Extract from HMS Raisonnable ship’s muster book, November 1770 to June 1772
The ship’s muster book, of Nelson’s first ship HMS Raisonnable, records that a Horace Nelson born in Wells (pay book number 323) was mustered on 1 January 1771 as a Midshipman. This predates Nelson’s actual appearance on the ship by several months. Captains used this ploy to ensure their protégés could claim more sea time towards the six years required to take the lieutenancy examination. Captain Maurice Suckling was already using his experience to jump start his nephew’s career even before it began.