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Definition from the Era

(The information in this section is from the 1771 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Please do not make edits to this section. Content is presented in its original form as to spelling and grammar use. This is what an educated person of Aubrey and Maturin's time would have known)

The rank admiral denotes the commander in chief of a single fleet or squadron, or in general, any flag officer whatever. In the British navy, besides the admiral who commands in chief, there are the Vice Admiral, who commands the second squadron; and the Rear Admiral who commands the third. The admiral carries his flag at the main-top-mast-head. (A-B pg 26)

Additional information

In the Canon

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