RN officers were divided into two categories – Military and civil, or fighting and administrative. Military comprised flag officers, captains, commanders and lieutenants who held their positions by authority from the sovereign having been ‘commissioned’. The remainder were appointed by warrant from Admiralty departments. These were ‘warrant officers’. First came the master, appointed by the Navy Board, responsible for the technical side of sailing a ship and instructing junior officers in navigation. Next the surgeon, appointed by the Sick and Hurt office, then the purser, appointed by the Victualling Office, responsible for the ship’s stores, food and pay. All three were ‘warrant officers of wardroom rank’, but not quite gentlemen. Their assistants were ‘master’s mates’.