Hats in the Royal Navy

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Hats in the Royal Navy

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    Nicholas Kaizer

    I’m looking for information or suggested sources on headwear in the Royal Navy. I know some of the general trends: in the 1760s/1770s tricorn hats were standard for officers, as well as marines (as was the trend in wider society). Bicorn hats generally took over during the French Revolutionary Wars. In most films/popular depictions we also see younger officers, as well as marines, wearing some sort of top hat. I’m curious if anyone has done any work on how these trends actually progressed. How standard, for example, was the switch to bicorns among the officers? When was it complete? Was there indeed a generational change, as depicting in Master and Commander? (where Aubrey wears a Napoleonic style bicorn, his officers wearing theirs “fore and aft,” and the young midshipmen wearing top hats day-to-day).

    If anyone has any information or sources, they’d be much appreciated!

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