The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Story of the "Britannia", by E. P. Statham

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most
other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of
the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at  If you are not located in the United States, you'll have
to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.

Title: The Story of the "Britannia"
       The training ship for naval cadets. With some account of
              previous methods of naval education, and of the new scheme
              of 1903.

Author: E. P. Statham

Release Date: September 6, 2014 [EBook #46788]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Shaun Pinder, Sam W. and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

Front cover of the book









THE principal object of the preface in a volume of this nature is to acknowledge the assistance received from various persons; the title speaks for itself, and but little is necessary by way of introduction.

The material for the account of the Naval Academy and the old Naval College has been obtained, with very little exception, from official documents. There is, unfortunately, a considerable period which is not covered by any papers to be found in the Record Office; possibly the records of this period are in existence somewhere, but I have not been able to discover them.

I hope, however, that such information as I have succeeded in obtaining about this establishment, of which so little is generally known, may be of interest.

In dealing with the Britannia, I have thought it necessary to include some account of the various modifications which have taken place from time to time in the examinations and general regulations affecting the entry of cadets, as illustrating the official ideas which have prevailed at different periods concerning the education of young naval officers.

Personalities in a book of this kind are inevitable, but [vi] I hope that none will be found which could give offence to anyone.

All the “yarns,” etc., which appear have been obtained from authentic sources, including my own reminiscences.

To return to the chief object of the preface, my thanks are due for valuable assistance to the following:—

The Admiralty, for special facilities for access to documents; Vice-Admiral Sir Robert H. Harris, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., Vice-Admiral Noel S. F. Digby, Admiral W. H. Edye, Captain M. P. O’Callaghan, Captain C. H. Cross and the officers of the Britannia, Captain A. W. Warry, Captain G. Mainwaring, Captain G. S. MacIlwaine, Commander G. E. Bairnsfather, and other officers who so readily supplied information; Captain G. H. Inskip, for the loan of interesting papers and photographs; Professor J. K. Laughton; Mr. A. C. Johnson and Mr. J. L. D. Barton, former naval instructors on board the Britannia; Mr. Aston Webb, R.A., for the use of his original drawing of the College at Dartmouth; and Messrs. J. Gieve and Son, for the use of old prints.

E. P. Statham.

March, 1904.



A Youthful Diplomat — Old Methods of Entry — Captain’s Servants — King’s Letter Boys — Lord Dundonald — A Warrior at Eight — Sir P. W. P. Wallis — Absurd Regulations — Education at a Discount — Midshipman Easy — Peter Simple — The “Pitchfork” System — The Royal Naval Academy — Letter to the Navy Board — Commendable Promptitude — The Scheme Approved — Delay in Building — Scheme of Instruction — Uniform Instituted — Scholars’ Expenses — Rules and Orders — “They are cursed troublesome” — Commissioner’s Report — Entry and Final Certificates — Captain Broke’s Work Book — A Comprehensive Course — A Successful Institution 1
New Brooms — Radical Changes — The Academy Closed — Wanted, a Professor — James Inman — An Enthusiastic Scholar — His Love of Fair Play — Senior Wrangler — Antarctic Astronomer — Appointed Professor — “Inman’s Tables” — The College Opens — A Master’s Untimely Optimism — A Poser for Their Lordships — The New Course of Studies — John Irving, Silver Medallist — A Mathematician’s Device — The Rod and the “Black Hole” — New Regulations — Commissioned Officers Admitted — Elastic Hours of Study — The End Approaches — The “late” Royal Naval College — Inman’s Pension — Sir H. Keppel’s Recollections — The Box Seat — A Retaliatory Cascade — Sir W. R. Mends — Alleged Toadying — Sir G. R. Mundy’s Letters — Keeping a “Mess” — The “Black Hole” in Being — “A Blow-out,” and After — Sir B. J. Sulivan — Bullying Studious Juniors — A Discouraging Experience — The Captain Converted — The College and the Excellent — Professor Main — The “Pitchfork” System Again — A Slender Equipment — Naval Cadets — Haphazard Methods — A Little More Detail 16
Captain Robert Harris — His Birth and Career — Appointed to the Illustrious — “Jemmy Graham’s Novices” — A Model School for Seamen — A Visit to the Illustrious — Why not Train Young Officers? — Opposition of Old Officers — Cadet Robert H. Harris — A Successful Experiment — Institution of Cadets’ Training Ship — Captain Harris Suffers for His Zeal — Commendatory Letters — He is Superseded — The New Admiralty Circular — General Approval of the Scheme — The Staff of the Illustrious — Lieutenant George S. Nares — Disciplinary Methods — The Cadets’ Corporals — Withering Sarcasm — Old-fashioned Seamanship — Cricket — “Sling the Monkey” — Rev. R. M. Inskip — His Sea Yarns — Mr. Kempster Knapp — “Knapp’s Circles” — Penalty of Fidgeting — Prince Alfred — Enter the Britannia — Her Predecessors 35
A “Three-decker” — Arrangements on Board — The Morning Drum — Persuasive Corporals — “Cockpit Mess” — “Cheeky New Fellows” — Important Modifications — Sea-going Training-ship — A Dead Letter — The Question of Locality — Portland Selected — Its Numerous Drawbacks — Preparing for Sea — Voyage of the Britannia — She Asserts Herself under Sail — Arrival at Portland — Great Monotony — A Sad Accident — Good Education — French and Drawing — Sample of a French Lesson — Messroom Songs — “The King of Otaheité” — Going Aloft — A Foolhardy Feat — A Swift Descent — Fatal to Clothes — Reading at the Yard-arm — Captain Powell Appointed — Departure of Commander Nares — Corporal Punishment — A Cool Young Hand — The Royal Marriage — Another Change Decided Upon — Voyage to Dartmouth — A Busy Time — Sailors as Navvies — The Hindostan — Captain Randolph Appointed — A Futile Complaint — Stern Measures — Parliamentary Interference — Humanitarian Fads — Flogging Abolished — Cadets’ Sailing Cutters — Gymnasium Built — The Bristol — Competition on Entry — Reduction of Numbers — A New Britannia — Statistical Results 53
Mr. Inskip Departs — His Statistical Diagram — Vindication of Britannia — Final Examinations a True Test — A “Facer” for the Old Salts — Mr. Inskip Triumphant — Captain Warry’s Recollections — Lieutenants’ Duties Ill-defined — “Goose” Dinners — Fighting by Authority — The [ix] Dapper — The Ariadne — A Tragic Incident — A Plucky Boatswain — The Ariadne Abolished — A Possible Explanation — Mr. Knapp Resigns — An Unexpected Successor — A Generous Appreciation — Committee of Enquiry — Recommends Abolition of Competition — An Academic Proposal — Unanimity of Cadets — Admiral Ryder’s Evidence — Dr. Woolley’s Evidence — A Plausible Contention — New Regulations — French at a Discount — Site for a College — Dartmouth Recommended — A Dissatisfied Parent — The Britannia in Parliament — The Royal Cadets — Lieutenant Mainwaring — Beagles Started — The Grave of “Jim” — A Phenomenal Admission — Britannia Regulations — The Officer of the Day — The Cadet Captains — No “Hampers” Allowed — Punishments — A Drastic Health Regulation — Captains in the ’Seventies — Statistical Results 82
Competition Reintroduced — Reduction of Numbers — A Ferocious Examination — The Britannia in the Times — “Rule of Thumb” Instruction — “Fire” and “Sword” — “Veritas” at Sea — The Britannia Magazine — Editorial Introduction — The Politics of Naval Cadets — Editorial Difficulties — A Questionable Pseudonym — Popular Advertisements — The Wave — A True Prediction — An Original Poem — Jones Takes a Lesson to Heart — The Wave’s Holiday Trip — A Warning to the Reckless — “First Catch Your Cadet!” — Ambulance Lessons — How to Tell a Toadstool — The Electric Light — Another Committee — It Makes Recommendations — Also Suggestions — Very Unpractical — Captains in the ’Eighties — Statistical Results — A Rapid Rise 118
Captain Digby — Alleged Gross Bullying — A Lively Correspondence — Various Uninvited Opinions — A Gleam of Light from Within — “Old Etonian” and Admiral Richards — Captain Digby Sums Up the Case — “Navilus”: His Book — Morning Amenities — “One Day’s ‘Four’” — A Typical Day — The Hardships of “Four” — A Day in the Wave — “A Nice Fresh Breeze” — Reefing Topsails — “Man Overboard” — Comfort for Mothers — A Trip in a Skiff — Forbidden Joys — A “Slippery Hitch” — A Half-holiday — Tea with “Ma Fox” — A Sunday Outing — “Fearful Fagging” — The “Baby’s” Final Aspirations — Captain Moore — A Hot Reformer — Lieutenants as “Sea-Daddies” — Abolition of Cadets’ Corporals — Chief of the Staff — Naval Warrant Officers — New Admiralty Regulations — The Racer Arrives — Ship Struck by Lightning — Jubilee Day — The Queen’s Medal — Captain Marryat’s Spectacles — Cadets’ Food — A Hard Case! — Remarkable Physical Development — Influenza Epidemic — An [x] Ill-informed Parent — Ridiculous Allegations — Visit of the King and Queen — John Gilpin — “Ye Mariners of England” — Captains in the ’Nineties 144
Scanty Early Records — Practice v. Precept — Officers v. Cadets — Presumptuous Juniors — A Close Match — Football — Penalty of Punning — A Decisive Victory — A Demon Bowler — Two Curious Innings — Sports and Regatta — The Rushworth Seal — The Editor is Sarcastic — His Feelings are Soured — An Excited Timekeeper — Why Williams Didn’t Win — The Pro’s Average — Teignbridge Victorious and Vanquished — W. G.’s Eleven — Some Fatherly Advice — The Editor is Appeased — A Close Sculling Match — Foreign Football Matches — A Dry Cricket Season — The Editor and the Beagles — Lord Harris’s Maxims — The Bold Sir Bedivel — Big Third Eleven Scores — Seventeen Years’ Athletics — Huddart Shows the Way — The Editor on “Stodge” — A Hot Run for the “Footmen” — Youthful Boxers — Glasgow to the Rescue — An Afternoon’s Cricket — Splendid Playing Fields — And Plenty of Cricket — Teignbridge’s Small Score — Britannia Wins All Round — Third Eleven Makes a Record — A Question of Time — Keep Your Ground Clock Right — Remarkable Results of the Season — Money Well Spent 190
Forty-six Years’ Record — Internal Arrangements — Swimming Baths — “On Their Honour” — No More Sails — The Revenge as a Picture — The Isis and Aurora — Lieutenants’ Adventure — Scotch Hospitality — Shooting Instruction — “Good Fishing” — A Creditable Record — The Cost of the Britannia — The Instructional Staff — An Excellent Arrangement — A Heavy Responsibility — Discharged Right Well — The New Scheme — Utilitarian Buildings — The Racer Again — Popularity of Practical Mechanics — No Half Measures 230
Appendices 251
Index 271



The “Britannia” Approaching Portland, Feb. 7th, 1862 Frontispiece
Cadet of 1849 1
The Royal Naval Academy, Portsmouth 9
The Title-page of Broke’s Book 12
A Page from Broke’s Book 13
First and Second Class Volunteers 14
A Plan from Broke’s Book 15
West Front of the Naval College in Portsmouth Dockyard 17
Billiard-Room, Naval College (Formerly the Large Study) 20
The Courtyard of the Naval College 21
“Jack Tar” Expounds 34
Captain Robert Harris 36
Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Harris, K.C.B., K.C.M.G., as a Midshipman 38
Rev. R. M. Inskip and Mr. K. Knapp 48
Model of the First “Britannia,” Built in 1682 50
Model of the Third “Britannia,” Built in 1762 51
The Fourth “Britannia,” Built in 1820 57
Officers and Cadets, 1861 67
Captain R. A. Powell and Officers, 1863 73
Captain John Corbett 77
The Fourth “Britannia” as Training Ship 81
Reading Off the Sextant 82
The “Ariadne” Disaster 89
Rev. J. C. P. Aldous 94
Mr. A. C. Johnson 95
Captain the Hon. F. A. C. Foley 97
Royal Galley. Prince Albert Victor (Duke of Clarence), Coxswain; Prince George (Duke of York), Port Bow Oar 101
The Royal Cadets at Seamanship 105
Prince Albert Victor 106
Prince George 107
“Jim the Pioneer’s” Grave 108
Lieutenant Mainwaring and Cadet Captains 109
A Class at the Seamanship Instruction Model 113
[xii]The “Britannia” and the “Hindostan.” Cadet Racquet Courts in Foreground 121
A Beagle Meet 126
The Kennel 127
Cadet Messroom 129
Captain N. Bowden-Smith 137
Poop of the “Britannia.” Cadets at Prayers 139
Captain F. G. D. Bedford 141
The Schooner Yacht “Syren” 143
Captain N. S. F. Digby 146
A Group of Captains (Christmas, 1890) 148
First Term Sleeping Deck on Board the “Hindostan” 154
Chapel on Board the “Hindostan” 155
A Signalling Exercise 156
Pocket Money 157
H.M.S. “Racer,” Tender to the “Britannia” 159
Captain A. W. Moore 164
The “Victoria and Albert” at Dartmouth 165
The Cadets’ Hospital 168
On the Sick List 169
Fourth Term Cadets on Board the “Isis” 171
A Lesson in Seamanship 174
A Typical Fourth Term Group: “Passing-Out” Cadets, 1893 175
H.M.S. “Isis,” Sea-Going Training Ship 179
The King’s Visit, March 7, 1902 183
The “Britannia” Dressed for the King’s Birthday 187
The Cricket Pavilion 195
A Class at the Gymnasium 199
Regatta Day: Twelve-Oared Cutter Winning a Race 203
Cricket, Football, and Rowing Trophies, and the Rushworth Seal 207
First Eleven, 1889: Opponents of W. G.’s Team 211
A “Britannia” Rugby Team 213
A “Britannia” Association Team 217
Boxing Class 219
The Beagle Whips 221
The Cricket Field 223
View from the New College 229
Captain C. H. Cross 232
Mr. J. H. Spanton 238
Mr. G. B. Mason 239
Officers’ Quarters 240
Cadets’ Dormitory 241
The Old Stable-yard, Osborne 246
The New College, Dartmouth 247





A Youthful Diplomat—Old Methods of Entry—Captain’s Servants—King’s Letter Boys—Lord Dundonald—A Warrior at Eight—Sir P. W. P. Wallis—Absurd Regulations—Education at a Discount—Midshipman Easy—Peter Simple—The “Pitchfork” System—The Royal Naval Academy—Letter to the Navy Board—Commendable Promptitude—The Scheme Approved—Delay in Building—Scheme of Instruction—Uniform Instituted—Scholars’ Expenses—Rules and Orders—“They are cursed troublesome”—Commissioner’s Report—Entry and Final Certificates—Captain Broke’s Work Book—A Comprehensive Course—A Successful Institution.

A YOUNG aspirant to naval honours, seeking a nomination for entry under the regulations of 1903, was summoned not long since to appear before a committee at the Admiralty, to be tested by a sort of common-sense, vivâ voce examination as to his probable fitness for the Royal Navy; and among other questions propounded to him, by way of ascertaining his general acquaintance with historical facts and personages, was the following: “Who do you think were the greatest naval lords?”—a question which might perhaps require some consideration even by a more mature individual.

CADET OF 1849.

Our aspirant was, however, more than equal to the occasion, for he replied without hesitation, “Lord Nelson and [2] Lord Selborne, sir.” If this boy was not accepted, it must have been because Destiny had so clearly marked him out for a career in the diplomatic service.

In any case, his cheerful selection of a great Admiral and a First Lord a century apart suggests reflections on the vast changes which have occurred in the constitution and administration of the Navy during this period; and particularly, having regard to the subject of this book, in respect of the manner of entering young officers of the executive branch.

Let us see, then, what were the conditions under which a lad could enter the Navy, in the executive branch, in the eighteenth century.

The method—if method it can be called—was grotesquely haphazard; and the only marvel is that it produced so many good officers and seamen: men who could take their ships anywhere, and win against odds when they got there. Indeed, it was the men who were feared by our enemies; our ships were often inferior to those of the French, but they were handled in such a masterly, cocksure-of-victory style, that inferiority of size or metal appeared to be of little account.

These mighty sea warriors, who made the British flag an emblem of fear, were, as a rule, entered as “captain’s servants,” their friends making interest with some captain about to commission a ship, who would have perhaps eight or ten such youngsters on his books; their pay all went into the captain’s pocket, forming, in fact, a considerable proportion of the emoluments of his office. After a time these lads were, entirely at the will and caprice of the captain, rated as midshipmen or able or ordinary seamen.

Naturally, in making a selection from numerous applicants the captain would give the preference to his own relatives: sons, young brothers, nephews, and so on; failing these, the sons, brothers, or nephews of his friends would come in, or youngsters recommended to him by persons of rank or influence.

By far the greater number of young officers were entered [3] in this manner up to near the end of the eighteenth century; but there was in the early part of the century an alternative which was probably open to those who could command a certain amount of interest. These were entered under the authority of a letter from the Admiralty—the forerunner, in fact, of the present Admiralty nomination.

It is probable that youngsters entered in this fashion were regarded, as a class, with a certain amount of jealousy, both on the part of the captain and that of their contemporaries. There is a decided spice of spiteful cynicism both in the curiously anomalous official designation by which they were distinguished—“Volunteers per Order”—and also in the more common and popular appellation of “King’s Letter Boys”; and it is quite conceivable that, when a captain had sailed from England with his snug little assortment of young brothers, nephews, and what not, the arrival of a smart frigate with a batch of King’s Letter Boys to be placed on his books would be decidedly unwelcome; but being “Volunteers per Order,” he had no option but to accept them.

No sort of qualifying examination was imposed upon these candidates, and regulations as to age were conspicuous by their absence. Indeed, it is here that the most absurd incongruities existed; for it was not considered in the least degree necessary that the applicants should be of an age to perform any kind of duty when they were entered on the ship’s books, or that they should even put in an appearance on board.

There are numerous instances of children in the nursery being borne on ship’s books, and shifted from ship to ship until they were old enough to embark.

The famous Thomas Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald, whose name is associated with more daring and successful exploits than that of almost any naval officer, was born in December, 1775, and entered as captain’s servant when five years old, being kept on various ships’ books for years. His father, meanwhile, having originally intended him for the Army, had obtained for him a captaincy in the 79th Foot, and he did not join his first ship until he was nearly eighteen.

[4] Some youngsters, through interest, were entered direct as midshipmen, at a very early age. Sir Edward Hamilton, for instance, born 12th March, 1772, was entered as midshipman on the 21st May, 1779, when he was only seven years old; and it is stated that he actually took part in an action on board his father’s ship, the Hector, in 1780! What part this warrior of eight years old performed in action is not stated.

Another officer, Sir Provo W. P. Wallis, whose long life bridged over the gulf from the days of Nelson’s victories to the last decade of the nineteenth century, was borne on a ship’s books from the age of four, until he actually joined his first ship, the Cleopatra, as midshipman, at thirteen.

Sir William Symonds, born in 1782, was actually entered at three years of age, and eventually embarked as midshipman at twelve.

Instances of entries at seven, eight, and nine years old are quite numerous; and, of course, the captain drew their pay, whether they joined or not.

This appears, at first sight, to reflect some discredit upon the captains, who, it may be said, must have been aware that they were, in a sense, obtaining money under false pretences. It is not fair, however, to saddle them with responsibility for the results of absurd regulations, which it was well known at headquarters must tend to such abuses; the whole system was a farce, and any little additional absurdities on the part of the captains were usually winked at with the forced leniency which is one of the inevitable accompaniments of inadequate legislation.

Here, then, we find a sad lack of method in regard to the majority of entries in Nelson’s time, though that great man himself was of the relatively mature age of twelve when he went afloat in 1770.

If there was little or no method in regard to entry, how did the youngsters of those days fare as to education?

Well, as a matter of fact, there was rather less system in this respect than in the other. It depended in a great measure upon the sort of captain a boy shipped with, and also, [5] in a lesser degree, upon the junior officers. The seamanship of those days was pretty readily picked up by a lad who kept his eyes open and was eager to learn; a state of war was far more frequent than quiet times; ships were always on the move, and seamanship came of itself; the navigation required was of a rough and ready description, and the master and his mates were as a rule the only people who took any trouble about it.

Marryat, indeed, gives us some vivid and entertaining pictures of the process of education of a certain kind, as applied by the midshipmen and others to a new comer; also of what may be termed preliminary instruction.

Jack Easy, it will be remembered, received some valuable preliminary training at the hands of Mr. Bonnycastle, who literally “licked him into shape” with a good pliant cane, and who, having inculcated obedience by this stern method, took care that his scholars should know how to use their fists; an accomplishment which proved of great service to Master Jack when Vigors, the bully of the mess, attempted to ride roughshod over him.

Mr. Midshipman Easy is, however, far too great a favourite of fortune to be accepted as a typical example.

Frank Mildmay, in his new uniform, tumbling up against the Port Admiral, whom he failed to salute, and so humbled by the rebuke he received that he went about touching his hat to everyone he met, is a truer picture. Another valuable piece of education was imparted by Murphy, his senior, in the form of a hiding for not comprehending the significance of the captain’s hint at the dinner table, “Go and see how the wind is.” Poor Mildmay went out, and returned, in all good faith, with the required information; whereupon Murphy was instructed to “show him the ropes,” and Nemesis supervened.

Peter Simple, joining as a more than usually verdant specimen, intuitively obeyed when someone said, “Hand me that monkey’s tail, youngster”; from which it was argued that he was not such a fool as he looked, and much was expected of him afterwards.

In such fashion, for the most part, were our future [6] admirals and captains pitchforked, as it were, into the Service, to swim or sink as best they might; and many were the anomalies which prevailed also in the senior ranks. Captains barely out of their teens, with grey-haired first-lieutenants to dry-nurse them; so-called midshipmen of any age up to thirty-five; and so on. Looking back on those days through the perspective of years—those days when our position as a naval Power was a-making year by year, and was completed at Trafalgar—we are apt to say that “the world went very well then.”

Curiously enough, there existed for many years, side by side with this rough and ready “pitchfork” system, “another way,” as the cookery books have it, of getting into the Navy; and a way, moreover, which was fenced about with very precise regulations as to age, and involved a course of pretty hard study. That this mode of entry should have been made entirely optional, and consequently partial, seems strange; but such was the case.

Anyone who is acquainted with Portsmouth Dockyard is familiar with the appearance of the old Naval College, standing just to the southward of the Commander-in-Chief’s house; but comparatively few people, even among naval officers, know very much of its history, or when and why it was built.

It is not clear at the present time at whose suggestion the Royal Naval Academy was instituted, but there is in existence in the Record Office a letter from the Lords of the Admiralty to the Navy Board—which was a kind of executive commission for carrying out all naval construction, etc.—dated March 3rd, 1729, which reads as follows:—

Gentlemen,—His Majesty having been pleased to direct, by Order in Council dated the 21st of last month, upon an humble memorial from this Board, that an Academy shall be erected in the Dockyard at Portsmouth for the better education and training up of forty young gentlemen for His Majesty’s Service at sea, instead of the Establishment now in force for Voluntiers on board His Majesty’s ships; We do hereby desire and direct you to consider and lay before us, as soon as conveniently may be, a draught or plan of such a building as you shall judge may be proper for the reception not only of the aforesaid forty young [7] gentlemen, but also of a Mathematical Master, three Ushers, and a French Master, by whom they are to be instructed, together with an estimate of the charge thereof; and you are also to give us your opinion at what place in the yard the said building may be most conveniently erected.

The allusion to “the Establishment now in force for Voluntiers” is clearly intended to include the King’s Letter Boys only, as no other youngsters were shipped at that time under this title; and, in fact, the completion of the Academy was followed by the abolition of the King’s letter, but not of the term “Volunteers per Order.”

No time was lost over the business: the Lords of the Admiralty wrote their letter, as we have seen, on March 3rd, ten days after the Order in Council was signed; and the Navy Board, with most commendable promptitude, posted their letter, with plans, estimate, and recommendation of site complete, on the 12th; that is to say, allowing for Sunday, they took only seven clear days about it! Probably, however, the matter had been under consideration previously, pending the approval of the scheme by the King in Council; but even so, there is an object-lesson to corporations, Government boards, and committees of all sorts and conditions of men; for the Admiralty date their second letter on March 13th, and the whole thing is put through:—

Gentlemen,—You having, with your letter of yesterday’s date, transmitted to us the draught of a building which you judge may be proper for an Academy for the reception and better education and training up of forty young gentlemen for His Majesty’s Service at sea, instead of the Establishment now in force for Voluntiers on board His Majesty’s ships, as also for the reception of a Mathematical Master, three Ushers, and a French Master for their instruction, with a plan of proper outhouses for their accommodation; and you having also transmitted to us an estimate of the charge of the said building, with the plan of the south part of His Majesty’s Dockyard at Portsmouth, wherein is described a place in the south-east angle of the said yard, where, in your opinion, the said building may be most conveniently erected; which estimate amounts to Five thousand seven hundred seventy-two pounds, four shillings: We send you the said estimate confirmed by us, and desire and direct you to cause the aforesaid buildings to be gone in hand with, and finished as soon as conveniently [8] may be, at the place and in the manner you have proposed; and herewith we return you the aforesaid draught and plans, &c.


Torrington, Jo. Cokburne,
Cha. Wager, T. Lyttleton, A. Hamilton.

These letters are given in extenso, as inaugurating a new departure of great importance: a recognition of the necessity for some preliminary scientific training for young naval officers before sending them to sea. The death-knell of the “pitchfork” system is here sounded, though faintly; like many another long-lived system, it died hard, and even struggled into life again, as we shall see, more than a hundred years later.

Promptly as the institution of a Naval Academy was decided upon, and plans prepared, the completion of the building appears to have dragged on heavily. Improvements and additions were carried out meanwhile, and it was not until the early summer of 1733 that it was actually opened—a very long period to be occupied in the erection of such a building.

The original plan appears to have included the present west front, with the cupola—intended for, and for a long time used as, an observatory—with the north wing, and a very short wing on the south side, which, however, was prolonged during the process of building, the large study, now the billiard-room, and a small infirmary, being added. Over the latter were subsequently built some more rooms, including that now used as an observatory and chronometer room. A large number of minor alterations have since been made from time to time, so that it is not easy to identify the rooms frequently alluded to in letters, engineer’s plans, etc.

Some important alterations and additions were made about 1807, when the whole scheme was reorganised, and the name changed to Royal Naval College, of which more hereafter.

The original curriculum appears to have included the following subjects: Geometry, navigation, writing and arithmetic, French and drawing, fencing and dancing, for which purposes the following staff was maintained:—


Head mathematical master £150
Second mathematical master 100
Drawing and French master 100
Fencing and dancing master 80
Dockyard surgeon (for attendance) 20

Seamanship and ship construction were taught by the master attendant of the Dockyard and master shipwright respectively, who received 10s. per lesson (presumably to a class), while a boatswain and gunner received 5s. each per lesson, and a sergeant the same amount, for teaching the use of the “firelock.”


The Commissioner of the Dockyard was ex officio Governor, and received £100 a year additional for his duties in connection with the Academy. He was bound to pay frequent visits thereto, and to satisfy himself that the masters were carrying out their duties in a proper manner, and the pupils duly attentive and of good behaviour.

Each student was to have a room, or cabin, to himself, and a warrant to the Clerk of the Cheque, in the Dockyard, authorises him to expend the following amounts for furniture:—


33 Bedsteads, if plain, or “field” £1 0 0 £33 0 0
33 Bedsteads, if to turn up 2 9 0 80 17 0
33 Buroes (sic)? bureaux 3 0 0 99 0 0
8 Stoves 2 0 0 16 0 0

The gentleman who made out this warrant was evidently either a stickler for phonetic spelling or a rabid “Francophobe”; a long time afterwards the Governor of the Academy advocates the abolition of the “buroes,” gunpowder having been found in one of them.

The existing records are for a long period very incomplete, but the Academy appears to have flourished on the whole, and to have fulfilled very fairly the purposes for which it was established.

In March, 1748, a “blue uniform” was first introduced for the students, and about the same time a detailed account of the expenses incurred by two individuals, designated as “A. B.” and “Hon. C. D.,” is given, evidently as a guide for arriving at an average expenditure. All the students paid £25 per annum for their board; the total expenses of the “Hon. C. D.,” however, amounted to £68 12s. 4d., as compared with £48 16s. 9d. for “A. B.,” the excess being practically, as might be expected, in the amounts for “mercer” and “taylor.”

Many, it is stated, fell short of “A. B.’s” total, while few, if any, equalled “Hon. C. D.”; but in these accounts “ale-house” scores are not included. This is explained by the fact that a brewery formed part of the establishment.

On November 1st, 1773, a very complete set of “Rules and Orders” relating to the Academy was issued by the Admiralty, consisting of no less than forty-one articles or paragraphs. The whole scheme had apparently been under revision, and the entire conduct of the establishment is provided for in great detail.

This scheme is of considerable interest, embodying, as it does, the matured ideas of naval authorities at that period concerning the entry and education of young naval officers; and it is, therefore, given in the Appendix practically in extenso, only the tedious verbiage being somewhat modified.[1]

[1] See Appendix I.

[11] It will be noticed, in Article XXXIV. of these regulations, that these sons of noblemen and gentlemen, on going to sea, were made to perform seamen’s duties, but had the privilege of walking the quarter-deck; while the term “Volunteers by Order” is still retained.

Of the plan of education devised by the master of the Academy there are no official details, except in the periodical reports of the qualifications of the scholars, which are rendered with great regularity and exactness, the remarks of the head master being sometimes very quaint. One pupil is described as being “much too volatile in writing and arithmetic”; on another occasion, when reporting some irregularities, he remarks that “they are cursed troublesome.”

The Commissioner of the Yard, in his capacity as Governor of the Academy, either voluntarily or by prescription adopted a stereotyped form of report to the Secretary to the Admiralty, which is repeated, word for word, with unfailing monotony, with each report of progress, as follows:—

“I pray leave to remark that at this juncture there is a pretty good harmony and agreement among the Scholars and the several Masters; and that upon my frequent visiting the Academy I find the latter are very diligent, and give due attention to their business, and the methods used by them in educating the young gentlemen are very regular, familiar, and instructive, and agreeably to the plan approved by their Lordships.”

Every candidate, before admission, was examined by the head master, in the presence of the Governor, and a report made to the Admiralty whether he was “found to have made such progress in his education as qualifies him to enter upon the Plan of Learning established for Scholars in the Academy.”

Similarly, before a scholar could be sent to sea, the head master gave a certificate in the following form:—

“Mr. —— has in two years eight months and fifteen days finished the Plan of Mathematical Learning, and made a manuscript copy thereof; in consequence, he is judged qualified to serve in H.M. Navy.”

[12] There happens to be in existence at the present time, in excellent preservation, one of these manuscript copies of the Plan of Learning, by no less a person than the celebrated Captain Philip Bowes Vere Broke, of whose exploit in the Shannon, when he captured the American frigate Chesapeake after an action lasting only twenty minutes, the well-known verses tell in such graphic style:—

Brave Broke, he waved his sword,
Crying, “Now, my lads, aboard,
And we’ll stop their playing Yankee-doodle dandy, oh!”


This book, which is very appropriately lodged on board the Britannia, is a heavy volume of portentous size and thickness, filled from end to end with problems in various subjects, beautifully written and worked out, and illustrated by neatly executed sketches, diagrams, etc.

The title page is elegantly inscribed: “A Plan of Mathematical Learning taught in the Royal Academy, [13] Portsmouth; performed by Philip B. V. Broke, a Student there: 1792.” The subjects comprise arithmetic, geometry, plane trigonometry, the use of the terrestrial globes, geography, chronology, spherics, astronomy, latitude, longitude, dead reckoning, marine surveying, fortification, gunnery, mechanics.


In addition to this very comprehensive mathematical course, the students, as we have seen, were taught French and drawing, fencing, dancing, seamanship, and ship construction.

A considerably longer period was allowed for this than for the somewhat similar course now in force on board the Britannia, the maximum time being three years; and as Broke did not get through under this, he was evidently not among the most brilliant scholars, for not a few finished in [14] two and a half years, and some in considerably less. The master, certainly, says of Broke, in his last report, that he “has a good capacity, and is very diligent”; but the fact remains that his time in passing places him below the average, and his work book therefore speaks well for the Academy.

From an old print in the possession of J. Gieve & Sons.

Broke was sixteen when he went to sea; and twenty years afterwards, having worked his ship’s company up to an admirable state of discipline and efficiency, he fought the famous duel with the Chesapeake, in connection with which his name is familiar to every schoolboy.

There is every reason for supposing that the Naval Academy was a complete success, but it is remarkable that so few of our most famous admirals and captains went through it; and there is no means of ascertaining how the Academy boys compared eventually with those who were entered in the haphazard fashion above described—some of them from the nursery. It appears probable, however, from later evidence, that many captains maintained a prejudice [15] against these lads, as being still Volunteers per Order; and we do not need, as will be seen, to go back as far as the eighteenth century to find many who held that a lad sent straight to sea from school was likely to become more speedily efficient than one who had been previously trained. This curious paradox was as tenacious of life as might be expected among so conservative a body of men as our old naval officers. Some time during the last decade of the eighteenth century the term “captain’s servant” was replaced by that of “volunteer of the first class,” under which all those who did not go through the College continued to enter. It is not quite clear, however, what is meant by the title of “volunteer of the second class.”





New Brooms—Radical Changes—The Academy Closed—Wanted, a Professor—James Inman—An Enthusiastic Scholar—His Love of Fair Play—Senior Wrangler—Antarctic Astronomer—Appointed Professor—“Inman’s Tables”—The College Opens—A Master’s Untimely Optimism—A Poser for Their Lordships—The New Course of Studies—John Irving, Silver Medallist—A Mathematician’s Device—The Rod and the “Black Hole”—New Regulations—Commissioned Officers Admitted—Elastic Hours of Study—The End Approaches—The “late” Royal Naval College—Inman’s Pension—Sir H. Keppel’s Recollections—The Box Seat—A Retaliatory Cascade—Sir W. R. Mends—Alleged Toadying—Sir G. R. Mundy’s Letters—Keeping a “Mess”—The “Black Hole” in Being—“A Blow-out,” and After—Sir B. J. Sulivan—Bullying Studious Juniors—A Discouraging Experience—The Captain Converted—The College and the Excellent—Professor Main—The “Pitchfork” System Again—A Slender Equipment—Naval Cadets—Haphazard Methods—A Little More Detail.

THE Naval Academy saw out the century, and went on without interruption for six years more.

Then there came some “new brooms,” apparently, in office, who thought that the time had arrived for extending and remodelling it; and by way of making a fresh start, and leaving old traditions behind, they resolved to change even the title.

The reason set forth, in a memorial presented by the Lords of the Admiralty, for these alterations was to “render the Academy effectual for the increased naval force”; their suggestions were adopted in their entirety, and embodied in an Order in Council, dated 1st February, 1806, as follows:—

“1st. That the title of the building be altered to Royal Naval College.

“2nd. That the present building be enlarged, at a cost of £4,886 2s. 6d.

“3rd. That the establishment of Officers be as follows: A Governor, a Lieutenant Governor and Inspector, a Professor, a Preceptor, a Housekeeper, a Writing Master, a Drawing [17] Master, a French Master, a Fencing Master, a Dancing Master, and a Surgeon. The Master Attendant of the Yard and the Master Shipwright to instruct in Seamanship and Ship Construction, and a Gunner of the Royal Marine Artillery in Small Arm Exercise, etc.

“4th. That the First Lord of the Admiralty for the time being be Governor.

Photo: Cassell & Co., Ltd.

“5th. That a Post-Captain be appointed as Lieutenant-Governor, with net salary of £500 per annum.

“6th. That an able Mathematician from Cambridge be appointed as Professor, at £8 per head per annum, on a basis of probably seventy Scholars under the new system. To have apartments, and to have nothing to do with boarding, &c., nor attention out of College hours.

“7th. The Preceptor to receive £300 per annum.

“8th. That some disabled and meritorious Lieutenant be appointed as Housekeeper, to look after the domestic concerns [18] of the College, under a Committee consisting of the Lieut.-Governor, the Professor, and the Preceptor.”

9th to 17th Articles contain details of the salaries of the various masters and instructors, the total being £1,443 10s., exclusive of the Professor, but including the Lieut.-Governor.

“18th. That the number of Scholars be increased from forty to seventy, of whom forty are to be sons of Officers, and the remainder sons of Officers, Noblemen, or Gentlemen, who are found qualified.

“19th. That the age of entry be not less than thirteen, or more than sixteen; that Scholars are to remain three years, whether they have completed the plan or not: only two years to reckon in any case towards the six years required to qualify for Lieutenant’s commission.

“20th. That preference be given to youths who have been at sea before.

“21st. That to avoid misuse of the College, parents are to give a bond for £200, to be forfeited in the event of a Scholar failing to complete his course and qualify for the Navy.

“22nd. That a Capitation fee of four shillings per day be paid by each Scholar while he is actually in the College.

“23rd. That the distribution of the said Capitation fee be as follows:—

  £ s. d.
Stopped for Professor 8 0 0
Stopped for Clothing 10 0 0
Board for 330 days at 1s. 9d., of which 3d. goes to the Housekeeper 28 17 6
Washing, 47 weeks, at 2s. per week 4 14 0
Pocket Money at 1s. per week 2 7 0
  53 18 6
330 days at 4s. per day (allowing five weeks for holidays) 66 0 0
Balance 12 1 6

The alterations and enlargements involved in this scheme naturally occupied a considerable time, and the establishment was closed from about May, 1806, until February, 1808, and even then was not in some respects complete.

[19] Meanwhile, the Admiralty were seeking a fit and proper person to fill the important post of Professor under the new arrangements; and, a good mathematician being required, they naturally turned to the University of Cambridge, the birthplace of Wranglers. There they were lucky enough to find the very man they wanted, in the person of James Inman, a man whose name will not soon be forgotten by those who are interested in the science of navigation.

He was, to start with, a born mathematician; everything in this line seemed to come as easily to him as the alphabet, and abstruse problems which in other men would cause corrugated brows and the burning of the midnight oil were to him merely pleasant employment. He was also a good organiser, a man of details, and at the same time of pleasing and strong personality. Sir Henry Keppel—one of the last survivors of old College times—gives his impression of Inman as “a tall man in black, with an austere countenance: but there was that in him that I liked.”

In the “Life and Letters of Sir Bartholomew J. Sulivan” the following passage occurs:—

“I was content so long as I kept with the senior boys of my batch; and it was a fortunate thing for me that, three months after I entered, Dr. Inman’s son, Richard Inman, joined us. He had learnt the first three months’ work, or more, before he entered, and I had nearly completed in three months what we were allowed six for. Inman passed in the studies that made him equal with me within a week of entering, and then we went on competing each month. Nothing could be fairer than Dr. Inman was to me throughout this rivalry. He urged me to take my books home at Christmas and Midsummer and work every day, adding, ‘I shall keep Richard at work.’”

This shows the Professor in a very pleasing light, with his love of his work, and his honest desire to see “the best man win”; any lad who took kindly to mathematics would be sure of his friendship and assistance.

Inman was a Yorkshireman by birth, being the younger son of Richard Inman, of Garsdale Foot, Sedbergh; he was [20] born in 1776, and was educated at Sedbergh Grammar School, to which institution he certainly did ample credit, for he carried all before him at Cambridge, coming out in 1800 as Senior Wrangler and first Smith’s Prizeman.

After this he appears to have had some idea of doing mission work in Syria; but being detained at Malta on account of the war, he occupied his time there in the study of Arabic. In 1803, young as he was—only twenty-seven—he was recommended by the Board of Longitude as astronomer on board the Investigator, engaged in Antarctic exploration, and joined her in June at Port Jackson.

Photo: Cassell & Co., Ltd.

Eventually he returned to England by way of China, and towards the end of 1807 he was appointed Professor at the Royal Naval College, a post which he held for nearly thirty years. He was ordained about 1805, but does not appear to have held any benefice.

During the whole period of the existence of the College under the amended regulations the official records and [21] correspondence bear constant testimony to Inman’s unflagging zeal and energy; he was always inaugurating something new, and it usually involved an accession of work for himself, but this he never appeared for a moment to consider.

Photo: Cassell & Co., Ltd.

In addition to his duties at the College, which were performed with characteristic ability and minuteness, he was for some years President of the School of Naval Architecture, established in the Dockyard in 1810, chiefly at his instigation.

In 1821 he published the great work by which his name is so well known, “Navigation and Nautical Astronomy for the Use of British Seamen”; a work which for many years was absolutely without a rival, and which he supplemented in the second edition by the table of Half Versines (or Haversines), which proved of immense value to navigators and mathematicians generally. “Inman’s Tables” were a necessity to every man and boy who went to sea, and were as familiarly spoken of as the mainmast or the compass.

He was consulted by the naval or other authorities upon almost every conceivable subject which could be included under the head of mathematics, not excepting designs of [22] ships, sail plans, etc.; he directed the construction of ten ships of war, and is said to have given some valuable hints to Captain Broke for improving the gunnery on board the Shannon. He also wrote a book on Naval Gunnery, and translated from the original a Swedish work on Ship Construction.

Such was the man who was placed in charge of the Naval College; and in truth it would appear that he was to a certain extent thrown away there, for it is easy to imagine him Astronomer Royal, or anything else in a mathematical way.

The Royal Naval College was opened, as has been stated, in 1808; and there is a considerable mass of correspondence extant in connection with it, containing some amusing incidents, until its final abolition, as a school for young gentlemen, in 1837.

On January 20th, 1808, the second master of the old Academy writes to the Secretary to the Admiralty expressing his surprise and disappointment at not being appointed first master under the new régime; and, by way of setting forth how much he is losing, mentions that he has found that the salary and emoluments of his office amounted to about 200 guineas annually. As his salary was £100 a year, the Secretary is down upon him at once; he turns down the corner of the letter, and writes thereon: “Direct him to state in what manner his emoluments arise to make them, with his salary, equal to 200 guineas per annum.”

The unfortunate master is thus compelled to enter upon an analysis of his “emoluments,” which in truth is somewhat lame and inconclusive: he makes the most, however, of his “commodious apartment, free from rates and taxes, with a very productive garden,” free water and fuel, etc., but is obliged finally to complete the total by acknowledging the acceptance of “presents from the friends and relatives of the scholars for his general care and attention.”

It is to be hoped that his “apartment” was more “commodious” relatively than that of another master for whom quarters were subsequently provided under the new scheme, and who writes to the Admiralty that he has seen the plan [23] approved, and perceives that one sitting-room, one sleeping-room, and a closet has been provided for each assistant: “Now, I would with the greatest respect submit to your Lordships’ consideration,” he plaintively continues, “whether this is sufficient to accommodate myself, wife, servant, three sons and a daughter, with every expectation of a still larger family!”

There is no evidence extant as to whether their Lordships attempted any solution of this problem.

As might be expected, Professor Inman lost no time in drawing up a very complete and elaborate plan of study.

The preliminary examination required a knowledge of the first four rules of arithmetic, reduction, and rule of three; to write English with facility from dictation; construction of English sentences; and the definitions, etc., at the beginning of Simpson’s Euclid.

The students were divided into six classes, new-comers being placed according to their acquirements.

First half-year; or 6th class.

First four books of Euclid, first four rules of algebra and simple equations, the doctrine of proportion, arithmetic, to vulgar and decimal fractions, general grammar, reading in English, French, or Latin, writing, drawing, fencing, dancing.

Second half-year, or 5th class.

Sixth book of Euclid, plane and spherical trigonometry, application of plane trigonometry to surveying, a few propositions in perspective, more complicated simple equations, quadratics, extraction of square and cube roots, leading points of sacred and profane history.

Third half year, or 4th class.

Principles of astronomy, figure and dimensions of the earth, artificial division of the globe by lines and circles, application of trigonometry to the art of navigation and to simple and easy problems in nautical astronomy, the use of instruments generally employed in navigation, nature and construction of logarithms and their application, reading, chiefly in the history and the laws of England, principles of the British Constitution.

Fourth half-year, or 3rd class.

The more difficult parts of astronomy and its application to navigation, observations for latitude and longitude, natural and political geography, prevailing winds and currents.

[24]Fifth half year, or 2nd class.

Fortification, doctrine of projectiles and its application to gunnery, principles of flexions, and application to the measurements of surfaces and solids, generation of various curves, resistance of moving bodies, mechanics, hydrostatics, optics, naval history and nautical discoveries.

Sixth half-year, or 1st class.

More difficult problems in astronomy, motions of heavenly bodies, tides, lunar irregularities, the Principia and other parts of “Newton’s Philosophy,” to those sufficiently advanced.

This, together with fortnightly lessons in seamanship, weekly lessons in ship construction, an occasional cruise round the Isle of Wight in a small vessel, and practical gunnery, forms a pretty full programme, and argues a somewhat optimistic and enthusiastic view of the capacities of his pupils on the part of the learned Professor.

An examination was to be held every six months, and the best and second students were to receive respectively a gold and silver medal.

The silver medal was awarded at Midsummer, 1830, to John Irving, who, when he went out in the Terror with Sir John Franklin’s expedition in 1846, had it with him. It was buried with him in King William’s Land, when, in common with all the members of the ill-fated expedition, he perished, in 1848 or 1849; was found and brought home by Lieut. Schwatka, U.S.N., in 1880, and is now in the Museum of the Royal United Service Institution.

The periodical reports show that the programme was carried out regularly; and after some years Inman introduced a novel system of recording progress. The total number of marks obtained by each student was supplemented by a second column headed “number expected”; this was arrived at by multiplying the number of hours at each subject by twenty; this number denoting the progress expected to be made in one hour, if the student completed his course in the full term of three years. If the number obtained exceeded the number expected, the student might be expected to finish his course in a proportionately shorter period.

This was a genuine mathematician’s device, and was very [25] instructive. A glance at the two final columns of a report practically told the whole story; and it is satisfactory to note that a large percentage of the lads usually exceeded expectations: in one report, for instance, the number was forty-seven out of sixty-five.

Notions of discipline were severe, according to the spirit of the times. The Professor on one occasion, reporting the misconduct of some of the students, deplores the abolition of the rod; and mentions that, though a dark cabin is used for confinement, a “black hole” is much needed! There is no mention of such a place of confinement being instituted; but the Admiralty revokes the abolition of flogging.

In 1816 the regulations for entry, the composition of the staff, and the course of study were modified.

The number of students was augmented to one hundred in war time, and seventy in time of peace: thirty sons of naval officers to be admitted free, the remainder at £72 per annum; and the age of admission was altered, 12½ to 14 being substituted for 13 to 16. Two lieutenants, a clerk, two sergeants of the Royal Marine Artillery, and a matron were added to the complement; and Latin and Greek were introduced as part of the plan of study.

In 1821 further changes were authorised:—

1st. That the age of admission be from 12½ to 13½.

2nd. That no student remain more than two years, whether he completes his course or not.

3rd. That any student completing his course within two years shall be discharged.

Some examination papers which are extant, dated February and April, 1822, are of the size and form familiarly known in later years as the “College sheet”; and Inman strongly insists that these papers should be circulated in the Fleet, for the benefit of midshipmen at sea. There was evidently a strong feeling among the authorities during the “twenties” of last century that the College was behind the times; for in February, 1828, we find more alterations.

The sons of naval officers are to pay £40 per annum, and others £100.

[26] Again, in June of the same year, a new circular appears, with some radical alterations.

The peace establishment was raised to eighty students, one-half to be sons of commissioned officers of the Navy and Army:—

Sons of flag and general officers to pay £80
Sons of captains, colonels, and lieut.-colonels commanding 70
Sons of commanders and under, and regimental field officers 50
Sons of officers who have lost their fathers 40
Sons of officers whose fathers were killed in action 20
While sons of civilians were to pay 125

In January, 1829, the College was first opened to commissioned naval officers who wished to study on half-pay; and on April 1st of the same year appears the first report of the Lieut.-Governor on the class of commissioned officers, seventeen in number, registering the hours of attendance on each day.

On April 14th the Professor asks for some scientific apparatus for the use of commissioned officers, and encloses a syllabus of their course of study, which is as follows:—

Euclid as far as the third book, higher geometry (including some curves), algebra (including geometrical and arithmetical progression), proportion, making of logarithms, plane and spherical trigonometry, astronomy.

On November 7th of the same year a circular is issued, regulating the hours of study for these officers, in which a considerable amount of latitude is permitted, for they are allowed to present themselves at 8.30 a.m., and required to do so at 3 p.m., but must leave the Yard at 5 p.m. They are to form a mess outside, or otherwise arrange for their board, etc.; there is to be no public expense incurred, and they are not to remain more than one year. An extra assistant master was appointed to assist in their studies. The number to be admitted was twenty-four, but this was apparently increased in June, 1830, to thirty-six.

The College went on upon these lines for some years longer, but the end was drawing near.

On March 15th, 1835, the officers who conducted the examinations for lieutenant deplore the deficiency of the [27] candidates as observers, recommend that each officer be required to have a sextant, that a proper place be provided in which to keep them, and that captains be required to report half-yearly as to their efficiency and the condition of their sextants.

In 1836 the abolition of the College as a training school for young officers is evidently decided upon, as only forty-three scholars are reported upon during that year; on January 15th, 1837, the Lieut.-Governor writes a long letter to the Admiralty, making various suggestions in connection with the “approaching event”; and on February 19th sends a catalogue of the library and a list of pictures, with suggestions concerning the bestowal of them.

Finally, on April 12th, 1837, he reports that he has handed over the keys of the public part of the “late Royal Naval College,” and recommends the staff lately serving under him.

Pensions are allowed to most of these, on rather a mean scale, and they all protest vigorously, with the result that a few receive slight augmentation; but Mr. Tate, the Preceptor, after twenty-nine years’ service, only gets £140 per annum.

In a long letter to the Admiralty just before his retirement, Inman mentions that he has “examined about two thousand five hundred midshipmen and schoolmasters; a work certainly of no great difficulty, yet one of great responsibility”; he disclaims any wish to make much of any “trifling elementary works” which he has compiled, but “ventures to mention” his Navigation and Nautical Tables.

He concludes by saying that he will be grateful for any sum their Lordships may award him, which will enable him to live creditably during his few remaining years. The corner of this letter is turned down, and “£400” briefly inscribed upon it. This was subsequently increased to £460; which indeed appears little enough.

Inman lived for over twenty years after his retirement, and died in 1859, at the age of eighty-three.

Sir Henry Keppel, the veteran Admiral of the Fleet, in [28] his book, before alluded to, gives some reminiscences of his experiences at the College.

The Lieut.-Governor in Keppel’s time was Captain J. Wentworth Loring, who, as a matter of fact, filled that post for seventeen years; and Sir Henry thus describes his uniform: Blue coat, open in front, gold epaulettes, white kerseymere waistcoat and pantaloons, Hessian boots, straight thin sword, cocked hat.

The uniform of the youngsters was a blue tail coat with stand-up collar, plain raised gilt buttons, round hat with gold lace loop and cockade.

“We cadets,” he says—though the term was not officially in use at that time—“had each a cabin about seven feet square, with a window, except the corner ones, which at the monthly changes were occupied by those who had been oftenest on the black list, and did not require daylight.”

The London coach used to come into the Dockyard to take the lads away for their holidays, and it was customary on these occasions to draw lots for the box seat. Peashooters were procured outside the Yard, and passers-by had a lively time.

“One night,” says Keppel, “I had the box seat; the Royal Mail picked up and dropped boys as we came along, so that it was midnight before we reached Godalming. The postmaster having turned in, the mail pulled up, as usual, under his bedroom windows. The moment they were opened, the postmaster and his wife were assailed with peashooters, etc. The guard was saying, ‘All right,’ when the postmistress, calling, ‘There is something else,’ emptied the slops on the boys as we drove off.”

In the “Life of Admiral Sir William R. Mends,” who joined the College in May, 1825, reference is made to an unpleasant feature in the matter of leave-giving. In a letter to his mother, young Mends speaks with much indignation of the “toadying” that went on, and complains that when his uncle came for a while to Portsmouth, and endeavoured to obtain permission for him to go “out of gates” for an hour or two, it [29] was refused, but that “my lord this or that” had only to send his butler to obtain a pass for any boy.

In the “Memoirs of Admiral Sir Thomas S. Pasley” there are numerous quotations, not from his letters—he appears to have been weak at letter-writing, as many boys are—but from those of his chum, George Rodney Mundy.

Writing to his mother, February 10th, 1818, Mundy says:—

I sleep in a very nice little cabin all by myself, and always keep the door locked and the key in my pocket. We have coffee and milk for breakfast every morning, very good dinners, also suppers. Most of the boys keep what they call a mess, or drink tea every night, but that is on condition that their fathers pay three shillings a week, and it is sent in the bill every half-year, so that it would come to £3 in a half-year. So I suppose that papa would not let me keep one. Some of them have five shillings a week. There is a sergeant who allows all those that have a mess a pound of sugar, a pound of butter, and a loaf of bread every week, and tea enough, too—sometimes chocolate. One of the boys invited me to drink chocolate with him one night, and I must say it was excellent. The masters here are very strict indeed, but they never flog, only lock them up in a dungeon, and have a soldier to guard it.

P.S.—I am now in my little cabin with my door locked.

This was some years after Professor Inman persuaded the Admiralty to reintroduce flogging, but possibly it was again abolished; or the “black hole” was instituted and found sufficient. Sir Thomas Pasley’s biographer smiles over Mundy’s description of punishment, regarding it as a sort of boyish “bogey”; but it was probably strictly true, the technical term being “confinement in cell under sentry’s charge.”

Young Mundy apparently succeeded in obtaining his “mess,” and discovered that it could be used to his disadvantage. He writes, March 25th, 1819:—

Yesterday I asked Captain Gifford for my mess, for I suppose you know he stopped it a month for copying last examination. He was in a very good humour, and said that I had behaved very well since I copyed, but that I ought not to lay my head down in church quite so much as I do, so I do not intend to do it any more.

On April 28th he writes again:—

Two boys of this college finished their studies the other day; they asked me to what is called a “blow-out,” which is something more than common. We had two turkeys, six chickens, a leg of pork, besides [30] vegetables. I do call that a famous dinner. Most of the boys when they leave this college give a blow-out on the last day, to make merry with their best friends. There were twelve of us to demolish it. I know I ate my share.

Then follows a suggestive remark, which conveys the impression that the assimilation of the twelfth part of two turkeys, six chickens, and a leg of pork—besides vegetables—cannot be accomplished with impunity. “I was invited to another, but I was in the infirmary, and could not go to it”!

Sir George Rodney Mundy was a very well-known man in later years; he finished his active career as Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, and afterwards became Admiral of the Fleet.

Admiral Sir Bartholomew J. Sulivan speaks in his “Life and Letters” of his College days:—

“Lieutenant John Wood Rouse (my godfather) was the senior of the two lieutenants of the College. He had lost his leg as a midshipman in one of the ships of Sir John Duckworth’s Squadron in the passage of the Dardanelles. We stayed at Mr. Rouse’s house during the few days we were at Portsmouth, until I passed in. My father was very anxious about my passing; but the questions were all in arithmetic, except the definitions of Euclid, which I had learned by heart the previous week. Thanks to my father having taught me arithmetic so well, I passed first of twelve.

“No boy could get on unless he studied in his own cabin, and at the dining tables in the evening. This some of the senior boys tried to prevent, by watching the steps of the junior class, and if the junior boys showed any intention of studying they were sure to have their books knocked out of their hands, and scattered about the Yard. Fortunately, the one who passed in second to me—Baugh—was one of the strongest and biggest boys in the College: he was also one of the studious ones, and often protected me from the bullying.

“The collegians were often taken round the Dockyard, and shown ships building and in dock; and if the boys liked they could attend the rigging-loft, to learn to strop blocks and do many other useful things. There were also large barges to [31] cruise about in, to visit ships, and to take us to Haslar Creek on Saturday afternoons for cricket.

“When I passed out of the College I was appointed to H.M.S. Thetis, Captain Sir John Phillimore, who, going round the College a short time before, had told Dr. Inman, and I believe Captain Loring, the Lieutenant-Governor, that if they sent him any collegians he would refuse to take them. When I went on board I found the captain was on leave. The second lieutenant told me that the captain had a strong prejudice against collegians, but that he would do all he could to keep me in the ship. When the captain returned from leave he sent for me to his cabin in the hulk, and told me had never known a collegian worth his salt, and he used strong language against the College and all connected with it.”

This was not a very encouraging reception for a youngster in his first ship; but the captain apparently soon found cause to change his opinion, for he subsequently applied for two more collegians, one of whom was Sulivan’s big strong chum Baugh.

Sir Bartholomew was well known afterwards as a splendid officer and seaman, and an exceedingly clever man all round.

Such is briefly the history of the Royal Naval Academy and College during its existence as a preparatory training school for young naval officers, for over one hundred years. That much good work was done there, especially during the long presidency of Professor Inman, there can be little doubt; but the authorities evidently formed the opinion that the youngsters would in future get on better without it, and so returned to the “pitchfork” system of sending lads to sea without any previous training whatever, to pick up their knowledge as best they could, with the aid of a naval instructor, who was, as a rule, afforded as little facility for imparting knowledge as the commanding officer could manage.

The College, on January 1st, 1839, entered upon another phase of existence, being reopened, under the command of the captain of the Excellent, for the admission of a limited number of mates, who were permitted to volunteer [32] for a special course of mathematics, etc. They were borne on the books of the Excellent, and resided in the College for one year. Every six months an examination was held, and the officer who passed best was awarded a lieutenant’s commission.

Ten commissioned officers of higher rank were also admitted, to study steam, etc., under Professor Thos. J. Main, a very worthy successor to James Inman; for he was, like the latter, Senior Wrangler and Smith’s Prizeman of his year. Professor Main will be well remembered by many naval officers still living; he was thirty years at the College, and wrote more than one book, in conjunction with Mr. Thos. Brown, engineer, R.N., on the marine steam engine. He retired in 1869, and died in London December 28th, 1885, at the age of sixty-seven.

The history of the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth subsequent to April, 1837, does not come strictly within the scope of this volume.

It was used eventually as the headquarters of sub-lieutenants, gunnery lieutenants, and naval instructors who were qualifying, and a small number of senior commissioned officers who studied steam, etc., as before. But since the opening of the college at Greenwich, in 1873, it has lapsed, both in title and office; no longer is it known as the “Royal Naval College,” but simply “The College, Portsmouth Dockyard”; no more are the voices and footsteps of Senior Wranglers heard within its walls. Its glory has departed, and, as a mere temporary residence for officers who are studying gunnery, etc., in the port, the title of “College” can, in fact, no longer be justly applied, save in the most crude and literal sense.

During a period of twenty years after the abolition of the Portsmouth College as a training school for young gentlemen, all candidates for admission to the Navy were sent straight to sea; though an Admiralty circular, dated December 18th, 1833, remained in force for some time; and in this a distinction is made between “Volunteers of the First Class” and “College Volunteers.”

[33] On January 20th, 1838, a circular was issued to the following effect:—

A Volunteer of the First Class must not be under twelve years of age. He must be in good health, fit for service, and able to write English correctly from dictation, and be acquainted with the first four rules of arithmetic, reduction, and rule of three.

This seems a slender equipment of knowledge; an irreducible minimum, in fact, for a lad of that age about to enter the Navy; and, moreover, this circular contains no maximum limit of age; a serious oversight.

On February 7th in the same year the term “College Volunteers” is ordered to be discontinued; but the circular of January 20th continued in force, unaltered, until 1843, when the term “Naval Cadet” appears for the first time, being substituted in this circular for “Volunteer of the First Class”—still, however, with no superior age limit stated, and it is not until April 1st, 1849, that it is amended in this respect, the maximum age being laid down as fourteen.

This is only another instance of the singularly inexact and haphazard ways of the Admiralty in those days. The last regulation on this point was issued in February, 1821, when the age was fixed between 12½ and 13½; the lads were then being kept at the College for two or three years, so that they were actually going to sea at a considerably greater age than the more recent circular appeared to warrant. Unless, indeed, the Lords of the Admiralty reserved to themselves the right of arbitrarily fixing the age in each case; if they did, there is no circular extant to show it.

In 1851, however, a little more detail was apparently considered necessary, for there is a supplementary circular, dated February 13th of that year, which lays down:—

That all naval cadets who receive nominations at home are to present themselves for examination at the College within two months of the date of the letter of nomination; and a certificate of qualification, signed by the professor or mathematical master at the College, and approved by the captain of the Excellent (as superintendent of the College), together with a medical certificate of physical efficiency, must be forwarded to the Admiralty before they can be entered. No second trial is to be allowed, and the nomination is to be cancelled unless the candidate passes within two months.

[34]The Commander-in-Chief is also authorised to enter cadets who have passed as supernumeraries on board the flagship until they are appointed to sea-going ships.

These regulations remained in force until the early part of 1857, when a very radical change was introduced. And here the curtain falls on the old order of things; how it rose on the new, and who were the men who brought about the change, must be told in another chapter.

A sailor teaches cadets about signal flags





Captain Robert Harris—His Birth and Career—Appointed to the Illustrious—“Jemmy Graham’s Novices”—A Model School for Seamen—A Visit to the Illustrious—Why not Train Young Officers?—Opposition of Old Officers—Cadet Robert H. Harris—A Successful Experiment—Institution of Cadets’ Training Ship—Captain Harris Suffers for His Zeal—Commendatory Letters—He is Superseded—The New Admiralty Circular—General Approval of the Scheme—The Staff of the Illustrious—Lieutenant George S. Nares—Disciplinary Methods—The Cadets’ Corporals—Withering Sarcasm—Old-fashioned Seamanship—Cricket—“Sling the Monkey”—Rev. R. M. Inskip—His Sea Yarns—Mr. Kempster Knapp—“Knapp’s Circles”—Penalty of Fidgeting—Prince Alfred—Enter the Britannia—Her Predecessors.

THE story of the institution of a training ship for naval cadets, through which all must, of necessity, pass satisfactorily before being allowed to go to sea, is inseparably connected with the name of one man, but for whose energy, ability, and urgent and repeated representations it is quite safe to assume that this step would have been postponed for some years, though it was no doubt inevitable in the end.

The name of this man is Captain Robert Harris; and without some account of his personality and services the story of the Britannia would indeed be incomplete.

He was the son of James Harris, an independent gentleman, of Wittersham Hall, Kent, and was born on July 9th, 1809. He entered the Navy, in 1822, as a “First Class Volunteer,” and went to sea on board the Euryalus, in which vessel he served as a midshipman during the little war with Algiers in 1824; and was at Navarino, also as a midshipman, in the Cambrian, October 20th, 1827, and when she was wrecked, in January, 1828. He returned to England early in 1829, and was borne on the books of the Royal George yacht for some time, during which, however, he was in reality serving in one of her tenders, the Onyx or Pantaloon, on the coast of South America, the West Indies, the coast [36] of Spain, and the Channel. He was promoted to lieutenant May 21st, 1833, and in December of the same year was appointed to the Excellent, recently established as a school of gunnery, at Portsmouth, commanded by Captain (afterwards Admiral Sir Thomas) Hastings, who was always his staunch friend.


In 1836 Harris was appointed gunnery lieutenant of the Melville, serving in her under Captains Douglas and Dundas.

He was specially promoted to commander, June 8th, 1841, for his services at the capture of the Bogue Forts, in China, February 26th, 1841. After studying for a time on half-pay at the Royal Naval College, he commanded the Flying Fish in the experimental Brig Squadron, and afterwards on the West Coast of Africa, from 1844 to 1846, subsequently serving in the Ganges, from which he was promoted to captain, October 19th, 1849. He was appointed flag captain to Sir W. F. Martin, in the Prince Regent, in 1851, and left her in 1852.

Two years later Captain Harris received the appointment which he was destined to hold for the long period of eight years—for it was practically continuous, though in two different vessels—and in which he performed the valuable services in connection with which his name is best known in the service.

In 1854, during the Crimean War, Sir James Graham, then First Lord of the Admiralty, conceived the plan of establishing at Portsmouth a training ship for young seamen, in order to provide a better class of men to fill the vacancies in the Fleet. They were shipped under the name of “novices,” and were popularly known as “Jemmy Graham’s novices,” the [37] scheme being probably regarded with some disapprobation, not untinged with ridicule, by many of the old “shellbacks” in the Service—the usual fate of innovations, however well conceived and beneficial. The Illustrious, a two-decker, was appropriated for this purpose, and Captain Harris was placed in command.

He had already, beyond doubt, an excellent reputation at headquarters as a most zealous and capable officer, whose heart was in his work; and he speedily proved that his selection for this special duty was a peculiarly happy one. He possessed in a marked degree the somewhat rare gift of being able to combine with unflinching strictness the power of winning the goodwill of his subordinates; and so zealously and effectually did he perform his office that “Jemmy Graham’s novices” were soon better known as Captain Harris’s seamen, eagerly sought for, when vacancies were to be filled in the Mediterranean, as well-conducted, well-trained lads, requiring but little experience in a sea-going ship to make them efficient able seamen.

Lord Fitzhardinge, writing to Captain Harris some years later, says:—

They came to a sea-going ship perfect in the various drills, and were good artillerymen. You were naturally anxious for sea service in time of war; but Sir James Graham, after consulting with myself on the subject, came to the decision that your services, as recruiting officer and teacher of the new raised men, could not be dispensed with.

A writer in Fraser’s Magazine for April, 1855, on “The Naval School on board the Illustrious,” speaks in terms of the highest eulogy of the excellent management and good tone prevailing on board, and mentions that the captain gave the young men under him an occasional evening’s amusement, in the form of easy lectures on astronomy, etc., illustrated by a magic lantern. Describing his arrival on board, the writer says: “The captain is on the quarter-deck, awaiting his visitors; he is a tall, upright, good-looking man, having an air of much activity and determination, but being apparently on the best of terms with those about him”; a description which those who were personally acquainted with Captain [38] Harris will endorse. Probably his popularity with his subordinates was due in no small measure to the conscientiousness which marked his discharge of every duty. They knew him to be incapable of an act of injustice; and while he exacted a punctual performance of duty from every man under him, he set them an example which could not fail to win their respect.


Great as was his success in the training of young seamen, Captain Harris was not content to rest on the laurels he had earned. If previous training proved so beneficial to seamen, why not institute a similar school for officers? The Royal Naval College was, as we have seen, only available for a certain proportion of young aspirants for the service, many going straight to sea, and even this had, nearly twenty years since, been for some reason abolished. Why not revive a training school under a new aspect, in which every cadet should be compelled to undergo a course of instruction before going to sea?

Having conceived this idea, Captain Harris proceeded to urge its adoption, but met with small encouragement at first. Old officers, some of whom had possibly been instrumental in bringing about the closing of the College, opposed the notion strenuously, holding the opinion that a lad had a better chance of turning out a good seaman and officer if sent to sea straight from school.

The captain of the training ship had, however, the courage [39] of his convictions; and an opportunity presented itself before long of demonstrating this fact. He had a son, for whom he obtained a nomination as naval cadet; and he immediately applied for permission to have the boy for twelve months under training before going to sea. This was conceded, with the result that Robert Hastings Harris (now Vice-Admiral Sir Robert H. Harris, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.) was, on January 10th, 1856, entered on the books of the Illustrious, and received his training in seamanship with the novices, and instruction in navigation and nautical astronomy on board the Victory, under the Rev. Robert M. Inskip.

Sir Robert Harris was thus, as he remarks in a letter to the present writer, “the initial cause of the Britannia system”; for had he proved to be a failure nothing more would have been heard of the scheme, certainly for many years.

As a matter of fact, he must have afforded in his own person convincing evidence of the value of the proposed system; for it was only six weeks after the expiration of his twelve months’ training that a circular was issued from the Admiralty, inaugurating an entirely new régime for the education and examination of young naval officers, and including a period of compulsory training in a stationary ship prior to being sent to sea.

The story of the Britannia, strictly speaking, commences thus on January 10th, 1856; the Admiralty circular, however, was dated February 23rd, 1857.

Before proceeding to deal with the development of the new scheme, it will be convenient to complete our sketch of the career of Captain Harris in general terms, though it may be necessary to refer to him again later on. His command of the two ships—the Illustrious up to January 1st, 1859, when he was transferred to the Britannia—extended, as has been stated, over eight years, terminating in October, 1862, when he was superseded.

During this long period there is abundant evidence that he rendered most important services to the Navy, and, like many other good men, he suffered in a certain degree through the very fact of his efficiency. He was debarred from the [40] advantages accruing to services at sea, and from obtaining subsequently a more important harbour command, such as the Excellent, for which, as an able gunnery officer, he was certainly eligible.

The high esteem in which Captain Harris was held by well-known officers of superior rank and the excellent results of his able management of the cadets’ training ship are testified by numerous communications from such men as Admirals Sir W. F. Martin, Sir Thomas Hastings, Sir Sydney Dacres, Sir John Erskine, Sir Richard Smart, and others; while his contemporaries, in command of sea-going ships, are unanimous in their praise of the qualifications and conduct of the youngsters sent to sea in the early days of the Illustrious and Britannia.

Sir Charles Wood, then First Lord of the Admiralty, writing on July 17th, 1857, when the new circular was about to come into force, says:—

I believe that, with the staff you will have, we shall commence the work with as good a prospect of success as can be ensured, by putting it in the best hands.

And writing again on April 21st, 1858:—

I am very glad to hear so promising an account of the first trial, and I may add success, of your education on board the Illustrious. I hope that the present Board will carry out the work in the same spirit in which it was conceived; and I am well aware that they could not have so able an instrument as yourself in the very responsible position which you occupy.

Sir William Martin, then in command in the Mediterranean, writes on January 18th, 1861:—

On the whole, all whose opinions are much esteemed are convinced that you have done great good. There is no man in England whose opportunity of doing good to our country for ages to come is greater than yours; and assuredly the Navy is greatly your debtor.

Sir Sydney Dacres, on September 14th, 1862, writes:—

I must write to congratulate you on the success that has attended your exertions in working out such an important change in the education and training of our young gentlemen, as the system pursued in the Illustrious and Britannia most certainly has proved itself to be. The last three years’ experience has convinced me of the vast improvement [41] of the present system over the old plan of bringing boys from their homes, often without even the rudiments of education, and hardly knowing what order meant. I am sure your great satisfaction must be in looking at the very small number of your boys that have got into serious scrapes, and the manner in which, as a rule, they are spoken of by their superiors; and I cannot conclude, my dear Harris, without adding what is a great pleasure to me, that without exception they all look back with esteem and respect on their captain, who was ever ready to be kind and considerate whilst training them in the right way.

Those who were under Captain Harris—and there are not a few still living—will assuredly endorse this statement; their recollection is that of a superior who, while most emphatically captain of his ship, exercised his authority with never-failing kindness to all, and of whom a disparaging word was never uttered.

Captain Harris, as has already been stated, suffered for his efficiency. His request to be appointed to a sea-going ship was, in fact, refused on the ground that he was doing such good work in the Britannia; and when he was superseded, in October, 1862, without being given another command, he not unnaturally felt that some more practical appreciation of his long and valuable services might well have been displayed.

This apparent injustice remains unexplained; he was not again employed, and died at Southsea, on January 15th, 1865.

Captain Harris married, in 1843, Sophia, daughter of Captain Penruddocke, of the Scots Guards, leaving three sons and two daughters.

Captain Harris was, no doubt, consulted as to the framing of the new regulations, and great indeed must have been his satisfaction on finding his long-cherished scheme adopted at headquarters.

The circular was to come into force in May, 1857; that is to say, it would affect naval cadets who were to join in August of that year. It commences with regulations for the new “five yearly” examination for lieutenant, which does not come within our scope; and the details dealing with the entry of naval cadets will be found in the appendix.[2]

[2] See Appendix II.

[42] The minimum time on the training ship, it will be noticed, was three months; any cadet who felt that he was competent might present himself at the first quarterly examination after joining, and if he passed, would be discharged. The maximum time was one year, and this could only apply to cadets who were under fourteen on joining; the others were bound to present themselves for examination either at the second or third quarterly examination, according to age.

No time was lost in preparing the Illustrious for her new purpose; dockyard hands were speedily at work, and an efficient staff selected to assist Captain Harris, so as to commence, as Sir Charles Wood says in his letter, already quoted, with as good a prospect of success as could be assured, by putting the work into the best hands.

Not the least prominent among the new appointments was the Rev. Robert Inskip, who was transferred from the Victory as principal naval instructor. He had long been associated with Captain Harris in advocating the new scheme, and was, in fact, Cadet Harris’s master during his year of training.

With two such enthusiasts at the head of affairs, there was likely to be no lack of “go” about the start; and although the idea was by no means in universal favour among the captains and admirals of those days, the new step attracted attention in many quarters, and was the subject of laudatory leaders in the Times and other “dailies,” to say nothing of magazine articles.

The keynote in these publications is the same throughout: while approving of the general scheme—which perhaps in most instances the writers were not very well qualified to discuss—they all with one accord declare that no man could be so well fitted for the post of commander as Captain Harris.

“Parents may well rejoice,” says a writer in Fraser’s Magazine (September, 1857), “to have it in their power to bestow on their children the results of the long experience of a man who has passed through all the dangers of the position with credit to himself and advantage to his country.”

[43] The Illustrious was moored off Haslar Creek, on the west side of Portsmouth Harbour, near the entrance, and there on August 5th, 1857, the first batch of cadets, twenty-three in number, joined her.

The staff was as follows:—

Captain Robert Harris.
Lieutenant Geo. Y. Paterson.
Lieutenant Marcus Lowther (in command of Sealark, brig).
Lieutenant F. T. Thomson (in command of Bullfinch, tender).
Chaplain and Naval Instructor Rev. W. R. Jolley.
Chaplain and Naval Instructor Rev. R. M. Inskip.
Naval Instructor Kempster M. Knapp.

It is not easy to obtain very precise information as to the routine, but a good deal may be deduced from the subjects of study, as laid down in the Admiralty circular; and the general principle, no doubt, was alternate days at study and seamanship.

The recollection of some survivors of the first batch of cadets is entirely favourable to the ship; very great pains were taken with their education, there was little or no bullying, and the food was good and plentiful.

Lieutenant George S. Nares,[3] when he joined in January, 1858, was placed specially in charge of the cadets, and remained there for about five years (in Illustrious and Britannia), as Captain Harris’s senior executive and right-hand man. Before he joined the cadets were in charge of a gunner; of course the actual instructors in practical seamanship were seamen petty officers, the lieutenants superintending, and conducting the examinations in this branch.

[3] Now Vice-Admiral Sir George S. Nares, K.C.B., etc.

Probably Lieutenant Nares was as good a man as could have been obtained for the post of senior executive. Like his captain, he could combine the fortiter in re with the suaviter in modo, and was always liked by the youngsters, in spite of being compelled to come down on them pretty sharply at times. He was a thoroughly practical seaman, and his seamanship book was always considered the most complete and useful work of the kind in existence. He also patented a [44] life-saving kite, for rescuing people from a wreck on a lee shore, which was ingenious, and perhaps deserved more attention than it received.

Ideas have altered considerably in regard to discipline since those days; and the arrangement at the time was that the cadets should be placed in charge of ships’ corporals for disciplinary purposes. These men were, of course, taken from the ordinary ships’ police, and great care was no doubt exercised in their selection; but there are obvious pitfalls in such a system, both for the corporals and the cadets, into which both not infrequently tumbled.

A corporal who was apt to be too familiar would suffer from the enmity of some, while with others he would be on terms of undue intimacy; a man who was in the least degree retiring, or afraid to assert his authority when necessary, would speedily find himself fitted with an appropriate nickname, which would be shouted after him from hammocks in some obscure corner of the cockpit.

Whether the corporals were open to bribery or not is doubtful; some probably were, and in any case it could not be expected that men of this class would exercise their authority with the strictly judicial mind of an officer of education and experience, especially when dealing with young gentlemen who were their superiors by birth, and would in a few months become so in discipline.

However, good or bad, there they were, and there they remained, as an institution, for years, taking a lion’s share in the discipline of the establishment, while at the same time some at least were permitted to keep a little store of “tuck” and odds and ends, which they sold to the youngsters at a heavy profit.

The prevailing impression left on the minds of some survivors of the early training ship days is that the ship was “run” by the corporals. This, however, is probably over stating the case; youngsters are not able to discriminate accurately in such matters, and the fact that they were brought into more close and frequent contact with the corporals than with the superior officers would be liable to [45] mislead them as to the influence really exercised by the latter.

A vast amount of power was, however, undoubtedly vested in the corporals, who were able, if so disposed, to spite a cadet who might be obnoxious to them in a hundred ways: and, on the other hand, to favour those who thought it worth while to make up to them, calling “Good-night, Corporal Smith!” as he passed under their hammocks, in place of the muttered nickname or ribald rhyme indulged in by the more reckless. As, for instance, the following, aimed at the supposed verdance of the corporals in the matter of seamanship:—

Corporal Stumps and Corporal Taylor
Went to sea in an old tin bailer:
Stumps took the oars and Taylor the sails,
And that is how they got on in the gales.

Withering sarcasm, from some young hero who had just learned to make a bowline knot, and climb over the “futtocks” without blenching!

Needless to say, seamanship days were more in favour with the majority than those devoted to the solution of problems in spherical trigonometry or the pursuit of the unspeakable “X.” The seamanship, pure and simple, of those days contained much that was attractive to youth. Going aloft to loose, furl, or reef the topsails; sitting astride of the yardarm, in the post of honour, and calling “Light out to windward” or “Haul out to leeward” in an authoritative, if shrill and immature, voice; learning intricate knots, and getting well besmeared with tar and grease in the process of splicing a rope or stropping a block: all these were welcome instructions, during which time would fly.

Then there were occasional cruises in the Sealark brig, when the first lieutenant would take out some of the more advanced cadets and make them work the vessel, learning to “haul, reef, and steer,” like Dibdin’s proverbial “jolly tar”; though it is doubtful whether any of them could aspire to the counsel of perfection laid down in the same song, and “laugh at the winds as they roar.”

A playing-field for the cadets was provided at Haslar; [46] but what they played and how they played is more or less a matter of conjecture, as no records are forthcoming. Certainly, there could have been nothing like the systematic pursuit of cricket and excellent coaching which has since become a sine quâ non in every big school, and which was to be very enthusiastically carried out on the Britannia. Nine boys out of ten, however, will play some kind of cricket if they get a chance, and the sort of cricket played by most naval men and boys in those days was not exactly “county form.” Here and there you will come across a lad who cannot help playing cricket well, and appears always to be in good trim, even after a long voyage; and no doubt there were some such among the early cadets: indeed, it is certain that there were, for there are those who can recollect them.

On board the ship one game in particular was in favour; it was exclusively a sea play, and probably is not known in shore schools. It rejoices in the title of “sling the monkey.” The boy who was selected to represent the intelligent quadrumanus was seated in a bowline-knot formed at the end of a rope from a stay overhead, just long enough to permit his feet to touch the deck when at rest. He, and all the others who joined in the game, were armed with a hard-knotted handkerchief, or sometimes a bit of rope—anything in the form of what was known as a “cob” or a “togey”—and the mutual effort of the monkey and the crowd was to get in a good one with the “cob.” The monkey, naturally, came in for pretty severe punishment, which he would endeavour to repay, swinging wildly in the air as he rushed at his tormentors, who had a good chance at him as he swung back, more or less helpless; eventually, however, he would get a resounding whack in on one of the others, who was then installed in his place.

New comers were, of course, subjected to inquisitorial treatment, which gradually took a more or less traditional form as time went on and numbers increased; sometimes they were made to “pay their footing” the first time they went aloft—a time-honoured custom in the Navy, as Captain Marryat testifies; but if the toll took the form of cash, it [47] would certainly bring down condign punishment on the tax gatherer if detected; probably the exaction of “tuck” was the prevailing practice.

Captain Harris had, however, usually a very accurate idea as to what went on in his ship, especially while the number of boys was small, and it is safe to assume that nothing like vicious bullying was carried on.

Meanwhile he and his executive officers, together with the two naval instructors—for Mr. Jolley only did chaplain’s duty—had all their work cut out; the whole system being an untried innovation, everything had to be organised de novo, and it naturally took some time to make all run smoothly.

Mr. Inskip, who remained altogether thirteen years in the two ships, is a very well remembered character among the earlier cadets. He took an immense interest in the lads, and knew them all intimately, discoursing with them on all kinds of subjects out of study hours. It was no uncommon occurrence to see his keen, good-humoured face the centre of a little crowd of cadets, pacing the deck with him, some walking backwards in front, and following up behind as he went back—many of them taller than he was, for he was a little man, with a large heart; and many were the strange sea-tales related during these pleasing promenades. He always had a kindly word for any lad whom he might casually encounter: “Well, Smith, we tackled that chronometer this morning, didn’t we?” or, “How does the Great Circle sailing get on?” He was a very capable instructor, with the knack of imparting his knowledge to others, and many a problem of formidable aspect at starting would assume quite a kindly guise under his hand, as he stood by the black board and dexterously chalked in meridians, parallels, and what not; or came behind some blunderer and reduced the chaos of his mind—and his diagram—to something like order.

One of Mr. Inskip’s sea yarns may be given here as a sample; it is to be presumed that he occasionally amused himself by trying how much the ordinary cadet would swallow—or pretend to swallow.

He related how, when he first went to sea—apparently in [48] some other capacity than that of naval instructor—his outfitter deemed it a good plan to place a layer of bricks at the bottom of his chest. This appeared peculiar, no particular reason being assigned for it. However, he went to sea, bricks and all. When becalmed one day in the tropics, the ship being, of course, surrounded by voracious sharks of enormous dimensions, he suddenly recollected his bricks, and was seized with a remarkable inspiration. Hurrying down to his chest, he took several bricks to the galley, and got the cook to heat them; then wrapping them up, all hot, in a blanket, he watched his opportunity when a monster shark approached, and threw the bundle overboard. The shark immediately seized and bolted it, and apparently felt quite happy—as, indeed, any reasonable shark would under the circumstances. After a time, however, the hot bricks came through the blanket, and the fun began, the monster’s agonies being described in the most graphic style!


Mr. Knapp, his assistant, was an equally capable man, but a different character altogether. Very kind of heart and painstaking in his work, he was, at the same time, of an exceedingly irritable temperament, and anything in the shape of inattention or fidgeting among his pupils would certainly bring down retribution in some form on the offender. He possessed remarkable skill in drawing a large circle on the black board—a proceeding very constantly required, of course, in demonstrating problems in nautical astronomy, etc.—and would, unaided by a string or pivot of any kind, produce, after a few preliminary flourishes, like a golfer “addressing” his ball, a perfect circle with one rapid sweep of his hand, and then, after regarding it with a complacent twinkle in his eye [49] for a few moments, dot in the centre with unfailing accuracy. “Knapp’s circles” became a by-word in his class, and all would watch with breathless interest the few little trial strokes in the air, followed by the swift and masterly consummation, which would often be hailed with a murmur of applause, not unpleasing to the master. Those who used to be in his class will recall, however, some occasions on which, after a few preparatory flourishes, he would suddenly drop his arm, and walk, with quick, impatient stride, round the class-room, his hands clasped in front, the chalk in one, and a two-foot rule, resting in the hollow of his arm, in the other. The old hands knew very well what was coming, and sat still as mice while Mr. Knapp perambulated behind their chairs, until, coming to the unfortunate who was fidgeting with his parallel rulers or some such thing—whack! would come the edge of the Gunter’s scale across his knuckles! “Oh, sir!” the victim would exclaim; but, with never a word, the instructor would complete his circuit of the room, and draw a better circle than ever, to the accompaniment of suppressed sniggering at the expense of the fidgeter.

These little amenities did not, however, militate in the least against a very general appreciation of Mr. Knapp’s many good qualities, and as time went on it came to be regarded as an excellent thing to be put in “Knapp’s study,” his boys usually coming well to the front in passing out, besides learning some valuable lessons in repose of deportment.

Although there is, unfortunately, a great dearth of actual record during these times, there is abundant evidence of an implicit nature that the new experiment was turning out a complete success. The letter of Sir Charles Wood to Captain Harris, already quoted, after the training-ship had been established about nine months, testifies to the fact in no stinted terms; and in July, 1858, the staff was increased by two naval instructors, Messrs. J. G. D. Barton and W. D. Hay.

Moreover, about the end of 1857 the ship was devoted exclusively to the training of cadets, the novices being abolished for the time.

Among Captain Harris’s pupils was Prince Alfred (the [50] late Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), who entered the Service August 31st, 1858.

He did not, however, take up his quarters on board the Illustrious, but attended daily for instruction in seamanship, navigation, etc.

Photo: Cassell & Co., Ltd.

He evidently retained a lasting impression of the excellence of the instruction he had received in the training-ship, for on March 23rd, 1862, when he was getting on towards the time of his examination for sub-lieutenant, he writes to Captain Harris thanking him for a number of questions and answers in seamanship, for which he had evidently applied, and which he states will be invaluable to him for his examination.

Towards the end of 1858 it became apparent that a larger and more commodious ship would soon be required for the increasing number of cadets, the batches necessarily [51] overlapping one another, and the vessel selected for the purpose was the Britannia, a fine three-decked ship of 2,616 tons, carrying 120 guns. She was launched as far back as 1820, and was a large vessel for that time, and considered an excellent sailer. The name has since been associated with the training of young officers, no modern vessel having received it until quite recently.


There were several previous Britannias, as would naturally be expected, the first being launched in 1682. She was of 1,739 tons, and carried twenty-four brass 42-pounders, thirty 18-pounders, twenty 9-pounders, fifteen 5½-pounders, and five 3-pounders, a formidable armament in those days. She was broken up in 1715, and her successor was launched in 1719. She was of 1,869 tons, and carried 100 guns.

The third Britannia dates from 1762, and was also a 100 gun ship, measuring 2,091 tons. This vessel was a very bad sailer, but was constantly in commission, taking part in the action off Cape St. Vincent in 1797, and finally being [52] present at Trafalgar, where she carried the flag of Rear-Admiral the Earl of Northesk, and had ten men killed, and forty-two wounded. Her name was, for some reason, changed after this to St. George.

The fourth Britannia, selected to take the place of the Illustrious, carried the flag of Admiral Dundas in the Crimean War, in the early days of steam, when several sailing line-of-battle ships were employed, being usually towed into action by steamers; she took part in the bombardment of Sevastopol, October 17th, 1854, and at the close of the war was laid up, until the necessary alterations were taken in hand, in 1858, to fit her for her new duties.

All being ready by the end of the year, on January 1st, 1859, during the absence of the cadets for their Christmas leave, Captain Harris shifted his pennant from the Illustrious to her successor, thus commencing a new epoch in the history of the cadets’ training ship.




A “Three-decker”—Arrangements on Board—The Morning Drum—Persuasive Corporals—“Cockpit Mess”—“Cheeky New Fellows”—Important Modifications—Sea-going Training-ship—A Dead Letter—The Question of Locality—Portland Selected—Its Numerous Drawbacks—Preparing for Sea—Voyage of the Britannia—She Asserts Herself Under Sail—Arrival at Portland—Great Monotony—A Sad Accident—Good Education—French and Drawing—Sample of a French Lesson—Messroom Songs—“The King of Otaheité”—Going Aloft—A Foolhardy Feat—A Swift Descent—Fatal to Clothes—Reading at the Yard-arm—Captain Powell Appointed—Departure of Commander Nares—Corporal Punishment—A Cool Young Hand—The Royal Marriage—Another Change Decided Upon—Voyage to Dartmouth—A Busy Time—Sailors as Navvies—The Hindostan—Captain Randolph Appointed—A Futile Complaint—Stern Measures—Parliamentary Interference—Humanitarian Fads—Flogging Abolished—Cadets’ Sailing Cutters—Gymnasium Built—The Bristol—Competition on Entry—Reduction of Numbers—A New Britannia—Statistical Results.

THE new decade starts under the most favourable auspices, with a new and roomy ship, well suited for the purpose (according to the ideas of the time), and with the encouraging results of the first two or three years to incite the captain and his staff to fresh exertions.

The Britannia—it may be explained to the uninitiated who may read this book—differed from the Illustrious in that she was a “three-decker,” while the latter was a “two-decker”; and in case this does not convey a sufficiently clear impression to the non-nautical mind, it is advisable to point out that a two-decker has actually four decks, while a three-decker has five; and this without reckoning in either case the poop, or raised deck at the after end, large enough to afford a considerable amount of accommodation.

The designation of the ship went, in fact, by her gun decks, which in a three-decker were termed the main, middle, and lower decks; the upper deck and orlop deck, or cockpit, completing the number. The orlop, though a complete deck, [54] was in a sea-going ship somewhat dark, being lit only by small round “scuttles,” and the actual deck was, when the vessel was down to her load-line, below water. On the Britannia, however, the scuttles were enlarged to the dignity of small ports. The head room was less than on the other decks, so that a person of ordinary stature had to be wary, while a tall man had a wretched time, the corners of oak beams being cruelly hard.

The orlop deck was in these early days used as the dormitory; all the cadets’ chests were there, and shortly after the ship went to Portland a sort of open bathing-place was formed at one end, with large roses overhead for shower-baths.

On the lower deck there were four studies at the stern; then a large space was occupied by the cadets’ messroom; forward of this was the “galley” or kitchen; and then the mess deck for the ship’s company, which was a small one, only including a sufficient number of seamen to keep the ship in order, and the seamen instructors, etc. On the middle deck at the after end was the wardroom, and further forward the French study. Service was held on this deck on Sunday, and seamanship was also taught there. The after-part of the main deck was occupied by the captain’s quarters, and there was one small study there also. At the fore end was the sick bay. Under the poop was the drawing study, and also two others; and these were utilised for some time as a place of recreation in the evening, one of the cadet captains being on duty there to keep order—which, if he chanced to be one who had been promoted rather for mental and moral than physical qualifications, he sometimes found a little beyond his powers.

The cadets were roused from their morning slumbers by a long roll on the drum. Lying half awake, in sad consciousness that turning out time was very near, one would hear the marine drummer come down the ladder, his drum giving out unmistakable sounds as it touched a step or two; then the drummer could be heard settling himself and his instrument of torture into a firm and convenient posture against a [55] stanchion; and, after a preliminary double tap, the hideous sound reverberated through the cockpit. And it is a hideous sound, whether from the point of view of a sleepy cadet or a person of any station in life with a sensitive or musical ear.

No sooner had this aggressive salvo died away, than a chorus of corporals would ensue, as they marched along the deck between the chests, shaking a hammock here and there if the occupant appeared to have been oblivious to the drummer’s dulcet strain: “Turn out, sir, turn out, if you please! Now, young gentleman, are you going to rouse out over there?” Then, in a persuasive, almost regretful tone, “Come, sir, come, show a leg, now, do!” There used to be one corporal who indulged in flights of fancy, such as—“Now, sir, make a stir, do! ’Ere’s the sun a shining through the scuttle fit to burn your eyes out!”

There were, of course, always some incorrigibles, to whom turning out promptly was a moral or constitutional impossibility, and repeated offences of this nature were liable to end with a mandate to “muster under the half deck at seven bells”—i.e. to come before the first lieutenant at half-past eleven, and receive sentence, which usually took the form of turning out an hour earlier for a week.

Among the most severe punishments were “cockpit mess,” and “lower deck mess,” the former being awarded for somewhat serious offences. The culprit took his meals—which were of extreme simplicity—at a table rigged up under the eye of the marine sentry in the cockpit, and various privileges were stopped in addition. It was a particularly dreary sort of punishment, unless there happened to be two or more brothers in affliction, when they would make it a little more lively for themselves, and sometimes for the sentry, who might if unwary, be induced to pursue one of the evil-doers, who persisted in making an excursion towards the other end of the deck, while his companion would receive some “tuck” from a confederate on the ladder, at the risk of being himself sent below for a few days, if detected.

It was in the early days of the ’sixties that the most [56] appropriate title to be bestowed upon new arrivals was tacitly settled. No one ever knows how these matters get decided; but certain it is that about this period a boy arriving on board would find himself styled a “cheeky new fellow.” He might be the most retiring and timid of youths, but the adjective was applied all the same; by way, no doubt, of keeping him in his place, and making him understand how immeasurably inferior he was to an individual who had entered six or nine months before him.

On the arrival of the next batch he would, however, receive a sort of negative promotion, and become simply a “new fellow”; in which capacity he was at liberty to lord it over “cheekies,” if they would stand it from him. Another three months would see him raised to the dignity of “six monther”; the next step was a “nine monther,” and at the end of a year he would become a “passing out number.”

This, however, is anticipating somewhat; and it is now time to hark back a little, and see how it came about that a boy should of necessity be over a year in the ship.

The initiation of this change was actually in the ’fifties, for it was inaugurated by an Admiralty circular dated October 23rd, 1859; which, however, did not come into force until April, 1860.

Some important modifications were introduced: the limit of age was altered to between twelve and fourteen; the easier form of entry examination was retained, and any lad who failed was to be allowed a second trial within three months.

The somewhat lax and unpractical provisions of paragraphs VI. and VII. in the former circular were amended. Quarterly examinations were to be held, but merely for the purpose of ascertaining progress; and after twelve months a cadet who was found proficient was to be discharged for three months to a sea-going training-ship. At this examination a first-class certificate conferred twelve months’ sea time, a second-class six months, and a third-class no time: the three months in the sea-going training-ship was to count as sea time, and the cadet was then to join his ship as midshipman.

Sailing into Plymouth Sound.

It appears extremely doubtful whether this was ever [58] carried out, at least in the fashion implied in the circular. The brig Sealark continued to be tender to the Britannia up to the end of 1861, and no doubt the “passing out numbers” were taken out in her occasionally; but there is no evidence that they were discharged regularly to a sea-going training-ship; and, as a matter of fact, the paragraph referring to this is quietly dropped out of the circular as printed in the Navy list for March, 1862. This in itself is significant, for a close examination of the Navy lists at that period reveals the fact that there was a great reluctance on the part of the compositor to interfere with the type; so the withdrawal of the order probably came about a good deal earlier. Certainly, from the beginning of 1862 a cadet remained in the ship for fifteen months as a matter of course, and was then appointed to a sea-going ship, no such thing as a sea-going training ship being heard of at all; moreover, the cadets who joined in December, 1860, remained on board, without doubt, until March, 1862.

In establishing a training-ship for young lads, the sons of gentlefolk in a good position, the question of locality would appear to be of considerable importance. It was taken for granted, presumably, at first, that the ship should be stationed at Portsmouth, as the start was there made in the Illustrious; and possibly some advantage may have been imagined to exist in the naval surroundings, the Dockyard, etc.

The disadvantages were, however, pretty obvious. The ship was moored in close proximity to somewhat unsavoury mud at low water; there was no country, worth the name, within reach; while the moral atmosphere of a town like Portsmouth was not calculated to have a very beneficial effect on the youngsters.

Whether any particular cause brought the question of moving the ship under consideration, it is not easy to say; but towards the end of the year 1861 the authorities decided to take her away from Portsmouth; and the spot selected as her future station was—of all possible and impossible places—Portland Roads.

Those who are acquainted with the locality—among whom [59] every naval officer may be included—are aware that, but for the breakwater, there would be practically no harbour at all, nor even a moderately sheltered roadstead in which any master would anchor his vessel, save with a westerly wind. The breakwater, though it certainly forms a shelter against the sweep of the swell in the Channel, cannot in any degree break the force of an easterly gale; and even the Chesil Bank does not modify to any great extent the fury of winter gales from the south-west, though it ensures more or less smooth water; while northerly gales sweep across from Weymouth Bay with unrestrained violence.

If plenty of open air and a generous supply of ozone were particularly in request, Portland is a very good place to go to; but other considerations will naturally crop up in selecting an anchorage for a training-ship.

As a port of assembly for a large fleet it is, by virtue of the breakwater, admirably suited; but they have to take their chance of being occasionally cut off from communication with the shore for a day or two. A good many years ago, the Channel Squadron was so cut off during the best part of a week, while an easterly gale was raging; only one vessel, favourably situated, contriving to send in a cutter under a close-reefed sail, from the stern, the crew and officer using the rope ladder suspended from the taffrail.

There was no possibility of acquiring ground for decent playing fields; the island—so called—of Portland presented no great attractions for walking or anything else; there was a stupid little town, with one steep street, climbing up the hill; and Weymouth was too far off for landing the cadets, save on exceptional occasions, and when they got there, there was little or nothing to do, except get into possible mischief.

Notwithstanding these drawbacks, however, Portland was determined upon; and when the cadets rejoined on February 2nd, 1862, after their Christmas leave, they found their floating home in the unwonted bustle of “preparing for sea”; and a very welcome distraction it proved to them, in place of the ordinary hum-drum of alternate “seamanship” and “study” days.

[60] By February 6th all preparations were complete; at 3 p.m. a lumbering dockyard tug, the Lucifer, took the Britannia in tow, and slowly dragged her out of the familiar harbour, making for the eastern end of the Isle of Wight. The voyage was not, however, to be made alone; at Spithead the Trafalgar, steam two-decker, was in waiting, and took her station about half a mile astern of the Britannia, where she hovered during the whole passage, in case of any accident. The undertaking was not, indeed, without some risk, at that season, and anything in the shape of a gale would have been serious; the ship “flying light,” with small frigate’s spars, and with only a handful of bluejackets and a few dockyard riggers on board.

However, the fates proved propitious; the wind blew fair from east-north-east, the sea was smooth, and none of the cadets were seasick; though they had the unwonted experience, afterwards to become so familiar, of hearing the gentle complaining “creech” of the oak timbers, and the rattle of small-arms and other odds and ends in the racks, with the slight motion of the ship.

In the small hours of the morning it was decided to utilise the fair wind, which was freshening a bit, by making sail, and dispensing with the services of the tug. Accordingly, the jib was hoisted, the topsails loosed and the sheets dragged home; there was not enough “beef,” as Jack would say, to hoist them, so they bellied out, all loose and baggy, with the following breeze, a sorry sight for a man-o’-warsman; that smart seaman, Captain Harris, must have found it go sorely against the grain to leave them so. He had a certain compensation, however; for no sooner did she feel the old familiar pressure on the masts, than the Britannia asserted herself as a ship with a reputation under canvas, and came tumbling after the tug, which had just been cast off, and whose best speed, unencumbered, was probably about six knots, in such lively fashion that she almost ran over her.

Along the chalk cliffs from St. Alban’s Head the little squadron passed in the dim light of early morning, the long [61] snake-like breakwater, and the wedge-shaped island of Portland gradually showing up more clearly.

The cadets began to come up in twos and threes, their hands stuffed well into the pockets of their monkey jackets; soon, however, they were summoned to “bring ship to an anchor,” as the Britannia, with the Trafalgar still in close attendance, rounded the breakwater and approached her moorings, already laid down. Not even Captain Harris, however, would venture on the experiment of picking up moorings of this class under sail, in a three-decker, jury rigged, with her topsails on the cap; so the anchor was in readiness for letting go.

“Fourth division, up on the poop, and man the spanker outhaul!” Up they went, and realised immediately how extremely cold a fresh east wind can be on a February morning, as they held the rope in their benumbed fingers awaiting the order.

“Haul out the spanker! Hard down with the helm!” and the Britannia gracefully rounded to, topsails all shaking; as she lost her way, the anchor splashed, the cable rumbled out, and she brought up, close to the dockyard “lump” supporting the heavy moorings.

In such fashion was the arrival of the Britannia on her new station; and as the present writer happened to be one of the fourth division above referred to, and has a vivid recollection of that morning—particularly of the biting wind—the account may be taken as moderately accurate.

The cadets were sent for a run on shore in the afternoon, while the dockyard men, assisted by a party of seamen from the Trafalgar, got in the moorings.

Of the period at Portland—which, as will be seen, was not very long—the principal characteristic was its monotony. All the cadets who were in the Britannia during that time will probably agree in this. There was but little fun to be got out of Fortune’s Well, as the village was called; and even the “tuck” was indifferent—a man used to come to the field with ices and various unwholesome stuffs in the summer; there was not much cricket or football worthy the name.

[62] True, there were the “blue gigs”; they were greatly in demand in fine weather, but in such an exposed place a very moderate amount of wind would render their use impossible; the sailing launch was rarely used except for instructional purposes. The captains—twelve in number—were allowed to visit Weymouth on half-holidays, but the remainder only on rare occasions.

A small steamer used to come alongside to take the cadets on shore to Portland, and a larger one, plying regularly to Weymouth, would call when required to take cadets or officers there.

Among the amusements indulged in by some of the more adventurous among the cadets was the search after sea-birds’ eggs on the cliffs at the west side of Portland; and this resulted, not very long after the arrival of the ship, in a sad fatality, a cadet named Cox losing his life by a fall from the cliff.

Whatever may have been the drawbacks of Portland as a station, the captain and his staff pursued the chief end and aim of the establishment with unremitting vigour, and great success. Seamanship and navigation were thoroughly well taught, and any lad who was even moderately industrious might go to sea with every detail of standing and running rigging, reefing and furling, etc., at his fingers’ ends, only needing a little experience afloat to render him—malgré the prophecies of the malcontents of the old school—a most useful young officer. Some of them were very respectable boat-sailers as well; while all were able to take a tolerably accurate observation for latitude or longitude, and work it out correctly: no mean equipment with which to start in a sea-going ship.

The weak part of the scheme was in French and drawing, as it usually was in those days in almost all educational establishments.

The drawing-master, though an accomplished draughtsman, did not appear to have much idea of imparting his knowledge to his pupils; systematic teaching in form and perspective was unknown; so that a lad who [63] possessed considerable natural talent in this direction usually found himself at the end just about where he was at the beginning.

Of the French instruction it can only be said that it is difficult to conceive how such a farce could be permitted to drag on year after year. The French lesson was a time for every mountebank trick imaginable, little heed being paid to the half-hearted remonstrances of the good-natured professor. It would commence with some feeble attempt at one of Ollendorf’s exercises, which, of course, contain abundant material of merriment for the youthful mind.

Sometimes the professor would press for a little more variety; and was invariably met either with “Avez vous etez on board le Colossus?” (the guardship at Portland), or “Avez vous etez a Weymouth?”

There was a cadet at one time who possessed an abnormal development in the matter of aural appendages; and who, moreover, was able to fold his ears in, and cause each in succession suddenly to unfold. His appearance was naturally most grotesque under these circumstances, and his performances in the French study were a source of unfailing joy to his companions. He would “furl” his ears before commencing the stereotyped conversation with the professor, and solemnly let one out in the middle, gazing at the master meanwhile with an expression of childlike innocence.

Among the evening recreations, in the winter especially, there were frequently songs and choruses in the messroom, particularly if there happened to be one or two cadets with an aptitude for singing and a good repertoire of songs. There was one lad there in the latter part of the year 1862 who was remarkable in this respect, and his songs were always in request. One of the prime favourites was an extraordinary “descriptive” ballad about a certain “King of Otaheité,” in which a variety of well-known airs were introduced. As it is probably quite out of date and unknown to our readers of the present generation, it shall be immortalised in these pages.

[64] The King of Otaheité.
Once on a time there lived a king
Of Otaheité, of Otaheité;
Once on a time there lived a king,
A king of Otaheity
Who, when he only frowned, ’tis said
The people all were filled with dread
For fear that each should lose his head
By the king of Otaheity.
Now this monarch’s name was Tanta-paran
Mesopotamia, Cou-di-caran,
And some people thought him a fine-looking man,
A remarkably fine-looking man.
His nose was large, so was his mouth;
When one eye looked north, the other looked south;
His face was as broad as a big frying pan;
Such a beautiful monarch was Cou-di-caran!
Now this king called his messengers
And picked out two or three,
Saying, “Rascals, stir your stumps, and tell
My friends to come to me
At half-past five for tea.
Mind that you’ve everything fit for my table:
Human flesh, herbs, and rice,
Everything else that’s nice.
Run now, you rascals, as fast as you’re able;
Run, run!”
Then there came both great and small,
Handsome, ugly, short, and tall;
Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers,
Friends, relations, and many others.
Some were dressed in Sunday’s best,
Gaily, too, were all the rest.
Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers,
Friends, relations, and many others.
But a lady who was present
By the crowd was jostled so,
That she kept treading, treading, treading
On the king of Otaheity’s toe!
On his bad toe!
On the king of Otaheity’s toe!
[65] I grieve that I should mention it,
Or that it should be heard;
It was not her intention; it
Was not, upon my word.
The king he had an ugly corn,
Which sorely did him fret;
If you had heard the row he made
You never could forget.
Now, the king, in a terrible riot,
Sang out to his guard down below,
Saying, “Rascals, how can you keep quiet?
Some villain has trod on my toe!
Go out into all my dominions,
Search well every corner and cell!
If I find out the rascal who’s done it,
By Jingo, I’ll tip it him well!”
But a guard who stood close by,
And cared for no man, cared for no man,
Said, “So please your Majesty,
That’s the woman! That’s the woman!”
The king then took her by the hair,
And would not let her go,
Saying, “Madam, please to recollect
You trod upon my toe!”
A lord-in-waiting took an axe
And chopped her skull in two.
The king then, with a gracious smile,
Said, “Thank you; that’ll do!”

This remarkable effusion was always listened to with breathless interest, the callous monarch’s final pronouncement being greeted with thunders of applause.

Another ditty which was in great request was a bloodthirsty piratical song, with a good swinging chorus:—

Hurrah! for a life of war and strife,
A pirate’s life for me!
My barque shall ride the foaming tide,
The demon of the sea.

“Brave Broke” of the Shannon was as popular as in “Tom Brown’s Schooldays”; and there was a youth—said to be partially of Swiss extraction—who gave a song with a most [66] piercing “yodel” to each verse; and there were a great many verses. The other cadets greatly envied him this accomplishment, and the messroom would sometimes resound with embryo endeavours to produce a similar result; causing, on one occasion, a sudden eruption of the lieutenant on duty, who blew a boatswain’s whistle to attract attention, and declared that a repetition of these singular noises would involve a muster of the cadets on deck.

The Britannia was, as has been stated, fully rigged in those days; and the cadets were allowed, and encouraged, to go aloft at all times: the “cheeky new fellows,” indeed, had to go over the topmast head every morning, nolens volens.

In summer there were always a number of lads climbing about on the mainmast and mizenmast, and the more active and venturesome used to compete with one another in the performance of sundry more or less dangerous feats. One cadet endeavoured to immortalise himself by coming down over the “futtocks” with one arm and one leg. Probably the reader is aware that the “futtock shrouds” are the short, stiff, standing ropes from the edge of the “top,” the traversing of which involves a more or less reversed position; it is easy enough for any ordinarily active boy, and the alternative, of going through “lubber’s hole,” was regarded as more or less of a disgrace. It will be obvious, however, that the full complement of limbs is essential to the safe passage of the “futtocks”; a fact which was forcibly impressed upon our young hero by a very hasty involuntary descent into the main chains, resulting in concussion of the brain and a pretty bad scalp wound. However, he came up smiling after a week or so; but did not try it again.

Another aspirant for celebrity conceived the idea of coming down the mizen royal stay “hand over leg”; this stay being a very small rope, and—as it was not called upon to stand the stress of sail—certainly a pretty old one, it was quite on the cards that it might have given way, especially as the gymnast was a good lump of a boy. However, he escaped, and landed in the main-top triumphantly; whence he was called down by the first lieutenant, admonished as a “young [68] fool,” and received some slight punishment, pour encourager les autres.


A favourite pastime was sliding down the two parts of the topsail halyards, which passed through a great block within reach of the main-top. You got hold of the two ropes, which ran parallel, about a foot apart, to the bulwarks, one in each hand, twisted your legs round them, and then, embracing the ropes with your arms so as to avoid skinning your hands, down you went like a flash. It was advisable, however, to tie your trousers round the ankles first, or they rucked up and the friction of the rope would inflict a very nasty burn on the leg; one cadet, in fact, was on the sick-list for a considerable time as the result of this manœuvre.

Dear old Dibdin tells us how William, the favoured of Black-eyed Susan, was aloft when she came alongside; upon which,

The cord glides swiftly through his glowing hands,
And quick as lightning on the deck he stands.

No cadet, certainly, except a very green “cheeky new fellow,” would try this experiment, knowing that he would arrive on deck with a good deal more than the cuticle burnt off his “glowing hands”; William, however, came down by “poetical licence,” which no doubt makes all the difference.

If the cadet’s cuticle escaped, however, the clothes, which his parents paid for, did not!

On a fine half-holiday those who did not wish to go on shore would often spend the time aloft with a book; many an hour has the present writer spent at the main-yardarm, where the studding-sail boom afforded a seat of more or less comfort and security, with a book; one arm clasping the lift, legs hanging down below the yard. It probably never occurs to youth that to doze off in such a position would certainly be fatal!

The year 1862 was an eventful one for the Britannia, two most important figures disappearing from her history.

It became known in September that Captain Harris was to leave shortly, and the news came as a sort of shock, he was so completely identified with the institution. The report [69] turned out to be true, and on October 1st he was succeeded by Captain Richard Ashmore Powell. This officer had, in a letter to Captain Harris, dated May 27th of the same year, written as follows: “I am much pleased with the lads from the Britannia; they are well behaved, and are well grounded in the fundamental parts of their profession.”

He had now to try his hand at turning out similar youngsters, and, though he found the way paved for him by the results of his predecessor’s forethought and experience, he probably felt that he had his work cut out.

Shortly afterwards Lieutenant Nares was promoted to commander, and, though he retained his post as senior executive for a time, he was superseded in December by Commander William H. Edye,[4] a very smart and energetic officer, who was held in great respect by the cadets.

[4] Now Admiral W. H. Edye.

Nares’ departure was doubtless a great loss to the ship; he identified himself very heartily with the cadets in their games, etc., and displayed remarkable activity in playing “Sling the Monkey” and “High Cockolorum” with them.

A very pleasant reminiscence in connection with him is an excursion which he “personally conducted” at Easter, 1862, taking about fifty cadets, whose homes were too far distant for them to avail themselves of the brief holidays, for a three or four days’ trip to Wells, Glastonbury, Cheddar, etc. The boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and made a good show at the service in Wells Cathedral on Easter Sunday, where the preacher “gie’d ’em a sight o’ gude advice.”

On one occasion a number of the cadets were on the west side of Chesil Bank, watching the rollers coming in after a heavy gale: a very fine sight. The beach—entirely composed of large loose pebbles—runs down steeply, so that the sea breaks in one great “comber,” coming in like a wall, and dragging back the pebbles in the “undertow” with a tremendous clatter. Some of the lads thought it good fun to run down after the receding wave, as far as they dared, right under the next advancing one; a most dangerous amusement.

[70] Lieutenant Nares unexpectedly came on the scene, and, arming himself with a long piece of tough seaweed, something like a South African sjambok, he gave chase, and scored heavily off several, being very fleet of foot. Having afforded this practical proof of the probable consequences of being caught at such games, he gave them a lecture as to the far more serious results of losing their footing, or being dragged out by the undertow—which, indeed, one or two had narrowly escaped.

It was not long after the appointment of Captain Powell that the Admiralty decided to introduce corporal punishment for serious offences among the cadets. It is not quite clear at the present time what gave rise to this innovation, but there were probably some unusually reckless spirits among the youngsters, of whom it was deemed necessary to make an example.

There was considerable awe among the cadets the first time they were assembled to “witness punishment”—for it was publicly inflicted—and the culprit was lashed, in true man-o’-war fashion, on one side of the deck, facing a port, while his comrades were drawn up opposite.

The deterrent effect was probably somewhat discounted by the amazing sang froid of the young gentleman under punishment, who took his birching without a murmur, and, having a good view of Portland Roads through the port, had apparently been interesting himself in the manœuvres of a merchant vessel which was beating in; for, as the last stroke was given, and the corporal advanced to release him, he remarked, in a genial, conversational tone, “Ah, she’s missed stays! I thought she would!”

This lad naturally became rather a hero in the eyes of his fellows, especially as he was already rather a favourite, being of the breezy type, which sailors call a “Jack-shilloo.” It must be said, however, that birchings were few and far between, at least in the days of Captain Powell.

In March, 1863, came the marriage of the Prince of Wales, the day being observed as a holiday, and white “favours,” with the portraits of the Prince and of Princess [71] Alexandra on them, were distributed to the cadets, who were also allowed leave to go to Weymouth—though they found nothing particularly amusing to do there. Indeed, a more uninteresting town for a lad to spend some hours in could not well be imagined.

The numerous disabilities of Portland began about this period to be brought home to the Admiralty, chiefly through the representations of Captain Powell, who eventually received instructions to look round for a more suitable station. In recommending Dartmouth he probably made the best selection possible. The only objection that could be raised to it was that it might not be sufficiently bracing, and this was more or less of a “faddy” idea; in all other respects it appeared—and has proved to be—most admirably suited for the purpose.

Smooth water—for it would take something like a tropical cyclone to raise a sea at the head of the harbour—beautiful surroundings, easy access to the shore, land available for good playing fields. All these good things, as it were, going a-begging, while the gales howled round the ship in her exposed quarters at Portland.

And so, though she had been only eighteen months there, it was decided that it should see the last of her in September, 1863.

On the 28th all was in readiness, and 108 cadets—about half the full number—were sent on leave.

At 7.45 a.m. on the 29th the Britannia set out on another little voyage. This time, however, there was more towing power provided, the Geyser, an old paddle-wheel sloop, taking the hawsers, with the Prospero, Admiralty tug, ahead of her; and between them they pulled the old ship along at quite a respectable speed. The sails were available if required, but the Britannia was not destined again to spread her wings, though she and her escort had to remain at sea, off Dartmouth, for the night, entering the beautiful harbour at nine o’clock next morning, amid the enthusiastic cheers of the inhabitants, and to the extreme satisfaction, no doubt, of the cadets, as they realised the contrast of their future surroundings with what they had left. As it turned out, the [72] day selected for the voyage was a lucky one, for that night it blew a fresh gale outside, and the handling of so large a vessel, in light trim, by the tugs would have been difficult, probably involving the parting of hawsers.

The spot selected was about half a mile above the town, and the ship was securely moored, head and stern, to four heavy anchors, so as to be absolutely stationary, and quite close to the western shore.

There was a busy time then for all hands: clearing away rocks abreast the ship, making a beach for the cadets’ boats, a landing place and cricket ground, with direct access up the steep bank, so as to avoid the town, and so on. A great deal of this work was done, more or less in the rough, by the ship’s company, under the boatswain, who, in huge sea-boots, superintended the engineering of zig-zag paths and steps and various other unaccustomed achievements. Tars take a delight in a job like this, outside their ordinary duties, and bring a remarkable amount of ingenuity and common sense to bear upon it.

Their ’prentice work has, of course, been long since superseded by that of contractors, the magnificent playing fields, etc., being now approached by flights of concrete steps of great solidity; pier, boatsheds, bathing place, etc., all in keeping.

The number of cadets on board at this time was about 230; but this number proved insufficient to keep up the supply of lieutenants required, so the entries were considerably increased, with the result that the number, after a few terms, reached 306, causing inconvenient crowding on the sleeping decks and in the messroom, to say nothing of the studies.

After many representations from Captain Powell, the Admiralty in 1864 decided to supplement the Britannia with another ship, and the Hindostan, an old two-decker, was selected for the purpose, and sent round from Devonport. She was one of several vessels built of Indian teak, a wood which far surpasses British oak in durability and freedom from rot; it is, in fact, practically everlasting.



[74] The new ship was moored ahead of the Britannia, a bridge being constructed between the two, making them practically one vessel, which proved to be of the greatest value.

There was not much history made during the next year or two. There was, of course, a great deal done in improvement of arrangements and organisation after the advent of the Hindostan; and, as a proof that the extra accommodation was needed, it may be mentioned that the number of cadets entered in 1864 was 217, as compared with 122 and 183 of the years 1863 and 1862 respectively. This large number was not maintained, however; for it fell to 159 in the following year. The sudden and temporary augmentation of entries was due, no doubt, to a state of alarm in which the authorities found themselves as to the probable paucity of lieutenants during the next few years.

In 1865 Captain Powell was succeeded by Captain George Granville Randolph,[5] an officer who enjoyed a great reputation for strictness, and of whom his subordinates always stood in awe. Though disposed to err, perhaps, on the side of severity, Randolph was always perfectly fair and just, and was a most capable officer. The frigate Orlando, which he commanded in the Mediterranean before he went to the Britannia, was a marvel of smartness, and some of the performances of her crew in handling spars, sails, etc., still remain as time-records for the very smart Mediterranean Fleet of those days.

[5] Now Admiral Sir George G. Randolph, K.C.B.

There is little doubt, however, that his appointment to the Britannia fluttered the dovecots a little, and he soon made his somewhat “dour” character felt. He was one of those men who are not afraid to accept responsibility for their actions, or to carry out any threat or promise to the bitter end, even though it may involve the antagonism of the whole of his subordinates.

On one occasion during his command the cadets took it into their heads to protest against having the meat left from the previous day served up as hashes, etc., for breakfast; and as there was some little agitation among them, it was brought [75] to the captain’s notice. The cadet captains were accordingly mustered, and invited to state their grievance. The captain heard them patiently, and then, to their delight, he replied, “You are quite right, boys, it shall be stopped.” The boys, thinking they had scored completely, chorused, “Thank you, sir!” until the captain added grimly, “But you will have nothing in its place!” As they knew perfectly well that he would not swerve from his decision, they retired crestfallen, and put up with the hashes, which probably did them no harm.

Another incident had rather an unexpected result. On a wet and cheerless holiday in the spring of 1867, going on shore being out of the question, the boys were skylarking about the decks, rather at a loose end, and some of the bigger cadets began to amuse themselves by a form of bullying, joining hands and rushing the smaller boys along the deck with considerable violence, regardless of possible serious injury from falls, etc. This amusement being carried to rather cruel extremes, the officer of the day thought it right to call the attention of the commander to it, who in turn reported it to the captain. Possibly the captain may have been aware of some previous cases of bullying, and determined to make an example of the offenders; however this may be, he resorted to drastic measures on the spot. The cadets were called to divisions, and the culprits, four or five in number, received then and there a good birching. There is the authority of a naval instructor who was then in the ship for the statement that bullying was very promptly stopped by this proceeding; but apparently it was resented by the friends of some of the cadets, an agitation in Parliament was organised, and in July of that year Mr. Corry, the First Lord of the Admiralty, was interrogated by Mr. Bass on the subject. On July 25th the matter was dealt with in the House as follows (reported in the Times of July 26th):—

“Mr. Bass asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he had made further inquiry respecting the mode of punishment of cadets on board the Britannia. It was alleged from a great many quarters that excessive cruelty was practised on [76] board that ship; and it was stated by gentlemen acquainted with the practice, and who had given their names, that when a cadet was punished his legs and arms were tied to ringbolts so that he could not move, and that he was flogged with a birch broom which had been previously steeped in water to make it more pliant; that fifteen cuts were inflicted with it on the back, and that the doctors invariably attended. He wished to know whether the First Lord had made further inquiries on the matter, and if he retained the opinion he formerly expressed.

“Mr. Corry said, in consequence of the statement of the hon. member, he had thought it necessary to make minute inquiry on the subject of the punishment on board the Britannia, and the result was a complete denial that the punishment of cadets was accompanied by the cruelty described. Punishment was inflicted, not with a birch broom, but precisely similar to that used at schools. There was a complete denial of any such cruelty as had been alleged.

“Mr. Bass: The arms are not tied to ringbolts?

“Mr. Corry: Certainly not. It is hardly necessary that I should go further into the case, as the Admiralty, having taken the whole subject into consideration, have thought it desirable that the practice of punishing naval cadets should be discontinued. (Cheers.) An order to that effect was issued by the Board of Admiralty last Monday. (Cheers.)”

Mr. Bass and his friends thus scored off the Admiralty in a degree to which they were not intrinsically entitled. The use of the birch, or other means of corporal punishment, is a legitimate subject of controversy, upon which many diverse opinions have always existed; but, granted the advisability of its use, the allegations of Mr. Bass are mere humanitarian padding. If you are going to inflict corporal punishment upon anyone, man or boy, there is certainly no cruelty in securing him so that he cannot move; birch rods for the punishment of young seamen in the Navy were most frequently made by splitting up an ordinary birch broom into convenient small bundles for the [77] purpose; and the soaking in water had the effect of preventing the ends flying off during the first few strokes; while the attendance of the doctor is merely an obvious precaution, in the event of a fainting fit, which may possibly occur, even in the case of an apparently robust subject. Needless to say, a delicate or weakly boy would not be subjected to such punishment.

Mr. Bass, it will be noticed, did not agitate for the abolition of flogging. Mr. Corry and his colleagues must, however, be credited with having investigated the matter in an independent spirit, and with arriving at their decision upon adequate grounds; though the general impression produced must have been that they were more or less truckling to a piece of unnecessary meddling.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Captain Randolph was superseded in September, 1867, by Captain John Corbett, after having held the appointment for a period of only eighteen months.

Among other useful institutions introduced in this decade should be mentioned the sailing cutters and the gymnasium.

To be capable of handling a boat under sail is, of course, a very necessary qualification for a naval officer, and most of it is done by midshipmen. The ordinary rig of a Service cutter is what is known as a “dipping lug,” i.e. a lug sail which has to be shifted to the other side of the mast whenever the boat goes about; and as a cutter may be required to use oars or sails at very short notice, it is [78] undoubtedly the best adapted for the purpose. A smart boat’s crew will have the masts up and sail on the boat in a very few minutes. It is, however, somewhat cumbrous to work, and has no special value in regard to the general principles which govern boat-sailing. In order, therefore, to afford the cadets every opportunity of acquiring skill and readiness at the helm, a number of small cutter-rigged vessels—a ship’s cutter not being “cutter” rigged—were provided in 1867, with simple sails and fittings, so that three or four cadets could, by permission, take one out on a free afternoon and sail about the harbour, thereby gaining the practical experience, combined with due responsibility, without which neither boat-sailing nor any other art may be adequately mastered. The cadets have to hoist the sails, seeing that they are properly set, according to certain immutable laws; to get the boat cleverly away from her moorings without getting foul of anything, to run, beat, or reach, as occasion may require; and finally to pick up the moorings again in a seamanlike fashion, this last being certainly the crucial test of the coxswain’s ability.

These little vessels have answered their purpose admirably, and are frequently in such request that there is quite a struggle to get the use of one for the afternoon. Many of the lads become very proficient boat-sailers, and an occasional mishap is not severely visited, but taken advantage of to explain what ought to have been done.

A properly fitted gymnasium is, of course, regarded as a necessity at any modern school, and the Britannia has been by no means behind the times in this respect, all the various exercises being taught by an efficient instructor, including fancy acrobatic displays such as the “living tower,” etc.

The closing years of the ’sixties are marked by two important innovations: the institution of a bonâ fide sea-going training-ship for the cadets, and the introduction of a competitive entry examination.

In February, 1868, the Bristol, a fine steam frigate, recently paid off as commodore’s ship on the coast of Africa, [79] was recommissioned as a sea-going training-ship for cadets, in which they were to spend one year after leaving the Britannia, the period of training in the latter being at this time one year, making the maximum time of probation two years.

On August 3rd, 1869, however, a new circular was issued by the Admiralty, in which the whole system was reorganised,[6] the most important change being, as has been stated, the adoption of competition in the entry examination. Two other points are included in the preamble of the circular: an increase of the time under training and a further reduction of the number of cadets entered annually. Since the rush of entries in 1864, already alluded to, the numbers had come down from 217 to 121, the authorities being evidently afraid of a superfluity of executive officers.

[6] See Appendix III.

The necessity—real or imaginary—of reducing the number of entries presumably caused some difficulty, owing to the number of applications for nominations, so somebody hit on the happy idea of giving many more nominations than were needed, and making the examination a limited competition. Any influential person who had received a nomination for his son would then have the ground cut from under his feet in case his boy’s name never appeared on the Navy List: “You asked for a nomination for your son, and we gave you one. What more could you want?”

This, at any rate, appears to be the only possible reason for giving 148 nominations during the year, of which it was certain that only 74 could be effective, for it would be absurd to contend that any benefit could accrue to the Service from such a step.

The happy aspirant for the honour of serving his country in the Navy had, practically, two examinations to pass, for a preliminary test had to be successfully negotiated before he was permitted to engage in a competition in which he might, after hard grinding, come out thirty-eighth, and be compelled to seek some other vocation in life.

It is difficult to refrain from dwelling at some length on the anomaly of this method of obtaining suitable officers, [80] which, as will be seen, was abolished a few years afterwards, only to be reintroduced later on. Suffice it to say, that it has always been condemned by a number of officers whose opinion should carry weight, as men who have devoted their lives to the study of the efficiency of the Service, and how best to ensure it; and if their opponents seek to convince them by pointing to results, it is certainly within their right to maintain that these might have been better without limited competition.

The maximum limit of age on entry was reduced, as will be noticed, from 14 to 13 years, leaving only one year’s margin between this and the minimum.

The whole scheme, in fact, tended to reduce the number of entries, while a show of maintaining a larger number was kept up by 50 per cent. of ineffective nominations.

In spite of the smaller numbers on board, and the prospective further decrease foreshadowed by the new circular, modern ideas as to accommodation, and a demand for more studies, etc., caused the Britannia to be condemned as too small for her office, and about July, 1869, the fifth Britannia made her appearance at Dartmouth. She was laid down as a sailing three-decker in 1848, but was subsequently lengthened while still on the stocks, and eventually launched as a screw-ship of 131 guns in 1860, under the name of the Prince of Wales, assuming, however, the title of her predecessor. She was a much larger vessel, and was fitted up in a manner suited to modern requirements: only one mast was supplied, so that she presents much more the aspect of a “sheer hulk” than the old ship, in spite of a very handsome hull.

The average number of cadets entered each year during the ’sixties was 153, though this does not include 1860 or 1861, of which there is no record available. The total for these eight years is 1,223, who are accounted for, approximately, as follows:—

Active List.

Admirals, 18; captains, 107; commanders, 20.

Retired List.

Admirals, 2; captains, 93; commanders, 168; lieutenants, 56; sub-lieutenants, 30.

[81] Leaving a balance, either dead or removed from the Navy List, of 629, or 51 per cent.

The number of cadets who passed out of the Illustrious and Britannia from 1858 to 1861 was 559, which are accounted for thus:—

Active List.

Admirals, 29.

Retired List.

Admirals, 22; captains, 61; commanders, 66; lieutenants, 54.

Leaving a balance of 327, or 58 per cent.

Photo: Smale and Son, Dartmouth.




Mr. Inskip Departs—His Statistical Diagram—Vindication of Britannia—Final Examinations a True Test—A “Facer” for the Old Salts—Mr. Inskip Triumphant—Captain Warry’s Recollections—Lieutenants’ Duties Ill-defined—“Goose” Dinners—Fighting by Authority—The Dapper—The Ariadne—A Tragic Incident—A Plucky Boatswain—The Ariadne Abolished—A Possible Explanation—Mr. Knapp Resigns—An Unexpected Successor—A Generous Appreciation—Committee of Enquiry—Recommends Abolition of Competition—An Academic Proposal—Unanimity of Cadets—Admiral Ryder’s Evidence—Dr. Woolley’s Evidence—A Plausible Contention—New Regulations—French at a Discount—Site for a College—Dartmouth Recommended—A Dissatisfied Parent—The Britannia in Parliament—The Royal Cadets—Lieutenant Mainwaring—Beagles Started—The Grave of “Jim”—A Phenomenal Admission—Britannia Regulations—The Officer of the Day—The Cadet Captains—No “Hampers” Allowed—Punishments—A Drastic Health Regulation—Captains in the ’Seventies—Statistical Results.


THE decade included in the ’seventies is somewhat bare of incident as compared with its predecessor.

The first event of importance was the departure of the Rev. R. M. Inskip, in 1871, after being connected with the institution for over thirteen years. The keen interest which this gentleman took in his work has before been referred to; and it is well illustrated by a very elaborate diagram which he prepared, and which, together with some explanatory notes, is now in the possession of his brother, Captain G. H. Inskip, R.N., of Plymouth.

[83] Mr. Inskip, always intensely solicitous for the proper advancement of his late pupils in the service, conceived the idea of constructing a diagram from which, in conjunction with an alphabetical list of the names of all the cadets included in the period under consideration, it could be seen at a glance what class any individual took when passing out of the Britannia, and how he fared afterwards up to the time of passing for sub-lieutenant, and in some cases beyond this.

The heads under which this information is imparted are as follows: Died; Left the service; Passed for sub-lieutenant at the proper time; Lost time; Class obtained when passing for sub-lieutenant; Promotion for passing well, and all distinctions obtained, including the Royal Humane Society’s medal, the Beaufort Testimonial, etc.

This remarkable diagram, containing particulars concerning all cadets who passed out of the training-ship from 1858 to 1871, is far too cumbrous to be reproduced in this volume; but, in an explanatory paper printed in 1875, the author sets forth the object he has in view, as follows:—

The Navy being the right arm of our national defence, it will be satisfactory to those who take an interest in the welfare and efficiency of the young officers who are in future to command our ships and fleets, to be enabled to form some correct idea as to what extent the cadets sent out from the training ship since her first establishment have maintained the classification assigned them on leaving—that is, whether on passing their examinations for sub-lieutenant they have or have not kept the position they were considered to merit, as indicated by the certificates originally awarded them.

Mr. Inskip then proceeds to a minute analysis on these lines, with regard to the cadets who passed out up to December, 1868, and who would have been qualified by age and servitude to pass for sub-lieutenant by June, 1874; the total number under consideration being 1,606. Not content with a general analysis, he institutes a comparison between the first four in the first class, the first and last four in the second class, and the last four in the third class, in each year’s examinations out of the Britannia; in other words, the best, medium, and worst results of the training.

[84] With his diagram—measuring nearly six feet in length—spread out beside him, he embarks upon an elaborate and convincing vindication of his beloved Britannia—for this is what it amounts to—and there is no getting away from his figures. Without reproducing the tables, which are rather numerous and complex, it is interesting to note that the following facts are clearly established:—

Left the Service as Cadets or Midshipmen.

1st class 7·8 per cent.
2nd class 14·3 per cent.
3rd class 27·4 per cent.

Attained the Rank of Sub-Lieutenant.

1st class 88·1 per cent.
2nd class 82·7 per cent.
3rd class 69·6 per cent.

Passed Sub-Lieutenant’s Examination at the Proper Time (all Classes).

Period from 1858 to 1863 61·9 per cent.
Period from 1864 to 1868 70·3 per cent.

Selected Examples.

  Passed at the proper time. Obtained 1st class at College. Promoted for passing examination.
First four of 1st class 88·1 per cent. 26·2 per cent. 15·1 per cent.
First four of 2nd class 74·4 per cent. 4·2 per cent. 1·9 per cent.
Last four of 2nd class 56·4 per cent. 0·0 per cent. 0·0 per cent.
Last four of 3rd class 44·7 per cent. 0·0 per cent. 0·0 per cent.

Obtained First Class on Passing for Sub-Lieutenant.

Britannia. Seamanship. Gunnery. Navigation.
1st class 51·2 per cent. 36·8 per cent. 14·7 per cent.
2nd class 28·7 per cent. 10·1 per cent. 2·2 per cent.
3rd class 17·5 per cent. 2·6 per cent. 0·0 per cent.

Comparison of Selected Examples.

Britannia.     Seamanship. Gunnery. Navigation.
First four, 1st class      
First four, 2nd class     9·0 per cent. 8·1 per cent. 8·2 per cent.
Above average of class      
Last four, 2nd class     7·6 per cent. 4·8 per cent. 2·2 per cent.
Last four, 3rd class     7·0 per cent. 1·3 per cent.
Below average of class      

[85] From these and similar data Mr. Inskip draws the following perfectly justifiable deductions:—

(1) Assuming that the ability of a midshipman to pass his examinations for sub-lieutenant the moment his time is served may be considered as evidence of proficiency, it is seen that in this respect each class has maintained its relative position with regard to original classification.

(2) That the comparison of selections with whole classes shows that the original certificates were distributed on an equitable scale, or strictly in accordance with merit.

(3) That this argument is confirmed by the general results of the final examinations for sub-lieutenants.

In connection with this, he makes a very good point; speaking of the seamanship examinations for sub-lieutenant, he says: “The certificates awarded may be taken as the collective opinion of all the captains who have been actively employed during the past eleven or twelve years, and we find that of the midshipmen sent from the training ship with first-class certificates, no fewer than 51·2 per cent. have been considered to merit first-class certificates; of the seconds, 28·7 per cent.; and of the thirds, 17·5 per cent.”

This was rather a “facer” for the captains—and there were not a few—who held that the Britannia training was useless, or worse than useless, in regard to seamanship.

“The evidence given above,” continues Mr. Inskip, “abundantly proves that each original class falls into its natural place at the final examinations, from which fact we can only infer that unless the original certificates had been awarded with the utmost care, and a scrupulous regard to the individual merits of each cadet, a coincidence so remarkable could not have occurred.”

In his final summing up Mr. Inskip says:—

“Having now shown that the young officers have maintained their original classification up to the time of passing their final examinations for sub-lieutenant, we may allude to the opinions entertained in some quarters respecting the education of the cadets: it having been asserted that their knowledge was of a superficial character, and that when they [86] first joined a sea-going ship they were deficient in many branches of study relating to their profession. * * * It was shown by examinations held in the Flying and Detached Squadrons (some years ago) that the knowledge of the midshipmen was inversely as the time elapsed since leaving the training-ship, the seniors as a body standing at the bottom. (Report of the Rev. J. B. Harbord, M.A., Inspector of Naval Schools.) This state of education at sea may in some measure be accounted for by the fact that in many ships no attempt had been made to keep up any subject but navigation, the others not being given at the final examination; it proves, however, that the younger officers possessed the most information, and among these were included all who had recently left the training ship; and it also removes any just reason for asserting that they had learnt but little while there.”

In such fashion does this champion wield his statistics in defence of the institution which he had such a large share in starting; and it must be admitted that anyone who wished to refute his arguments would have a very tough task; though he lays himself open to the reply, that a clever or industrious cadet would in all probability turn out a clever and industrious midshipman or sub-lieutenant. This, however, only touches a portion of the case; his contention that the training ship was satisfactorily fulfilling its object is fully borne out.

It will be observed that this diagram, and the arguments based on it, are completed and printed in 1875, four years after Mr. Inskip retired; so he must have employed his leisure time in compiling these statistics after he had practically severed his connection with the Service.

An officer who was first lieutenant of the Britannia during the early seventies—Captain A. W. Warry—gives his impressions of the ship at that time as follows:—

“I joined on January 22nd, 1870. The boys had not returned, and I had time to look round. The new ship had not been long at Dartmouth—a year or so—and was certainly [87] a great improvement on what the old Black Sea flagship must have been. Captain John Corbett had, I understood, been appointed to the command with a view of establishing a milder rule than prevailed in Captain Randolph’s time, when I believe there was a good deal of corporal punishment. There was none in Captain Corbett’s time, nor has there, I believe, been any since. There did not seem much for the three lieutenants to do. We took alternate day duty, and on these days heard and dealt with minor offences, or remanded them for the commander next morning. We attended at meals, looked round the seamanship classes, saw to the boys going and returning from recreation, received any applications and went the rounds, etc. As first lieutenant I had a more special supervision of the seamanship classes and periodical examinations. I also had the superintendence of the games and recreations, and was entitled to draw on the cadet fund for any requirements for them. Everybody who has been in any way connected with the Britannia must have felt the great inconvenience and waste of time in going and returning from recreation; a lumbering old pinnace was used; I trust some quicker mode of transit has since been adopted. The air on the sleeping decks, when the boys were turned in, was, I thought, far from being as pure as was needful; nor did it appear to me that, situated as the ships were in a narrow tidal river with high land on either side, the general state of the atmosphere was sufficiently bracing. The studies were as good as circumstances would admit, but at best a ship is a noisy place, and the partitions were far from sound-proof. A college on shore was constantly spoken of, and it seems strange that upwards of thirty years have elapsed since then, and this great need is only yet under construction. The question of “bounds” was always a source of trouble and constant punishment, for any extension of a walk beyond these was an offence; and Corporal McEwen had a disagreeable knack of turning up at most inopportune moments from behind some hedge, and pouncing on the youthful offenders.

“Previous to my time I heard that “goose dinners” (four to [88] a goose) were provided at a farmhouse in the direction of Dittisham, at 2s. 6d. per head. Beer, too, was provided, the effect of which led to its discovery, and a more rigid institution of bounds. The cadets could not land on the Kingswear side unless with an officer in charge, so on Sunday afternoons I frequently got a lot to join me in a walk, which they liked. In this way I got into closer conversation, and it is my pleasant recollection of the boys generally that they were a delightful lot of little chaps, with whom it was a pleasure to be brought into contact. Fighting occasionally took place beside the rocks in the field above the cricket ground. Permission was asked, and if granted the fight was carried out in due form under the cadet captains. I never heard of any bad result, though I am not sure that it would not be better to try and avoid it.

“On January 24th, 1871, I took command of the Dapper. Occasionally in the fine weather I took the senior classes outside the harbour and cruised for the afternoon under sail. Dinner was served as we steamed out, but any motion outside caused sea-sickness, which interfered with the interest in the work. More often the Dapper was employed in going to Plymouth for stores, etc. Twice in my summer we had a general picnic, to Slapton Lee and Salcombe Harbour; both were very successful.

“During my time there was no bullying to speak of; the boys were happy, and used to say they liked the Britannia much better than their former schools; the food, they all agreed was excellent.”

The Dapper, alluded to above, was one of the old 60-horse-power gunboats, built during the war in China, 1857 to 1860; she was rigged as a barque for instructional purposes, but apparently was not very freely used; and, indeed, a craft of that size and build would be so exceedingly lively in the slightest approach to a sea-way, that inexperienced lads would not be able to “lay out” on her small spars with much advantage, or without a certain amount of danger.

THE “ARIADNE” DISASTER, MARCH 8, 1872 (p. 91).

Her consort, the Ariadne—to which the officers and crew of the Bristol were turned over after a short time—was, [91] however, a very fine frigate, and performed good service as a sea-going training-ship, making voyages to the Cape, Madeira, the Azores, etc., so that the youngsters saw “blue water” in abundance, and even made old Neptune’s acquaintance in crossing the line. Those who served in her maintain that she fulfilled her purpose admirably; and no one could doubt that, after passing through the Britannia and spending the best part of a year at sea in this manner, a lad of ordinary capacity must be of considerable value as an officer in his first regular man-of-war.

There was a very tragic incident during one of the Ariadne’s cruises early in 1872. She was bound for the Mediterranean, and one morning, while under sail off Cape Finisterre, the hands were turned up about 7 a.m. to reef topsails, the wind rising rapidly with an ugly sea. A man fell overboard from the main-topgallant yard, and the second cutter, a ten-oared boat, was immediately manned, as is customary under such circumstances, at the davits, and, in spite of the heavy sea, was safely lowered and pulled for the man, who had got hold of the lifebuoy. Sub-Lieutenants Jukes and Talbot both sprang into the boat when she was being manned, vying with each other in being first at the post of danger. It was immediately decided to get up steam, which, however, took three hours or more, and the cutter being compelled for safety’s sake to head the sea, while the ship drifted to leeward, they were separated by about four miles by the time the ship commenced to steam to windward.

As she neared the boat the latter was turned round in order to steer alongside, and was immediately caught on the broadside by two heavy seas, the first of which filled her with water, while the second capsized her, all the crew being thrown out. Some got hold of oars, while others held on to the boat.

The first cutter was immediately manned, Lieutenant Bromley and Mr. Egerton, midshipman, jumping into her; but ill-luck attended this attempt at a rescue, as the boat, when being lowered, was lifted by a sea, and one tackle came [92] unhooked, leaving her dangling by one end. All managed, however, to get safely on board, except one seaman, who was unfortunately drowned.

Meanwhile, men slung over the side were doing their utmost to get hold of the crew of the second cutter, and everything handy that would float was thrown to them; the ship, however, could not be kept up to the wind, and dropped once more to leeward. Half an hour elapsed before she could regain her position, and then it was quickly apparent that only a few of the unfortunate crew of the cutter had been able to hold on; two were clinging to the bottom of the boat and two or three to the floating gear. The ship stopped close to windward and gradually dropped down; the two men on the boat managed to get safely on board; one man who had secured himself to two oars floated close to the stern of the ship, and Mr. Ellis, boatswain, made a gallant attempt to save him, going overboard with a rope round him. He seized the poor fellow’s flannel singlet, the only garment he had on, but the ship lifted away from them, dragging both out of the water, the flannel, alas! giving way, and the huge hull of the frigate, reeling back again and plunging downwards, caught them both under the flat of the counter. The gallant boatswain was dragged on board insensible, but the man he had risked his life to save had disappeared.

The sad death-roll included the two sub-lieutenants and eight men from the second cutter and one man from the first cutter, both boats being lost.

Mr. Ellis had been specially promoted to boatswain for his coolness and courage when the ill-fated Captain went down, he being one of the few who got on shore in the launch, steering the boat with great skill in a heavy sea.

It is remarkable that at this period there were two sea-going training ships for naval cadets, the Trafalgar—the same vessel which escorted the Britannia on her voyage to Portland in 1862—having been commissioned in August, 1870, by Captain Thomas B. Lethbridge for this purpose. She did not, however, make such long voyages as the Ariadne, and her headquarters were at Portland. This vessel was only [93] kept going a short two years, for in June, 1872, she was paid off, thus foreshadowing the subsequent disappearance of her consort, a year later.

The Ariadne, of which Captain the Hon. W. C. Carpenter was in command, with Commander Robert Woodward as his senior executive, was abolished in 1873. On January 6th of that year a new Admiralty circular was promulgated, containing some slight amendments in the regulations with regard to naval cadets—among others, increasing the maximum age on entry from 13 to 13½ years—and a brief clause cancelling the orders concerning a sea-going training-ship. The Ariadne completed her cruise and was paid off in the summer. It is not easy to account for this apparent caprice on the part of the authorities; it was not until considerably over twenty years afterwards that sail instruction was finally abolished in the Britannia, and many rigged vessels were in commission long after 1873.

There was a whisper at the time—to be accepted, perhaps, cum grano salis—that a certain “sea lord,” whose son had failed to negotiate his final examination as cadet, had formed the opinion, on these somewhat slender premisses, that the ship was “no good,” and that he was mainly instrumental in bringing about the change. This may be a fabrication, but, on the other hand, it may be perfectly true; for it is quite certain that stranger things than this have come to pass in the “Navy trade,” and at later dates than the ’seventies.

Mr. Inskip was succeeded as Chief Naval Instructor by Mr. Kempster Knapp, who, however, did not hold the post very long, ill-health compelling him to resign in 1875, and the appointment of his successor, in April of that year, caused no small commotion among naval instructors in the Britannia and elsewhere.

For some reason the Admiralty decided to go outside the Service in seeking a suitable man, and the gentleman selected for the post was the Rev. J. C. P. Aldous, who had never had anything to do with the Navy, and was a much younger man than some of those over whom he was called upon to [94] exercise a certain authority, and to whose advice and guidance he had nevertheless to look in the discharge of his duties. Whatever motive the authorities had for this unusual step, it might very well have caused incalculable mischief; they must, however, be accorded credit for considerable insight in their selection, for Mr. A. C. Johnson, one of those over whose heads he was placed—the very man, in fact, who might reasonably have expected promotion to the post—writes thus of him:—“Fortunately, he was a man of estimable character and good sense, so that there was little or no friction between him and the naval instructors and others,” which is at once a generous appreciation and a high meed of praise to Mr. Aldous.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Possibly the introduction of “new blood” in the naval instructor’s department was the outcome of an inquiry which was held in 1874. It is not quite clear on whose representation the Admiralty took this step, but an inquiry certainly took place by a committee appointed by the Admiralty, and composed as follows:—

Rear-Admiral E. B. Rice.
Captain the Hon. W. C. Carpenter.
Rev. H. A. Morgan, M.A.
Captain Wm. Graham.
Rev. Osborne Gordon, B.D.
Geo. Busk, Esq., F.R.S., F.R.C.S.
Jas. Vaughan, Esq., R.N.

The Lords of the Admiralty addressed to each member of the committee the following memorandum:—

A question has arisen as to whether the conditions under which naval cadets are trained on board H.M.S. Britannia are favourable to their health and physical development. Their lordships are desirous that this matter should be investigated by a committee, and your attention is drawn to the following special points:—

I. (a) The effect of confinement on board a stationary ship.
(b) Ventilation.
(c) Sleeping arrangements.
(d) Diet.

[95]II. (a) The course of study as regards the subjects, the number of hours, and the routine.
(b) The nature of the examinations, including that of entry.

Under I., heads a, b, c, d, the committee report most favourably, and have no improvements to suggest, nor is this at all surprising, since the number of entries had fallen from 131 in 1869 to an average of 62 in the five following years, and there should certainly have been no difficulty in providing adequate cubic space and ventilation in the two large vessels for numbers not exceeding 100.

Under II., however, the committee have something to say. They consider that the hours of study are by no means excessive, but they recommend that the midday interval for dinner, etc., be increased from fifty minutes to an hour and a quarter at least in summer, as it is injurious to proceed to study so soon after a full meal. They consider that the brains of the cadets are overtaxed more by the number of subjects than by the length of hours, and recommend the abolition of the following subjects of examination: Grammar, literature, history, Scripture history, physical geography, physics, and the introduction of Latin. A very drastic measure, and, with the exception of the introduction of Latin, too utilitarian, perhaps, in its tendency as compared with accepted ideas in schools of that period. A boy on joining the Britannia after a year or so of special study under a “crammer” to enable him to pass the entry examination, certainly could not be said to have even approximately completed his education in general subjects.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

However, the committee had a still more important recommendation in connection with examinations, for they [96] held that the competitive examination on entry was “hurtful to the boys and injurious to the Service,” and urged the substitution of a qualifying examination forthwith.

Here they probably had the whole Service with them; for, as has been pointed out, there could be no valid reason for the introduction of competition in 1869, no one could seriously maintain that the most suitable boys would be thereby obtained for the Service, and only one witness has much to say for it, having been partly instrumental in introducing it.

Before going to Dartmouth the committee visited the Royal Naval School at New Cross, the Greenwich Hospital School, and Eton College, and they found the physique of the cadets rather superior, age for age, to that of the boys in these schools.

The head of the Naval Medical Department had evidently been making strong representations about the Britannia, and his evidence is rather that of a faddist who is determined that nothing can be right about the ship or the place. Certain figures on which he had partially based his objections were found to be erroneous, and this was pointed out to him, but he stuck manfully to his guns notwithstanding.

The committee found that the cadets excel in manly sports, and more than hold their own in cricket against school elevens of older boys.

Constant reference is made to the desirability of having a college on shore, and most of the witnesses are in favour of it, while a few, rather of the “old sea-dog” type, advocate sending boys straight to sea without any previous training.

The recommendation of the committee is that the cadets spend three years in the college, broken by two trips in a sea-going training ship.

Their reason for recommending the introduction of Latin is that by giving a few hours a week to it an intelligent boy, reasonably well grounded on entry, would at the age of fifteen be able to read Cæsar, Horace, and Virgil without effort, and that this would be a source of pleasure to him in after years; but this appears to be a purely academic and unpractical [97] view; it might apply to a boy here and there, but certainly not to the generality, and some better reason is needed for its introduction.

One of the recommendations of the committee has been tardily adopted in the last year or so, viz. the institution of a board by whom all candidates should be approved before being permitted to undergo the examination; they think that defects which are not discoverable by an educational test might be patent to such a committee.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Captain Foley, who was appointed in August, 1871, appears to have set about improving the sanitary condition of the ship in a very thorough fashion, and not before it was needed. By clearing out the ballast in some places, and by a rearrangement of the structure of the bilges, he had arrived at a very satisfactory result, which is highly approved by the committee.

The seven or eight cadets who are examined are practically unanimous in their views.

They found they were “seedy” after the strain of grinding for the competitive examination, and felt very tired every day while it was going on.

They were not tired or seedy on board the Britannia.

They preferred a hammock to a bed.

They did not like the idea of a college on shore.

They found the food very good, and liked the ship much better than their former schools.

One of them was asked,

“How would you like to be put into a house on the top of that hill?”

“Not at all.”

“You think you would feel like a schoolboy?”

[98] “Yes.”

“And now you feel like an officer in her Majesty’s service?”


This question was put, no doubt, on account of the view, expressed by two witnesses, that it was a bad thing to have a training ship, as the boy’s first acquaintance with a captain would place him, to them, in the light of a schoolmaster; but this is surely a fantastic idea, and one which no one who has been through the Britannia would endorse. “The captain” is always a distinct and novel personality to them, while the naval instructor is as distinctly a schoolmaster.

The evidence of Admiral A. P. Ryder was very interesting. He was well known in his time as a good mathematician, and his views in regard to the examination papers were characteristic. He did not see anything in them to frighten anybody, especially as many of the questions which appeared difficult for boys of this age were in reality based on what was learnt in the text-books in use.

The most instructive part of his evidence, however, was in connection with the establishment and maintenance of a training ship or college. He was of opinion that the need of a training institution of some kind arose in great measure from the fact that, after the abolition of the college course in 1837, a very large percentage of young officers came to no good, either voluntarily or involuntarily leaving the Service; and he quotes some of Mr. Inskip’s figures in support of the view that a very great improvement has ensued in this respect after the institution of the Illustrious and Britannia. Furthermore, he related how, when he was private secretary to the First Lord—the Duke of Somerset—in 1863, a letter was addressed to every captain then serving, or who had been serving within six months, asking for their opinions, as follows:—

Are you in favour of a naval educational establishment, or should boys go straight to sea?

Thirty-nine were in favour of it, and two against it; thirteen did not reply.

Shall it be on shore, or afloat?

[99] The captains were only asked for a reply to this in case they had any decided view; twenty-four were in favour of a college, and one only of a ship: the remainder did not reply.

It will be realised from this that the fate of the Britannia hung in the balance in 1863; and it is quite probable that the Duke of Somerset counted on an adverse decision, or at any rate on a majority upon which he could act.

Several witnesses alleged that the cadets, when they went to sea, had to begin at the beginning, both in seamanship and other subjects; and this, no doubt, is what Mr. Inskip alludes to in his final remarks, above quoted.

There is abundance of contrary evidence, however, in letters already quoted; and the captains and naval instructors who had this experience must surely have been exceptionally unfortunate in the youngsters sent to them.

Dr. Woolley, late Director of Naval Education, stated that in 1868 the examinations on board the Britannia, which had until then been conducted by the staff of the ship, were undertaken by his department: a far more satisfactory arrangement, one would imagine, for all concerned. Dr. Woolley, while as reticent as the committee would permit him to be, distinctly gave the impression that the examinations failed in some degree as a true test, in consequence of the examiners knowing too much about the capabilities of individuals; and though he repeatedly disavowed any implication of unfairness, he pointed out, with some show of justice, that where the answers to a paper were below what might have been expected of the individual, there was a tendency to give him a lift if possible.

This contention, though plausible on the surface, is, however, greatly discounted by Mr. Inskip’s figures, already quoted, which show that the cadets retained their relative places in subsequent examinations with quite remarkable regularity; and it is all to the credit of the instructors on board the Britannia that, although called upon to conduct an important examination of their own pupils, they should have arrived at a result so obviously just. The papers were, [100] it is true, distinguished only by numbers, the key to which was held by the captain until the examination was over; but this would, in the majority of instances, prove but a flimsy disguise.

He also made the somewhat disturbing statement that the discipline was not satisfactory, and that a considerable number of cadets had misbehaved, or wilfully done badly in the examinations, in order to obtain their discharge from the Service.

The committee presented their report on October 6th, 1874, and in February of the following year a new circular appeared, commendably brief as compared with the last one of importance.

The whole machinery of competition is wiped out, and a qualifying test substituted as follows:—

Writing English legibly from dictation 100
Reading English intelligently, parsing, etc. 100
Arithmetic: Proportion, and vulgar and decimal fractions 200
Latin: reading, translating, and parsing, and to render English into Latin 200
French: reading, translating, and parsing; or, as an alternative, modern geography 100
Scripture history 100
Total 800

Four-tenths of the total marks to be obtained in each subject, 320 marks in the aggregate.

The recommendations of the committee bear fruit in the prominence accorded to Latin; but they did not stipulate for the relegation of French to the background, which is rather a surprising step, considering the relative importance of the two languages to a naval officer, who may not unfrequently find himself deputed to deliver complimentary messages to the captain of a French ship. He may get safely through the little sentence he has prepared, in which his captain or admiral fait ses compliments, etc.; but when the Frenchman replies, with the politeness and volubility characteristic of his nationality, the British officer is more often than not at a loss.


Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

[103] This being an undoubted fact—at least in those days—it scarcely seems a wise policy to impress the young aspirant, hard at work with his crammer, with the idea that he must “mug up” his Latin, but may take geography instead of French, which “does not matter”!

However, there were the orders, signed by the permanent secretary, “by command of their Lordships,” and one can only marvel who it is that engineers some of these curious circulars, which, while usually inaugurating some beneficial innovations, almost invariably contain others which any one who has any accurate knowledge of the necessities of the case must inevitably condemn.

The recommendation of a college on shore, although no notice was taken of it, apparently, at the time, bore fruit later on. A committee was appointed in 1876, composed of the following gentlemen: Admiral George G. Wellesley, Captain Charles T. Curme, Captain W. E. Gordon, Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets Jas. Dornet, and Jno. Sutherland, Esq., M.D., to ascertain the best site for a college.

In their report, dated November 30th, 1876, they state that they have inspected possible sites at Milford Haven, Hayling Island, Westward Ho, the Isle of Wight, Dartmouth, Southampton Water, and Poole. At the last-named place a choice of three sites was very generously offered by Sir Ivor Guest, the one selected to be a free gift to the nation; but the committee did not find that they were able to recommend the situation.

Finally, they selected Dartmouth as the most suitable in every respect, and Southampton Water proxime accessit. Probably a very fine site might have been found there, and it is a more bracing situation than Dartmouth; but the long association of the Britannia with the latter perhaps turned the scale in its favour.

The Britannia attracted a good deal of attention in Parliament during the ’seventies. There is a Parliamentary Paper called for in 1877, which gives a correspondence between Mr. Penry Lloyd, whose son was in the Britannia in 1876, the Admiralty, and the captain of the Britannia.

[104] From this it appears that, on December 16th, 1876, Captain Graham wrote to Mr. Lloyd, informing him that the chief naval instructor reported that his son, Cadet J. E. Lloyd, was idle and troublesome, had very little ability, was worthless, and unfit to be an officer; and he requested Mr. Lloyd therefore to remove his son from the ship.

This communication called forth an unexpected reply, Mr. Lloyd declaring that he wished to withdraw his son, but that he first demanded an inquiry into sundry charges preferred by the latter against certain cadets, who, it was alleged, had cruelly bullied him, and so hindered him thereby in his studies that he was unable to pursue them to advantage.

One cadet, it was stated, compelled young Lloyd to sing in the messroom, contrary to regulations, whereby he incurred punishment; another kicked and knocked him down without provocation; and on more than one occasion he was compelled to give up his pocket money under threats of personal violence. His fear of being beaten by the cadets was greater than his fear of punishment by the authorities, etc.

Captain Graham replies that he and his officers will investigate the matter when the cadets return from leave.

Eventually, however, the Admiralty appointed a committee, presided over by Admiral Willes, to inquire into the matter, on board the Britannia, with the result that Mr. Lloyd was informed that there was not sufficient ground for these charges. He applied for the minutes of the inquiry, and was refused; but the Admiralty upheld him in deprecating the application of the term “worthless” to his son, in Captain Graham’s first letter.

There appears to be little doubt that there was some bullying of a somewhat gross nature at this time; like all other large schools, the Britannia has suffered from occasional outbreaks of this kind, probably instigated as a rule by one or two big boys; and as the small boys are afraid to report it, there is often some difficulty in convicting the culprits.

On June 18th, 1877, an attack was made by Mr. Shaw [105] Lefevre in the House of Commons on the regulations of 1875, when, as has been described, competition was abolished as a result of the report of the committee.

Photo: W. & D. Downey, Ebury St., S.W.

This gentleman maintained that the substitution of a test examination for competition was an unmixed evil; that a far better class of boys was obtained under the latter system: and quoted Lord Macaulay, who held that competition automatically preserves a high standard.

Mr. Childers, supporting Mr. Shaw Lefevre, said that when he became First Lord of the Admiralty (in 1869) his [106] predecessor, Mr. Corry, urged him to reform the Britannia, which he thought was in a bad state; and Mr. Childers further states that, although competition was abolished on the recommendation of the committee of 1874, ten of the witnesses were in favour of competition, and only three against it; which is certainly not borne out by the report.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Mr. Ward Hunt, the First Lord, in replying, admitted that the test, as first laid down, was too easy, but it had since been made rather more stringent. He does not, however, give any reason for doing away with competition, other than on the score of injurious brain work; but probably Admiral Sir A. Cooper Key’s remark when before the Commission sums up the matter pretty correctly; he says that he disapproves of competition for boys so young, but, as the number of applications exceeds so greatly the number of vacancies, he thinks it is inevitable.

Mr. Shaw Lefevre’s amendment was negatived on a division, but only by 41 in a house of 301; showing thereby that competition had a goodly number of supporters.

In January, 1877, the Prince of Wales’s two sons, Prince Edward—then known as Prince Albert Victor—and Prince George, joined the Britannia. They had special quarters allotted to them, but in other respects they were “in the same boat” with the remainder of the cadets, to whom they were a source of much interest. The “divinity that doth hedge a king,” or its equivalent in the case of a prince, is considerably discounted among a lot of boys, and the two [107] Royal cadets often found themselves the target of endless interrogations, resulting from the curiosity of their shipmates.

“I say, how do you like being a Prince?” “What do you do when you’re at home?” “Do you ever get licked?” and so on.

Prince Edward, having recently recovered from a severe illness, and not being really intended for the Navy, was left to do pretty much as he pleased in the matter of study, etc. He was sent to the Britannia principally with the object of benefiting by the change and healthy outdoor life.

Prince George, however, went through all the work, and the impression he produced was that he was a sharp lad, and, though very backward on joining, turned to with a will, and passed out very creditably. He used to tell the seamanship instructors not to bother about his brother, who was not going to sea, but to devote their attention to him.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

In the summer of 1878 the Prince and Princess of Wales visited the Britannia, and distributed the prizes.

During the last year or two of the ’seventies the Britannia owed a good deal to Lieutenant (now Captain, retired) Guy Mainwaring, who joined as first lieutenant in 1878.

It was at his suggestion that the custom was inaugurated of having two photographs taken of each term, on leaving the ship: one of the captains, and the other of the remainder of the term, to be framed and kept on board as a record. This practice has been continued ever since, and an interesting series of groups [108] has now accumulated, some of which are reproduced in this book. In the pioneer group, taken at his instigation, Lieutenant Mainwaring himself figures, seated on the gunwale of one of the gigs, with the passing-out cadet captains round him.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

A far more important institution, of which he was the founder, is the pack of beagles. Being blessed with a good deal of energy and of sporting instinct, Lieutenant Mainwaring was the first to make any effort in this direction. It is astonishing how keen naval men are on following beagles when they get the chance.

The Gosport and Fareham Pack in bygone days—and, it is to be hoped, at the present time—used to be followed by quite a crowd of sailors; captains, commanders, lieutenants and sub-lieutenants, to say nothing of athletic paymasters and surgeons, all vying with each other for the front rank, and [109] all returning in the afternoon, caked with mud and exceedingly cheerful, especially those happy ones who had succeeded in “pounding” their dearest chums at a muddy ditch, or had glanced back to see the said chums, not to be daunted, make a futile jump into tenacious mud, and draw out their legs with a sound as of cork extraction.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Lieutenant Mainwaring, deeming it a drawback that the youngsters in the Britannia should be deprived of these joys, proceeded to negotiate for the nucleus of a pack, and succeeded in obtaining as a start two and a half couples of fourteen-inch hounds, from the kennels of the late Mr. Thomas Cartlich, of Woore, Staffordshire; these were supplemented by the ship’s terrier, “Jim,” and they commenced in a humble way by “drag” hunts, varied by badgers, when available, sent by neighbours and friends from the numerous “earths” in South Devonshire.

This began in the winter of 1878-9, and before long another couple was presented by Admiral Stokes, who hunted a pack of beagles in South Wales. Another addition [110] was a hound bought from the Home for Lost Dogs, at Battersea, and consequently named “Homeless”; and in three years, with incidental additions and breeding, the pack numbered twelve and a half couples, and was firmly established as an asset of the ship, under the recognition of, and eventually subsidised by, the Admiralty.

The kennels were at first by the racquet court, but this was found to be a bad situation from a sanitary point of view, and lacking sunshine, so they were subsequently transferred, on a much more ambitious scale, to their present site on the lower edge of the cricket ground; and there, as you pass, you are greeted by the voices, at present, of some two and twenty couples of lively little hounds, tumbling over one another inside a wire enclosure.

They are under the especial care and patronage of the commander, and it is an interesting fact, illustrative of the zeal with which this unusual duty, for a sailor, is performed, that when he was expecting a guest to dinner one summer evening the commander did not arrive on board until the hour had struck, having been detained by an “interesting event” at the kennels, of which he felt himself bound to witness the happy consummation!

“Jim,” the pioneer of the pack, died in 1886, full of years and honours, and was accorded a tombstone under the shadow of the racquet courts;

And there it stands unto this day,
To witness if I lie.

The officers and cadets, to say nothing of the farmers and others in the vicinity, have enjoyed many a good run since those days, and an annual “hunt breakfast” has been established. The landowners have been very generous in affording every facility for sport, and at the hunt breakfast they always declare that the privilege has never been abused, which is in itself phenomenal as an admission on the part of the landowners, and also a tribute to the sportsmanlike spirit of the cadets. We may hear more about the beagles later on.

The earliest book of regulations extant on board the [111] Britannia was printed in 1873, but is brought up by manuscript emendations to 1876.

It would obviously be too tedious to transcribe these in detail, but some of the more interesting points may be touched upon here, while the cadets’ routine, and other matters without which this story could not be considered complete, will be found in the Appendix.

The regulations, which are the outcome of past experience extending over nearly twenty years, cover every conceivable point of discipline, instruction, recreation, leave of absence, sickness, etc.

The officer of the day—one of the lieutenants—is the person chiefly responsible to the captain for the due performance of all routine duties and the maintenance of discipline, except in the studies, which are under the chief naval instructor, who reports direct to the captain any irregularities in his department.

The officer of the day has, among other things, to turn out at 5.30 a.m. and see that cadets under punishment are present—these unlucky ones having to stand one hour between decks before the usual time of turning out—also to receive reports, investigate complaints, attend while the cadets are bathing, from the shore, see that they do not land if the weather is bad, and that they change their clothes if they come on board wet. He has, furthermore, the responsibility of seeing that only third and fourth term cadets use the sailing cutters, that they do not go out in squally weather, and that they are recalled if it turn out squally afterwards. In a landlocked harbour such as Dartmouth very fierce squalls may come down if the wind rises suddenly.

The cadet captains and chief captains have to assist their superiors in maintaining discipline; as the difference in age is not great, it has always been a somewhat difficult matter to get them to do their duty, especially if it entails reporting another cadet. One or two were asked, when giving evidence before the committee in 1874, whether they had ever reported a cadet, and the reply was always in the negative. Still, they are useful in many ways, for mustering and so on, and some [112] are found with that natural aptitude for command, which, like the gift of poesy, nascitur non fit.

In 1876, however, and for a good many years afterwards, the cadets’ corporals had so large a share in the discipline that the captains did not come in very much. The cadets before the committee were unanimous as to their dislike of the corporals, though it must be acknowledged that they had no very definite reasons to adduce. At this time a “cadet sergeant-major” had taken the place of the master-at-arms, probably with beneficial results, for a soldier is a more “understanding” sort of man in such a position, and would know how to assert his authority with tact and discretion.

The regulations for the cadets were such as would exist in any schools, substituting seafaring words where necessary. They received one shilling per week pocket-money—the captains and chief captains two shillings and half-a-crown respectively—and were not allowed to have in their possession at one time a larger sum than ten shillings; nor were they permitted to receive parcels containing eatables, or to bring sweets, fruit, etc., on board when returning from leave.

Those who recollect the earlier days of the Britannia will understand how this prohibition arose. Cadets were allowed at that time to receive “hampers” from home, and of course the lucky recipient felt bound to share the good things with his friends. The offer was usually delicately couched in the words, “Bring your plate to my table at tea,” and as there were frequently a good many hampers, with a circle of chums to each owner, there was a great deal of running about the messroom at tea-time, also some jealousy and searchings of heart. Some lads who were general favourites might be seen visiting three or four tables, returning with their plates heaped with a curious assortment of jam, sardines, potted meat, cakes, etc., all elbowing each other in one indigestible conglomeration—if, indeed, anything is not digestible by a naval cadet. No doubt the confusion to which this practice gave rise was the chief reason for its suppression.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Bullying or annoying other cadets is laid down as one of [115] the most serious offences that can be committed, and subject to the most severe punishment.

The heaviest punishment was reduction to the third class for conduct. Cadets under this penalty wore a white stripe on each arm and were obliged to conform to the following rules:—

Get up at 6 a.m. in winter and 5 a.m. in summer, and half an hour later fall in and drill until prayer time (8 o’clock).

Stand apart from other cadets at all musters.

One and a quarter hour’s drill every afternoon; leave stopped, except one hour on shore under charge of a corporal.

Stand on the middle deck one hour after evening prayers.

Alternate days in cell, on bread and water; other days to take their meals at cockpit mess table. Not allowed soup, beer, or second course.

To sit on a stool between decks when not in the cell, and kneel apart at prayers.

This is a pretty hard programme for a boy, and could, of course, only be prescribed by the captain, for six days as a maximum.

Second class for conduct was of a similar nature, but with considerable modifications. A white stripe had to be worn on the left arm; no cell or bread-and-water diet was involved, and a second-class table in the messroom took the place of cockpit mess; the same restrictions as to soup, beer, and second course. This could be imposed for from seven to fourteen days.

There is a manuscript note in this book to the following effect:—

“When reduction to second or third class seems to be non-effective with troublesome cadets, caning over the breech has been tried and found most beneficial.”

On a cadet being reduced to the second or third class, the fact was reported to his parents or guardians.

Another captain’s punishment was cockpit mess, which was the same as third class, but no stripes were worn. One day in cell on bread and water; dry bread for breakfast and tea, and other restrictions of diet the same; limit, three days.

Then, again, there was No. 4, which involved six days’ extra drill, leave stopped—except the penitential hour’s march with [116] a corporal—turn out one hour earlier, stand on deck one hour after evening prayers, and one week’s pocket-money stopped.

Finally, an offender was liable to be “admonished by the captain,” which, though not an actual punishment, was duly recorded, and that cadet would not interview the captain as cheaply a second time.

The commander’s punishments include: Copying the regulation broken, turning out one hour sooner, extra drill, standing on middle deck one hour after prayers, messing at defaulters’ table (on reduced diet), confined to the cricket field, stoppage of leave.

Serious offences were not very common, and during the whole period since the training ship was first instituted there has not been a single instance of anything like concerted insubordinate action, such as may be found in the history of a large number of schools.

The health regulations include, as might be expected, vigorous measures against the introduction of contagious diseases from outside, especially when the cadets are returning from leave.

One precaution of a decidedly drastic nature is prescribed in this book of 1876:—

On the return of the cadets from leave the whole of their clothes and bedding are disinfected; the cadets themselves are also marched by terms into the bathroom of the Britannia, which for a time is made into a sulphur room for disinfecting, and they remain in from five to ten minutes.

This clause is in manuscript, and does not appear in the next edition of regulations, so it was presumably deemed to be ill-advised; and no wonder. Imagine forty or fifty lads crammed into the bathroom, coughing and choking with sulphur fumes!

The officers who commanded the Britannia during the ’seventies were as follow:—

Captain John Corbett, appointed September 19th, 1867. (He held the appointment for nearly four years, but this is unusual.)

Captain the Hon. F. A. C. Foley, appointed August 31st, 1871.

Captain William Graham, appointed August 31st, 1874.

Captain Henry Fairfax, appointed August 31st, 1877.

[117] The total number of cadets entered during this decade was 731, who are accounted for as follows:—

Active List.

Captains, 100; commanders, 162; lieutenants, 50.

Retired List.

Captains, 11; commanders, 38; lieutenants, 28.

thus leaving 339, or 46 per cent., to be reckoned as dead or removed from the Navy List.




Competition Reintroduced—Reduction of Numbers—A Ferocious Examination—The Britannia in the Times—“Rule of Thumb” Instruction—“Fire” and “Sword”—“Veritas” at Sea—The Britannia Magazine—Editorial Introduction—The Politics of Naval Cadets—Editorial Difficulties—A Questionable Pseudonym—Popular Advertisements—The Wave—A True Prediction—An Original Poem—Jones Takes a Lesson to Heart—The Wave’s Holiday Trip—A Warning to the Reckless—“First Catch Your Cadet!”—Ambulance Lessons—How to Tell a Toadstool—The Electric Light—Another Committee—It Makes Recommendations—Also Suggestions—Very Unpractical—Captains in the ’Eighties—Statistical Results—A Rapid Rise.

THIS period of our story commences with a considerable reduction in the number of entries; and, as was the case in 1870, this reduction coincides with the introduction of competition, but with more rigorous conditions, both with respect to the proportion of nominations to entries and the nature of the examination.

The test examination had already been made more stringent, as stated by Mr. Ward Hunt in the House of Commons, the total number of marks being 1,200, and French a compulsory subject, to the exclusion of geography; indeed, the farce of minimising the importance of the former did not long survive. The number of marks necessary for passing had been augmented, six-tenths, or 720 in the aggregate, being laid down as a minimum, which is a pretty strict test.

However, it being considered necessary, apparently, to reduce the entries, a new circular appeared, in January, 1881, of which the principal conditions were as follow:—

Appointments to naval cadetships to be made by limited competition, except four annually to sons of gentlemen in the Colonies, and five Service nominations, selected by the Admiralty from sons of officers of the Army, Navy, and Royal Marines who have been killed in action, lost at sea, killed on duty, or died within six months of injuries received in action or on duty.

[119] These cadets will be admitted on passing the preliminary examination, as detailed below.

Except in special circumstances, only one-third of those nominated will be entered.

Limits of age on passing, 12 to 13½.

The preliminary examination will be as follows:—

Arithmetic, to proportion and vulgar and decimal fractions 200
Geometry, definitions, etc., and 26 propositions first book of Euclid 200
Algebra, to fractions and simple equations 200
Dictation 100
Reading English intelligently 100
French: reading, translating, etc. (with dictionary) 200
Scripture history 100

Candidates must obtain four-tenths of full numbers in each subject, and may then select two out of the following subjects:—

Miscellaneous questions in arithmetic, algebra (including quadratic equations) and Euclid, the whole of the first book 300
Latin 300
Geography and English history 300

The Colonial and Service cadets must obtain 600 in the preliminary examination.

This is not an excessively severe examination, especially as the latter half of the first book of Euclid, and the quadratic equations—at neither of which are boys of this age usually strong—can be discarded; but to deliberately nominate three times as many lads as are to be entered appears inexcusable, not to say cruel.

However, much worse was in store, for in March, 1882, yet another circular was promulgated, in which it was laid down that the examination was to be held by the Civil Service Commissioners; and in May, 1887, the ideas of these gentlemen have apparently been adopted, and an examination of absolutely ferocious severity is prescribed:—

Arithmetic: proportion, vulgar and decimal fractions 250
Algebra: fractions, simple equations with problems, and quadratic equations 200
Geometry: first book of Euclid, with exercises and questions 200
English: reading, writing, dictation, composition 150
[120] French: translating both ways, questions on grammar, speaking, dictation (no dictionary) 250
Scripture 100

Half marks to be obtained in arithmetic, and four-tenths in other subjects.

Further Examination.

Mathematics, harder questions 300
Latin: translation, grammar, prose composition (no dictionary allowed) 300
Geography, based on Grove’s Primer 150
English history, a selected period 150
Drawing: freehand and rectangular model 100

This for boys of an average age, under thirteen! What benefit to the Service was likely to result from such measures it is not easy to perceive; and their unpractical nature was evidently speedily realised, for two months later came fresh regulations, altering the limits of age from 12½ to 14, and subsequently 13 to 14½, abolishing quadratic equations, the latter half of the first book of Euclid, and exercises thereon, and allowing a dictionary for French and Latin.

These regulations had, however, scarcely been in operation for twelve months before another alteration was made—a circular dated June, 1888, reintroducing the harder examination of May, 1887.

There may have appeared to be some good cause at the time for these extraordinary vicissitudes, but it is difficult to trace them at the present day.

Naval education appears to have attracted a good deal of attention in 1882, for several letters and a long article are to be found in the Times on the subject.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

In January of that year a writer, over the signature of “E. E. Bowen,” deprecates the early age at which boys are subjected to competitive examination (then recently introduced for the second time); and in April, “Flag Officer” writes in reply to a suggestion from some quarter that cadets should not be entered until the age of 16, and then go straight to sea. After pointing out that they could not then have sufficient time to qualify for lieutenant at 19, he goes [123] on to say that complaints are made of the inappropriateness of the subjects taught in the Britannia. These, he says, should include rigging, from the lower masts upward, stowage of holds and magazines, laying out anchors, steam, a little gunnery, and, as a matter of course, navigation, geography, and drawing. This officer is evidently a “Collegian” of the old days, under Inman, for he refers to what they learnt in 1824 and 1825. In conclusion, he says, “No, sir, let us keep the education in our own hands; we know better than any schoolmaster what we want.”

An article in the Times of August 12th, 1882, condemns the whole system pretty severely; says that the subjects taught in the Britannia are not properly learnt, and that navigation is taught entirely by “rule of thumb” without knowledge of the principles which govern it. The writer quotes Professor Laughton in support of his views, as having said, in a lecture at the Royal United Service Institution, that any lad of 16 with an adequate knowledge of mathematics would learn more navigation in a month than the “poor little fellows” in the Britannia learn in two years.

Well, there are some men who are regarded as authorities in these matters, quite in favour of “rule-of-thumb” navigation, and gunnery also; and if a boy—or a man, either, for that matter—can take and work his sights accurately, and make a straight shot from a gun, it really is not of much consequence whether or not he is well versed in spherical trigonometry or ballistics. It is a fact, however, that cadets in the Britannia, in the times of Captain Harris and Mr. Inskip, did learn, in considerably less than two years, to work a day’s work, and the ordinary sights usually required in navigation, with facility; and also got a pretty accurate idea of the theory. They could, for instance, draw a diagram illustrative of the working of a chronometer, a meridian altitude, or an amplitude, show what sort of spherical triangle was involved, and state the rule for its solution. If this could not be done in the Britannia in 1882, there would appear to have been a sad decadence.

Some light is cast upon the introduction of competition [124] in 1881 by a naval instructor who was there at the time. He says that an idea prevailed at the Admiralty that the test examination did not supply boys who were capable of successfully negotiating the exceptionally difficult papers set for boys in the third and fourth terms. There were two examiners who were noted for their hard and crochety papers, and who, moreover, were known to have stated their intention of cutting down the first classes; in which laudable endeavour they succeeded to the extent of reducing the proportion of “firsts” from 30 to 10 per cent., and were known on board the ship by the nicknames of “Fire” and “Sword.”

This reduction of first classes aroused alarm at the Admiralty, and was, it is said, largely instrumental in procuring the change from test examinations to competition.

In the Times of August 24th, 1887, there is a letter over the signature “Veritas,” in which the writer compares the cost per head per annum in the Britannia with that of the Naval Engineer Training Schools at Portsmouth and Devonport. An engineer student, according to this gentleman, cost the Government about £54 per annum, while a cadet cost £95; and, moreover, the engineer students, he contends, were able to do useful work in the fitting shops, etc., and so saved the Government something in this way. The expense of the Britannia is, he says, incurred in teaching the cadets “knots and splices,” and the “now almost obsolete art of seamanship.” It is to be feared that the nom de plume which this writer assumes is scarcely justified by such an assertion, as the following details of the curriculum on board the Britannia at this time demonstrate pretty clearly:—

Subjects Taught.

Navigation and nautical astronomy.
Spherical trigonometry (theoretical).
Spherical trigonometry (practical).
Drawing (model and freehand).
Plane trigonometry (theoretical).
Plane trigonometry (practical).
Use of instruments.
Natural philosophy.
Drawing (mechanical).

[125] Too many subjects, perhaps; but certainly not seamanship to the exclusion of all else, as is clearly implied by “Veritas.” Moreover, the art of seamanship—i.e. of handling a ship on all occasions to the best advantage—can never become obsolete so long as there are ships afloat; it may change its nature, and the consequent requirements of a good seaman, who is still, however, par excellence, the man who can efficiently manage the ship or boat committed to his charge.

There are some who should know better than “Veritas”—as, for instance, Captain (now Admiral) Fitzgerald—who at this very time complained that seamanship was too much sacrificed in the Britannia to a multiplicity of other subjects.

However, it is time to drop this more or less academic discussion, and see how the general story goes on in the ’eighties.

One of the most important events was the establishment of the Britannia Magazine, in February, 1884, and its raison d’être, together with the hopes and fears of the editor, are clearly set forth in the opening article as follows:—

We are going to have a magazine. Certainly! Every flourishing body has its organ. We have opinions far too good to be limited to sanctuary chairs, far too noble to be confined to the narrow limits of the messroom. Why should we not bring them out to the world?

But first, who will read our magazine? The fellows! Yes, of course, we expect every cadet to have a copy, even if it means one visit less to a certain pink house. The officers? Yes, perhaps, if we do not write about them. Some of the fellows at sea? Yes, we hope so, if there is plenty about the games, boats, and beagles. Parents, brothers and sisters? Yes, we should not wonder; but perhaps for that we ought to put in every fellow’s name as very much distinguished for something, as the family will not care for the number in which “Bobbie’s” name does not appear.

And who are to be our writers? Why, ourselves, of course. We want to write, and hope we shall not be considered too ambitious. But if some of our officers will help us with one of the yarns they occasionally spin, we shall be only too glad to print it. It will give an air of respectability to our efforts.

At the same time, we would ask the kind indulgence of our readers, our elder readers, and our officers. Boys will be boys, and we hope our seniors will remember that we are only boys, and that our [126] magazine is written for boys. Though they may very likely think most of it weak, still we ask them not to be too hard upon us, nor to run our paper down too mercilessly:

“Be to our faults a little blind.”

True, there are plenty of other papers, but we want one for ourselves. And if our correspondents were not using their pens for us, they would probably be cowering over a lantern reading a novel; or their spirits, instead of leaking through their pens, might be after some perilous skylarking. If they find our magazine too feeble altogether for their taste, we would ask them to help us with an occasional article, and so to raise our standard of literature, and help us to improve our writing.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Well, then, what will our paper be filled with? There will be news, of course—plenty of it, and of the best kind. No murders and horrors—that is not news—but reports of games, racket matches, runs with the beagles, sports of all kinds; authentic reports, where the right fellows win, not the people that the reporters choose to make win the day after. What we want to know and remember is which watch is the strongest, who plays the best hand at rackets, makes the biggest score at cricket, and is in at the kill.

There is not a school in England that has such a variety of sports. Why, we want a whole Bell’s Life to ourselves. We thank the [127] newspapers very much for occasionally noticing our athletics and our regattas. We want to see them in full. The news may be of merely personal interest, but that is just what we want. This is our magazine!

But, of course, we must have some politics. Boys are hot politicians. We don’t care about long debates in Parliament, but we can tell you who is right and who is wrong. We know that well enough. Our line of politics may be described as strongly loyal; it is our duty, of course, to support the Government of the time, because they support us. But—well, murder will out—boys always were Conservatives. They can’t help it. They are made so. We know that you, at any rate, Mr. Gladstone, will pardon us graciously when we say, as we must, that the sooner the great Conservative reaction takes place the better we shall be pleased.

Photo: W. M. Crockett, Plymouth.

In such fashion is the Britannia Magazine introduced to its public. The editorial arrangements are probably unique, the commander, and subsequently one of the lieutenants, being editor ex officio. Sometimes an individual of a literary turn of mind would join the ship, and take it on for the pure joy of scribbling; but this only made the difficulty of obtaining volunteers more apparent when he left. It was, in fact, the [128] old story: everybody likes to read a light and amusing periodical, but few care about assisting to run it, unless, of course, there are emoluments attached to the office; so the purely honorary editor had the onus of selecting the most suitable compositions presented for each number; and sometimes, like Oliver Twist, he had to ask for more; while of him was expected an able and well-written summary of news, etc., every time.

On some occasions he was compelled to have recourse to the time-honoured subterfuge of devoting considerable space to a wail over the dearth of material; a process which does not bear repeating too frequently. Some people always commence their letters in this fashion, and get comfortably over the first page before they start, as it were.

One always looks with some suspicion—such is the frailty of editorial and other samples of human nature!—on an item headed “a positive fact”; or, still worse, with an asterisk, and “fact” tersely inserted as a footnote.

The following appears with these credentials in the Britannia Magazine:—

Two countrymen were heard discussing a cadet who was swaggering in his brand-new uniform: “What is he, Bill?” “Don’t you know? ’E’s the new telegraph boy!” (Exit cadet.)

This may be capped by another story—of equally unimpeachable veracity, of course—of a cadet who, many years ago, was making a journey in his uniform. A discussion arose between two of his fellow-passengers on some more or less technical point concerning railways; and, to the young hero’s surprise, it was referred to him. His audience appeared to be both surprised and grieved at his professed ignorance on the subject, and ventured a remonstrance: “Why, you’re one of ’em, ain’t you?” (No exit available.)

Whether a naval cadet would prefer being taken for a telegraph boy or a railway porter is an interesting question, which might with advantage be propounded in the magazine.

One of the earliest contributors was a “new,” who describes his first night on board, as follows:—

Sir,—I came on board about 7 p.m., in a small steam pinnace, [129] with thirty-two others, on the 25th January, 1884. The first thing to be done was to get ready for mess. After falling down a hatchway, and jamming my fingers in the lid of my chest, I went down to the messroom, but not before I had somehow got muddled and gone into an officer’s cabin, as I thought (I found out afterwards that it was the barber’s shop), out of which I retreated, not daring to look whether its occupant was there, expecting in all probability the nearest movable object hurled at my head. After mess there was not much to do except pace the deck and ask fellows their names (which was not unfrequently answered by “What’s yours?”). When the bugle sounded we had to turn in; but I found that getting into a hammock for the first time is not one of the easiest things, and after several vague attempts, which generally ended in getting in at one side and out at the other, I was at last helped in by my servant; and when once in, dare not move in case I should be capsized. After we had turned in about a quarter of an hour the next fellow to me began to swing most violently, which swung me also, and in the fray my pillow fell down; and I decided that it was safer to do without, as I was told that I should not get helped in again. Shortly after this I fell asleep; and as this little history is only about my first night, I must end at sleep.


Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

It is sad to be compelled to say that this pseudonym cannot be accepted as genuine. Observe, that the writer represents himself as arriving on January 25th, so that in February, when the first number was published, he would, in [130] the parlance of former days, have been a “cheeky new fellow,” and it is extremely improbable that any cadet in that humble position would venture upon so bold a step as a contribution to the magazine. And as to “pacing the deck and asking fellows their names”; shade of Marryat! What would happen to a “new” who so presumed?

Furthermore, the writer’s familiarity with steam pinnaces and hatchways is not altogether compatible with “newdom.” No doubt he enclosed his card to the editor, “not necessarily for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith”; but we are all well aware of the heroic inviolability of editors under these circumstances, and a team of wild horses would probably prove quite futile.

The following is a specimen of the style of advertisement inserted for the special delectation and advantage of “news”:—

Stodge! Stodgers!! Stodged!!! In the magnificent and capacious shop kept by Cadet Corporal Baker, amongst a large and miscellaneous assortment of sweets, the following will be found delicious:—

Yellow and pink snakes, warranted to last the most experienced sucker half an hour, and to give him an awful stomach-ache, all of which enjoyment can be obtained for the ridiculously small sum of one halfpenny!

Manila cigars.—These will be found extremely mild, and there is not the slightest danger of the most utter novice in the noble art of smoking being turned up; and there is also the subtle delight of greening the cadet corporals that you are smoking. The cost is one-eighth of a penny, but they are retailed at a halfpenny.

The grammar of the last “par” cannot be commended; the writer is weak in the matter of conjunctions. But one must not be hypercritical over advertisements.

In May, 1884, the Wave, a small barque-rigged vessel of about 300 tons, and 250 horse-power, arrived to take the place of the ancient Dapper, before alluded to. She was not much larger than her predecessor, but had considerably more steaming power, and was of finer dimensions. She was afterwards relegated to steam instruction only, but when first instituted was designed for instruction in working yards, masts, and sails, tacking and wearing ship, steering, use of log and lead, etc.

[131] “The poor old Dapper,” says the Britannia Magazine of this date, “looks very sad in winter garb alongside her new sister, who has taken all the life from her, and we suppose her funeral is not far off.”

There is another paragraph concerning the arrival of the Wave, which hints, in the most delicate and refined manner, at certain possibilities:—

“The Wave has really started at last, and now we shall all have to order basins, or else have her commander foul of us when we are at sea, and the ship’s side is nicely polished.”

This foreshadowing was, as we shall see, only too literally fulfilled.

The magazine was frequently made the publishing medium of verses, the authorship of which is usually religiously veiled; youthful poets are proverbially shy, and prefer to blush unseen. The following is the pioneer poem:—

Ye Middle Watche Reliefe.
Rouse him out at dead of night,
Take away his bedclothes,
Shove his head from left to right,
Hit him on his red nose.
Tug his hair and pull his ear;
Whisper to him, “Zounds, sir!
Come, turn out now! don’t you hear?
Or I will let you down, sir!”
Ease away his foremost clews,
Round his hammock wander,
Tell him gently the (false) news,
“Here is the commander!”
See him start and ope his eye,
Eye that hath no vision;
Watch the sentry standing by
Laughing in derision.
Seize him smartly by the neck,
Turn his hammock over;
Leave him there upon the deck,
He will soon recover.
[132] Lash him round the arms in time,
Douse him well with water.
Should he still to sleep incline,
Haul the lashing tauter.
Should this treatment not succeed,
Take no further bother;
Go and seek the rest you need;
Turn thou in, my brother!

The moral—that the midshipman of the preceding watch should turn in without being duly relieved—is questionable; but the hypothetical conditions under which he is ultimately recommended to adopt this course are certainly exceptional. No one could, with any show of justice, accuse him of having failed to make use of every legitimate device to rouse his relief!

Contributions were invited, as has been hinted in the editorial preface, from fellows who have gone to sea; and one of these avails himself of the opportunity to draw a comparison between his reception on board his first sea-going ship and that usually accorded to a fresh arrival on board the Britannia; considerably to the detriment of the latter.

He presented himself, in fear and trembling, on a cold and wet evening, to the officer of the watch, who received him with great courtesy: “Oh, you must be Jones? Come and report yourself to the first lieutenant. What a beastly night for you to join!” “No. 1” greets him with, “You poor little chap, you must be frozen!” calls a senior of the gunroom, and gives strict injunctions that Jones is to be made as happy as possible immediately; and the officer of the watch invites him to share his “watch” dinner at eight o’clock.

Jones, pondering over these things, makes some resolutions concerning his future conduct towards his juniors; which, let us hope, he did not fail to carry out.

The prosperity and popularity of the beagles in November, 1884, may be inferred from the fact that on one occasion there were no fewer than thirty-four mounted followers, including seven or eight officers of the ship; and a great following on foot besides. Of course, by this time “drags” [133] and badgers had long been abandoned, and the swift and legitimate hare was always the object of pursuit. There usually appeared to be little difficulty in starting one, and not a few instances have occurred of the hounds getting on a fresh scent crossing the original one.

November is a good month for beagles; but scarcely as well suited for a trip in the Wave. This diversion was, however, arranged on November 8th, 1884, this being a holiday in honour of the Prince of Wales’ birthday.

The excursion was to Plymouth, and a good number of light-hearted youngsters put down their names for it, recking little of the vagaries of Channel weather at this season.

Perhaps the most appropriate and heartfelt description of the cruise is contained in a poem (a long way after Longfellow), which appeared subsequently in the magazine:—

The “Wave’s” Trip to Plymouth.
It was the little tender Wave
That sailed the wintry sea;
She had on board a score cadets,
A goodly companee.
Bright were their hopes on that winter morn
As they thought of their coming trip;
Gaily they skipped along the decks
Of the “Brit” and the “other ship.”
The helmsman stood beside the wheel,
Where “Deeds, not words” is writ,
And mentioned to his dearest chum,
“We’ll have a time of it!”
And so we had, for, once outside
And in the troubled sea,
The Wave by waves was tossed about
In manner strange to see.
Colder and louder blew the gale
(Force five) from the south-west;
But the gallant boiler boiled away,
And the engines did their best.
Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength;
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leaped her cable’s length.
[134] “Come hither! Come hither! my dear cadet,
And do not look so pale;
For we can weather the roughest sea,
And this is not a gale!”
He wrapped him up in his warmest coat
Against the stinging blast;
He raised the collar round his throat,
And leaned against the mast.
“Oh, steward, I hear a small bell ring!
Oh, say, what may it be?”
He answered in a cheery tone:
“The bell, sir? That’s for tea!”
“Oh, steward, I hear the sound of plates!
Oh, say, what may it be?”
“What, don’t you want your supper, sir?”
“No, thank you: none for me!”
“Oh, steward, I feel a rumbling pain!
Oh, say, what may it be?”
’Twas the tribute claimed from all the “new”
To Neptune’s realm—the sea!
Over the vessel’s leeward side
Steadfastly then looked he.
We didn’t ask what he wanted there,
For we could plainly see.
Then that sailor clasped his hands, and wished
That safe on land was he;
And he thought of cadets at peace on shore,
Or under Dartmouth’s lee.
How few of those who saw us sail,
And out of Dartmouth steam,
Could know our joy to see the Start
Broad on the starboard beam!
“Oh, joy! I see a light ahead.
Oh, say, what may it be?”
’Twas the welcome gleam of the breakwater light,
And west-nor’-west steered we.
And ever the fitful gusts between
We heard the leadsman’s voice:
“Mark ten!” “Deep eight!” “And a quarter seven!”
Which made our hearts rejoice.
[135] When anchored safe in Plymouth Sound
We came round by degrees—
With tea, then bed, then ten o’clock:
“Out lights, sir, if you please!”
Such was the winter trip of the Wave
On that dull November day;
But that we had a merry time
How few of us could say!

The writer, it will be noticed, has adhered very closely to the pattern he selected, quoting one verse in its entirety, and displaying a certain recklessness in respect of the number of feet in a line which is so characteristic of Longfellow.

There were many other cruises, both winter and summer, in the Wave after this, and apparently the weather was more propitious, for we do not hear any more sad wailings about it; though one of the party, on this first occasion, was heard to declare that if he were twenty years in the ship he would not again be caught going for a “pleasure trip” such as this in the winter months.

The magazine was not confined to descriptions of this kind, or laudatory articles and accounts of successful sports, etc.—of which more anon—but warnings, editorial and otherwise, on various points of conduct and etiquette are not infrequent.

A letter, signed “A Cadet,” enlarges on the undesirability of certain prevalent pranks when travelling by rail:—

If the cadets continue to play the fool with the porters, shoot off catapults and squibs at travellers, etc., they will be getting all leave stopped, or a corporal in attendance; or the railway company will refuse to stop the trains at the level, and they will have to walk round from Kingswear Station.

This last allusion is to the accommodation of having certain trains stopped opposite the ship for the convenience of officers and cadets. Those who are not acquainted with the locality may not be aware that the railway does not run into Dartmouth, Kingswear, on the opposite side of the harbour, being the terminus.

Curiously enough, there is a letter in the same number from an outsider on precisely the same subject over the [136] signature “Old Meddler,” who is evidently a somewhat irascible old gentleman residing in Torquay. He concludes his letter as follows:—

I don’t know whether corporal punishment has been abolished on board the Britannia; probably, like many good things, it has. But I carry a good stout cane myself.

This ferocious old boy would, however, have first to “catch his cadet”!

The editor takes occasion to remark that “Old Meddler’s” letter would not have been inserted but for the corroborative remarks of “A Cadet.” Whether or not the double warning was productive of beneficial results is not stated. Probably, as long as the world lasts, boys and young men will continue to exercise their ingenuity in this fashion, to their own gratification and the discomfort of their fellow creatures. It is their nature to!

A number of the cadets had been through a course of “first-aid” instruction, under the St. John Ambulance Association, and here is an account of the result:—

A fellow broke his arm up in the field the other day, and the medical staff turned it to splendid account and lectured to a crowded audience over the prostrate body of the wounded cadet.

“Now, what do you call this?”

“Broken arm, sir!”

“How do you know it is broken?”

“Because we waggled it about, sir.”

“Simple or compound fracture?”

“Simple, sir.”


“Because he did it so easily, sir!”

“What ought I to do?”

Then came out a volley of all the stored up information acquired at the late classes:

“Stick a mustard plaster on the back of his neck, sir!”

“Put him in a hot bath, sir!”

“Walk him up and down as fast as you can, sir!”

“Hold him up by the heels, sir!”

“Tie him to a broom-handle, two billiard cues, and a rifle, sir!”

“Tickle his nose with a feather, sir!” and so on.

The prostrate hero must have had lively anticipations during this exchange of ideas!

[137] We are not informed what course would be adopted by a “first-aid” cadet under certain alarming conditions which apparently might arise when out “mushrooming,” though it is recorded in the magazine that the process by which a cadet distinguishes a mushroom from a toadstool is to eat it. If he dies, it is a toadstool; if he lives, it is a mushroom!

Towards the end of the ’eighties the electric light was installed on board both ships, and the only marvel is that it was not done earlier. Those who have experienced the endless worry of lamps and candles on board ship will understand what a boon the electric light is.

The dynamo was first placed on board the Hindostan; but a wooden vessel is one huge conductor of sound and vibration, and before long it was shifted to a small vessel specially provided, and moored just above the ships. This was, in fact, one of the old mortar vessels constructed for use in the Baltic during the Crimean War.

(Now Admiral Sir N. Bowden-Smith, K.C.B.)

No one who has thus far perused these pages will be surprised to learn that the ’eighties did not pass without a committee being specially appointed to consider the vexed question of naval education. There has always existed, as we have seen, a sort of chronic dissatisfaction with the existing condition of affairs; and this again reached a climax in 1885.

On March 26th in that year the Admiralty appointed a committee, constituted as follows:—

Vice-Admiral W. G. Luard; Commander the Right Hon. the Earl of Dalhousie; W. D. Niven, Esq., Director of Studies at the Royal Naval College; Rev. J. M. Wilson, Head Master of Clifton College; Rev. W. Rogers, Rector of St. Botolph; and Captain Charles Johnstone.

[138] Points to be Considered.

(a) Limits of age and subjects of examination for the entry of cadets.

(b) Course of study and instructional arrangements on board the Britannia.

(c, d and e concern later examinations not connected with the Britannia.)

(f) To consider and offer opinions or suggestions for the improvement of the education of naval executive officers.

In their report the committee point out what they consider to be defects in the present system:—

(1) The failure to get the best material in the country. The material is good, but it is not the best that could be had; and we feel convinced that the special preparation of boys before coming to the Britannia does not tend to improve that material.

(2) The attempt to teach in the Britannia what cannot be properly learnt at the age of the cadets on board; the result being that the knowledge is mechanical, and that the principles are unintelligently acquired and soon forgotten.

They also fall foul of the seamanship instruction, and consider the Wave of very little use, as she is not well adapted for drills, and cannot conveniently go out for more than a day at a time.

They recommend that a ship-rigged corvette should be substituted, to be moored abreast the present ships, with a bridge across, so that her upper deck would be available as a playground during short intervals when the cadets cannot land.

Under the head of Suggestions, they are bold enough to advocate the abolition of nominations, which they think place artificial difficulties in the way of getting into the Navy; and they suggest that the first test should be the lower certificate of the Oxford and Cambridge Local boards, at about the age of 15, with a further examination at 16 by the Civil Service Commissioners, after which the cadet should have one year’s training in practical navigation and seamanship, in a stationary ship or a college. And they consider the Solent a more suitable place for a training-ship than Dartmouth, as the harbour at the latter place would be inconvenient, if not dangerous, for sailing brigs, which they consider necessary.


Photo: W. M. Crockett, Plymouth.

[141] Well, the result of all this inquiry and suggestion appears to be, so far as the Britannia is concerned, almost nil.

Admiralty nomination continues to be the necessary initial step for entry: there are no Oxford and Cambridge Local certificates required, the Wave is retained, no brigs are attached, nor is a ship-rigged corvette moored alongside with a bridge across; finally, the Britannia remains at Dartmouth.

A “recommendation”—apart from “suggestions”—is that nominations should be given at any age after 11 (this with the view of previous preparation); and yet one of the defects said to exist in the present system is special preparation before coming to the Britannia!

It is a fact that recommendations of specially appointed committees are very rarely acted upon to any great extent; they are frequently very unpractical, or they involve extra expenditure, to which the Admiralty demur.

(Now Admiral Sir F. G. D. Bedford, G.C.B.)
Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

The suggestion of the Solent as a more suitable locality than Dartmouth appears to require a good deal of explanation; the committee, in the same breath almost, deprecates the want of a spacious deck for the boys to run about on during short intervals of recreation, when they cannot land. There would be plenty of long intervals in the Solent without landing!

It is obvious that if a stationary ship, instead of a college, is used, she must be so placed that easy communication with the shore is never interrupted by weather.

And then the brigs. Why brigs? Why not a steam vessel, larger and more commodious than the Wave, and fully rigged? She would be able to sail in and out of Dartmouth sometimes, when there happened to be a “soldier’s wind”—by [142] no means unfrequent there—and at other times there is the screw to fall back upon.

The suggested substitute for nominations also strikes one as impractical in the extreme. Where are the boys to go after they have intimated their desire to enter the Navy, and have produced an Oxford and Cambridge Local certificate? There must be a list of such candidates at the Admiralty, and they would be scattered all over the kingdom at various schools when notice would have to be given of the examination by the Civil Service Commissioners.

On the whole, one gets somewhat weary of committees; and very weary work indeed is the reading of the thousands of questions and answers so scrupulously recorded in the Blue Book.

Meanwhile, the Britannia got on pretty well in the ’eighties, and turned out the usual proportion of efficient executive officers. Out of 763 who presented themselves for the passing out examination, 36, or 4·7 per cent., failed; which, considering that the Britannia is admittedly a probationary establishment, and that it was being constantly alleged at this time that the cadets could not learn their work properly, is a very small proportion of failures.

The officers who commanded the Britannia during the ’eighties were as follow:—

Captain R. Wells, appointed August 31st, 1880.
Captain N. Bowden-Smith, appointed September 20th, 1883.
Captain F. G. D. Bedford, appointed August 16th, 1886.
Captain Noel S. F. Digby, appointed September 7th, 1889.

The total number of entries during this period was 883, of whom the Navy List gives the following record:—

Active List.

Captains, 5; commanders, 132; lieutenants, 431.

Retired List.

Lieutenants, 21.

A total of 589, leaving a balance of 294, or 33 per cent., to be accounted for as dead or removed from the Navy List.

[143] One of the cadets of the ’eighties—the Hon. Horace L. A. Hood—has gone up the ladder in remarkably quick time. He entered July 15th, 1883, and in the examinations for sub-lieutenants he was awarded a first class in every subject, obtaining an aggregate of 4,398 marks out of a possible 4,600; for this he was immediately promoted to lieutenant, April 2nd, 1890. He served in a gunboat on the Nile during Lord Kitchener’s operations in 1898, and for his services there was promoted to commander November 15th, 1898, finally obtaining captain’s rank January 1st, 1903, in less than 20 years from entry as cadet, at the early age of about three-and-thirty.

Photo: W. M. Crockett, Plymouth.




Captain Digby—Alleged Gross Bullying—A Lively Correspondence—Various Uninvited Opinions—A Gleam of Light from Within—“Old Etonian” and Admiral Richards—Captain Digby Sums up the Case—“Navilus”: His Book—Morning Amenities—“One Day’s ‘Four’”—A Typical Day—The Hardships of “Four”—A Day in the Wave—“A Nice Fresh Breeze”—Reefing Topsails—“Man Overboard”—Comfort for Mothers—A Trip in a Skiff—Forbidden Joys—A “Slippery Hitch”—A Half-holiday—Tea with “Ma Fox”—A Sunday Outing—“Fearful Fagging”—The “Baby’s” Final Aspirations—Captain Moore—A Hot Reformer—Lieutenants as “Sea-Daddies”—Abolition of Cadets’ Corporals—Chief of the Staff—Naval Warrant Officers—New Admiralty Regulations—The Racer Arrives—Ship Struck by Lightning—Jubilee Day—The Queen’s Medal—Captain Marryat’s Spectacles—Cadets’ Food—A Hard Case!—Remarkable Physical Development—Influenza Epidemic—An Ill-informed Parent—Ridiculous Allegations—Visit of the King and Queen—John Gilpin—“Ye Mariners of England”—Captains in the ’Nineties.

THE ’nineties were still very young when Captain Digby—who, as has been stated, was appointed in 1889—found himself confronted by a disciplinary problem somewhat difficult of solution.

Captain Digby would be considered by those who knew him to be an ideal commander for an institution like the Britannia. Of a most agreeable personality, combining great kindliness with the capacity for a due amount of severity if needed, he appeared to be cut out for the work; and yet it was his lot to bring to light a rascally sort of bullying which had, as he himself admits, been going on for a long time, and to be made the object of repeated attacks in the columns of the Times; for there was a very lively correspondence, to say nothing of leading articles, on the subject, and all sorts of people had their shot at the training-ship, some of whom did not very well understand what they were talking about.

The Times opens the ball with a leader on September 30th, 1891, in which it is roundly asserted that such doings are [145] only possible in the Britannia—a crude sort of statement, and only permissible after a very thorough investigation. “Wykehamist,” eager to disparage the Britannia as compared with public schools, joins in the same strain, though goodness knows there have been gruesome tales told of these from time to time. He says, with some truth, that the difference in age between the cadet captains and the other boys is too slight, and that supervision by superiors is the only safeguard. The cadet corporals were still in existence at this time, and it is quite easy to conceive that if these were lax some evil-disposed cadets might initiate bullying and other practices of a worse nature without much chance of their reaching the captain’s ears, at any rate for a considerable time.

The principal indictment was to the effect that the elder cadets “fagged” the younger for money, that this was constantly extorted by means of menaces and cruel treatment; and there is no doubt that it was true, though probably not practised to the extent which was alleged by some.

“E.” says that where bullying exists it is entirely the captain’s fault. Let a suitable captain be appointed, and remain as long as his services are not required elsewhere, and let him select his own junior officers.

This is all very well, but there are many who hold the view that it is not desirable to keep one man too long in command, and certainly there are not wanting instances where, in similar institutions, a long period under one command has resulted in “grooviness” and a sort of fool’s paradise, to be rudely exposed by an energetic successor.

“A. L. M.”—an old Britannia boy—says that in his time a cadet was dismissed for “fagging” a junior to steal a letter containing a money order; this, however, cannot but be regarded as a flagrant instance of individual depravity such as may be encountered in any school. If the initials of the writer are genuine, his time in the training-ship goes back a long way, somewhere in the ’sixties. He appears to hold a poor opinion of the cadets of those days, and says the captains were as bad as the rest.

On October 14th Admiral Sir Nowell Salmon and [146] “Through the Mill” come to the rescue, and stoutly defend the Britannia, pointing out that, judging from the officers eventually turned out, the ship cannot be a sink of iniquity such as is represented, and that bullying will always go on to a certain extent among a number of boys.

On the 17th the editor of the Western Morning News, who appears to be particularly anxious to show up the Britannia in an unfavourable light, replies that “Through the Mill” takes much too rosy a view of the matter, and that fagging and bullying go on to an extent which would not be tolerated in any public school.

On October 19th a gleam of light from within is afforded by “Olim Miles,” who quotes a letter from his son in the Britannia: “About the fagging for money, two or three cadets have been found out to be practising this disgraceful form of larceny, and have consequently been shunned by everyone who calls himself a gentleman.”

(Now Vice-Admiral N. S. F. Digby.)
Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

This is much more likely to be a true statement of the case. The youngster tacitly admits that there may have been others who were not detected, but the general feeling of the bulk of the cadets on the subject is, no doubt, quite truthfully represented; indeed, one could not imagine it possible that it could be otherwise.

However, this simple statement did not stem the tide.

“Another Wykehamist” follows with an assertion of his conviction that the tone is low in spite of favourable appearances; and, among other things, he deprecates the method of corporal punishment by means of a cane over tightened flannel trousers, and says he is not satisfied as to discipline, supervision, and moral training, etc.

[147] October 20th, Admiral G. H. Richards is down upon the last writer, asking, very pertinently, what right he has to expect to be “satisfied” on these points; says the best proof of the efficiency of the Britannia is the officers she turns out; he has had two sons there, and never found any cause of complaint.

On October 22nd, Mr. T. Gibson Bowles, M.P., stands up for the ship, and “Through the Mill” replies at length to the editor of the Western Morning News, winding up by advising parents to send their sons to “one of the best schools in England.”

“Old Etonian” says that Admiral Richards naturally avoids reference to corporal punishment and “second class” punishment, which are brutal. Would it not be possible to give the headship to a man used to boys, and with some ideas of managing them beyond the stick and the “second class”?

One does not quite see why the Admiral should “naturally” avoid reference to corporal punishment, etc. Probably his sons were well conducted, and did not need severe measures which, indeed, were not often resorted to; but in expressing his satisfaction with the ship as a school for his boys he must in common reason be held to approve the whole scheme, including the punishments alluded to when they are needed. The last sentence of “Old Etonian’s” letter, as quoted above, can only be classified as impertinent ignorance—or ignorant impertinence, whichever may be deemed most suitable. His ideas are based on a conviction that no one except a public school master knows anything about the management of boys; which is a great error. There are plenty of men—and a large proportion among the officers of the Navy—who have a natural capacity in this respect, which becomes apparent directly they get their opportunity; and there are others—in public schools as well as elsewhere—who have been managing boys all their lives, and have never done it decently.

These are truisms; but in reply to a man who will venture to hold up to ridicule, as a sort of bugbear with a big stick, [148] such men as Captain Digby and other captains of the Britannia, truisms appear to be necessary.

Admiral Richards replies, October 26th, that officers of education, ability, and life-long experience of discipline are the best men to train young officers in their own service, and asks what Wykehamists and Etonians would say if he and others of his service were to dictate as to the management of public schools.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

The editor of the Western Morning News writes again on October 27th, reiterating his former statements, which he apparently discounts, however, by a quotation from a letter written by the father of one of the cadets who was expelled by Captain Digby. He says that his son and his contemporaries went through it when first they joined, and had their turn at fagging afterwards; and then, seeing that he has, by implication, convicted his son of bullying, proceeds to describe how “one penny was exacted, in a thoroughly good-humoured [149] way, from boys passing a certain bridge; but there was no thrashing or bullying used to extort it.”

Captain Digby, for his part, says frankly:—“It had, no doubt, been going on for a long time, and, owing to the reticence of youth, it took me a year to get to the bottom of it; but I finally succeeded in getting rid of the principal culprits.”

No doubt the “reticence of youth” is a very important factor in all such cases, and it would be safe to assume also that the captain had not been too well served by some of his subordinates, who were either lax in supervision or failed to realise the importance of a growing evil.

This was one of the unsatisfactory cycles or phases through which most schools periodically pass; indeed, it is said that they have recurred with great regularity, and each time, no doubt, experience has dictated some new measures for the future suppression of irregularities.

As a picture of “The Britannia from Within,” a little booklet written by a cadet a year or two later may very well be quoted from here. It is styled “H.M.S. Britannia, the Cradle of the Royal Navy: by one of the Babies,” and sets forth in a light vein the experiences of a few days in the life of a cadet:—

The Preface

Being that part of a book which is seldom or never read, why need I write one? It does not seem much in my line; but I may as well remark that these notes, scribbled at odd times, are published at the request of my friends, and dedicated

To My Mother
By Navilus.

Let us follow our “Baby” throughout one of his specimen days:—

“5.25 a.m.—Bump! Bother the corporal!

‘Now then, Mr. Jones, time for you to turn out.’

So Jones has ‘twos’ again, poor chap! But I wish the corporal would not bump against my hammock when he is waking other fellows.

I can hear Jones softly swearing to himself as he gets into [150] his clothes, and I thank my stars that I still have time for another snooze.

Hullo! There go five bells already, and the bugle. Never mind; the fourth term go first through the bath.

Time now, however. I struggle for’ard, half asleep, through the bath. All the fellows come up by degrees. Ugh! how cold the water is! But it has the effect of waking us up pretty quickly. How nice it is to be out and drying. I mean to be dressed in good time to-day, as I have had enough punishments lately.

Now to wash. This time the water is too hot, and it is five minutes before I can bear it. Jones, having completed his punishment, is washing alongside me.

There’s Smith at his tricks again—throwing water as usual, and a cold stream pours down my back. I must go for him. Another five minutes’ delay. I fall into conversation with Jones, and am giving him good advice about his various shortcomings, when first warning goes. We hurriedly complete our ablutions, and go to our chests. Second warning. Not half dressed, and here comes the corporal—bad luck to him—with his pencil and paper.

‘Clear off the sleeping deck, there! Now then, Mr. Martin, late again as usual; go on deck before breakfast, sir,’ and my name is entered on the fateful bit of paper.

Jones is nearly dressed, and is at present engaged in his devotions. The corporal stares at him, but proceeds on his way. I have to go on the middle deck carrying my boots, and put them on there. Just time to lace them up before the bugle sounds ‘Fall in,’ and the officer of the day begins his inspection. This over, we march to the messroom to do an hour’s preparation. The Euclid is awfully hard; I am afraid I shan’t know it.

Bugle sounds ‘Dismiss studies.’ I will not go on deck yet. The corporal’s memory may fail him, or he may be in a soft mood and let me off. We all sit down, awaiting grace. My spirits rise. But behold! the corporal’s legs appear descending the hatchway, and worse still, his burly form follows [151] them! ‘Now then, sir’ (addressing me), ‘go up and fall in on the ’alf deck.’

There is no help for it, so I take up my cap and reluctantly obey. Lieutenant A—— is the officer of the day, so he will let me off easy, perhaps. The corporal salutes and addresses him: ‘Mr. Martin, sir, for not being dressed by second warning.’

The lieutenant asks if I have any excuse to offer: I have none, and he orders me a day’s ‘four.’ This is a fairly easy punishment, and I return to breakfast somewhat consoled. I expect all the rolls have been bagged; but I find that Grey, who sits next me, has secured me three. I thank him and fall to. Here come the sausages round, followed by ham, and a choice of tea or cocoa. Sausages are all very well in their way, but they make you horribly thirsty. I manage, however, to get two cups of cocoa, and consider I have made a fairly good breakfast. I collect my books and proceed to my study in the Hindostan, to look over my work for the day.

Hullo! there are some ‘news’ looking out of the ports; I must give them a shower bath. I make a paper cone, and filling it with water, empty it over them. It gets them fairly on the neck: heads disappear. I try to master the Euclid and trig. Some other fellows have dropped in by now; they are fairly quiet.

8.50.—Bugle again, and the corporal’s mellow tones: ‘Clear ship! Clear ship! Cadets on the poop!’ One by one we obey the summons, and proceed to the poop of the Britannia. Soon the bugle sounds ‘Fall in’; we are inspected, and prayers are read by the chaplain, after which we march off to the studies, and the real work of the day begins. I get questions I know, and manage to stumble through my work fairly well.

At five minutes to eleven we have a quarter of an hour’s interval, and then do English for an hour, followed by French for another hour. I am no good at French, so indulge in a game of nibs with my neighbour, who does not love ‘parley-voo’ any more than I do. We are detected, worse luck, [152] and are rewarded with a ‘mod’ each. (‘Moderate attention’ in the daily report, involving one hour’s extra drill.)

Bugle sounds ‘Dismiss studies.’ I am not sorry, as I am famishing, and it is pudding day, too. The bugle sounds again for dinner, and we all assemble in the messroom. Grace is said by one of the two chief captains, and here come the joints and pies, wheeled round on small tables appropriated to them. Roast mutton falls to the lot of my table; this is not my favourite dish, and I get the servant to bring me some beefsteak pie in its place. Meat course over, I help the tart—cherry, with cream, and excellent. My enjoyment of it is rather hindered by Brown, who is heaving bread at me; however, he is spotted by the chief captain, and told to go to the defaulters’ table at tea. Brown says it is all my fault for looking such an ass, which may be true, but is not polite. I vow vengeance on Brown: he will avoid me after dinner, I expect. The tarts being polished off, and grace again said, we get half an hour to ourselves before muster. I spend it in the ‘sanc’ (‘sanctuary,’ a special place in the messroom, reserved for senior cadets) reading the Strand, which has always something jolly in it. I am in the middle of a blood-curdling tale, when the corporal comes to clear the messroom. I shove the book in my drawer, and depart to the middle deck. We fall in, and are marched off to studies. This afternoon we have mathematics until 3.30, when we shift into flannels, and make for the boats as fast as we can, with towels and bathing-drawers. I am lucky, and get a shoreboat soon, so secure a good place on the bathing stage.

It is a perfect day, just the day for a bathe; and here comes the officer of the day ashore in a gig, with the bugler.

On reaching the stage they disembark, and the boat waits about in case of accidents. The bugle sounds ‘Advance,’ and immediately there is a sound of great splashing, and the water is alive with heads. I have a jolly swim out to one of the sailing cutters, and boarding her get another dive from her bow. Bugle sounds ‘Retreat’ all too soon, and out of the water we have to go, nolens volens.

When dressed, I go and fall in for my punishment drill; [153] but for this I should be in the cricket field. There are twenty other chaps in the same box as myself; poles are served out to us, and for a whole hour of this blessed afternoon we have to do a variety of exercises, and double round the drill ground. It is frightfully hot work, and I am glad when it is over, and I can go up to the field and get refreshments at Stodger’s.

A game of cricket is going on; other chaps are practising at the nets; and some of the officers are playing, too, at the first eleven nets. I find one of the tennis courts empty, and get a game with three other fellows who have been doing drill with me.

After two sets I go on board again, and, shifting out of flannels, go down to the messroom and finish my story in the Strand. I have time to read another before muster, after which we march into the messroom for tea.

To-night we get cold meat, cake, bread and butter, and tea or cocoa ad lib. An hour’s preparation follows, and there is time for a quarter of an hour’s dancing before the band stops. F. and I indulge in a wild pas de quatre, and have another quarter of an hour to ourselves before prayers, which take place at 9.15 in the messroom; and now, instead of turning comfortably into my hammock, I have to do my fours—viz. to stand for an hour on the middle deck before undressing. It is precious dull work, as there are very few chaps at the same business to-night. After half an hour is up, I am the only one left. I can hear the fellows talking and laughing on the sleeping deck. I think of many things, but my thoughts grow confused, and I begin to yawn, and nearly fall asleep standing. At last the corporal tells me the hour is up, and I gladly go to my chest and undress and turn in. After all, there is nothing more comfortable than a hammock; and notwithstanding the snoring of Jones, which is not melodious, I soon fall asleep, with pleasant thoughts of to-morrow, for it promises to be fine, and I am going out for a cruise in the Wave.

6.30.—I am wide awake this morning, and the sun is streaming in through the port, so I know it is a fine day. I turn out with alacrity, and am not behindhand in dressing; [154] besides, I have only to put on my flannels. Muster over, my class goes off to the Wave, with a couple of fourth term classes, for shifting the topgallant masts and yards. The Wave is a barque of about 300 tons, with auxiliary steam power; full speed under steam, 4½ knots. She is noted for her rolling propensities. However, as she is now in the harbour, just astern of the Britannia, she is as steady as a rock, or nearly so.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

It is not particularly interesting work shifting topgallant masts in your third term, as only a few of the fourth term go aloft, and the remainder of us stay down on deck, hauling on ropes. I am at the foremast, and we get ours done much more smartly than the fellows at the main, as we chance to be a better lot. This sort of work goes on for an hour, when we return to the Britannia, and have breakfast, feeling quite ready for our porridge. Cold ham follows, and I make mine into sandwiches, with rolls, to eat in the Wave, that is if I still feel capable of eating when we are outside the harbour!

Photo: W. M. Crockett, Plymouth.

There is half an hour to spare after breakfast before we [155] embark for our cruise. There is a stampede to the gangway to see a German man-of-war just anchoring in the harbour below Dartmouth. She is a great white steamer, full rigged, and is used as a training-ship. We shall get a fine view of her passing in the Wave. It is now time I was getting ready, so I fetch my sextant from the instrument study, and wrap up my sandwiches in a piece of paper, tying them up with a lanyard. The wind is freshening, and I ask old Johnson, the boatswain, what it will be like outside. He says: ‘A nice fresh breeze,’ and I know what that means! At last we go down in the boat and are off. I pull the second stroke oar, and we soon reach the Wave and scramble on board. During the few minutes which elapse before the first lieutenant arrives, the instructor shows us the various ropes, explaining the use of them, and the boatswain tells us off to our respective stations aloft. My place is on the fore top-sail-yard; and now the lieutenant comes on board, and we slip [156] from the buoy without delay, and steam down the harbour. A quarter of an hour sees us outside, and the Wave begins to keep up her character for rolling. Indeed, she seems fully determined not to disappoint us in this respect.

We have orders to go aloft and loose the sails, which are then sheeted home, and we go down from aloft to help hoist them. She is steadier now the sails are set, and soon the engines are stopped, and our progress is under sail alone. After a little while we are sent aloft to reef top-sails, and take in top-gallant sails. I get on the yardarm, where we have to sit astride. It is splendid up here; the best place of all, to my mind. The coast line is clearly visible, from Start Point to Berry Head.

A group of cadets watch a signalling demonstration


Having taken in a reef, we return on deck, and have a quarter of an hour’s ‘Stand easy.’ By this time several fellows seem to be curiously drawn to the lee side of the ship! We, whose souls do not ‘sicken on the heaving Wave,’ begin to feel the pangs of hunger, and set to work to devour the [157] provisions we have brought with us, in addition to the ship’s biscuit which is provided.

Cadets wait in line to receive their allowance


Our ‘Stand easy’ being at an end, an order is given to start the engines full steam ahead; this is to get more way on for lifeboat practice. To-day I am one of the lifeboat’s crew. The first lieutenant, throwing the lifebuoy into the sea, raises a cry of ‘Man overboard.’ Immediately the engines are stopped and the main-yard squared to stop the way of the ship. The lifeboat is manned and lowered, and we row towards the supposed drowning man, and with all promptitude rescue him from his watery grave.

On our return to the Wave there is a friendly rivalry between the fore and after part of the cadets to hoist up the lifeboat; the result being that the crew are in the comfortable position of sitting in a boat at an angle of about forty-five degrees, as the fore part are the stronger lot. However, we soon manage to get on board, and we go about and make for home; for so we come to regard the old hulk lying in the Dart.

The order is given to get our sextants out of the charthouse; we carry them aft to take the meridian altitude of the [158] sun. This is rather hard work while the ship is moving, when you are not accustomed to it, but doubtless will come easy in time. And now we are sent aloft to shake the reef out of the top-sails; this is the work of two or three minutes only, and we proceed towards the harbour mouth with increased speed. The wind is freshening, but the motion is not felt so much now that it is dead aft. While we are passing between the old castles of Kingswear and Dartmouth we go aloft to take in the sails. I am not on the yardarm this time, but next to it. While the ‘Descent of Man’ has lost him the gymnastic properties of his ancestors, a sailor’s life brings out the power of ‘Ascent in Man,’ judging by the prehensile talent so quickly acquired by his hands and feet. Think of this and take comfort, O mothers! whose curly-haired Harrys and Willies are climbing aloft on the rigging, at the apparently imminent peril of their necks! We are past the Kingswear pontoon before the sails are furled, and we are now steaming up the harbour at our usual breathless speed, at which rate it is not long before we again make fast to the buoy and return on board, most of us having thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, and had our appetites whetted for the good dinner which is awaiting us.

After our meal we do the usual hour and a half’s work, which to-day is mathematics, and then have our dip. F. and I make for the cricket field, and spend a short time playing at the nets, there being no game got up for to-day.

It is pretty hot this afternoon, and we should enjoy a bit of the cool breeze we had outside in the morning. But this being unavailable, we consider strawberries and cream would be a good substitute, and accordingly make for the stodge shop, where we lay in a store of the article mentioned, and feel refreshed.

F. is the fortunate possessor of a camera, and considers this will be a good opportunity to go down to the dark-room and develop the photographs he has been taking lately. I suggest getting one of the blue boats, and rowing out to photograph the German man-of-war lying in the harbour. We manage to wheedle a skiff out of the boat-keeper, and are [159] soon making for her. We get two or three views, and while preparing to return are hailed by one of the officers, and invited on board.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

This is too fine a chance to lose, and although we have not had previous leave, we accept the tempting invitation so cordially given, and, securing our boat alongside, are conveyed to the gunroom. Here are a few officers, at whom we look with great interest. All speak English fairly well, and are imbibing lager beer and smoking. We are at once offered beer and cigars, and indulge in a weed apiece, but no more, considering discretion to be the better part of valour. It is difficult to refuse our hosts, who so cordially press upon us their hospitality. F. imagines he can speak German, having, when a baby, had a German nurse who knew no English. I judge, from close observation, that at that remote period [160] of his existence he was unable to speak in either language himself. But, of course, he cannot let slip this opportunity of airing his linguistic proclivities.

He photographs the officers in a group: looking at my watch, I find it is high time to be off, in fact the recall must have been up for nearly a quarter of an hour. So, taking a hearty leave of our genial hosts, we step into our boat, and pull quickly up the harbour. We have to return the boat to its place, and find the boat-keeper in a towering rage, promising to report us both. His promises are always like pie-crust in this respect, so our equanimity is not greatly disturbed, and we are just in time to catch the pinnace for returning on board.

The corporal thinks we look suspicious, for some reason best known to himself, and considers it necessary to search us for ‘stodge,’ which it is against rules to bring on board. We are redolent of tobacco, of course, which does not escape his olfactory sense, but he has no proof against us, and has to let us go. Sold again!

We go on the sleeping deck to shift, and after muster march to the messroom for tea. Then preparation, and half an hour to ourselves till prayers. No ‘fours’ to-night, and I feel quite ready to turn into my hammock when the time comes.

There is a slip on my hammock! I feel it going! I try to turn out, but am too late. I clutch wildly at Jones’s hammock. Bump! We are both down, and the other fellows in great delight at the tableau. It turns out to have been a trick of Jones’s; so he has been well punished.

Calm once more restored. After a little conversation, I am once more in the land of dreams.

On board H.M.S. Britannia one day is very much like another, which, though somewhat monotonous, has the advantage (if it be one) of making time fly fast. The studies are varied by seamanship, including signalling by semaphore, flag, and Morse systems; working anchors and cables, learnt by a model on wheels, which is kept on the middle deck; [161] knots and splices; working sailing cutters; the steam picket boat, and other such oily delights.

To-day, however, we have mathematics all the morning, from nine o’clock until midday, with an interval at 10.30 for receiving our weekly pocket money, consisting of the noble sum of one shilling, which the third and fourth terms are entitled to receive also on Wednesdays, if their parents see fit.

Next Monday being a whole holiday, however, the chaps who are lucky enough to have friends in the neighbourhood, and are going on leave to them until Monday, get extra pocket money, which may not exceed five shillings, added to their railway fare. Having no friend to invite me, I have arranged to go up the river to Totnes in a blue boat with some other fellows, and we are to receive our extra pocket money on Monday morning.

We fall in according to our terms and march round to the half deck, the fourth term leading, the others following in order. Dinner hour on ‘halves’ is twelve o’clock, and it follows, therefore, that we are famishing by the time our evening meal is ready, which is not until seven o’clock. The consequence is that a great deal of money finds its way into the stodge shop, and our pocket money is exhausted at a rapid rate. All the better for old ‘Stodger,’ and for Dawe, whose shop is open on half-holidays only.

The cadets going on leave took their departure before dinner, rowing ashore to the platform abreast of the Britannia, where trains stop by special order.

I have arranged to walk over to Stoke Fleming this afternoon with F., and accordingly we start as soon as we can land after dinner. We take it easy, so it is an hour before we arrive at our destination. The road leads across the hills at the back of Dartmouth towards the open sea, which here breaks at the foot of steep and high cliffs. We are each provided with a book, and finding a shady place on the cliffs, we have a rest and a read.

We can see the schooner yacht Syren at sea, with a party of cadets out for a cruise. The schooner Arrow, for the first and second terms, is not yet in sight. I expect she will have [162] some difficulty in getting out of the harbour, the wind being light and the tide against her, and the Arrow sailing about as well as an average washing-tub. The Syren seems to be rolling rather, as there is a slight swell from yesterday.

It is nearly four o’clock now, and we begin to feel the pangs of hunger, so consider it is about time to proceed on our way to the shop held by Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Martin, commonly known as ‘Ma Fox’s,’ where a capital tea can be obtained for a very moderate sum. ‘Ma Fox’ is pretty well up in the manners and customs of cadets. She sports the Prince of Wales’s feathers over the shop door, having been patronised by the two Royal cadets. F. and I get the third term room to ourselves, and order a meal consisting of cocoa, potted meat, sardines, and bread and jam, to which we do ample justice; and having squared up with the old dame, we walk slowly back to the field, where we see the last of the cricket match between our first eleven and one of the neighbouring cricket clubs. We are victorious again.”

The above extract gives a very fair idea of life on board, from the cadet’s point of view. The description of the trip to Totnes on the “whole” does not intimately concern the Britannia; but one or two more extracts must be given, as throwing a little more light on certain points.

The writer describes how, on Sunday afternoon, he and two comrades land on the Kingswear side, taking with them two “news” who are often in their company.

“Ralston, another of their term, respectfully accosts me, and asks permission to come too. He is a likely looking lad, so I graciously consent to his joining us. Arrived on shore, we repair to our ‘sanc,’ which is a nook we have chosen in a small wood. It is roofed over with branches woven together, and the ‘news’ set to work to gather fresh bracken for us. When we consider it sufficiently comfortable, we establish ourselves with our books, and they proceed to a small ‘sanc’ of their own, within hail of us, which they have made in their leisure time. They are also provided with literature. This is [163] part of the fearful fagging system, of which so many complaints are made.”

This, it will be noted, was three years after the commotion in 1891; so, apparently, there was still some talk about the treatment of “news.” The subject is once more touched upon by the “Baby”:—

“Much has been written and said lately about the Britannia—the system of teaching, the bullying practice, etc. This latter is fast disappearing under the wise rule of the latest captains. There will always be something of the kind in a mild form in any institution in the shape of a public school, and the Britannia is nothing more or less. Fagging for money is now unheard of.

“The discipline is of necessity strict, but not unduly severe; and the instructors are popular.

“It is almost an impossibility to make the work sufficiently practical when there are so many subjects to take up; but there is practical work, as the readers of this paper will see.”

The writer concludes as follows:—

“Soon the ‘whole’ is nothing but a memory, one of the many happy ones we shall ever retain of our old training-ship on the Dart, and which will, doubtless, often rise up before us in the years to come, when we look forward to being, at least, useful members of that profession which is England’s glory.”

Thus far “Navilus.” His little book was written just before the advent of Captain A. W. Moore, whose period of command was marked by some drastic alterations.

There are not wanting those who assert that reform was urgently needed in some respects, and that Captain Moore was expected to assume the rôle of reformer.

The most important alterations were in disciplinary matters, and one is embodied in the following orders for the lieutenants:—

Each lieutenant will have special charge of a term from their entry into the Britannia until they pass out, and will be responsible for their instruction in seamanship, gymnastics, boating, swimming, etc., and is to keep a record of each cadet’s progress. He will teach personally the [164] “rule of the road” and “ship construction,” and at times such other subjects as he may think fit.

One of the lieutenants will perform the duties of officer of the day, and a second lieutenant will be present at all musters of cadets, and attend in the recreation grounds when cadets are landed.

A weekly report of each term will be rendered by the lieutenants, to be given to the executive officer on Monday morning at divisions for the captain.

The advantage of this system is at once apparent: each lot of boys, when they join, find themselves placed under the care of an officer, who remains as their instructor, monitor, and “sea daddy” during the whole period of their sojourn on board. He soon gets to know each one intimately, and they can go to him for advice in any difficulties which may crop up. He takes an interest in their conduct and progress, and encourages healthy emulation and a proper esprit de corps among them; indeed, he may do an immense amount of good, of which the lieutenants were not afforded the opportunity under former regulations.

(Now Vice-Admiral Sir A. W. Moore, K.C.B., C.M.G.)
Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

The arrangement is also a far more satisfactory one for the lieutenants, who thus have a definite line of work prescribed, instead of the somewhat vague position which they used to occupy.

It is a curious thing that nobody ever thought of it before! That it has worked well from the outset everyone is agreed.

Another disciplinary measure was the abolition of cadets’ corporals, with their chief man—master-at-arms or serjeant-major—and the substitution of a cadets’ gunner, known as “chief of the staff,” with four chief gunner’s mates under him, one to each term.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Everyone who knows anything about naval matters will appreciate the advantage of having a gunner placed in this [167] position. The warrant officers are an admirable body of men; they have been “through the mill” in the lower grades, know their work practically and thoroughly, and usually display considerable capacity for command and a quite remarkable amount of tact in the discharge of their duties. The gunners are the pick of the “warrants,” and there would be no difficulty in finding a man for the newly created post in the Britannia with every possible qualification for it; moreover, he ranks in the Navy above a midshipman or cadet, so that there is no incongruity about his position of authority.

The chief gunner’s mates are the “makings” of gunners, and consequently the best subordinates possible in this department.

The chief of the staff has to keep the cadets’ defaulters books, see all punishments on board properly carried out, take charge of the sleeping decks, messroom, servants’ mess place, and to see that the cadets’ servants are clean and tidy and perform their duties properly; and is, altogether, a sort of sub-executive officer, and no doubt invaluable to the commander.

These changes from within were speedily followed by others, of equal importance, from without; for in January 1897, the Admiralty issued a new circular, initiating radical alterations in the regulations for entry and training.

The limits of age for entry were altered as follows:—

Cadets entering January 15th and May 15th, 1897, 13½ to 15; September 15th, 1897, 13¾ to 15¼; and January 15th, 1898, and afterwards, 14 to 15½.

This is in accordance with the views expressed by the committee of 1885, who were of opinion that the subjects taught in the Britannia could not be properly learnt by boys so young. If this new arrangement was in recognition of the correctness of these views, it was certainly tardy!

However, this was not the only alteration; there were to be, as before, four terms spent by a cadet in the training ship; but instead of there being two terms in each year, involving two years’ training, there were to be three in each year, [168] thus reducing the time spent on board to about fifteen months.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

This would appear to involve the assumption that the increased age would render it possible not only that a cadet should learn the subjects better, but that he should do so in nine months less time.

There are, however, some slight modifications in the “Course of Studies,” as set forth respectively in the former regulations and the new ones. In the latter astronomy, pneumatics, light, and electricity disappear from the regular tabulated curriculum; English—including English history, naval history, and geography—is also omitted; but all these subjects still find their place under the heading of “Lectures,” so the alteration is more in theory than practice. Euclid is modified to a certain extent; but, taking it all round, the course is a pretty stiff one for fifteen months.

However, it does not appear to be too hard for the boys; it is still in force, and, out of 979 cadets presenting themselves at the final examinations since 1897, only twelve, or 1·2 per cent., have failed. In 1902 and 1903 (to anticipate a little) there have, up to August last, been no failures, which is highly creditable both to the boys and their instructors.

[169] In 1896 (as an improvement upon the brigs formerly suggested), the Racer, a barque-rigged screw sloop of 970 tons, was attached to the Britannia for the purpose of taking out the third and fourth term cadets cruising in the Channel. She had accommodation for one class at a time, and was in command of a commander for navigating duties.

The usual routine was that the class should embark from Monday to Friday; the lieutenant of the term went with his boys, assumed the duties of executive officer, and instructed the cadets in seamanship; the engineer taught them steam, and the commander practical navigation. The vessel cruised under sail as a general rule, using steam as necessary to make her ports.

A cadet in a hospital bed, attended by two nurses

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

The Racer season extended from April 1st to November 1st, or later if desirable; she was laid up during the winter, and was ready for sea by March 15th.

This was a decided step in advance, and there is no [170] doubt the cadets derived immense benefit from these short cruises, which must, moreover, in fine summer weather, have been exceedingly pleasant—after the usual “tribute” had been paid to Neptune!

On March 17th, 1897, while both the captain and the wardroom officers were entertaining guests at dinner, a sensational incident occurred. The Britannia, it will be recollected, has a solitary mast; not a large one for a vessel of her size, but sufficiently lofty to be a target for lightning, and provided with the usual copper strip for conductor. While dinner was in progress there was a shock, plainly felt throughout the ship, and a blinding glare, while a tremendous peal of thunder simultaneously resounded overhead; the ship trembled from stem to stern, and some of the occupants of the wardroom even imagined that they saw the lightning flash through the room. There was no doubt about it, the ship was struck by lightning. It had struck the copper band round the “truck”—the small round disc which surmounts the mast, and carries the blocks for the flag halyards—split the truck, burnt through the wire strap of the signal halyard block, and travelled down the conductor, which is supposed to run right down the mast and pass out to connect with the copper sheathing of the ship under water; perhaps it did, but the lightning apparently stopped short at the galvanised roof through which the mast passes, and spread itself out over the iron, which was very wet. The wrecked truck is kept in a glass case between decks as a memento of this unusual experience.

In the Jubilee procession of 1897 the cadets played a prominent part, and were everywhere hailed with enthusiasm. One hundred of them went to London on this occasion, and were put up for the night at Greenwich College.

They left Kingswear at 10.50 a.m. on June 21st, six in a compartment, with an enormous pasty and a bottle of ginger-beer each. At Bristol buns and ginger-beer were served out during the stoppage, and they were sustained for the remainder of the journey to Paddington, which was reached at 5.20. Here there were ’buses waiting to convey them to Charing Cross, en route for Greenwich.


Photo: W. M. Crockett, Plymouth.

[173] An early start was necessary next morning, so they breakfasted at 6.45 a.m., left at 8, and reached Charing Cross at 9, whence they marched to the Admiralty, where Mr. Goschen, the First Lord, had made all hospitable provision for them. At 10.30 they marched to Buckingham Palace to salute the Queen as she drove off; then back to the Admiralty to a sumptuous lunch. At 1.15 fall in again, and march to the Palace to mount guard on the Queen’s return. Then they returned to the Admiralty for a “stand easy,” and lay about on the grass in the First Lord’s garden, which they found very pleasant; and the enjoyment of their repose was presently enhanced by the appearance of unlimited ginger-beer, served out by Mr. Goschen’s two sons. Finally, tea was served in the First Lord’s house, and they marched to Paddington in time for their train, at six o’clock; very tired—and no wonder—but happy. What time they got on board is not stated; but, doubtless, they were allowed a good lie in next morning.

Those who did not go to London for the procession were taken to see the Spithead Review, on the 26th, which was, perhaps, still better worth seeing.

Jubilee year was further signalised by the institution of the Queen’s medal, to be awarded annually, by the vote and selection of his comrades, to the cadet who is deemed to be foremost in good conduct and gentlemanly bearing in all respects.

This honorable trophy was awarded at Christmas, 1897, to Midshipman J. W. Scott, who had already gone to sea, and was serving in H.M.S. Astræa; Cadet G. B. Alexander receiving the “diploma,” which is a necessary step towards receiving the medal next time.

The editor is busy again asking questions. “How is it,” he wants to know, “that so few cadets are to be seen dancing in the evening? Hardly one of the third and fourth terms is to be seen. They are hard at work, no doubt, but a quarter of an hour devoted to dancing every night, instead of ‘x,’ would invigorate their brains to further efforts in pursuit of that wily letter. They will have sometimes to attend dances, [174] and if they have to say they can’t, what a nuisance they become to themselves and others.”

Most true; and, as we recollect, dancing was included in the curriculum in the old Academy, and for a considerable portion of the College time; it is not easy to see where time could be found for it in the course on board the Britannia.

An officer teaches a group of cadets


An interesting gift was made to the ship about this time, being no other than the spectacles worn by Captain Marryat. The donor was Mr. Oscar de Satagé, who was a godson of the great naval novelist.

Many reflections are suggested by these relics. Marryat probably wore them while he wrote some of his novels. Do any of those amazing scenes which he so graphically describes still linger in the lenses? Shall we, if we put them on, be able to see Mr. Midshipman Easy strutting about with the Articles of War under his arm, and laying down the law to his superiors, or murmuring, “Duty before decency” as the unlucky Mr. Biggs stands trouserless on the gangway? Or [177] shall we see that marvellous picture, dear to every seaman, presented in “Peter Simple,” where the Diomede just weathers the point, and her courses fly in shivers as she scrapes clear? Well, well, if they were known to have such properties, those spectacles, it is to be feared, would not last long!

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Another gift to the Britannia in the ’nineties was the magnificent model of the ill-fated Victoria, made for the Naval Exhibition of 1891, and presented by Messrs. Armstrong and Co. It fills up one side of the model room, and must have taken some getting in there; but sailors do not stick at trifles: if you confronted them with a camel and a needle, they would immediately set to work to rig the necessary tackle for “reeving” the camel through the eye.

The Britannia did not escape discussion in the papers during the ’nineties. On January 10th, 1891, a correspondent, under the pseudonym of “Blue Jacket,” starts the question of the cadets’ food, stating that he understands it is far from satisfactory, and inquires whether it is as good as they had in their former schools.

“A. L. M.,” a former Britannia boy, says he always found the food good and abundant—and he ought to know.

“A Parent” says his boy informs him that the victuals are of the most inferior description, the butter and meat being often uneatable; and alleges that some cadets who complained of the butter on one occasion were punished.

Possibly “A Parent’s” son may not have been quite ingenuous. Any complaint would be promptly investigated by the officer of the day, and, if well founded, immediate steps would be taken to remedy the matter; an unfounded complaint, on the other hand, particularly if reiterated, would be a likely occasion for a small dose of “fours,” as a reminder not to be unduly troublesome. The allegation that boys who made justifiable complaints about food were punished for it requires something more than the authority of “A Parent’s” son to make it go down. “Navilus” does not convey the impression that there is anything wrong with either the quantity or quality of the food; on the contrary, he is rather enthusiastic about it.

[178] There are usually, in every school and college, a certain number of students who, either from perversity or from having been unduly pampered at home, make a point of finding fault with the food, however good; they imagine it is “swagger” to know how these things ought to be done.

A young commissioned officer who was a member pro tem. of a very excellent, not to say sumptuous, mess was once known to insert in the complaint book a bitter wail because only three sorts of cheese were handed round at mess. This is the kind of hardship which should not be silently endured!

Nevertheless, messmen or stewards do undoubtedly go wrong at times, if not kept very sharply under supervision, and inferior stuff is sometimes supplied without being discovered for a time by the heads.

Well, we have reached the end of the ’nineties; but there is a small slice of the twentieth century to be dealt with before concluding this chapter.

The augmentation in age, by which cadets might enter after January, 1898, as old as 15½, was certain to result, sooner or later, in some very big boys being entered; and the following remarks in the Britannia Magazine for Christmas, 1901, appear to indicate that a contingent had arrived, in September, of cadets who were considerably more prominent for length than breadth.

“Our latest brand of naval cadets is assuming a weird shape: we are assured by the doctors and the Physical Development Society that our recent plague has produced a hitherto unknown specimen of the naval officer in embryo. It scarcely seems credible; but having the authorities to back us up with statistics, we feel safe in our statement—that the various forms of torture have revealed the fact that, although there has been an enormous increase in height, chest girth and weight have been sadly on the decrease.”

The “recent plague” referred to is possibly a severe epidemic of influenza which visited the ship in the spring of 1901, and caused a good deal of talk at the time; it died hard, and there were some deaths from complications, pneumonia and so on.


Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

[181] There appears to have been a sort of jealousy or inimical feeling about the Britannia which is always cropping up, and finding vent in letters to the Times—the indignant Briton’s great resource—and which does not seem easy to account for. In the bullying affair, before alluded to, the captain was busy detecting culprits and putting it down before anyone wrote to the Press, and yet the busy newspaper correspondents persisted in saddling him, and the whole system, with the blame of it. And similarly, in the case of the epidemic in 1901, everybody and everything was held accountable except the well-known capricious nature of the ailment, which crops up unexpectedly in a household or a community, and as suddenly disappears; no one knows how it got there, and its very name implies a mystery.

“A Father of Cadets” writes: “I have been informed that for about sixteen years—i.e. since the ships have been at Dartmouth—the sewage has been discharged from the vessel into the river, where, though it is mostly washed away by the tide, part must sink into deeper water.”

This is certainly a very ill-informed parent, who should have applied to his sons for some information before taking up his pen. In the first place, the Britannia had, in March, 1901, been, not sixteen but over thirty-seven years in the Dart; and where, in the name of common-sense, did he expect the sewage to be discharged from the ship except into the river? This is obviously a case of “any stick is good enough to beat a dog with.”

A refreshing contrast is presented by the letter of another father of a cadet, Mr. N. C. Dobson, emeritus Professor of Surgery, who says that he has been on board several times, and is quite satisfied that the condition of the ship has had nothing to do with the outbreak.

In this he is confirmed by the official report of Professor Corfield, a hygienic expert, who was requested by the Admiralty to investigate the causes, and who speaks most highly of the sanitary condition of the ship, and says, in effect, that the disease got on board in some manner which it is impossible to detect.

[182] Another writer attempts to put the blame on the food, and sundry allegations are made against Dartmouth itself, which draw forth a reply from the town clerk, who produces official statistics to disprove the statements.

Nothing, in the eyes of some people, can be commended in the poor old Brit. or the place where she is moored. The captains are all incapable, the officers and masters are worse, the position is insanitary, and nothing is right, in short, except the excellent officers which this dreadful institution turns out! It would not be precisely fulsome if some credit were accorded to the captains and officers for this result, and a small share to the Admiralty for selecting, as a rule, the right men for the post.

However, to quote our friend the editor of the Britannia Magazine, “it is not well to be cynical!”

At Easter, 1902, the Britannia Magazine says:—“Rumours of an increased number in the next entry of cadets are rife, which intelligence, while possibly gladdening the hearts of some hundreds of parents, who are naturally selfishly interested, brings to the authorities’ notice that the additional number have somehow to be accommodated. Various suggestions have been made, but none, to our mind, feasible. A third term cadet has it from the best quarters that a brig is to be moored astern of the Britannia. Another has heard that the senior term captains are to relieve the marine orderlies from their tedious night watch keeping in order to save hammock space.”

The rumour was not without some foundation; but, fortunately, none of the drastic measures alluded to above were found to be necessary.

On March 7th, 1902, the King and Queen came down to lay the foundation-stone of the new College. This was, of course, a tremendous fête day for Dartmouth generally, and the Britannia in particular. Their Majesties arrived in a special train at Kingswear, and crossed the harbour in the Great Western Railway Company’s little steamer the Dolphin, which was profusely decorated. A large wooden pavilion was erected near the site of the College, handsomely hung with [185] flags, etc., of various colours. The foundation-stone is a block of Cornish granite, which is to form the base of a column 60 feet high on the left of the main entrance. The casket to contain the coins and records, and the mallet, were made of oak from the old Britannia, and there was, of course, a silver trowel, which was designed by the architect, Mr. Aston Webb.

Sailors provide an honour guard as the King's carriage drives past

Photo: Russell & Sons, Southsea.

All was going off swimmingly, when it was discovered that the medals, which the King, after declaring the stone “well and truly laid,” was to present to sundry persons, had been left on board the ancient and much-bedizened Dolphin!

What was to be done? The failure of the captain of the Britannia, or whoever was responsible, to produce the medals at the proper moment would, of course, be immediately followed by the mandate, “Off with his head!” or at the least, “To the Tower with the knave!”

However, a saviour was found in the person of Lieutenant Woollcombe, who was mounted in some official capacity, and who, on learning of the impending disaster, stuck his spurs in his horse and tore at full gallop through the town to the pontoon, where the Dolphin was found lying; he seized the packet and thundered back again, arriving in time to save the captain’s head.

The magazine has something to say about this feat:—

“Blessed with magnificent weather, everything went smoothly, except for one slight incident, which introduced the Deputy-Master of the Horse in the character of Gilpin (wasn’t it?) in his celebrated ride to York; and if the shedding of garments had continued, we are not quite certain that the rôle of Godiva would not better have suited him.”

There is some unkind allusion here which is not quite apparent to the uninitiated: it would appear as though the wild horseman had hastily dispensed with some of his garments as he rode; and, for an officer in full, gold-plated, stand-up-collar uniform, this is indeed a difficult and daring feat, especially if he contrived, while still at full gallop, to replace them before he arrived in the royal presence.

When he next rides through the town
May I be there to see!

[186] The magazine proceeds:—“We were lucky enough to witness an excellent cinematograph a few days after their Majesties had been with us, showing in detail their movements outside the pavilion; and the picture showing the arrival of the Royal carriage was greeted with enthusiastic applause.

“The pleasure of seeing one’s own face in print is a mixed and doubtful one, even when in miniature: but, magnified to about double the original and working size, it becomes an atrocity, and the King’s guard will, we sincerely hope, forgive the jeers which greeted their appearance.”

Among other competitions instituted in these later days was a poem; at first sight, it might seem more appropriate to include this among the Britannia games, but the following prize poem, by Cadet A. H. Taylor, demands a better fate:—

Ye Mariners of England: Up to Date.
Ye submarines infernal
That prowl beneath the seas,
Who ne’er shall brave, in future years,
The battle or the breeze,
Your deep-sea warpath take again
Where you need fear no foe,
And creep through the deep
Where six-pound shells don’t go.
Though the battle rages up above,
You’re safe down there below.
The tops of conning towers
Start up from every wave,
For you are blind as moles below,
And light and air ye crave.
Where Tryon, Drake, and Shovel lie
Ye submarines now go,
As ye creep, etc.
Now battleships and cruisers
The seas no longer sweep,
Since danger lurks beneath the waves
A dozen fathoms deep;
With Whitehead’s fell torpedoes
You pot them from below,
As ye creep, etc.
[189] The meteor flag of England
Shall still terrific burn,
And submarines that start from Brest
Shall never more return:
The T. B. D.’s will nab them when
They rise to get a blow;
Though they creep through the deep
Where six-pound shells don’t go,
Their men can’t stand the tinned air long,
Though they’re safe down there below.

Photo: W. M. Crockett, Plymouth.

The “tinned air” is a right merry conceit; it is to be hoped that the prophetic words of the last verse may come true in case of war. We are doing a good deal of business in the matter of “tinned air” in England just now, which ought to assist in keeping the “meteor flag” flying.

The officers who commanded the Britannia during the ’nineties—and after, are as follow:—

Captain A. B. Thomas, appointed September 8th, 1892.
Captain A. W. Moore, appointed April 17th, 1894.
Captain the Hon. A. G. Curzon-Howe, appointed April 21st, 1897.
Captain M. P. O’Callaghan, appointed February 20th, 1900.
Captain C. H. Cross, appointed April 22nd, 1903.

Captain Thomas had to resign his appointment through ill-health. Captain Cross is still in command, and will probably see the end of the Britannia as at present constituted.

During the ’nineties no fewer than 1,554 cadets entered, which, together with 618 in the next three years, makes a total of 2,172 in the thirteen years under consideration in this chapter. On this head some details will be found in the concluding chapter.




Scanty Early Records—Practice v. Precept—Officers v. Cadets—Presumptuous Juniors—A Close Match—Football—Penalty of Punning—A Decisive Victory—A Demon Bowler—Two Curious Innings—Sports and Regatta—The Rushworth Seal—The Editor is Sarcastic—His Feelings are Soured—An Excited Timekeeper—Why Williams Didn’t Win—The Pro’s Average—Teignbridge Victorious and Vanquished—W. G.’s Eleven—Some Fatherly Advice—The Editor is Appeased—A Close Sculling Match—Foreign Football Matches—A Dry Cricket Season—The Editor and the Beagles—Lord Harris’s Maxims—The Bold Sir Bedivel—Big Third Eleven Scores—Seventeen Years’ Athletics—Huddart Shows the Way—The Editor on “Stodge”—A Hot Run for the “Footmen”—Youthful Boxers—Glasgow to the Rescue—An Afternoon’s Cricket—Splendid Playing Fields—And Plenty of Cricket—Teignbridge’s Small Score—Britannia Wins All Round—Third Eleven Makes a Record—A Question of Time—Keep Your Ground Clock Right—Remarkable Results of the Season—Money Well Spent.

IN this chapter will be included not only cricket and football, but some account of regattas, athletic sports, etc.

Unfortunately, records are not available very far back, as a regular account is only to be obtained from the Britannia Magazine, which was started in 1884. There were cricket matches inserted in the local papers, as referred to in the opening article in the magazine, in which also it is hinted that they were not always very accurate.

That the Britannia boys and their officers have for many years been very keen about games is, however, an undoubted fact; and the formation and subsequent improvement of the playing fields at Dartmouth has afforded them every opportunity for indulging their taste in this respect. Portland was, of course, a wretched place all round, for games or any other purpose: you might arrange a football match, and find that the weather did not admit of landing, nor were prohibitory gales by any means unknown even in summer.

[191] Since those days, also, there has been a great deal more attention paid to these matters in all schools, except perhaps in the chief public schools, where they have always been pursued with some system.

In 1874, as has been seen, the cadets’ professional was called before the Admiralty committee to give his views as to the physique and capabilities of the cadets at cricket, and it was there stated that they took a great interest in the game, and were frequently victorious against school elevens of older boys.

In those matches, also, in which they play “full strength,” with the “pro.” and officers, there appear invariably to have been some among the latter who were exceptionally good, sometimes nearly the whole eleven being made up of them. It may be that a certain prowess in athletics is taken into account at the Admiralty among the qualifications of a lieutenant or instructor for appointment to the Britannia; it is certainly worth considering, and should turn the scale between two officers, cæteris paribus. Boys are all subject to seasons of slackness, and do not moreover always realise the value of games in promoting the mens sana in corpore sano, and the importance of the advice and co-operation of their superiors in these matters can scarcely be overrated. A little practice is worth a ton of precept, and when the lads find that the lieutenant who inspects them at divisions, the instructor who teaches them spherical trigonometry, the doctor who physics them in the sick bay, or the paymaster who sends in the account to their parents are well able to take a bat and show them how to play a fast “yorker,” or bowl them with a “break-back” on occasions, there is sure to be a far keener spirit about cricket than if they were left to themselves.

In all these branches there have been notable cricketers in the Britannia, nor must the Engineer officers be omitted—of whom more anon.

One of the earliest matches recorded in the magazine is Officers v. Cadets, on May 10th, 1884, of which the score is as follows:—


Lieut. Thomas, retired 102
Mr. Finlay, c Johnson, b Nugent 2
Captain Bowden-Smith, b Nugent 0
Lieut. Stokes, b Nugent 10
Mr. Aldous, c Johnson, b Collins 2
Mr. Lane, b Collins 0
Com. Bainbridge, not out 44
Mr. Braithwaite, b Nugent 0
Sergeant Meakin, b Nugent 0
Mr. Mason, b Nugent 4
Mr. Langmead, c and b Nugent 0
Extras 1
Total 165
Nugent, b Meakin 11
Collins, b Meakin 0
Grenfell, c Bainbridge, b Meakin 3
Johnson, b Meakin 36
Brock, b Meakin 7
Gurner, c Bainbridge, b Meakin 2
Domville, b Braithwaite 21
Margesson, b Thomas 7
Loring, not out 10
Vivian, c Bowden-Smith, b Thomas 8
Murray, b Meakin 0
Total 105

Lieutenant Thomas, who was a mighty batsman, magnanimously retired after making his century, or the juniors would have come off with a worse beating; he and Captain Bainbridge, it will be noticed, made 146 between them out of 165. Cadet Nugent appears to have been a deadly bowler, and had the assurance to bowl his captain for a “duck.” This feat, however, fades into insignificance compared with that of a stalwart midshipman in the Channel Squadron some years earlier who, with a tremendously hard square cut, knocked the Admiral off his legs at point, and sent him limping off the field!

Matches with various clubs and schools in the vicinity of Dartmouth recur, of course, many times: the balance of victories is greatly in favour of the Britannia. The professional Underwood, whose name appears so many times in the scoring sheet, was there for a long time, and did excellent service, both in coaching the cadets and in winning first eleven matches, frequently making a long score and taking his full share of wickets.

The following are some among the chief matches played in 1884:—

May 17.—Britannia v. Engineer Students: Britannia, 121; Engineers, 94.

[193] May 21.—Britannia v. Newton College:

Newton College, 93; Britannia, 119 (Cadet Bentinck on this occasion carried his bat through the innings for 38, Captain Bainbridge making 37).

May 24.—Britannia v. Mr. Denison’s Eleven:

Mr. Denison’s Eleven, 106; Britannia, 156 (Lieut. Thomas scored 95 not out).

On the Queen’s birthday “whole” there was a very close and exciting match against the Royal Naval College.

Royal Naval College.
Lieut. Johnstone, c Thomas, b Meakin 3
Sub-Lieut. Arbuthnot, b Underwood 9
Sub-Lieut. Hillyard, c Brock, b Bentinck 29
Sub-Lieut. Donner, b Meakin 17
Sub-Lieut. Hardinge, c Collins, b Vivian 7
Lieut. Pyke, c and b Underwood 21
Lieut. Stanhope, b Underwood 1
Sub-Lieut. Bruce, c Bainbridge, b Underwood 0
Sub-Lieut. de Crespigny, b Meakin 7
Sub-Lieut. Booth, not out 5
Sub-Lieut. Wells, b Meakin 0
Extras 2
Total 101
Cadet Bentinck, b Hillyard 24
Capt. Bainbridge, c Booth, b Pyke 5
Cadet Nugent, b Pyke 0
Underwood, c Johnstone, b Wells 15
Cadet Johnson, c Johnstone, b Wells 0
Sergt. Meakin, b Arbuthnot 8
Cadet Collins, b Wells 15
Lieut. Thomas, b Pyke 13
Cadet Brock, b Wells 5
Cadet Loring, b Wells 4
Cadet Vivian, not out 2
Extras 12
Total 103

The College score was not a formidable one to face; but when the “pro” was out for 15 there was considerable anxiety. Lieut. Thomas, however, the other great “stand by,” was still to go in. When he was bowled for 13 there was consternation indeed. The College team were generous in the matters of extras, however, and the hundred went up amid shouts of applause, a glorious match being brought to a triumphant conclusion.

[194] May 31st, Britannia v. Plymouth Garrison:

Garrison, 65 (Captain Quill, 46); Britannia, 257 for seven wickets (Bentinck, 73, Lieut. Thomas, 62).

This was a great victory, as a Garrison team is usually pretty strong.

In addition to “foreign” matches, of which there was a full programme every season, a great deal of ingenuity was exercised in organising both cricket and football contests among the cadets: Port Watch v. Starboard; the Admirers of Cambridge v. Oxford; Over 5 ft. v. Under 5 ft.; Odd Classes v. Even Classes; Britannia v. Hindostan; to say nothing of the various matches between the terms.

No “foreign” football matches appear in the earlier numbers of the magazine, but a regular programme was instituted later on.

In a match on November 11th, 1884, Over 5 ft. v. Under 5 ft., the game was considered by the “cognoscenti” to be a hollow affair for the Overs. These heroes, however, received a lesson as to the folly of holding a foe too cheaply; for the Unders won by 7 goals to 0! The Overs, no doubt, got well chaffed about it; and the smaller boys must have played a very good game to win so easily.

Cambridge twice beat Oxford; the Third Term beat their seniors, the Fourth, by one “corner” only; while the Second Term beat the “News” by 6 goals to 1.

In the first match, Odd Classes v. Even, the Odds won by 2 goals and 1 “corner”; but the Evens turned the tables at the return match, winning by 11 goals 2 “corners” to 2 goals. (It is said that a cadet made some wretched jokes on this occasion; remarking that though the odds were against the Evens, they played even better than the Odds; that it was odd that they had not got even with them before, and so on. There is no saying what intricacies he might not have got entangled in, had not some of his comrades mercifully rolled him down a steep slope and sat on him; while a lieutenant who was told of it spoke darkly of “three days two” if he didn’t drop it. Sensitive minds cannot stand much of this sort of thing!)

[195] In 1884 the cricketing prospects were decidedly improved by the appointment of Mr. E. M. Tims, naval instructor, who has been there ever since, and is now chief. For many years he was a tower of strength to the eleven; but has now relinquished cricket, and is resting on his laurels, and urging on his juniors to further victories.

Photo: W. M. Crockett, Plymouth.

The cricket season of 1885 opened well, Britannia again beating Plymouth Garrison on May 6th; while a week later they scored a tremendous victory over Plymouth Cricket Club.

Britannia, 299; Underwood “came off” to admiration, scoring 156; he and Lieut. Thomas contributed 206 between them; moreover, there was quite a record in extras—no less than 31. Plymouth went in against this formidable total, and only succeeded in obtaining 87.

May 16th, Britannia v. Torquay:

Britannia, 153 (Mr. Tims 40, Lieut. Thomas 32); Torquay, 54; a very solid victory. But nemesis ensued, for on June 14th Torquay made 167 against Britannia’s 37; they brought on a deadly fast bowler, who wrought havoc in the “timber yard,” and established a funk, taking six wickets for 12 runs.

June 17th. Britannia played the Royal Marines, who [196] can usually get a good team together; however, Britannia’s star was again in the ascendant, their side scoring 184 (Underwood 55, Lieut. Thomas 32), against the Royal Marines’ 117.

Lieut. Thomas got out in rather a curious fashion: he had a man to run for him, and, being non-striker, was out “in the country” near the umpire. The striker drove a ball back hard along the ground; it was diverted by a fieldsman (who made a grab at it) and hit the opposite wicket; the “runner” was out of his ground, of course. It is an extraordinary thing that if you have a man to run for you, you are almost certain to be run out. He may have the very best intentions, and be a perfect sprinter between the wickets; no matter, he is sure to be out of his ground when the wicket goes down.

In a match against the Engineer students in July, 1885, each played rather a remarkable innings. Britannia went in first, and only scored 80, of which the “pro” made just three-fourths, leaving an average of two runs apiece among the remainder of the eleven. The Engineers, however, were not going to be out-classed in the matter of eccentricities; they scored 40 for two wickets, and were all out for 60!

Matches in the season of 1885 resulted as follows:—

Played, 17: Won 11, lost 2, drawn 4.

This is a good record, and by no means the only one of the kind, as will be seen.

We must, however, leave the achievements of the cricketers and the football teams for a little while, in order to notice some of the other competitions, which it has been considered advisable to include under the heading of “Games.”

It has been customary for a long time past to hold meetings as follows:—

The cadets’ regatta takes place in the autumn on a Wednesday or Saturday afternoon.

Sailing matches are also held between the sailing cutters—third and fourth term cadets only—in each term, in heats, as opportunity offers.

Athletic sports take place in the cricket field on a Wednesday or Saturday afternoon before the Easter vacation.

[197] An assault-at-arms is held in July and December.

A tennis tournament is held in the autumn term, and a racquet tournament in the summer term.

A swimming competition takes place at the end of the summer term.

Prizes are given for cricket: one for the best batting average, and one for bowling.

The beagle whips each receive a prize when passing out.

This is a goodly list; and a keen interest is taken in all, both by officers and cadets.

The regatta consists of pulling races only; the most important contest being that between representatives of the port and starboard watches, in twelve-oared cutters, for a silver cup, which is placed, after the regatta, on the port or starboard side of the messroom, according to the winning watch, and the other watch tries to shift it over next time. It changes hands with considerably greater frequency than the America Cup!

The other events in the regatta are as follows:—

Four-oared gigs (a race in each term).

Pair oars, with coxswains.

Single sculls.

Four-oared gigs for study classes, each crew being distinguished by the name of a master.

In connection with the single sculls there is a curious and unusual trophy, known as “The Rushworth Seal.” This is an old-fashioned gold seal, presented by the father of Mr. C. E. Rushworth, midshipman, who lost his life in a gallant attempt to save that of a seaman who fell overboard from H.M.S. Agincourt, in the Levant, in 1877. It is kept in the messroom, in a glass case, with a small model of a ship’s cutter, and is held by the winner of the single sculls for one year, thus serving to “keep green” the memory of the youthful hero, and stimulate others to do likewise.

The regatta has usually been an occasion upon which numerous guests are invited on board to witness the prowess of the cadets with the oar, and also to enjoy a little harmless recreation in the shape of dancing. The editor of the [198] Britannia Magazine evidently considers that there is too little looking on and too much dissipation in the way of dancing and attending to fair guests.

The regatta of 1886 was held on a very bad day, the rain coming down heavily towards the end. The editorial remarks are a little bitter:—

“It is hoped that the next time the officers will have an opportunity of seeing some of the races, as they are naturally interested in the performances of the cadets. As at present arranged, we think that their hospitality to their many visitors must make them utterly unable to see a single race.”

And again:—

“Dancers had been driven by stress of weather from the poop to the middle deck, and were enjoying ‘Sir Roger’ when the drowned rats appeared.”

It does appear to be somewhat of an incongruity that the cadets should row races in pouring rain without the satisfaction of having their officers and the visitors in the “gallery”; but the editor does not see any improvement next year, and is down upon them savagely.

After referring in a somewhat caustic vein to the inevitable notice, “If Wednesday be wet, the regatta will be postponed until Saturday,” and the folly of holding a regatta on equinox day, he proceeds:—

“Let us for the future have the cadets’ regatta on August 12th, and then we shall have no doubt about it. There need be no cadets here: that will make little difference. A few blue boats can be set to row up and down, with crews from the shore, hired for the occasion. The officers of the ship will entertain the fair ones from the neighbourhood under a blazing sky, and the only difficulty will arise at the end, when the finish of the races usually brings an accession of strength to the dancing men, and ladies who have been without partners for too many dances find that the opportunity of a valse with a sailor, which they have looked forward to all the year, has failed them.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

“It is not well to be cynical (!), but to row in hailstorms, and to make sport for spectators who do not look on, has [201] soured our feelings, and we have only to look forward to our next regatta with hopes of better things.”

This is the editorial sledge-hammer with a vengeance, even the ladies who love to dance with sailors are not spared. The note of exclamation above is not the editor’s; it is merely inserted as an outlet for the feelings of the reader of this extract.

The athletic sports include the following events:—

Mile handicap.
Half-mile handicap (sometimes).
Quarter-mile handicap.
100 yards handicap.
Hurdle race.
Sack race.
Obstacle race (sometimes).
High jump.
Long jump.
Pole jump.
Throwing the cricket-ball.
Tug of war.

Most of the events are duplicated as “open,” or “under five feet,” so the programme is a long one.

In 1886 the open quarter-mile was run in 62 seconds, and the 100 yards in very good time. The editor of the Britannia Magazine says, however: “The 100 yards was won by Cadet Field, two others being almost neck and neck; the timekeeper was so excited that he gave the time as 10 seconds, which we have reason for doubting.”

It certainly seems a remarkable feat for lads like these, who do not presumably go in for very extensive training.

The high jump was 4 ft. 3¾ inches, which is not remarkable; and the long jump 15 ft. 2 ins.

Cadet Kennedy won the pole jump with 7 ft. 1 in., which is distinctly good; and the half-mile was won in 2 mins. 35 secs., Cadet Field, the winner of the 100 yards, who was scratch, just failing to carry it off.

The following curious editorial comment appears in reference to the long jump:—

“Sharp, jumping very well, won easily: Foord was second, a foot behind him. Williams would have won had he jumped further.”

There may be some sporting signification in this otherwise somewhat glaringly obvious statement; on the other hand, [202] the editor, who found it necessary at times to be severe, may have been relaxing himself a little.

In the cricket season of 1886 nineteen matches were played, with results:

Won, 8; lost, 6; drawn, 5.

Not as good as 1885, but the season was remarkable for the tremendous average obtained by the professional: 100·9 for 18 innings; the next to him was 15·8! He made 174 not out against the Navy at Plymouth; Britannia scoring no less than 337 for 5 wickets, against their opponents’ 83.

In 1887, which was a remarkably fine summer, nearly every match came off, returns being played in several instances.

Underwood again showed great form, but he failed in the first match, against the Royal Marines; the cadets pulled off the match, however, scoring 68 against 53. These are small scores for such redoubtable teams, and the Marines determined that theirs, at least, should be larger in the return match, in which they reversed the former decision, scoring 197 to Britannia’s 81. This was largely due to the fine batting of Lieut. Rait, R.M.L.I., who took out his bat for 119.

The following was played on June 1st:—

Underwood, c Carr, b Sim 30
Cadet Evans, c Gervis, b Carr 1
Cadet Delacombe, st Arundell, b Sim 0
Lieut. Shortland, c Denison, b Sim 0
Cadet Henslowe, hit wkt., b Sim 0
Mr. Tims, b Sim 24
Cadet Gillett, b Carr 1
Mr. Taylor, c Arundell, b Sim 6
Cadet Watson, c Shrubb, b Carr 0
Cadet Walter, not out 3
Cadet Carr, c Sim, b James 6
Extras 4
Total 75
Sim, l b w, b Underwood 91
James, b Taylor 8
Comming, c Delacombe, b Underwood 43
Denison, run out 12
Ridley, not out 21
Carr, c Underwood, b Shortland 7
Shrubb, b Underwood 0
Bafen, b Shortland 0
Arundell, absent 0
Llewellyn, b Underwood 0
Gervis, b Underwood 2
Extras 6
Total 190


Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

[205] Teignbridge are always dangerous opponents, and though the close of their innings was decidedly of a processional character, Sim won easily off his own bat. It will be noticed that Underwood and Mr. Tims made 54 for Britannia, the rest nowhere!

On the return, on July 6th, Teignbridge brought an almost totally different team; perhaps they discounted their adversaries too freely, but it may have been as good an eleven or better. At any rate Britannia administered a good beating:—

Underwood, b Robinson 21
Cadet Delacombe, b Mapleton 4
Cadet Watson, b Mapleton 7
Cadet Evans, c Ellis, b Mapleton 5
Mr. Tims, c Bearne, b Ellis 48
Lieut. Shortland, c Denison, b Robinson 0
Cadet Henslowe, b Ellis 14
Mr. Taylor, c Rendell, b Ellis 11
Cadet Gillett, not out 38
Cadet Carr, c Robinson, b Ellis 5
Cadet Walter, b Mapleton 4
Extras 7
Total 164
H. S. Steele, c and b Underwood 1
A. Bearne, l b w, b Underwood 0
J. B. Denison, c Underwood, b Tims 7
J. T. Warner, c Tims, b Taylor 38
A. Robinson, b Taylor 20
H. B. Mapleton, c Gillett, b Underwood 33
Rev. G. Warner, c Evans, b Underwood 1
W. R. Rendell, st, b Underwood 18
G. Shrubb, b Underwood 0
E. F. Denison, b Tims 3
Ellis, not out 0
Extras 5
Total 126

The second eleven played some matches, and came off successfully.

Result of the season in 1887:—

Played, 21: Won, 10; lost, 7; drawn, 4.

The season of 1888 was remarkably successful:—

Played, 17: Won, 12; lost, 1; drawn, 4.

There are not many schools that lose only one match out of seventeen in a season. For some reason, there are no scores inserted in the Britannia Magazine for this season; it is mentioned that Captain Bedford rendered good service with the bat on more than one occasion.

In 1889 there is again a lack of material for comment, [206] the cricket number for this year having unfortunately been lost.

One very important event, however, has to be recorded.

On July 17th and 18th a two-day match was arranged against M.C.C. and Ground, and the team was captained by no less a person than “W. G.” himself. Unfortunately, he could not come down for the first day’s play; but let Mr. Grace speak for himself:—

15th September, 1903.

Dear Captain Statham,—In answer to your inquiries re my visit to the Britannia in 1889. My son, H. E. Grace, was not then on the Britannia, as he did not join until January, 1890. It was through Lieutenant Abdy, who had played with me at Lord’s, that I promised to play. Gloucestershire were playing the Gentlemen of Philadelphia at Bristol on the first day, and it was arranged that I should get down for the second day if I could not go for the first. As the match at Bristol was not over, I did not get to Dartmouth until late in the evening of the first day’s play. My friend Abdy was just leaving the Britannia, as he had been ordered off to the manœuvres, so took no part in the second day’s cricket. Lieutenant de Robeck was deputed to look after me, which I need not say he did right well. You will see by the enclosed score that I was absent the first innings. After the match was over another was started, in which I took part. It ended in a draw. I remember the best form was shown by Abdy, de Robeck, Taylor, and Royds. Underwood, the professional coach, took the greatest interest in the cadets’ cricket, and did wonders for them, considering he had only had them under his charge for two years. I am sorry I do not recollect more details, but to go back fourteen years is a long time.

Believe me, yours truly,
W. G. Grace.

As will be seen by the score, Britannia had to follow on, scoring only 61 against 156. They did better in their “second venture” (as the “daily” cricket reporter hath it), but M.C.C. won easily by seven wickets.

Photo: Cassell & Co., Ltd.

Played at Dartmouth, July 17th and 18th, 1889.
First Innings. Second Innings.
L. F. B. Dykes, c and b Underwood 18    
Chatterton, c Abdy, b Taylor 47 c De Robeck, b Taylor 6
G. Crake, b Taylor 0 not out 0
[209] Rev. N. Copleston, b Underwood 42    
West, J. E., not out 33    
Rev. G. T. Warner, b Underwood 2    
Mycroft, W., b Abdy 0    
R. T. Warner, b Underwood 3    
W. G. Grace, absent 0 not out 30
P. Steele, absent 0 run out 2
C. Crowdy, absent 0 c Underwood, b Taylor 6
Byes, 8; wides, 3 11 l b, 1; w, 3; n b, 1 5
Total 156 Total 49
H.M.S. “Britannia.”
First Innings. Second Innings.
Underwood, b Mycroft 7 run out 43
Taylor, b Mycroft 0 b Chatterton 14
Lieut. de Robeck, c and b Chatterton 10 b Dykes 12
C. Stratton, run out 6 c Grace, b Chatterton 15
P. Francklin, c Dykes, b Chatterton 3 c Steele, b Dykes 7
Lieut. R. Abdy, c Taylor, b Mycroft 12 st West, b Dykes 6
C. E. Pilkington, b Mycroft 2 b Chatterton 14
P. M. R. Royds, c G. Warner, b Chatterton 2 b Grace 15
E. M. Tims, not out 12 st West, b Mycroft 4
C. L. Lewin, l b w, b Mycroft 4 b Chatterton 7
P. A. H. Brown, c Dykes, b Chatterton 0 not out 2
Byes 3 b, 1; l b, 3 4
Total 61 Total 143
M.C.C. won by seven wickets.

In the second match M.C.C. went in first and declared at 118 for two wickets. “W. G.” made 48 before he was bowled by Mr. Taylor, hitting out of the ground several times: Chatterton, not out 57.

Britannia made 82 for nine wickets before time was called; Mr. Grace took seven of them.

In a local account of the match the reporter remarks [210] ironically that the “cadets fielded very well,” which scarcely does the Britannia justice. Their second innings was not at all a bad performance against the bowling of Mycroft, Chatterton, and Grace, all of whom were accustomed to getting their share of wickets in first-class cricket.

Among other matches played during this season, there is a phenomenal one against Torquay, in which Britannia made over 200, and got Torquay out for 20. Britannia also beat Teignbridge by 89, and Plymouth by 157.

The editor gives some fatherly advice to cricket aspirants:

“The practice at the nets is not all that it should be; instead of trying to play with care and learning to defend the wicket, by far the greater number of cadets seem to think it is a good opportunity for a slog. By all means play the ball hard, but it is the ruin of any boy’s cricket when once he begins to slog at everything in practice.”

The bowlers are admonished for trying to bowl too fast and not keeping a good length; the fielding is “damned with faint praise,” and finally certain cadets “who take a delight in playing the fool” at the nets are recommended, in good plain English, to stay away. Very good advice: let us take our cricket seriously, by all means.

The regatta of 1890 came off with great éclat; and as the editor has no disparaging remarks to make about the “gallery,” it may be concluded that his gentle insinuations on former occasions have produced the desired effect. There was a very close race for the Rushworth Seal in the single sculls, Cadet Prentis just pulling it off, probably because he was a trifle fresher than Withers, who unshipped a scull close to the finish, which is always likely to happen when a pumped-out sculler spurts; and though he recovered pluckily, it lost him the match.

Some “foreign” football matches are on record in the season 1890-91.


Blundell’s School, Tiverton, Britannia lost by 5 points.

Royal Naval Engineers’ College, a similar result.

Exeter Grammar School, Britannia lost by 3 goals to 1.

[211] Association was more successful:—

Against Paignton School, Britannia won, 5 goals to 1.

Return match, Britannia won 5 goals to 0.

Mannamead School won by 2 goals to 1.

The match with Plymouth was a draw.

Totnes Grammar School won by 5 goals to 0.

In the match against Torbay Football Club, as they were a heavier team than schoolboys, Lieutenant de Robeck and Dr. South played; and after an exciting game, Britannia won by 1 goal to 0.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

“A Newcomer”—evidently an executive officer who had passed the Britannia in his youth—takes occasion to remark upon the vast improvement in the cricket of the cadets, and attributes this to the careful coaching of the professional. He says—“The form and confidence displayed now is quite different from that of twelve years ago. The bowling is much improved, but it is a bit wild at times, from the very mistaken idea of trying to bowl too fast, which is always prevalent [212] among boys so young. The fielding is also very good, and quite up to the form of any of the public schools, who do not have such a difficult piece of ground to perform on.”

The year 1893, as many will remember, was remarkable for its long dry summer; indeed, the summer appeared to commence in April, and went right through to September, so that most cricket grounds—the Britannia’s included—were any colour you like except green.

It was naturally a season for batsmen, and Britannia made some long scores.

Against Exeter Grammar School they declared at 249 for 3 wickets; their opponents were perhaps tired by their leather-hunting, for they did not avail themselves of run-getting weather, being all out for 49. Mannamead School and Plymouth Cricket Club were also handsomely beaten, while South Devon, against Britannia’s 186 for 7 wickets, scored 116 for 9, and just managed to keep their end up until time was called: a moral victory for Britannia.

The second eleven won nearly all their matches: Paignton School were beaten by 203 to 74, and Montpelier School by 146 (for 7 wickets) to 32.

Cadets Begg and Backhouse had each a creditable bowling analysis, the former getting 26, and the latter 34 wickets for an average of under eight runs each.

The editor has something to say about following the beagles:—

“We must review the beagling season up to date (Christmas, 1893). As far as sport goes it has been satisfactory, but as far as the attendance of the cadets goes it has not. Now, why is this? We have heard that beagling is considered by some of the senior boys to be ‘bad form.’ Now, we ask you cadets who are sportsmen, are you to be choked off your sport because some big or senior boy—who may play football only, or is more probably a loafer, bred in a town with no knowledge of sport, poor chap—says, ‘Feign I beagling,’ or something of the sort?”

There appears to have been a sort of wave of slackness passing through the ship about that time, at least in regard [213] to the winter games; but some brilliant work was done at cricket when the summer came round again—the last season in which the Britannia boys were to have the advantage of Underwood’s coaching.

Britannia (without the professional) declared at 173 for one wicket against Paignton, and got them out for 120. Against the Royal Marines—also without the professional—they had even more “up their sleeve,” for they made 274 against 68.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

Lieutenant de Robeck made some big scores—114 against the Royal Marines, and 109, not out, against Newton Blues, a very strong team.

Matches, 1894: Won, 6; lost, 5; drawn, 5.

Some maxims of Lord Harris are here inserted in the magazine, for the benefit of the “young ideas”:—

“Don’t, when you are at the wicket, go through a variety of attitudes to show how you could play an imaginary pitched [214] up or short ball, but be content with playing it correctly when it is bowled.”

“Don’t, when you have been bowled out, say it was the worst ball ever bowled; it detracts from your own merits.”

“Don’t, when you miss a catch, think to gain the sympathy of the audience by tearing your hair or grovelling in the dust; save another run by throwing the ball in as quickly as possible, and abase yourself in your own estimation as much as you please afterwards.”

It is Lord Harris also who gives the advice: “Don’t, when you give a chance off your glove, rub your elbow: it is not good form, and will not deceive an efficient umpire.”

With regard to the second paragraph quoted above, the crack bat of a very good club, who was addicted to finding some special reason for getting out, varied it on one occasion, when a “bailer” had him first ball. He put on a judicially satisfied air, and remarked in a loud and cheerful voice, “I’m not a bit ashamed! It was a splendid ball; might have bowled anyone: not a bit ashamed!”

In 1895 no fewer than 22 first eleven matches were played, with the following results:

Won, 13; lost, 7; drawn, 2 (both in Britannia’s favour).

The second eleven won 13 and lost 4; and the third eleven, playing “foreign” matches for the first time, won 3 and lost 1.

A great season this; certainly no school could hope to display greater keenness about cricket, and few would attain such a measure of success.

There was a great match against Mannamead School, in which only cadets played, on June 12th.

Cadet Greatorex, b Knowles 4
Cadet Lambert, b Miller 31
Cadet Master, b Wilkinson 43
Cadet Bedwell, b Wilkinson 61
Cadet Johnson, b Wilkinson 28
Cadet Alison, b Wilkinson 0
Cadet Gascoigne, c Knowles, b Read 30
Cadet Chilton, c Tothill, b Brock 45
Cadet Nicholson, not out 41
Cadet Oliphant, b Wilkinson 18
Cadet Fisher, c Ching, b Wilkinson 1
Extras 5
Total 307
[215] Mannamead.
Tothill, c Master, b Alison 10
Read, b Greatorex 2
Knowles, b Alison 21
Brock, b Alison 0
Miller, b Fisher 9
Wilkinson, b Fisher 0
C. Tothill, b Alison 26
Roberts, b Alison 4
Hunt, run out 15
Paul, not out 5
Ching, b Alison 8
Extras 14
Total 114

A fine example of even scoring—three in the forties and two in the thirties.

The hero of “cock’s score,” Cadet Bedwell, does not appear to have been put on to bowl, or, at any rate, he achieved no success; but in the following effusion he seems to be selected for distinction—perhaps in irony, being more of a bat than a bowler.

It is one of several which are contributed by a gifted correspondent of the Britannia Magazine, each in the style of a well-known poet; they are very clever imitations, and probably the author is not a cadet, though there is no saying, of course. It is scarcely necessary to name the poet whose style is here adopted:

So all day long the cricket ball was bowled
Among the wooded heights by western seas,
Until Britannia’s champions one by one
Had fallen, hopeful, though the side was out
For only ninety. Then, because the score was small,
The captain put on Bedivel to bowl,
And charged him thus: “Take this our trusty ball,
And fling it straight into the middle stump;
And let the scorer watch with anxious care,
See what thou doest, and deftly note it down.”
Then forth he fared, the bowler Bedivel—
Him Bold Sir Bedivel his comrades called,
Save when they dubbed him Bedivel the bowled—
Clothed in white flannel, solid, muscular,
And taking careful aim, he hurled the ball.
The batsman’s eyes were dazzled at the sight;
He dallied long, dividing his slow mind
In act to swipe. But at last it seemed
Better to block it and to save his stumps.
But lo! too late: the yorker hit its mark.
Then spake the captain to Sir Bedivel:
[216] “Hast thou performed the order that I gave?
What is it thou hast seen? What hast thou done?”
And answer made the bowler Bedivel:
“I hurled the ball forth, aiming near the crease;
I saw the leg-stump prostrate on the ground.”

This is an excellent piece of fooling, whoever wrote it, and should immortalise not only the writer, but Sir Bedivel also. There is a footnote appended in the original: “Probably the same who was afterwards called Bedivere,” which leaves a comical sort of uncertainty which way the anachronism works.

The cricket season of 1896 was marked by two remarkable performances of the third eleven, against Totnes School.

In the first match Britannia made 309, and won by an innings and 225 runs; in the return they made 405, winning by an innings and 220. This is what may be termed “making a holy show” of Totnes; and it argues also a very widely spread proficiency among the cadets, for, even paying both sides the poor compliment of assuming that Totnes were weak, an innings of 405 under any circumstances argues a capacity for batting which is most unusual in a school third eleven.

The first eleven played their two old rivals—Plymouth College and Mannamead School—amalgamated into one establishment; only cadets took part in the match, and they declared at 266 for six wickets, dismissing their opponents for 117.

The season’s record is an exemplary one:—

First eleven.—Won, 11; lost, 3; drawn, 2.
Second eleven.—Won, 11; lost, 4.

The Britannia games are never permitted to stand still—there is no such thing as finality recognised.

In 1893 a regular series of football matches was in full swing, both Rugby and Association being played.

The “Soccer” team won four out of five matches.

Montpelier School won, 7 goals to 2
Montpelier School won, 7 goals to 0
Plymouth College won, 3 goals to 2
Mannamead School lost, 2 goals to 4
Mannamead School won, 6 goals to 1

[217] Twenty-five goals were thus scored for Britannia, and only nine against, which is an instructive method of regarding a football season.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

At the regatta of 1896 a new event was introduced—Hindostan v. Britannia—two pinnaces competing, each crammed with cadets. This is a regular piece of marine buffoonery; of course, the oars are very much handicapped by the crowd, but, nevertheless, two or three hands manage to get hold of each oar, while the remainder make as much noise as possible. Britannia won, amid shouts of laughter.

The list of times, etc., in the various athletic competitions, extending over nearly 20 years, as set forth in the accompanying table, is very interesting. The mile record of 5 min. 8 sec. is discredited; but it was, undoubtedly, done in 5 min. 9½ sec. by Cadet Ward, in 1901, so perhaps the hero of 1893 has been wrongly deprived of his place. It is certainly [219] astonishingly good time for a boy, if correct, the pace being nearly 11¾ miles an hour. In view of the doubt—possibly attributable, as on a former occasion, to the unduly excited condition of the timekeeper—the alternative record is held by Cadet Huddart, who subsequently won laurels on a sterner field, but did not, alas! survive to wear them. He was a midshipman in the Naval Brigade attached to Lord Methuen’s force, and in the assault at Graspan, leading his men under the deadly fire, he was hit repeatedly, but refused to fall out, until a mortal wound laid him low.


  Long jump
1878 14·4
1879 14·4
1880 13·6
1881 14·9½
1883 16·3
1884 17·2
1886 15·2
1888 14·0
1889 14·7
1890 14·5
1891 15·8
1892 17·11
1893 15·2
1894 16·5
1895 15·0
1896 16·9
1897 17·2
Holder of Record Ballantyne, 17 ft. 11 in.
  ¼ mile (open) ¼ mile (under 5 ft.)
1878 67 72
1879 65 70
1880 69 75
1881 70 72
1883 60 71
1884 65½ 70½
1886 62 68½
1888 66 ...
1889 66 ...
1890 66 67
1891 66½ 69
1892 58½ 66
1893 603/5 64
1894 ... 711/5
1895 692/5 742/5
1896 613/5 674/5
1897 621/5 754/5
Holder of Record Chichester, 58½ sec. Hallett, 64 sec.
  High jump (open) High jump (under 5 ft.)
1878 4·3 ...
1879 4·4 ...
1880 4·2½ ...
1881 4·5 ...
1883 4·5 ...
1884 4·8 ...
1886 4·3¾ 4·0½
1888 4·8 4·1½
1889 4·5½ 4·2
1890 4·10 4·5
1891 4·8 4·1½
1892 4·8 4·5
1893 4·6½ 4·4
1894 4·8½ 4·8½
1895 4·9 4·7
1896 4·11½ 4·2½
1897 4·6 4·0
Holder of Record Yule, 4 ft. 11½ in. De Burgh, 4 ft. 8½ in.
  Throwing cricket ball
1878 70½
1879 71
1880 70
1881 76
1883 72
1884 75
1886 74
1888 70
1889 75½
1890 89¼
1891 80½
1892 80
1893 77
1894 87
1895 75
1896 87
1897 87
Holder of Record Paulet, 89¼ yds., with very strong wind.
1878 6
1879 5·58
1880 ...
1881 ...
1883 ...
1884 ...
1886 ...
1888 ...
1889 5·36
1890 5·49
1891 6·2
1892 5·35
1893 5·8
1894 5·34
1895 5·54
1896 5·42
1897 5·314/5
Holder of Record White, 5 min. 8 sec. (inaccurate, probably);
  Huddart, 5 min. 314/5 sec.
  100 yards (open) 100 yards (under 5 ft.)
1878 ... ...
1879 ... ...
1880 ... ...
1881 ... ...
1883 ... ...
1884 ... ...
1886 ... ...
1888 ... ...
1889 ... ...
1890 ... ...
1891 ... ...
1892 121/5 131/5
1893 11 ...
1894 121/5 124/5
1895 124/5 133/5
1896 112/5 124/5
1897 12½ 133/5
Holder of Record Collard, 11 sec. Pawson, 124/5 sec.
  Hurdles (open) Hurdles (under 5 ft.)
1878 ... ...
1879 ... ...
1880 ... ...
1881 ... ...
1883 ... ...
1884 ... ...
1886 ... ...
1888 ... ...
1889 ... ...
1890 ... ...
1891 ... ...
1892 ... ...
1893 ... ...
1894 ... ...
1895 202/5 224/5
1896 164/5 194/5
1897 183/5 211/5
Holder of Record Gibbs, 164/5 sec. Bingham, 194/5 sec.
  Tug of war
1878 ...
1879 ...
1880 ...
1881 ...
1883 ...
1884 ...
1886 ...
1888 ...
1889 ...
1890 ...
1891 ...
1892 ...
1893 Port
1894 Star
1895 Port
1896 Port
1897 Port
Holder of Record

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

The Association team has been uniformly more successful than Rugby; the following remarks of the editor on the subject of Rugby football appear to point to a possible explanation:—

“A most important item in football is ‘stodge.’ I have actually seen a fellow come out of the canteen to play a match—a match, mind you—with his mouth full of jam, or some mess or other. He wonders, after a time, why he is a [220] bit off colour; thinks it’s the weather, or his boots. Mind, no stodge till the game is over.”

One might adopt the language of the sinister Custom House officer in “The Smuggler’s Leap”:—

“Your words are plain, though they’re somewhat rough!”

The marvel is that boys so frequently play a good game at “forward,” or make a long score at cricket, in spite of “stodge,” and that of the most wind-destroying character: they are, presumably, specially constructed in the interior at that age.

At Christmas, 1897, it is reported that Mrs. Curzon-Howe, the captain’s wife, presented a couple and a half of beagles to the pack, which then amounted to 17½ couples, with some puppies coming on. The beagles started a fox on one occasion, and ran it for nearly two hours. The distance is stated to have been fourteen miles; there is no mention of the number of “footmen” who kept with the hounds, but it must have been rather hot for them.

A new feature in 1897 was the introduction of hockey matches: Cadet Captains v. Ship; Officers v. Ship; Britannia v. Hindostan.

There is an assault-at-arms twice in the year—in July and December; the summer meeting is held in the fields, and great enthusiasm prevails.

Competitions take place at the horizontal bar, parallel bars, and other gymnastics, properly so called, including the “human pyramid”; a display with dumb bells; poles, etc.; and contests with gloves and fencing swords, which, of course, are by far the most popular, both with cadets and spectators.

The boys get a good grounding in the essential points of fencing and boxing, but to attain to any great degree of proficiency in either requires a good deal more time than can conveniently be devoted to it, and the boxing frequently has a strong spice of the “hammer and tongs” business about it. Still, there are some who shape very well; and, at any rate, a few systematic lessons will enable a lad to do something more than assume, like Mr. Pickwick, “a paralytic attitude,” which [221] his friends confidently believed to be intended for a posture of defence.

Cricket continues to flourish, and a season in which Britannia should fail to win a majority of matches would be regarded as a sort of hideous dream. The editor of the Britannia Magazine would either pass it over in silence or dip his pen in gall and administer such a rating as would, in his editorial opinion, infallibly bring about a different result in the ensuing year; followed, no doubt, by a mild protest against cynicism!

Photo: W. M. Crockett, Plymouth.

These things do not happen, however, as the following figures will demonstrate:—


First eleven.—Won, 10; lost, 7; drawn, 6.
Second eleven.—Won, 13; lost, 7: drawn, 1.
Third eleven.—Won, 11; lost, 3.


First eleven.—Won, 10; lost, 5; drawn, 4.
Second eleven.—Won, 10; lost, 4; drawn, 1.


First eleven.—Won, 7; lost, 3; drawn, 5.

[222] A very exciting match was played, in 1902, against Stratford-on-Avon Wanderers; Lord is the Britannia professional, a left-hander, and an artful dodger in the matter of an unexpected “break back.”

Arlington, b Lord 41
Deer, c Smith, b Swan 1
Holloway, b Glasgow 11
Fellows, b Glasgow 18
Holton, c Whetham, b Glasgow 15
Hastings, b Glasgow 0
Fish, b Glasgow 4
Jackson, b Lord 0
Ashley, l b w, b Glasgow 2
Whitehead, b Lord 10
Challaway, not out 1
Extras 3
Total 106
Dr. Bobardt, b Arlington 2
Cadet Abercrombie, c Hastings, b Whitehead 5
Mr. Smith, l b w, b Whitehead 7
Lieut. Wood, b Arlington 10
Mr. Swan, c Deer, b Hastings 14
Lieut. Lewis, l b w, b Hastings 26
Mr. Benn, c Hastings, b Arlington 1
Lord, c Fish, b Arlington 18
Rev. W. Royse, not out 13
Cadet Whetham, b Hastings 0
Cadet Glasgow, b Arlington 9
Extras 7
Total 112

Britannia’s score was 101 at the fall of the eighth wicket; Cadet Whetham was bowled first ball—six runs still wanted when Glasgow came in. He had taken six wickets, and now he came to the rescue with the bat, and he and Mr. Royse, the chaplain, won the match by steady play at a critical moment.

To a lover of beautiful scenery and keen cricket, it would be difficult to find a more attractive spot than the Britannia cricket grounds on a fine half holiday. For the benefit of readers who have not enjoyed the privilege of being present on such an occasion, let us pay a visit in spirit to the Britannia on a certain Saturday during the summer of 1903; a perfect day, which would have been too hot but for a light westerly breeze with never a touch of chill in it.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.

The cadets’ dinner is at noon on Saturday, and by 1.30 there is scarcely a boy left on board the ship. Some are away in boats or sailing cutters, some are off for a walk, others to visit friends in the neighbourhood, and so on; but we must [223] follow the large contingent which makes its way to the cricket grounds. Landing at the solid stone pier abreast the ship, we cross the asphalt tennis courts, and mount the concrete steps in the far right-hand corner. There are many of these steps, intercepted by level landings, and winding up the hillside past the racquet courts, all overshadowed by trees, which lend a welcome shade, but do not prevent one getting pretty hot during the ascent. At length the last flight is surmounted, and a broad, well-kept path, still under trees, leads on past the beagle kennels, where a loud and inquisitive chorus greets a stranger, to the lower ground. Play is already in progress, so we dutifully keep to the right behind the white screen, and passing across the end of the cricket ground, mount to the upper ground, which is separated from the lower one by a steep grassy bank some 12 or 15 feet high, with several flights of stone steps. Here, standing by the edge of the bank, you can see both grounds to advantage. On the far side is the pavilion, a long bungalow, with an elevated scoring-box in the centre; and here are spacious dressing-rooms, a canteen, where excellent “stodge” may be obtained at the most moderate charges, and a large amount of sitting accommodation for onlookers. A large tent to the left contains tea and refreshments for the officers and their friends. The view is [224] magnificent in every direction, and the full benefit of the summer breeze is felt at this elevation.

Furthermore, there is a great deal of cricket going on; the first and third elevens are playing matches on the lower, and the second eleven on the upper ground; and there is plenty of room for a couple of picked sides to play in addition.

Anticipating a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in such surroundings, we take up a commanding position on a seat overlooking the first eleven pitch.

The match is against Teignbridge, who always play a strong team, including several county players; so Britannia naturally does all she knows, and her eleven only contains two cadets, while the “pro” is included as a matter of course. The remaining eight comprises two lieutenants, two Engineer lieutenants, the paymaster, the science master—whose science is not confined to the lecture room—the chaplain, and one of the doctors.

The “foreigners” have first knock, and are not doing as well as their strength would lead one to expect. Already several wickets are down, and the score is small. The deliveries of Lord, the professional, and Mr. Warner, the science master, are evidently too much for the batsmen. The fielding, moreover, is very keen; quite up to the mark.

The boundaries are liberal, especially on the north and north-east; indeed, the former looks well worth five runs.

There goes their crack player! Bowled by Lord for a “duck.” This is an extremely good riddance, for he is a doughty bat; a left hander, with a strong defence, and a dangerous capacity for scoring if he once gets set.

Two more wickets in rapid succession, both to the science master; and the end comes with surprising rapidity.

The first lieutenant, his many-coloured blazer showing up to advantage in the strong sunlight, comes along with a joyous countenance. “Lucky! got ’em out for 59; strong team, too!”

Very lucky: and not all luck, either. Being, of course, [225] strong partisans of Britannia, we rejoice with him, and hope his side will be in form with the bat.

The “gallery” is mustering rapidly. Nearly all the officers of the ship are on the ground; the captain strolls up, with two or three children and a happy dog; officers’ wives, and outside friends, make a goodly show on the seats along the terrace, half-way down the bank.

Time for Britannia to go in, and Engineer Lieutenants Benn and Smith are deputed to open the ball. Athletics, as is well known, are by no means neglected at the Engineers’ Training College; and these two gentlemen, whose duty it is to look after the engines of the tenders attached to the Britannia, and initiate the cadets into the mysteries of steam, are well able also to show them a wrinkle or two in handling the willow.

The bowling starts well. Looking at the pitch, in nautical parlance, “broadside on,” one is able to see what a good length the left hander keeps: shoots unpleasantly, too, at times, so that you have to be wide awake to get down on them.

These two are bad men to bowl at, though; they “keep their hair on,” watching the ball keenly, and contenting themselves at first with a snick or two through the slips, or a “pull” of moderate dimensions. But the left hander is beginning to lose his length a little, and pitches them up; so the batsmen may get a chance of “opening their shoulders.”

Lieutenant Benn faces him for a fresh over. Ah! there is one well pitched up: he won’t let that off! Not he: a lovely off-drive, going at a tremendous pace, all along the ground, just outside mid-off, who makes a wild grab, but fails to reach it. Away it goes, the man behind the bowler tearing after it, without the remotest chance of catching it, until the little dark speck disappears from view over the gentle slope on the northern boundary. Really now, anyone, “W. G.” or “C. B.” included, might be proud of that drive: and there are several more of the same kind to follow, though the foe discounts them by putting a man there.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Smith is not idle; he is not as [226] fierce a driver as his companion, but his wrist play through the slips is delightfully clean and well timed.

The opponents’ score is passed long since, and still no wicket. Ah! there is one at last. Lieutenant Benn is caught, for an innings of 69, thoroughly well played: and the score is 117 for one wicket; very good business!

Lieutenant de Burgh, of whom great things are usually expected, is bowled by a shooter from the left hander; Lieutenant Smith is caught for a capital innings of 46; Cadets Sparling and Beal show nice form with the bat, the latter scoring 17; then Dr. Bobardt and the “pro” get together and play out time. The doctor is a left hander, and smites very hard when he gets his opportunity; mid-on has occasion to wring his fingers and inspect them dubiously more than once, testifying mutely to the vigour of the doctor’s drives—or, possibly, not mutely; but his remarks are not audible to the gallery.

Total, for six wickets, 214; and of course, being a one day match, it was in reality a victory by ten wickets, Dr. Bobardt and Lord taking out their bats for 47 and 20 respectively.

And what about the second eleven? They are playing Montpelier School; Lieutenant Chetwode plays with them, as a set off against the master on the other side, who is a very big man and a very keen cricketer.

Britannia bats first, and does very creditably: Powell 49, Cull 44, Ling 25, Nicholson 22, and no ducks; “extras” comes out with an unusually long score, 22; total, 221. Towards the end of the innings Montpelier’s bowling was very slack, and Cadet Powell displayed good capacity for availing himself of it, repeatedly getting boundaries away to the bank under the trees on the west side; big leg hits, well timed.

The School would have come off badly, indeed, without their master, who went in first wicket down and scored 91; no one was able to keep him company very long, and it looked like a certain victory for Britannia when the ninth wicket fell with some time to spare. However, the last two men kept their ends up, and the result was a draw, greatly in Britannia’s favour, the School score having only reached 168.

[227] The third eleven had a similar experience against King Edward School, but the “morality” of the victory was much more pronounced, Britannia scoring 283 to their opponents’ 60 for nine wickets; obviously, a declaration at 200 or so would have been sounder tactics.

Cadet Scott scored in this match 104; and he and Cadet Alexander did some remarkable scoring together, actually compiling 103 runs off the first nine overs! An average of over 11 runs an over; rather demoralising for the bowlers!

Well, this delightful afternoon is over, all too soon; “time” is called all round, and soon there is a general exodus from the fields, cadets and officers streaming off in groups down the steps, discussing the play in enthusiastic fashion; and so off to the ship, happy and hungry, in spite of the “stodge” in the pavilion.

During a first eleven match this season a curious misunderstanding occurred. It was a “full strength” game, and Britannia, going in first, scored freely, declaring at 244 for eight wickets. There was time to dispose of the other side, with good luck, but not too much; and of course their policy was to play for a draw.

However, they began to go out pretty fast towards the close, and with about a quarter of an hour left the ninth wicket fell. The last man came in, and after a couple of overs the visitors’ umpire announced, as he came up to the wicket, “Last over.” Everyone who had a watch on looked at it, and saw that it was only 6.20; the large clock fixed on the base of the flagstaff in the corner of the ground, however, said 6.30 within a minute or so. The over was bowled, with no result, and the aforesaid umpire calmly took the bails off, and walked off the ground.

Then there was a row. Britannia’s captain pointed out that the clock was wrong, and that there was nearly ten minutes more play; the umpire maintained that they were bound to go by the ground clock, and was not at all sporting about it. Britannia’s captain, being a man in authority, gave him a good slice of his naval executive mind, but the umpire was stubborn, and time was fleeting. Luckily, however, the [228] visitors’ captain, who was changing in the pavilion, was a sportsman of different kidney; and he immediately decreed, upon being appealed to, that, time or no time, the innings should be played out. So the recalcitrant umpire, and the batsmen, who had taken off their pads, had to come back again, and one of them was so long about it that the bowler did not realise that he had not arrived until he had commenced his run, and found that he was attacking an empty wicket! So, amid some merriment, the batsman at length got fixed up, and a few balls sufficed to decide the match, the last man being dismissed, just on the stroke of time, by a clever catch in the slips.

Moral: Have your ground clock kept right.

The season of 1903 has been a most successful one, as the following figures testify:—

First eleven.—Played, 19: won, 15; drawn, 3; lost, 0 (one abandoned).
Second eleven.—Played, 22: won, 14; lost, 7; drawn, 1.
Third eleven.—Played, 12: won, 9; lost, 1; drawn, 2.

In addition to the remarkable performance of two cadets in a third eleven match, mentioned above, it is on record that Dr. Bobardt on one occasion scored 39 runs off two consecutive overs; that Lieutenant de Burgh made what is believed to be the record score for Britannia of 229 not out (he also scored on another occasion 177 not out); and, the bowlers being determined not to be left out in the cold, the “hat trick” has been performed five times, the Rev. H. Royse, the chaplain, doing it twice.

Enough has been said, perhaps, about the games to indicate what an important place they are assigned in the general programme of the Britannia, and with what keenness and uniform success they are pursued. As the editor remarks, in the opening number of the magazine, no school has such a variety of fixtures; “we want a whole Bell’s Life to ourselves,” he says.

The playing fields could scarcely be surpassed, one would imagine: a good idea of their extent and quality and also of the amount of work entailed in their construction may be obtained from the illustrations. That high bank which [229] separates the two cricket grounds, and the smaller one at the further side of the upper ground, mean a lot of navvies’ work; but no expense or trouble has been spared in the matter, the Admiralty possibly holding the view that if, as was said by a great soldier, British military victories are won on the playing fields at Eton, they are not going to give the Navy any excuse for not winning victories on the score of inefficient playing fields! Certainly, money so expended is money well spent. Since the early days of the Britannia a complete revolution has taken place in the matter of recognised recreation for both soldiers and sailors—officers and men. Formerly they had to do as best they could, by private subscriptions, both for indoor and outdoor games; now a large sum is voted annually for the purpose, and the Britannia games and playing fields bear witness that the Admiralty is not behind the times in this respect.

Photo: Smale & Son, Dartmouth.




Forty-Six Years’ Record—Internal Arrangements—Swimming Baths—“On Their Honour”—No More Sails—The Revenge as a Picture—The Isis and Aurora—Lieutenants’ Adventure—Scotch Hospitality—Shooting Instruction—“Good Fishing”—A Creditable Record—The Cost of the Britannia—The Instructional Staff—An Excellent Arrangement—A Heavy Responsibility—Discharged Right Well—The New Scheme—Utilitarian Buildings—The Racer Again—Popularity of Practical Mechanics—No Half Measures.

HAVING followed the story of the Britannia from her cradle—but not to her grave, as interment would be premature at present—it only remains to add a few details and remarks on the general arrangements as now existing, and on the results of the work performed in the training of young officers during the period of forty-six years since the institution of the Illustrious under Captain Harris, together with a brief description of the new scheme which is now in operation, concurrently with the last days of the Britannia.

The arrangements and general condition of the two ships which constitute the establishment, as the result of many years of experience and successive improvements under various captains, are such as to impress most favourably anyone who has had experience in naval discipline and the adaptation of ships to such purposes. Whatever may be the views held by various officers and others as to the advisability of using a stationary ship in preference to a college—and they are many and diverse, as we have seen—there can be but one opinion as to the high state of perfection which has been attained in the Britannia, whether from a sanitary, a disciplinary, or an educational point of view.

The cadets’ chests and hammocks are divided between the [231] two ships—which are, of course, practically one, by virtue of the connecting bridge—the first and second terms being located on the lower deck of the Hindostan, the third and fourth on the main deck of the Britannia. At the fore end of each of these decks are large salt water baths, with fresh water shower-baths; every cadet, on turning out in the morning, has to go through the bath, and is also provided with hot water at his washing place for supplementary ablutions. Arrangements are also made by which about one hundred cadets get a hot fresh water bath each week. The hot and muddy followers of the beagles are not forgotten, a very acceptable warm bath being provided for them when they return on board.

The cadets’ chests and clothes are under supervision by the lieutenant in charge of each term, who supplies the captain with a list of deficiencies once a month, and frequently inspects the chests and clothing, to see that they are kept in good order.

Naval uniform, etc., is very strictly prescribed nowadays, down to the most minute details—such as neckties, and toe-caps on boots—in great contrast to the laxity of former days; and the cadets are bound by these to the very letter.

The studies are divided between the two ships, and are as good as they could be made on board a ship; gangways are built at the sides, so as to utilise the full breadth of the ship, without the necessity of passing through one study for access to another. The lecture-room is on board the Britannia, fitted with rising tiers of seats, and all appliances for practical demonstration in physics, etc.

The messroom is on the lower deck of the Britannia; and a bulkhead separates this and the steward’s pantries, etc., from the ship’s company’s quarters at the fore end.

The wardroom officers have an excellent messroom at the after end of the middle deck, with anteroom and billiard-room. It may sound odd to landsmen to hear of such a nicely adjusted article as a billiard-table on board ship; and, of course, in a sea-going ship or one moored in an exposed position it would be futile. In a close and quiet harbour [232] such as Dartmouth, however, it is quite feasible, and any little alterations in the trim of the ship are compensated by means of a screw on each leg of the table and a spirit level.

The captain has his quarters on the main deck, above the officers.

The poop of the Hindostan is roofed in and fitted permanently as a chapel, the only adaptation necessary for Sunday being the covering of the skylights which light the studies below, and which otherwise interfere with the arrangement of the seats. This is a vast improvement on the old style of “rigging church” with messroom forms, etc., on the middle deck, which is all very well in a sea-going ship, where you cannot devote a portion of a deck to the purpose.


The upper deck of the Britannia is covered in, and used as a place for recreation and skylarking in bad weather, also for such functions as prize day, etc.

There are two floating swimming baths attached to the ship: one is moored a little way off, and the other, in which the water can be heated when necessary, is secured under the bridge which connects the two ships. These are used for the purpose of instruction in swimming; every cadet is tested as to his capabilities in this respect on joining; should the weather be too cold at the time, he must produce a statement from his parents or guardian that he can swim. The test is to swim sixty yards without stopping; any boy who is unable to do this is placed under instruction, and his progress regularly reported until he can pass in swimming. No cadet is allowed to use the boats for recreation, or to present himself for final examination, unless he is able to swim.

[233] The first paragraph of the regulations to be observed by cadets when away from the ship explains clearly enough the spirit in which the rules are imposed:—

“Cadets when on shore for recreation enjoy complete freedom from surveillance. This advantage can only be enjoyed with their co-operation, and it is obviously to their interest, in every way, to show that the confidence reposed in them is not misplaced. Certain rules and regulations are laid down for their guidance, and they are ‘on their honour’ to abide by them.”

The rules are by no means too harsh or exacting, and the system is found to work perfectly.

The youth “Navilus,” in his booklet, it will be recollected, records how he and his companion went on board the German man-of-war. This was a breach of rules, without first obtaining permission, but not a very terrible offence; indeed, it would have been almost too much to expect that they should, in response to such a cordial invitation, reply that they were not permitted to do so.

The course of studies and seamanship as at present pursued is contained in the Appendix, and needs but little notice here.

It will be observed that instructions as to working sails and masts, manœuvring a ship under sail, etc., are wiped out; all that is taught is the names of sails and how to “bend” fore and aft sails. All fitting of rigging is also abolished, and only such bends and hitches, knots and splices, retained as may be occasionally useful. It was quite time, no doubt, to take this step, seeing how much else there is to learn, and that none of these lads will ever see a sail set in their future ships; still, there is a certain feeling of regret about it. England attained her unrivalled place on the ocean by her sailors’ smartness in the old style of seamanship; she will have to maintain it with the new appliances when the time comes.

Another source of regret—entirely sentimental, no doubt; but are not sailors proverbially sentimental?—is the final disappearance of the big ship under a cloud of canvas. Such [234] a sight as the cadets were called from their studies to witness one day at Portland, when the Revenge, a very handsome two-decker, was beating into the roads; Captain Harris stood on the poop, a veritable sea-dog, and criticised every movement.

A big battleship or cruiser is a fine sight, the embodiment of power and dangerous energy; but she cannot hold a candle to the Revenge as a picture!

In 1902 great excitement was caused by the news that the Racer was doomed; and in due course her successor put in an appearance—a very different sort of craft.

The Isis is a second-class cruiser of 5,600 tons and 8,000 horse-power, though she is capable of developing a good deal more than this when it is found necessary to press her. She is reckoned as a 19- or 20-knot vessel, and, as will be seen from the illustration, is a very business-like looking craft, presenting quite an imposing appearance in the narrow waters of the Dart.

Her first cruise commenced on October 2nd, 1902, when she took the fourth term cadets to sea for a blue-water cruise; the first since the days of the Ariadne in the early ’seventies. It was during this trip that, while at Santa Cruz, in Teneriffe, some idiotic Canary Islanders attacked Captain Mundy, and injured him rather seriously.

The Isis, however, did not provide sufficient accommodation for the cadets who were ripe for sea training, so another vessel was attached to the Britannia—the Aurora, an older vessel, and, though of the same tonnage and lower speed, rated as a first-class cruiser; she has a considerable amount of protective armour.

These two vessels are kept going, and in the summer number of the magazine for 1903 there is quite a long yarn about their doings, with scores of the cricket matches played by the cadets at various ports.

When the cadets joined for their cruise on May 7th, 1903, at Plymouth, it is recorded that all turned up punctually except one boy, whose parents had sent him to Portsmouth by mistake; and, as he came from Wales, he had rather a roundabout journey to Plymouth!

[235] They visited the Scilly Isles, where Mr. Smith-Dorrien, who owns large property there, extended liberal hospitality to them. Here a somewhat awkward mishap attended two of the lieutenants. They went out in a skiff, when the weather became somewhat rough—as everyone knows it can at the Scillies—and their small craft capsized, out of sight of the ship. However, they managed to swim on shore, and were well looked after by a fisherman’s family until a ship’s boat brought them on board, luckily none the worse.

From the Scillies they went to Milford Haven, thence to the Isle of Man, and on to Oban. They were to have gone on to the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” but one of the lads had to be landed for an operation for appendicitis, so their stay at Oban was prolonged, and the Norway trip abandoned.

Two of the ship’s boats took part in a sailing race, and the gig of the Isis, steered by the first lieutenant, succeeded in carrying off the prize, being, indeed, 18 minutes ahead of her time allowance; which must have astonished the members of the local yacht club who admitted them to the competition; for it is, curiously enough, a sort of axiom among yachtsmen, that naval officers cannot sail a boat.

From Oban they went to Invergordon, Tobermory, and Stornoway. But the weather-god of the Hebrides is an unrestful sort of person, and treated them to a little of the bluster which he always has up his sleeve, even in the summer months; and before they arrived at Milford Haven, on July 5th, a good many of the cadets had had a good opportunity of getting their “sea-legs.”

All naval officers who have visited Scotland in their cruises carry away pleasing recollections of much kindness and hospitality, and the experience of the officers and cadets on board the Isis formed no exception to the rule.

The Aurora, meanwhile, sailing on the same day, visited Guernsey, Yarmouth (Isle of Wight), Weymouth, Torquay, Falmouth, the Scilly Isles, Kingstown, Bangor, Lamlash Bay (in the Isle of Arran), thence to the Isle of Man, and finally to Milford Haven, where they found their “opposite number,” the Isis, and compared notes as to their respective cruises.

[236] It is quite obvious, from the tone of the letters from the two ships, that these cruises, teeming as they do with opportunities of acquiring valuable knowledge and experience, are also a source of much pleasure and enjoyment to the lads.

It is recorded in the magazine that the captain has started a shooting class among the cadets of the senior term; giving preference to those who have not had an opportunity at home of using a fowling piece. Clay pigeons are provided, and the cadets are instructed in all the precautions which should be used when out shooting, so as to minimise the risk of accident. This is an excellent idea, and the boys ought to be very grateful to Captain Cross for originating it. Every shooting season has its tale of accidents, many of them arising from an utter disregard of precautions and lack of common sense; opportunities often occur of shooting on foreign stations, and the experience gained with the clay pigeons at Dartmouth will come in handy afterwards, no doubt. The practice of dragging a loaded gun through a hedge is responsible for many deaths, the culprit being usually also the victim; and the extraordinary things that people who are supposed to be experts in the use of fire-arms will do sometimes are almost incredible. Let us hope that these young gentlemen, being forewarned, will learn the value of caution and common sense in the use of both sporting and service weapons; not forgetting the revolver, which, in the hands of careless or incompetent persons, is the most dangerous weapon of all.

The King’s Birthday “whole” was curtailed to a “half” in 1903, owing to the presence of scarlet fever in Dartmouth; but, as it was held on June 26th, the day was long, and was well filled up. Three cricket matches, a picnic of about 140 up the river, and a sea-fishing party of forty or fifty comprised the entertainments, which were all eminently successful. The fishermen were piloted by Mr. James, of Dartmouth, to an ideal fishing ground, where they hauled up many big fish, including huge conger eels—which often give exciting sport by their antics when landed, getting mixed up with all the tackle in the boat, and going for the fishermen open-mouthed [237] when they endeavour to disentangle them—rock-cod, and other marine monsters; they also had a parallel experience with that of the apostolic fisherman of old, for, though they were not using nets, one of their best lines broke from the weight of fish upon it.

The spot selected by this acute Dartmouth gentleman presents a strong contrast to some places which are marked “good fishing” on the Admiralty charts, where, indeed, the words hold good in an ironical sense, for you may fish all day there; but, whether your fishing be good, bad, or indifferent, there is no “catching”!

Before proceeding to describe the arrangements which are to supersede the old Britannia course, it may be interesting to give a few figures showing the numbers who have passed through the ship. These are not available earlier than January 1st, 1862.

Since that date the number of cadets actually entered, up to the close of 1902, is 5,009; the number who have presented themselves for final examination out of the ship, from December, 1862, to August, 1903, is 4,741; and out of these there have been 151 failures—3·1 per cent.

This is not a large percentage over so long a period; but taking the last ten years separately there is a very marked improvement, 1,770 cadets examined giving only 27 failures, or 1½ per cent.; and the last five examinations—up to August, 1903—have brought no failures.

There is no record easily available as to the numbers withdrawn, or discharged, for misconduct, earlier than midsummer, 1879; since then, up to August, 1903, 79 have been withdrawn, and eleven discharged for misconduct, or 2·9 per cent. in all; and these numbers include six who were discharged at the time of the bullying investigation, during Captain Digby’s command.

During the last ten years, however, only 1·6 per cent. have left before completing their course, there being only one case of dismissal for misconduct.

Since 1884, 66 cadets have entered the Service from the two training-ships of the Mercantile Marine Service Association, [238] the Conway in the Mersey, and the Worcester in the Thames. These lads, after two years in the training ships, provided they fulfil certain conditions as to age, etc., are admitted for examination with the cadets in the Britannia.

Some details as to the cost of the Britannia will be found in the Appendix; the figures are high, and do not include the cost of the sea-going training ships now in commission, which is not small.


If the gross amount named in the estimates be taken, without deducting the parents’ contributions, the rate per head per annum in 1882-3 would be £258, and in 1901-2 £187. Whether this is excessive in respect of what is obtained for it, or how it compares with the cost per head at the most expensive public schools, it is not precisely within the scope of this volume to inquire; but probably a ship school of the high type of the Britannia is a very expensive affair, and, after all, when the amount of the Navy estimates, year by year, is taken into consideration, forty or fifty thousand pounds does not seem an extravagant sum to pay for the training of executive officers: it will come a good deal heavier in the future, however.

The course of study will be found in the Appendix; but something should be said about the masters and their work.

The instructional staff consists of the chief naval instructor, eight naval instructors, two French masters, two drawing masters, one English master, and one natural science master.

Of these, Mr. J. H. Spanton, the senior drawing master, has been 36 years in the ship; Mr. P. Brunel, the senior French master, 28 years; Mr. Hamilton Williams, the English master, 27 years; and Mr. Tims, the chief naval instructor, is in his twentieth year. In the past, there have been several naval instructors who have remained for over 20 years—to [239] wit, Mr. A. C. Johnson, 24 years; the Rev. J. C. P. Aldous, 23 years; Mr. W. W. Lane, 22 years; Mr. G. B. Mason, 22 years.

Mr. Aldous, it will be recollected, was appointed, in 1875, as chief naval instructor, though he had never been connected with the Service in any capacity; during his long tenure of office he retained the goodwill of all his colleagues, and entirely justified his selection by the Admiralty for this important post.

Mr. Johnson was—and is—an enthusiast in the science of navigation, and has published several books on the subject, one of which—on finding the position of the ship at sea, by observations, in cloudy weather—has run into over five-and-twenty editions. He also edited a text-book on trigonometry for the use of the cadets.


The cadets are divided into two watches, and those who join each term are divided into two classes, half of each class being in either watch. Thus, if 64 cadets join in one term, they would be known as first and second class starboard and first and second class port; and as one watch is always “out of study”—i.e. at seamanship or other work—the class actually present with the naval instructor would number sixteen. A cadet captain has charge of this sixteen, and has to see that they enter and leave the study quietly, and pay due attention to whatever work they may be about, in the absence of the instructor.

There is also an excellent arrangement by which the boys of each class have to inform their captain every evening how they have employed their leisure time; and this has to be accounted for under numerous headings on a regular form provided for the purpose, and covering a week, Sunday [240] excepted. Thus, so many will be swimming, or photographing, walking, playing cricket, tennis, racquets, fives, etc.; or out in sailing boats or blue gigs, and so on; 23 headings in all, including “punishment,” the total number in the last column showing that all the class have been accounted for each day; and this form is presented to the captain on Sunday.

Photo: Cassell & Co., Ltd.

The cadet captains are by this means made to feel that they have certain responsibilities, while it constitutes a decided check on aimless loafing, which is a bad thing for all boys.

It is now time to take leave of the Britannia. Her story has been followed pretty closely for 46 years, from the day on which Captain Harris received his first batch of cadets on board the Illustrious; and it is hoped that the life on board and the various vicissitudes of the ship under successive administrations have been described with sufficient accuracy to give a true picture of this institution—an institution which has had a bearing and influence upon the efficiency of the [241] Navy during all these years, the importance of which can scarcely be overrated.

Sir William Martin stated nothing but the truth when he wrote to Captain Harris, in 1861: “There is no man in England whose opportunity of doing good to our country, for ages to come, is greater than yours.” And if it was true in regard to Captain Harris, it must be held to be equally applicable to his successors in command, and, in a lesser degree, to the large number of officers and masters who have assisted them.

How have they discharged this heavy responsibility?

Photo: Cassell & Co., Ltd.

It is impossible to pass a verdict otherwise than favourable on the whole, keeping in mind, of course, the fact that those immediately responsible for the conduct of the establishment were always under orders, with regard to general principles, from the Admiralty.

[242] Mistakes may have been made at headquarters, errors in discipline, teaching, and so on, may have crept in on board from time to time. To err is human, and a great administrative department such as the British Admiralty must, of necessity, deal largely in compromises. You cannot find, on this earth, any corporation, institution, or structure which combines the highest degree of excellence in all the attributes which go to make up its composition; and in the conduct of the Britannia there must always have been conflicting elements difficult to reconcile.

Taking it all round, however, the general conclusion must be that the Britannia has done right well, and that those who have been responsible for her management have done their best in the interests of the Service.

That no pains have been spared in perfecting equipment, organisation, discipline, recreation, must be patent to all who have taken the trouble to read these pages—otherwise they have certainly been written in vain—and if any further proof be needed, a visit to Dartmouth will dispel all doubts.

The visit must not be delayed too long, however; the last days of the Britannia are approaching, and in a year or two the familiar twin hulls, with the connecting bridge, and the flotilla of steam and sailing boats clustered about them, will have disappeared. The last batch of cadets under the old regulations will be entered in November, 1905; and it is probable that, if space permit, they will be housed in the College now rising on the hill, while the ship may be kept on for a time as an overflow, or as a store for marine appliances, etc.

The old gives place to the new; but for many years to come there will remain hundreds of officers who will look back with pleasure on their life at Dartmouth, and who will ungrudgingly acknowledge the many valuable lessons they learned in the “good old Brit.

A few concluding words are necessary in order to describe the new system which is to take the place of the Britannia.

Years ago, when the Naval Academy was first instituted, [243] the question of the necessity, or at least the advisability, of some previous training for boys, before sending them to sea, was mooted. In those days it was partial, a large number continuing to join their ships straight from school; then the scheme was dropped for twenty years, until Captain Harris came to the front, and previous training was made compulsory.

There were many dissentient voices at that time, and for years subsequently there were not wanting those who maintained that more efficient officers would ultimately be obtained upon what we have alluded to as the “pitchfork” system.

Time, with its abnormally rapid changes of the last century, has, however, solved the problem—as it eventually solves all questions—and he would be a bold man, and a somewhat foolish one withal, who would venture nowadays to advocate a policy of no previous training.

The new regulations are of a revolutionary character, and—without going into the merits of the question with regard to the amalgamation, during probation, of the executive officers, Engineers, and Marine officers, which has raised some discussion—the principal points are as follow:—

The average age of entry is between 12 and 13.

All candidates are admitted, as before, by the nomination of the Admiralty.

All are liable, at the expiration of their training, to be placed on the strength as sub-lieutenants, Engineer sub-lieutenants, or subalterns of Marines, as may be required; but the wishes of each officer will be consulted as far as is compatible with the needs of the Service.

In giving nominations, preference will be given, other things being equal, to those applicants whose parents or guardians declare for them that they are prepared to enter any of the three branches.

In the first circular issued, a competitive examination of a stiff character was provided for; by a subsequent amendment, however, this has been replaced by a qualifying examination, not of a very formidable nature. So it is to be hoped that the anomaly of bestowing a number of nominations, two-thirds of [244] which cannot possibly come to anything, is to be finally relegated to the past.

Examinations will be held three times each year, preceded by a medical examination, the subjects being as follow:—

Part I.

1. English (including writing from dictation, simple composition, and reproduction of the gist of a short passage twice read aloud to the candidates).

2. History and geography:

(a) History (simple questions in English history and growth of the British Empire).

(b) Geography (simple questions with special reference to the British Empire).

3. French or German (importance will be attached to the oral examination).

4. Arithmetic and algebra:

(a) Arithmetic (elementary, including vulgar and decimal fractions).

(b) Algebra (to simple equations with easy problems).

5. Geometry (to include the subject matter of the first book of Euclid, or its equivalent in experimental geometry and mensuration).

The use of instruments and of algebraical methods will be allowed.

Part II.

(One only to be taken.)

6. Latin (easy passages for translation from Latin into English, and from English into Latin, and simple grammatical questions).

7. A second modern language (of which, if not French or German, notice must be previously given), or an advanced examination in the language selected under Part I.

8. Experimental science (easy questions with the object of testing practical knowledge and powers of observation).

On passing this examination candidates will be sent to the training establishments for four years.

Instruction will comprise an extension of the present Britannia course, and a thorough elementary instruction in physics, marine engineering, etc., including the use of tools and machines. Instruction will also be carried out in small vessels attached to the establishment.

Examinations will be held during the second and fourth year of training. Cadets who fail to pass will be withdrawn. [245] Parents or guardians are required to sign a declaration on the admission of a cadet to the training establishment to the effect that he shall be immediately withdrawn on the receipt of an official intimation of his being considered unfit for the Navy.

After leaving the training establishment cadets will go to sea, and will then be instructed in seamanship, navigation, pilotage, gunnery, mechanics, and engineering by the specialised officers of the ship.

After three years, each midshipman who has passed the qualifying examinations will become an acting sub-lieutenant.

Acting sub-lieutenants go to Greenwich Royal Naval College and to Portsmouth for final instruction in the subjects they studied while midshipmen at sea.

On conclusion of their examination in these subjects, having reached the age of 19 or 20, sub-lieutenants will be distributed between the executive and engineer branches of the Navy and the Royal Marines. No sub-lieutenant will be required to join any branch for which he did not enter as a boy when applying for a nomination.

Such are, briefly, the regulations under which—simultaneously with those who, between 14½ and 15½ years of age, are going in for the last of the old system—cadets are now being entered.

The training establishments alluded to consist of the colleges at Dartmouth and Osborne, with such steam vessels as may be necessary for instruction afloat.

The Dartmouth College is, however, very far from being completed, but our illustration gives a truthful picture of its future appearance.

It is reproduced from an original drawing, kindly lent by Mr. Aston Webb, R.A., the architect.

The Dartmouth College has some pretensions, as has been seen, to artistic merit in appearance, and will, in fact, be a very handsome and effective building on its commanding site.

Those who look for anything of this nature at Osborne will, however, be grievously disappointed. The College in the Isle of Wight is utilitarian to the last degree; so much so [246] as to render any criticism of the buildings from an artistic point of view quite out of the question.

There is a reason for this, however; and the reason is that it had to be prepared for the reception of the first batch of cadets under the new scheme in July, 1903; and at the beginning of that year it had literally no existence.

Having decided upon the adoption of this scheme, and deeming it imperative that it should be brought into operation as speedily as possible, the Admiralty had no option but to “rush” the College into existence; and the King having sanctioned its erection at Osborne, it was rushed accordingly. Sir John Fisher, who had this arrangement in hand, and very much at heart, is perhaps better qualified for getting the maximum amount of work done in the minimum time than any officer in the Service.


The stables at Osborne House formed the nucleus of the new building; and in close proximity to these—which were promptly adopted for various purposes—there were run up a series of bungalow erections—dormitories, officers’ quarters, and so on—constructed of timber and a kind of hard plaster known as “uralite.”

From the Design by Aston Webb, R.A.

The illustrations give a correct idea of their general appearance; and though, as has been observed, they are utilitarian rather than ornamental, they are very well fitted [249] in every way, and quite up to date. There are twenty-five beds in a dormitory, and room for a few more if necessary; each cadet’s chest stands at the foot of his bed, and a wash-stand beside it; there is a plunge bath, with three ordinary ones, at the end of the dormitory, and a capital lavatory besides, for use in the daytime.

The officers’ quarters are very comfortable and well furnished, and the cabins are of sufficiently liberal dimensions to be dignified by the name of rooms.

The whole establishment is lit by electric light, the current being brought from Newport at a high voltage, and transformed at East Cowes, so as to be delivered at 240 volts.

The playing fields are very large in extent—much larger than those at Dartmouth—and though they are now somewhat in the rough, they will in time be excellent, the subsoil being gravel and the drainage consequently very good.

The officers of the Osborne College are to be found in the “Navy List” under our old friend the Racer, formerly attached as a rigged cruising vessel to the Britannia, but now denuded of her yards and sails, and used as an instructional ship for the College.

Captain R. E. Wemyss is in command at Osborne, and his staff comprises a commander, four lieutenants, two engineer lieutenants, and an engineer sub-lieutenant, a captain Royal Marine Artillery, chaplain, staff surgeon, surgeon, staff paymaster, and assistant paymaster, besides some warrant officers and petty officers for instructional and disciplinary purposes.

There are also eight masters for studies, who do not, however, at present reside in the College, but have a comfortable sitting-room appropriated to them.

More dormitories, etc., are in course of construction, in anticipation of a considerable increase of numbers in the near future.

This does not, however, include the whole establishment, for down by the river-side, about three-quarters of a mile distant, there is an excellent workshop, with all necessary machines of the latest description, run by electric motors. [250] This was also run up in record time, but is built of brick, and in every respect most workmanlike and suitable for its purpose.

There are—in October, 1903—about eighty cadets, whose course is in full swing, and who appear to be thoroughly happy and comfortable, and keen about work and play alike.

The workshop appears to possess a tremendous attraction for them; and, judging by the eagerness with which they race for their places and tackle the tools, practical mechanics is not going to be a difficulty in the new scheme.

A substantial pier is being constructed on the river, and various improvements are being rapidly carried out.

How the course is to be apportioned between the two Colleges is not precisely settled at present; but it is almost certain that the cadets will commence at one—probably Osborne—and, after two years or so, be transferred to the other to complete their course.

Such is briefly the educational arrangement for our future naval officers; the scheme excited a good deal of adverse comment when it was announced, and only experience, of course, can demonstrate its merits and defects. It has been inaugurated with a great deal of energy, and certainly appears to promise well, at any rate in the probationary stage. With later developments, which some people predict will bring a certain degree of failure, we are not concerned just now. It is obvious, however, that some radical change was necessary, and half measures are seldom successful; so it is as well, perhaps, that the authorities have “taken the bull by the horns,” and had the courage of their convictions.



(issued from the Admiralty, November 1st, 1773).

Article I.

Sons of noblemen and gentlemen only are eligible for admission, not under twelve or over fifteen; except fifteen sons of commissioned officers of H.M. Fleet, who are to be educated at the public expense, and (by Order in Council of October 8th, 1773) may be admitted from eleven to fourteen years of age.

Article II.

Every scholar is to pass a preliminary examination, to show that he is qualified to enter upon the plan of education adopted at the Academy.

Article III.

The master, ushers, and scholars are to be appointed by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who may dismiss them at any time.

Article IV.

The Commissioner of the Dockyard for the time being is to be governor of the Academy.

Article V.

The master is to reside in quarters provided in the building.

Article VI.

Teachers are also to reside in the building, provided there is room, and are to furnish their quarters at their own expense.


Article VII.

The scholars are to have separate chambers, and to board with the master, who is to receive £25 per head per annum, and no more; to keep a decent table, find washing, fire, candles, towels, table and bed linen, and necessary utensils.

Article VIII.

The master is to keep a register of the scholars, showing the day of their first appearance, times absent, and day of discharge.

Article IX.

The master is to treat all scholars alike, and to see that the teachers do likewise, except in the matter of such encouragement as may be due to those who distinguish themselves by diligence.

Article X.

No scholar is to keep a servant, but is to content himself with the attendance provided.

Article XI.

Every scholar is to be provided yearly, at his own expense, with a new suit of blue clothes against his Majesty’s birthday, conformable to a pattern lodged with the master, except sons of sea officers, who are to be allowed £5 to provide the said suit.

Article XII.

The master is to see that the scholars are neat and decent in dress, and that they pay due respect to the officers of the yard when they meet.

Article XIII.

The scholars are to be instructed in writing, arithmetic, drawing, navigation, gunnery, fortification, and other useful parts of mathematics; also in French, dancing, fencing, and the exercise of the firelock. The master is to settle a plan for a regular course of studies, subject to the approval of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

Article XIV.

The hours are to be the same as those of the shipwrights, except half an hour for breakfast and one and a half hour for dinner; no intermission or holiday being allowed except such as are observed in the Dockyard, and Saturday afternoon.


Article XV.

The scholars are constantly to go to church on Sundays and other days of public worship.

Article XVI.

A complete set of arms and accoutrements is to be provided for each scholar at his Majesty’s expense, to be kept by the fencing master until issued.

Article XVII.

After one year scholars are to be taught fencing and the use of the firelock.

Article XVIII.

The fencing master is to see that the arms, etc., are kept in good order.

Article XIX.

If any of the scholars shall lose or spoil their arms or accoutrements, the master is to provide others for them at their parents’ expense, and to give them due correction.

Article XX.

Scholars when at drill are to wear their blue clothes, unless dispensed by the Governor.

Article XXI.

The Commissioner is to visit and inspect the studies and behaviour of the scholars and methods of instruction, and report to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

Article XXII.

No scholar is to be allowed out of the Dockyard without the Commissioner’s leave, after obtaining written permission from the master to apply for it. A second offence against this rule is to be reported to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

Article XXIII.

During the first year punishments shall consist of the rod, task, or confinement, at the discretion of the master. More serious faults to be punished by expulsion by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.


Article XXIV.

After one year punishments shall consist of task or confinement by the master, confinement under sentry’s charge by the governor, loss of time for passing, or expulsion.

Article XXV.

A scholar who has been expelled shall never be admitted into the Royal Navy.

Article XXVI.

The Commissioner, upon application of parents or guardians, may give leave either at Christmas or Whitsuntide for three weeks. Any scholar who absents himself at other times, even by leave, or breaks his leave, shall lose the time. Absence without leave shall be punished by expulsion or otherwise by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

Article XXVII.

After one year scholars shall be excused from school two afternoons in each week, and the Commissioner shall direct one of the masters attendant to carry them one afternoon into the rigging house, storehouses, and sail lofts, and to take them afloat, etc.

Article XXVIII.

On another afternoon the master shipwright is to instruct them in ship construction, etc.

Article XXIX.

The Commissioner may order a vessel of small size to be placed near, and make the scholars rig and unrig her; and two guns are to be placed on board, with powder and shot and all accessories, with an experienced gunner from a ship-in-ordinary to instruct them.

Article XXX.

No scholar is to remain less than two, or more than three, years, except the sons of sea officers, who must remain three, and may remain five, years, unless they have finished their plan sooner and their parents desire them to go to sea. But they are not in any case to remain beyond the age of seventeen. In the first week of March each year an account of the qualification of each scholar is to be sent in, with a view to sending him to sea if qualified.


Article XXXI.

On a scholar being discharged to sea the master is to give a certificate of the time spent in the Academy, deducting times of absence (except three weeks each year), and time forfeited as punishment.

Article XXXII.

A scholar on leaving is to leave his arms with the fencing master.

Article XXXIII.

On scholars leaving, vacancies are to be filled and numbers kept up in each class.

Article XXXIV.

Scholars on joining his Majesty’s ships shall be kept to the duties of seamen, but with the privilege of walking the quarter-deck, and shall be allotted a proper place to lie in, but no cabins; and shall be rated on the ship’s books as “Volunteers by Order,” and receive able seaman’s pay.

Article XXXV.

The captain shall make Volunteers keep journals, and draw the appearance of headlands, coasts, bays, and such like; and the master, boatswain, and schoolmaster shall instruct them.

Article XXXVI.

After two years at sea the captain shall rate them midshipman ordinary—or midshipman, if qualified.

Article XXXVII.

Scholars shall have liberty while at Portsmouth to visit the Academy and be instructed there, and in the yard, gratis.

Article XXXVIII.

On returning from a foreign voyage they shall bring their journals to the master of the Academy for his inspection, and he will also examine them and represent to the Secretary to the Admiralty how he finds they have improved.

Article XXXIX.

The captain shall give a certificate on their leaving the ship as to sobriety, obedience, diligence, and skill; and also of the time they have served as Volunteer or midshipman.


Article XL.

When a Volunteer by Order is paid off, upon bringing his certificate of good behaviour to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty they may, if he desires it, give orders for him to have free use of the Academy.

Article XLI.

Volunteers educated in the Academy, and sent from thence by order of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to serve in his Majesty’s ships, shall be qualified, in point of time, for lieutenants after so many years’ service at sea as, together with the time specified in the certificate given them upon leaving the Academy (not exceeding three years for the sons of sea officers before mentioned) shall complete the term of six years, provided they have served two years thereof as mates, midshipmen, or midshipmen ordinary in his Majesty’s ships, and are not under twenty years of age, but shall pass the usual examination of their abilities before they can be preferred.



ADMIRALTY CIRCULAR of February 23rd, 1857 (in so far as it relates to Naval Cadets).

I. A naval cadet must, on nomination, be not less than thirteen or more than fifteen years of age.

II. He must undergo the examination at the Royal Naval College within three months of the date of nomination.

III. He must produce a certificate of birth, or a declaration of the date of birth, made before a magistrate.

IV. He must be in good health, free from impediment of speech, defect of vision, rupture, etc.

V. The subjects in which a cadet is required to pass are as follows:—

Between thirteen and fourteen years of age:

(1) To write from dictation legibly and correctly.

(2) To read, parse, and translate an easy passage from some Latin or French author (the use of a dictionary is allowed).

(3) To have a satisfactory knowledge of the leading facts of Scripture and English history.

(4) Modern geography, including the principal countries, capitals, mountains, and rivers, etc.; and to be able to point out a place on the map if the latitude and longitude are given.

(5) Arithmetic, including the four first rules, proportion, and a fair knowledge of vulgar and decimal fractions.

(6) Algebra, including fractions.

Above the age of fourteen, in addition to the above:

(1) The use of the globes, correct definition of latitude, longitude azimuth, amplitude, and other circles.

(2) Vulgar and decimal fractions.

(3) Algebra, simple equations.

(4) The first book of Euclid.

(5) Plane trigonometry and its application to the solution of easy problems.

A knowledge of drawing is recommended.

[258] VI. A cadet on passing will be appointed to a training ship at Portsmouth or Devonport for at least three months.

VII. Quarterly examinations will be held on board the training ship, and any cadet who considers that he is competent may present himself for examination in sheet No. 1 and seamanship. If found qualified, he will be sent to a sea-going ship.

VIII. Any cadet who fails to pass his examination within the periods stated below will be rejected:—

14 years 6 months on joining The second quarterly examination.
14 years and under 6 months The third quarterly examination.
Under 14 years The fourth quarterly examination.

Any cadet of indifferent conduct will be reported by the captain to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who may dismiss him summarily.

IX. No cadet will be allowed to count more than three months in the training ship towards sea-time.

Books, etc. Required on Entry.

Sextant, box of mathematical instruments, spyglass, French grammar and dictionary (including sea terms), a book on navigation, Euclid’s Elements, geography, book on the use of mathematical and nautical instruments, book on the steam engine, Colenso’s Arithmetic and Algebra, Jeans’ Trigonometry.

The examination on leaving the training ship is to include all the subjects of the examination on entry except Latin, and the following in addition:—

Arithmetic: involution, extraction of square root.

Algebra: simple equations.

The elements of geometry.

Plane trigonometry, including the solution of practical and useful problems.

Spherical trigonometry: solution of triangles, and application to nautical astronomy.

Navigation: day’s work—meridian altitude, longitude by chronometer, to be able to explain and use the sextant, azimuth compass, artificial horizon, and theodolite.

French: any selection from the first fifty lessons in Ollendorf, and to read, parse, and translate a passage.

A certificate must be obtained from the captain and the master of proficiency in rigging, seamanship, etc.; also one of conduct and attention from the naval instructor.



ADMIRALTY CIRCULAR, August 3rd, 1869.

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having decided—

I. To increase the time during which naval cadets will be under training;

II. To introduce the system of limited competition for naval cadetships;

III. Still further to reduce the number of naval cadets entered annually;

have been pleased to make the following regulations:—

(1) These regulations will take effect after the examination in August, 1869.

(2) Two examinations for naval cadetships will be held annually, under the direction of the Admiralty Director of Education—viz. on the third Wednesday in June and the last Wednesday in November; but the appointments as cadets of the successful candidates will date from July 15th and January 15th.

(3) The first examination under these regulations will take place in November, 1869.

(4) No candidate will be eligible for examination whose age will not be within the prescribed limits on January 15th following; nor for examination in June whose age will not be within the prescribed limits on July 15th following.

(5) The limits of age for examination in November, 1869, will be not less than 12 or more than 14; for June, 1870, 12 to 13½; and subsequently 12 to 13.

(6) The number to be entered at each examination is 37, and twice that number will be nominated.

(7) Every candidate will be required to pass a medical examination.

(8) Every candidate must produce a certificate of birth, or declaration before a magistrate; also of good conduct from his former school, or from his tutor or clergyman.

[260] (9) Every candidate will be required—

(a) To read a passage from a modern English author with intelligence 100
(b) To write English correctly from dictation 100
(c) To read, translate, and parse a passage from some French author 100
(d) To be acquainted with the first four rules in arithmetic, and vulgar and decimal fractions 150
(e) To have a fair knowledge of Scripture history 100

No candidate will be allowed to compete unless he obtain four-tenths of the maximum marks in each subject, or 250 marks in the aggregate.

(10) Candidates so qualified will be examined in the following subjects, as they may select:—

(f) Arithmetic: miscellaneous examples 100
(g) Algebra: first four rules, and fractions 100
(h) Euclid, to Book I., proposition xxii. 100
(i) Translate English into French 100
(k) Latin: to translate a passage from Cæsar or Virgil, and a passage of English into Latin 100
(l) English history: James I. to the present day 100
(m) Outlines of modern geography 100
(n) Any living language except French 100
(o) Elementary drawing 100

No marks amounting to less than one-sixth in voluntary subjects will be counted towards the total.

(11) Candidates obtaining the necessary number of marks for passing, but who are not successful, will be allowed a second trial without a fresh nomination.

(12) Candidates who are rejected for the first time in August, 1869, will be allowed a second trial, but they must compete with the others on the same terms, and will be allowed no further trial.

(13) Candidates who fail to appear at the next examination after nomination must obtain a fresh nomination, unless they are certified as unfit to appear by a doctor, in which case non-appearance will be considered equivalent to one failure, and they will be allowed a second trial.

(14) Every flag officer (except an admiral superintendent of a dockyard) will, on hoisting his flag, be allowed three nominations for competition; commodores of the first class, two nominations; captains appointed to a ship of any class (except captains of stationary ships, [261] captain superintendents of dockyards or victualling yards, and the captain of the Royal yacht), one nomination; but no officer will be allowed to exercise this right a second time within three years. And no captain appointed to a ship during her commission will be allowed a nomination if the right has been exercised within one year by the previous captain.

(15) Seven nominations will be allowed annually to the Colonies.

(16) Cadets will be required to pay £70 per annum while in the Britannia, and £50 for the twelve months in the sea-going training ship; but a number, not exceeding twelve, of sons of Royal Naval or Royal Marine officers, or of civil officers under the Board of Admiralty, may be selected by the Admiralty for a payment of £40 per annum.

(17) Successful cadets will be appointed to the Britannia.

(18) The date of entry of those who pass in June is to reckon from July 15th following, and of those who pass in November from January 15th following.

(19) The period of training will be, as now, four terms, but there will be two terms in each year instead of three—viz. from February to July, and from August to December.

(20) An examination will be held at the end of each term, and an intermediate one at Easter for cadets in their first year.

(21) Cadets who join in August, and pass an unsatisfactory examination in December, will be warned that they will be discharged at Easter if they do not improve. Cadets entered in January who pass unsatisfactorily at Easter will be similarly warned for July. Any cadet who passes badly at a subsequent examination will be discharged.

(22) Notice will be given of the minimum number of marks which must be obtained at each examination.

(23) At the fourth term examination cadets will be classified according to their merits in seamanship, study, and conduct, and will be allowed time for their service in the Britannia as follows:—

  Study. Seamanship. Conduct.
First class 6 months 3 months 3 months.
Second class 3 months None 3 months.
Third class None None 3 months.

(24) The examination and rating of cadets as midshipmen in the sea-going training ship is to be regulated according to the time noted on their certificates:—

12 months’ time Become midshipmen at once.
9 months’ time Serve 3 months.
6 months’ time Serve 6 months.
No time Serve 12 months.

[262] (25) After passing their examination in the Britannia, cadets will be appointed to a sea-going training ship for one year.

(26) Any cadet or midshipman who may during the three years’ probation have become subject to any physical defect likely to render him unfit for service will be discharged.

(27) After six months in the sea-going training ship an examination will be held, and again after twelve months. Any midshipman or cadet failing at either will be discharged.




Regulations Respecting Cadets While Under Training.

(1) The naval cadets who join the Britannia are allowed four terms (two in each year) to complete their course of study, at the expiration of which they go up for final examination.

(2) The terms are from about February 1st to July 15th, and from about August 31st to December 20th; and the vacations will be six weeks at midsummer, five weeks at Christmas, and two weeks at Easter, the dates of commencement of vacation depending upon the completion of the examinations by the President, Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

(3) The friends of the cadets must be prepared to receive them during all the vacations.

(4) The following payment will be required from the parents or guardians of each cadet while in the Britannia:—Before the commencement of each term, £35, except in the case of those received at the reduced rate of £40 a year, whose half-yearly payments will be £20 only.

(5) The payments are to be made according to instructions which will be given in the half-yearly claim that will be made by the Accountant-General upon the parents or guardians of the cadets.

(6) Great inconvenience having been experienced from these payments not having been punctually made, cadets, although received until their friends are communicated with, will not be considered as entered for tuition until the amounts due have been received.

(7) All travelling expenses for cadets will be advanced by the paymaster of the Britannia, who will charge the same to the cadet’s personal account at the end of each term.

(8) The cadets have a weekly allowance, and all expenses attending their amusements are paid for by the ship. It is, therefore, requested that their friends do not give them any money except on joining or on their return from the vacations, and then the amount must not exceed ten shillings. It is particularly requested that this regulation be [264] adhered to. Such money as may be required by a cadet for any special circumstances will be advanced by the paymaster under the authority of the captain of the Britannia.

(9) It is particularly requested that the cadets bring their linen clean and clothes and boots in good order when they join the ship, and also when they return from leave, and that the outfit as required be complete.

(10) Cadets are not permitted to open an account with tradesmen. Parents and guardians are, therefore, requested to pay no bills that may be sent to them.

(11) Should there have been any infectious disease in the house where the cadets have been staying during their holidays, notice of the circumstance is to be given to the commanding officer of H.M.S. Britannia; and they are not to join until they have received a communication from him to that effect.

(12) All letters relative to the cadets should be addressed as follows:—“The Commanding Officer, H.M.S. Britannia, Dartmouth.”

(13) Should cadets bring valuable gold watches or chains with them to the training ship, they will be taken from them and placed in security until they return to their homes. Silver watches will be allowed to be used.

(14) Parents or guardians of cadets must in all cases of permanent change of residence communicate the same to the captain of the training ship without delay.

Routine for Cadets (Summer).

5.25 a.m. Turn out cadets for No. 2 punishment, etc.
5.30 a.m. Punishment No. 2 fall in.
6.30 a.m. Bugle call. Cadets turn out. Baths. Wednesday and Saturday, bathe from shore if weather permits.
6.35 a.m. Dismiss No. 2 punishment cadets.
7.5   a.m. Warning bugle.
7.15 a.m. Muster and drill.
7.50 a.m. Bugle dismiss drills.
8.0   a.m. Prayers. Breakfast.
8.40 a.m. Bugle for cadet defaulters. Defaulters seen.
8.50 a.m. Muster. Studies as ordered.
10.20 a.m. Warn studies. Captains’ reports. Defaulters seen.
11.55 a.m. Studies dismissed. Bugle wash hands, etc.
12.10 p.m. Dinner.
1.40 p.m. Muster. Studies as ordered.
4.5   p.m. Dismiss studies. Messroom muster (except Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays).
4.20 p.m. Cadets land. Defaulters drill. Bathe if weather permits.
6.45 p.m. Return on board.
[265]7.0   p.m. Warning bugle.
7.10 p.m. Muster and dismiss.
7.15 p.m. Tea.
8.0   p.m. Evening study.
9.0   p.m. Dismiss evening studies.
9.15 p.m. Prayers.
9.45 p.m. Cadets turn in. Officer of the day goes round.
Saturdays, at noon, muster for payment.

Routine for Cadets (Winter).

5.25 a.m. Turn out cadets for No. 2 punishment, etc.
5.30 a.m. Punishment No. 2 fall in.
6.30 a.m. Bugle call. Cadets turn out. Baths.
6.35 a.m. Dismiss No. 2 punishment cadets.
7.5   a.m. Warning bugle.
7.15 a.m. Muster and drill.
7.50 a.m. Bugle dismiss drills.
8.0   a.m. Prayers. Breakfast.
8.40 a.m. Bugle for cadet defaulters. Defaulters seen. Warning bugle.
8.50 a.m. Muster. Studies as ordered.
10.20 a.m. Interval of ten minutes. Captains’ reports.
12.0   a.m. Studies dismissed. Bugle wash hands, etc.
12.15 p.m. Dinner.
  Cadets land. Defaulters muster and drill.
2.45 p.m. Return on board. Shift clothing and boots.
3.5   p.m. Messroom muster.
3.15 p.m. Warning bugle.
3.20 p.m. Muster. Studies as ordered.
4.50 p.m. Interval of ten minutes.
6.0   p.m. Dismiss studies.
6.30 p.m. Tea.
7.40 p.m. Evening study.
8.45 p.m. Study ceases.
9.0   p.m. Prayers.
9.30 p.m. Cadets turn in. Officer of the day goes round.
Wednesdays and Saturdays, return on board 5 p.m.




SUBJECTS. First Term. Second Term.
ALGEBRA Chaps. 1-26, omitting 133, 141-153, 161, 162, 175, 322, and Chaps. 18, 22, and 23. Recapitulation.
Hamblin Smith. (New Edition.) Chaps. 27-32, omitting Chap. 30 and 410-412.
EUCLID Books I.-III. revised, VI. 1-13, 33 a. Recapitulation.
Todhunter. Book IV. 1-5; XI. 4, 19, 20, 21.
TRIGONOMETRY Chaps. 1-8, omitting Circular Measure. Recapitulation.
Goodwin. 10, 11, only 2 A. Chaps. 11, 14, 16, 18, 19.
Plane Theoretical, Part I. Exercises in Logs. and in solution of Triangles. Omit 74, 100-103.
Proofs of Methods used in solution of Triangles, with their adaptation to Logarithmic Computation, with Examples.
Spherical Theoretical, Part II.   Chaps. 1, 2 to 28 inclusive.
NAVIGATION Plane Sailing, Traverse Sailing, Definitions, and Examples. Parallel, Mid. Latitude, and Mercator’s Sailings.
Correcting Courses.
All necessary Definitions.
Windward and Current Sailing.
NAUTICAL ASTRONOMY   Lat. by Mer. Altitude.
INSTRUMENTS Sextant.—Parts and Adjustments, Principles of construction of Sextant, Vernier, and Artificial Horizon. Reading, taking Angles and Index Error.
  Compass.—Thomson, Parts of, and use. Taking bearings by.
CHARTS Admiralty Charts and Plans.—Use of. Plotting positions by latitude and longitude, and by cross bearings.
  Mercator’s Chart.—Drawing. Plotting positions on. Course and Distance made good. Set and drift of Current. Shape a Course.
  Practical use of Chart and Compass when away in Racer.
STEAM AND STEAM MACHINERY Measurements. Recapitulation.
Metals. Combustion.
Riveted Joints. Evaporation.
Screw Fastenings. Valves and Cocks.
Friction. Heat.
FRENCH Practical Instruction. Practical Instruction.
Grammar: Substantive, Adjective, Pronoun, regular and irregular Verbs. Recapitulation.
Elementary Syntax.
Interrogative and Negative Sentences. Past Participle, etc.
Conversation. Conversation.
DRAWING Simple Models, and copies.  
DRAWING, MECHANICAL Simple Solids. Orthographic Projection, Simple Solids, Plans, Elevations, and Sections.
Plans and Elevations.
SUBJECTS. Third Term. Fourth Term.
Hamblin Smith. (New Edition.)    
TRIGONOMETRY Revision. Revision.
Goodwin. Circular Measure.  
Plane Theoretical, Part I. Chap. 12 (0°-360°).  
Spherical Theoretical, Part II. Chap. 3, omitting 40, 41, 47, with Examples. Solution of Spherical Triangles as applied to Astronomical Problems.
Chap. 5, 57, 58.
Chap. 6, 64.
NAVIGATION Dead Reckoning. Practical Navigation Paper, Explanations of all necessary Rules and Definitions.
  Great Circle Sailing. Log Line.
  Conversion of Arc into Time.
  Necessary Proofs, Definitions, and Corrections.
NAUTICAL ASTRONOMY Longitude by Sun Chron.  
Problems in Hour Angle Triangle. Astronomical Problems.
INSTRUMENTS Sextant.—Parts and Adjustments, Principles of construction of Sextant, Vernier, and Artificial Horizon. Reading, taking Angles and Index Error.
  Compass.—Thomson, Parts of, and use. Taking bearings by.
CHARTS Admiralty Charts and Plans.—Use of. Plotting positions by latitude and longitude, and by cross bearings.
  Mercator’s Chart.—Drawing. Plotting positions on. Course and Distance made good. Set and drift of Current. Shape a Course.
  Practical use of Chart and Compass when away in Racer.
STEAM AND STEAM MACHINERY Recapitulation. Recapitulation.
Pump (lift, force, and centrifugal). Shafts, Bearings, etc.
Hydraulic Jack. Condenser.
Boiler Mountings. Expansive Working.
Cylinder and Piston. I.H.P. Screw Propeller.
Slide Valve, Eccentric and Link Motion.  
Conversion of Motion.  
FRENCH Practical Instruction. Practical Instruction.
  Recapitulation. Recapitulation.
  Syntax of Subjunctive. Dictations, Translations, Naval Terms.
  Dictations, Translations, Naval Terms.  
  Conversation. Conversation.
DRAWING Topographical Sketching. Topographical Sketching from Outside Nature.
  Oblique Perspective.  
DRAWING, MECHANICAL Plans, Elevations, and Sections of parts of Machinery. Rough Figured Sketches from Parts of Machinery and Fair Drawings from them.



Subject. Amount Required. Amount Required. Marks.
Construction. A Knowledge of the Different Rigs of all British Sailing Ships and Boats, and general appearance. Names of all parts of a Modern Battleship. Keels, Frames, Plating, Planking, Armour and Protection. Subdivision and Double Bottom. 35
  Description of “Men of War.”  
Bends and Hitches. Knots and Splices. Stropping Blocks. General Knowledge as taught. As taught. Long, Short, and Eye. 25
Tackles. —— ——  
Rigging and Spars. To know the names and parts of all Spars, Masts, and Yards of Modern Ships. As in First Term, and to name all Running Rigging. 15
To point out and name all Standing Rigging.    
Practical. Going aloft over Mast Head, and laying in and out on Yards. As in First Term.  
Sails. —— Names of Sails. 5
Compass. To box in Points. To box in ¼ Points. 15
Signals. To describe Pendants and Numeral Flags. To describe Alphabetical Flags, Numerals with Meanings, Pendants with Meanings. 30
  Foreign Ensigns.  
  Make and take in Semaphore.  
    Semaphore with Signs. 15
    Morse with Flags. 15
Rule of the Road. —— ——  
Anchors and Cables. —— ——  
Log and Lead. —— Hand Log and Lead, and Sir W. Thompson’s Sounding Machine. 15
Boats. Pulling and Steering. Handling a Boat under Oars, and making and shortening Sail. 30
  General knowledge under Oars.  
Subject. Amount Required. Amount Required. Marks.
Construction. Ventilation, Pumping and Flooding, etc. Buoyancy and some Definitions. As in previous Terms and all Definitions. 90
Bends and Hitches. Knots and Splices. Stropping Blocks. As in previous Terms. As in previous Terms. 50
Tackles. Description and use of Principal Ones. As in previous Terms and Knowledge of Power. 15
Rigging and Spars. As in previous Terms, with the use, etc. As in previous Terms, with Knowledge of Derricks Modern Ships, working by hand and steam. Hoisting Boats in and out. 30
Practical. Rigging Sheers and Derricks for lifting Weights. As in previous Terms. 25
Sails. As in previous Terms. As in previous Terms, and bending Fore and Aft Sails. 15
Compass. Good general Knowledge. A Thorough Knowledge. 40
Signals. To describe Alphabetical Flags and Meanings. Special Flags and Meanings. Semaphore Flags. International code. Flashing Lamp. Helm and Speed Signals. As in previous Terms, with application of Boat’s Signal Book. 200
  Night Signalling.  
  Fog Signals.  
Rule of the Road. A Knowledge of Lights carried by Vessels and Boats under way and at anchor. As in previous Terms, and the General Knowledge of the Principles of the Rule of the Road. 65
Anchors and Cables. General Knowledge of parts of Anchors, Cables, Shackles, Swivel and Deck Stopper. Number supplied. Also to bring Ship to an Anchor, and Weigh and Cat. As in the previous Term. 60
The Principles of Mooring and the Meaning of Foul Hawse.  
Log and Lead. As in previous Term. Hand and Patents. As in previous Terms. Marking of Deep Sea Line. 30
Boats. Management of Boat under Oars, Sail, and Steam. As in previous Terms. Principal Duties of Midshipman of Boat under Oars, Sail, and Steam. 80
  Hoisting and Lowering Boats.  




Parliamentary Papers called for in 1882 show the cost from September, 1863—when the ship was brought to Dartmouth—to January 1st, 1882, as follows:—

(1) The breaking up value of Britannia and Hindostan 19,925
(2) Cost of fitting new ship (Prince of Wales) and Hindostan, and subsequent alterations 27,842
(3) Cost of moving ship, and moorings 2,890
(4) Repairs since first fitted, all changes, etc. (including all tenders, boats, etc.) 30,545
(5) Sick quarters, lodgings, recreation grounds, and all shore expenses 20,204
(6) Pay and provisions for officers, cadets, ship’s company, travelling expenses, etc. 597,995
Contributions from parents 120,832
In order to arrive at amount actually expended for maintenance, deduct amounts 1, 2, and 3 45,657
Expense per annum for 18¼ years, £29,200.

This is at the rate of something like £240 per head per annum; but so much was done in making the recreation grounds, improving the ships, etc., that it is scarcely a fair statement of maintenance.

[270] The estimates for 1882-3:—

Gross 33,643
Parents’ contributions 8,400

Provision is made for 130 cadets. Cost per head per annum, £194.

The estimates for 1901-1902:—

Gross 49,570
Parents’ contributions 18,500

Provision is made for 265 cadets. Cost per head per annum, £117.



Academy, The Royal Naval:
Letters from Admiralty to Navy Board, 6, 7;
delay and alterations in building, 8;
course of study, 8;
instructional staff, 9;
governor, 9;
expenses for furniture, 10;
uniform introduced, 10;
expenses of scholars, 10;
new regulations, 10;
reports of head master and governor, 11;
final certificate, 11;
Captain Broke’s work book, 12;
prejudice against scholars, 14

Admiralty committees:
Of 1874, 94;
drastic changes, 94;
competition detrimental, 94;
good physique of cadets, 96;
a college on shore recommended, 96;
an academic view, 96;
Captain Foley’s improvements, 97;
cadets as witnesses, 97;
the captain as schoolmaster, 98;
Admiral Ryder’s evidence, 98;
Dr. Woolley’s evidence, 99;
report presented, 100;
test examination, 100;
Latin v. French, 100;
of 1885, 137;
points for consideration, 138;
heads of report, 138;
suggestions, 138;
recommendations, 141;
result nil, 141

Admiralty nominations, 3;
King’s letter the forerunner of, 3;
abolition of suggested, 138

Age regulation, absence of, 3;
changes in, 18, 25, 33, 80, 91, 120, 167

Aldous, Rev. J. C. P., 93, 239

Alfred, Prince, 49

Ambulance lessons, 136

Ariadne, sea-going training ship, supersedes Bristol, 88;
boat disaster, 91;
paid off, 93

Arrow schooner, 161

Assault at arms, 197, 220

Aurora, sea-going training ship, commissioned, 234;
her cruise, 235

Bass, Mr. M. T., M.P., 75

Bathing, 152

Beagles, institution of, 103;
prosperity of, 132;
prizes for whips, 197;
editor’s advice on, 212;
presentation of new hounds, 220;
start a fox, 220

Bedford, Captain F. G. D., 141, 142

Billiards, 231

Black Hole, The, 25, 29

Bounds a source of trouble, 87

Bowden-Smith, Captain N., 137, 142

Bowles, Mr. T. G., M.P., 147

Boxing, 219, 220

Breakfast, A good, 151

Her story commences, 39;
selected to supersede Illustrious, 50;
former ships of the name, 51;
cadets turned over to her, 52;
in the ’sixties, 53-81;
early arrangements on board, 53;
voyage to Portland, 60;
voyage to Dartmouth, 71;
the fifth of the name, 80;
in the ’seventies, 82-117;
in the ’eighties, 118-143;
in the ’nineties, 144-187;
unaccountable jealousy of, 181;
games, 190-229;
latest arrangements on board, 230;
cost of, 238;
conclusion and summing up, 240

Bristol, sea-going training ship, 78

Broke, Captain Philip B. V.:
His work book, 12;
Shannon and Chesapeake, 12, 14;
Inman’s hints to, 22

Brunel, Mr. P., 238

Bullying, at Royal Naval College, 30;
in Captain Randolph’s time, 75;
in 1877, 104;
held to be a most serious offence, 112;
in Captain Digby’s time, 144;
the Times on, 144;
correspondence on, 145-149;
views of “Navilus” on, 163

Cadet captains, 54, 109, 111, 145, 239

Cadet corporals, 44;
a ribald rhyme about, 45;
rousing cadets, 55;
abolished, 164

Cadet Cox, Fatal accident to, 62

Captain’s servants, 2

Chapel on board, 155, 232

“Cheeky new fellows,” 56

Chief gunner’s mates, 164, 167

Chief of the staff, 164

Childers, Mr., 106

Children entered as officers, 3, 4

College on shore, discussed in 1870, 87;
recommended by committee of 1874, 94;
committee on site for, 103

College, The new, at Dartmouth, 182;
laying the foundation-stone, 183;
at Osborne, 245;
the Royal Naval, 8;
Order in Council establishing, 16;
Professor Inman appointed, 19;
date of opening, 22;
a master’s untimely optimism, 22;
close quarters, 23;
course of study, 23;
the “college sheet,” 25;
opened to commissioned officers, 26;
the end approaches, 26;
closed, 27;
a new phase of existence, 31

College volunteers, 32, 33

Competition introduced on entry, 79;
abolished, 100;
reintroduced, 119;
modified, 120;
finally abolished, 243

Corbett, Captain J., 77

[272]Corfield, Professor, 179

Corporal punishment, at the Royal Naval College, 25, 29;
introduced on Britannia, 70;
questions on in House of Commons, 75;
abolished, 76;
humanitarian fads on, 77;
mentioned in regulations, 115;
referred to in the Times, 146

Corry, Mr. W., 75

Cricket, no early records, 188;
proficiency of officers in, 191;
presumptuous youngsters, 192;
improvement in form, 211;
a dry season, 212;
Lord Harris’s maxims, 213;
great scores by third XI., 214, 216, 227;
Sir Bedivel the Bold, 215;
description of a match day, 222;
good play by Engineer lieutenants, 226;
Lieutenant De Burgh, 226, 228;
a curious misunderstanding, 227;
keep your ground clock right, 228;
a successful season, 228;
Dr. Bobardt, 226, 228;
splendid playing fields, 228.
officers v. cadets, 192;
Britannia v. Mr. Denison’s XI., 193;
Engineer students, 192, 196;
Exeter Grammar School, 212;
King Edward’s School, 227;
Mannamead School, 214, 216;
M.C.C., 206;
Montpelier School, 212, 226;
Newton Blues, 213;
Newton College, 193;
Paignton School, 212, 213;
Plymouth C.C., 195;
Plymouth Garrison, 193, 195;
Royal Marines, 195, 196, 202, 213;
Royal Naval College, 193;
Stratford-on-Avon, 222;
Teignbridge, 202, 205, 210, 224;
Torquay, 195, 210;
Totnes School, 216

Dacres, Admiral Sir S. C., 40

Dancing, 9, 17, 153, 173

Dapper, tender to Britannia, 88, 131

Dartmouth, arrival of Britannia, 71;
bluejackets as navvies, 72;
selected as best site for a college in 1876, 103

Digby, Captain N. S. F., 142, 144, 146, 148, 149

Dinner, a satisfactory, 152;
result of misbehaviour at, 152

Discipline, 25, 44

Dobson, Mr. N. C., 181

Drawing, how taught in early days, 62

Drill, extra, 152

Dundonald, Earl of, 3

Easy, Mr. Midshipman, 5, 174

Edye, Admiral W. H., 69

Electric light, 137

Entry of officers, old methods, 2;
at the Academy, 11;
at the College, 23;
changes in regulations for, 25, 33, 41, 56, 79, 91, 100, 119, 167;
complete revolution in, 243

Erskine, Admiral Sir J. E., 40

Examinations, 11, 23, 33, 42, 56, 79, 85, 95, 96, 97, 100, 105, 119, 138, 168, 237, 244

Failures, very few, 168;
percentage of, 237

Fatherly advice, 210

Fencing, 8, 13, 17, 220

Fighting by authority, 88

Fishing, 236

Fitzhardinge, Lord, 37

Foley, Captain the Hon. F. A. C., 95

Food, Cadets’, 175

Association matches:
Britannia v. Mannamead School, 211, 216;
Montpelier School, 216;
Paignton School, 211;
Plymouth College, 216;
Plymouth F.C., 211;
Torbay, 211;
Totnes School, 211.
Rugby matches:
Port Watch v. Starboard, 194;
Oxford v. Cambridge, 194;
Odd class v. Even, 194;
Britannia v. Hindostan, 194;
Britannia v. Blundell’s School, 210;
Royal Naval Engineers’ College, 210;
Exeter Grammar School, 210;
editorial remarks, 219

“Fours,” Doing, 153

Fox, Mrs., 162

Franklin, Sir John, 24

French, how taught in early days, 63;
discounted in circular of 1875, 102

Games, advantages of Dartmouth for, 59, 190;
proficiency in a recommendation for appointment, 191

German training ship visits Dartmouth, 155;
photographing her, 158;
an unauthorised visit to, 159

Goose dinners, 88

Goschen, The Right Hon. G. J., 173

Grace, Mr. W. G., 206

Half-holiday, a successful, 236

Hamilton, Sir Edward, 4

Hammock, A slip on, 160

Hampers from home, 112

Harris, Captain Robert, his birth and early career, 35;
promotion to lieutenant, commander, and captain, 36;
appointed to Illustrious, 37;
eulogy in Fraser’s Magazine, 37, 42;
his views of preliminary training, 38;
he enters his son, 39;
his views are adopted, 39;
various testimony to his success, 40;
the excellence of his rule, 41;
he suffers for his efficiency, 41

Harris, Vice-Admiral Sir Robert H., K.C.B., 39

Hastings, Admiral Sir Thomas, 36-40

Health regulations, 116

Hindostan arrives, 72

Hockey matches, 220

Hood, Captain The Hon. H. L. A., 143

[273]House of Commons, questions in, 75;
discussion on competition in, 105

Huddart, Cadet, 219

Hunt breakfast, 110

Hunt, Mr. Ward, 106

Illustrious, selected as novices’ training ship, 37;
Cadet Harris joins, 39;
the first batch of cadets join, 43;
the staff, 43;
early days, 43, 44;
appropriated for cadets only, 49;
superseded by Britannia, 52

Inadequate legislation, Results of, 4

Influenza, epidemic of, 176;
curious views respecting, 179

Inman, Professor James, appointed to Royal Naval College, 19;
his love of fair play, 19;
his early life, 20;
president of the School of Naval Architecture, 21;
his navigation and nautical tables, 21;
his plan of study, 23;
his system of recording progress, 24;
his retirement and pension, 27

Inskip, Rev. R. M., 42;
his interest in the cadets, 47;
his sea yarns, 47;
he leaves the ship, 82;
his diagram of progress, 83;
analysis and vindication of Britannia education, 84, 85, 86

Instructional staff, 238

Irving, Lieutenant John, 24

Isis, sea-going training ship, commissioned, 234;
her cruise, 235

“Jim,” the ship’s terrier, 108, 110

Johnson, Mr. A. C., 94, 239

Jubilee of 1897, 170, 171

Keppel, Admiral Sir H., 19, 27, 28

Key, Admiral Sir Cooper, 106

King, The, lays the foundation-stone of the new College, 182

King’s birthday, The, 189, 236

King’s letter boys, 3

“King of Otaheité, The,” 64

Knapp, Mr. Kempster M., 43;
“Knapp’s circles,” 49;
sudden retribution for fidgeting, 49;
succeeds as chief instructor, and retires, 93

Late in dressing, 150

Lieutenants, not much to do in 1870, 87;
new duties, 163;
“Sea-Daddies,” 164

Lightning, Ship struck by, 170

Lloyd, Cadet J. E., case of, 104

Loring, Captain J. W., 28

“Magazine, The Britannia,” editorial introduction, 125;
editor ex officio, 127;
a time-honoured subterfuge, 128;
a doubtful pseudonym, 129;
popular advertisements, 130;
warning from a cadet, 135;
also from “Old Meddler,” 136;
editorial comments on regattas, 198

Main, Professor T. J., 32

Mainwaring, Lieutenant G., 107, 109

“Man overboard!” 157

Marryat, Captain F., 5;
his spectacles, 174

Martin, Admiral Sir W. F., 36, 40, 241

Mason, Mr. G. B., 239

Mends, Admiral Sir W. R., 28

“Middle watch relief,” 131

Mildmay, Frank, 5

Misconduct, Percentage of discharges for, 237

Morning amenities, 150

Morning drum, The, 54

Moore, Captain A. W., 163, 164

Mundy, Admiral Sir G. Rodney, his letters:
Keeping a “mess,” 29;
the “black hole,” 29;
a “blow out,” 29;
and its results, 30

Nares, Lieutenant Geo. S., appointed, 43;
his seamanship book, 43;
his life-saving kite, 44;
a pleasing reminiscence, 69;
a lesson on foolhardiness, 69;
leaves Britannia, 69

Naval cadet, title introduced, 33;
certificates to be signed by captain of Excellent, 33;
to be entered on the books of the flagship, 34

Naval education, a dead letter, 4;
controversy on in the Times, 120;
letter of “Veritas” in the Times, 124

Navigation, rough-and-ready, 5;
“rule of thumb,” 123

“Navilus,” his book, 149, 233

Navy Board, The, 6, 7

Nelson, Lord, 1, 4

New arrival, Treatment of a, 132

“Nibs,” a game of, 151

Officer of the day, 111, 151, 164

Osborne, Royal Naval College at, 245

Pasley, Admiral Sir T. S., 29

“Paying footing,” 46

Penalty for being late, 151

“Pitchfork” system, The, 6;
its death knell sounded, 8;
revived, 31;
abolished, 35

Playing fields at Haslar, 45;
at Dartmouth, 238

Pocket money, 161

Portland, selected as station, 58;
its many drawbacks, 59, 188;
Britannia arrives there, 61;
leaves, 71

Powell, Captain R. A., 69

Punishments (see Corporal), second and third class, 115;
the cane as a substitute, 115;
cockpit mess, 55, 115;
“fours,” 115;
admonished by the captain, 116;
commander’s, 116

[274]Queen’s medal, The, 173

Racer, the cruising tender, 159, 169, 234, 249

Randolph, Captain Geo. G., appointed, 74;
his reputation for severity, 74;
a futile complaint, 75;
stern measures, 75;
superseded, 77

Reefing topsails, 156

Regatta, Cadets’, 196;
events in, 197;
a festive occasion, 197;
editor’s bitter comments on, 198;
a new event introduced, 217

Regulations of 1876, 111

Richards, Admiral G. H., 147, 148

Royal cadets, 106

Rushworth seal, The, 197, 207, 210

Ryder, Admiral A. P., 96

Sailing cutters, 77, 78

Sailing matches, 196

Sails, Instruction in, abolished, 233

Salmon, Admiral Sir Nowell, 145

Scanty accommodation, 23

Sea-going training ships, a dead letter, 58;
properly established, 78;
abolished, 93;
reintroduced, 234

Sealark, brig, 45, 58

Seamanship, in the old days, 5;
at the Academy, 9;
at the College, 24;
on the Illustrious, 45;
“an obsolete art,” 124;
arrangement of classes for, 239

Selborne, Earl of, 2

Sextant, Reading, under difficulties, 158

Shaw Lefevre, Mr., M.P., 105

Shooting, Instruction in, 236

“Simple, Peter,” 5, 177

Sling the monkey, 46

Smart, Admiral Sir R., 40

Smoking, 159, 160

Spanton, Mr. J. H., 238

Sports, 196;
events in, 201;
excited timekeeper, 201;
why Williams didn’t win, 201;
seventeen years’ record of, 218

Stoke Fleming, A walk to, 161

Studies, Arrangement of, 54

Study, Arrangement of classes for, 239

Sulivan, Admiral Sir B. J., Life and letters of:
Joins the College, 30;
bullying studious boys, 30;
joins the Thetis, 31;
the captain hates collegians, 31;
but is converted, 31

Sulphur room, 116

Sunday afternoon on shore, A, 162

Surveillance, Freedom from, 233

Symonds, Sir William, 4

Syren, schooner, 143, 161

Tennis tournament, 197

Thomas, Lieutenant Evan, 192, 196

“Three-decker,” A, 53

Tims, Mr. E. M., 195, 205, 238

“Tinned air,” 187

Trafalgar, H.M.S., 60, 92

Training, Preliminary, partially introduced, 8;
abolished, 27;
made compulsory, 39

“Two-decker,” A, 53

Underwood, C., his average in 1886, 202

Victoria, H.M.S., model of, 175

Volunteers of the first and second class, 32-33;
“per order,” 3, 11

Wallis, Sir Provo W. P., 4

Warrant officers, 167

Warry, Captain A. W., his reminiscences, 86, 87, 88

Wave, The steam tender, appears on the scene, 130;
a prophetic utterance, 131;
her trip to Plymouth, 133;
a day’s cruise in, 154

Webb, Mr. Aston, 185

Wells, Captain R., 142

Wemyss, Captain R. E., 249

Western Morning News, 146, 148

Weymouth, 59, 62

Whole holiday, A, 161

Williams, Mr. Hamilton, 238

Wood, Sir Charles, 40, 42

Worcester, training ship, 238

“Ye Mariners of England,” 186

Youthful aspirant, A, 1

Printed by Cassell & Company, Limited, La Belle Sauvage, London, E.C.

New and Revised Edition, price 12/6 net.


The Story of the Royal Military Academy.


With 8 Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations.

Decorative leaves


Early Days (1741-1763).
The Period 1764-1806.
The Period 1806-1854.
A Period of Transition (1855-1864).
The “Shop,” 1865-1870.
The “Shop” in the ’Seventies.
The “Shop” in the ’Eighties.
The “Shop” in the ’Nineties.
The G. C. of the Present Day.
Games at the “Shop.”

Decorative leaves


“A book which is both instructive and entertaining.... The story is relieved by various amusing anecdotes, and, more seriously, by notices of some distinguished foreigners who have made use of the Academy, the Prince Imperial being, perhaps, the best known.... Excellent illustrations.”


“The writer of a military school history runs the risk of having to fill many pages with technical details of changes of organisation and regulations which have little interest for the average reader. Captain Guggisberg has avoided this pitfall. While the story of the gradual development of the college is duly set forth in his book, he gives greater prominence throughout to the social and human side of the life of ‘The Shop.’... It is written in a bright and interesting style throughout, and the author’s descriptions are helped by a series of illustrations, many of them in colours, which help us to realise the changes that more than a century has seen at Woolwich.”


“For such a book as this there are thousands of readers scattered over the world to welcome the record of the place where they first underwent the discipline of their profession. The author has spared no trouble to make his book interesting from all points of view.... Safe to prophesy success to this venture.”


“Those who wish to know how it (‘The Shop’) prospered in the 18th century, during the great war with France, and through the 19th century to our own day, must be referred to Captain Guggisberg’s fascinating pages, where they will find everything set out in full.... Valuable appendices deal with the officers, staff, and sport at ‘The Shop’; and in the roll of honour will be found some notable names. Many of the illustrations are in colour.... The majority are from photographs very well reproduced.”


“Captain Guggisberg traces the history with considerable minuteness.... Illustrations specially good and well chosen; indeed, author and publishers may both be congratulated.”


“This admirable history of the Royal Military Academy will be very welcome.... Even the reader who has not the honour of belonging to either of the ordnance corps will find the book most interesting reading.... Finally, the illustrations alone would render the book very valuable.”


“The illustrations generally are excellent, the history has been compiled with judgment, and the book will be found attractive even outside the famous corps whose nursery it depicts.”


“A most entertaining and instructive account.... He tells the later story of the Academy in much detail and in a very interesting manner.... Illustrated by excellent photographs.... The coloured illustrations are very good, and the whole book is attractively got up.”


“A very readable history.... The Asmodeus who takes us behind the scenes of the Academy is an interesting guide, and by the time we have read his pages, which, by the way, are very well illustrated, we have got an excellent idea of the life of the Woolwich cadet.”

From “Proceedings of the R.A. Institution”:—

“The story of ‘The Shop’ has been admirably told in the smart little volume ... told clearly and succinctly. All important events are mentioned, yet none are over accentuated; and the book from start to finish is most readable and interesting.... Admirably got up. Paper, printing, illustrations, and binding are all as good as possible.”

CASSELL & COMPANY, Limited, London; Paris, New York & Melbourne.

A Selection
Cassell & Company’s


Illustrated, Fine Art, and other Volumes.

Aconcagua and Tierra del Fuego. A Book of Climbing, Travel, and Exploration. By Sir Martin Conway. With numerous Illustrations from Photographs. 12s. 6d. net.

A Daughter of the Pit. By Margaret Doyle Jackson. 6s.

Adventure, The World of. With Stirring Pictures and 18 Coloured Plates. In Three Vols., 5s. each.

Adventures of Harry Revel, The. By A. T. Quiller-Couch. 6s.

Afield and Afloat. By Frank Stockton. 6s.

Aladdin O’Brien. By Gouverneur Morris. 6s.

Alice of Old Vincennes. By Maurice Thompson. 6s.

Alternate Currents, Notes on, for Students. By H. H. Simmons, A.M.I.E.E. Illustrated. 1s. 6d. net.

America at Work. By John Foster Fraser. Popular Edition, 3s. 6d.

Anarchism in Art. By E. Wake Cook. 1s. net.

Angels, and Devils, and Man. By Winifred Graham. 6s.

Animals, Popular History of. By Henry Scherren, F.Z.S. With 13 Coloured Plates, &c. 6s.

Art, Sacred. With nearly 200 Full-page Illustrations. 9s.

Art, The Magazine of. With a Series of Full-page Plates, and hundreds of Illustrations. Yearly Vol., 21s.

Artistic Anatomy. By Prof. M. Duval. Cheap Edition. 3s. 6d.

Australian Goldfields, My Adventures on the. By W. Craig. 6s.

Australasia: the Britains of the South. By Philip Gibbs. With 4 Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. 2s. 6d.

Automobile, The. A Practical Treatise on the Construction of Modern Motor Cars: Steam, Petrol, Electric, and Petrol Electric. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck. With 804 Illustrations. 21s. net.

Avenger of Blood, The. By J. Maclaren Cobban. 3s. 6d.

Ballads and Songs. By W. M. Thackeray. Illustrated. 6s.

Ballads and Songs of Spain. By Leonard Williams. 4s. net.

Birds’ Nests, British: How, Where, and When to Find and Identify Them. By R. Kearton, F.Z.S. Illustrated from Photographs direct from Nature by C. Kearton. 21s.

Birds’ Nests, Eggs, and Egg-Collecting. By R. Kearton, F.Z.S. With 22 Coloured Plates. 5s.

Birds, Our Rarer British Breeding: Their Nests, Eggs, and Breeding Haunts. By R. Kearton, F.Z.S. Illustrated from Photographs direct from Nature by C. Kearton. Popular Edition, 3s. 6d.

Black Arrow, The. By R. L. Stevenson. 6s. Popular Edition, 3s. 6d. Pocket Edition, cloth, 2s. net; leather, 3s. net.

Black Watch, The. The Record of an Historic Regiment. By Archibald Forbes, LL.D. With 8 Illustrations. Popular Edition. 3s. 6d.

Black, William, Novelist. By Sir Wemyss Reid. With 3 Portraits. 10s. 6d. net.

Boer War, Cassell’s Illustrated History of the. Two Vols., 21s.

Britain at Work. A Pictorial Description of our National Industries. By popular authors, and containing nearly 500 Illustrations. 12s.

Britain’s Sea-Kings and Sea-Fights. Profusely Illustrated. 7s. 6d.

Britain’s Roll of Glory. By D. H. Parry. New and Enlarged Edition. Illustrated. 5s.

“Britannia” Training Ship for Naval Cadets, The Story of. With some account of Previous Methods of Naval Education, and of the New Scheme established in 1903. By Commander E. P. Statham, R.N. With numerous Illustrations. 12s. 6d. net.

British Ballads. With 300 Original Illustrations. Cheap Edition. Two Vols. in One. Cloth, 7s. 6d.

British Battles on Land and Sea. By James Grant. With about 800 Illustrations. Cheap Edition. In Four Vols., 3s. 6d. each.

[3] British Nigeria. By Lieut.-Col. Mockler-Ferryman. With Map and 27 Illustrations. 12s. 6d. net.

British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-day. By M. H. Spielmann. Illustrated. 5s. net; cloth, 7s. 6d. net.

Building World. Half-Yearly Vols., 4s. 6d. each.

Bulb Growing, Pictorial Practical. By Walter P. Wright. With numerous Illustrations. Paper Covers, 1s.; cloth, 1s. 6d.

Butterflies and Moths of Europe, The. By W. F. Kirby, F.L.S., F.E.S. With 54 Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. 21s. net.

Cairo and the Khedive. Illustrated. 6d. net.

Campaign Pictures of the War in South Africa (1899-1900). Letters from the Front. By A. G. Hales. 6s.

Canaries and Cage-Birds, The Illustrated Book of. With 56 Coloured Plates, 35s.; half-morocco, £2 5s.

Cassell’s Magazine. Half-Yearly Volume, 5s.; Yearly Volume, 8s.

Cat, The Book of The. By Frances Simpson. With 12 Full-page Plates in Colour and numerous Illustrations. 15s. net.

Cathedrals, Abbeys, and Churches of England and Wales. Descriptive, Historical, Pictorial. Popular Edition. Two Vols., 15s. the set.

Catriona. By R. L. Stevenson. 6s. Popular Edition, 3s. 6d. Pocket Edition, cloth, 2s. net; leather, 3s. net.

Chinese Pictures. Notes on Photographs made in China. By Mrs. Bishop, F.R.G.S. (Isabella Bird). With 60 Illustrations. 3s. 6d.

Chrysanthemum Culture, Pictorial Practical. By Walter P. Wright. Paper covers, 1s.; cloth, 1s. 6d.

Chums. The Illustrated Paper for Boys. Yearly Volume, 8s.

Clinical Manuals for Practitioners and Students of Medicine. A List of Volumes forwarded post free on application to the Publishers.

Cloistering of Ursula, The. By Clinton Scollard. 6s.

Clyde, Cassell’s Pictorial Guide to the. With Coloured Plate and 3 Maps. Cloth, 1s.

Colour. By Prof. A. H. Church. With Coloured Plates. 3s. 6d.

Conning Tower, In a; or, How I took H.M.S. “Majestic” into Action. By the Rt. Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A. Illustrated. 6d.; cloth, 1s.

Cookery, A Year’s. By Phyllis Browne. Cheap Edition. 1s. net.

Cookery Book, Cassell’s Universal. By Lizzie Heritage. New Edition. With 12 Coloured Plates. 6s.

Cookery, Cassell’s Dictionary of. With about 9,000 Recipes. 5s.

Cookery, Cassell’s Shilling. 1s.

Cookery for Common Ailments. 1s.

Cookery, Vegetarian. By A. G. Payne. Cheap Edition. 1s.

Cooking by Gas, The Art of. By Marie J. Sugg. Illustrated. 2s.

Coronation Book of Edward VII., King of All the Britains and Emperor of India, The. By W. J. Loftie, B.A., F.S.A. With 24 Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. Sumptuously Illuminated in Gold and Colours. 10s. 6d.

Cupid’s Garden. By Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler. 3s. 6d. People’s Edition. 6d.

Cyclopædia, Cassell’s Miniature. Containing 30,000 subjects. Cheap and Revised Edition. Limp cloth, 1s.; cloth gilt, 1s. 6d.

“Death or Glory Boys,” The. The Story of the 17th Lancers. By D. H. Parry. With 8 Illustrations. New and Enlarged Edition. 5s.

Despoilers, The. By Edmund Mitchell. 6s.

Dictator’s Daughter, The. By Edgar Jepson. 6s.

Dictionary of Practical Gardening, Cassell’s. Edited by Walter P. Wright. With 20 Coloured Plates and several hundreds of Illustrations from Photographs taken direct from Nature. Two Vols., half-leather, gilt top. 30s net.

Doings of Raffles Haw, The. By A. Conan Doyle. 3s. 6d.

[4] Dominion of the Air, The: The Story of Aërial Navigation. By the Rev. J. M. Bacon. With numerous Illustrations from Photographs. 6s.

Doré Don Quixote, The. With about 400 illustrations by Gustave Doré. Cheap Edition. Cloth, 10s. 6d.

Doré Gallery, The. With 250 Illustrations by Gustave Doré. 42s.

Doré’s Dante’s Inferno. Illustrated by Gustave Doré. Large 4to Edition, cloth gilt, 21s.

Doré’s Dante’s Purgatory and Paradise. Illustrated by Gustave Doré. Cheap Edition. 7s. 6d.

Doré’s Milton’s Paradise Lost. Illustrated by Doré. 4to, 21s. Popular Edition. Cloth or buckram, 7s. 6d. Cheap Edition. In One Vol., 12s. 6d.

Duke Decides, The. By Headon Hill. Illustrated. 6s.

Earth’s Beginning, The. By Sir Robert Ball, LL.D. Illustrated. 7s. 6d.

Earth, Our, and its Story. By Dr. Robert Brown, F.L.S. With Coloured Plates and numerous Engravings. Cheap Edition. Three Vols., 5s. each.

Electricity, Practical. By Prof. W. E. Ayrton, F.R.S. New and Enlarged Edition, 7s. 6d.

Empire, The. Containing nearly 700 Splendid full-page Illustrations. Complete in Two Vols. 9s. each.

Encyclopædic Dictionary, The. In 7 Vols., half-morocco, £7 7s. per set. Supplementary Volume, cloth, 7s. 6d.

England and Wales, Pictorial. With upwards of 320 Illustrations from Photographs. 9s.

England, A History of. From the Landing of Julius Cæsar to the Present Day. By the Rt. Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A. Fully Illustrated. 5s. Cloth gilt, gilt edges, 6s. 6d.

English Dictionary, Cassell’s. Giving Definitions of more than 100,000 Words and Phrases. 3s. 6d.

English Earthenware and Stoneware. By William Burton, Author of “English Porcelain,” &c. Containing 24 Plates in Colours, and 54 Black and White Plates, with numerous reproductions of the various marks. 30s. net. This Edition is limited to 1,450 copies.

English History, The Dictionary of. Edited by Sidney Low, B.A., and Prof. F. S. Pulling, M.A. 7s. 6d.

English Literature, Morley’s First Sketch of. 7s. 6d.

English Literature, The Story of. By Anna Buckland. 3s. 6d.

English Writers. By Prof. Henry Morley. Vols. I. to XI., 5s. each.

Fact versus Fiction. The Cobden Club’s Reply to Mr. Chamberlain. 1s. net.

Familiar Butterflies and Moths. By W. F. Kirby, F.L.S. With 18 Coloured Plates. 6s.

Familiar Wild Birds. By W. Swaysland. With Coloured Pictures by A. Thorburn and others. Cheap Edition, Four Vols., 3s. 6d. each.

Family Doctor, Cassell’s. By A Medical Man. Illustrated. 6s.

Family Lawyer, Cassell’s. By A Barrister-at-Law. 10s. 6d.

Far East, The New. By Arthur Diósy, F.R.G.S. Popular Edition. Illustrated. 3s. 6d.

Field Hospital, The Tale of a. By Sir Frederick Treves, Bart., K.C.V.O., C.B., F.R.C.S. With 14 Illustrations. 5s. Leather, 6s.

Field Naturalist’s Handbook, The. By the Revs. J. G. Wood and Theodore Wood. 2s. 6d.

Flame of Fire, A. By Joseph Hocking. 3s. 6d.

Franco-German War, Cassell’s History of the. Complete in Two Vols. Containing about 500 Illustrations. Cheap Edition. 6s. each.

French Faïence, A History and Description of the Old. By M. L. Solon. Edited by W. Burton. With 24 Plates in Colours and numerous Black and White Plates. 30s. net. Limited to 1,200 copies.

Fruit Growing, Pictorial Practical. By W. P. Wright. Illustrated. Paper covers, 1s.; cloth, 1s. 6d.

[5] Garden Flowers, Familiar. By F. Edward Hulme, F.L.S., F.S.A. With 200 Full-page Coloured Plates. Cheap Edition. In Five Vols., 3s. 6d. each.

Garden of Swords, The. By Max Pemberton. 6s. People’s Edition, 6d.

Gardener, The. Yearly Volume. Profusely Illustrated. 7s. 6d.

Gardening, Pictorial Practical. By W. P. Wright. With upwards of 140 Illustrations. Paper covers, 1s.; cloth, 1s. 6d.

Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, Cassell’s. With numerous Illustrations and 60 Maps. Six Vols., 5s. each.

Giant’s Gate, The. By Max Pemberton. 6s. People’s Edition, 6d.

Girl at Cobhurst, The. By Frank Stockton. 3s. 6d.

Gladys Fane. A Story of Two Lives. By Sir Wemyss Reid. 3s. 6d.

Gleanings from Popular Authors. Illustrated. Cheap Edition. 3s. 6d.

Golden Tips. A Description of Ceylon and its Great Tea Industry. By Henry W. Cave, M.A., F.R.G.S. Illustrated from Photographs by the Author. 10s. 6d. net.

Greenhouse Management, Pictorial. By Walter P. Wright, Editor of “The Gardener,” &c. With nearly 100 Illustrations. Paper covers, 1s.; cloth, 1s. 6d.

Gulliver’s Travels. With upwards of 100 Illustrations. New Fine Art Edition. 7s. 6d.

Gun and its Development, The. By W. W. Greener. With 500 Illustrations. Entirely New Edition. 10s. 6d.

Handyman’s Book, The, of Tools, Materials, and Processes employed in Woodworking. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck. With About 2,500 Illustrations. 9s.

Heavens, The Story of the. By Sir Robert Ball, LL.D. With Coloured Plates. Popular Edition. 10s. 6d.

Her Majesty’s Tower. By Hepworth Dixon. With an Introduction by W. J. Loftie, B.A., F.S.A., and containing 16 Coloured Plates specially prepared for this Edition by H. E. Tidmarsh. Popular Edition. Two Vols., 12s. the set.

Heroes of Britain in Peace and War. With 300 Original Illustrations. Cheap Edition. Complete in One Vol. 3s. 6d.

Holbein’s “Ambassadors” Unriddled. The Counts Palatine Otto Henry and Philipp. A Key to other Holbeins. By William Frederick Dickes. Illustrated. 10s. 6d. net.

Houghton, Lord: The Life, Letters, and Friendships of Richard Monckton Milnes, First Lord Houghton. By Sir Wemyss Reid. In Two Vols., with Two Portraits. 32s.

Hygiene and Public Health. By B. Arthur Whitelegge, M.D. 7s. 6d.

Ia: A Love Story. By A. T. Quiller-Couch (Q). 3s. 6d.

Impregnable City, The. By Max Pemberton. 3s. 6d.

India, Cassell’s History of. In One Vol. Cheap Edition. Illustrated. 7s. 6d.

India: Our Eastern Empire. By Philip Gibbs. With 4 Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. 2s. 6d.

In Royal Purple. By William Pigott. 6s.

Iron Pirate, The. By Max Pemberton. 3s. 6d. People’s Edition, 6d.

John Gayther’s Garden. By Frank Stockton. 6s.

Joseph’s Letters upon Egypt. 6d. net.

Joy, The Work of George W. With Rembrandt Photogravures and Reproductions in Colour of Pictures and Drawings.

Kate Bonnet: The Romance of a Pirate’s Daughter. By Frank R. Stockton. With 8 Illustrations. 6s.

Khedive’s Country, The. The Nile Valley and its Products. Edited by G. Manville Fenn. Illustrated. 5s.

[6] Kidnapped. By R. L. Stevenson. 3s. 6d. People’s Edition, 6d. Pocket Edition, cloth, 2s. net; leather, 3s. net.

Kilogram, The Coming of the; or, The Battle of the Standards. By the Rt. Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A. Illustrated. Cheap Edition. 6d.

King Solomon’s Mines. By H. Rider Haggard. Illustrated. 3s. 6d. People’s Edition, 6d.

Kiss of the Enemy, The. By Headon Hill. 6s.

Koreans at Home. By Constance J. D. Tayler. With 6 Plates in Colour and 24 in Black and White. 3s. 6d.

Kronstadt. By Max Pemberton. 6s.

Ladies’ Physician, The. By A London Physician. 3s. 6d.

Laird’s Luck, The, and other Fireside Tales. By A. T. Quiller-Couch (Q). 6s.

Land of the Dons, The. By Leonard Williams, Author of “Ballads and Songs of Spain,” &c. With about 42 Illustrations. 15s. net.

Landels, William, D.D. A Memoir. By his Son, the Rev. Thomas D. Landels, M.A. With Portrait. 6s.

Landscape Painting in Water-Colour. By J. MacWhirter, R.A. With 23 Coloured Plates. 5s.

Lepidus the Centurion: A Roman of To-day. By Edwin Lester Arnold. 6s.

Letts’s Diaries and other Time-saving Publications published exclusively by Cassell & Company. (A list free on application.)

Li Hung-chang. By Mrs. Archibald Little. With Rembrandt Frontispiece and 3 Full-page Plates. 15s. net.

List, Ye Landsmen! By W. Clark Russell. 3s. 6d.

Little Huguenot, The. By Max Pemberton. New Edition. 1s. 6d.

Little Minister, The. By J. M. Barrie. Illustrated. Cheap Edition. 3s. 6d.

Little Novice, The. By Alix King. 6s.

Little Squire, The. By Mrs. Henry de la Pasture. 3s. 6d.

London, Cassell’s Guide to. Illustrated. New Edition, 6d.; cloth, 1s.

London, Greater. Two Vols. With about 400 Illustrations. Cheap Edition. 4s. 6d. each.

London, Old and New. Six Vols. With about 1,200 Illustrations and Maps. Cheap Edition. 4s. 6d. each.

London, Rambles In and Near. By W. J. Loftie, F.S.A. Illustrated. Popular Edition, 6s.

Lord Protector, The. By S. Levett-Yeats. 6s.

Loveday. By A. E. Wickham. 3s. 6d.

Man’s Mirror, A. By Emily Pearson Finnemore. 6s.

Man in Black, The. By Stanley Weyman. 3s. 6d.

Marie-Ève. By Marian Bower. 6s.

Marine Painting in Water-Colour. By W. L. Wyllie, A.R.A. With 24 Coloured Plates. 5s.

Masque of Days, A. With 40 pages of Designs in Colour by Walter Crane. 6s.

Master of Ballantrae. By R. L. Stevenson. 6s. Popular Edition, 3s. 6d.

Mechanics, Cassell’s Cyclopædia of. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck. Profusely Illustrated. Series 1, 2, and 3, each complete in itself. 7s. 6d. each.

Medicine, Manuals for Students of. (A list forwarded post free.)

Military Forces of the Crown. Their Organisation and Equipment. By Colonel W. H. Daniel. Illustrated. 5s.

Music, Illustrated History of. By Emil Naumann. Edited by the Rev. Sir F. A. Gore Ouseley, Bart. Illustrated. Cheap Edition. Two Vols. 18s.

Musk of Roses. By Mary L. Pendered. 6s.

Nat Harlowe, Mountebank. By George R. Sims. With 16 Illustrations. 3s. 6d.

National Gallery, The. Edited by Sir E. J. Poynter, P.R.A. Illustrating every Picture in the National Gallery. In Three Vols. Published at £7 7s., now increased to £16 16s. the set, net.

National Gallery Catalogue. Profusely Illustrated. 6d. net.

[7] National Gallery of British Art (The Tate Gallery), The Catalogue of the. Containing numerous Illustrations, and a List of all the Pictures exhibited. 6d. net.

National Library, Cassell’s. 3d. and 6d. List post free on application. New and Improved Issue, in weekly volumes, 6d. net.

National Portrait Gallery. Edited by Lionel Cust, M.A., F.S.A. Illustrating every Picture in the National Portrait Gallery. Two Vols. £6 6s. net.

Nation’s Pictures, The. Complete in 4 Vols. Each containing 48 Beautiful Coloured Reproductions of some of the finest Modern Paintings in the Public Picture Galleries of Great Britain, with descriptive Text. Cloth, 12s.; half-leather, 15s. each.

Natural History, Cassell’s. Cheap Edition. With about 2,000 Illustrations. In Three Double Vols. 6s. each.

Natural History, Cassell’s Concise. By E. Perceval Wright, M.A., M.D., F.L.S. With several Hundred Illustrations. 7s. 6d.

Nature and a Camera, With. By Richard Kearton, F.Z.S. With Frontispiece, and 180 Pictures from Photographs direct from Nature by C. Kearton. Cheap Edition. 7s. 6d.

Nature’s Riddles. By H. W. Shepheard-Walwyn, M.A., &c. With numerous Illustrations. 6s.

Nebo the Nailer. By S. Baring-Gould. 6s.

O’Connell, Daniel, The Life of. By Michael MacDonagh. With Rembrandt Frontispiece. 16s. net.

Old Fires and Profitable Ghosts. By A. T. Quiller-Couch (Q). 6s.

“Ophir,” With the, round the Empire. With 24 Illustrations. By Wm. Maxwell. 6s.

Our Bird Friends. By R. Kearton, F.Z.S. With 100 Illustrations from Photographs direct from Nature by C. Kearton. 5s.

Our Own Country. With 1,200 Illustrations. Cheap Edition. Three Double Vols. 5s. each.

Oxford, Reminiscences of. By the Rev. W. Tuckwell, M.A. With 16 Full-page Illustrations. 9s.

Painting, Practical Guides to. With Coloured Plates:—

Italian Painting. 5s.
China Painting. 5s.
Neutral Tint. 5s.
Flowers, and How to Paint Them. 5s.
Manual of Oil Painting. 2s. 6d.
MacWhirter’s Landscape Painting in Water-Colour. 5s.
Wyllie’s Marine Painting in Water-Colour. 5s.

Paris, Cassell’s Illustrated Guide to. Paper, 6d.; cloth, 1s.

Peel, Sir R. By Lord Rosebery. 2s. 6d.

Penny Magazine, The. With about 650 Illustrations. In Quarterly Volumes. 2s. 6d. each.

Peoples of the World, The. By Dr. Robert Brown. In Six Vols. Illustrated. 3s. 6d. each.

Peril and Patriotism. True Tales of Heroic Deeds and Startling Adventures. Two Vols. in One. 5s.

Pictorial Scotland and Ireland. With 320 Copyright Illustrations from Photographs. 9s.

Pictures of Many Wars. By Frederic Villiers. 6s.

Picturesque America. In Four Vols., with 48 Steel Plates and 800 Wood Engravings. £12 12s. the set. Popular Edition. 18s. each.

Picturesque Canada. With 600 Original Illustrations. Two Vols. £9 9s. the set.

Picturesque Europe. Popular Edition. The Continent. In Three Vols. Each containing 13 Litho Plates and nearly 200 Illustrations. 6s. each.

Picturesque Mediterranean, The. With Magnificent Illustrations by leading Artists. Complete in Two Vols. £2 2s. each.

Pigeons, Fulton’s Book of. Edited by Lewis Wright. Revised and Supplemented by the Rev. W. F. Lumley. With 50 Full-page Illustrations. Popular Edition, 10s. 6d. Original Edition, with 50 Coloured Plates and numerous Wood Engravings. 21s.

Planet, The Story of Our. By Prof. Bonney, F.R.S. With Coloured Plates and Maps and about 100 Illustrations. Cheap Edition. 7s. 6d.

[8] Playfair, Lyon, First Lord Playfair of St. Andrews, Memoirs and Correspondence of. By Sir Wemyss Reid. With Two Portraits. Cheap Edition. 7s. 6d.

Poultry Club Standards, The. With Introduction by L. Wright. Edited by T. Threlford. 1s. net.

Poultry, The Book of. By Lewis Wright. Popular Edition, 10s. 6d.

Poultry, The New Book of. By Lewis Wright. With 30 Coloured Plates by J. W. Ludlow, and other Illustrations. 21s.

Poultry Keeper, The Practical. By Lewis Wright. With Eight Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. 3s. 6d.

Postcards, Cassell’s Art. 2 Series, each containing reproductions of six of Barnard’s Character Sketches from Dickens. 6d. each Series. 4 Series Nation’s Pictures, each containing six beautiful reproductions in colour of Standard Works of Art. 6d. each Series.

Profitable Home Farming, specially adapted to Occupants of Small Homesteads. By ‘Yeoman.’ 1s.; cloth, 1s. 6d.

Q’s Works. 5s. each.

† * Dead Man’s Rock.
† * The Splendid Spur.
The Astonishing History of Troy Town.
“I Saw Three Ships,” and other Winter’s Tales.
Noughts and Crosses.
The Delectable Duchy.
Wandering Heath.
* Also at 3s. 6d.
† Also People’s Editions at 6d.

Queen’s London, The. Containing about 450 Exquisite Views of London and its Environs. 9s.

Queen Victoria. A Personal Sketch. By Mrs. Oliphant. With Three Rembrandt Plates and other Illustrations. 3s. 6d. Also 5s., half-morocco.

Rabbit-Keeper, The Practical. By “Cuniculus,” assisted by Eminent Fanciers. With Illustrations. 3s. 6d.

Railway Guides, Official. With Illustrations, Maps, &c. Price 1s. each; or in Cloth, 1s. 6d. each.

London and North Western Railway.
Great Western Railway.
Midland Railway.
Great Northern Railway.
Great Eastern Railway.
London and South Western Railway.
London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.
South Eastern and Chatham Railway.

Red Morn. By Max Pemberton. 6s.

Rivers of Great Britain: Descriptive, Historical, Pictorial.

Rivers of the South and West Coasts. Popular Edition, 16s.
Rivers of the East Coast. Popular Edition, 16s.

Rogue’s March, The. By E. W. Hornung. 3s. 6d.

Royal Academy Pictures. Annual Volume. 7s. 6d.

Ruskin, John: A Sketch of His Life, His Work, and His Opinions, with Personal Reminiscences. By M. H. Spielmann. 5s.

Saturday Journal, Cassell’s. Yearly Volume, cloth, 7s. 6d.

Scales of Heaven, The. Narrative, Legendary and Meditative. With a few Sonnets. By the Rev. Frederick Langbridge. 5s.

Science Series, The Century. Consisting of Biographies of Eminent Scientific Men of the present Century. Edited by Sir Henry Roscoe, D.C.L., F.R.S. Crown 8vo. New Edition. 10 Vols. 2s. 6d. each.

Science for All. Edited by Dr. Robert Brown. Cheap Edition. In Five Vols. 3s. 6d. each.

Scientific Truth, The Criterion of. By George Shann. 1s. 6d.

Sea, The Story of the. Edited by Q. Illustrated. In Two Vols. 9s. each. Cheap Edition. 5s. each.

Sea Wolves, The. By Max Pemberton. 3s. 6d. People’s Edition, 6d.

Sentimental Tommy. By J. M. Barrie. Illustrated. 6s.

Shaftesbury, The Seventh Earl of, K.G., The Life and Work of. By Edwin Hodder. Cheap Edition. 3s. 6d.

Shakespeare, The Plays of. Edited by Professor Henry Morley. Complete in Thirteen Vols., cloth, 21s.; also 39 Vols., cloth, in box, 21s.

Shakespeare, The England of. New Edition. By E. Goadby. With Full-page Illustrations. 2s. 6d.

Shakspere, The Leopold. With 400 Illustrations. Cheap Edition. 3s. 6d. Cloth gilt, gilt edges, 5s.; half-persian, 5s. 6d. net.

Shakspere, The Royal. With 50 Full-page Illustrations. Complete in Three Vols. 15s. the set.

Ship of Stars, The. By A. T. Quiller-Couch (Q). 6s.

[9] Siberia, The Real. By J. Foster Fraser. With numerous Illustrations from Photographs. Popular Edition, 3s. 6d.

Sights and Scenes in Oxford City and University. Described by Thomas Whittaker, B.A. With 100 Illustrations after Original Photographs. Popular Edition, 10s. 6d. net.

Social England. A Record of the Progress of the People. By various Writers. Edited by H. D. Traill, D.C.L., and J. S. Mann, M.A. New Illustrated Edition in Six Vols. Vols. I. to V., 14s. net each.

Sports and Pastimes, Cassell’s Book of. With numerous Illustrations. New Edition. 3s. 6d.

Sports of the World. Edited by F. G. Aflalo, F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. With several hundreds of New and Original Illustrations. 12s.

Standard Library, Cassell’s. 1s. net each. (List free on application.)

Star-Land. By Sir Robert Ball, LL.D. Illustrated. New and Enlarged Edition. 7s. 6d.

Sun, The Story of the. By Sir Robert Ball, LL.D. With Eight Coloured Plates and other Illustrations. Cheap Edition. 10s. 6d.

Swiss Family Robinson. In words of one syllable. 6d.

Technical Instruction. A Series of Practical Volumes. Edited by P. N. Hasluck. Illustrated. 2s. each.

Practical Staircase Joinery.
Practical Metal Plate Work.
Practical Gas Fitting.
Practical Draughtsmen’s Work.
Practical Graining and Marbling.

Toledo and Madrid: Their Records and Romances. By Leonard Williams. With 55 Illustrations. 12s. 6d. net.

Tidal Thames, The. By Grant Allen. With India Proof Impressions of 20 magnificent Full-page Photogravure Plates, and with many other Illustrations in the Text after Original Drawings by W. L. Wyllie, A.R.A. 42s. net.

Tommy and Grizel. By J. M. Barrie. 6s.

Tomorrow’s Tangle. By Geraldine Bonner. 6s.

Treasure Island. By R. L. Stevenson. Cheap Illustrated Edition. 3s. 6d.

Turner, J. M. W., R.A., The Water-Colour Sketches of, in the National Gallery. With 58 Facsimile Reproductions in Colour, comprising the rivers of France—the Seine—the rivers of England, the ports of England. The descriptive text written by Theodore A. Cook, M.A., F.S.A. £3 3s. net.

“Unicode”: The Universal Telegraphic Phrase Book. Desk or Pocket Edition. 2s. 6d.

Westminster Abbey, Annals of. By E. T. Bradley (Mrs. A. Murray Smith). Illustrated. Cheap Edition. 21s.

Wild Flowers, Familiar. By F. Edward Hulme, F.L.S., F.S.A. With 240 beautiful Coloured Plates. Cheap Edition. In Seven Volumes. 3s. 6d. each.

Wild Nature’s Ways. By R. Kearton, F.Z.S. With 200 Illustrations from Photographs by the Author and C. Kearton. 10s. 6d.

“Work” Handbooks. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck, Editor of Work. Illustrated, 1s. each.

Wrecker, The. By R. L. Stevenson. 6s. Popular Edition, 3s. 6d.

Illustrated Magazines and Practical Journals.

THE QUIVER. Monthly, 6d.


LITTLE FOLKS. Monthly, 6d.

THE PENNY MAGAZINE. Weekly, 1d.; Monthly, 6d.

CASSELL’S SATURDAY JOURNAL. Weekly, 1d.; Monthly, 6d.

THE MAGAZINE OF ART. New Series. Monthly, 1s. net.

CHUMS. The Paper for Boys. Weekly, 1d.; Monthly, 6d.

TINY TOTS. For the Very Little Ones. Monthly, 1d.

WORK. Weekly, 1d.; Monthly, 6d.

BUILDING WORLD. Weekly, 1d.; Monthly, 6d.

THE GARDENER. Weekly, 1d.

CASSELL & COMPANY, Limited, Ludgate Hill, London.


Bibles and Religious Works.

Aids to Practical Religion. Selections from the Writings and Addresses of W. Boyd Carpenter, Lord Bishop of Ripon. By the Rev. J. H. Burn, B.D., F.R.S.E. 3s. 6d.

Atonement, The. By William Connor Magee, D.D., late Archbishop of York.

Bible Biographies. Illus. 1s. 6d. each.

The Story of Moses and Joshua. By The Rev. J. Telford.
The Story of the Judges. By the Rev. J. Wycliffe Gedge.
The Story of Samuel and Saul. By the Rev. D. C. Tovey.
The Story of David. By the Rev. J. Wild.
The Story of Joseph. Its Lessons For To-day. By the Rev. George Bainton.

The Story of Jesus. In Verse. By J. R. Macduff. D.D.

Bible Commentary for English Readers. Edited by Bishop Ellicott. With Contributions by eminent Scholars and Divines:—

New Testament. Popular Edition. Unabridged. Three Vols. 6s. each.
Old Testament. Popular Edition. Unabridged. Five Vols. 6s. each.
Special Pocket Editions. 2s. each.

Bible Dictionary, Cassell’s Concise. By the Rev. Robert Hunter, LL.D. Illustrated. Cheap Edition. 3s. 6d.

Bible Student in the British Museum, The. By the Rev. J. G. Kitchin, M.A. New and Revised Edition. 1s. 4d.

Child’s Bible, The. With 100 Illustrations and Coloured Plates. New Edition. 10s. 6d.

Child “Wonderful,” The. A Series of 9 Pictures in colours by W. S. Stacey, illustrating incidents in the Life of Christ. 2s. 6d.

Church of England, The. A History for the People. By the Very Rev. H. D. M. Spence, D.D., Dean of Gloucester. Illustrated. Complete in Four Vols. 6s. each.

Church Reform in Spain and Portugal. By the Rev. H. E. Noyes, D.D. Illustrated. 2s. 6d.

Early Christianity and Paganism. By the Very Rev. H. D. Spence, D.D. Illustrated. Cheap Edition. 7s. 6d.

Early Days of Christianity, The. By the Very Rev. Dean Farrar, D.D., F.R.S. Library Edition. Two Vols., 24s.; morocco, £2 2s. Popular Edition. Complete in One Volume. Cloth, gilt edges, 7s. 6d. Cheap Edition. Cloth gilt, 3s. 6d.; paste grain, 5s. net.

Family Prayer-Book, The. Edited by the Rev. Canon Garbett, M.A., and Rev. S. Martin. With Full-page Illustrations. 7s. 6d.

Gleanings after Harvest. Studies and Sketches by the Rev. John R. Vernon, M.A. Illustrated. Cheap Edition. 3s. 6d.

“Graven in the Rock.” By the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kinns, F.R.A.S. Illustrated. Library Edition. Two Vols. 15s.

“Heart Chords.” A Series of Works by Eminent Divines. 1s. each.

My Comfort in Sorrow. By Hugh Macmillan, D.D.
My Bible. By the Right Rev. W. Boyd Carpenter, Bishop of Ripon.
My Father. By the Right Rev. Ashton Oxenden, Late Bishop of Montreal.
My Work for God. By the Right Rev. Bishop Cotterill.
My Emotional Life. By the Rev. Preb. Chadwick, D.D.
My Growth in Divine Life. By the Rev. Preb. Reynolds, M.A.
My Soul. By the Rev. P. B. Power, M.A.
My Hereafter. By the Very Rev. Dean Bickersteth.
My Aid to the Divine Life. By the Very Rev. Dean Boyle.
My Sources of Strength. By the Rev. E. E. Jenkins. M.A.
My Walk with God. By the Very Rev. Dean Montgomery.

Holy Land and the Bible. A Book of Scripture Illustrations gathered in Palestine. By the Rev. Cunningham Geikie, D.D. Cheap Edition. 7s. 6d. Superior Edition. With 24 Plates. Cloth gilt, gilt edges, 10s. 6d. “Quiver” Edition. Abridged by the Author. With 8 Full-page Illustrations, 2s. 6d. net.

[11] Life of Christ, The. By the Very Rev. Dean Farrar. Cheap Edition. With 16 Full-page Plates. 3s. 6d.; paste grain, 5s. net. Illustrated Quarto Edition. Cloth gilt, gilt edges, 7s. 6d. Biographical Edition, 10s. 6d. net. Original Illustrated Edition, 21s.

Life of Lives, The: Further Studies in the Life of Christ. By Dean Farrar. 15s. Popular Edition, 7s. 6d.

Life and Work of the Redeemer. Illustrated. “Quiver” Edition. With 8 Full-page Illustrations. 2s. 6d. net.

Matin and Vesper Bells. Earlier and Later Collected Poems (Chiefly Sacred). By J. R. Macduff, D.D. Two Vols. 7s. 6d. the set.

Methodism, Side Lights on the Conflicts of. During the Second Quarter of the Nineteenth Century, 1827-1852. From the Notes of the late Rev. Joseph Fowler of the Debates of the Wesleyan Conference. Cloth, 8s. Popular Edition. Unabridged. Cloth, 3s. 6d.

Miracles. By the Rev. Brownlow Maitland, M.A. 1s.

Moses and Geology; or, The Harmony of the Bible with Science. By the Rev. Samuel Kinns, Ph.D., F.R.A.S. Illustrated. 10s. 6d. net.

Pilgrim’s Progress, The. By John Bunyan. Superior Edition. With Notes by the Rev. Robert Maguire, M.A., and containing numerous Illustrations by H. C. Selous and M. Paolo Priolo. 3s. 6d.

Plain Introductions to the Books of the Old Testament. Edited by Bishop Ellicott. 3s 6d.

Plain Introductions to the Books of the New Testament. Edited by Bishop Ellicott. 3s. 6d.

Protestantism, The History of. By the Rev. J. A. Wylie, LL.D. Containing upwards of 600 Original Illustrations. Cheap Edition. Three Vols. 5s. each.

Quiver Postcards. Set of 15 Pictures entitled “Fair Flowers of British Womanhood.” 6d.

Quiver Yearly Volume, The. With about 900 Original Illustrations. 7s. 6d.

St. Paul, The Life and Work of. By the Very Rev. Dean Farrar. Cheap Edition. With 16 Full-page Plates, 3s. 6d.; paste grain, 5s. net; Popular Edition, 7s. 6d.; Illustrated 4to Edition, 7s. 6d.; Original Illustrated Edition, £2 2s.

“Six Hundred Years”; or, Historical Sketches of Eminent Men and Women who have more or less come into contact with the Abbey and Church of Holy Trinity, Minories, from 1293 to 1893. With 65 Illustrations. By the Vicar, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Kinns. 10s. 6d. net.

“Sunday,” Its Origin, History, and Present Obligation. By the Ven. Archdeacon Hessey, D.C.L. Fifth Edition. 7s. 6d.


Educational Works and Student’s Manuals.

Æsop’s Fables. In words of one syllable. With 4 Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. 6d.

Alphabet, Cassell’s Pictorial. 2s. and 2s. 6d.

Architectural Drawing. R. Phené Spiers. With 26 Plates. New Edition. 7s. 6d. net.

Atlas, Cassell’s Popular. Containing 24 Coloured Maps. 1s. 6d.

Blackboard Drawing. By W. E. Sparkes. Illustrated. 3s. 6d.

Brushwork Series, Cassell’s. Series I.—Wild Flowers. Series II.—Pictures Wanting Words. Series III.—Entertaining Pictures. 3d. per Set, each containing 12 Sheets. Each Sheet includes a Set of Six Water-Colours.

Book-keeping. By Theodore Jones. For Schools, 2s.; cloth, 3s. For the Million, 2s.; cloth, 3s. Books for Jones’s System, 2s.

Chemistry, The Public School. By J. H. Anderson, M.A. 2s. 6d.

Dulce Domum. Rhymes and Songs for Children. Edited by John Farmer, 5s.

England, A History of. By the Rt. Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A. Illustrated. 5s.

Euclid, Cassell’s. Edited by Prof. Wallace, M.A. 1s.

“Eyes and No Eyes” Series (Cassell’s). By Arabella Buckley. With Coloured Plates and other Illustrations. Six Books. 4d. and 6d. each. Complete Volume, 3s. 6d.

Founders of the Empire. By Philip Gibbs. Illustrated. 1s. 8d.; cloth, 2s. 6d.

French, Cassell’s Lessons in. Cheap Edition. In Two Parts. Cloth, 1s. 6d. each. Complete in One Vol., 2s. 6d. Key, 1s. 6d.

French-English and English-French Dictionary. 1,150 pages. Cloth or buckram, 3s. 6d.; half-morocco, 5s.

French-English and English-French Dictionary, Cassell’s New. Edited by James Boielle, B.A. 7s. 6d.

Gaudeamus. Songs for Colleges and Schools. Edited by John Farmer. 5s. Words only, paper covers, 6d.; cloth, 9d.

Geography: A Practical Method of Teaching. Book I., England and Wales, in Two Parts, 6d. each. Book II., Europe. By J. H. Overton, F.G.S. 6d. Tracing Book, containing 22 leaves, 2d.

German Dictionary, Cassell’s. (German-English, English-German.) Cheap Edition. Cloth, 3s. 6d.; half-morocco, 5s.

Greek Heroes. New Supplementary Reader. With 4 Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations, 6d.; cloth, 1s.

Hand and Eye Training. By G. Ricks, B.Sc. Two Vols., with 16 Coloured Plates in each. 6s. each.

Hand and Eye Training. By George Ricks, B.Sc., and Jos. Vaughan. Illustrated. Vol. I., Cardboard Work, 2s. Vol. II., Colour Work and Design, 3s.

Historical Cartoons, Cassell’s Coloured. Size 45 in. × 35 in. 2s. each. Mounted on Canvas and varnished, with Rollers, 5s. each.

In Danger’s Hour; or, Stout Hearts and Stirring Deeds. A Book of Adventures for School and Home. With Coloured Plates and other Illustrations. Cloth, 1s. 8d; bevelled boards, 2s. 6d.

King Solomon’s Mines. Abridged Edition, for Schools. 1s. 3d.

Latin-English and English-Latin Dictionary. 3s. 6d. and 5s.

Latin Primer, The First. By Prof. Postgate. 1s.

Latin Primer, The New. By Prof. J. P. Postgate. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d.

Latin Prose for Lower Forms. By M. A. Bayfield, M.A. 2s. 6d.

Laws of Every-day Life. By the Rt. Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A. 1s. 6d.

Magna Carta. A Facsimile of the Original Document, mounted on cardboard, together with a Translation. 1s. 6d.

Marlborough Books:—Arithmetic Examples, Revised, 3s. French Exercises, 3s. 6d. French Grammar, 2s. 6d. German Grammar, 3s. 6d.

Mechanics and Machine Design, Numerical Examples in Practical. By R. G. Blaine, M.E. Revised and Enlarged. Illustrated. 2s. 6d.

[13] Mechanics, Applied. By J. Perry, M.E., D.Sc., &c. Illustrated. 7s. 6d.

Mechanics, Cassell’s Cyclopædia of. Edited by P. N. Hasluck. Series I., II., and III. 7s. 6d. each. (Each Series is complete in itself.)

Metric Charts, Cassell’s Approved. Two Coloured Sheets, 42 in. by 22½ in., illustrating by Designs and Explanations the Metric System. 1s. each. Mounted with Rollers, 3s. each. The two in one with Rollers, 5s. each.

Models and Common Objects, How to Draw from. By W. E. Sparkes. Illustrated. 3s.

Models, Common Objects, and Casts of Ornament, How to Shade from. By W. E. Sparkes. With 25 Plates by the Author. 3s.

Object Lessons from Nature. By Prof. L. C. Miall, F.L.S. Fully Illustrated. New and Enlarged Edition. Two Vols., 1s. 6d. each.

Physiology for Schools. By A. T. Schofield, M.D., &c. Illustrated. Cloth, 1s. 9d.; Three Parts, paper, 5d. each; or cloth limp, 6d. each.

Poetry for Children, Cassell’s. 6 Books, 1d. each; in One Vol., 6d.

Popular Educator, Cassell’s. With Coloured Plates and Maps, and other Illustrations. 8 Vols., 5s. each.

Reader, The Citizen. By the Rt. Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A. Illustrated, 1s. 6d. Also a Scottish Edition, cloth. 1s. 6d.

Reader, The Temperance. By J. Dennis Hird. 1s. or 1s. 6d.

Readers, Cassell’s “Belle Sauvage.” An entirely New Series. Fully Illustrated. Strongly bound in cloth. (List on application.)

Readers, Cassell’s Classical, for School and Home. Illustrated. Vol I. (for young children), 1s. 8d.; Vol. II. (boys and girls), 2s. 6d.

Readers, Cassell’s “Higher Class.” (List on application.)

Readers, Cassell’s Readable. Illustrated. (List on application.)

Readers, Cassell’s Union Jack Series. With Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. 6 Books. From 8d. each.

Readers for Infant Schools, Coloured. Three Books. 4d. each.

Readers, Geographical, Cassell’s New. Illustrated. (List on application.)

Readers, The “Modern School.” Illustrated. (List on application.)

Readers, The “Modern School.” Geographical. (List on application.)

Reckoning, Howard’s Art of. By C. Frusher Howard. Paper covers, 1s.; cloth, 2s. New Edition. 5s.

Round the Empire. By G. R. Parkin. Fully Illustrated. 1s. 6d.

R. H. S. Curves. By Prof. R. H. Smith. A Set of 23 Scaled Templates, with Pamphlet, 10s. 6d.

Scholar’s Companion to “Things New and Old.” Five Books. 32 pages, extra crown 8vo. 2d. each.

Shakspere’s Plays for School Use. 7 Books. Illustrated. 6d. each.

Spelling, A Complete Manual of. By J. D. Morell, LL.D. Cloth, 1s. Cheap Edition, 6d.

Spending and Saving: A Primer of Thrift. By Alfred Pinhorn. 1s.

Swiss Family Robinson. In words of one syllable. With 4 Coloured Plates. 6d.

Technical Educator, Cassell’s. With Coloured Plates and Engravings. Complete in Six Vols. 3s. 6d. each.

Technical Manuals, Cassell’s. Illustrated throughout. 16 Books, from 2s. to 4s. 6d. (List on application.)

Technology, Manuals of. Edited by Prof. Ayrton, F.R.S., & Richard Wormell, D.Sc., M.A. Illustrated throughout. 7 Books from 3s. 6d. to 5s. each. (List on application.)

Things New and Old; or, Stories from English History. By the Rt. Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A. Illustrated. 7 Books from 9d. to 1s. 8d.

Things New and Old, Scholar’s Companion to. 5 Books. 2d. each.

This World of Ours. By the Rt. Hon. H. O. Arnold-Forster, M.A. Illustrated. Cheap Edition. 2s. 6d.

Troubadour, The. Selections from English Verse. Edited and Annotated by Philip Gibbs. 1s. 6d.

“Wild Flowers” Sheets, Cassell’s. 12 Sheets, each containing 10 examples of familiar wild flowers, beautifully reproduced in colours and varnished, 1s. 6d. each.

CASSELL & COMPANY, Limited, Ludgate Hill, London.


Books for the Little Ones.

A Sunday Story Book. 3s. 6d. 320 pages of simple stories, alternating with pictures.

Animal Land for Little People. By S. H. Hamer. Illustrated. 1s. 6d.

Beneath the Banner. Being Narratives of Noble Lives and Brave Deeds. By F. J. Cross. Illustrated. Limp cloth, 1s.; cloth gilt, 2s.

Birds, Beasts and Fishes. By S. H. Hamer. With Four Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. 1s. 6d.

Bo-Peep. A Book for the Little Ones. With Original Stories and Verses. Illustrated with Full-page Coloured Plates, and numerous Pictures in Colour. Yearly Volume. Picture boards, 2s. 6d.; cloth, 3s. 6d.

Good Morning! Good Night! By F. J. Cross. Illustrated. Limp cloth, 1s.; or cloth boards, gilt lettered, 2s.

Heroes of Every-day Life. By Laura Lane. Illustrated. 2s. 6d.

“Little Folks” Half-Yearly Volume. Containing 480 pages, with Six Full-page Coloured Plates, and numerous other Pictures printed in Colour. Picture boards, 3s. 6d. Cloth gilt, gilt edges, 5s. each.

“Little Folks” Plays. Each containing 2 coloured plates and numerous Illustrations. 6d. net each:—

Cinderella. By Miranda Hill.
Rumpelstiltzkin and Dummling. Two Plays. By Miranda Hill.
How to Get up a Children’s Play. By Maggie Browne.

“Little Folks” Song Book. With Four Coloured Plates. 2s. 6d.

Little Folks’ Sunday Book. By Christian Redford. Illustrated. 2s.

Little Mother Bunch. By Mrs. Molesworth. Illustrated. 2s. 6d.

Magic at Home. By Prof. Hoffman. Illustrated. Cloth gilt, 3s. 6d.

Master Charlie. By C. S. Harrison and S. H. Hamer. Illustrated. Coloured boards, 1s. 6d.

Micky Magee’s Menagerie; or, Strange Animals and their Doings. By S. H. Hamer. With Eight Coloured Plates and other Illustrations by Harry B. Neilson. 1s. 6d.

Notable Shipwrecks. Revised and Enlarged Edition. 1s.

Peter Piper’s Peepshow. By S. H. Hamer. With Illustrations by H. B. Neilson and Lewis Baumer. 1s. 6d.

Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers. By Maggie Browne. Illustrated. 2s. 6d.

Quackles, Junior: Being the Extraordinary Adventures of a Duckling. With Four Coloured Plates and other Illustrations by Harry Rountree. Written by S. H. Hamer. 1s. 6d.

The Foolish Fox, and Other Tales in Prose and Verse. Edited by S. H. Hamer. With Four Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations. 1s. 6d.

The Ten Travellers. By S. H. Hamer. With Four Coloured Plates and numerous Illustrations by Harry B. Neilson. 1s. 6d.

The Jungle School; or, Dr. Jibber-Jabber Burchall’s Academy. By S. H. Hamer. With Illustrations by H. B. Neilson. 1s. 6d.

The Old Fairy Tales. With Original Illustrations. Cloth. 1s.

“Tiny Tots” Annual Volume. Boards, 1s. 4d. Cloth, 1s. 6d.

Topsy Turvy Tales. By S. H. Hamer. With Illustrations by Harry B. Neilson. 1s. 6d.

The Surprising Adventures of Tuppy and Tue. A Fairy Story. By Maggie Browne. With Four Coloured Plates and other Illustrations. 3s. 6d.

Whys and Other Whys; or, Curious Creatures and Their Tales. By S. H. Hamer and Harry B. Neilson. Paper boards, 2s. 6d. Cloth, 3s. 6d.


CASSELL’S SHILLING STORY BOOKS. All Illustrated, and containing Interesting Stories.

A Pair of Primroses.
Frank’s Life Battle.
Ella’s Golden Year.
In the Days of King George.
Little Queen Mab.
Rhoda’s Reward.
The Heiress of Wyvern Court.
Their Road to Fortune.
Won by Gentleness.


Astray in the Forest.
Bear Cavern.
Red Feather. A Tale of the American Frontier.
Captured by Indians.
The Boy Hunters of Kentucky.
The Daughter of the Chieftain.
Wolf Ear the Indian.


Aim at a Sure End.
All in a Castle Fair.
Bear and Forbear.
By Land and Sea.
Clare Linton’s Friend.
Dolly’s Golden Slippers.
Her Wilful Way.
Honour is My Guide.
On Board the Esmeralda.
The Bravest of the Brave.
To School and Away.


Adam Hepburn’s Vow.
A Self-willed Family.
Daisy’s Dilemmas.
Fairway Island.
Fluffy and Jack.
The Lost Vestal.
The Mystery of Master Max; and the Shrimps of Shrimpton.
Uncle Silvio’s Secret.
Wrong from the First.


Lost in Samoa.
Blazing Arrow.
Chieftain and Scout.
Klondike Nuggets.
Ned in the Block House.
Ned in the Woods.
Ned on the River.
The Path in the Ravine.
The Rubber Hunters.
The Young Ranchers.


A Strange Craft and its Wonderful Voyages.
Camp-Fire and Wigwam.
Cowmen and Rustlers.
Down the Mississippi.
Footprints in the Forest.
In Red Indian Trails.
In the Days of the Pioneers.
Iron Heart, War Chief of the Iroquois.
Lost in the Wilds.
Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawas.
Red Jacket: The Last of the Senecas.
Scouts and Comrades.
Shod with Silence.
The Camp in the Mountains.
The Great Cattle Trail.
The Hunters of the Ozark.
The Last War Trail.
The Lost Trail.
The Phantom of the River.
Two Boys in Wyoming.
Uncrowning a King.


A Girl without Ambition.
Mrs. Pederson’s Niece.
Sisters Three.
Tom and Some Other Girls.


An Old Boy’s Yarns.
At the South Pole.
By Fire and Sword.
Cost of a Mistake.
Freedom’s Sword.
Heroes of the Indian Empire.
Lost Among White Africans.
[16] Lost on Du Corrig.
Master of the Strong Hearts: A Story of Custer’s Last Rally.
Pictures of School Life and Boyhood.
Rogues of the Fiery Cross.
Strong to Suffer.
The Queen’s Scarlet.
The White House at Inch Gow.
Through Trial to Triumph.
Told Out of School.
To Punish the Czar.
To the Death.
Wanted—a King; or, How Merle Set the Nursery Rhymes to Rights.
With Redskins on the Warpath.

BOOKS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS. Fully Illustrated.

Gulliver’s Travels. With upwards of 100 Illustrations from New Plates. Fine Art Edition, 7s. 6d.

Cassell’s Robinson Crusoe. With 100 Illustrations. Cloth, 3s. 6d.; gilt edges, 5s.

Cassell’s Swiss Family Robinson. Illustrated. Cloth, 3s. 6d.; gilt edges, 5s.

Strange Adventures in Dicky-Bird Land. Stories told by Mother Birds to amuse their Chicks, and overheard by R. Kearton, F.Z.S. With Illustrations from Photographs taken direct from Nature by C. Kearton. Cloth, 3s. 6d.; cloth gilt, gilt edges, 5s.


With 8 Coloured Plates in each. By L. T. Meade.
A Sweet Girl Graduate.
A World of Girls: The Story of a School.
Bashful Fifteen.
Beyond the Blue Mountains.
Merry Girls of England.
Polly: A New-Fashioned Girl.
Red Rose and Tiger Lily.
The Palace Beautiful.
The Rebellion of Lil Carrington.

Bound by a Spell. By the Hon. Mrs. Greene.
Five Stars in a Little Pool. By Edith Carrington.
The King’s Command: A Story for Girls. By Maggie Symington.


“Follow my Leader.” By Talbot Baines Reed.

For Fortune and Glory: A Story of the Soudan War. By Lewis Hough.

For Glory and Renown. By D. H. Parry.

The Capture of the “Estrella”: A Tale of the Slave Trade. By Commander Claud Harding, R.N.

The Red Terror: A Story of the Paris Commune. By Edward King.

The Three Homes. By the Very Rev. Dean Farrar.

Under the Great Bear. By Kirk Munroe.

With Claymore and Bayonet. By Colonel Percy Groves.

CASSELL & COMPANY’S COMPLETE CATALOGUE will be sent post free on application to
CASSELL & COMPANY, Limited, La Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill, London.

Transcriber’s Note

Variant spellings are preserved as printed, e.g. premisses, crochety, Teneriffe.

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired. Hyphenation usage has been made consistent.

Spelling of proper names has been made consistent where there was a prevalence of one form over another, as follows:

Page xi—Corbet amended to Corbett—Captain John Corbett ...


Page 77—Corbet amended to Corbett—... by Captain John Corbett, after having held the appointment ...

Page 222—Bobart amended to Bobardt—Dr. Bobardt, b Arlington ...

Page 271—J. C. J. amended to J. C. P.—Aldous, Rev. J. C. P., 93, 239

Printer errors have been corrected as follows:

Page viii—Succesful amended to Successful—... A Successful Experiment ...

Page 110—pioner amended to pioneer—“Jim,” the pioneer of the pack, ...

The table of seventeen years’ athletics, originally on page 218, has been moved so that it is not in the middle of a paragraph. The original large table has been divided into smaller tables for better display on smaller devices.

The frontispiece illustration has been moved to follow the title page. Other illustrations have been moved where necessary so that they are not in the middle of a paragraph.

Alphabetic links have been added to the beginning of the Index, for the convenience of the reader.

End of Project Gutenberg's The Story of the "Britannia", by E. P. Statham


***** This file should be named 46788-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Shaun Pinder, Sam W. and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will
be renamed.

Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright
law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works,
so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United
States without permission and without paying copyright
royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part
of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark,
and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks, unless you receive
specific permission. If you do not charge anything for copies of this
eBook, complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook
for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports,
performances and research. They may be modified and printed and given
away--you may do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks
not protected by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the
trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full
Project Gutenberg-tm License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or
destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your
possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a
Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound
by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the
person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph

1.B. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this
agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the
Foundation" or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection
of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual
works in the collection are in the public domain in the United
States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the
United States and you are located in the United States, we do not
claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing,
displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as
all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope
that you will support the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting
free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm
works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the
Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with the work. You can easily
comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the
same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg-tm License when
you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are
in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States,
check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this
agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing,
distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any
other Project Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no
representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any
country outside the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other
immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear
prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work
on which the phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed,
performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

  This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
  most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no
  restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it
  under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this
  eBook or online at If you are not located in the
  United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you
  are located before using this ebook.

1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is
derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not
contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the
copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in
the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are
redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply
either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or
obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg-tm
trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any
additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms
will be linked to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works
posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the
beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including
any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access
to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format
other than "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official
version posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site
(, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense
to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means
of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original "Plain
Vanilla ASCII" or other form. Any alternate format must include the
full Project Gutenberg-tm License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
provided that

* You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
  the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
  you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed
  to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he has
  agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid
  within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are
  legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty
  payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in
  Section 4, "Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg
  Literary Archive Foundation."

* You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
  you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
  does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
  License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all
  copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue
  all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg-tm

* You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of
  any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
  electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of
  receipt of the work.

* You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
  distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work or group of works on different terms than
are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing
from both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and The
Project Gutenberg Trademark LLC, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm
trademark. Contact the Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project
Gutenberg-tm collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may
contain "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or
cannot be read by your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium
with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you
with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in
lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person
or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second
opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If
the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing
without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS', WITH NO

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of
damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement
violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the
agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or
limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or
unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the
remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in
accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the
production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses,
including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of
the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this
or any Project Gutenberg-tm work, (b) alteration, modification, or
additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any
Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of
computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It
exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations
from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future
generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see
Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by
U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is in Fairbanks, Alaska, with the
mailing address: PO Box 750175, Fairbanks, AK 99775, but its
volunteers and employees are scattered throughout numerous
locations. Its business office is located at 809 North 1500 West, Salt
Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up to
date contact information can be found at the Foundation's web site and
official page at

For additional contact information:

    Dr. Gregory B. Newby
    Chief Executive and Director

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND
DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular
state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To
donate, please visit:

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works.

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project
Gutenberg-tm concept of a library of electronic works that could be
freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and
distributed Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of
volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in
the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not
necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.