Regulations for the Entry and Rating of Young Gentlemen and Captains' Clerks, on board H.M. Ships and Vessels on the Peace Establishment


18th December, 1833, and 3 Feb. 1842

The complements of Mates and Midshipmen in his Majesty's Ships and Vessels of each Rate are to be as follows:

1st Rates. . . . . . . 24
2d Rates .. . . . . . .20
3d Rates . . . . . . . 16
4th Rates . . . . . . .12
5th Rates . . . . . . .10
Steamers . . . . . . . 6
6th Rates . . . . . . . 8
Sloops . . . . . . . . . 4
Steamers. . . . . . . .4
Cutters, Gun-Brigs, &c . 4

The Captains and Commanders of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels are to select and enter the established number of Mates and Midshipmen, on the first commissioning of their respective Ships or Vessels, as heretofore, obtaining the previous approval of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and observing that in the several Rates, the following numbers, viz.

1st Rates. . . . . . . 8
2d Rates .. . . . . . .8
3d Rates . . . . . . . 6
4th 5th & 6th Rates 4
Steamers . . . . . . . 3
Sloops . . . . . . . . .2
Steamers. . . . . . . .2
Cutters, Gun-Brigs, &c 2

are to be selected from among the Mates who have passed both examinations, if serving at home, or for seamanship, if serving abroad, one complete year; such selections to be made by the several Captains and Commanders, and permission for their entry may be applied for to their Lordships in the same manner as with regard to Mates or Midshipmen forming the other part of the complement; and, in failure of such application, the vacancies will be filled up by their Lordships.

Naval Cadets are not to be rated as Midshipmen until they shall have completed two years' service at sea.

In cases of re-admission to the Service, a statement of the date of the original entry into the Service, and of the cause of the late discharge, is to be transmitted to the Secretary of the Admiralty, for their Lordships' information ; or, if abroad. to the Commander-in-Chief, whose approval, in the latter case, is to be deemed sufficient to authorize the entry.

A Return from every Ship, according to the established form, is to be transmitted quarterly to this Office, through the several Commanders-in-Chief, of the Mates, Midshipmen, Naval Cadets, and of Masters' Assistants, serving on board the respective Ships and Vessels ; and particular care is to be taken that in these Returns, the discharge, entry, or any alterations in the listing of persons in any of the said classes, since the date of the preceding Returns, be reported and accounted for ; and when a Ship is ordered to be paid off ; a similar Return is to be immediately made, distinguishing, in addition to the before-mentioned particulars, the length of Service, and the address or intended residence of each person, and the date at which any Mate or Midshipman shall have passed his examination for Lieutenant.

The respective Captains and Commanders are to be very particular in attending to these Instructions; and they are to take care that on no account whatsoever shall any young Gentleman be serving on board in any other capacity, or under any other Rating, than one of the before-mentioned. In case of such serious misconduct as would require their being removed from the Service, it is to be reported, if on a home station, to the Admiralty; if on a foreign station, to the Commander-in-Chief : but any of the Classes before mentioned, being already in the Service, under their Lordships' sanction, may be removed from one Ship to another, in proper vacancies, by authority of Commanders-in-Chief abroad, without reference to their Lordships.

Their Lordships are also pleased to direct that no Captains' Clerks be in future entered, without their permission, who may not have already served in that rating on board one of His Majesty's Ships, or as Clerk to the Secretary of a Flag Officer (not being a Port Admiral) commanding a Squadron. Two Clerks will be allowed to all rated Ships, one of whom must be selected from those who have passed for Purser ; and upon failure of the respective Captains to apply for permission for their entry in the usual manner, the vacancies will be filled by their Lordships. The names of the Captains' Clerks are to be included in the Quarterly Returns of Officers serving on board.

By command of their Lordships,

George Elliot

Naval Cadets


Admiralty, 11th Oct. 1834.

It is the direction or my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that in each of His Majesty's Ships, commissioned after the date hereof, bearing in their complements one or more Naval Cadets, only one fresh entry into the Service shall be made: but the remainder shall be selected, where there are more than one, by the respective Captains or Commanding, Officers, from Young Gentlemen who have already been in the Service, and submitted for the approbation of their Lordships.

Ships now in commission are not to be allowed any fresh entry of Volunteers into the Service.

By command of their Lordships,

John Barrow.

Naval Cadets


Admiralty, 18th, Oct. 1837.

All Flag Officers who have been appointed to Commands or to the Ports, since the 1st January, 1837, and who shall hereafter be appointed, to be allowed a fresh entry of one Naval Cadet, in addition to the one applied for by the Captain of the Flag Ship.


Admiralty, 20th Jan. 1838.

Naval Cadets

must not be under 12 years of age. They must be in good health, fit for Service, and able to write English from dictation, and must be acquainted with the four first at Rules of Arithmetic, Reduction, and the Rule of Three.

Naval Cadets


Admiralty, 14th August, 1841.

All Flag Officers and Captains of Line of Battle Ships, appointed subsequent to 1st August to be allowed two fresh entries of Naval Cadets.

By Command of their Lordships,

J. Parker.

Naval Cadets

Admiralty, 3 October 1848.

Each Flag Officer, being an Admiral or Commander-in-Chief, and each Commodore of the First Class being a Commander-in-Chief, is to be allowed to nominate two Naval Cadets, on his appointment.

A Captain on commissioning his ship, is to be allowed to nominate one Naval Cadet.

Qualifications for Naval Cadets

Admiralty, 1 April 1849.

Naval Cadets must not be under 12 nor above 14 years of age. They must be in good health, fit for Service, and able to write English from dictation, and must be acquainted with the first Rules of Arithmetic, Reduction, and the Rule of Three.

Examination of Naval Cadets

Admiralty, 13 February 1851.

My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having had for their consideration the Examination of Naval Cadets on entering Her Majesty's Service, are pleased to direct that in future all young gentlemen who may receive Nominations as Naval Cadets at home shall pass their examination at the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth, within two months of the date of the letter of Nomination, and a Certificate signed by the Professor or Mathematical Master of the Royal Naval College, approved by the Captain Superintendent, together with a Medical Certificate of physical efficiency, according to the prescribed regulations, will be required to be forwarded to the Admiralty before any Candidate can be entered as a Naval Cadet.

The Qualifications required are the same as at present in force.

The Medical Examination is to be conducted by such Naval Surgeon as the Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth may direct.

The Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth is authorized to enter each Naval Cadet as a Supernumerary on board the Flag Ship at that port, from the date of the Candidate passing the required Examination (pending an appointment from the Admiralty to a sea-going ship), granting not more than a Month's leave to obtain an Outfit.

No Candidate will be allowed a Second Examination, and all Nominations are to be considered cancelled unless the party shall obtain his Certificates within the specified period of two months.

By Command of their Lordships,

W.A.B. Hamilton.

N.B. The Passing Day at the Royal Naval College, for Naval Cadets, is the Second Wednesday of each Month, at 9 A.M.

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