Manning the Royal Navy: Part I The Reform of the Recruiting System 1852-1862

By R. Taylor, published November 1958


The Royal Navy’s standing force of seamen, supported by a voluntary reserve, dates back only to the 1850s. Following the demise of the press-gang the navy became dependent on its own trained men, raising long-service recruits from boyhood and a coastguard and dockyards reserve. The system proved inadequate for a permanent, specialised force of ships and seamen and, although merchant seamen were initially ignored, in 1860 the Royal Naval Reserve of non-naval seafarers was established. Taylor explores how evolving technologies and attitudes drove these changes and how, over a period of some 45 years, they were implemented.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

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