Index
 
Midshipmen : Rules for Examination for the Rank of Lieutenant and
Navigating Lieutenant &c.

Naval Cadets : Introduction for Training Afloat on board HMS Illustrious.


28 Jul 1856
Midshipmen.— Service at Sea, and Age, Requisite to Qualify them for Promotion
Whereas it is provided by Your Majesty's Order in Council for the regulation or Your Majesty's Service at sea, that no officer shall receive a Lieutenant's Commission unless he shall have been borne on the books of, and have actually served in, one or more of Your Majesty's ships six complete years, two of which as Midshipmen, we would most humbly submit to Your Majesty that it would be beneficial to Your Majesty's Service, and consistent with a higher standard of education which we propose to require from candidates both on entering the Naval Service (which we are of opinion should be at a more advanced age than that at which young gentlemen are now required to enter), as well as on passing their examinations for the rank of Lieutenant, if the period of service required to render them eligible for a Lieutenant's Commission were to be reduced to five complete years, three of which to be served as Midshipmen, provided always that the candidate shall have passed such examinations as we may from time to time direct, and that he shall have attained the full age of nineteen years; and we would therefore humbly submit that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to approve of this proposition, and to authorize us to carry the same into execution at such time as shall be hereafter decided by this Board.


Circular No. 288.
Admiralty, 23rd February, 1857

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have established the following Regulations for the Entry of Naval Cadets, and for the Examination of Mates, Midshipmen, Naval Cadets, &c., which will come into operation in May next, instead of those now in force.

To qualify an officer to receive a Lieutenant's Commission he must have attained the full age of 19 years, and have been borne on the Books of, and actually served in, one or more of Her Majesty's Ships not less than five complete years, eighteen months as a Cadet and three years and six months as a Midshipman, and shall have passed such Examinations as the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty may from time to time direct.

I. No Person will be nominated to a Cadetship in the Royal Navy who will be under 13, or above 15 years of age at the time of Examination.

II. Every Candidate, on obtaining a nomination, will be required to pass an Examination at the Royal Navel College at Portsmouth, within three month of nomination. *

III. The Candidate must produce a Certificate of Birth, or Declaration thereof made before a Magistrate.

IV. The Candidate must be in good health and fit for the Service, that is, free from impediment of speech, defect of vision, rupture, or other physical inefficiency.

V. Candidates, between the ages of 13 and 14, will be required:-

1. To write English correctly from Dictation, and in a legible hand.

2. To read. translate, and parse an easy passage, either from a Latin or French Author.

N.B. - The aid of a Dictionary will be allowed for these Translations.

And to have a satisfactory knowledge of

3. The leading facts of Scripture and English History.

4. Modern Geography, in so far as relates to a knowledge of the principal Countries, Capitals, Mountains, and Rivers. To be able to point out the position of a place on a map when its Latitude and Longitude a given.

5. Arithmetic, including Proportion, and a fair knowledge of Vulgar and Decimal Fractions.

6. Algebra, including Fractions.

7. The First Book of Euclid to Proposition XXXII. inclusive.

Candidates above the age of 14, in addition to the Examination required for those between the ages of 13 and 14, must have a knowledge of:-

1. The use of the Globes, with correct definitions of Latitude, Longitude, Azimuth, Amplitude, and the other Circles of the Sphere.

2. Vulgar and Decimal Fractions.

3. Algebra, including Simple Equations.

4. The First Book of Euclid.

5. A practical knowledge of the Elements of Plane Trigonometry, and its application to the Numerical Solution of Easy and Useful Problems.

As Drawing will prove a most useful Qualification for Naval officers, it is recommended that Candidates for the Service should instructed therein.

VI. If the Candidate succeeds in passing the required Examination, he will be at once appointed to a Training Ship at Portsmouth or Devonport, for a period of not less than three months far the purpose of instruction in the subjects contained to Sheet No. 1, as well as in the Rigging of Ships, Seamanship, the use of Nautical Instruments, &c.

VII. Quarterly Examinations will be held on board the Training Ship, when any Cadet, who may consider himself competent, may be examined in the subjects contained in Sheet No. 1, also, in the course of instruction in the Rigging of Ships, Seamanship, &c., and if found qualified he will be appointed to a sea-going Ship.

VIII. If the Cadet does not pass the required Examination according to his age, before or at the quarterly Examinations after his entry into the Training Ship, as below specified, he will be finally rejected from the Service.

Age at the time of his entry in the Training Ship Quarterly Examination after his entry in the Training Ship
14 years 6 months 2nd
14 years and under 14 years 6 months 3rd
Under 14 years 4th

Or if a Cadet by indifferent conduct or idle habits on board the Training Ship shall show his unfitness for the Service, it will be the duty of the Captain to make a special report thereof to the Admiralty, in order that the Cadet may be at once removed, from the Navy.

IX. No Cadet will be allowed so reckon more than three months of the period of his service is the Training Ship towards his future Sea Time.

X. When a Cadet shall have served the full period of eighteen months, including the three months' time in the Training Ship, he will be eligible for the Rating of Midshipman provided he passes the following examination, in which it is to be ascertained:-

1. That he has kept up a knowledge of his former instruction.

2. That he is able to work a Day's Work by Tables as well as by Projection, to find the Latitude by observation of the Meridian Altitude of the Sun, Moon, and Star, Longitude by Chronometer, and to work an Amplitude.

3. That he understands and can explain the use of the Sextants and Azimuth Compass, and the mode of observing with them. At each Examination the Candidate will b required to show that his Sextant and other Instruments are in good order.

4. He must produce Log Books kept by himself from the time of his entry into a Sea-going Ship, and Certificates of good conduct.

5. He will also be required to have a fair knowledge of steering and managing a Boat under Oars and Sail, of Knotting and Splicing, Rigging Lower Masts and Yards, &c., the use of the Hand and Deep Sea Lead, and also the Simple Exercise of the Great Guns.

XI. All Midshipmen, until they shall have passed their examinations for Lieutenant, are to keep a book in which the ship's reckoning is to be worked out and noted, and when they are at sea this book is to be sent in every day to the Captain, instead of the slip of paper containing a day's work, which is now usually presented. It is also to be produced at their examinations; and during the last six months of their service as Midshipmen it must contain the working of the Observations as give in Sheet B.

XII. A Midshipman when he shall have served eighteen months in the rank, will be required to pass an intermediate Examination. In addition to the subjects embraced in former Examinations he will he required to have:

1. A good knowledge of practical Navigation, showing that he understands the principle of Navigating a Ship from one distant port to another, by Dead Reckoning and by his own Observations; and that he can explain the principles of the same; and that he can also take and work a double Altitude and Azimuth.

2. A sufficient knowledge of the Chart as will enable him to place thereon the position of the Ship by Observations as well as by Compass Bearings; and to lay off True and and Compass Courses.

3. Such knowledge of Nautical Surveying, as may enable him to measure a base line and determine position by angles, and the manner of ascertaining heights and distances.

4. If he has served in a Steam-Vessel, an acquaintance with the different parts and working of the Steam Engine.

5. A Proficiency in French.

6. He must be a fair practical observer.

7. He must produce Log Books kept by himself from the time of entry into a Sea-going Ship, and Certificates of Good Conduct.

8. He will likewise be examined as to his progress in the knowledge of rigging of Masts, Bowsprits, &c. in getting tops over and placing a lower cap, in setting up rigging, and especially as to the precautions required in staying lower Masts; in hoisting a quarter or stern boat up in a strong breeze with a Sea on; in making up a course and topsail for bending at Sea; in shifting topmasts, yards, and sails at Sea, and the effect of the sails on the Ship both in tacking and wearing; in the detail arrangements for mooring and unmooring Ships and getting under-way. He must likewise know the Great Gun and Small Arm Exercise, the use of Tangent Sight, the charges for the Guns of the Ship, and be able to Exercise the Men at his Quarters. A report of the progress he has made in each of the above subjects is to be made to the Secretary of the Admiralty in the Half-yearly Return.

XIII. The Examinations under Articles X and XII are to be conducted by the officer in command, not below the rank of Commander, and the next Senior Officer in the Ship, and the Examinations in Navigation, in the presence of a Captain or Commander, by two Naval Instructors when it may be practicable, or by a Naval Instructor and a Master, or where there is no Naval Instructor by two Masters, that in Gunnery by a Gunnery or other competent officer; and at these Examinations the Candidate is to be made to take and work out his own observations for Latitude, Longitude, Variation, &c., as the case maybe. 1st or 2nd Class Certificates are to be given according to the merit of the Candidate, in the Form A. page 9, or he is to be rejected if found incompetent.

XIV. A Midshipman, when he shall have passed the Examination referred to in Article XII, must continue to serve in that rank for a further period of two years, and having completed such two years, he may, if he has attained the age of 19 years, present himself to pass his Examination for the rank of Lieutenant, in accordance with the Forms Nos. II., III., IV.

XV. The Examination for the rank of Lieutenant is to be conducted before three Captains or Commanders, by order of the Commander-in-Chief or Senior Officer of two or more ships present together; but a Midshipman having completed his term of service, and being 19 years of age who is serving in a ship or vessel so far separated from other ships that the foregoing Regulation cannot be complied with, may be provisionally examined by the Captain or Commander of such ship or vessel, with the aid of other competent Officers - Lieutenant, Master, or Second Master, and if they find him to be 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; but he must be re-examined on the first opportunity that shall afterwards offer by three Captains or Commanders, as before required, and if he passes successfully, he will receive from the Commander-in-Chief, or Senior Officer, an acting order as Mate to take rank according to the date of the first certificate.

As the above is the final Examination in Seamanship, the Examining Officers are to be most strict in their investigation of the qualifications of Officers, and they are to see that everything required by these Regulations has been complied with by the Candidate, and that he produces Certificates of good conduct from Captains he has served under for 5 years.

XVI. All Midshipmen and Acting Mates will be required to undergo the following final Examinations:-

l. In Gunnery - On board the Excellent.

2. In Navigation and the Steam Engine - At the Royal Naval College.

Acting Mates who have already passed abroad are to present themselves for Examination on board the Excellent on the first* Examination Day after their arrival in England or after being paid off, and having passed in Gunnery, they are then at liberty to select either the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Examination Day at the Royal Naval College.

XVII. Any Officer rejected on his first Examination at the College will incur the forfeiture of three months' seniority in his rank as Mate. He may present himself on the next Examination Day, but a second rejection will incur the forfeiture of three months more seniority; he may again present himself on the next Examination Day, but a third rejection will cause his name to be removed from the List of the Navy.

XVIII. Officers when they have passed their final examination at the Royal Naval College, as provided for in these Regulations, will be confirmed from the date of their first Certificate.

The non-appearance of an Officer for Examination at the Royal Naval College at the times required by these Regulations will be considered as an acknowledgment of his not being qualified, and he will be dealt with in the same manner as if he had been actually rejected on each day on which he may have omitted to appear, unless under certified ill-health, to be duly reported at the time.

XIX. Naval Instructors are to keep a School Journal or Register, which is to be produced when required by the Captain of the Ship or the Examining Officers and the captain is to allow them reasonable access to the charts and chronometers, for the purpose of instructing the Officers in their use.

*By an Order dated 6th June, 1862, Officers are allowed to present themselves to pass in Gunnery on the second, instead of on the first examination-day, it being distinctly understood that such indulgence is not to interfere with the Regulations as to the time in which officers are required to pass the final examinations at the R. N. College.

XX. The Examinations under Articles X and XII are to commence with those Officers who shall enter the Service after May, 1857, and the final Examination at the Royal Naval College required by these Regulations, is to commence in August, 1862; but any Midshipman, previous to that date, when he may have completed five years service, and who shall have attained the full age of 19 years, may present himself for final examination in Seamanship, Gunnery, and Navigation, in accordance with the foregoing Regulations, instead of having to serve six years as now required; but if he fails in passing his first Examination he will not be allowed to come up for re-examination until he has completed his six years' service.

XXI. With reference to Circular No. 58, of the 17th December, 1849, The final Examination at the Royal Naval College, established by the foregoing Regulations, for the rank of Lieutenant, shall also be extended to the Examination of Officers for the rank of Master, with the exception of the knowledge of French; and the Regulations in regard to the rejection of Candidates, shall equally apply to them. Officers passing for the rank of Master will not be required to pass a Gunnery Examination.

XXII. With reference to Circular No. 97, of the 9th December, 1851, The foregoing Examination for the entry of Naval Cadets under 14 years of age shall be extended to Masters Assistants, between 14 and 15 years of age, and the foregoing Examination for the entry of Cadets above 14 years of age shall be extended to Masters Assistants between the 15 and 16 years of age. The knowledge of Latin, French, and English History, will not be required of Masters Assistants at these Examinations.

XXIII. The Captains of H.M. Ships are to take care that a convenient place is set apart and proper hours are fixed for instruction by the Naval Instructor, and all Acting Mates and Acting 2nd Masters, as well as all executive Officers under that rank, are to attend, and care is also to be taken that they are regularly instructed in Practical Seamanship, Rigging, and the Steam Engine, and a Monthly Examination Day is to be established.

List of Instruments and Books which each Cadet will be required to have on entry:-

Sextant.
Case of Mathematical Instruments, containing a good Protractor.
Spy Glass.
French Grammar and a Dictionary containing Sea Terms.
A Book of Navigation.
Euclid's Elements.
Book of Geography. (Sullivan's 2nd ed.)
Book on use of Mathematical and Nautical Instruments.
A Book on the Steam Engine.
Colenso's Arithmetic and Algebra.
Jeans's Trigonometry.
The Ship's Library will contain Books of Instruction.

No. 1

The Examination on leaving the Training Ship will embrace all the subjects of the former Examination, except Latin, and in addition to them it will include:-

In Arithmetic - Involution, Extraction of Square Root

In Algebra - Simple Equations.

The Elements of Geometry as contained in the text-book published for the use of the Boys of Greenwich School by John Murray. 1854.

Plane Trigonometry and the Solution of practical useful Problems.

Spherical Trigonometry, the mode of solving Triangles and its application to Simple Astronomical Problems.

In Navigation - A Day's Work and Meridional Altitudes, Longitude by Chronometer.

Nautical Instruments. To explain and use the Sextant, Azimuth Compass, Artificial Horizon, and Theodolite.

Some knowledge of the mode of Surveying, and the Construction of Charts.

French, as far as 50 lessons of Ollendorff's method of learning French, and the reading and translating of an easy passage from a French author without the aid of a dictionary.

Explanatory Lectures will be given on the Steam Engine, practical Astronomy, Nautical Instruments, Mechanics and Hydrostatics, and other subjects of general interest and instruction.

Certificates must be produced, approved by the Captain, from the Master of the Ship that the Candidate has gone through and is competent in the course of instruction in Rigging and Seamanship, and from the Naval Instructor, as to the Candidate's attention to the various branches of his education, as well as to his general conduct whilst on board the Training Ship.


Order in Council
20 Mar 1857
Midshipmen and Naval Cadets — Service at Sea Requisite to Qualify them for Advancement.
Your Majesty, by Your Order in Council of the 28th day of July, 1856, was graciously pleased to authorize us to reduce the period which an officer is required to serve at sea to qualify him for the rank of Lieutenant from six years to five, three years of which to be served as Midshipmen; and whereas, having had the subject under our further consideration, we are humbly of opinion that to qualify a gentleman for an appointment as Midshipman it is expedient that he shall have served one year and six months as a Naval Cadet, or three years in any other capacity; and further, that the period required to qualify a Midshipman for a Lieutenant's Commission should be extended to three years and six months.


A new system of training naval cadets is about to come into operation afloat, in pursuance of the provisions of an Admiralty circular dated the 23d of Feb 1857 [see Circular 288 above]. The Illustrious, 72, Captain Robert Harris, is being fitted with accommodation by the dockyard artificers for the first instalment of naval cadets who received nominations on the 1st of May to pass on the 5th of August. The appointment of the Rev. R.M. Inskip, chaplain and naval instructor on board HMS Victory, to be chaplain and first naval instructor to the cadets, has been made. The cadets are to remain in the Illustrious different periods, proportioned to their ages, those of 13 remaining 12 months, and those verging upon 15 only 6 months. Their course of study comprises Euclid, algebra, nautical astronomy, French, and drawing, and their practical course (which is the primary object of the placing them in a training ship before sending them on sea service) will consist of instruction in rigging ships, managing boats, and the general principles of manoeuvring ships at sea, thus furnishing the instruction in rigging ships. managing boats and the general principles of manoeuvring ships at sea, thus furnishing the ground work on which their future professional knowledge is to be based. The cadets thus placed in the Illustrious may still be considered under probation, as the circular expresses that should they be required to pass the required examination out of the training ship, or should they seriously misconduct themselves or show unfitness for the Navy, the Admiralty have reserved to themselves the right to discharge them. The cadets will be allowed to count only three months' time for the training-ship, and will be

permitted to pass for lieutenant after five years' service, including the three months, provided they have passed the intermediate examinations, which have been judiciously arranged to insure a steady progression both in science and seamanship.


Circular No. 298
Admiralty, 26th June, 1857.

Naval Cadets, Midshipmen, &c. (Interpretation of Clause 20 in Circular No. 288).

Doubts having arisen as to whether Midshipmen who entered the Naval Service prior to May 1857 (and who may present themselves for examination as to their qualifications in seamanship for the rank of Lieutenant, under the 20th clause of the Circular Order No. 288, of the 23rd February, 1857), are required to have completed a period of three years and a half in the rating of Midshipman, My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are pleased to direct that Midshipmen, under such circumstances, shall not be required to have completed more than three years’ service in that rating, provided they shall have served for a total period of five years in the Navy, including two years as Naval Cadet, and not lees than three years as Midshipman, and provided also that they shall be of the required age of 19 years, and shall be prepared to undergo the examinations prescribed by the Circular above quoted.

By Command of their Lordships,

R. Osborne

To all Commanders-in-Chief, Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels.


Circular, No. -
4th March 1858.

Referring to Article 16, page 5, of Circular, No. 288, requiring Acting Mates who have already passed abroad to present themselves for examination on board H.M.S. " Excellent," on the first examination day after their arrival in England, or after being paid off their ship ;- My Lords are pleased to direct that this rule shall not apply to young gentlemen who may have entered the Navy previously to May, 1857, with the exception o! those Officers who, having completed five years service, may come forward to pass under Article 20 o! Circular of 288.

By command of their Lordships,

W.G. Romaine


Circular No. 319.
Admiralty, 29th March, 1858

Irregularities appertaining to the Examination for the Rank of Lieutenant after Five Years' Service.

The attention of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty has been called to irregularities which have taken place in the examination of midshipmen, who having completed five years service at sea, and having attained the full age of nineteen years, have presented themselves for examination in order to avail themselves of the advantages held out is Article 20 of the Circular No. 288.

By that Article of the Regulations in question, it is provided that Midshipmen after five years service, and being nineteen years of age maybe permitted to undergo examinations in Seamanship, Gunnery, and Navigation, in accordance with the Regulations prescribed by the Circular No. 288, and under those Regulations the Certificate to be granted to Candidates should be in accordance with the Forms No. II., III., IV., prescribed by Article 14 of the above circular.

My Lords have observed that instead of adhering to these instructions the Examining Officers have granted Certificates of Qualification to Candidates who have completed only five years service at sea, without requiring them to undergo the more stringent examination required by the Circular, and have entirely dispensed with the prescribed forms in granting the necessary Certificates of Qualification, thereby conferring upon Midshipmen already in the Service an advantage which was only intended to be conceded to those who were prepared to submit themselves voluntarily to the more stringent examinations.

My Lords therefore direct that Midshipmen who entered the service prior to May, 1857, and who may be willing to profit by the encouragement held out in Circular No. 288, are to be granted Certificates of Qualification in those cases only in which they may be found to be qualified in accordance with the Regulations of the Circular, and such Certificates are to be in the Forms No. II., III., IV., as already directed.

It is also to be observed that Midshipmen who have completed only five years service will not be permitted when in England to receive Acting Appointments as Mates, until they have undergone all the examinations required in Seamanship, Gunnery and Navigation, after which their seniority as Mates (provided they have not been rejected) will date from their Certificate of Qualification in Seamanship.

The Certificates in Seamanship of Candidates after five years service, who may be examined provisionally, or before three Captains when abroad, are also to be in accordance with Circular No. 288, and the examinations for Gunnery and Navigation are to be conducted also by three Captains with the assistance, when practicable, of a Gunnery Officer and a Naval Instructor, and the Certificates are to be in the proper forms, although the two latter Examinations will required to be repeated at home on board the "Excellent," and at the Royal Naval College.

It is to be clearly understood however that the Form of Certificate required, and the orders herein prescribed are not to be considered as applicable to Midshipmen who maybe examined as heretofore, after the completion of six years service at sea, but in all cases the Certificate of Qualification in Seamanship is to be accompanied by separate Certificates stating that the Candidates have been examined in Gunnery and Navigation, and also stating the opinion of the Captains upon their proficiency and qualification in each. Candidates

passing abroad after the completion of five years service are to be cautioned that they will be expected to appear for Examination in Gunnery on board the "Excellent," at the first

examination alter their arrival in England, and failing to do so will be entitled to Seniority in Seamanship only from the date of their completing six years service at sea.

By Command of their Lordships,

Henry Corry.


Circular No. 338.
Admiralty, 23rd Sep 1858.

Seamanship Examination for the Rank of Lieutenant

In order that there shall be an unvarying strictness and impartiality in the final examination in Seamanship of Midshipmen and Acting Mates, and that such examination shall be conducted so as to ensure the object for which it was intended, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty direct that, for the future, a final examination in. Seamanship, of all officers for the rank of Lieutenants, shall take place at Portsmouth, and that if possible it shall be held on board Her Majesty's ship "Illustrious," for the training Ship for the time being.

It is not their Lordships' intention to interfere is any way with the Provisional examinations in Seamanship abroad of Midshipmen, as required by Circular No. 288. paragraph 15, as their Seniority will be reckoned from the date of the Provisional Passing, subject to the Regulations in the above quoted Circular.

The examination in Seamanship at Portsmouth will take place on the Wednesday in each week, and Midshipmen, who shall have passed provisionally abroad, must, with the "approval of the Commander-in-Chief, or the Senior Officer at the Port at which they may have arrived, present themselves on the Second Wednesday after their arrival in England, or, if in a Ship under orders to be paid off, on the second Wednesday after having been so paid of : Their Lordships. by instituting this final examination in seamanship at home, do not intend to sanction any extension of time, beyond that allowed by existing regulations, to Officers passing in Gunnery, and at the Royal Naval College, to enable them to obtain confirmation as Mate from the date of their first certificate.

In the event of a Candidate not appearing on the second passing-day, such non-appearance will be considered as a rejection ; and, in like manner, should he not appear on the third and fourth passing-days. Should he fail to appear on any of those days he will not be allowed to pass without previous reference to the Commander-in-Chief.

Should sickness, or any other sufficient cause, prevent his appearance on any of the three above-mentioned days, he must bring with him a certificate to that effect from the Captain of his Ship.

Should a Midshipman be serving is a ship in England, at the time when he has completed the sea-service required to qualify him for the rank of Lieutenant, he will be expected to present himself on the second, third, or fourth passing-day after the expiration of his time.

In the event of an Officer being rejected for a certain period, he will be appointed to a sea-going ship in order that he may pass his time as much as possible at sea, and he will at once be discharged to the Flag-ship to wait a passage.

Officers who may proceed to Portsmouth, for the purpose of passing their final examination in Seamanship, including Midshipmen who may have completed the regulated period of service at sea, will be received into the Royal Naval College under the same regulations, and with the same advantages, as are provided for in the case of Acting Lieutenants and Acting Mates, by Circular 324.

Acting Masters and Second Masters will in future be required to pass a final examination in Seamanship at Portsmouth, under the same regulations as are herein laid down for the passing of Acting Mates and Midshipmen. and they will be borne as Supernumeraries on the books of the Flag-ship during their stay at Portsmouth for that purpose.

The Captain of the Training ship at Portsmouth is, whenever possible, to be one of the Examining Officers.

By command of their Lordships.

H. Corry.

To all Commanders-in-Chief, Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels.


Circular No. 343.
Admiralty, 2nd Nov 1858.

Seamanship Examination for the Rank of Lieutenant and Master.

Referring to the Circular Order, No. 338. of 23rd September last, my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty desire it to be understood that the requirements of a final Examination in Seamanship in England shall not apply to such Midshipmen, Acting Mates, Acting Lieutenants, Acting Masters, Second Masters, and Master's Assistants. whose Provisional Examination in Seamanship shall have taken place prior to the date of the Circular is question.

By command of their Lordships,

H. Corry.

To all Commanders-in-Chief. Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers, of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels.


Circular No. 346.
Admiralty, 18th Nov 1858.

Acting Masters, &c., - Preparation for Passing in Navigation.

With reference to Circular No. 324, which directs that Acting Lieutenants and Acting Mates shall be received in the Royal Naval College whilst preparing to pass their final examination ; Their Lordships are pleased to direct that Acting Masters, Acting Second Masters and Masters' Assistants shall, on their arrival in England, after passing in Seamanship, be received on board the Flag-Ship at Portsmouth, as supernumeraries for victuals only, for the purpose of studying under the Naval Instructor of that ship, on the production of their Passing Certificates in Seamanship.

2. The Officers thus received in the Flag-ship will be permitted to remain, until the second examination day at the College after they shall have joined the Flag-ship (provided they shall have lost no time in joining, after their arrival in England or being paid off) ; after which, if they shall have failed to present themselves for examination, or have been rejected, they will be discharged to the ship to which they may belong, or to the shore.

3. An officer who shall have been thus discharged, after failing to pass on the second examination day, will not be allowed to present himself again, for his final trial, until after the expiration of three months from the date of such examination day, and should he then pass, his seniority will date nine months subsequently to the day when he passed in Seamanship. provided he shall afterwards pass, within the regulated period, at the Trinity House.

4. The date of each officer's reception in the "Victory" is to be noted on the Certificate of his having passed at the College, as well as the date of his arrival in England, or of his being paid off.

By command of their Lordships,

H. Corry.


Order in Council
22 Oct 1859
Service and Qualifications of Naval Cadets for the Rating of Midshipman, and of Midshipmen for Examination as Lieutenants.
Your Majesty, by your Order in Council of the 20th March, 1859, [this was dated 1857 - see above - although it could have been a misprint ?] was graciously pleased to authorize us to reduce the period which a Naval Cadet was required to serve at sea to qualify him for the rating of Midshipman to one year and six months, and whereas, having had the subject under our further consideration we humbly recommend to Your Majesty that in future cases of gentlemen being admitted into Your Majesty's Service as Naval Cadets, the time which they shall be required to serve in that capacity be left indefinite, and that there be no obligation for them to have completed the age of fourteen years as at present required, but that to qualify them for appointments as Midshipmen, it is expedient that they shall have completed twelve months' instruction on board a Harbour Training Ship; and not less than three months' service in a sea-going Training Ship; and further, that to qualify Midshipmen for a Lieutenant's Commission they must have completed five years and six months' actual service in Your Majesty's Navy, including the time awarded them on leaving the Training Ship, provided always that the candidate shall have passed such examinations as we may from time to time direct, and that he shall have attained the full age of nineteen years; and we would therefore humbly submit that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to approve of these propositions, and to authorize us to carry the same into execution at such time as shall be hereafter decided by this Board.


Order in Council
20 Nov 1861
Advancement of Naval Cadets to the Rating of Midshipmen
Whereas by Your Majesty's Order in Council of the 22nd of October, 1859, it is provided that to qualify Naval Cadets for the rating of Midshipmen they must have completed twelve months' instruction, on board a Harbour Training Ship, and not less than three months' service in a sea-going Training Ship; and whereas, having had this subject under our further consideration, we would humbly recommend to Your Majesty that such three months service in a sea-going Training Ship be dispensed with, and that we be empowered to confer on Naval Cadets the rating of Midshipmen after such service or instruction as we may consider fit and proper, provided always that they shall have completed the required twelve months' instruction on board a Harbour Training Ship. We would, moreover, recommend to Your Majesty that the course of instruction on board the Training Ship be allowed to reckon as sea-time in such proportion as we may deem expedient; and further, that to qualify a Midshipman to receive a Lieutenant's Commission, he must have completed five years and six months actual service in Your Majesty's Navy, including the time that may be awarded him on leaving the Training Ship, provided always that the Candidate shall have passed such examinations as we may from time to time direct, and that he shall have attained the full age of nineteen years. And we would therefore humbly submit that Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to sanction these our suggestions, and authorize us to carry the same into effect at such time as we may hereafter decide upon.


Memorandum No. 17 C.
Admiralty, 28th August, 1862.

Passing for Lieutenants and Masters.

Midshipmen and Acting Sub-Lieutenants are required to pass their several Examinations for the rank of Lieutenant, in accordance with the Regulations, which were in force at the time when they severally entered Her Majesty's Service.

Officers who entered the Service previously to the 1st May, 1857, are to be allowed the option of passing after Five Years' Service, under the provisions of the late Circular No. 288, paragraph 29. Should they fail to pass under those provisions, they will be required again to undergo their several examinations for the Rank of Lieutenant at the expiration of 6 Years' Service ; and in no case will Seniority be allowed an Officer from an earlier date than the completion of such Six Years.

Officers who entered the Service between the 1st May, 1857, and April, 1860, must pass in accordance with the late Circular No. 288.

The Regulations referred to will be reinserted in the Quarterly Navy List.

Masters’ Assistants and Acting Second Masters will not be required to produce the number of observations mentioned in Article 11, page 63, of the Instructions until May 1863.

By Command of their Lordships,
C. Paget.
To all Commanders-in-Chief, Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels.


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