Locating Cadet Papers

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    Su Gutheridge

      My Great x 5th Grandfather Thomas Lynn was Captain of The Roebuck, Chatham and Garland among many others. His first ship was Alborough in 1757. He was a Rear Admiral on retirement in around 1780.
      Would there be any records of when he entered the Navy such as cadet papers that could tell me his date and place of birth?

      Nicholas Blake

        The Royal Navy didn’t have cadets at this date. Young gentlemen were entered on a ship’s books as midshipmen or captain’s servants, and if you know which ship this was and the date there may be a letter from the commanding officer to the Admiralty recording it – if so it will be in the National Archives. The muster book, also in the National Archives, will record where he came from, which may be where he was born. Helpfully, after 1764 the muster books record age of entry to the ship and place and country of birth, so if you have access to the National Archives, follow the muster books through his career from 1764. The catalogue on their website is called Discovery, and the muster book for the Aldborough (not Alborough) for 1 May 1757 to 31 October 1758 is ADM 36/4828, for example. He joined the Garland in September 1770 and the muster book for 1 October 1770 to 28 February 1773 is ADM 36/739 (muster books repeated information from book to book, even if it hadn’t changed). If you can’t visit the National Archives there is a photography service.

        I see he had his seniority reduced on 16 June 1763 and had it restored in 1766 but the National Archives don’t seem to have a corresponding record.
        Admirals didn’t formally retire in this period; unless they resigned they stayed on the lists until they died. His commission of 1780 is at the National Archives (ADM 6/22/198) and it can be photographed and emailed to you.

        If you have many naval ancestors, “Naval Records for Genealogists” by NAM Rodger is indispensable.

        David Hepper

          Thomas Lynn was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1747, although no ship is noted until the following year (1748), when he was appointed to the Cruizer. He subsequently had appointments to the Glory (1755) and Ramillies and Colchester (1755). Appointed Master and Commander in 1756 for the Roehampton.

          [source for above: Royal Navy Officers of the Seven Years War by Cy Harrison (Warwick 2019)]

          As pointed out above, there were no such things as cadets – he would have gone straight to sea. He would have had to pass an examination for Lieutenant, and for this he would have had to specify previous ships, details of his parents etc., but I cannot find that any of these papers [which make up the supporting dos for a passing certificate] have survived for a Thomas Lynn in the 1740s – so the Muster Books, as mentioned by previous contributor, may help

          Cy Harrison

            Thomas Lynn was commissioned 20th Jan 1747/48 to the Cruizer by vice-admiral Henry Medley in the Mediterranean. The commission was confirmed 24th Jan 1748/49.

            As David Hepper noted, I was also unable to locate a surviving passing certificate for this officer, so his pre-commission career remains a mystery.

            Su Gutheridge

              Many Thanks will look into this.

              Su Gutheridge

                Thanks for the Info

                Chris Donnithorne

                  Regret I do not look at the forum very often, and have only just seen this. The attached might be helpful; it is the information I currently hold regarding the early employment of Thomas Lynn. He joined the Somerset[t] from the Dursley Galley, and left the Guarland’s Prize to join the Princess Carolina.

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