Sailing and Fighting Instructions for His Majesty's Fleet.

Encouragement for the Captains and Companies of Fire-Ships, Small Frigats, and Ketches.

Although it is the Duty of all Persons employed in His Majesty's Fleet, even to the utmost Hazard of their Lives, to endeavour, as well the destroying of His Majesty's Enemies, as the Succouring of His Majesty's Subjects, and in most especial Manner to preserve and defend His Majesty's Ships of War; (the Neglect whereof shall at all Times be strictly enquired after; and severely punish'd:) Nevertheless, that no Inducement may be wanting, which may oblige all Persons serving in His Majesty's Fleet, Valiantly and Honourably to acquit themselves in their several Stations; I have therefore thought fit to publish and declare, and do hereby promise on His Majesty's Behalf,

I. That if any of His Majesty's Fire-ships perform the Service expected from them, in such Manner that any of the Enemies Men of War of Forty Guns, or more, shall be burnt by them, every Person remaining in the Fire-ship till the Service be performed, shall receive on board the Admiral, immediately after the Service done, Ten Pounds, as a reward of that Service, over and above his Pay due to him; and in Case any of them shall be killed in that Service; it shall be paid to his Executors or next Relations: And the Captains of such Fire-ships shall receive 100 l. or a Medal of Gold, with a Chain of the same Value, as he shall make Choice of, to remain as a Token of Honour to him and his Posterity; and shall receive such other Encouragement, by Preferment and Command, or otherwise, as shall be fit to reward him, and induce others to perform the like Service; and the Inferior Officers shall receive each of them Ten Pounds in Money; and be taken Care of, and placed in other Ships, before any other Person whatsoever,

2.In Case any of the Enemies Flag-ships be so fired, the Recompence shall be double to each Man performing it; and the Medal to the Commander shall be such, as shall particularly express the Eminency of the Service; and his and the other Officers Preferment shall be suitable to the Merit thereof.

3. If any of His Majesty's Fifth or Sixth Rate Frigates, or any Ketches, Smacks, Hoys, or Boats, in His Majesty's Service, shall Board or Destroy and Fire-ships of the Enemies, and so prevent any of them from going on Board any of the King's Ships, above the Fifth Rate; besides the Preferment that shall be given to the Commanders and Officers of such Ships, performing such Service, answerable to their Merit; the Company of such of the said Ships or Vessels, (or in Case they shall be kill'd in that Service, their Executors, or nearest Relations) shall receive every Man Forty Shillings as a Reward: And such Person who shall, by the Testimony of the Commanders, appear to be eminently instrumental in such Service, shall receive a further Reward, according to his Merit.

4. If the Masters of any Ketches, Hoys, and Smacks, or other Vessels hired for His Majesty's Service, shall endeavour to perform any of the Services aforesaid, and shall by such his Attempt lose his Vessel or Ship, the full Value thereof shall be paid by the Treasurer of His Majesty's Navy, upon Certificate of the Service from the Commander in Chief; and the Commander of the said Ship, and the Men serving in her, shall receive the same recompence with those who serve in His Majesty's Ships or Vessels.

5. That if any Boats belonging to the Fleet shall, in Time of Action, prevent any of the Enemies Fire-ships from doing Injury to His Majesty's Ships, the Crews belonging to the said Boats shall receive Encouragement for their said Service, according as it shall be represented by the Captain of the Ship which they may happen so to preserve.

Sailing and Fighting Instructions for His Majesty's Fleet, 1775.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1999 Lars Bruzelius.