Royal Naval College, Greenwich

  • Founding of a Royal Naval College at Greenwich (R.N.C.)
  • Proposed courses of study
  • Regulations for Admission to the R.N.C.
  • General Regulations.
  • Examination of Act. Sub-Lieuts. and Act. Nav. Sub-Lieuts. at the R.N.C.

Extracts From Circular No. 5-C.

Admiralty, 30th January 1873.

(Modified as regards Engineer Officers by the Regulations of June 1877.)

Her Majesty by Her Order in Council, dated 10th January, 1873, having sanctioned the founding of a Royal Naval College at Greenwich, my Lords have determined to open the said College on the 1st of February next, at which date the instruction of the Gunnery Lieutenants and the Sub-Lieutenants will commence. The arrangements for the higher courses of study will not be complete till the beginning of the ensuing term on the 1st October, but special provisions have been made to prevent any interruption or disarrangement in the studies of any Class of Students who will hereafter be admitted to the College.

The College, subject to the subjoined Regulations, will be open to Officers of the following ranks:- :

  1. Captains and Commanders.
  2. Lieutenants.
  3. Navigating Officers.
  4. Naval Instructors.
  5. Acting Sub-Lieutenants and Acting Navigating Sub-Lieutenants.
  6. Officers R.M. Artillery and R.M. Light Infantry.
  7. Officers of the Engineer Branch, viz. :-
    1. Chief Engineers.
    2. Engineers.
    3. Assistant Engineers.
    4. Acting Assistant Engineers.
  8. A limited number of Dockyard Apprentices will be annually selected by competitive examination, for admission to the College.
  9. A course of instruction at the College will also be open to a limited number of

  10. Private Students of Naval Architecture or Marine Engineering.
  11. Officers of the Mercantile Marine.

It is not intended to provide at Greenwich for the education of the Naval Cadets.

My Lords intend that the Royal Naval College at Greenwich shall be so organised as to provide for the education of Naval Officers of all ranks above that of Midshipman, in all branches of theoretical and scientific study bearing upon their profession ; but my Lords will continue the instruction given in the "Excellent" Gunnery Ship as heretofore, and arrangements for instruction in practical surveying will also be continued at Portsmouth.

My Lords desire, by the establishment of the College, to give to the Executive Officers of the Navy generally, every possible advantage in respect of scientific education ; but no arrangements will be made at all prejudicing the all-important practical training in the active duties of their profession.

The object of securing, in the interest of the Naval Service, the highest possible scientific instruction is, in the opinion of my Lords, most effectually to be attained by bringing together in one establishment all the necessary means for the higher education of Naval Officers and of others connected with the Navy.

The number of Students at the College will render it possible not only to carry out instruction by individual tuition as hitherto, but to secure a staff of eminent professors, to arrange lectures and classes, and to provide chemical and physical laboratories, on a scale which has hitherto not been possible in any naval establishment.

Complete courses of study suitable for the different classes of Students admitted will he organised, and will be carried out by professors, lecturers, and instructors. Officers and others admitted as Students will have the advantage of these courses of study, whether they reside or not. But Officers and others who may not become students will, under certain regulations, have free across to separate courses of lectures, the benefit of which it is desired to extend as far as possible.

The following are the proposed courses of study :


  1. Pure Mathematics, including Co-Ordinate and Higher Pure Geometry, Differential and Integral Calculus, Finite Differences, and the Calculus of Variations.
  2. Applied Mathematics, viz., Kinematics, Mechanics, Optics, and the Theories of Sound, Light, Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism.
  3. Applied Mechanics, including the Theory of Structures, the Principles of Mechanism, and the Theory of Machines.
  4. Nautical Astronomy, Surveying, Hydrography, with Maritime Geography, Meteorology, and Chart Drawing.
  5. Experimental Sciences:
      1. Physics viz., Sound, heat, Light, Electricity, and Magnetism.
      2. Chemistry.
      3. Metallurgy.
  6. Marine Engineering in all its branches.
  7. Naval Architecture in all its branches.
  8. Fortification, Military Drawing, and Naval Artillery.
  9. International and Maritime Law ; Law of Evidence and Naval Courts Martial.
  10. Naval History and Tactics, including Naval Signals and Steam Evolutions.
  11. Modern Languages.
  12. Drawing.
  13. Hygiene-Naval and Climatic.

A certain latitude in selecting such courses of Study as they may prefer will he allowed to Officers voluntarily attending the College. Officers and others required to attend by the Regulations will follow such courses of study as may from time to time be prescribed.

The general organization of the College will be as follows :-

A Flag Officer will be President ; he will be assisted by a Captain in the Royal Navy in matters affecting discipline, and in the internal arrangements of the College unconnected with study.

A Director of Studies will, under the President, organize and superintend the whole system of instruction, and the various courses of study.

There will further be:-

    A Professor of Mathematics.
    A Professor of Physical Science.
    A Professor of Chemistry.
    A Professor of Applied Mechanics
    A Professor of Fortification

Such Instructors in Mathematics and the other branches specified as may be necessary to assist the Professors will be added to the Staff. Lecturers will be appointed to deliver courses of Lectures in Naval Architecture, Metallurgy, Civil and Hydraulic Engineering, Maritime Law, Naval History, and Tactics, and Hygiene.

A Naval Officer will conduct instruction in Nautical Astronomy and Surveying, and there will be two Instructors in Steam.

Such provisions will be made for instruction in French and German and in Drawing, as the numbers of Students desirous of following courses in these branches may render necessary.

The following changes are introduced in the Regulations as regards the time of study in the case of Officers who are required to attend the College.

  1. The time allowed to Acting Sub-Lieutenants to qualify for their Examination in Navigation for Lieutenants will be extended from six weeks to six months.
  2. Gunnery Lieutenants will be required to pass a term of nine months (from 1st October to 30th June) in the College at Greenwich before commencing their practical course in the " Excellent " instead of, as at present, a term of seven months after they have completed it.
  3. Officers, on applying to qualify as Gunnery Lieutenants, if they have not already served one year at sea as Lieutenants, will be at once appointed to a sea-going ship, in order to complete the year's service required before they commence their studies.

  4. My Lords propose that successful Candidates for Commissions in the Royal Marine Light Infantry should, before receiving their Commissions, have the advantage of a term of study in the College. They also propose to assign a longer term of study to officers of the Royal Marine Artillery ; but the final arrangements with regard to Marine officers have not yet been concluded.
  5. All acting Assistant Engineers will in future be sent to Greenwich, after leaving the dockyards, for a period of study before their appointment to sea-going ships.

As regards Officers on half-pay, my Lords are particularly anxious that young Lieutenants should at once, on their promotion to that rank, avail themselves of the advantages of the College before their turn would come for appointment to a ship The regulations specify allowances which are intended to remove any pecuniary difficulties in attending the College ; and special consideration for appointments will be given to Lieutenants who thus occupy in so useful a mariner the time necessarily spent on shore.

Arrangements have been made for the admission of Naval Engineer Officers to the College, which will prevent time spent at the College from entailing any pecuniary loss upon them.

The School of Naval Architecture at South Kensington will be absorbed in the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. The regulations for the admission of Engineer Students and of Dockyard Apprentices have been so framed as to provide as nearly as possible the same aggregate time for their instruction as that which is now afforded at South Kensington. Further regulations will be issued by their Lordships in regard to the admission of private Students to the course of study at the College on similar conditions to those now existing at South Kensington.

My Lords have further determined to admit a limited number of Officers of the Mercantile Marine as Students of the College, enjoying the full advantages of the whole course of instruction and tuition by the Educational Staff, while Officers of the Mercantile Marine generally will, on application, be allowed to attend courses of lectures.

The paramount object which my Lords have pursued in the organisation of the College has been to provide the most efficient means for the higher education of Naval Officers adequate to the constantly increasing requirements of the Service ; but my Lords also anticipate great advantages from the results likely to accrue from the connection which will be established through the College between men distinguished in the various departments of mathematical, physical and chemical science, and those practical problems which so vitally interest the navigator, the naval architect, and the naval engineer.

My Lords expect the College to become, not only an educational establishment affording the means of the highest training in theoretical subjects to Naval Officers of all classes, but also a nucleus of mathematical and mechanical science specially devoted to those branches of scientific investigation which have most interest for the Navy.


1. Captains and Commanders.

  1. Twenty-five Captains and Commanders may be admitted annually as Students at Greenwich.
  2. Those admitted for study must satisfy the authorities at the College that they possess a fair knowledge of Elementary Mathematics on entry.
  3. The term for study will commence on 1st October in each year, and will terminate on the 30th June following
  4. The President will be directed to ascertain whether Captains and Commanders admitted as Students are making satisfactory progress, and to report the result for the information of their Lordships.
  5. A limited number may be allowed to remain a second Term for study, if they be desirous of doing so, on the recommendation of the President, to the Admiralty.
  6. Captains will be on the half-pay of their rank, with Is. 6d. a day towards the mess.

7. Commanders will receive the highest half-pay of their rank, with 1s. 6d. a day towards the mess.

2. Lieutenants.

  1. Officers of this rank may be admitted to Greenwich as Students. The numbers to be admitted annually will be determined from time to time by their Lordships.
  2. They will be required to pass an examination on entry.
  3. The ordinary course of study will be for one term, at the conclusion of which an examination will take place
  4. A limited number, not exceeding 10, will be allowed to remain a second term for study, if they be desirous of doing so, on the recommendation of the Examiners to the Admiralty, with the concurrence of the President.
  5. The Lieutenants will receive 3s. a day in addition to half-pay during their first term, and 1s. 6d. a day towards the mess. Those selected for a second term will receive the amount of their full pay and 1s. 6d. a day towards the mess.
  6. Lieutenants desirous of qualifying as Gunnery Officers must serve one year at sea as Lieutenants before commencing their studies. If they have not served afloat in that rank at the time they apply, they will, if their Lordships approve of their application, be appointed at once to a sea-going ship to complete their year's sea time. They will then proceed to Greenwich for one term, which will be devoted to theoretical instruction before commencing their practical course in Gunnery on board the "Excellent." They will receive full pay and 1s. 6d. a day towards the mess during their course of study. They will be borne on the books of the of the " Excellent."

3. Navigating Officers.

  1. Four Staff Commanders and ten Navigating Lieutenants may be admitted annually, as Students, under the same regulations as for Commanders and Lieutenants.
  2. They will receive respectively 10s. and 7s. a day, including half-pay (or the amount of their half-pay, if it exceed these sums), with 1s, 6d. a day towards the mess.

4. Naval Instructors.

  1. Gentlemen who in future apply for appointments as Naval Instructors will he permitted to prepare for their examination at the College at Greenwich, under the same regulations which have hitherto been established at Portsmouth.
  2. During their subsequent service as Naval Instructors they will be admitted as Students for one Term if they be desirous of acquiring further scientific knowledge, and if their services be not required afloat.
  3. The, will, during that term, receive the half-pay to which they are entitled, and 1s. 6d. a day towards the mess.

5. Acting Sub-Lieutenants and Acting Navigating Sub-Lieutenants.

  1. The arrangements already in force for the examination of Midshipmen for the rank of Lieutenant will remain unaltered during the present year, with the following exceptions.
  2. Acting Sub-Lieutenants who have passed their examinations in Gunnery on board the " Excellent," but who have not yet passed in Navigation, will join the College at Greenwich, on 1st February 1873, to prepare for their examination in Navigation.
  3. Monthly examinations in Navigation to qualify officers for the rank of Lieutenant will, in future, take place at Greenwich, instead of, as heretofore, at Portsmouth.
  4. After 1st February 1873, Officers will proceed to the College immediately they have passed in Gunnery on board the " Excellent."
  5. One month's additional time will be allowed for Acting Sub-Lieutenants to prepare for the examination in Navigation, after which time the Regulations now established for Officers failing to pass will be put in force.
  6. During the period of study at the College, Acting Sub-Lieutenants will be borne on the books of the "Excellent," and will receive 1s. 6d. a day towards the mess.

The following arrangements to take effect from 1st January 1874:

  1. Midshipmen serving at home, who shall have completed the necessary term of service, and have attained the age of 19, must, within 6 months, apply for permission to be examined for the rank of Lieutenant, and present themselves on board the ship specified on the day appointed for examination in Seamanship.
  2. Having passed in Seamanship, they will proceed as Acting Sub-Lieutenants to the " Excellent " on the first specified day of entry, where they will be examined, after 3 months' instruction, in Gunnery. (Altered by Circular 2 of 1878.)
  3. After having passed such examination, they will proceed to Greenwich to study for 6 months, preparatory to their examination in Navigation, still being borne on the books of the " Excellent." They will receive 1s. 6d. a day towards the mess during the period of their study at the College. During this period they may present themselves for examination on one of the specified days, it they consider themselves qualified, but failing to pass, they will not be allowed a second examination until the expiration of their 6 months' Term of study. (Altered by Circular 2 of 1878. )
  4. An Officer failing to obtain a Certificate in Seamanship at the appointed examination will be re-examined at the end of 3 months; it he should then fail, he will be given another opportunity at the expiration of a further period of 3 months.
  5. An Officer failing to obtain a Certificate on board the " Excellent" after 3 months' instruction will be reexamined at the end of a month.
  6. An Officer failing to obtain a Certificate at Greenwich after 6 months' study will be re-examined at the end of a month.
  7. If an Officer fail to pass in Seamanship on his third examination, or in Gunnery after having been 4 months in the " Excellent," or in Navigation after 7 months at Greenwich, he will be discharged from the Service.
  8. Midshipmen serving abroad who shall have completed the necessary term of Service and have attained the age of 19, must, within 6 months, apply for permission be examined in Seamanship, which examination will be conducted in accordance with existing regulations, and, having passed, will, on their arrival in England, follow the regulations laid down for Acting Sub-Lieutenants, who have passed in Seamanship at home.
  9. Certificates for all subjects will be in three Classes.
  10. The examination in Navigation will include Elementary Mathematics.
  11. Acting Lieutenants who have passed their examination abroad in Seamanship, will, on their arrival in England, be subject to the same regulations as those which apply to Acting Sub-Lieutenants.
  12. The present rewards to those who pass the highest examination for the rank of Lieutenant will be continued, viz.:-
    • A Lieutenant's Commission will be given in June and December of each year to the Sub-Lieutenant who has passed the best examination in Navigation at the College during the preceding 6 months, provided he has a obtained First,-Class Certificates in Seamanship and Gunnery, and has reached a certain standard in the College Examination.
    • A Prize of Books or Instruments will be bestowed on Sub-Lieutenants who obtain First-Class Certificates in all subjects.

The Class of Certificate obtained will be noted against, the Sub-Lieutenants' names in the Navy List

The, foregoing regulations will apply to Acting Navigating Lieutenants and Acting Navigating Sub-Lieutenants in their respective ranks, with the following exceptions:

  1. They will not be required to pass an examination in Gunnery, and will join the College at Greenwich immediately after they have passed in Seamanship, or on their subsequent arrival in England.
  2. During the period of study at the College they will be borne on the books of the Flag Ship at Portsmouth.
  3. The examination of the Navigating Officers in Pilotage will take place after the examination in Navigation.
  4. The present rewards to those who pass the highest examination for the rank of Navigating Lieutenant will be continued, viz.:-

A Commission as Navigating Lieutenant will be given to the Navigating Sub-Lieutenant who passes the best examination in Seamanship, Navigation, and Pilotage, of every twenty-five candidates examined provided he obtain First-Class Certificates in all subjects, and is recommended by the Hydrographer.

A Prize of Books or Instruments will be bestowed on those Navigating Sub-Lieutenants who obtain First-Class Certificates in Seamanship, Navigation, and Pilotage.

The class of Certificate obtained will be noted against the Navigating Sub-Lieutenants' names in the Navy List.

6. Officers of Royal Marine Artillery and Light Infantry.

  1. Two Officers of the Royal Marine Artillery, and six Officers of the Royal Marine Light Infantry below the regimental rank. of Lieutenant-Colonel, who have been embarked for not less than two years, may be admitted annually as Students. They will be examined on entry, and may remain two Terms, if the examination at the end of their first term indicates satisfactory progress.
  2. They will receive their full pay and 1s. 6d. a day towards the mess.

7. Officers of the Engineer Branch.

(As modified by subsequent Regulations.)

  1. Three Chief Engineers and fourteen Engineers (or Assistant-Engineers who have not had the advantage of study at Greenwich or South Kensington), it the services of so many can be spared, may be admitted to Greenwich annually, as Students.
  2. They will be examined on entry in Elementary Mathematics.
  3. They will remain one Term at Greenwich, and will be examined before leaving in the subjects they have studied
  4. A limited number of these Officers may, be permitted to remain a second Term for study, if they be desirous of doing so, on the recommendation of the of the Examiners to the Admiralty, with the concurrence of the President.
  5. During the period of study at Greenwich, Chief Engineers will be allowed the amount of their Sea Pay ; Engineers and Assistant Engineers will be borne on the books of one of Her Majesty's ships, and all will receive Is. 6d. a day towards the mess.

(For the rules respecting Engineer Students and Acting Assistant-Engineers see the Regulations for the entry of Engineer Students)

8. Dockyard Apprentices.

(Under revision in Sept. 1877 )

Dockyard Apprentices bound for 7 years will he entered annually between the ages of 14 and 15. The examination will take pace in June in each year, and will be held by the Civil Service Commissioners in London, as well as at the Dockyards, viz., at Pembroke, Chatham, Sheerness, Portsmouth, and Devonport.

  1. Three among those who have passed 5 years at the Dockyards will be selected annually by competitive examination for study at Greenwich. They will remain there 3 terms, passing the vacation between 30th June and 1st October at one of the Dockyards.
  2. While at Greenwich, Dockyard Apprentices will be lodged, and will receive ls. 6d. a day towards the mess. They will mess with the Acting Assistant Engineers and Engineer Students.
  3. In addition they will receive pay as follows:-

      Those in their first year at Greenwich, 21s. 0d. a week.
      2nd and 3rd years ..22s. 6d. a week.

    When at their own Dockyards during the vacation they will receive their pay as above, but not the messing allowance. When at other Dockyards the messing allowance will be granted.

  4. Those selected for study at Greenwich must join with their Parents or Guardians in a Bond for the sum of 250 to serve under the Admiralty for 7 years, it required, after the completion of their apprenticeship.
  5. If found well qualified at the completion of their course at Greenwich, they may be sent in one of Her Majesty's Ships for one year, if their Lordships think it desirable, and will then be appointed Assistants to the Foremen of the Dockyards, or to any other post for which they may be considered fit. In those cases where their Lordships do not deem it desirable to send them to sea, they will at once be appointed to such posts as the above.

9. Private Students of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

  1. Facilities will be afforded for the admission of persons unconnected with the Naval Service to follow the course of study laid down for the Acting Assistant Engineers and Dockyard Apprentices, under regulations which will shortly be promulgated, and which will be similar to those hitherto in force at the School of Naval Architecture.
  2. These Students will reside outside the precincts of the College.

10. Officers of the Mercantile Marine.

  1. Ten Officers of the Mercantile Marine may, with special permission from the Admiralty in each case, be admitted annually to Greenwich for study, under similar regulations as regards examination on entry and completion of the Term as are laid down for Lieutenants. They will reside outside the precincts of the College, and be admitted as Honorary Members of the Officers' Mess.
  2. The claims of Officers in the Royal Naval Reserve will be first considered.


  1. Officers and others who are required by regulations to pass through the College will follow such courses of study as may be from time to time prescribed.
  2. Officers and others admitted :is Students on their own application will, within certain limits, be allowed to select any course of study, and to attend all Lectures that may be given in the Theatre of the College, but a course in Mathematics will be considered indispensable.
  3. Officers and others connected with the Public Service, and Officers of the Mercantile Marine may, on application to the Admiralty, be allowed to attend Courses of Lectures, although not admitted as Students in the College, subject to such regulations as their Lordships may determine.
  4. The privilege of attending Lectures may be extended to other classes, if the arrangements of the College will admit of it.
  5. The term of study for all Officers, excepting Acting Lieutenants and Acting Sub-Lieutenants, will commence on October 1st in each year, and conclude on June 30th following. Officers will be admitted at the beginning of each Term, excepting those above specified, who for the present, will enter monthly.
  6. The vacation will commence on the 1st July and terminate on the 30th September in each year.
  7. In addition, leave of absence will be granted for ten day s at Christmas and for a week at Easter.

    The vacations for Acting Sub-Lieutenants will be six weeks at Midsummer and one month at Christmas.

  8. All Officers on full pay will wear their uniform within the precincts of the College.
  9. No Officers unless under exceptional circumstances, will be permitted to rejoin for an additional period of study beyond that laid down in the foregoing Regulations, until after an absence of four years, (two of which must have been passed in active service).
  10. Captains, Commanders, and Chief Engineers taking advantage of the instruction at the College may reside outside the precincts, it they desire it. All other Officers admitted as Students must occupy rooms in the College and join the appointed mess, unless special permission is obtained to reside outside.
  11. Officers not making satisfactory progress will not be allowed to remain as Students at the College.
  12. A Special Examination in the higher branches of study taught at the College will be held at the end of every Term, the most successful competitors in which will receive special rewards, as stated below.
  13. This examination will be open to all Officers above the rank of Sub-Lieutenant, but will be entirely voluntary.

    The Officer attaining the highest number of marls, will be granted 100 a year for 3 years.

    The Officer taking the second place will be granted 80 a year for 3 years, and the Officer taking the third place, 50 a year for 3 years.

  14. Arrangements for regulating the courses of study, and the relative value to be assigned to each subject in the various examinations, will shortly be promulgated.
  15. Honorary Certificates will be given to Officers who are admitted as Students for a course of voluntary study, and who reach a certain standard at the examination on the completion of their course.
  16. Officers who have received Honorary Certificates at the College, and Gunnery Lieutenants who have qualified at Greenwich, will be distinguished by the letter G appended to their names in the Navy List.

By Command of their Lordships,

Robert Hall

To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.

Fleet Circular, No. 2- C.

Admiralty, 4th January 1877.


[Cancelling Cir. No. 28 C of 14th March 1874]

  1. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have been pleased to approve of the promulgation of the following details of subjects for Instruction and Examination of Acting Sub-Lieutenants and Acting Navigating Sub-Lieutenants at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich :-
  2.   Full number of Marks obtainable at Examination

    1. Algebra.- Fundamental Operations ; Fractions ; Simple Equations ; Involution and Evolution; Theory of Indices ; Quadratic Equations ; Proportion ; the Three Progressions ; Elements of the Theory of Logarithms, including the use of Logarithm Tables


    2. Geometry.- Up to the standard of the Sixth Book of Euclid's Elements


    3. Trigonometry.- Definitions and Fundamental Formulae; Solution of Plane and Spherical Triangles .


    4. Mechanics.- Elements of Statics, Dynamics, and Hydrostatics.


    5. Physics.- Mechanical Properties of Liquids and Gases, Optics, Heat, and Magnetism; including Construction and Use of the Barometer, Telescope, Microscope, Theodolite, Sextant, Dry and Wet Bulb Thermometers, Azimuth Compass.


    6. Steam Engine. - Heat; Steam ; Boilers; Engines; and Propellers


    7. French.-Writing from Dictation; Pronunciation; Grammar; Translation

    from French to English, and from English to French


    8. Winds and Currents- Prevail Prevailing Winds and Currents, their Geographical Limits, and their Changes at different Seasons ; Cyclones, their characteristics, localities, seasons, rotation, and track ; Relation of Barometric Pressure to Prevailing Winds and Storms; Buys-Ballot's Law ; Leading Theories of Winds and Currents ; Rains and Rain Seasons.


    9. Practical Navigation.-The Sailings ; Dead Reckoning; Mercator's Chart; Passage of Bright Stars over Meridian ; Latitude by Meridian Altitude, by Altitude of the Pole Star, by Altitudes near the Meridian, and by Double Altitudes ; Longitude by Chronometer, and by Lunar Distance; Error and Rate of Chronometer by Single Altitude, and by Equal Altitudes; Variation of Compass by Amplitude, by Attitude Azimuth, and by Time Azimuth ; Time of High Water


    10. Nautical Astronomy.- Definitions and Principles ; Investigation of all Processes and Formulae ; Explanation of all Corrections used; Sumner's Method; Problems .


    11. Nautical Surveying.- Use of Charts; Rating of Chronometers; Determination of Meridian Distance ; Selection and Measurement of a Base Line ; Determination of Latitude, Longitude, and True Bearing ; Triangulation ; Levelling ; Soundings ; Fixing Positions ; Tide Gauge ; Establishment of the Port


    12. Instruments.- Construction and Use of Marine Barometer, Sextant, Artificial Horizon, Azimuth Compass, Theodolite, and Level .


    13. Observations.- Of the Sun, for determining Latitude; Error of Chronometer and Variation of Compass.




  3. The number of marks required to be obtained as follows, viz.:-
  4. For a 1st Class Certificate

    For a 2nd Class Certificate

    For a 3rd Class Certificate

    1,250 and upwards

    1,000 and upwards

    750 and upwards

    No Certificate will be granted unless at least 30 marks have been obtained for Observations (subject 13).

  5. One-sixth of the total number of marks allotted to each subject must be obtained to entitle an officer to a 1st or 2nd Class Certificate.
  6. The Regulations contained in Art. 77, page 26 of the addenda to the Queen's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, will remain unaltered, except as to the number of marks necessary to qualify an Officer for the half-yearly prize of a Lieutenant's Commission, which will he 1,300 instead of 925.


  1. Candidates for the Beaufort Testimonial should signify their intention of competing to the President of the College one month before the time for their examination; more searching questions will be set in all subjects.
  2. A List of the Text Books used at the College is subjoined for the information of the above classes of Officers.

By command of their Lordships,

Robert Hall.

To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.


Used by acting Sub-Lieutenants and Acting Navigating Sub-Lieutenants at the Royal Naval College.

Hamblin Smith

Arithmetic (Rivington)

Hamblin Smith

Algebra (Rivington)

Hamblin Smith

Plane Trigonometry (Rivington)

Hamblin Smith

Elementary Statics (Rivington)

Hamblin Smith

Elementary Hydrostatics (Rivington)


Spherical Trigonometry (Macmillan and Co.)


Elements of Euclid (Macmillan and Co.)


Mechanics (Macmillan and Co.)

Ganot or Balfour Stewart

Natural Philosophy (Longmans' Green, and Co.)

Ganot or Balfour Stewart

Lessons in Elementary Physics (Macmillan and Co.)


Practical and Theoretical Nautical Surveying (Longmans' Green, and Co.)


Physical Geography in its relation to the prevailing Winds

and Currents (J. D. Potter, 31, Poultry).


Practical Nautical Surveying (J. D. Potter, 31, Poultry).


Nautical Astronomy and Navigation (Longmans, Green, Co.).


Practice of Navigation and Nautical Astronomy (J. D. Potter, 31, Poultry).

* Evers

Steam and the Steam Engine (Wm. Collins, Son, and Co.).

* On the first perusal of this work, the following paragraph graphs are omitted, viz.:- 54, 59, 78, 79, 94, 95, 135, 136, 148 to 156, 160 to 163, 169, 170, 175, 180, 203 to 213, 242 to 302, 310 to end.


Admiralty, 18th June 1874.


[Circular No. 8 (C) of 30th Jan. 1873, p. 8, cl. xi.]

My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have taken into consideration the fact that, although failure on the part either of Midshipmen to pass their examination in Seamanship for the rank of Lieutenant, or of Acting Sub-Lieutenants to pass their final examination in Navigation at the Royal Naval College, involves a loss of seniority in some cases to a considerable extent, no such penalty is incurred in the case of rejection at the examination in Gunnery on board Her Majesty's Ship " Excellent," and hereby direct that for the future one month's seniority shall be forfeited for such rejection.

By command of their Lordships,

Robert Hall.

To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.

Fleet Circular No. 2.-C.

Admiralty, 3rd June 1878.


[Revising par. 5 of Circ. No. 5 C., of 30th January 1873.]

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have had under their consideration the arrangements at present in force for the examination of Acting Sub-Lieutenants in Gunnery and Navigation for the rank of Lieutenant.

Under the existing regulations Acting Sub-Lieutenants on arriving in England, after having passed the examination in Seamanship, ,join the " Excellent " for a course of gunnery instruction, remain there for about three months, and having completed the examination successfully, proceed thence to the Royal Naval College for a further six months' course of instruction before presenting themselves for their final examination.

My Lords consider that if Acting Sub-Lieutenant were to join the College first, after arrival in England, they would be better prepared to commence the College course of instruction than they are now after an intermediate period during which their attention has, necessarily, been almost wholly concentrated on the study of Gunnery ; and, also, that by going through the course of instruction in Gunnery immediately before appointment to ships, they will carry their knowledge of this subject to sea fresh in their minds.

With this view, my Lords direct that all Acting Sub-Lieutenants arriving in England on and after the 1st of October next are to join the College first, and while there, are to be subject in all respects to the same regulations as if they had joined under those now in force. Timely information as to the date in each month on which the officers are to join the College will be given.

On completing their examination in Navigation they will be granted 10 days' leave, on the expiration of which they are to proceed to join the " Excellent " for the course of Gunnery Instruction, on the successful completion of which they will be confirmed, subject to the usual deduction of seniority in cases of rejection.

During the whole period between the date of their arrival in England and the completion of their examination in Gunnery they will be borne on the books of H.M.S. " Excellent," and the 10 days' leave granted on completing the College examination will not be deducted from any amount of leave that may have been due to them on arrival in England.

By Command of their Lordships,

Robert Hall

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