CAPTAIN OF THREE YEARS' POST

1787-1795 1795-1812 1812-1825

1787-1795

Captains and Master and Commanders had worn a similar full dress since 1774, but the new orders specified a round cuff rather than the previous slashed design. New buttons were authorized for all officers.

The Royal Navy officers’ undress after 1787 had less gold lace than the full dress, but still had lace around the buttonholes for officers above lieutenant. The easily-soiled white facings were eliminated, however, and the lieutenant’s coat bore only narrow white piping. Rank was indicated by the grouping of buttons.

Captains serving as "Commodores having captains under them," (Commodores of the First Class), "First Captains to the Admiral of the Fleet and First Captains to Admirals Commanding-in-Chief Squadrons of twenty sail of the line or more," (Captains of the Fleet) could wear Rear Admiral's undress uniform.

Cocked hats: Usually plain, but hats bound with gold lace for ranks above Lieutenant were sometimes worn in undress

Waistcoats: white

Breeches: white

Captain of three years' post, 1787-1795
Full Dress Undress
buttons
collar
lapels
pocket flaps
cuffs

1787-1795 1795-1812 1812-1825

1795-1812

The full dress of 1795 was notable for the disappearance of the white facing color that had characterized Royal Navy uniforms since their introduction in 1748. Flag officers assumed a coat of a more modern double-breasted cut, while captains and commanders reverted to a slash cuff. The extra lace round the cuffs of captains was unofficial, but seems to have been a common practice that distinguished them from commanders.

The most innovative change in the 1795 regulation was the introduction of epaulets. Many officers had been requesting this distinction for some time, which is perhaps understandable since the Marine officers they served beside already wore them.

After the turn of the century it became common to wear the lapels of the coat buttoned across, but for clarity they are represented here as buttoned back.

Officers' undress uniforms were completely stripped of gold lace in 1795, except for the cuff bands of admirals. Epaulettes were worn on the undress, and although regulations specified that they be able to "take off and put on occasionally," they did not state the instances in which they were not necessary. It is safe to assume that many officers removed the expensive ornaments while serving at sea.

Though not specified in the regulations, it appears that both standing and rolling collars were used.

Captain of three years' post, 1795-1812
Full Dress Undress
buttons
collar
epaulets
lapels
pocket flaps
cuffs

1787-1795 1795-1812 1812-1825

1812-1825

In 1812 the white facings made their reappearance on officers’ full dress. All buttons now bore a crown above the anchor, and for the first time, the Admiral of the Fleet’s uniform differed from those of Admirals.

Lieutenants' coats were unchanged, but, after long years of yearning, they received a single epaulet to be worn on the right shoulder. Commanders now wore two plain epaulets, captains added an anchor, and captains of three years post added a crown over the anchor.

The undress uniforms of 1812 were not much different from those of 1795, with the addition of the new epaulets and buttons. The exception was the Admiral of the Fleet, who was given a unique undress.

Captain of three years' post, 1812-1825
Full Dress Undress
buttons
collar
epaulets
lapels
pocket flaps
cuffs