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Re-organisation of Rating of Ships, of Ships' Complements, of Naval Pay, of Ratings - 1817

Proposals and Regulations relative to the Royal Navy made by the Board of the Admiralty, and sanctioned by Order in Council, commencing on the 1st of January 1817

It was to be expected, that, in the natural lapse of time, and still more, in the course of a war, unexampled in duration and extent, several variations from the old establishment and regulations of the Royal Navy should have taken place; and however desirable, in the view either of economy or convenience, uniformity way be, it was impossible, during the pressure of war, either to resist the innovations which temporary circumstances rendered necessary, or to remould and reform the while system of the navy, on every occasion on which some alteration was introduced.

We therefore find that there have grown up several inconsistencies, irregularities, and departures from the establishments, in particular articles of the naval service ; and as we think this a favourable occasion for endeavouring to remedy the inconvenience which arises from these irregularities, and to reduce, as far as may be practicable, the several alterations which have been made, into one regular system, we most humbly beg leave to submit to your Royal Highness's gracious consideration, the following observations and propositions, on the rates, classification, and schemes of arming and manning His Majesty's ships ; and on the pay, ratings, and numbers of the officers and warrant and petty and non-commissioned officers of His Majesty's Navy and Royal Marines, and the establishment of the companies of Royal Marines Artillery.

I. The postships of the Royal Navy are divided; into six rates ; besides which, there are the various classes of sloops, fire-ships, bombs, gun-vessels, yachts, schooners, and cutters.

The division of the Royal Navy into six rates took place in the reign of King Charles the First, and at that period, and for several years afterwards these rates included the whole navy.

In the reign of King Charles the Second, the sloops, fire-ships, and yachts, became distinguished from the sixth rates.

At the Revolution, the rates comprised nearly the same classes of ships which they now do, except that the sixth rate still included vessels of a less number of guns than twenty.

In the year 1719, a general establishment for building was adopted, which however was not long adhered to.

In 1733, a scheme of manning and armament, or gunning, as it was called, was proposed, but the latter was not adopted till the year 1742, and then only as applying to ships built since 1740.

In 1742, the ships of 20 guns, of the sixth rate, were increased to 24 guns, and 160 men, and this became for the time the lowest class of post ships.

In the year 1745, the Board of Admiralty, observing that

" no establishment or regulation for building ships had been made since the year 1719, which had been long discontinued; that instead thereof ships had been built according to particular schemes and proportions, without any standard or uniformity ; those of the same rate being often of unequal dimensions, so that the stores and furniture of one would not suit another of the same class, - a matter of infinite inconvenience in point of service, as well as the occasion of extravagance in point of expense, &c." ;

directed a committee composed of all flag-officers unemployed, of the commissioners of the navy who were sea officers, under the presidency of Sir John Norris, Admiral of the Fleet, and assisted by all the master shipwrights, to consider and propose proper establishments of guns, men, scantling of timbers, masts, yards, stores, &c., for each rate and class of His Majesty's ships.

This committee made a very elaborate report, and the whole was established by Order in Council of His Majesty King George the Second, on the 17th of March, 1746.

By this establishment, the rates, armament, and complements, of his Majesty's ships, were to be as follow:- :

Rate Guns Men Rate Guns Men
1 100 850 or 750 4 60 420 or 380
2 90 750 or 660 50 350 or 280


80 650 or 600 5 44 280 or 220
70 520 or 460 6 24 160 or 148

On this establishment, it is to observed, that the 80-gun ships of the third rate were on three decks, and that the Board of Admiralty had suggested to the committee the expediency of substituting, instead of this class, ships of 74 guns on two decks and a half, a proposition decidedly rejected by the committee.

A short period only had however elapsed, before a very striking instance was given, both of the way in which innovations are produced, and of the impossibility of resisting them ; for, on the 3d of February, 1747, the Board of Admiralty acquainted his Majesty, that,

"the French ship Invincible, lately captured, was found to be larger than his Majesty's ships of 90 guns and 750 men ; and suggested that this ship, and all other prizes of the like class, and also his Majesty's ships of 90 guns, when reduced to two decks and a half, and 74 guns, should be allowed a complement of 700 men ;"

and, in 1748, the Board represented to the King in Council, that the ships built according to the representations of the committee had not answered their expectations, and they therefore prayed his Majesty s sanction for departing, in new ships about to be built, from the forms and models so lately established. This was granted, but not till the Board had been called upon by the Council, to lay before it a particular account of the alterations and variations designed ; and on several subsequent occasions, in which the said establishment was departed from, a minute detail of the variation was previously submitted for the approbation of his Majesty in Council. We the [sic] rather notice these particulars, to show the difficulty, not to say the impossibility, of establishing and adhering to any fixed forms or scantlings ; on which subject we shall humbly submit some observations hereafter.

Subsequent to this period, the introduction of 74's appears to have gradually advanced, as well as frigates of intermediate sizes, between 44's and 24's ; for in the latter end of the reign of King George the Second, the classes of ships comprised in the several rates were as follow, viz. :-

Rate Guns Rate Guns
1st 100 5th 44
2d 90   38
3d 80   36
  74   32
  70 6th 30
  64   28
4th Rate 60   24
  50   20

During the whole of the period herein before referred to, and indeed down to 1793, the force of the ships was stated from the actual number of guns they really carried ; but the introduction of carronades which began partially in 1779, and which was finally adopted, on the present extended scale in the Navy, during the course of the first revolutionary war, increased the armament of the vessels, as they were found able to carry a greater number of carronades than the guns is whose stead they were adopted, so that the real force of the ships has no longer corresponded with their nominal force ; and that principle of variation being once admitted, ships have since that time received denominations as to their number of guns, often, we believe, capriciously, and in one or two classes only, of the whole Navy, agreeing with their real force.

A few instances will show your Royal Highness the inconsistencies into which this deviation from the old rules of the service has led.

The Caledonia, rated 120 guns, carries 120 guns ; while the Hibernian, a ship of nearly the same dimensions, which carries exactly the same number of guns, is rated only at 110 guns, being a less number by 4 than that at which the San Joseph is rated, though the former has in fact 10 guns more than the latter.

All ships of the second rate, though rated as 98, carry upwards of 100 guns, and they have all more guns than the St. George, a first rate, which is rated and carries 100 guns ; and they ought all, therefore, according to the established regulations, to be included in the first rate, and there are in fact no real second rates, viz. three-deckers of between 90 and 100 guns, at present existing in the Royal Navy, in a sea-going condition.

In the third rate, some of the ships rated at 80 guns carry near 90, and others rated as 74 carry 80 guns, but the majority of the same denomination, carry 74, and this is one of the very few cases in which the real and nominal force agree.

In the fourth rate, of the ships rated at 50 guns, one class (that on two decks) carries 58 guns, another (that on one deck) carries 60 and upwards.

In the fifth rate there are three frigates rated as of 44 guns, namely, the Sybille, taken from the French, which carries 48 guns ; the Lavinia, built after her, which carries 50 guns ; and the late. American ship President, the guns mounted in which, on the day of her capture, were 54, besides one 42-pounder howitzer.

The frigates rated at 40 guns carry 50, and those rated at 38 carry 46 and upwards.

The majority of those rated at 36 guns carry 44, some of those rated at 32 carry 46 and 48, being more than others that are rated at 38 and 36.

Similar differences between the real and the nominal amount of force exist in the fifth rate, but it is unnecessary to specify the details.

We trust we shall be excused for observing to your Royal Highness that it is wholly unworthy the character of the Royal Navy of this kingdom to maintain this system which, though introduced by the accidental cause we have mentioned, and without any design of deception, yet may give occasion to foreign nations to accuse us of misrepresentation, when we state that a British frigate of 38 guns has taken a foreign frigate of 44, when, in fact, the British frigate was of equal, it not superior, force.

We therefore humbly recommend, that your Royal Highness will be pleased to order, that the rule fur stating the force of his Majesty's ships which prevailed prior to the year 1793. and which, in fact, never was formally abrogated, should be, revived and established ; and that in future all his Majesty's ships should be rated at the number of guns and carronades which they actually carry, on their decks, quarter-decks, and forecastles.

The recurrence let this ancient practice of the service will render some slight variation, as to the limits of some of the rates themselves, necessary ; and the therefore humbly propose that the following scale of rates be adopted:-

The first rate to include all 3-deckers, inasmuch as all sea-going ships of that description carry 100 guns and upwards.

The second rate to include all ships of 80 guns and upwards, on two decks.

The third rate to include all ships of 70 or upwards, and less that 80 guns.

The fourth rate to include all ships of 50 and upwards, but less than 70 guns.

The fifth rate to include all ships from 36 to 50 guru.

The sixth rate to include all ships from 24 to 36 guns.

Though, by this regulation, no ship under 24 guns will hereafter be a postship, we, in pursuance of the ancient practice of the service, propose that all his Majesty's yachts should be considered as post ships, and should be rated, one as a second rate, and the rest as third rates, but with such complements as we may appoint.

It is necessary here to state, that several sloops are note rated as post ships, and vice versa ; and as much inconvenience to the officer who may he in the command of such ships, and much embarrassment to the public service would arise, it the present rates of such vessels were to be immediately changed, we submit to your Royal Highness that with regard to any such vessels at present in commission, this new arrangement shall not apply, until they shall be paid off, or until some other favourable opportunity shall offer of placing them in their proper rates.

Your Royal Highness will observe that this scheme differs very little from that which has grown into use, and still less from the last establishment (that of 1746), which had the sanction of his Majesty in council, and which, strictly speaking, may be said to be still in force.

We beg leave farther to represent to your Royal Highness that the schemes for manning his Majesty's a ships have, from the causes already referred to with regard to the guns, and from accidental and temporary circumstances, become so very various, that though these six rates were originally intended to regulate, amongst other things, the amount of the respective complements, there exist at this moment not fewer than twenty-nine different scales for manning the ships of the six rates; the third rate alone including seven distinct complements.

It were to be desired that all this variety and irregularity should be abolished ; but we have seen that, so early as the year 1746, there were sixteen schemes of manning, and the variety of ships which have been from time to time built or captured (which though they may fall under the same rate, are yet of very different sizes) render perfect uniformity in this point impracticable : we are, however, of opinion, on mature consideration, that this variety may be very much diminished, and that two, and, in one or two rates, three schemes of manning, in each rate, will be found to answer all the practical purposes of the service, and will tend to simplify the system, by thus reducing the twenty-nine schemes before-mentioned to thirteen or fourteen.

We therefore submit for your Royal Highness's gracious approbation, that the following be the only complements to be hereafter allowed to the several rates of his Majesty's ships and vessels:

Rate Men Rate Men
1st 900, 850, or 800 4th 450 or 350
2d 700 or 650 5th 300 or 280
3d 650 or 600 6th 175,145, or 125

Of sloops there are so many varieties, that we cannot propose to reduce the eight schemes of complement now existing, to less than four, as follow ; viz. sloops, 135, 125, 95, and 75 men.

Brigs (not sloops), cutters, schooners, and bombs, we propose to reduce from ten schemes of complement to two, namely, 60 or 50 men.

And we also propose that for small craft, which may not require so large a complement as 50 men, we may be authorized to assign such a complement as we may deem necessary.

As there are no longer any regular fire-ships in the service, we humbly propose that, whenever it may become necessary to fit out any vessels of this description, we may he authorized to assign to them such complement of officers and men, together with the pay of such rate or class, as the size of the vessel employed, or the nature of the particular service, may render expedient.

We farther propose, that when it shall be necessary to fit out troop ships, we may he authorized to assign to them such rates and complements as may seem proper.

By these regulations, the forty-seven varieties of complements, now in use in the navy, will be reduced to twenty.

Having thus submitted to your Royal Highness our propositions for the rating and manning of his Majesty's ships, it is next our duty to state, that the varieties in the ringing and arming of ships are at least as great as in the complements ; the irregularities and deviation from establishment in regard to the form, scantling, &c. of his Majesty's ships, complained of in 1745, are now exceedingly increased, and are of much more serious injury to the service, both in respect to convenience and economy.

It is obvious that the extra expense of providing masts, yards, rigging, and stores of various dimensions, for ships of the same actual force, must be very great ; because, if not required for the particular ship for which they were originally prepared, they are either useless, or must he altered to fit some other ship at a great loss of labour-time and materials; and, in case of accidents or urgency, this variety disables the ships from assisting each other : and it requires that the naval arsenals, both at home and abroad, should be furnished, at a very great expense, with a much larger assortment of these articles than would be necessary if they could be made more generally applicable to the probable wants of the whole fleet ; this will be explained to your Royal Highness more forcibly, by stating that for the single class of ships of the third rate, called 74s, there were lately not less than seven different schemes of masting and rigging.; and that a squadron might he composed of seven vessels of this force, which could not properly employ one another's spare spars and sails, and for each of which the dock-yards must necessarily have their individual gear.

It is in this particular, above all others, that uniformity would be desirable ; but the experience of what occurred immediately after the establishment of 1746, as we have already staled, and of all subsequent times, shows that it is unfortunately unattainable : the varieties of ships produced by successive endeavours to improve our models, and still more the great numbers of ships of all classes which have been captured from the various enemies with whom we have been at war, render any scheme of perfect uniformity impracticable ; but this very important subject has not escaped our consideration.

We have, in conjunction with the Navy Board, and with the assistance of a committee of experienced sea officers, taken measures for pushing this principle of uniformity as far as the nature of the case would allow ; and though the experience of what has occurred on former occasions dissuades us from attempting to establish, by the approbation and sanction of your Royal Highness in Council, minute details of the forms, lines, and scantlings of his Majesty's ships, we have the satisfaction of stating that a system of gradual assimilation is in progress, and that we hope to see it every day become of more extensive operation, and mare practical utility ; and we beg leave humbly to assure your Royal Highness, that no efforts shall be spared, on our parts, to prevent, for the future, any unnecessary deviation from the establishments of rigging and armament, and to reduce the variations which exist to as few classes as possible.

We now proceed to submit to your Royal Highness some observations on the present mode of calculating the sea pay of the officers and men of the fleet.

The pay of all classes in the service is liable to certain permanent deductions ; and the pay of commissioned and warrant officers receives a very considerable addition, under the name of compensation ; so that the rates of pay stated in the pay tale would give a very erroneous idea of the actual pay of the several classes.

But the present system is also liable to other and more serious objections ; for these deductions, from causes which are now become obsolete affect the different classes very irregularly.

Thus, the deduction from the pay of a post captain, commanding a ship whose complement may be 215 men is 4s. 3d per mensem, while that from the pay of all captains of smaller post ships, and of all commanders, is 4s. 9d. ; while the deduction from the still inferior pay of lieutenants and masters is as much as from 6s. to 7s. 9d. per mensem ; and while the deductions from a gunner or boatswain of a first rate are 5s. 9d., those tom the carpenter are 6s.

The addition, by way of compensation, has an equally irregular effect.

The nominal pay of post captains is the same for all ships of the same rate ; and yet in the third rate, for instance, for which the pay in the pay-table is 23. 1s. per mensem there are in fact, six rates of pay, namely:-

s. d.   s. d.

per mensem


per mensem

40 5 9   42 0 9
43 15 9   45 10 0
47 5 9   47 3 3

It is obvious that this system of alternate deduction and addition, must occasion great trouble and perplexity in the mode of keeping the accounts ; and it will be evident to your Royal Highness, how inconvenient this confusion must be, to all branches of the public service concerned with this matter; which is increased by the circumstance that the officers who are entitled to draw for their pay by bill, can only draw for their personal pay, from which the several deductions are previously to he made.

We have therefore humbly to recommend to your Royal Highness that the pay of all officers and men be established, and states in the pay-table, at a rate of net pay, including all additions, and exclusive of all deductions.

The effect of this, as it regards all classes, will be stated in a general pay-table, hereunto annexed ; but as the change of system obliges us to propose an average rate of pay for officer of the same rate, who now receive various compensations ; and as we have also to propose some increase of pay to some other classes, we think it proper, in this case, to lay before your Royal Highness a view of the several rates of pay, or of pay and compensation united, as they now stand, and the annual rates of net pay which we propose to establish in lieu thereof, to which we shall subjoin some explanation of several points of alteration, viz.-









Net pay and compensation



Net pay, 61. per diem..


As commander-in-Chief 3 per diem


As commander-in-chief




2 Total



  s. d.  
Net pay and compensation


11 9 Net pay 51, per diem


As commander-in-chief


10 0 As commander-in-Chief 3 per diem




1 9




  s. d.  
Net pay and compensation 1,788 11 9 Net pay 5 per diem



  s. d.  
Net pay and compensation


19 0 Net pay 4 per diem


As commander-in-chief


10 0 As commander-in-Chief 3 per diem




9 0 Total



  s. d.  
Net pay and compensation 1,251 19 0 Net pay 4 per diem



  s. d.  
Net pay and compensation


5 1 Net pay 5 per diem


As commander-in-chief


10 0 As commander-in-Chief 3 per diem




15 1





  s. d.  
Net pay and compensation 881 5 1 Net pay 3 per diem 1,095

Rate s. d. Rate
1st 812 6 0 1st 800
  800 18 6
2d 683 6 9
3d 626 18 3 2d 700
  615 10 9
  592 15 9
  570 0 9 3d 600
  517 5 9
  524 10 9
4th 461 9 3 4th 500
  438 13 3
  404 9 9
  393 4 2
5th 368 10 9 5th 400
  357 3 3
  345 15 9
  334 8 3
  323 0 9
  300 5 9
6th 306 18 9 6th 350
  295 11 3
  284 3 6
Various rates from 368 10 9 .................. 300
to 261 8 9
Commanding 148 12 10 ...................... 150
to 130 12 4
1st of line of bat. ship if of 7 years standing 119 4 21
Of the fleet 172 12 8   200
1st Rate 172 12 8

1st Rate


2d " 159 2 2

3d "




2d " 160
3d " 150
4th " 132 1 8   140
5th " 118 11 2   120
6th " 105 11 10   110
Sloop 91 10 8   100
In 1st, 2d, 3d, & 4th rates 67 9 3   70
In 51h rates and infra 67 9 3   60


Rate       Rate  
1st 72 4 4



2d 65 15 9
3d 59 6 10 2nd and 3rd


4th and 5th 52 18 3 4th and 5th


6th, and Sloop 49 13 10 6th, and Sloop



In all Rates 160 8 8  



Rate       Rate  
1st 48 17 9



2d 44 19 6
3d 42 9 6 2d and 3d


4th 37 10 0 4th


In all others 33 4 10 In all others 45
1st Rate 35 3 10

1st Rate


2d 31 18 9
3d 30 6 2 2d and 3d Rate 45
4th 27 17 3

In all others


All others 25 8 5


Rate       Rate  
1st 55 14 7    
2d 51 19 10 1st
5th and 6th
3d 48 11 8
4th 41 12 8
all others 37 3 1
1st 35 3 10
2d 31 18 9
3d 30 6 2
4th 27 17 3
All others 25 8 5    

Your Royal Highness will observe in this table, that the most considerable alteration has been made in favour of flag officers ; and of this we beg to submit the following explanations:

So long ago as the year 1693, the pay of the flag officers of the fleet was at a higher rate than it stands as present, as will appear on a comparison of the rates established by Order in Council of the 2d of February of that year, with the present rates :-




  s d. s. d.  
Admiral of the Fleet 6 0 0 5 10 0

Per diem

Admiral 4 0 0 3 17 0
Vice-Admiral 3 0 0 2 15 0
Rear-admiral 2 0 0 1 18 6

8y the said Order in Council of the 22d of February, 1693, the extravagant number of servants previously allowed was abolished, and the officers were allowed a number about equal to the present establishment.

This wise and salutary plan, which excluded all profits on Servants, and assigned an adequate rate of net pay, was, however, rescinded by Order in Council of the 18th of April, 1700, which established the following rates of pay, and re-established the following extravagant number of Servants



  s. d.  
Admiral of the Fleet 5 0 0 50
Admiral 3 10 0 30
Vice-Admiral 2 10 0 20
Rear-Admiral 1 15 0 15

And at these rates the pay of the Flag-officers remained for upwards of 100 years, till, by Order in Council of the 23d of April, 1806 His Majesty was pleased, by a small addition, to make the pay what it at present is.

It is not easy to determine what, besides their pay, were the advantages that these officers made by their servants ; but it is computed, in the appendix to the Order in Council of the 22d of February, 1693, that the annual saving to the public, on the reduction of the servants, would be on each officer as follows:

  s d
Admiral of the Fleet
















Whether, therefore, these sums, or the sums granted as compensation, be added to the officers pay, it will be apparent to your Royal Highness, that even on the reduced scale of 1700, the pecuniary advantages of the Flag-Officers of His Majesty's fleet were as great as they were for upwards of 100 years after, and very inconsiderably, if at ail, less than they are at present.

We trust, therefore, on a review of these circumstances, and of the increase which has taken place in other parts of his Majesty's service that the addition which we propose, of about 150 per annum to Admirals, 190 to Vice-Admirals, and 120 to Rear-admirals, will appear moderate and reasonable.

With regard to the latter class of officers, it is worthy of observation, that if a Rear-Admiral should be serving in a first-rate, his whole pay and compensation amount to but 881., while his Captain, who lives at his table, and who is comparatively at no expense, receives 812. We notice this, not as thinking the Captains pay too much, as we propose only to reduce it to 800, but as showing the inconsistency of the present arrangement, ant! the necessity of making some addition to the Flag Officers' pay.

Your Royal Highness will farther observe, that we propose to double the allowance at present granted to Commanders-in-Chief under the name of table money. We have done so, on a very mature consideration of the situation of officers of this rank ; and your Royal Highness must be aware of the necessity of this increase from the circumstance which has been frequently communicated to your Royal Highness, of the difficulty of inducing officers to accept, particularly in times of peace, this command ; and your Royal Highness is aware, that of six Rear-Admirals, now commanding in chief on foreign stations, we have been obliged to recommend that your Royal Highness should be pleased to allow three of them to receive the emoluments of full Admirals ; and we should, if the measure we now propose should not be adopted, find ourselves under the necessity of proposing to year Royal Highness to extend the same indulgence to the other three Commander-in-Chief abroad.

We have also not been inattentive to the rates of pay allowed to the officers of his Majesty's army of corresponding ranks. A military Commander of the Forces, whose situation is equivalent to that of a Naval Commander in Chief, receives, in addition to his unattached pay, 9. 9s 6d. per diem ; whereas we propose for the Naval Commander in Chief, an addition of only 3 per diem ; but as the sea pay of the Flag-officer is greater than the unattached pay of the General, it is necessary, in order to give your Royal Highness a fair comparative view of the subject, to submit the following table :-





    s d
Sea pay


Unattached pay




As Commander in Chief


As Com. of Forces












Sea pay


Unattached pay




As Commander in Chief 1,095 As Com. of Forces 3,458 0 0
  2,555   4,051 0 0



Sea pay


Unattached pay



As Commander in Chief


As Com. of Forces










Your Royal Highness will perceive that the military officer's pay is, in every case, nearly one-third more than we propose for the naval officer ; but there are circumstances peculiar to the naval service, which, in our opinion, counterbalance this superiority.

In times of peace, the number of officers having commissions as Commanders of the Forces, is, we are informed, very limited ; whereas the Commanders in Chief in the navy are almost as numerous in peace as in war : the number, therefore, of flag-officers who will receive this advantage and the narrower sphere of their duties, must be set off against the inferiority of the sum received.

In times of war, the number of Commanders in Chief ; if not greater, is not less than that of Commanders of the Forces ; but we consider that the superior advantages to be derived by the flag-officer, from his share of prize-money, wilt generally afford an ample compensation for the proposed inferiority of pay,

Upon the whole, then, of this part of the subject, we trust that your Royal Highness will agree with us, that the proposed rates of pay are just and equitable, as well with regard to the officers themselves, as to the public service at large ; and that, however they way nominally differ from the rates allowed to the general officers of his Majesty's s army, they will be found to establish as much real equality as the difference of the two services will admit of.

We have presumed to enter into this comparison with the pay of the army, lest it should be hereafter supposed that we had not considered the subject in reference to the military service; and in order to show that, although a perfect similarity cannot be effected, we have endeavoured, as far as it was possible, to attain a real equality, and to obviate any complaints on the score of the apparent differences.

We think it farther necessary to propose, that Commanders in Chief shall be entitled to this allowance of 3 per diem, only while their flags are flying within the limits of their respective stations, and that, on their decease, or during their absence, the said sum shall be paid, as is at present provided, to the officer who shall succeed to the command, if he be a flag-officer ; but if he be a captain, that he shall be entitled to the sun of 1 per diem during the time his broad pendant may be hoisted as commanding on the station.

And we farther propose that all flag-officers, whether Commanders in Chief or otherwise, shall be allowed to draw fur the whole of their sea pay and Commander in Chief's pay, without distinction.

We farther beg leave to observe to your Royal Highness, that the advance of three mouths' Pay now made to flag-officers on their appointments, is so inadequate to the necessary expenses of their outfit, that it has been the custom to grant to flag-officers, appointed Commanders in Chief on certain foreign stations, an imprest of one thousand, pounds by way of outfit ; but we think it better that, in lieu of this occasional indulgence, every flag officer appointed to the chief command of a foreign station, should be entitled to receive an advance of six months' pay, which would obviate the necessity of the occasional imprests we have hitherto been obliged to grant.

The pay of the other classes has been computed, not with a view to any considerable increase, but at a sum calculated upon the averages of the present rates.

It will at first sight appear, that the pay proposed for captains and commanders is considerably more than the average of the several rates now established : but upon this we have to observe, that the difference is not so great as it appears to be:-

Firstly because the lower rates of pay are attached to ships of the smallest size in each rate, which are gradually disappearing from the navy, so that the majority of officers now employed receive the higher rates of pay ; and secondly, because captains of flag ships are at present entitled to a considerable addition of pay, which comes highest in the lowest rates, and in peace affects a greater proportional number than in war. The value of this addition we nave calculated in the amount of net pay before proposed, and these circumstances render the real increase of expense on this head less than it appears.

We have proposed that the pay of first lieutenants of line of battle ships shall be increased from 119. 3d, per annum, which they now receive in common with all other lieutenants, to 150 per annual, provided they shall be of 7 years' standing ; and we recommend that lieutenants commanding small vessels should be raised to the same sum ; and we trust that your Royal Highness, considering the important duties and high responsibility of the senior lieutenants of the line of battle ships, will be of opinion that this increase is just and expedient and the increase of 18 per annum to lieutenants, who may be subjected to the expense and responsibility of a separate command, will not, we trust, be considered too great.

It is proper to add, that the principle of making a distinction in favour of first lieutenants of line of battleships, is not new to the service : as at the first establishment of half pay, in 1693, this advantage was extended only to first lieutenants of 1st, 2d, and 3d rates. who had served as such for a certain period.

Though we have, for the reasons before stated, recommended the discontinuance of the flag pay to captains, (having provided an equivalent therefore), we do not propose to withdraw the allowance of 6d. per diem allowed to lieutenants of flagships, by his Majesty's order in Council of the 21st September 1796, having made no addition to the pay of this class of officers, except in the single instance before mentioned.

We have farther taken into consideration the pay at present granted to young gentlemen, mates or midshipmen in his Majesty's service, the average of which (for it varies is different rates) may be taken of the former at 40 and of the latter at 30 per annum. We do not feel it necessary to propose an increase of these rates, with regard to young men who have not passed their examination for lieutenants ; but we hope that your Royal Highness will be of opinion, that those who have passed that examination, and whose responsibility and usefulness, as well as their necessary expenses, increase with their age, are entitled to a higher remuneration than young persons who may have lately entered his Majesty's service. We therefore have proposed an increase of pay to all mates and midshipmen who may have passed their examination.

We have to observe that the examination of young gentlemen for the rank of lieutenant has been lately made more strict, as, besides the usual examination in seamanship before naval officers, they are now obliged to undergo another at the naval college, as to their proficiency in the scientific branches of their profession. We cannot but hope that the distinction, which we propose to establish in favour of those who shall have passed the prescribed examination (though it is new in his Majesty's service), cannot be considered as objectionable, either in principle or amount.

Connected with this part of the subject is the situation of school master on board his Majesty's ships, which is at present so ill remunerated (namely, at the same rate as the youngest midshipmen) that it is found impossible to obtain persons of adequate acquirements to undertake this duty; we however feel so strongly the importance of the subject of the education of young persons in his Majesty's navy, as well of the upper ranks as the lower, that we have felt ourselves bound to propose to your Royal Highness an addition to the pay of the schoolmasters in the fleet; and if the chaplain should perform the duty of schoolmaster, which is highly desirable, we propose that he should receive the pay of both offices : this regulation, we think, will hare the double tendency of improving both the condition and respectability of the chaplain and the schoolmaster; and our desire to encourage persons to undertake this duty induces us to recommend that the allowance to the schoolmaster, called Queen Ann's bounty, of 20 per annum, and the remuneration to the chaplain for the tuition of young gentlemen, granted by the Orders in Council of the 4th March, 1812, and 4th March, 1813, may he continued.

The arrangements respecting warrant and petty officers we shall state distinctly in subsequent sections of this memorial.

The rest of this section relates to the drawing of bills for pay, &c.

III. This section, alter stating the inconsistencies in the existing rates of pay for boatswains, gunners, carpenters, &c, proposes the following regulations:

1st The pay and superannuation of gunners, boatswains, and carpenters, shall I be regulated by the same scale.

2d. The scale of sea and ordinary pay shall be as follows, in the several rates:

Rate 1st 2d 3d 4th 5th 6th et infra
Sea .. 100 90 80 70 65 60
Ordinary ... 85 75 65 55 50 45

3d. The above pay is to be personal and net, and no deductions or compensations are to be made.

4th. No warrant officer shall be appointed to a fifth rate, who shall not have served two years either in a sixth rate or sloop in commission nor to a fourth rate, who shall not have served two years in a fifth rate in commission ; nor to a third rate, who shall not have served one year in a fourth rate in commission, or three rears in a fourth or fifth rate in commission ; nor to a second rate, who shall not have served two years in a third rate in commission ; nor to a first rate, who shall nut have served three years in a second or third rate in commission. But as in times of peace it may not be possible for officers to serve the required time in commission, we submit, that in cases of vacancy, when there happens to be no man who has served the requisite time for an appointment, it may be given to the person who may be, in our opinion, in other respects the best qualified for and entitled to the situation.

5th In the event of any warrant officer being put out of his ship by her being lost, broken up or otherwise, he shall he placed as supernumerary in one of his Majesty's ships in ordinary of the same rate, until we may have an opportunity of giving him another appointment.

6th. The rates of superannuation of warrant officers shall be according to the following scale, formed on a consideration of the total length of service as warrant officer, with the length of service in Commission :-

Total Service Service Commissioned  
years years
30 20 85
30 15 75
30 10 65
30 5 55
20 20 75
20 15 65
20 10 55
20 5 45
15 15 60
15 10 50
15 5 40
10 10 45
10 5 35

7th. Officers whose length of service may happen not to fall exactly under any of the preceding numbers, shall be pensioned agreeably to the rate which may come nearest to their length of service.

8th. Officers having a shorter period of service than the lowest of the foregoing, shall receive either the pension to which their services would entitle them from Greenwich hospital, or such other sum, not exceeding 30 per annum as we, on a view of the individual case, may appoint.

9th. No warrant officer shall reckon as service, either for promotion or superannuation, any time for which he shall not have a certificate of good conduct from the captains or commanders of the ships in which he may have served ; and if the certificate should not state the good and meritorious conduct of the officer for the specified period, such time is to be disallowed him ; but if the warrant officer thinks he has any reason to complain thereof, he may address his complaint to our secretary, for our inquiry and final decision; and in this case, we submit that we be authorized to allow the time or not, as we may judge proper.

If your Royal Highness shall be graciously pleased to sanction the foregoing propositions on this branch of the subject, we shall be enabled to superannuate several hundreds of worn-out and disabled officers, who are at present on the ordinary, and of whom we cannot clear the list (which ought to be effective) with justice and humanity to these old servants of the public, while the present partial and inadequate rates of superannuation exist ; but we have farther the satisfaction of stating to your Royal Highness, that this benefit to the naval service will not create any additional expense to the country ; as the saving of the cost now incurred for victualling and keeping in full pay so large a number of inefficient persons, will not only compensate the whole additional expense of the arrangement relative to warrant officers, which we thus humbly submit to your Royal High Highness's gracious considerations, but will even diminish considerably the expense which, on the peace establishment, may arise from the other propositions which we have submitted.

IV We now beg leave humbly to represent to your Royal Highness, that having had under consideration the numbers and ratings of the petty officers of his Majesty's fleet, we have found that there are several useful duties for which no proper ratings are provided ; while, on the other hand, several ratings are preserved in the table which have become obsolete, and which have no duties now attached to them, and which are now, we have reason to think, given to men whom the several captains think deserving of higher pay, and for whom they have no appropriate ratings.

With a view, therefore, of remedying these irregularities, and of giving fair encouragement to that class of men, the petty officers, we humbly submit that your Royal Highness may be pleased to sanction the establishment of the following additional ratings, the effective duties of which are now performed without any corresponding rating:

Admiral's Coxswain. Gunner's Yeoman,
Coxswain of the Launch, Carpenter's Yeoman,
Coxswain of the Pinnace, Captain's Steward,
Captain of the Hold, Captain's Cook
Yeoman of the Signals, Ward or Gun-room Steward.
Cooper's Mate, Ward or Gun-room Cook,
Cooper's Crew, Ship's Tailor

Two of these ratings have been already established by Order in Council, but we have nevertheless included them in the above list, because they are not in the general table of ratings, and in order to lay before your Royal Highness, at one view, the whole of this part of the subject:

And we farther submit to your Royal Highness, to be pleased to sanction the abolition of the following obsolete or unnecessary ratings:

Yeoman of the Powder-room, Coxswain's Mates
Yeoman of the Sheets, Swabbers
Quarter-Master's Mates, Ordinary Trumpeter,
Trumpeters, Shifter,
Gun Smiths Gunner's Tailor.
Midshipman Ordinary,  

The expense to be occasioned by the establishment of the former ratings will, after deducting that of the ratings proposed to be abolished, be very inconsiderable ; namely, 3. 2s. per mensem in a first rate, and less in proportion in the others ; being in the whole, on one ship of each class in the Royal Navy, only 12 7s. per mensem.

We beg leave farther to state, that, as the carpenters and carpenter's mates and carpenter's crews find their own tools, and are alone, of all the classes in the ship, liable to this species of extra expense ; and as we have, by late regulations, given much more activity and employment to this description of persons, to the great benefit of the service, we propose to allow to each person of these classes 7s. per mensem, in addition to their pay, to supply themselves with tools ; this allowance being, in fact, already, though partially, made.

V. We now beg leave to call the attention of your Royal Highness to the companies of Royal Marine Artillery.

These companies were formed, one at each division, in the year 1804 for the purpose, in the first instance, of supplying the service of his Majesty's bomb-vessels, before that time performed by the Royal artillery ; but it was also intended that these companies should, particularly in time of peace, be employed at the respective divisions, in drilling the whole of the marines to gunnery.

We are so well satisfied of the great utility of having considerable body of marines trained to gunnery, that we are induced to recommend that the Royal marine artillery be increased to eight companies as well for the purpose of encouraging and training the other marines, as to enable us, on occasions, to embark a certain number of well-trained artillery-men in others of his Majesty's ships as well as in the bombs ; experience having proved the great advantages to be derived to the service from this practice, which has been of late tried to a small extent.

We therefore humbly propose to your Royal Highness, to be pleased to sanction the establishment of eight companies of Royal marine artillery ; but in order that the whole establishment may not exceed what your Royal Highness has pleased to declare to be a fit peace establishment of marines, we humbly propose to transfer a certain number of officers and men from the ordinary marines to the artillery, and we hereunto subjoin schemes of the establishment of Royal marines and Royal marine artillery, respectively, which we think proper for the present period, by which the corps will consist of eighty companies, of which eight will be artillery.

This measure, which will give great efficiency to the corps of marines, and, to use the expression of the original promoters of the marine artillery, double its utility both ashore and afloat, will be a very inconsiderable, if with any, expense to the public; because we have proposed to reduce an equivalent number of ordinary marines, and shall farther submit some reductions in the number of officers attached to the artillery companies: and in time of war, a farther diminution of expense from what it would be under the present system, will, if your Royal Highness shall be pleased to adopt our suggestions, arise from the following circumstances

The Royal Artillery, when embarked in bombs, had certain advantages granted to them, in consideration, we presume. of their bring taken out of their natural course of shore service : these advantages the Royal Marine Artillery have claimed, and hitherto enjoyed, under, we think, an erroneous construction of his Majesty's Order in Council establishing the pay and allowances of these companies.

It is evident that, however just it was to grant such advantages to the Royal Artillery, when removed from their ordinary duties, it was certainly unnecessary to give them to the Marine Artillery, whose natural course at service it was to embark, and which in fact was formed for this especial purpose. We trust therefore that your Royal Highness will see the expediency of correcting this error, at this favourable opportunity, when it can be done without any immediate injury to individuals, because at present none of the marine artillery are embarked, nor, according to the original regulations, would they have been embarked in time of peace: while we therefore propose to continue the increased shore pay, and to encourage the artillery and the corps in general, by doubling the numbers who will receive this Increased pay, we think we may fairly propose to abolish the distant and contingent advantage of the extra sea pay, to which in fact are doubt that any other right has hitherto existed, than an erroneous construction of his Majesty's Order in Council

We therefore propose, that when the Royal marine artillery shall embark. the sea pay of all ranks shall bear to their pay ashore the same proportion that the sea pay of the marines in general bears to their shore pay.

For all these purposes herein before-mentioned, we beg leave to subjoin to this memorial a table of the rates of his Majesty's ship. and the force and complements of each rate and also of the pay numbers, and ratings of all the officers and men in the fleet, both seamen and marines: and we humbly recommend to your Royal Highness, to be pleased to recal and annul the Table now in force under his Majesty's prior in Council of the 31st December, 1805, and to sanction and establish in lieu thereof, the Table hereunto annexed which ; for the sake of perspicuity and convenience, we have distinguished the several classes for sharing the produce of seizures, agreeably to your Royal Highness's Order in Council of the 14th October last.

We now have to submit to your Royal Highness, in order that the funds of the Chest and Hospital at Greenwich, and of the Widows' Charity ; to which the deductions herein before proposed to be abolished, are applied, may not suffer by this arrangement, that your Royal highness may be pleased to direct that the calculated amount of the said deductions, on the number of officers and men respectively employed, shall be paid over by the Navy Board to the funds of the said institutions, under such re regulations and checks as we may think necessary, for ensuring the full and equitable arrangement of this matter between these different branches of the service ; which, we have no doubt, can he attained with great convenience to all the offices concerned, and without any increase of establishment, or any expense whatsoever to the public. And, finally, we have to submit that the whole of this arrangement shall be carried into execution from and after the 1st of January next, or as soon after as conveniently may be.

In proposing alterations in the present practice of the naval establishments, so important as those herein before submitted to your Royal Highness, we have thought it right to enter into a detail of the motives and principles by which we have been guided. We have ourselves, in the investigation which have led to this Memorial, found considerable inconvenience from the want of explanation as to the precise views on which former arrangements were made; and we therefore humbly hope that your Royal Highness will he graciously pleased to excuse the length of detail into which, on the present occasion, we have presumed to enter.

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