Index
 
19th Century Royal Navy

Index to Miscellaneous Notes


Hopefully this will remain as "work in progress" as I come across the various items which might give us a better idea as to how the service has evolved over the years. Some of the notes in themselves may have been taken out of context and may not make much sense at present, but it is hoped with time, and additional notes, that we can qualify or enhance some so that they hopefully become more understandable.

  1. 1623, Slop clothing instituted.
  2. 1666, Gratuities for wounds granted to Captains
  3. 1670, Captain's Clerks instituted.
  4. 1673, Half pay first granted to a limited number of Captains.
  5. 1675, Half pay extended to a limited number of masters.
  6. 1683 Victualling Commissioners appointed and victualling by contract abolished.
  7. 1694, Greenwich Hospital established.
  8. 1702, Proclamation establishing prize money shares.
  9. 1748, Uniform for officers introduced.
  10. 1757, establishment of regular methods of payment of their wages enabling seamen to remit or allot monies to support of their wives.
  11. 1777, Bill to abolish Press defeated.
  12. 1782, Steele's Navy List first published.
  13. 1793, Rank of Commander introduced.
  14. 1795, New Act for raising seamen establishes a quota to come from each county.
  15. 1796, Pay and half pay of lieutenants raised.
  16. 1797, Mutinies at Spithead and Nore. Pay to be improved. Men to receive full rations instead of only seven-eighths and "Savings" to be officially recognised.
  17. 1799 It is not requisite, on retaking a vessel, to bring or send her into port.
  18. 1802, St. Vincent's visitation of the dockyards, with a view to making further attempts to reduce corruption.
  19. 1805, Surgeons granted commissioned rank.
  20. 1806, Pay of officers and men increased.
  21. 1808, Masters granted commissioned rank.
  22. 1814, Navy List first published.
  23. 1814, Pursers granted half pay and to rank with lieutenants.
  24. 1816, Alterations in pay.
  25. 1817, a new regulation has taken place in the pay of the crews of Revenue Cruisers.
  26. 1817, Additional pension scheme introduced for Widows and orphans of Medical Officers.
  27. Dec 1822 Falmouth Packets transferred to the Board of the Admiralty.
  28. 1824, Grog allowance reduced and men granted 2s. per month "packet money" in lieu. Rations much altered.
  29. Sep 1824 Officers Uniform changes - not.
  30. 1825, monthly advance of pay introduced for men - no further details known.
  31. The Hampshire Chronicle of 26 June 1826 reports that, by order in council, the fee due to be paid by officers of the RN requesting to take leave of absence abroad is discontinued in the futute.
  32. 7 Jul 1828 It is reported in the Hampshire Chronicle that all future students at the R.N. College are to pay for their education, according to rank of relatives etc.
  33. Feb 1829 Reductions in the Navy and Victualling Boards.
  34. Oct 1829 trials of new Paddles Wheels are being carried out on board the Confiance.
  35. Oct 1829 the Briton has been fitted with a Voice Pipe, that runs from the quarter-deck to the maintop.
  36. 24 July 1830. The King of France has presented gold medals.......
  37. 1830, Award of the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and Gratuity introduced for ratings.
  38. 1830, Widows of the following warrant officers : Gunners, Carpenters and Boatswains, lose their entitlement to Widows Pensions.
  39. 1830, the First Gunnery Training ship, HMS EXCELLENT, fitted out at Portsmouth.
  40. Nov 1830, Warrant Punishment : Admiralty modified and restricted the award of corporal punishment,
  41. 27 Nov 1830. annulment regulation of l0 Jul 1830, which prohibits the wearing of gold lace on the trowsers.
  42. Memorandum Admiralty-Office, Dec. 2nd, 1830. His Majesty has been pleased to command that none but commissioned officers of the Royal Navy do attend His Majesty's Levees. George Elliot.
  43. 1831 Beer ration abolished.
  44. Feb 1831 Coast Blockade to be disbanded.
  45. June, 1831, Joseph Hume, suggested that the difficulty experienced in manning the fleet was that sailors would only sail with certain captains....
  46. 1832, Graham's reforms. Navy Board, Victualling Board and Sick and Hurt Commissioners abolished.
  47. Circa Apr 1833 The punishment for smuggling that compelled offenders to serve 5 years in the Navy is abolished ; fine and imprisonment will in future be the only penalty.

  48. Circa Apr 1833 It is now finally determined that the present tower over the rigging loft, in the [Portsmouth] Dock-yard, is to be the future semaphore, instead of the erection at Lump's Fort, now used for that purpose. The only alteration which will be requisite consists of a new shaft, with wings to work, and which have been ordered to be constructed and fixed forthwith.-Ports. Her.
  49. Circa Apr 1833 All students discharged from the Naval College after July 1833, are, by order in council, to serve five years on board sea-going ships, before they can be examined for Lieutenants, without reference to the time allowed them for their studies at the College, wherein they are required to remain two years.-Hampshire Telegraph.
  50. Circa Apr 1833 The Admiralty, by a recent regulation, are determined to mate the Island of Ascension a valuable source of revenue to the mother country. The Governor there has been ordered to charge all applicants thirty shillings each for turtle, and remit home an account of the amount.-Hants. Tel.
  51. Jul 1833, All students discharged from the Naval College after July 1833, are, by Order in Council, to serve five years on board sea-going ships before they can be examined for Lieutenants, without reference to the time allowed them for their studies at the College, wherein they are required to remain two years. Plym Her.
  52. 1833 By a recent Admiralty order, issued at the suggestion of the Board of Customs, all Lieutenants, who have served three years as chief officers in the coast guard service, and who are unequal to the duties, by reason of age, ill health, want of energy, or other causes, are subject to be displaced. By accounts from Plymouth, we find that the first consequence of this order is, that fourteen Lieutenants have received orders that their services will not be required at the expiration of three months. Ports. Her.
  53. 1833 The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have directed that the extra Clerk allowed to be borne in lieu of a seaman in all rated ships, may be selected from among such as may have passed an examination for Purser, without limitation as to the time of passing, and not as heretofore only from those passed prior to 1829.
  54. 1833 Mates and Midshipmen are in future to be considered qualified to be entered as Admiralty Mates or Midshipmen, after having passed for seamanship abroad, or both examinations, if at home, one complete year, and not as heretofore, only those passed prior to 1830.
  55. 1833 The Lords of the Admiralty have ordered a certain proportion of blue cloth and blue Flushing, to be supplied to the Navy, in lieu of made up jackets and trousers; an order which cannot fail to give satisfaction throughout the fleet. Seamen, &c. will thereby be enabled to have those articles made up on board, fitted to each respectively, instead of wearing the unseemly clothing hitherto issued.-Devon Tel.
  56. 1833 By a recent Admiralty order, Pursers of ships in commission are to negotiate their bills for the payment of monthly allowance through merchants or bankers, instead of presenting them to the resident pay clerks at the different ports.
  57. Appeared in the Nautical Magazine for Sep. 1833
    The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have directed that the extra Clerk allowed to be borne in lieu of a seaman in all rated ships, may be selected from among such as may have passed an examination for Purser, without limitation as to the time of passing, and not as heretofore only from those passed prior to 1829.
  58. Appeared in the Nautical Magazine for Sep. 1833
    Mates and Midshipmen are in future to be considered qualified to be entered as Admiralty Mates or Midshipmen, after having passed for seamanship abroad, or both examinations, if at home, one complete year, and not as heretofore, only those passed prior to 1830.
  59. Dec 1833 Seamen - pay
  60. Dec 1833 Unemployed Seamen at Devonport.
  61. Oct 1834 the entry of young gentlemen limited to 1st.-Cl. Vols. who have already served in the Navy.
  62. Oct 1834 2nd rate ships and below to enter first class boy seamen in lieu of adults.
  63. Oct 1834 Master's Assistants to form a part of the ship's complement, and replace a Seaman.
  64. Apr 1835 Chaplains in the Royal Navy - Work as Schoolmasters.
  65. 1835 Parliamentary inquiry into Ship Building and design for the Royal Navy ?
  66. 1835 Vessels fitted out for slaving can now be detained, in addition to those actually carrying slaves.
  67. 1835, First Chief Engineer and Inspector of Machinery appointed.
  68. Oct 1835 - Coast Guard Officers - eligibility to vote for M.P.s.
  69. 1836, Seaman Schoolmasters established.
  70. Jan 1836 Promotion of Clerks to the rank of Purser
  71. May 1836 Master's Assistants - complements for various classes of ship.
  72. June 1836. Trials with India Rubber.
  73. Aug 1836 Recruiting etc 1834-1836
  74. 1837, Engineering Branch established by Order-in-Council.
  75. 1837, Engineers placed in warrant rank with uniform, pay, regulations and training arrangements.
  76. 1837, Introduction of Good Service Pension for senior officers.
  77. 1837, RN College, Portsmouth, closed.
  78. Feb 1837 The practice of sending "young gentlemen," midshipmen, to the masthead as a punishment is to be discontinued forthwith, per the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
  79. Mar 1838 to encourage the entry of merchant seamen and mates as master's assistants.
  80. Nov 1838 Recruiting of ship's company.
  81. April, 1839, captured slavers are to be broken up in future.
  82. Jun 1839. Victualling of supernumeraries : soldiers, invalids, and others, passengers on board HM Ships, when living in the “ship's sick mess"
  83. 1840, Leading stoker introduced. [However, it should be noted that he was the equivalent of a Petty Officer Stoker, had there been such a rate - eventually introduced circa 1907.]
  84. 26 Aug 1840 ; Midshipmen's Messes. Admiralty Circular No. 261, not happy with the "luxury and extravagance" in Midshipman's messes in Mediterranean Fleet
  85. 22 April 1841 : Annual sums to be paid by R.M. Cadets to the Accountant General of the Navy.
  86. 11 Sep 1841 : The Rhadamanthus and Dee steam frigates are now fitting with Captain G. Smith's Paddle Wheel Life Boats ; the usefulness of which becomes now every day more convincing. Captain Peacock, who commands a steam packet in the Pacific, writes that it was only by means of one of these boats he was able to communicate through a heavy surf, with the shore, at Ilo, and managed to land 11 passengers and 7 tons of goods.
  87. 11 Sep 1841 : Important to Midshipmen : The Lords of the Admiralty have issued orders for all Midshipmen to pass in gunnery on board the Excellent, previous to passing at the Royal Naval College. The day fixed is the second Monday in the month.- The First Monday being the passing day at the College, and the first Wednesday, the passing day for Seamanship.
  88. 18 Sep 1841, Portsmouth, orders for where smoking may take place on board ship.
  89. 23 Oct 1841, pensioners to be allowed to receive their pensions in addition to their pay.
  90. 23 Oct 1841, temperance soldiers embarked in HM Ships entitled to double ration of sugar, cocoa and tea..
  91. 23 Oct 1841, landsmen, and those accustomed to barges and other river craft, will be admitted into the Royal Navy, provided they are strong and healthy..
  92. 23 Oct 1841, the rule that two years' service of the Royal Marines on shore, is reckoned only as one for pensions has been rescinded.
  93. 23 Oct 1841, R.M. personnel allowed great coats, as per regiments of the line, &c.
  94. 11 Oct 1841. time served as a Lieutenant in a separate command to count as time served as First lieutenant of a rated ship.
  95. Dec 1841. Midshipman having completed the required time to entitle him to pass for a Lieutenancy serving on board a detached ship.
  96. Dec 1841. questions gunnery on board HM ships to form part of the examination of Midshipmen for the rank of Mate or Lieutenant.
  97. Late 1841. Flag Officers, and Captains of line-of-battle ships, appointed subsequent to 1 August, are to be allowed two fresh entries as Volunteers of the 1st Class.
  98. Feb 1842 Lightning Conductors.
  99. Feb 1842 Screw for the pinnace of the Geyser.
  100. Feb 1842 officers on half-pay are to familiarise themselves in gunnery &c.
  101. Feb 1842 10 gun brigs are to be commanded by a Commander in future.
  102. Apr 1842 the frigate Penelope has been selected to be fitted with a steam engine..
  103. Jun 1842, on being paid off petty officers can now be received on board the flag-ships as disposable petty officers.
  104. Feb 1843, maintenance of steam vessels at Portsmouth.
  105. Mar 1843 Mr. Brewer's patent block introduced.
  106. Feb 1843 paddle-box boats for paddle ships.
  107. Apr 1843, the Admiralty are considering the positioning of magazines in ships of the line.
  108. Apr 1843, Royal Yachts to be based at Portsmouth.
  109. May 1843, the impregnation of timber, sails and ropework, with a view to preserving and preventing dry-rot in timber, and mildew in sails and rope.
  110. June 1843 Paddle vessels. How messages are passed from the bridge to the helmsman.
  111. Jul 1843 Uniform changes.
  112. Nov 1843, trials of a substance to be painted on the bottom of vessels, to replace copper sheathing.
  113. Q.R. & A.I. of 1844 made no mention of any punishment other than corporal punishment.
  114. Jan 1844 Pursers in future to be known as Pursers and Paymasters, and 1st Class Volunteers, as Naval Cadets. Pay for Masters and Clerks amended.
  115. Jan 1844 The Officers to be divided into two Branches.- Military Brunch and a Civil Branch
  116. Jan 1844 How officeers are to be appointed: by Commission ; by Order ; by Warrant.
  117. Jan 1844 Revised rates of pay for Captains.
  118. Jan 1844 Petty Officers to be paid the same whether they are serving on board a 1st rate ship or a 6th rate.
  119. Jan 1844 Widows pensions and Compassionate Allowances, including Warrant Officers, that were stopped circa 1830.
  120. Feb 1844 The issue of tobacco to the ship's companies of vessels in British ports is suspended.
  121. Feb 1844 Seamen on board ships paying off at Portsmouth to be offered employment in the Dockyard on the understanding they will be liable to return to sea.
  122. Mar 1844, Officers doing duty as Secretaries - pay.
  123. Apr 1844, Prior to being appointed to positions in the Royal dockyards, Masters are to be promoted to the rank of commanders.
  124. Apr 1844, Reclassification of Steam Vessels and Frigates.
  125. Apr 1844, Steam Vessels. Sail to be used whenever practical in order to conserve the vessels stocks of coal.
  126. Apr 1844, money paid to messes in respect of savings on victualling reduced.
  127. April 1844. Communion Services for the Navy.
  128. May 1844. Wearing of morning coat and great coat by officers.
  129. Jun 1844. extra pay for certain seamen employed on work involving unusual wear and tear of clothes.
  130. Aug 1844. 100 riggers recruited to the Master Attendant's department, who were to be eligible for service afloat at Short notice.
  131. Aug 1844. Portsmouth Dockyard to be lit by gas.
  132. Sep 1844. General Service engagements on offer, but not popular with "Jack."
  133. Sep 1844. pay for men serving on board vessels not liable to sea service.
  134. Sep 1844. the displeasure of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to be visited upon those officers who send less than complementary letters to the newspapers.
  135. Nov 1844, officers' cabins on the gun-deck of line-of-battle-ships to be less substantial.
  136. Dec 1844. Admiralty circular : 'port' to be substituted on board Her Majesty's ships for the word 'larboard.'
  137. Jan 1845. Reports that HMS Albion suffered a number of shortcomings?
  138. Mar 1845 it is reported in Congress that only 1 in 12 of USN vessels are manned by Americans.
  139. Sep 1846, the price of soap for the Navy was reduced by 2d. per lb. from 8d. to 6d. per lb.
  140. 1847, Naval General Service medal authorized.
  141. The Naval Prisons Act of 1847, granted Commanding Officers the power of awarding a Summary Punishment by imprisonment.
  142. 1849, Good conduct badges introduced.
  143. 1850, New ration scale introduced. Rum ration halved to 1/8th pint, and the evening issue stopped and grog money introduced as compensation to teetotallers.
  144. 1852, Pursers and paymasters to receive full salaries: title changed to paymaster.
  145. 1852 Commission on Manning the Service started taking evidence.
  146. Mar 1852. The passing of Mates to the Rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.
  147. Mar 1852. The telegraphs at the various coast-guard stations
  148. 1853 Introduction of the Continuous Service engagement for ratings along with improved rates of pay.
  149. 1853, the rates of Chief Petty Officer and Leading Seaman introduced.
  150. Circular 131 of 7th October, 1853 introduced Summary Punishments by establishing a more uniform system of punishment, and laying down a numbered set of punishments with a maximum duration.
  151. 1853, Introduction of Naval Uniform for ratings.
  152. Dec 1853. Shortage of First and Second Class Assistant Engineers.
  153. Mar 1855, no Foreigner in future is to be entered for continuous service on board any of H. M. ships.
  154. 1856, Victoria Cross instituted, but back dated to include many acts of bravery that took place during the Crimea War.
  155. 1856, Executive curl on gold lace introduced for executive officers.
  156. Aug 1856, the service of invalid pensioners who served in reserve fleets (in ordinary,) during the Crimes War, were discharged from service and long service pensioners, who were paid an additional 3d. per day during the War were to undergo a medical if they wished to continue their duties, but the 3d. a day was discontinued. Those wishing to leave the service could claim their discharge immediately.
  157. Nov 1856 - Preventing smuggling.
  158. 1858, Assistant surgeons commissioned.
  159. 1858, Captains authorized to grant regular leave.
  160. 24 Aug 1858 The size of cells was regulated by Admiralty,
  161. 1859, Royal Naval Reserve established.
  162. 1859, Recruiting organization for ratings established.
  163. 1859 Second Commission on Manning the Service started taking evidence.
  164. 1859 Free Part Kit : Improved Victualling Scales : Free Mess Utensils : Free Bedding.
  165. Purser's name for the ship's books.
  166. Paid down.
  167. 1860, First Naval Discipline Act passed. First and second classes for conduct introduced. Last man hanged at yardarm.
  168. 1860, Monthly payment introduced for officers and ratings.
  169. 1861 Naval Discipline Act 1860 repealed.
  170. 1861 passing of the Naval Discipline Act 1861.
  171. 1861 Q.R. & A.I., included the first mention of a Defaulters' Book, Record of Conduct Book, and Classifications for Conduct : see www.pdavis.nl/QContents.htm
  172. 1862, Gratuities for widows of men killed on active service established.
  173. 1863, Coloured bands of cloth introduced to distinguish officers' branches.
  174. 1864, Abolition of Red, White and Blue Squadrons.
  175. 1864, Commissioned rank of chief gunner, boatswain and carpenter established.
  176. 1867, Navigating Lieutenants replace Masters.
  177. 1868, Engine Room Artificer's rating established as chief petty officer.
  178. 1868, Cap ribbons officially recognized.
  179. 1 Dec 1868, feed back from the fleet resulted in a revised edition of Summary Punishments being published.
  180. 1869, An Admiralty committee on victualling reported inconclusively.
  181. Jan 1870, Royal Marines Pay Days reduced from 3 times per week to weekly.
  182. 1871, Flogging suspended in peacetime.
  183. 1872, Cookery School opened at Portsmouth.
  184. 25 Jul 1872, Stokers 2nd cl and Ord. Seamen on probation, to be allowed, on confirmation, if they volunteer for continuous service, to antedate their engagements to the date of their original entry.
  185. 1873, Greenwich College founded
  186. 1873, colour eye tests for officers and ratings introduced.
  187. 1874, Flag officers no longer entitled to select replacement officers abroad when vacancies occur due to death.
  188. 30 Mar 1874, The Lords of the Admiralty have sanctioned an increase of pay to chief petty officers.
  189. 1876, Vernon (hulk) commissioned at Portsmouth for torpedo and electrical training and experimental work.
  190. 1877, Half stripe introduced for lieutenants, navigating lieutenants and civil branch equivalents of over eight years' seniority.
  191. 17 Jun 1882, the Hampshire Telegraph reports that Prison Accounts are to be dealt with by the Accountant-General, and the post of "Clerk of Official Visitors," a solicitor at Lewes, is to be disbanded, probably something connected with the nearby Lewes prison, much used by the RN for personnel convicted by Courts Martial.
  192. 16 Aug 1882, an allowance of GB Pounds 50, per annum, has been granted to the writer at the Hong Kong Naval Hospital, in lieu of proper quarters.
  193. 1886, Ranks of Fleet Paymaster and Staff Paymaster introduced.
  194. 15 Jan 1887, an Order in Council has been published awarding Coastguard personnel a gratuity of 10 shillings for recruiting a stoker or artificer who is eventually accepted for service in the Navy.
  195. 1 Nov 1890, the Hampshire Telegraph newspaper reminds the Admiralty that it was 6 months since the problem of Chief Petty Officers pensions was raised in Parliament by Admiral Field, to the effect that Chief Petty Officers pensions were only paid at the rate for a First Class Petty Officer.
  196. 1890, Rank of Signal Boatswain introduced.
  197. 1890, Naval barracks established at Devonport.
  198. 5 Mar 1894, an investigation commenced at Devonport Dockyard with a view measuring opinions with respect to paying allotments at the Post Office, in preference to them being collected from the Dockyard. After a week a straw pole suggested that the Post Office was the wive's preferred choice.
  199. 1900, Physical training becomes a specialist branch.
  200. 12 Jan 1900 the Majestic, Magnificent, Hannibal and Jupiter, to be fitted with Wireless Telegraphy.
  201. 1903. Week-End Leave.
  202. 1904, Ratings' messes granted free issue of knives, forks, basins and plates.
  203. 1906, Start of ration allowance i.e. the payment of a small sum of money to men on leave, a refund of the money that would have been spent by the Service to cover the cost of their food if they'd remained on board.
  204. 1907, improved Canteen and Victualling arrangements per Login Committee.
  205. 1907, Oilskins, watch coats, seaboots, stokehold boots issued on loan.
  206. 1907, Corporal punishment suspended completely.
  207. 1909, Detention introduced as a punishment.

  208. 1910 Charges Against Naval Stokers for stealing and receiving naval railway travelling warrants, etc.
  209. 1919 Extra Pay for Mine Clearance
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