Royal Navy Uniforms Extant Garments Album Updates

Many new images have been added to both the regular Extant Garments album and the Lord Nelson album. There were too many new items for individual posts, so I thought I’d highlight them here. Of particular interest are the surgeon’s uniform items near the bottom. I can just see Stephen making a horrible mess of that full dress coat.

Boat Cloak (Circa 1805)

Captain’s Dress Coat (Pattern 1812)

Flag-Officer’s Waistcoat (Pattern 1812)

Rear-Admiral Full Dress Coat (Pattern 1812)

Royal Marines Dress Coat (Pattern 1782)

Surgeon’s Breeches (Pattern 1805)

Surgeon’s Full Dress Coat (Pattern 1805)

Surgeon’s Waistcoat (Pattern 1805)

Trafalgar Undershirt (Non-Regulation)

The full stories of each individual item can be found in the main gallery, or by clicking the “Extant Garments Album” related post below.

Text and images courtesy of the NMM.
Image: Screencap from Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (copyright Twentieth Century Fox 2003).

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4 Comments on Royal Navy Uniforms Extant Garments Album Updates

  1. Great stuff! Thanks so much. Help me out with this one: is a boat cloak the same as fearnot or are they two different species of garment?

  2. The Dear Knows // November 15, 2010 at 11:50 pm //

    From what I can tell, the Magellan jacket, the boat cloak and the fearnought/naught/not are roughly analogous items… The defining feature of a fearnought is that it’s made from the fabric of the same name, which is apparently (according to various sources, including “A Sea of Words”) a thick woolen fabric with a long pile, tightly woven so as to be nearly waterproof. So I guess technically a cloak wouldn’t be considered a fearnought unless it was made from that material. The above boat cloak may very well be made of fearnought, and the museum just neglected to mention this fact. I suspect the various names were probably used pretty much interchangeably anyway.

    Incidentally, there were also “fearnought screens” in the powder room on a man of war. They were placed around the powder magazine to help protect it from sparks and water. I can’t confirm this but I have a hunch they were made of that same fearnought material, at least to begin with.

  3. Anthony John Almond // September 21, 2014 at 5:20 am //

    Fearnaught fire suits were used in the royal navy until quite recentlly ,thick tightly woven cream coloured woolen two piece, with a high resistance to fire.

    Regards , Olly Almond.

  4. Tom Fitzpatrick // June 8, 2016 at 11:51 am //

    The item you are labeling a Royal Marine officer’s coat is, in fact, a Major General’s coat. The pattern was the same for Army and Marines. The only Marine officer who could wear this was one promoted to Major General. No other Marine officer’s could wear it.

    The coat dates c.1778-1795. Marines had white facings until 1805. But the original owner of this particular coat was that rara avis, a Marine officer promoted to Major General. So as a Major General, he was entitled to wear this coat.

    This can easily be confirmed by examining period portraits British Major Generals. What you will find is that they wear this coat, with it’s distinctive “General Officers’ gold lace.” The buttonholes are spaced differently (pairs, threes, singly) with the grade of general.

    This is popping up all over Pinterest and Facebook and the misidentification is causing confusion.

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