Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861
Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861

Royal NavyPersonnelQR&AI 1861Previous section ◄► Next section

The Queens Regulations and the Admiralty Instructions - 1861




A Lieutenant, when appointed to one of Her Majesty's Ships, is to he careful to execute punctually and zealously all orders he may receive from his Captain or other his superior Officer; and, as far as in his power, to see that all on board, who may be subordinate to him, perform with diligence and propriety the several duties assigned them. He is to be attentive to the conduct of all the Ship's Company; to prevent all profane swearing, improper and abusive language; all disturbance, noise, and confusion: and to report to the Captain those men whose misconduct he shall think deserving of reprehension or punishment.

He is to provide himself with a sextant, and a telescope, and with such other instruments, and nautical books, as are necessary for the purposes of navigation, and as may not be supplied by the public service.


On taking charge of a Watch he is to make himself acquainted, as far as is practicable, with the supposed position of the Ship, especially when approaching land, or in pilot water, and whether he may be likely to see any and what land or lights; he should also acquire any other information in his power, which may assist him in keeping the Ship out of danger so long as he is in charge of the deck, and he is to be constantly on deck until relieved by the Officer who is to succeed him. He is to see that the men are alert and attentive to their duty; that every necessary precaution is taken to prevent accident from squalls or sudden gusts of wind; and that the Ship is as perfectly prepared for battle as circumstances will admit. He is to be particularly careful that the ship be properly steered, and that a correct account be kept of her way by the log being duly hove, and by the lee-way for each hour being marked in the deck log-book in which is also to be marked every occurrence worthy of notice, and any accident that may have occasioned the loss of any of her stores; and he is also to see that all signals made in the fleet are correctly minuted in the deck log-book in such manner as the Captain shall direct; and he is, at the end of his watch, to sign the said log-book and the report of signals (if such be kept separately) with the initials of his name; and when the occurrences of the day have been entered in the Ship's log-book, he is to sign that also with the initials of his name, at the end of each watch which he had kept.


He is to be very particular in delivering correctly to the Lieutenant who relieves him on the watch all orders which he has received from the Captain, or from the Lieutenant he relieved, that remain unexecuted; and he is to inform him of all signals made by the Commander-in-chief which still remain to be obeyed. He is to point out to him (more especially in the night) the situation of the Commander-in-chief, and of the Commander of the Squadron the Ship belongs to, if in company with other Ships; and is to inform him what sail the Ships of those Officers were carrying when it was last ascertained; and whether the Ship was coming up with, or dropping astern of them: and he is to give him in general whatever other information may be necessary to enable him to keep the Ship in her station, if the Fleet be formed in any order of sailing, or to keep well up with it, if it be not so formed.


He is to see that the Sub-Lieutenants and subordinate Officers of the watch are constantly upon deck, and attentive to their duty; and he is to order the Men of the watch to be mustered, when he thinks it necessary, (but always on taking charge of the watch at night) and is to report to the Captain such as may be absent from their duty, if he considers it right to do so.


He is to be extremely attentive to keep the Ship in her station in the Squadron to which she may belong; and he is to inform the Captain whenever he apprehends that he shall not be able to keep her so.


If the Ship belong to, or is in company with, any Fleet or Squadron, he is to direct a careful Officer, to observe the signals made by the commanding Officer of the Squadron; but he is never to answer any signal, whether general or addressed particularly to the Ship to which he belongs, until he is certain that he sees it distinctly, and understands for what purposes it is made: and he is, during the night, to see that lanterns with candles, and everything necessary for making Signals are ready and in good order; and that the signal guns, not shotted, are ready for being fired; and he is to be particularly attentive in preventing any other lights, except the bow and mast-head lights, being shown in the Ship when signal lights are hoisted; and, when at sea, that no other lights be visible, in the Cabin, or elsewhere.


During a fog, he is to be particularly attentive to the guns fired by the commanding Officer of the Squadron, that, by observing any alteration which may take place either in the direction or the strength of the report, he may adopt such steps as may be necessary to prevent the Ship being separated from the Fleet. He is to be very careful to conform with the regulations contained in Article 20 [should be 19], at pages 166 and 167 of these Instructions, relative to fog signals to be used in sailing vessels and in steam vessels.


He is not to make any signal, either by day or by night, without directions from the Captain, except such as maybe necessary to warn Ships of any immediate danger.


He is to inform the Captain of all strange vessels that are seen; of all signals that are made; of all shifts of wind; of all changes of sail made by the commanding Officer of the Squadron, if in company with other ships; and in general of all occurrences worthy of notice.


He is never to carry so much sail as to endanger the springing of mast or a yard, unless the Captain shall require it; and in such case he is to see that all the men of the watch are in their stations; ready to shorten sail the moment an increase of wind, or other circumstance, shall make it necessary.


He is never to change the course of the Ship without directions from the Captain, unless it be necessary to do so to avoid danger.


He is to keep men at the mast-heads during the day, provided the state of the weather will admit of it, and in proper stations during the night, to look out; and he is frequently to remind them of the importance of their duty, and is to relieve them, more or less frequently, according to the state of the weather, or to other circumstances.


If, during war, a strange vessel be seen in the night, he is to send an Officer to inform the Captain, whilst he himself makes such immediate preparations for action as the circumstances of the moment may require and admit of.


In the night he is to take care that the Master-at-Arms and Corporals, in their respective watches, are very particular in going their rounds and in visiting all parts of the Ship every half-hour, to see that there are no irregularities amongst the men; that no candles or lamps are burning, except those which are expressly allowed; and that no person is smoking tobacco; and that they report to him when they have gone their rounds accordingly, arid he is to cause a Sub-Lieutenant or Midshipman also to visit the different parts of the Ship once at least in each night watch.


He is to direct the Carpenter, or one of his Mates, to sound the well, and to see that the ports are well barred, twice at least in each watch; and the Gunner, or one of his Mates, to examine, once at least in each watch, the state of the lashing of the guns; and to report to him when they have done so.


In the morning he is to direct the Boatswain to examine the state of the rigging, and the Carpenter that of the masts and yards; and he is to receive their reports, and to inform the Captain of the result of their examination.


He is to keep a log-book according to the established form or a journal containing professional observations on the various places visited in the course of service, and the usual astronomical and other observations, with the daily position of the Ship, winds, currents, &c. As the log-book or journal is to be retained by him for his future information, it should contain track charts, as well as plans and sketches of harbours, and whatever additional information useful to navigation, or to Her Majesty's Service, his observations may enable him to obtain. He is to produce the said log-book or journal to the Captain, whenever required by him; and on leaving the Ship, a notation is to be made on his pay ticket, by the Captain, showing that a log-book or journal has been kept by him, without which notation he will not be allowed to receive his pay. (The instructions contained in this Article apply also to the logs or journals of Commanders serving under a Captain.)


He is to ascertain the latitude by observation at noon, or by double altitudes, and the longitude by lunar observation, as opportunities may admit; he is also, during his night watch, as occasion may offer, to ascertain the latitude by the meridian altitude of a star or stars referred to in the Nautical Almanac, and to see that the Sub-Lieutenants and subordinate officcrs of his watch do the same. He is to keep an account of the Ship's way, specifying the course steered and the distance run, for each twenty-four hours, with the latitude and longitude the Ship is in, and the bearings and distance of some principal headland from which she sailed, or towards which she is going, with any other particulars, and in any form, that the Captain shall direct; which account he is to deliver to the Captain every day, as soon after noon as the other duties of the Ship will allow.


He is to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the regulations respecting navigation, &c., contained in Article 20, [ should be 19] at page 165, of these Instructions, so as to be able to act on them, at any moment in case of emergency.


In time of action, he is to see that all the men under his command are at their quarters, and that they do their duty with spirit and alacrity. He is to be particularly attentive to prevent the men from loading the guns improperly; from firing them before they are well pointed; and he is very carefully to prevent their making any improper accumulation of powder in any part of his quarters.


He is to be particularly attentive to the division of Seamen put under his inspection, - reporting to the Captain any men he may find idle, or dirty; on the other hand, he will not fail to bring to the notice of the Captain such men, as may, from zeal and ability in the discharge of their duties, be worthy of advancement. He is at all times to encourage the men of his division to come to him for any information they may require, and if it be not within his knowledge or within his province to meet the case submitted to him, he is to refer it to the Officer to whom it may appertain, or, if necessary, to the Captain. He is to be present at the investigation of all complaints against the men belonging to his division, unless unavoidably prevented by other duty.

The Officer in charge of a division is to see that the men under him are at all times as clean as the duties of the Ship will allow, and particularly that they keep their persons clean. He is to superintend, and keep an account of, the issue of clothing to the men of his division, and to see that the materials issued are converted without delay into the articles for which they were demanded; and that the clothing is neatly made, marked, and kept in good order. He is also to keep an account in the form given in the Appendix, of the clothing and bedding in possession of every man in his division, and if he shall find that any of them have sold, or improperly made away with, any of their clothes, &c., he is to bring the circumstance to the knowledge of the Captain when he submits for his inspection the divisional list, or sooner, if he shall discover it before taking such list.

When the clothing is in course of inspection, it is not necessary to detain the whole of the crew during the operation. A few bags only should be brought up at a time.

In preparing the list of clothing required by the men of his division, the Officer is, in every case, to take care that they do not demand any articles that are not really necessary for their use and comfort.


When a Lieutenant is called by a signal on board a Flag-Ship, or a senior Officer's Ship, he is to carry with him an Order Book, for the purpose of entering therein any orders that may be given; and, on returning to his own Ship, he is to deliver the orders to the Officer in command.


The foregoing instructions are to be observed and followed by Officers of whatever rank who may, unavoidably, under the authority of the Captain, be called upon to perform any of the duies usually assigned to Lieutenants.


In the absence of the Captain, and Commander (where there is one borne), the senior Lieutenant of the Ship is to be responsible for everything done on board; he is to see every part of the duty as punctually performed as it could be if the Captain or Commander were present. He may put under arrest any Officer whose conduct he shall think so reprehensible as to require it; and he may confine such men as he shall think deserving of punishment; but he shall have no power to authorize the infliction of corporal punishment on any person, unless he shall have succeeded to the command of the Ship by the death or incapacity of the Captain or Officer who was appointed to the command, or unless he shall have been left in charge of the Ship, whilst the Captain shall be absent on Admiralty leave, or on leave for a lengthened time granted by a Commander-in-chief abroad, as explained in Article 59, at page 123.

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