at the Society of Arts afforded us some singular facts of the qualities of caoutchoue or India-rubber as applied under Mr. Siever's s patent, to the purposes of cables, gun breachings, whale-fishing lines and rigger bands for driving machinery. A very strong illustration was given by the lecturer in a breeching used on board His Majesty's ship Excellent, at Portsmouth, under the direction of the Board of Admiralty; he stated it had been used on board in their daily exercises for these last two years, and its durability seemed not to have been impaired. The lecturer tried an experiment to show the advantages of an elastic rope in resisting a jerk by attaching a weight to a cord, and letting it fall until it broke : he then tied a piece of the same cord to a piece of the elastic rope, and by letting the weight fall four times the same height, it resisted the jerk, and remained unbroken ; this proved that it resisted at least 30 times the weight that broke it in the first instance.
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  159. The Naval Services - Recruiting etc

    The number of men etc. that entered the navy
      from 1 July, 1834, to 30 June 1835 from 1 July, 1835, to 30 June 1836
    men who had previously served in King’s ship 1,673 1,165
    boys who had previously served in King’s ship 1,163 934
    men who entered the navy for the first time 5,638 3,935
    boys who entered the navy for the first time 560 384
      9,034 6,418

    Discharges from the Royal Navy, excluding those paid-off.
      1 July, 1834, to 30 June 1835 1 July, 1835, to 30 June 1836
      Men Boys Men Boys
    Died in hospital, 65 6 63 11
    Died on board ship 233 9 166 20
    Discharged with disgrace 118 - 63 -
    Pensioned as invalids 129 7 241 4
    Pensioned for long service 213 - 260 -
      758 22 793 35
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  161. 1837, Engineering Branch established by Order-in-Council.

  162. 1837, Engineers placed in warrant rank with uniform, pay, regulations and training arrangements.

  163. 1837, Introduction of Good Service Pension for senior officers.

  164. 1837, RN College, Portsmouth, closed.

  165. Feb 1837 The practice, in HM ships, of sending "young gentlemen," ie midshipmen, to the masthead as a punishment, is to be discontinued forthwith, per the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

    However, it is apparent that some Commanding Officers didn't agree with Their Lordships, and continued the punishment, or invented their own remedy.
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  167. An Admiralty circular to encourage the entry of merchant seamen and mates as master's assistants.
    Admiralty, 16 Mar 1838.
    With reference to the circular letter of the 2nd inst. [not at present available] relative to the admission of an additional number of masters' assistants into the Royal Navy, I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, to acquaint you that instead of the periods of time thereby required as a qualification of servitude, their Lordships are pleased to direct, that the candidate shall have been at sea, either in HM Navy 3 complete years, in the Merchant service 5 years, (two of which in his apprenticeship, and three as mate or inferior mate), or for combined periods of two years in the RN, and two in the Merchant service, or one year in the RN, and two in the Merchant service, or one in the RN, and three in the Merchant service; and all candidates, who shall be found qualified agreeably to the provisions of the before-mentioned circular, will be considered eligible to be appointed by their Lordships as acting masters assistants. (Signed John Barrow.)
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  169. Nov 1838. Royal Navy.-On Thursday the walls of the city [possibly Glasgow ?]and its environs were covered with placards, advertising for able-bodied seamen, petty officers, and stout boys, to join her Majesty's naval service; period of servitude five years. Among others, the following inducements were held out to enter the service :
    Wages for able-bodied men 34s. per month, to continue without deduction in sickness or health, during leave of absence, shipwreck, or capture ;
    allotment of wages paid to wife or family punctually ;
    good conduct leading to petty officers ;
    rations, with pay, exceeding 301. per annum ;
    a liberal allowance of provisions, grog, cocoa, tea &c.;
    bounty paid to men in actual service ;
    admission to Greenwich Hospital for wounds or service,
    letters free of postage ;
    liberty to exercise trade or calling in every corporate town,
    their children eligible to Greenwich Hospital School,
    a month's pay in advance for pocket money.
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  171. April, 1839. The Gazelle, engaged in the slave trade, until captured by the gun-brig Water Witch in 1837, was the last slaver to be sold. All slave ships, once condemned, are now to broken up in accordance with new government regulations.
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  173. Jun 1839 Portsmouth An Admiralty circular order has been issued to Her Majesty’s ships, directing that soldiers, invalids, and others, passengers on board, and who are usually victualled at two thirds of the allowance granted to seamen, shall if admitted into the “ship's sick mess," be victualled at full allowance, so as not to infringe upon the comforts of the other people.

  174. 1840, Leading stoker introduced. [However, it should be noted that he was the equivalent of a Petty Officer Stoker, had there been such a rate - eventually introduced circa 1907.]
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  176. 26 Aug 1840, Midshipmen's Messes. Admiralty Circular No. 261, issued to the Captains and Commanders in the Mediterranean to the effect that the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, being quite satisfied that, if the progress of luxury and extravagance is allowed to go unchecked, it must sap the morals and discipline of the service, this message being repeated by Rear Admiral Francis Mason at Malta, in the Howe, at Malta, 13 Jan 1842, to the Mediterranean Fleet, following the arrival at Malta of some vessels fitted out for service in the Mediterranean at Portsmouth.
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  178. Royal Marines
    Admiralty Circular of 22 April 1841
    My Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty are pleased to direct that the undermentioned sums to be paid by each Cadet to the Accountant General of the Navy:-
    • Cadets under ordinary circumstances £30 per annum.
    • Sons of officers dying upon full pay, or of officers on half-pay with large families and inadequate means, £15 per annum.
    • Sons of officers killed in the service, or of officers dying on full-pay whose families are left in great distress, gratis.

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  179. 11 Sep 1841 : The Rhadamanthus and Dee steam frigates are now fitting with Captain G. Smith's Paddle Wheel Life Boats ; the usefulness of which becomes now every day more convincing. Captain Peacock, who commands a steam packet in the Pacific, writes that it was only by means of one of these boats he was able to communicate through a heavy surf, with the shore, at Ilo, and managed to land 11 passengers and 7 tons of goods.
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  181. 11 Sep 1841 : Important to Midshipmen : The Lords of the Admiralty have issued orders for all Midshipmen to pass in gunnery on board the Excellent, previous to passing at the Royal Naval College. The day fixed is the second Monday in the month.- The First Monday being the passing day at the College, and the first Wednesday, the passing day for Seamanship.
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  183. 18 Sep 1841, Portsmouth, orders were received from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty for Her Majesty's service at sea, in which it was directed that the Captains of her Majesty's ships were not to allow any person to smoke tobacco in any other part of the ship than that appropriated for smoking ; and were pleased to direct that the Captains and Commanding Officers of H.M. Ships and vessels do give most positive orders that no smoking shall on any account be allowed in any part of the ship except the galley.
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  185. 23 Oct 1841, it is reported that the Lords of the Admiralty have rescinded the regulations which prevented pensioners receiving their pension when serving in the Royal Navy, and all pensioners, will, in future, if fit for service, be allowed to receive their pensions in addition to their pay. (Ed.'s note : This, no doubt, in the light of the current difficulties being experienced recruiting sufficient seamen to man to the fleet, with a number of vessels lying in harbour too short of manpower to sail for the Mediterranean and the Far East, even with reduced complements).
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  187. 23 Oct 1841, it is reported that the Lords of the Admiralty have directed that in the case of any soldiers who may be temperance men being embarked on board HM Ships, or troop ships, or in transports or freight ships, such non-commissioned officers and privates shall be allowed double ration of sugar, cocoa and tea, for each ration of spirits stopped.
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  189. 23 Oct 1841, In consequence of the notice issued by the Lords of the Admiralty, that landsmen, and those accustomed to barges and other river craft, will be admitted into the Royal Navy, provided they are strong and healthy, and not exceeding 25 years of age, and measuring five feet seven inches in height, a great number of fine young men have been entered within the last few days, at the general rendezvous, Queen's Head, Tower Hill, Deptford, Greenwich, Woolwich, Sheerness, Chatham and Portsmouth, to complete the complement of ships put into commission. Ordinary seamen and stout lads who have been in the merchant service, meet with a ready engagement.
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  191. 23 Oct 1841, the Lords of the Admiralty, taking into consideration the injustice of the regulation, under which two years' service of the Royal Marines on shore, is reckoned only as one for pensions - have rescinded that regulation. Henceforth there will be no distinction between sea and shore service.
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  193. 23 Oct 1841, the Lords of the Admiralty, have also agreed that Royal Marine personnel should be allowed great coats, the same as to regiments of the line, &c.
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  195. By a Memorandum dated 11 Oct 1841, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have decided, that time served as a Lieutenant in a separate command shall reckon as time served as First lieutenant of a rated ship.
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  197. Dec 1841. Their Lordships direct, that in all cases of a Midshipman having completed the required time to entitle him to pass for a Lieutenancy, when the ship to which he belongs shall happen to be detached, so as to prevent his obtaining at the moment all examination according to the established regulations, the Captain or Commander of the said ship in which such Midshipman may be serving, with the senior lieutenant or second officer, and the Master or second master (according to the class of ship and the rank of officer on board of her), assisted by the Naval instructor, if there may be one on board, may proceed to examine such Midshipman as to his qualifications to perform the duties of a Lieutenant, but if they find him to be in their opinions duly qualified, they are to give him a certificate to that effect, dated on the day of such examination, and the Captain may forthwith give him an acting order as Mate, and if on the first opportunity that shall afterwards offer for his being re-examined according to the established regulations, he passed successfully, his rank of Mate shall be enrolled according to the date of his first provisional certificate above ordered.
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  199. Dec 1841. Their Lordships' direct that the questions and instructions for the exercise and service of great guns on board her Majesty's ships shall form part of the examination of Midshipmen for the rank of Mate or Lieutenant, and that a certificate shall be given to such only as may answer and understand the several points to which these questions refer ; that such portions of the examination as can be carried on, on board H.M.S. Excellent shall be made there, and that no candidate for examination shall be permitted to present himself at the College unless he produce a certificate, from the Captain of the Excellent, of his being qualified in gunnery, in addition to the usual certificate of his being qualified in seamanship.
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  201. Late 1841. Flag Officers, and Captains of line-of-battle ships, appointed subsequent to 1 August, are to be allowed two fresh entries as Volunteers of the 1st Class.
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  203. Feb 1842 masts for vessels being commissioned are to be fitted with Harris's lightning conductors before they are hooped.
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  205. Feb 1842 the pinnace of the Geyser is to be fitted with a screw, powered by a 5 or 6 horse power engine produced by the Disc Company.
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  207. Feb 1842 24 officers on half-pay are to be borne on the books of the Excellent, for provisions, to enable them to avail themselves of the studies pursued at the Naval College, after they have made themselves acquainted with practical gunnery carried on in that ship, which they can do for 12 to 14 weeks. When they go to the college, they will be allowed 1s. 6d. a day instead of provisions, if they join the mess and reside in the building. The officers are to consist of 6 Captains ; 6 commanders ; and 12 Lieutenants.
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  209. Feb 1842 10 gun brigs are to be commanded by a Commander in future instead of a Lieutenant.
  210. Mar 1842 Captain E.J. Johnson, has been appointed to superintend the application of certain rules, prepared by the Magnetic Committee, for ascertaining the deviations of the compass caused by iron that occur in all ships, especially in steam vessels ; and also to determine on the most advantageous place for erecting a pillar for the support of a standard compass, by which all bearings on land may be taken, and all courses regulated. Hampshire Telegraph
  211. Mar 1842 as a result of complaints made regarding the early degradation of the copper of ships on the Africa Station in future all ships destined for service on that station are to be fitted with 32oz copper. Hampshire Telegraph
  212. Mar 1842 9 Fire Engines have been ordered by the Admiralty for trials at Woolwich, and it is assumed that if they are successful another 11 will be built for the remaining HM Dockyards.
  213. Mar 1842 the Admiralty have stated that any Captain who desires them can ask to be fitted with Rodgers Anchors on application to the Admiralty.
  214. Mar 1842 Messrs Garratt and Gibbon appointed agent to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company ; allotments to females of the seamen employed in their vessels, resident in Portsmouth, will be payable in their offices in Broad Street on the 1st of every month.
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  216. Apr 1842 the frigate Penelope, 46, launched in 1829, has been selected to be fitted with a steam engine on a plan by Mr. Edge, assistant survey of the RN : the conversion will involve cutting her in half amidships in order that she can be extended by 62 feet, to provide room for two steam engines producing 650 h.p., with bunkerage for 600 tons of coal. This would appear to be the first conversion of several that were to be carried out by the Royal Navy in the years to come. The conversion commenced in June 1842.
  217. Apr 1842 On a report forwarded to the Admiralty from the Committee of Master Shipwrights at Woolwich it is reported that Their Lordships have directed that a quantity of Mr. Jeffery's composition shall be provided and used instead of pitch for paying the seams of ships. Trials of this composition were carried out at the Marshes at Woolwich and a report appeared on page 4 of the Hampshire Telegraph for 25 Apr 1842.
  218. Apr 1842 Top blocks on Mr J.P. Wallis's principle are to be tried on board the Crocodile and other ships.
  219. Apr 1842 a trial is order to take place of the merits of a block invented by Mr. Dickson, boatswain of the San Josef, as compared with a block by Mr Bothway, Gunner, either separated or connected from the shrouds and their sexter blocks.
  220. Apr 1842 Chaplains of men-of-war are in future to be allowed, in addition to their pay, three fourths of the allowance given to Naval Instructors, if they will execute the duties of instructing the young gentlemen.
  221. Apr 1842 an order has been issued from the Admiralty permitting seamen, on being paid off, to deposit their hammocks and clothes, if they think fit, in the store-houses in the Dockyard, especial care being taken that such things are clean, and that no canvas, flannel or linen be impregnated with oil. Proper lists are to be taken, and a ticket is to be given to each man, specifying the exact building, room, etc. (unreadable), in which his bag and hammock is to be found. Each man is to give an address where he is to be found as at the end of three months, if his property be not claimed, it will be sold, and the proceeds given to the Seamen's Hospital Ship. Should he re-enter the service at another port his things will be forwarded to him.
  222. Jun 1842 the Admiralty has issued an order requiring a Captain from each of the 4 divisions to repair on board the EXCELLENT, to qualify themselves to give instruction in gunnery practice to their respective divisions.
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  224. Jun 1842, on ships being paid off the working petty officers can now be received on board the flag-ships as disposable petty officers, with the same ratings and pay as they had in the ship paid off, and which they will continue to hold when placed in seagoing ships. If they decline remaining on board the flag-ship, they will be granted leave of absence and placed in seagoing ships, with the same ratings, when the term of their leave expires.

  225. Jul 1842 the Lords of the Admiralty watched a trial at Woolwich Dockyard of what appeared to be an extending ladder, to 60 ft., designed by Captain Smith, who invented the paddle box boats, which could be used to fight fires or rescue people from same. P 3, of Hampshire Telegraph, for 18 Jul.
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  227. 5 Sep 1842 per Hampshire Telegraph Dr Payerne, in company with General Pasley descended to the bottom in a diving bell at Spithead, with further experiments to be made next week. I believe that General Pasley, of the Royal Engineers, was supervising the then current attempt to clear a wreck from Spithead with civilian divers in the days when the Army was responsible for Diving and furthering knowledge in that profession.

  228. 26 Sep 1842 the Lords of the Admiralty have caused a silver medal to be struck as a reward for First Class Engineers serving in the Royal Navy who, by their good conduct and ability deserve some special mark of notice, and as an inducement to all members of that rank to strive to obtain this highly creditable token of Their Lordship's approbation. The medal isn't fully described, but was estimated to be worth about 5 shillings and superior in quality to the Sultan's medals awarded to personnel who were involved in the recent Syria Campaign. The medal for First Class Engineers is the first of a series about to be issued to the most deserving of that important class of men, on whose ability, exertion, and careful services so much of the efficiency of the steam navy of Great Britain in a great measure depends. On one side of the medal is engraved, on the outer circle, on a frosted ground, "Mr. William Shaw, first class engineer. 1942," and on an inner circle the following letters have been cut into the die, "For ability, and good conduct," surrounding a neatly embossed figure of an anchor on a polished surface. On the reverse is a beautiful figure of a steam vessel with the steam up, richly and tastefully embossed on a polished ground, with a representation of the water, on which she appears to be sailing, formed of frosted silver, having an excellent contrast and very pleasing effect. Underneath is a figure representing the head of Neptune's trident, surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves and acorns. Mr. Shaw who has so distinguished himself as to be the first to obtain this testimony of their Lordships' approbation, earned the envious distinction when serving under Commander G.W. Smith, then Lieutenant of the Tartarus steam-vessel, on the West Indian and North American station.

  229. The Hampshire Telegraph announced on 10 Oct 1842 that 10-12 men of war, from each of the home ports, are to be fitted as "Advanced Ships." Their masts, spars, and rigging, are to be prepared, fitted, ticketed, and housed in the Dockyards, and the ships are to have their bulk heads put up, their anchors, chain cables, and tanks on board, and their armament is to be kept ready in the Gun Wharf. The ships to be advanced at Portsmouth are the Neptune, Britannia, Princess Charlotte, Vengeance, Collingwood, Bellerophon, Powerful, Carnatic, Hastings, Pembroke, and President frigate. The paper debates a possible reason for this sudden preparation for readiness, and explores the usual culprits, but can think of no reason, and then discusses its own suggestions that might meet with approval from the tax payers.
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  231. 29 Oct 1842 when the Ship's Company of the Racer was paid off her men were taken to the Portsmouth Dockyard Pay Office to be paid and the reporter for the Hampshire Telegraph observed that the previously gross custom by which the [Admiral / Captain] Superintendent's boat's crew lined the stairs to the Pay Office and pressed the men who had been paid to buy their slops had been discontinued.

  232. Oct 1842 when the Racer was becoming due to be paid off the Hampshire Telegraph printed a warning to all Midshipmen that in future on being paid off, their pay will be retained till they produce their logs complete to the moment of being paid off.

  233. Oct 1842 officers of the Royal Navy who had the consent of the Admiralty to engage in the naval service of Mexico, in its war against the Texans, have been ordered to quit that service. [Although taking into account the length of communications in those days with that part of the World I bet that took more than a few months to for the word to get round ?]

  234. Survey of Ships Taken Up by Government
    [Following the recent heavy loss of life......] The Admiralty notified to Lloyds on 29th Nov 1842 their adoption of the following regulations under which transport convict ships, taken up for the conveyance of stores exceeding half their tonnage, are to be surveyed and examined in future by the Master Attendant at Deptford Victualling Yard and the Inspector of Transport Shipping:-
    1. The owners are to have the hold and 'tween decks clear fore and aft ; and for the more effectual survey and inspection of timber, there shall be linings of from two to three inches wide, cut fore and aft below the hold beams.-
    No. 1 to be a listing of from two to three inches wide, cut fore and aft in the range of the futtocks.
    No. 2 to be a listing of from two to three inches wide, cut fore and aft in the range of the second futtocks.
    No. 3 to be a listing of from two to three inches wide, cut fore and aft in the range of the third futtocks.
    2. All the breast cook and transoms to be clean, clear and exposed to view, and listing of from two to three inches wide to be cut between each breast hook, in order that the state of timbers in that part of the hull may be ascertained.
    3. A stage is to be slung by the owners under the hold beams fore and aft on both sides, in order that the state of the beams and knees may be carefully inspected.
    4. A listing of from two to three inches wide to be cut fore and aft, about one foot above the water line on the 'tween deck, in order that the state of the timber may be ascertained.
    5. The listings in all the above cases to be cut entirely independent of such air holes or listings as may be in the ship at the time the survey takes place.
    6. The state and condition of decks, waterways, knees, outside planking, and copper on the bottom, to be carefully inspected, and also the rigging and furniture, for the purpose of ascertaining that it is in good and sound condition.
    [But doesn't appear to solve the problems of some masters of these ships lacking the necessary skills for their trade.]

  235. New Primer for Musket :
    A new primer for a musket recently invented by Mr. Westley Richards, the well known gun-maker of Birmingham, has undergone a most effectual trial on board HMS Excellent, for the last 3 months ; and as Sir Thomas Hastings has recommended the Board of Admiralty to adopt it for use in the Navy we should hope that this simple and ingenious invention will be secured to the Government.
    The following is a description of it : The primer which is intended to supersede the copper cap is of a very novel character, being made of papier macher or mill board, and perfectly secured from damp or wet in its process of manufacture. It is one inch in length, half an inch wide, and a sixteenth of an inch thick, the form being slightly wedge shaped. The application to the gun is most readily applied to a touch-hole suitable to it, instead of the common one or nipple : the priming powder is concealed in the centre of the primer, and covered with tin foil. The gun is fired in the ordinary manner, and for military and naval use it is decidedly superior to the copper cap, as after the explosion, the primer is perfectly harmless ; and on the deck of a ship, sailors without shoes cannot be injured by laceration of the feet, which must inevitably be the case from an exploded copper cap. Their cheapness and undecaying quality is also a great recommendation to them ; at the same time they are impervious to wet and damp.

  236. Feb 1843, officers from the Admiralty visited Portsmouth Dockyard with a view to a basin being built in the yard for the maintenance of steam vessels. At the present time HM Dockyard at Woolwich was the only port with facilities for the repair and maintenance of steam vessels, and thus it was necessary to send steam vessels round to Woolwich for maintenance etc.
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  238. Feb 1843 Paddle ships are to be fitted with paddle-box boats, as designed by Captain Smith, which will be stored above the paddles.
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  240. Mar 1843 Mr. Brewer's patent block, following trials, and reportedly more robust than those in current use, is to replace those now in use.
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  242. Apr 1843, in the light of the improved armaments that are now coming into use the Admiralty have agreed the re-positioning of magazine in ships of the line, as proposed by Mr. Edye when refitting the Powerful, with a view to siting them some 6 feet below the water-line and in such a manner that they will be further protected from in-coming shot by placing iron [water?] tanks outboard of the magazine.
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  244. Apr 1843, rumours are afoot that the Royal Yachts are to be based at Portsmouth, in preference to the Medway. 4 Nov 1843 the Victoria and Albert arrived from Sheerness to be laid up for the Winter months.
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  246. May 1843, the impregnation of timber, sails and ropework, which has been carried out on a trial basis at Portsmouth for some time, with a view to preserving the wood and preventing dry-rot in timber, and mildew in sails and rope. Introduced on a trial basis a year or so ago on the sails of the Niger expedition, and more recently on board the Davastation, it is stated, at the present time, to be working with regards to the sails, and further trials will continue.
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  248. Jun 1843 it is understood that for many years that the instructions given to the helsman on board a paddle steam vessel were passed from the bridge, between the two paddle-boxes, by movements or waves of the hand by the Commander, the Officer of the Warch or Pilot. This made piloting the vessel at night most difficult, voice or messenger appearing to be the only medium available ? A new device has now been introduced which transmits a light signal to the helmsman, which can also be seen by oncomng vessels.
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  250. Jul 1843 Uniform changes. White facings are to replace scarlet facints. Lieutenants : two epaulettes replace the epaulette and strap.
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  252. Nov 1843, a Mr. Jeffery, patentee of a marine glue, has invented a mineral-based substance to be painted on the bottom of RN vessels, with a view to it replacing copper sheathing. The first trial will be carried out on board the frigate SHANNON, a receiving ship at Sheerness.
  253. Q.R. & A.I. of 1844 made no mention of any punishment other than corporal punishment.
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  255. Jan 1844 Pursers in future to be known as Pursers and Paymasters. Volunteers of the First Class are to be known as Naval Cadets.

    Masters of line-of-battle ships are to be paid £16. 6s. 8d. per mensum ; Masters of all other rates £14 ; and when responsible for a warrant officers stores they are to be paid accordingly.

    Clerks are to be paid £4 6s. 4d. per mensum in 1st Rates, and £4 on all other Rates of vessel.

    Pensions are to be restored to some Warrant Officers ; see below.

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  257. The Officers of her Majesty's Navy to be divided into two Branches.- Military Brunch and a Civil Branch, of the undermentioned denominations. and to rank as follows. The following is the more material detail:-

    Military Branch.
    Flag Officers Second Masters
    Commodores Midshipmen
    Captains Masters' Assistants
    Commanders Naval Cadets
    Lieutenants Gunners
    Master of the Fleet Boatswains
    Masters Carpenters

    Civil Branch

    Director-General of the Medical Department of the Navy,- to rank with but after Commodores.

    Medical Inspector of Hospitals.- to rank with, but after Captains under three years seniority.

    Secretaries to Flag Officers commanding in Chief Deputy Medical Inspector of Hospitals,- to rank with, but after Commanders, and with each other as here mentioned

    Chaplains, Secretaries to junior Flag Officers and Commodores of the first Class, Surgeons, Paymasters and Pursers, Naval Instructors,- to rank with, but after Lieutenants and Masters, and with each other as here mentioned.

    Assistant-Surgeons.- to rank with, but after Mates.

    Clerks.- to rank with, but after Masters' Assistants.

    Clerks' Assistants,- to rank with, but after Naval Cadets.

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  259. The Officers of the two Branches are to be appointed as follows:
    By Commission.


    Flag Officers, Commodores, Captains, Commanders, Lieutenants, Master of the Fleet, Masters, Mates, Second Musters.


    Medical Inspectors of Hospitals & Fleets, Deputy Medical Inspectors of Hospitals and Fleets<, Chaplains, Secretaries, Paymasters and Pursers, Surgeons, Assistant Surgeons.

    By Order.

    Naval Instructors, Clerks, Midshipmen, Naval Cadets, Masters' Assistants. Clerks' Assistants.

    By Warrant

    Gunners, Carpenters, Boatswains, Engineers.

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  261. An alteration has been made in the Pay of Captains commanding rated ships..-
      Per Ann.
      £ s. d.
    To the Captains of all line-of-battle ships, the pay formerly received by those of a second rate. 698 2 0
    To Captains of the line of battle Guard Ships of the Ordinary, and other such Establishment, formerly third rate 598 8 8
    Captains of regular flag Ships and Fourth Rates 498 11 0
    All other Captains 398 9 0

    Thus taking away £100 per annum from the Captain of a first rate (of which class at present, only one is in employment), and, giving £100 per ann. to the Captain: of third rates, and £50 per ann. to the Captains of sixth rates.

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  263. Petty Officers paid the same in all rates, the lower rates brought up to the higher, with the exception of the Master at Arms, Seamen's Schoolmaster, Sailmaker, Ropemaker, Carpenter's Mate, Caulker, Blacksmith. who receive 3s. per month more in a first rate.- All other rates the same.
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  265. Pensions

    To the Widows of Flag anal General, Officers, according to the case.


    Per Ann. £

    Captains, Colonels, Lieut. Colonels.  
    1f killed in action


    If drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty


    Commanders and Majors.  
    If killed in action 120
    If drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty 90
    Medical Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets  
    If killed in action 90
    1f drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty 80
    Secretaries to Commanders-in-Chief and Deputy Medical Inspectors or Hospitals and Fleets.  
    If killed in action 80
    If drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty 70
    Lieutenant and Masters of the Navy and Captains in the Royal Marines  
    If killed in action 70
    If drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty 60
    Chaplains, Secretaries to Junior Flag Officers, Surgeons, Paymaster and Pursers and Naval Instructors  
    If killed in action 60
    If drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty 50
    First Lieutenants in the Royal Marines  
    If killed in action 60
    If drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty 50
    Second Lieutenants in the Royal Marines and Assistant Surgeons in the Navy  
    If killed in action 50
    If drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty 40
    Gunners, Boatswains, Carpenters and Engineers  
    If killed in action 35
    If drowned, or other violent death in an immediate act of duty 30

    Compassionate Allowances

    To the children of :

      If killed inaction If not killed in action
    Flag and General Officers £25 to 40 16 to 20
    Captains, Colonels, Lieut. Colonels 18 to 25 14 to 16
    Commanders, Majors, Inspectors of Hospitals and Fleets 16 to 20 12 to 14
    Secretaries to Commanders in Chief, Lieutenants of the Navy, Deputy Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets, Masters, Captains of Marines 12 to 16 9 to 12
    Lieutenants of Marines. Chaplains (if on full pay at the time of their death.), Secretaries to junior Flag Officers and Commanders, Surgeons, Paymasters, Pursers, Naval Instructors, Assistant Surgeons 8 to 14 5 to 10

    Compassionate Allowance.

    The aggregate amount of the Allowance to be granted to the Family of an Officer, including the Pension to the Widow, shall in no case exceed the following rates viz,

      If killed in action. If not killed in action.
    Flag and General Officers £500 £300
    Captains, Colonels. Lieut. Colonels £350

    The amount of the half-pay of the rank and standing of the officer at the time of his death, to be in these cases the maximum of the allowance to the family

    Commanders Majors, Medical Inspectors of Hospitals and Fleets £250
    Secretaries to Commanders-in-Chief; Lieutenants in the Navy, Deputy Inspectors of Hospitals & Fleets, Masters, Captains of Marines £150
    Lieutenants of Marines, Chaplains, Secretaries to junior Flap, Officers and Commodores, Surgeons £100
    Paymasters and Pursers, Naval Instructors, Assistant Surgeons £90

    Where an Officer is killed in action, not leaving a widow, but leaving a mother in distressed or dependent circumstances, she shall receive the pension given to the widow of the deceased rank. Sisters are not eligible to any allowance, unless under very special and extraordinary circumstances, to be judged of by the Lords of her Majesty's Treasury.

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  267. Feb 1844 The issue of tobacco to the ship's companies of HM ships in British ports is suspended, it is thought, due to the large quantities being smuggled ashore.
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  269. St. Vincent, Portsmouth Harbour, 26 Feb 1844.
    General Memorandum No. 37.
    The Captains and Commanders of Ships paying off, are hereby informed, in pursuance of instructions from the Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty, that seamen under their command, bearing good characters for steadiness, honesty, and sobriety, will be admitted as vacancies occur, to serve in her Majesty's Dock-yard, as hired Artificers and Labourers, if found fit on examination at the Dock-yards, on the clear understanding that they will be expected to go to sea when required.
    The Captains and Commanders of ships paying off are therefore to send to me for transmission to the Admiralty a list of such men, from among those wishing to serve as they shall consider fit for such appointments stating the capacity in which they desire to be employed, and forwarding, at the same time, the necessary certificate as to character. (Signed) C. Rowley, Admiral. To the respective Captains and Commanders of H.M.S. paying off at Portsmouth.
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  271. Mar 1844, The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have issued a Circular, directing that, from lst of April next, Officers of all ranks doing duty as Secretaries shall receive five shillings per diem out of their Half Pay, in addition to their present salaries. (As Secretaries to Admirals are quite irrespective of the Service, we question the right of the Admiralty to interfere in this manner with the Half-pay.)
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  273. Prior to being appointed to positions in the Royal dockyards, Masters are to be promoted to the rank of commanders, e.g. Master-Attendants.
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  275. The Royal Steam Navy. There has been a re-classification of steam vessels of the Royal Navy. Hitherto denominated as steam frigates or steam-vessels, some termed frigates, which have now no pretensions to the term, and all the other; known as steam-vessels, whether transports, packet-boats, or tugs. The steamers in commission are now classed as follows :-
    Steam Yachts. Victoria and Albert, and Black Eagle.
    Steam Frigates. Penelope, Cyclops.
    Steam Sloops. Acheron, Alecto, Ardent, Cormorant, Devastation, Driver, Geyser Gorgon, Growler, Hecate, Hecla, Hermes, Medea, Polyphemus, Salamander, Spiteful, Stromboli, Thunderbolt, Vesuvius, Virago, Vixen, Volcano, and Styx (surveying).
    The following have no other designation than steam vessels. Albert, Cherokee, Dwarf, Flamer, Locust, Experiment, Meteor, Mohawk, Montreal, Myrtle, Pluto, Soudan, Traveller, Wilberforce. Surveying.- Columbia, Comet, Fearless, Firefly, Lucifer, Shearwater, Tartarus.
    Steam Packets.. Adder, Advice, Asp, Beaver, Charon, Cuckoo, Dasher. Dotterel, Dover, Jasper, Medina, Medusa, Merling, Otter, Pigmy, Pike, Princess Alice, Prospero, Redwing, Sprightly, Swallow, Urgent, Widgeon, Wildfire, Zephyr.
    Steam vessel Transports. Alban, Dee, Rhadamanthus.
    Steam vessel Tenders.- Gleaner, Lightning, Bee.
    Steam tug Vessels.- African, Confiance, Echo, and Monkey.
    Not in commission, built, building, or ordered to be built, are the following:-
    Steam Frigates:- Firebrand, Vulture. Building. Centaur, Dragoon, Gladiator. Samson, Terrible, Watt, Vulcan. Ordered to be built.- Avenger, Conflict, Dauntless, Dispatch, Niger, Odin.
    Steam Sloops.- Janus, Phoenix, Rattler. Building. Bulldog, Infernal, Inflexible, Scourge, Sphynx. Ordered to be built.- Trident.
    Steam Vessels.- Ariel, Avon, Carron, Kite. Building. -Bloodhound, Harpy, Jackall, Lizard, Myrmidon, Porcupine, Spitfire, Torch.
    Total.- There are 84 steam-vessels in commission in the Royal Navy of all classes-viz., 2 yachts, 2 frigates, 23 sloops, 21 steam vessels, 25 steam-packets, and 1 revenue steam vessel. Out of commission, 9; 2 frigates, 3 sloops and 4 steam vessels. Building, 20; 7 frigates, 5 sloops, and 8 vessels. Ordered to be built, 7 ; 6 frigates, and 1 sloop.
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  277. April 1844. New Naval Instructions. Under the head of steam vessels, the use of the sails is most strictly enjoined. The following is an extract from the Admiralty order, on this subject, to officers in command.
    Article 7, Sec. 3, Chap. 6.
    "He is, except for experiments, most strictly to avoid getting up, or keeping up the steam, in all cases where the use of sails can enable him to perform the service in which he is engaged without important delay. The slightest neglect of this part of his duty, a neglect which may perhaps cripple the resources of the ship under his command at the very time that her services as a steam vessel may be most urgently required, will be visited with the severe displeasure of the Admiralty."
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  279. April 1844. By the New Naval Regulations the money heretofore paid to the Naval Service for savings on their provisions, will be reduced, in consequence of the reduction in the price of provisions since the last scale was established. This will seriously affect the Purser's profits, so much so that it must be made up to him by an increase of full pay; he will lose at least one-fifth of his former balance bills. The boys of the men-of-war must also be considered, as their -savings materially aided their pay, which will now be insufficient to keep them clean and decent. The following prices will in future be paid:- Bread, 2d. instead of 2½d. ; spirits, 3s. instead of 4s. per gallon ; chocolate, 5d, instead of 10d. per lb. ; and, sugar 4d. instead of 6d. per lb. Savings are to be allowed on oatmeal, which was not the custom in the late regulations.
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  281. April 1844. Communion Services for the Navy-Ten services of communion plate are ordered to he sent to each dockyard, to be placed in charge of the storekeepers, who are to furnish each ship to which a chaplain is appointed with one service of plate. It is to be given in charge of the chaplain, who will be held responsible for it.
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  283. May 1844. Naval Uniform. The following general memo. has been issued this week:-
    "St. Vincent, Spithead, 2nd May, 1844. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having acquainted me that, in consequence of information which has been conveyed to their Lordships they deem it right to call my attention to the 2nd article, section 13, chapter 5, of her Majesty's regulation ; and also to her Majesty's commands promulgated on the 30th June, 1838. specifying the uniform to be worn by her Majesty's naval officers, in which is the following direction:- 'The blue morning coat now in use is abolished.' My Lords consider, therefore, that after so calling the particular attention of the Admiral, at the port, to her Majesty's commands, it will only be necessary for my Lords further to explain, with a view to prevent the possibility of future misunderstanding on the subject, that the great coat her Majesty has permitted to be worn by her Majesty's naval officers, when necessary, is to be understood only according to the real intent and meaning of that expression; and such great coats are only to be worn over their proper and uniform coats. The same is hereby made known for the guidance of her Majesty's naval officers: (Signed) C. Rowley, Admiral. To the respective Captains, &c."
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  285. 6 Jun 1844. An Admiralty circular states that seamen belonging to guard ships, when employed in mooring or fitting ships, or on any other work in which an unusual wear and tear of clothes necessarily occurs are to be allowed 3d. per day extra pay.
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  287. Aug 1844. In order from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty has been issued to enter 100 on General Service men to serve as riggers in each of the Royal Dockyards. The new hands will have 15s. each per week, or 2s. 6d. per day worked, except four, who will act as petty ofcers or leaders, and will have a guinea eacb; they are to be eligible for service afloat at Short notice, thus creating a small reserve of qualified seamen : but this is reportedly service which will not count towards a pension, at least at this date. See also September.
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  289. Aug 1844. It was reported some weeks ago that Portsmouth Dockyard would be lit by gas. A contract has just been agreed with the Portsea Gas Company and pipes are now being laid : this will be most beneficial for all employed in the yard. [and hopefully fewer drunken matelots will be walking off the end of jetties when attempting to return to their ships.]
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  291. Early Sep 1844. Since the order arrived in August to enter men for general service, [presumably for 5 years, with a liability to be sent to any ship], only half the numbers required have come forward. It is said that the genuine "Jack" will not enter for general service as long as he can help it, preferring to choose his own craft and his own captain and this he will do, unless driven to the alternative by sheer necessity. At Sheerness many are reported to have made inquiries, but none have accepted : rumours suggest that some of the many men paid off last year have worked their passage to New York and are now serving in the US Navy. A part of the problem appears to be that the Royal Navy often attempts to recruit at the same time as the Merchant Service, and as a result, the pay being better, men will often prefer the latter service, in the short term. Commentators of the day suggest that if the RN were to recruit when men from the Baltic, Canada and other trades close down for the winter, recruitment would be less of a problem, and if some continuity of paying off and commissioning vessels could be addressed, the problems of recruiting suitable men might soon disappear. It is interesting to note that towards the middle of September some 6 so-called experimental brigs were commissioned and the first 2 or 3 were fully manned with little delay, but one doubts if a ship of the line could have been manned so speedily, unless her commanding officer was known and respected, which perhaps says something about certain less popular officers and their reputed methods of maintaining discipline ?
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  293. Sep 1844. It may be of interest to note that the men serving on board the VICTORY were paid 6 months pay [in arrears], on 2 Sep 1844. These men will have been serving on board a vessel based in a home port and not liable to go to sea.
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  295. Sep 1844. Following the recent publication in the daily newspapers of a number of extracts from letters from RN officers describing the bombardment of Tangier by a French Squadron, in less than complimentary terms, the Flag Officer in the Mediterranean has called everyone's attention to the Naval Regulations relevant to those who resort to this activity and the displeasure that will be visited upon them by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty should their identity be discovered.
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  297. Nov 1844, officers' cabins on the gun-deck of line-of-battle-ships to be less substantial. Until now they have been constructed of wood frames, with panels of canvass, secured to cants below and aloft : the new cabins will be made of canvass, nailed to the deck above, and secured below by a cordage to staples ; these will be less trouble to remove when clearing decks for action.
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  299. The following circular has recently been issued by the Admiralty :-
    It having been represented to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that the word 'port' is frequently, though not universally, substituted on board Her Majesty's ships for the word 'larboard,' and as the want of a uniform Practice in this respect may lead to important and serious mistakes, and the distinction between 'starboard' and 'port' is so much more marked than that between 'starboard' and 'larboard,' it is their Lordships direction that the word 'larboard' shall no longer be used to signify left on board any of Her Majesty's ships or vessels. By command of their Lordships.
    To all Commanders-in Chief. Captains, and commanding officers of Her Majesty's ships and vessels.
    [Whether this was the first time this instruction was issued I wouldn't know for sure, but I have a feeling it might having been affirming something that was already in existence ?]
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  301. Jan 1845 - whilst it was denied by some there were reports that HMS Albion suffered a number of shortcomings - to highlight these deficiencies would appear to be have been politically incorrect and to have damned one's prospects of promotion etc :-

    During the voyage of the Albion from Lisbon to Plymouth, was she enabled to open the lower deck ports for a single day ?
    Did not the ship roll to that fearful degree, as to make the officer of the watch very apprehensive about her, and always anxious for the safety of the masts ?
    Are not the wardroom and the captain's cabin provided with stanchions and conveniences tar catching hold of when the vessel goes to sea ?
    Can the officer say that it would be safe to cast her guns adrift, especially the large ones, in a swell such as is usual to fight such guns ?
    Could her guns in any swell be fought effectually, in a way to meet the fire of other ships ?
    Has not the oakum fairly worked out of her seams, and are not the officers' cabins flooded very often, and the people kept wet and uncomfortable from the same cause ?
    Can the people venture to put a basin of chocolate on the table without its rolling off ?

  302. Mar 1845 it is reported in Congress that only 1 in 12 of USN vessels are manned by Americans.

  303. Sep 1846, the price of soap for the Navy was reduced by 2d. per lb. from 8d. to 6d. per lb.
  304. 1847, Naval General Service medal authorized.
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  306. The Naval Prisons Act of 1847, granted Commanding Officers the power of awarding a Summary Punishment by imprisonment, which could be "in any Place, Ship or Vessel, either afloat or on shore," appointed by the Admiralty for that purpose ; or in the absence of such facilities, in any public prison, which suggests that this may be the first official recognition of cells on board a ship.

  307. 1849, Good conduct badges introduced.

  308. 1850, New ration scale introduced. Rum ration halved to 1/8th pint, and the evening issue stopped and grog money introduced as compensation to teetotallers.

  309. 1852, Pursers and paymasters to receive full salaries: title changed to paymaster.

  310. 1852 Commission on Manning the Service started taking evidence.
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  312. Mar 1852. The passing of Mates to the Rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.-The regulations in force for the past two years relative to mates who have passed abroad, providing they should be at liberty to select either the first or second examination-day after being paid off, "have undergone revision." In consequence of questions in trigonometry and algebra being now added to the usual college examination papers, mates passing for the rank of lieutenant are to have the benefit of selecting the third examination day after their arrival in England ; or, in the case of officers having been paid off in a ship, the benefit of a third examination day after the date of their having been so paid-off. It is to be distinctly understood that should an officer neglect to pass on one of these three examination-days, or should he be rejected, he will forfeit all claim to have his seniority dated from the day of his original passing. These regulations are to apply to masters' assistants and second masters.
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  314. Mar 1852. The telegraphs at the various coast-guard stations on the south coast of England are to be placed in an efficient state, as well as those on the Essex and Norfolk coasts, and those from the South Foreland to Sheerness, by which means communications can be made from any of Her Majesty's vessels cruising in the Channel to any or all of the great naval arsenals. The ships in ordinary in the rivers Thames and Medway are to be so stationed as to convey intelligence to Chatham and Woolwich dockyards, and from the latter places to head-quarters at Whitehall. 20 years have elapsed since these telegraphs were used, and consequently they will in many places have to be replaced by new ones. The last time they were in operation was when Captain, now Admiral, Sir Hugh Pigot, commanded the Talavera guardship in the Downs, which service ceased in 1831.

  315. 1853 Introduction of the Continuous Service engagement for ratings along with improved rates of pay.

  316. 1853, the rates of Chief Petty Officer and Leading Seaman introduced.
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  318. Circular 131 of 7th October, 1853 introduced Summary Punishments by establishing a more uniform system of punishment, and laying down a numbered set of punishments with a maximum duration.

    That warrants were to be used for corporal punishment, cells or canvas screen, and deprivation of G.C. badges; and were to be read on the quarter deck.

    That punishments, except cells or canvas screen, suspended on Sundays. Confinement in coal bunkers or other close places prohibited. Captain may delegate to the officer next in command certain punishments.

    Service Certificate awards were to be
    1. Very Good (V.G.).,
    2. Good (G.).,
    3. Fair or passable,
    4. Indifferent,
    5. Bad,
    which formed the basis of the reforms which came into existence in the next decade.
  319. 1853, Introduction of Naval Uniform for ratings.

  320. Admiralty Circular published circa Dec 1853.
    Dec 1853. Shortage of First and Second Class Assistant Engineers.
    The services of first and second class assistant engineers being required, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have stated that such assistant-engineers as may in other respects be eligible, are to be permitted to present themselves for examination if they belong to ships about to leave England, provided they have completed to within sic months their period of service. They will thus, if they pass, be eligible for promotion when their full time is completed, instead of having to pass abroad, where frequently passing officers cannot be obtained.
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  322. Mar 1855, no Foreigner in future is to be entered for continuous service on board any of Her Majesty’s ships.

  323. 1856, Victoria Cross instituted.

  324. 1856, Executive curl on gold lace introduced for executive officers.
  325. Aug 1856, the service of invalid pensioners who served in reserve fleets (in ordinary,) during the Crimes War, were discharged from service and long service pensioners, who were paid an additional 3d. per day during the War were to undergo a medical if they wished to continue their duties, but the 3d. a day was discontinued. Those wishing to leave the service could claim their discharge immediately.
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  327. Nov 1856 - Preventing smuggling. Lieut. T. Hungerford, the District Officer of the Coast Guard, wrote from Castletownsend "as the winter season draws on and it is also appearing that smuggling transactions are taking place upon the coast I have to desire that the utmost vigilance may be observed at the several stations and on board the Bantry".
    (6)Irish Coast Guard Order Book 1852-60, National Maritime Museum, London, MS85/106.
    With thanks to Aidan Power.

  328. Balances Irrecoverable ------£. 432 8 5
    Balance due from the late Mr. Robert Collins, as Clerk in charge of Her Majesty's Ship " Bonetta," there being no sureties or personal estate from which the amount could be recovered (£80 14s. 1d.) ; also, from Mr. C. N. Wright, late Acting Paymaster of Her Majesty's Ship " Calliope," after recovering the amount of his bond from his sureties (£351 14s. 4 d).
    Source : Accounts and Papers presented to the House of Commons regarding the "Navy" for the financial year 1857-58.

  329. 1858, Assistant surgeons commissioned.

  330. 1858, Captains authorized to grant regular leave.

  331. 24 Aug 1858 The size of cells was regulated by Admiralty,

  332. 1859, Royal Naval Reserve established.

  333. 1859, Recruiting organization for ratings established.

  334. 1859 Second Commission on Manning the Service started taking evidence.

  335. 1859 Free Part Kit : Improved Victualling Scales : Free Mess Utensils : Free Bedding.
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  337. Purser's name for the ship's books. A Purser's name was a name given to a foreign rating e.g. Krooman, when Europeans had difficulty either spelling or pronouncing the man's name : examples of names given for Seedy boys entering on the East Coast of Africa include Happy Jack, Dismal Jimmy, Jack Fish, Tom Dollar, and the like. In former days it was quite common for seamen to be given a Purser's name for the ship's books.
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  339. Paid down. payments made during a ship's commission when a payment is made down to a certain date, thus leaving a credit balance on the ledger for the time when the ship was paid off, although with the introduction of continuous service engagements in 1853, and many men, particularly seamen, remaining in the service after a ship was paid off. However, with stokers and other personnel being paid off with the ship, the term often remained in force, unless the crew was being transferred to another ship, although most other branches became eligible for continuous service engagements in the decades leading up to the Great War, these men including Domestics, Stewards and Cooks etc., who remained on Non-continuous service engagements in the interim.

  340. 1860, First Naval Discipline Act passed. First and second classes for conduct introduced. Last man hanged at yardarm.

  341. 1860, Monthly payment introduced for officers and ratings.

  342. 1861 Naval Discipline Act 1860 repealed.
  343. 1861 passing of the Naval Discipline Act 1861.
  344. 1861 Q.R. & A.I., included the first mention of a Defaulters' Book, Record of Conduct Book, and Classifications for Conduct : see
  345. 1862, Gratuities for widows of men killed on active service established.

  346. 1863, Coloured bands of cloth introduced to distinguish officers' branches.

  347. 1864, Abolition of Red, White and Blue Squadrons. The White Ensign used by the Royal Navy.

  348. 1864, Commissioned rank of chief gunner, boatswain and carpenter established.

  349. 1867, Navigating Lieutenants replace Masters.

  350. 1868, Engine Room Artificer's rating established as chief petty officer.

  351. 1868, Cap ribbons officially recognized.
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  353. 1 Dec 1868, feed back from the fleet resulted in a revised edition of Summary Punishments being published, which permitted corporal punishment only for mutinous or highly insubordinate conduct, indecent assaults or acts etc., aggravated or repeated cases of theft, and deserting post.

  354. 1869, An Admiralty committee on victualling reported inconclusively.
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  356. 6 Jan 1870 : Royal Marines Pay Days : Mr. Childers having approved the reports of the committee appointed to investigate the method of keeping the accounts at the several divisions of Royal Marines, one of the principal recommendations came into effect at the Chatham division on the 1st inst., as an experiment for six months - the payment of the men once a week, instead of three times a week as heretofore, the abolition of the credits on the men's individual ledgers, and the Paymaster being held responsible for all cash transactions. By this method the number of the pay sergeants will be reduced by one-half, and the work in the Paymaster's office sensibly diminished. The credits on these ledgers, amounting to several hundred pounds, were paid over to the men at the end of the year without any prejudicial effect. The new system of payment, it is understood, is most acceptable to the men, and, as all the married men and Marines employed as artificers have heretofore been paid weekly without any hindrance with respect to discipline, there would seem to be no reason why the experiment should not prove a success, and thereby engender habits of frugality. The system will doubtless hereafter be adopted. in the other Divisions and in the Royal Marine Artillery, and may eventually be introduced into the army generally.
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  358. 18 Dec 1871, the infliction of corporal punishment further restricted, and in 1879 it was practically abolished. the last case that occurred in the Service being in 1882, but was retained in the K.R./Q.R. & A.I. until well into the 20th Century, although noted as being suspended. It is noted in the Naval Review that with the introduction of summary punishments in the 1860s less use was being made of corporal punishments.

  359. 1872, Cookery School opened at Portsmouth.

  360. 25 Jul 1872, the Admiralty have issued an order to the effect that all stokers of the second class and ordinary seamen entered at the home ports from the shore, on probation, will be allowed, on confirmation, if they volunteer for continuous service, to antedate their engagements to the date of their original entry, and to count back time and receive continuous service pay from trial date.

  361. 1873, Greenwich College founded

  362. 1873, colour eye tests for officers and ratings introduced.

  363. 1874, Flag officers no longer entitled to select replacement officers abroad when vacancies occur due to death.

  364. 30 Mar 1874, The Lords of the Admiralty have sanctioned an increase of pay to the following chief petty officers in Her Majesty's Navy. The increase, which is to take effect from Wednesday next, will be to the extent of 2d. a day to all who have less than three years service as chief petty officer and 4d. per day to all of three years service and upwards. The pay of chief boatswain's mates, chief captains of the forecastle, chief quartermasters, chief yeoman of signals, chief gunner's mates, and Admiral's coxswains who have less than three years service as chief petty officer, will therefore be from the above date, 2s. 7d. per day for continuous service, and 2s 4d. per day non-continuous service ; to those who have served three years and upwards as chief petty officer 2s. 9d. per day continuous service, and 2s. 6d. per day non-continuous service.

  365. 1876, Vernon (hulk) commissioned at Portsmouth for torpedo and electrical training and experimental work.

  366. 1877, Half stripe introduced for lieutenants, navigating lieutenants and civil branch equivalents of over eight years' seniority.

  367. 17 Jun 1882, the Hampshire Telegraph reports that the post of "Clerk of Official Visitors," a solicitor at Lewes, paid 12 GB pounds per annum, is to be disbanded, probably something connected with the nearby Lewes prison, much used by the RN for personnel convicted by Courts Martial, one of many small offices disbanded by the current government.

  368. 16 Aug 1882, an allowance of GB Pounds 50, per annum, has been granted to the writer at the Hong Kong Naval Hospital, in lieu of proper quarters.

  369. 1886, Ranks of Fleet Paymaster and Staff Paymaster introduced.

  370. 15 Jan 1887, an Order in Council has been published awarding Coastguard personnel a gratuity of 10 shillings for recruiting a stoker or artificer who is eventually accepted for service in the Navy.

  371. 1 Nov 1890, the Hampshire Telegraph newspaper reminds the Admiralty that it was 6 months since the problem of Chief Petty Officers pensions was raised in Parliament by Admiral Field to Lord George Hamilton, to the effect that Chief Petty Officers pensions were only paid at the rate for a First Class Petty Officer.

  372. 1890, Rank of Signal Boatswain introduced.

  373. 1890, Naval barracks established at Devonport.

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  375. 5 Mar 1894, an investigation commenced at Devonport Dockyard with a view measuring opinions with respect to paying allotments at the Post Office, in preference to them being collected from the Dockyard. After a week a straw pole suggested that the Post Office was the wive's preferred choice.

  376. 1900, Physical training becomes a specialist branch.
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  378. 12 Jan 1900 the battleships Majestic, Magnificent, Hannibal and Jupiter, of the Channel Squadron, were shortly to be fitted with Wireless Telegraphy, 2 signal boatswains and 2 signal petty officers from each ship attending courses of instruction on the equipment.
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  380. 1903. Week-End Leave. In the Channel Fleet the system was to give week-end leave from after dinner on Saturday, one watch each week till 7 a.m. Monday morning, so that in most cases the men had only one night at home, and many spent Sunday travelling, often, if they were not to break their leave being compelled to arrive in the port many hours before a boat from their ship would come in to take them off.

    The new arrangement gave week-end leave once a month from Friday after dinner till noon on Monday, thus the men had three nights at home once a month for one railway fare instead of, in most cases, two nights for two railway fares. Naval Review.

  381. 1904, Ratings' messes granted free issue of knives, forks, basins and plates.

  382. 1906, Start of ration allowance i.e. the payment of a small sum of money to men on leave, a refund of the money that would have been spent by the Service to cover the cost of their food if they'd remained on board.

  383. 1907, improved Canteen and Victualling arrangements per Login Committee.

  384. 1907, Oilskins, watch coats, seaboots, stokehold boots issued on loan.

  385. 1907, Corporal punishment suspended completely.

  386. 1909, Detention introduced as a punishment.
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  388. 1916-19 - Extra Pay for Mine Clearance
    1916 Under an Admiralty Order of September, 1916, sweepers "not manned by active service naval ratings" a reward of £5 paid for the destruction or salvage of an enemy or British moored mine and £1 for a drifting mine. In "special circumstances " £10 per mine might he paid.
    From 1919 to receive £10 for German mines destroyed. Officers are to be paid a bonus of £4 a week, petty and chief petty officers £2 10s., and other ratings £2.
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