View Full Version : Naval Hierarchy in the Age of Sail

11-23-2010, 04:30 AM
Generally speaking, which officers were considered "officers of the wardroom" in the age of sail? I know it at least consisted of the captain and his lieutenants, but what other positions would typically have been represented? Also, would a gunroom (as in the junior officers' mess) have been present, or was that a more modern addition? This pertains mostly to a fifth-rate frigate in the British Navy, but other perspectives are more than welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Silver King
11-23-2010, 05:11 AM
I found this link (http://www.hmssurprise.org/Resources/ships_officers.html) to a list you might find helpful.

11-23-2010, 05:40 AM
Yes, thank you. That is extremely helpful. But the list raises a new question; it seems to indicate that the officer's mess was called a "wardroom" on a ship of the line and a "gunroom" on a frigate. Am I correct in this assumption, or is it more complicated than that?

11-23-2010, 06:16 AM
A frigate only had a gun room and no wardroom. A ship of the line had both a gun room and a wardroom. On a frigate, the gun room functioned as the wardroom. On a ship of the line, the wardroom was for the commissioned officers and the gun room was for the lower status officers. I believe on a ship of the line the wardroom was on the deck below the gun room, but I'm not positive. Take a look at http://books.google.com/books?id=uH--DfZKzE4C&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=frigate+gunroom&source=bl&ots=AUYzbzjQsp&sig=it1o72wEUOsISzkBfwlc5wknwxA&hl=en&ei=ACPrTKXwGc2r8AaPn-mVCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=frigate%20gunroom&f=false

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

11-23-2010, 07:27 AM
The gunroom was the home to Sub-lieutenants and Midshipmen. The wardroom was for lieutenants and up. No matter the size of the ship, there was a distinction between the two, and they did not mix.