Next in seniority after the captain came the ‘Master and Commander’ a rank said to have been introduced by William III. The commander was a captain who had not been ‘posted’ for promotion so he commanded the smallest type of vessel, a sixth-rate. Such commands were usually given to lieutenants who had passed their navigation examinations and could be given locally by the commander of a fleet or station, but subject to Admiralty confirmation. After 1794 the title was altered to ‘Commander’ only. The commander in the accompanying plate has a laced hat, and a ‘5-ball’ pattern sword.