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Examination for the Rank of Lieutenant


Admiralty, August 3, 1853.

With reference to Art. 21, Chap. 2, page 21, of the Admiralty Instructions, which provides that Mates, who have already passed their examination abroad, shall pass an examination at the Royal Naval College, within two months of their return to England, in order to entitle them to confirmation from the date of their first Certificate; and it appearing that some misapprehension has arisen on this point, and that it has been supposed that, provided a Mate passes within the specified period, it is immaterial whether he fail, or otherwise, in his first examination at the College ; my Lords desire that, in future, it may be clearly understood, that Mates who have already passed abroad are at liberty to select either the 1st, 2nd. or 3rd examination day at the Royal Naval College, after their arrival in England ; or, if belonging to a ship under orders to be paid off on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd examination day after having been so paid off.

If rejected on any examination day, officers will incur the forfeiture of 3 months' seniority in their rank a Mate, instead of being allowed to take seniority from the date of their passing in Seamanship : a second rejection will incur the forfeiture of 6 months' seniority, and a 3rd rejection 9 months (in the whole). All other cases will be dealt with specially by the Board of Admiralty.

The non-appearance of Officers for Examination at the times required by these Regulations will be considered as a tacit acknowledgement of their not being qualified and will be dealt with in the same manner as if they had been actually rejected on each day on which they may have omitted to appear, viz. Non-appearance on the 3rd Examination Day will incur the forfeiture of 3 months' seniority ; non-appearance on the 4th day. 6 months ; non-appearance on the 5th day, 9 months ; and all other cases of Mates not appearing must be specially reported to the Board for the decision of Lordships.

By Command of their Lordships,

W. A. B. Hamilton


Circular No. 208

Admiralty, 27 Aug 1855

By their Lordships' Order of 3rd August, 1853, it is provided that a Mate, if rejected on any examination-day at the Royal Naval College, shall incur the forfeiture of three months' seniority in his Rank of Mate for each occasion of his being so rejected, and also a corresponding penalty for each occasion of his failing to present himself to pass : the non-appearance of Officers being considered as a tacit acknowledgement of their not being qualified.

My Lords are pleased to direct that the same Regulations which govern the Seniority of Mates (whether rejected or failing to present themselves) shall be made applicable to Acting Lieutenants, who are to be deprived. in the same proportion as Mates, of three months in their Seniority as Lieutenants for each occasion of their being rejected, or failing to present themselves for examination.

In the event of any cases occurring of an Officer being rejected more than three times, or of his failing to present himself on a 6th examination day after his arrival in England, (or if belonging to a ship under order to be paid off on the 6th examination after having after having been so paid off,) such cases will be specially dealt with by the Board of Admiralty.

The above regulations are to apply to the cases of Second Masters and Officers promoted abroad to the rank of Acting Master.

By Command of Their Lordships

R. Osborne.

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have directed, by an order dated December 1855, that the College Sheet is to contain questions on the Theory of Navigation and Astronomy, also on the prevailing winds and currents of the ocean, and on the practical application of the rules of navigation and astronomy to Surveying and other Nautical purposes, in order to test the knowledge and qualifications of all Officers passing at the Royal Naval College.


Circular, No. 320.
Admiralty, 30th March 1858.

By their Lordships' order of the 3rd August, 1853, it is provided that a Mate, if rejected on any examination day at the Royal Naval college, shall incur the forfeiture of three months' seniority in his rank as Mate for each occasion of his having been so rejected, and also a corresponding penalty for each occasion or his failing to present himself within the period prescribed by the Regulations, the non-appearance of officers being considered as a tacit acknowledgement of their not being qualified.

With reference to the order above referred to, my Lords direct that in all future cases of an officer having allowed two or more examination days to elapse (beyond the period limited by the. Regulations), without presenting himself to pass at the Royal Naval college, such officer shall not be allowed to undergo his final examination except by a special order from their Lordships.

In the event, therefore, of an officer not having presented himself to pass on or before the fifth examination day after his arrival in England, or (in the case of his belonging to a ship under orders to be paid off), on the fifth examination day after having been so paid off, he is to report to their Lordships the cause of his non-appearance, when, if his explanation should prove satisfactory, he will be allowed to present himself for examination on the next passing day ; but if his explanation should prove unsatisfactory, his name will be removed from the list of the Navy.

In cases also of an officer having been rejected at the College on one occasion, and having neglected to present himself to pass on two other occasions ; or in Cases where an officer may have been rejected twice, and have failed to appear for examination on a third occasion, such officer is on no account to be allowed to pass without application to, and special permission from their Lordships, and in the event of his explanation proving unsatisfactory his name will be removed from the List.

In cases of offices applying for permission to pass as required by this Regulation, he is to state in his application the name of the ship or ships in which he may have served since the date of his having passed in seamanship, and also the date of his arrival in England. Should he have returned to England on more than one occasion after his passing in seamanship, he is to specify the date of such former arrival.

In future, a third rejection at the Royal Naval College, or three non-appearances, or three cases of rejection and non-appearance combined, unless satisfactorily accounted for, will entail an officer's removal from the List of the Navy.

N.B.-The above Regulations are also to apply to officers promoted abroad to be acting Lieutenants, as well as to the cases of second Masters, end to officers promoted abroad to the rank of acting Master.

By command of their Lordships,
H. Corry,
To all Commanders-in-Chief, Captains, Commanders, and Commanding Officers of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels.

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