I. Captain, 3 years post, full dress, 1787-1795:
Having once attained the dignity of pacing his own Quarterdeck, a captain in the Royal Navy was eligible for promotion to flag rank. As this promotion went strictly according to seniority an officer’s position in the Captains’ List was of some importance to him. Hence the division of captains into senior (those with over three years ‘posting’ on the list), and junior (those with less), a distinction which was indicated by slight differences in dress. The details for this plate have been taken from the actual coat at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and a portrait of Captain Augustus Montgomery by Sir William Beechey, and from the figure of Sir Andrew Douglas, captain of the Queen Charlotte, in Mather Brown’s painting of the Glorious First of June.
II. Captain, 3 years post, frock dress, 1787-1795:
The coat in the accompanying plate is based on the so-called ‘Leghorn’ miniature of Nelson, painted by an unknown artist, when he was refitting Agamemnon in that port. Although painted in 1795 when new dress regulations came into force, Nelson would still have worn his old uniform, particularly as the order stated specifically that ‘Officers will be allowed to wear their present uniform till the 1st of June 1796.’