The Billet System
Royal Navy Positions and Organization
Title Type Reports to: Servants Idler Short Description
Captain Commissioned   Officer 4 The   officer in charge of the ship.
per Commanded   from the Quarterdeck in Battle.
Lieutenant Commissioned   Officer Captain 1 Generally   in charge of the Gun Decks in Battle.
Had   to pass a test to gain commission.
Master WarrantSea Officer Navy   Board 1 Charged  with Navigating the Ship.
On Quarterdeck in Battle.
Boatswain WarrantSea Navy   Board 2 Charged   with Ships Naval Stores. Rope/Sails/Anchors/Boats etc. and performance of  Seamen.
Gunner WarrantSea Officer Ordnance   Board 2 Y Charged   with maintenance of great guns, small arms, powder room. More asset manager   than cannoneer.
Carpenter WarrantSea Officer Navy   Board 2 Y Charged   with maintenance of the hull,masts,spars,   decks.
Surgeon WarrantSea Officer Sick  & Hurt Board 1 Y Charged   with maintaining the health of the crew.
Purser WarrantSea Officer Victualling Board 1 Y Charged   with provisioning the ship (food and consumable supplies) Had to post bond to  get a position
Chaplain Inferior   Warrant Officer Captain Y Invariably   Anglican
Cook Inferior  Warrant Officer Purser? 1 Y Very  often a disabled seaman, much less often an accomplished gourmand
Schoolmaster Inferior   Warrant Officer Captain/Master Y Taught   the young gentlemen and servants aboard ship navigation, mathematics, other   subjects
Sailmaker Inferior   Warrant Officer Boatswain Y About   what it sounds like
Armourer Inferior   Warrant Officer Gunner Y Repair/Maintain great guns
Surgeon's   Mate Inferior   Warrant Officer Surgeon Y Helped  Surgeon
Master-at-Arms Inferior   Warrant Officer Gunner Y Ship's Cop  - also sometimes ships trainer for small arms combat
Master's   Mate Petty   Officer Captain/Master Helped   Master, often young men with promise, could apply for Lieutenants Test
Midshipman Petty   Officer Captain/Master Young   Gentlemen learning seamanship. Also could apply to take Lieutenant's Test
Captain's   Clerk Petty   Officer Captain Y In charge of Captain's written correspondence
Quartermaster Petty   Officer Master Quarterdeck   Petty Officer - Steering was one task
Quartermaster's   Mate Petty   Officer Master
Boatswain's   Mate Petty   Officer Boatswain Helped Boatswain. Also the administors of "the lash"
Yeoman   of the Sheets Petty   Officer Boatswain Y In charge of the Sail Locker
Coxswain Petty   Officer Master In charge of the Ship's Boat (at tiller)
Sailmaker's Mate Petty   Officer Sailmaker Y
Gunner's   Mate Petty   Officer Gunner Y Helped   make cartridges during battle
Yeoman   of the Powder Room Petty   Officer Gunner Y In charge of powder room
Quarter   Gunner Petty   Officer Gunner Y Looked  after a section of guns
Carpenters   Mate Petty   Officer Carpenter Y
Steward Petty   Officer Purser Y Helped   purser - especially with keeping track of who ate what and how much
Corporal Petty   Officer Master-At-Arms Y An assistant to the Master-at-Arms
Cooper Petty   Officer Purser Y Built   Barrels
Sailmaker's Crew Rating Sailmaker Y
Carpenter's  Crew Rating Carpenter Y
Steward's   Mate
Rating Steward Y
Able   Seaman Rating Depends An   accomplished seaman - generally thought to take three years to go from   landsman to able. In reality a highly skilled professional able to "hand,   reef, and steer" in other words operate a sailing ship. Worked aloft a   great deal
Ordinary   Seaman Rating Depends A   useful seaman, not quite as experienced as an able, but more knowledgeable   than a landsman. Often worked in conjunction with able seamen aloft as part   of his training.
Landsman Rating Depends A   new seaman - lacking in seamanship, began his work at sea as an unskilled   laborer - hauling lines, swabbing decks, manning the capstan. Muscle work performed under direct supervision.
Volunteer Rating ? Boys   entered into the books. They formed a group of apprentices,   some were young gentlemen ?learning the ropes and expecting   to become midshipmen or master's mates on the way to commission. Other were young lads learning the trade of the sea and would   soon become rated "able seaman". Some, but not all,  boys performed the famed "powder monkey" role in battle.
Marines Ships   carried their own fighting force, who operated under   different guidelines and had their own command structure different from the   rest of the crew.