Posted: Dec 2 2016, 10:31 AM
BRITISH NAVY SHIP RANKS
Admiral of the Fleet
Cadet (New recruit)
Warrant Officers: quartermaster, master gunner, boatswain, master-at-arms
Petty Officers: armourer, carpenter , sailmaker, ropemaker, caulker, coxswain, mast captain, mates (apprentices to warrant officers)
Sailors (ordinary and able seamen)
Ship boys/ Cabin boys
FRENCH NAVY SHIP RANKS
Captain (Capitaine de vaisseau)
Commander (Capitaine de fregatte)
Lt. Commander (Capitaine de corvette)
First Lieutenant (Lieutenant de vaisseau)
Second Lieutenant (Lieutenant de fregatte)
Midshipman (Garde du pavillon)
Cadet (Garde de la Marine)
Sailors (ordinary and able seamen)
SPANISH NAVY SHIP RANKS
Capitán y Director General de la Armada (with headquarters in Cádiz, who was also Comandante General, supreme head of the Navy)
Capitán General de la Armada- Admiral of the Fleet
Capitán General - Admiral
Teniente General - Vice Admiral
Jefe de Escuadra - Rear Admiral
Brigadier - Commodore
Capitán de Navío - Captain
Capitán de Fragata - Commander
Capitán de Corbeta- Lieutenant Commander
Teniente de Navío - Ship Lieutenant, first lieutenant
Teniente de Fragata - Second lieutenant
Alférez de Navío- Commissioned Warrant Officer
Alférez de Fragata- Midshipman
Piloto primero - Master of Sails, Navigator
Piloto Segundo- Master's mate
Pilotín - Junior Pilot/ Master's mate
Práctico - coastal pilot
Guardiamarina - Cadet
Sailors (ordinary and able seamen)
Sailors were divided up as able seamen (the experienced ones, including, i.a., topmen and helmsmen), ordinary seamen (the ones with less than 3 years experience), and landsmen (usually freshly pressed into service).
In early 1700s, marines were not a special branch in any country. They were simply soldiers assigned to ships, to man the guns and to fight the enemy. So, a soldier is another option too.
There was no set uniform for sailors onboard the ship, unlike officers, though some captains might try to require the sailors to wear some sort of common item to help distinguish them as part of their crew.
Posted: Dec 2 2016, 10:32 AM
WARRANT OFFICERS ON NAVY SHIPS
A Warrant Officer was a specialist representing one or more of the skilled trades employed aboard ship. Examples of such trades include carpentry, navigation, medicine, artillery and sail making. A Warrant Officer was appointed to his position by "Warrant" issued by the Navy Board, whereas a Commissioned Naval Officer received his appointment from the Admiralty in the form of a "Commission".
Advancement to Warrant Officer was afforded to any exceptionally skilled seaman or marine, as well as certain skilled landsmen such as shipwrights, surgeons, parsons and clerks. The one mandatory trait they all had to pass was the ability to read, write and "cipher". Warrant Officers were allotted a personal crew of subordinates or "Mates" to assist them in carrying out their duties. These "mates" were typically "Petty Officers" (appointed to their position by the ship's captain, but just as quickly could be demoted by him for any misbehaviour), but in some cases also included other Warrant Officers. Within their own ranks, Warrant Officers had varying levels of authority and status, categorised as Wardroom Officers, Standing Officers and Lower Grade Officers.
These Warrant Officers were referred to Wardroom Officers because they had access to the Wardroom and Quarterdeck; privileges normally reserved for Commissioned Officers. They had the most prestige of others in their ranks. The ship’s sailing master was considered to be a Wardroom Officer.
Purser: The Wardroom Officer in charge of the accounts, documents, freight, provisions, and the like.
Unlike their shipmates, who transferred from vessel to vessel, the Standing Officers remained permanently attached to their vessel, even while she was not in commission. These men were heavily involved with the fitting-out of the vessel.
Carpenter: A Standing Officer, his primary job was to ensure that the vessel remained afloat, and was responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and repair of all things wooden. The Carpenter had a fairly large crew, regularly employed at inspecting the integrity of the vessel, and making all necessary repairs.
Gunner: A Standing Officer who was generally responsible for the overall maintenance of the ship’s guns, but not the actual loading and firing during combat. That task was typically reserved for a Lieutenant. The Gunner was to ensure that all guns, carriages, tackles, and implements were in order, and saw to it that they remained serviceable. He was likewise responsible for the powder and ammunition, maintaining a ready supply of charges for each gun. The Gunner’s crew was rather large, consisting not only of his mates, but also of the quartergunners, as well as the Armourer.
Petty Officers with a warrant, who could be demoted at the Captain's whim.
Sailmaker: A Lower Grade Officer who answered to the Boatswain.
Caulker: A Lower Grade Officer who sealed the seams with oakum, and answered to the ship’s Carpenter.
Armourer: A Lower Grade Officer who served as the ship’s gunsmith, blacksmith, and metal-worker, and answered to the Gunner.
Ropemaker: A Lower Grade Officer who answered to the Boatswain.
Cook: A Lower Grade Officer who was often an elderly or disabled seaman, who received his "warrant" as a reward for faithful service in the Navy. It also served in a way as compensation for the loss of an eye, or a dismasted limb suffered in combat.
Petty Officers were appointed to their position by the ship's captain, but could just as quickly be demoted by him for any misbehaviour.
Quartermaster: A petty officer who attends to a ship's helm, binnacle, and signals.
Mate: Generally a Petty Officer, a mate was the age-old assistant to the master, as he still is in the merchant service. Master's mates of the Royal Navy were initially considered apprentices for the position of master, and were usually experienced seamen. Some examples of mates include the Boatswain's mate, Master's mate, Quartermaster's mate, Coxswain's mate, Yeoman's mate, Cook's mate, Steward's mate, Carpenter's mate, Surgeon's man, Quartergunner (the Gunner's quartermaster) and Gunner's mate.
Midshipman: Midshipmen were ratings in the Age of Sail whose duties were centered around "mid-ship." This position evolved to become the "apprenticeship" leading to a commission. Though only a petty officer officially, a midshipman was understood to be a gentleman and given many of the privileges of commissioned officers. Midshipmen were given uniforms in 1748, before any other non-commissioned officers. Young men could not be rated midshipmen until they had served at least two years at sea. This time was often spent as a volunteer or captain's servant, but some youngsters' names were simply entered on a ship's books. While serving as a midshipman, the young officer learned navigation and seamanship, and had such duties as supervising sections of gun crews, acting as officers' messengers, and taking charge of prizes. After at least six years of service, and at least nineteen years of age, a midshipman could take his examination for lieutenant. While waiting to take their examinations or for a commission, it became customary for the senior midshipmen to take appointments as master's mates.
Positions not held by officers.
Posted: Dec 2 2016, 10:32 AM
RANKS ON A PIRATE (or privateer) SHIP
Captain - The pirate Captains were elected because they were respected, not because they were feared. When electing a Captain, crew looked for someone who was capable off commanding and navigating a ship. In addition, it was very important that captain have courage and skill in both, sword and pistol fighting. Captain had absolute control only in a battle. In everyday life, Captains did not have much more rights than any other crewmember. Even sail courses were determinated by voting. Everybody had same rights and their duties were appointed, only according to their abilities and knowledge.
First Mate - ranked just below the Captain. He would take control of the ship if the Captain could not perform his duties any longer. Some pirate ships did not have First Mates; Quartermasters performed their duties.
Quartermaster - After Captain, the most authority on a pirate ship had Quartermaster. As a Captain's right hand, he was in charge when Captain was not around. He had authority and he could punish men for not obeying commands. Quartermaster was also in charge of food and water supplies.
Sailing Master - officers in charge of navigation and piloting. It was very hard job, because charts in those days were usually inaccurate or nonexistent. Education was required and on non-pirate ships, it was a well-paid job. Many sailing masters were forced to join the pirates.
Master Gunner and gunners - leaders of small man groups, who operated on the artillery. They watched for safety of their man and usually aimed the cannons themselves. It would took years of practice to become a good Gunner on military ship. It was even harder on pirate ships, because pirates rarely wanted to destroy other ships but rather to disable them Just for one canon to operate efficiently, four to six men was required to aim, fire, reset, swab and load. It was everything but an easy job. In addition, coordination with other gunners was required. To prevent commotion and random fire, usually the most experienced gunner was elected as a Master Gunner. He was the one who was giving orders when captain was not around.
Powder Monkey - British naval term used for young men who assisted gun crews. These boys, usually no older than 12-13 years, were forced to perform most dangerous work on a ship. They were treated harshly, rarely paid and were expandable. Powder Monkeys had little hope of promotion, were often deserting.
Boatswain - people who supervised the crew in its performance of all activities on a ship, with responsibility for the crew's morale and work efficiency as well as the maintenance and repair of the hull, rigging, lines, cables, sails, and anchors. They reported to the Quartermaster or the Captain.
Surgeon - The pirate ships usually did not have surgeons aboard. Those that had them, probably pressed surgeons into service. From surgeons, crew expected, to help them with diseases and wounds. Without proper medicines, every wound could become source of infection, so amputations were often necessary in order save patient's life.
If ship did not have surgeon, in cases of amputation, carpenter would usually take his place. He was the first choice, because he had necessary tools and knowledge in “cutting”.
Carpenter - There could probably be no more highly regarded artisan in a pirate crew when your life and livelihood depended on the soundness of the wood around and beneath you. A person in this apprenticed trade would use their skill to not only repair battle damage to masts, yards, hatches, and the hull, but to keep the ship's leaky seams in check with wooden plugs and oakum fibers. He would often have separate quarters combined with a workspace. Each carpenter would usually have a mate, an assistant in apprenticeship.
Sailmaker - sailor in charge with making and mending the ship's sails
Topmen or riggers - sailors working at height, rigging and reefing the sails
Cooper- If a pirate captain was fortunate enough to have a prosperous career, perhaps he could afford the services of a cooper, a barrel maker. Most everything not in a crate or canvas bag was in a barrel. Using steel hoops and strong wood, the cooper would make containers to keep gunpowder dry, food free of pests, and water and spirits from leaking into the bilge. With a changing environment and the constant shifting of the cargo, the hoops and staves of the barrels required constant upkeep to remain intact and tight.
Musicians - Those who could play drums, bagpipes, trumpets, accordions, fiddles, and other instruments were so well liked that they escaped torture if captured by pirates. But often a few pirates knew to play a musical instrument. With entertainment at a premium on most uneventful days at sea, they would be expected to play a jig to dance to, lead a shanty for work tempo, or provide dinner music. Musicians would usually play prior to and during a battle, blaring out martial tunes, nautical favorites, or simple loud noise to inspire the crew.