Royal Navy

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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 royal navy of Great Britain is now in a very flourishing state; having been diligently kept up in late reigns, as the natural strengths of the kingdom. When it is complete, it is divided into three squadrons, distinguished by the different colours of the flags carried by the respective admirals belonging to the same.

The management of the British navy-royal, under the lord high admiral of Great Britain, is entrusted to principal officers and commissioned officers of the navy, who hold their places by patent. The principal officers of the navy are four:

  • the treasurer: whose business it is to receive money out of the exchequer, and to pay all the charges of the navy, by warrant from the principal officers.
  • the comptroller: who attends and controls all payment of wages, is to know rates of stores, to examine and audite all accounts.
  • the surveyor: who is to know the states of all stores, and see wants supplied: to estimate repairs, charge boatswains with what stores they receive, and at the end of each voyage to state and audite accounts.
  • the clerk: of the acts whose business it is to record all orders, contracts, bills and warrants.

The commissioned officers of the navy are five:

  • the first executes that part of the comptroller's duty relates to the comptrolling of the victuallers accounts
  • the second, another part of the said comptroller's duty, relating to the account of the store-keepers of the yard
  • the third has the direction of the navy at the port of Portsmouth
  • the fourth has the same at Chatham
  • and the fifth, at Plymouth (N-Z pg 394)

Additional information

In the Canon

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