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 Lieutenants' Passing Certificates 
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Lieutenant

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:05 pm
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Post Lieutenants' Passing Certificates
I hope to stimulate a discussion on 18th century Lieutenants Passing Examinations as I find little record of the actual process other than anecdotal comments (and the apparent guesswork of a number of biographers).

The majority of the Lieutenants’ Passing Certificates (LPCs) issued between the beginning of the Seven Years War and the beginning of American War and recorded in ADM 107/5 (177-1762) & 107/6 (1762-1777) all start with the following preamble (except some LPCs which allowed credit for merchant service issued in the middle of the Seven Years War):
Quote:
In Pursuance, &ca: of the [date], We have Examined Mr [name] who by Certificate appears to be more than [number] Years of Age, and find that he has gone to Sea more than [number] years in the Ships, & Qualities undermentioned (viz)

The “In Pursuance, &ca:” date was the date of a directive from the Admiralty to Navy Office to conduct an examination. By ADM 107/11 (1787-1789) the LPCs were recorded in a preprinted form where the preprinted preamble included:
Quote:
In Pursuance of the Directions of the Right Hon’ble Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, signified to Us by Mr. [name] Letter of the [date], We have Examined Mr [name] who by Certificate appears to be more than [number] Years of Age, and find that he has gone to Sea more than [number] years in the Ships, & Qualities under-mentioned, Viz.

I only hold a copy of one LPC recorded in ADM 6/87 (1753-1776), that for the future Admiral Thomas Macnamara Russell. This pramble establishes earlier intent of the “In Pursuance, &ca”:
Quote:
In pursuance of the direction of the Right Hon’ble the Lords Comm’rs of the Admiralty, signified to us by Mr: Stephens’s Letter of the 27: Novem’r: 1772, We have Examined Mr Thomas Macnamara Russell, who by Certificate appears to be more than Thirty two Years of age, and find he has gone to Sea more than Six Years in the Ships and Qualities undermentioned (viz)

QUERY: Can anyone “point me” to any archival copies of these letters?

BACKGROUND: Richard Brathwaite (1728-1805) was posted Captain, HMS Shannon, a 6th rate frigate of 28 guns, on 06 Apr 1761 and the three “young gentlemen” he took aboard were Gustavus Logie (age ca. 13) and the brothers Cuthbert Collingwood (age 13) and Wilfred Collingwood (age 12). Logie was the brother of Brathwaite’s wife, née Ullrica Eleanora Logie, daughter of the Swedish consul in Algiers whom Brathwaite married at Gibraltar on 06 July 1760. Brathwaite and the Collingwood brothers were first cousins as their mothers were sisters. The three would later serve under Brathwaite on HMS’s Gibraltar and Liverpool and all would claim 2 years, 12 months, 0 weeks and 2 days service on the latter. Captain Richard Brathwaite was commissioned to command HMS Liverpool on 08 Apr 1767and presumably the three now-teenagers came with him; however, 2 years, 12 [pay-]months [of 28 days or 4 weeks], 0 weeks and 2 days calculates that their service record was tallied as of on or about 02 Feb 1770, although I believe all served on board Liverpool until she was paid off on 02 Mar 1772.

PROBLEM: None of the three young men passed the Lieutenants’ Examination in Feb 1770, so why was the service record compiled? All three would subsequently pass for Lieutenant but apparently without ever updating their service record, viz.

“In Pursuance, &ca”---LPC issued-------Candidate (LPC)
>>> 1770 Oct 08-----1770 Oct 09-----Gustavus Logie (ADM 107/6, p. 228)
>>> 1770 Oct 06-----1772 Apr 07-----Cuthbert Collingwood (ADM 107/6, p. 259)
>>> 1772 Mar 02-----1772 Apr 07-----Wilfred Collingwood (ADM 107/6, p. 259)

NOTE: The “In Pursuance, &ca:” dates above of “8” Oct 1770 and “6” Oct 1770 are clearly written.

QUERY: Can anyone explain what happened re: the examinations of Logie & the two Collingwoods?


Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:07 pm
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Commander

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Australia
Post Re: Lieutenants' Passing Certificates
Could the movements of the LIVERPOOL have had some bearing on this? She was in the Mediterranean from the end of 1768 until February, 1772 when she returned to pay off at Chatham. Were Lieutenant's exams able to be taken in the Med? I had some idea that they could only be held in the UK at this period (?). Perhaps the certificates were issued when the necessary 6 years sea service (and whatever service as midshipman was required) had been accumulated and then held for future use.


Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:36 am
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Lieutenant

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:05 pm
Posts: 62
Post Re: Lieutenants' Passing Certificates
Peter –

Thanks for your thoughts, and, yes, an overseas Commanders-in-Chief where authorized by the “General Printed Instructions” [i.e., Regulations and Instructions Relating to His Majesty’s Service at Sea; Established by His Majesty in council.], Part I, “Rules to be observed in Appointment of Officers in Foreign Parts,” Article II.
Quote:
Commanders in Chief are not to prefer any to be Lieutenants in Foreign Parts, but such as have passed their examination; which if they have not already done at the Navy-Office, they may authorize any three of their principal Commanders to examine them; and if it shall appear, by their Certificates, that they have served Six Years at Sea, have been rated two of the said Six Years, or Mates in some of His Majesty’s Ships, and that they do produce regular Journals and good Certificates from the Commanders they have served with, and are in all Respects qualified for that Employment, and not under Twenty Years of Age, they may prefer them, and not otherwise, taking Care to send the said Certificates of Examination to the Secretary of the Admiralty, to be deposited in that Office.

Given that the service record for Logie & the Collingwood brothers was compiled as of about 02 Feb 1770, I assume they expected to take their examination in the very near future. Perhaps the ship was preparing to return to England and the sailing orders were changed. There is some hint of that when Milbourne Warren, Naval Officer, Mahon Yard, wrote on 10 June 1770 (in part): “The Liverpool has been sheathed and will sail for Gibraltar to join Mr. Proby." There certainly would not have been reasonable time to sail for England in Feb 1770 then return to Port Mahon and be re-sheathed before 10 June.

The Liverpool then did return to England and it was during Liverpool’s 7 week stay at Spithead in the Sep-Nov 1770 period when Logie passed for Lieutenant. The presence of Liverpool at Spithead is shown by the following: Commissioner Hughes at Portsmouth reported on 27 Sep 1770: “Yesterday, the Liverpool arrived at Spithead.” (ADM 106/1189/104). The visit was short-lived as on 14 Nov 1770 Hughes reported: “Yesterday, the Liverpool sailed to St Helens. . . .” and on the 15th :”Today . . . Liverpool sailed from St. Helens.” (ADM 106/1189/162,164). Although the destination was not stated, it clearly was for Gibraltar and the Mediterranean as Milbourne Warren, Naval Officer, Mahon Yard, on 12 Dec 1770 wrote: “The Liverpool, Captain Brathwaite arrived on the 10th from Gibraltar and is to sail for Algiers, tomorrow.” (ADM 106/1190/10).

The more I dig the more “hints” I find about the administrative process. It appears that an application with appropriate documents was sent to Admiralty which in turn tasked the Navy Board to examine a specific candidate; i.e., the “In pursuance &ca” directive. Nearing the end of American war, there appear to be a few procedural changes made. First, records of sea service were forwarded to the Navy Board for verification. Then preprinted were introduced, and finally, the sea service records started listing entry & discharge dates.

It still remains a mystery to me why the various dates mentioned in my first query. In Feb 1770 when the sea service reports were developed, Wilfred Collingwood would have been under age 20.

Unfortunately, letters received by Admiralty from Lieutenants and Midshipmen appear not to be extant. Should anyone be interested in the few, apparently misplaced, entries I found look at ADM 106/1256/550 through 557, ADM 106/1257/1 through 4 and 152 through 158, and ADM 106/1264/1 through 35.

ADM 106/1256/553 indicates “Result of the Lieutenant’s examination of Robert Cumming. Marked rejected 15 June 1780.” and ADM 106/1256/551 is the “Request for an examination of the qualifications of Mr Robert Cumming.” from which I suspect indicates that if an examination was failed, one could not re-apply for another six months.

ADM 106/1257/155 dated 20 Aug 1779 is “Certified copy of baptism of Askew Pafford Hollis by the Curate Pursoy Collis, Averstoke.” which may be a forgery given that his baptism [as an infant] is recorded in Holy Trinity, Gosport, on 18 Sep 1764; therefore on 04 Dec 1780, the date his examination was directed, he would have been but age 16. In his 23 June 1844 obituary, Vice Admiral Aiskew Paffard Hollis, is listed as age 80.


Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:30 pm
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Commander

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Australia
Post Re: Lieutenants' Passing Certificates
The 1760 Regulations empowered a Commander-in-Chief to appoint an examining board for Lieutenant's examination but was there a Commander-in-Chief in the Med in 1770?


Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:48 pm
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Lieutenant

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:05 pm
Posts: 62
Post Re: Lieutenants' Passing Certificates
I don’t have exact dates at hand but Commodore Charles Proby superseded Commodore Richard Spry (later Rear Admiral Sir Richard) in late summer or autumn 1769 as Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Squadron. Proby himself was relieved in late 1770 or early 1771 when the pressure of the Falklands Islands affair with the Spanish led Admiralty to appoint Rear Admiral Sir Peter Denis as Commander-in-Chief. I have little doubt that Proby could order Lieutenant’s examinations; however, what little evidence I have seen suggests that when he had vacancies for Lieutenants, he only issued acting orders.


Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:45 pm
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