1808 - State of the British Navy


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1808 British and French Fleets 1

THE number of line-of-battle ships, in commission as cruisers at the date of the Abstract for the present year,* has attained an amount not previously equalled, nor subsequently exceeded. This abstract also exhibits, in its larger line total, the greatest number of line-of-battle ships to be found in the same compartment of any other abstract of the series ; and among the ships are 19 of that fine class, the N or middling sized 74, exclusive of 16 other ships of the same class, that remained unfinished of those which had been ordered in antecedent years. The number of national prizes, purchased into the service during the year 1807, will be found to be nearly double that of any other year within the limits of this work ; and the casualty-column on the Decrease side displays a total, greater by a trifle than has appeared, or than, probably, will again appear. Of the 38 British vessels so lost, no fewer than 29 foundered at sea or were wrecked ; and, unhappily, a great proportion of their crews perished with them.

The number of commissioned officers and masters, belonging to the British navy at the commencement of the year 1808, was,

Admirals   48
Vice-admirals   55
Rear-admirals   58
Rear-admirals superannuated 31  
Post captains   700
Post captains superannuated 27  
Commanders, or sloop-captains superannuated   501
Commanders, or sloop-captains superannuated 49  
Lieutenants   2912
Masters   549

* See Appendix, Annual Abstract No. 16.

See Appendix, Nos. 1, 2, and 3.

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