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|Becoming an admiral
Written by Golda
(9/30/2005 12:03 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Where are our naval historians?, penned by Kim in AK
You are correct. Once the rank of Post Captain was achieved based on merit (although many gained the rank with the help of "interest"), the rank of Admiral came by seniority. One had to wait for an opening.
From Brian Southam's "Jane Austen and the Navy", Jane's brothers had a very long wait, partly because it took them a longer time than many of their contemporaries to achieve the rank of Captain. Francis made Rear-Admiral of the Blue in 1830, after 30 years as a Captain. He started the naval Academy at 12 in 1786. According to the captions in pictures (because I have been scanning numerous pages trying to find the dates and I don't have the time to reread the whole book right now) he made Vice-Admiral in 1838 and attained the rank of Admiral of the Fleet in the 1860's.
Charles Austen was still a Captain in the early 1840's. He started his career at the Naval Academy when he was 12 in 1791. He became a Rear-Admiral somewhere around 1850 -- this is approximate. (Sorry, I'm cheating with approximations but I have to call it a night.)
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