Hart New Bob

Ranks and positions in the pirates theme.

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I would like to know the main military ranks of the 17-18th century, mostly the British ones.  And I would like to know the positions on a pirate/any ship.  Thank you

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Well I will do my best to describe infantry regiments for you, however it does get somewhat confusing. So we will start with the basic structure of the regiment, a regiment is comprised of 10 companies of roughly equal size. The distribution of officers in a regiment goes something like this: 1 Colenel, 1 Lieutenant Colenel and 1 Major, these three are the field officers of a regiment and they each command a company, the remaining seven companies are commanded by Captains, 1 per company, so 7 Captains. Then come the Lieutenants, each company has at least 1 lieutenant except for the company commanded by the colonel which has a Captain Lieutenant, because the Colnel was often absent commanding the whole regiment this officer would usually have to step up and lead the company. After the Lieutenants came the Ensigns, the lowest commissioned officer, some regiments called this rank the second Lieutenant. Only eight of the companies had an ensign, the other two companies were the flank companies, 1 of which was a light infantry company, the other a grenadier company. These companies were considered hard to command and not suitable for an ensign to be in command of, the ensign in these two companies was instead replaced by yet another Lieutenant.

I hope this helped, I do apologise but I can't really help with ship ranks as my knowledge about them is somewhat vague. If you would like me to expand on this and go into the higher ranks such as the Generals and Brigadiers, I would be more than happy to just let me know.

Edited by Lord Buckethead

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Sorry for the double post but there was something I thought I should clarify, when discussing ranks and formations in the 18th century many are often confused by battalions. Battalions are really only temporary formations created during wartime, usually when the two flank companies were detached from a regiment the remaining 8 companies were referred to as a battalion, however some even refer to the whole regiment including the flank companies as a battalion, a lot of the time though it was the flank companies that were detached to form a battalion, say a battalion of grenadiers. These specialised battalions usually consisted of more than 8 flank companies. To sum up, during war battalions were raised and disbanded but were never permenant formations.

I know the question wasn't really about formations but I think it is important to at least understand the formations when trying to understand the ranks. 

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17 hours ago, Hart New Bob said:

I would like to know the positions on a pirate/any ship.

I'm no expert, but I'll take a shot at this. Top of the food chain was of course  the captain. Next was the first mate, essentially a second in command -- although on a pirate ship this role was typically filled by the quartermaster. The quartermaster (who was elected by the crew on a pirate ship and expected to look out for their interests) was in charge of food and water supplies, kept the books, and could also discipline crewmembers. Sailing master was in charge of navigation, sailing, and piloting. Boatswains were junior officers that supervised the crew's work and reported to the quartermaster or captain. The carpenter was in charge of maintenance and repair of the hull, masts, and yards. The master gunner was typically the most experienced gunner; he was responsible for the ammunition and powder, and led the gun crews. Mates were apprentices to the various masters. A gunner would lead a gun crew and typically aim the gun himself. Riggers were sailors assigned to work the rigging and furl/unfurl the sails. The bulk of the crew were common sailors; less skilled ones might be known as swabbies.

I'm sure someone else will chime in with better or more accurate info, but I hope this helps.

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28 minutes ago, Captain Pirate Man said:

What about quartermasters? I here that position a lot.

Capt Wolf already said something about that.

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This wiki is tolerably accurate and inclusive:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Navy_ranks,_rates,_and_uniforms_of_the_18th_and_19th_centuries

Here's an illustration which may help as a visual aid, it's Geoff Hunt's work so it'll be fairly accurate. The gentleman knows his stuff.

https://www.scrimshawgallery.com/product/ships-company-of-h-m-s-surprise/

These fellas are a reenacting group who've also done their homework as well and may serve as some visual reference.

https://www.hmsrichmond.org/sitemap.htm

This artist has also done extensive work where visual aid is concerned. I've found his renderings most helpful in the past. 

https://cdrejohnpauljones.deviantart.com/

 

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Thank you!  How about the marine ranks?  Like, where would Governor be?

Edited by Hart New Bob

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Sorry, I'm not very knowledgeable about Pirates, but Geoff Hunt art looks great!  It would be really neat to see someone recreate that in Minifigure form.

If anyone has links or photos of a ship's company, please pass it on!

Thanks!

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