Playing at command:
midshipmen and quarterdeck boys
in the Royal Navy, 1793-1815

by Samantha A. Cavell

A M.A. thesis of the Department of History of the Louisiana State University.

The golden age of the Royal Navy, which saw its apotheosis at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, also presented one of the great paradoxes of modern naval organization. Young gentlemen, some as young as eight or nine, were placed in positions of authority aboard His Majesty’s ships and expected to command veteran mariners with decades of sea experience...

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