Admiral, Full Dress and Captain 3 years post, Full Dress, 1812-1825


Uniforms of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars I

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I. Admiral, Full Dress, 1812-1825: In 1811, with George III’s mental disability, the Prince of Wales was made Regent. He and his brothers had been waiting to carry out reforms of naval and military dress and got to work quickly. In 1812 new uniforms were introduced for both services. The new regulations covered all the commissioned ranks and began by describing the full dress for Admirals of the Fleet, which was to consist of a ‘Blue Cloth Coat, ditto Collar, White Cloth Lapels, and Cuffs, with Five Laces round the Cuffs; laced as at present; Epaulettes as now; ditto Buttons, with the addition of a Crown above the Anchor.’ Admirals were to have the same, but with four laces round their cuffs, and three stars on their epaulettes; vice-admirals, three laces and two stars; and rear-admirals, two laces and one star. This plate is taken from Beechey’ s portrait of Sir George Cockburn, in the National Maritime Museum.II. Captain, 3 years post, Full Dress, 1812-1825: This plate is taken from a coat in the National Maritime Museum, and from numerous portraits of the period, that of Sir Philip Vere Broke by S. Lane, an engraving of which is in existence. The captain is wearing one a sword which was given to officers of the RN and the Royal Marines, by the Patriotic Fund of the City of London, in recognition of outstanding feats of arms. The fund, started in 1803, presented swords of different values, depending on the importance of the action. This sword has an ivory grip, lion’s head pommel, and a very ornate hilt and guard, chased with trophies.

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Dimensions38 × 25.5 cm