The Navy List
The Navy List, or The Monthly Navy List is an encyclopedic publication issued on an almost unfailing monthly basis which lists the officers, ships, ports and stations and assignments of the Royal Navy.
It is an invaluable tool which provides much of our data on ship captaincies and when various men were promoted. The amount of information provided is massive and for the most part easier to read than a man's Service Record, but may not be as reliable a source of data. For instance, if a man is appointed to a ship as executive officer and later assumes command upon the departure of the original captain, his date in a Navy List afterward will show the date at which he was originally appointed to the ship and not when he assumed command of the vessel. Similarly, if a captain re-commissions his ship and is re-appointed in command, his date in an ensuing Navy List may show the date of the re-appointment, not the original date.
In 1879 the Navy List was edited by only two men, Messrs. Senior and Neale of the the Secretary's Department of the Admiralty. Neale informed the Chief Clerk that the number of errors under his joint editorship from 1874 to 1878 were, as follows:
|A.F.||Admiral of the Fleet.||L.||Lieutenant.|
|N.L.||Navigating Lieutenant.||KW.||Knight of Windsor.|
|N.S.L.||Navigating Sub-Lieutenant.||GSP.||Good Service Pension.|
|Ch.E.Ins.|| Chief Inspector
|PW.||Pension for Wounds.|
|E.Ins.||Inspector of Machinery.||GHP.||Greenwich Hospital Pension.|
|Ch.E.||Chief Engineer.||NP.||Naval Pension, late Out-Pension of Greenwich Hospital.|
|E.||Engineer.||CGP.||Coast Guard Pension.|
|A.E.||Assistant Engineer.||AdC.||Aide-de-Camp to the Queen.|
|Ch.||Chaplain.||Sec.||Secretary to a Flag Officer.|
|N.I.||Naval Instructor.||AO.||Clerk to Secretary to Flag Officer.|
|I.H.|| Inspector-General of Hospitals
|₴||Chaplains holding Civil Appointments.|
|D.I.H.|| Deputy Inspector-General of
Hospitals and Fleets.
|§||Officers who have taken Holy Orders.|
We make extensive use of Navy Lists, but most often use an incomplete electronic collection in PDF form, many of which may be found online.
Knowing which editions we have and which we lack is helpful to understand possible gaps in our knowledge and thus our ship captain lists. Those marked with an asterisk below lack the section which contains the list of officers appointed to each ship. Those in bold are ones for which we have only copied the ship/officer sections.
|1828||977 pages, unsorted!|
|1834||Apr, Jul, Oct|
|1835||Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct|
|1855||Feb, Aug ("New Navy List")|
|1856||Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct|
|1860||Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct|
|1871||Oct, Nov, Dec|
|1872||Jul, Aug, Sep|
|1881||Oct, Nov, Dec|
|1883||Apr, May, Jun|
|1885||Oct, Nov, Dec|
|1908||Jan, Jul, Oct|
|1913||Mar – Dec|
|1915||Jan, Apr, Jul*, Oct|
|1916||Jan*, Apr*, Jul*, Oct, Dec|
|1917||Jan*, Apr*, Jul*, Aug, Oct*, Nov|
|1918||Jan*, Apr*, Jul*, Oct*, Dec|
|1939||May – from here on, Navy Lists are fairly easy to find, but fall outside our primary scope of interest|
- Unbound material dated 7 March, 1879. The National Archives. ADM 1/6494.
- We have the Ship/Officer section as separate JPEGs. Curiously, these are paginated in some unrelated manner to the PDF.
- We have the Ship/Officer section as separate JPEGs.
- Perrin, W. G. (October, 1911). "The Navy List. I.—The Forerunners of the Official Navy List". The Mariner's Mirror. I (10). pp. 257-264.
- Perrin, W. G. (December, 1911). "The Navy List. II.—The Official Navy List and Its Competitors". The Mariner's Mirror. I (12). pp. 321-329.