Masters of the Navy


To qualify an Officer to receive a Commission as Master, he must have been at Sea at least seven years, two of which in Her Majesty's Navy, in the quality of Acting Master or Second Master; or, having served seven years at Sea, shall have actually been one year or more Chief Mate, and two years Master, or two years Chief Mate, and one year Master of a Merchant Vessel. He shall produce Certificates of diligence, sobriety, and good conduct from his Captains, also from the Owners, for the time he served as Master, and from the Owners and Master for the time he served as Mate ; and shall pass such Examination as the Admiralty may from time to time direct; but no Candidate shall be examined before he shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, nor after the age of forty.

Time served as Master, shall, in future, be considered as time served as Lieutenant, to qualify an Officer to receive a Commission as Commander, under Her Majesty's Regulations, Art. 8, Sec 4, Chap. 3, in the event of any particularly distinguished conduct which in the opinion of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty it may be proper to reward by such advancement.

Such Masters as shall not have served afloat as Masters in the Royal Navy six complete years, and are not already in the receipt of higher half pay, shall not be entitled to any increase of pay beyond Five shillings a day, except in cases where it shall appear to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that inability to serve the prescribed term of six years shall have been caused by wounds or ill health, arising from the service.

A Master's Assistant (when such rating shall be allowed by the Admiralty) previously to receiving an appointment as such to any of Her Majesty's ships, will be required to have a thorough knowledge of Practical Observations of the Sun, Moon and Stars, for ascertaining the Latitude; to work double Altitudes; the Longitude by Chronometer; and to keep a Ship's reckoning by the common Rules, usually denominated a day's work.

(See page 321.)

Examination of Masters

Admiralty 17 Dec 1840

The Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty having had under their consideration the present Regulations for the examination of Masters and Second Masters of Her Majesty's Fleet, as defined by Art. 21, chap. 2, page 22, and Art. 25, chap, 2. page 25, of the printed instructions, have been pleased to direct that on and after the 1st of January next, the following Regulations shall be adopted, viz.:

All Officers passing for the rank of Second Master (or Officers from the Merchant Service who are candidates for the rank of Master, under the Queen's Regulations, Art. 6, chap. 3, page 24), shall be examined in seamanship, either at home or abroad, by 1 one Captain or Commander, and three Masters ; and after having received a certificate of having passed such examination, they shall undergo their, examination in navigation, at the Royal Naval College (instead of the Trinity House), under the same Regulations, and at the same period as Midshipmen passing for Lieutenants ; but the examination for pilotage is to be conducted at the Trinity House, under this rules and regulations at present in force but subsequent to the above-mentioned examinations. Having completed the above examinations, they will be considered eligible for the rank of Master in the Royal Navy, provided they shall have served the time required by the Queen's Regulations.

The seniority of Second Masters (or of candidates for the rank of Masters) is in future to reckon from the date of their passing in seamanship for that rank, provided they shall subsequently pass in Navigation at the Royal Naval College on the first or second examination-day following, either of which days they are at liberty to select ; or, in the event of an Officer having previously passed abroad in seamanship, he is at liberty, after his arrival in England, to select either the first or second examination-day at the Royal Naval College; or if belonging to a ship under orders to be paid off, on the first or second examination-day after having been so paid off, when, if he shall succeed in passing, he will be allowed seniority from the date of his having passed abroad. But no Second Master (or candidate for the rank of Master) will be allowed such seniority who shall fail in passing the Royal Navy College at the first trial, or who shall not pass at the Trinity House within a month after his having passed in Navigation.

Officers appearing before the Trinity Board for the purpose of passing in pilotage, must be qualified to take charge as Pilot of any of Her Majesty's frigates for the coast and ports for which Masters have hitherto been examined ; and when they shall have served three years, at least, in frigates or sloops, they may be further examined as to their qualifications to take charge of Line-of-battle ships ; but in this examination it will be required that they pass for the largest description of first-rates. In the event of an Officer serving abroad as Acting Master of a Line-of-battle ship, the time so served may reckon as part of the aforesaid three years.

The class of ship of which Officers are capable of taking charge as Pilots will be stated in the certificate granted to them by the Trinity House.

All Officers desirous of being examined in pilotage at Trinity House, either for the rank of Second Master, or as to their qualifications to serve as Masters of frigates, or of Line-of-battle ships, should present themselves st the Admiralty, bringing with them a certificate of their birth, and also their original certificates for the entire period they have been employed in Her Majesty's service, or in merchant ships, in each of which certificates the word sobriety must be included. Similar certificates must be produced by Officers presenting themselves to pass in navigation at the Royal Naval College.

By command of their Lordships,

J. Parker.

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