« PreviousContinue »
administer, at their own cost, a part of the war, by fitting out these ships of force, and providing them with all military stores; and instead of pay they have leave to keep what they take from the enemy, allowing the admiral bis share. Besides these private commissions, there are special commissions for privateers granted to commanders of ships, who take pay, who are under naval discipline; and if they do not obey their orders, may be punished with death. Ships taken by privateers are to be divided into five parts; four parts were to go to the persons interested in the prin vateer, and the fifth to his Majesty; and as a further encouragement, privatters destroying a French man of war, or privateer, shall receive 101. for every piece of ordnance in the ship so taken. By a particular statute lately made, the commissioners of the admiralty may grant conmissions to commanders of privateers, for taking ships, &c. which being adjudged a prize, a tenth part is paid 10 the admiral.
S100Ps or SHALLOPS are appendages belonging to mee of war, of about C0 tons burthen, and carry about 30 men. They are light small vessels, with only a small main-mast, fore-mast, and lug-sails, to haul up and let down, on occasion, and are commonly fast sailers.
SMACKs are small vessels with but one mast, and sometimes are employed as tenders on a man of war; they are also used for fishing upon the coasts,
SQUADRON of ships, a division or part of a feet commanded by a commodore, or by a rear or vice admiral. The number that forms a squadron is not fixed. A small number in a body and under one commander may make a squadron. If the ships are numerous, they are sometimes divided into three squadrons, and each squadron may be again divided into three divisions.
STORE SHIPs are generally brigs of from three to five or 000 tons, which carry ordnance, and other military stores, to the out-ports, as well as to supply an aimy when abroad. YACHT, is a vessel for the
passengers, and is also sometimes adorned and fitted for regal use. It is furnished with masts and sails, has one deck, carrying from 1 to 12 guns, with from 20 to 40 men; burthen froin 30. to 160 tons. They are used for running and making
short trips. The Duch yacht or trech-schuyt so common on the cannals of Holland, answers completely to our ideas of a passage-boat.
§. 2. Naval Distinctions.
I. LORD HIGH ADMIRAL OF ENGLAND, was an officer of such great trust that it was deemed imprudent to appoint any subject to this station, and the king is now, nominally, lord high admiral, while the duties of the office are executed by commission, called the Board of Admiralty, consisting of five commissioners, denominated lords of the admiralty, one of whom, as resident, is called first lord. The board of admiralty takes cognizance of every thing transacted at sea, the management of all maritime affairs, direction of the Royal Navy, and both civil and criminal offences committed on the high seas.
Under this court is also a court-merchant, or court of equity, where all differences between merchants are decided according to the rules of the civil law. This court is held three or four times a year at the Old Bailey, and one of the judges generally acts as the Lord Admiral's Deputy.
II. ADMIRAL, a great officer or magistrate, who has the government of a navy, and the hearing of all maritime causes. There is some doubt as to the origin of this officer. Sir Henry. Spelman, thinks that both the name and dignity were derived from the Saracens, and brought into this country by the crusades; this is very probable, as admiral, in Arabic amir or emir signifies a prince or general officer. Du Cange says that the Sicilians were the first, and the Genoese the next, who gave the denomination of admiral to the commanders of their naval armaments.
In our navy besides the admiral in chiel, there are the vice-admirulwho commands the second squadron; and the rear-udmirul who commands the third division. The admiral carries his flag at the main ; the vice-admiral, at the fore top-mast head; and the rear-admiral, at the mizen. The admiral ranks with generals in the army.
III. CAPTAIN OF A SHIP OF WAR is the officer who commands a.ship of the line of battle, or a frigate carrying 20 or more guns.
A captain is not only answerable for any bad conduct of the military government, and equipment of the ship he commands, but also for any neglect of duty, or ill management, in bis inferior officers, whose several charges he is appointed to superintend and regulate. C'uptain of u ship, either of a man of war, or of a trading vessel, is the commanding officer. In a merchant's ship, the officer to whom the direction is committed, is sometimes called master, and in the Mediterranean the master is frequently called patron.
IV. LIEUTENANT of a ship of war is an officer nest in rank and power to the captain, in whose absence he has the command of the ship, and executes whatever orders he may have received from the commander relative to the king's service. The lieutenant, in time of battle, must take particular care that all the men are present at their quarters, and should exhort them every where, to perform their duty. The youngest lieutenant in the ship, who is also styled lieutenunt at arms, besides his common duty, is particularly ordered by his instructions to train the seamen to the use of small arms, and frequently to exercise them. The lieutenant, during the night-watch, occasionally visits the lower decks, or sends thither a careful officer, to see that proper centinels are at their duty, that order is prtserved, and that no fire or candles be burning, except the lights which are in lanthorps, under the care of a proper watch, upon particular occasions.* The number of lieutenants appointed to a ship, is always in proportion
The list of the navy last published, specifies the following number of officers of the several ranks, viz.
Admiral of the fleet
the blue Vice admirals of the red
the blue Rear Admirals of the red
22 21 21 23 23 23 22 23 23 31 31
50 • 3327
to her rate, a first rate having six, and a sixth rate only one.
V. MIDSHIPMAN is appointed by the captain of a ship of war, to second the orders of the superior officers, and assist in the necessary business of the vessel, either aboard or ashore. A first rate uian of war has twenty-four midshipmen, aud the inferior rates, a number in proportion. No person can be appointed lieutenant, whithout having served two years in the Royal Navy in this capacity, or in that of mate, besides having been at least four actual service.
VI. Pilot is the person who conducts a ship into a road, harbour, or'through intricate channels. There are two kinds, the one an officer who takes altitudes at sea, uses the quadrant, and watches the compass; the other a coasting pilot, who is occasionally called in, on coasts and shores unknown to the master.
VII. PURSER is an officer who receives the victuals from the victualler, and is to take care that it be in good condition, and well laid up. He also keeps a list of the men and boys belonging to the ship, and sets down exactly the day of each man's admittance into pay, that the pay. master or treasurer of the navy may issue his disbursements, and pay off the men according to the purser's book.
VIII. STEWARD receives all the victuals from the purser, sees it well stowed in the hold; all things belonging to the ship's use are in his custody ; he looks after the bread, and distributes out the several messes of victuals in the ship.
IX. VICTUALLER furnishes the ship with victuals or provisions. For furnishing his majesty's pavy with victuals, there is a victualling office on Tower-hiil, managed by seven commissioners, who have their inferior officers or secretaries, clerks, &c. besides agents in different parts of the kingdom.
X. CLERK of a merchant ship, is an officer appointed to take care that nothing be needlessly squandered: he is obliged to keep a journal and an inventory of every thing in the loading of the vessel; as the rigging, apparel, arms, provision, merchandize, the names of the passengers, the freight agreed on, a list of the crew, their age, wages, &e.
the bargains, purchases, and sales the ship makes from its departure; the consumption of provision, and, in short, every ibing relating to the expense, of the voyage. in small vesseis, the master or mate takes the office of clerk, A mate is the second in subordination; as the master's mate.
XI. Surgeon and CHAPLAIN. What is said of these officeis under Sect. V, will equally apply here.
XII. Marines have nothing to do in working the ship, their duty is merely to defend it in war, and attack the enery when fighting. There is generally a company od board each ship, abont forty in number, under a captain and two lieutenants. The present establishment of marines amounts to more than 30,000. Their principal stations are at Chatham, Woolwich, aud Portsmouth. In a sea. fight, their small arms are of very great advantage, in scouring the decks of the enemy, and when they have been long enough at sea, they must be infinitely preferable to seamen, if the enemy atteinpts to board, by raising a battalion with their fixed bayonets.
XIII. OFFICERS of the navy are, the treasurer whe receives monies 'out of the exchequer, to pay all the charges of the navy. The controller who attends and controls all payments of wages, knows all the rates of stores, examines and audits all accounts. The surveyor knows the state of all stores, sees all wants supplied, estimates, repairs, &c. and at the end of each voyage, audits and states all accounts. The clerk of the acts, records all orders, contracts, bills, warrants, &c.
XIV. NAVY-BILLS, or victualling bills, are bills or orders for the payment of money, issued by the commissioners of the navy on the treasury of the
in payment for stores, &c. furnished by contract for the use of his Majesty's dock yards, and the navy. These bills since 1796, are negotiated like bills of exchange, payable at ninety days after date, and bearing interest ai 3 d. per cent. per diem.
XV. The privileges copferred on sailors are much the same as on soldiers, with regard to relief, when maimed wounded, or superannuated. Greenwich hospital receives such seamen as are disabled from further service, and provides for the widows and children of such as are slain.