The Queens Regulations and the Admiralty Instructions - 1861
When an Officer is ordered to afford Convoy and protection to Merchant-Vessels, he is to take care to arrange with the Masters of the several Merchant-Vessels, such signals as shall enable him thereby to regulate their movements and enable them to communicate their wants to him: he is also to furnish each on a separate paper such secret instructions and signals as he may deem necessary under the circumstances, adding a written charge to each Master, on no account to inform any person of the same, but to keep the said paper in his own possession until the end of the voyage, and then, or in the event of his being captured, to destroy it.
He is to make a list of the names of the vessels under his Convoy; and before he sails from any port in the United Kingdom, he is to transmit a copy of such list to the Secretary of the Admiralty; and on his arrival in port with any Convoy from abroad, he is also to send to the Secretary of the Admiralty a list, in which he is to specify the Vessels that do arrive with him, and the time and supposed cause of separation of those that do not arrive.
He is enjoined not to suffer any person in the Ship to receive, on any pretence whatever, any Fee, Reward, or Gratuity, from any Owner or Master of any Ship or Vessel, or from any person on board, for the protection afforded them.
The Officer who shall have charge of a Convoy is to consider the protecting of it as his most particular duty, in the execution of which he is to be very watchful to prevent its being surprised; and to defend it, if attacked; and he is to be careful not to part company from it.
He is to keep the Merchant Ships well collected, and is to be attentive, while he endeavours to proceed with all possible expedition, not to carry more sail, or to proceed at a greater speed than will admit of the heaviest sailing Ships keeping company with him without risk of springing their masts or straining the Ships; and if any of them shall be in distress, either from badness of weather, or any other cause, he is to afford them every necessary assistance; but if he shall find such distress to be the consequence of the Vessel's not having been properly fitted, or stored for the voyage she was intended to make, he is to report the particulars to the Secretary of the Admiralty.
If the Master of any Merchant Ship, or other Vessel, under Convoy, shall disobey the directions given him for his conduct, or shall, by inattention to signals, or by neglecting to carry a proper quantity of sail, or by any other means, retard the progress of the Fleet, or shall behave himself disrespectfully to any Officer of Her Majesty's Ships, - the Officer commanding the Convoy is to send by the first opportunity a particular account of the same to the Secretary of the Admiralty, specifying the name of the Ship and Master, and the name and residence of the Owner.
If any Vessel under Convoy shall separate from the Fleet without having express permission so to do, the Officer commanding the Convoy is to send by the first opportunity to the Secretary of the Admiralty the name of the Vessel, and of her Master, and Owner, with the residence of the latter, and a particular and circumstantial account of the manner, or supposed manner, of her leaving the Fleet, and the time of her quitting it, as nearly as can be ascertained, with any other observations with regard to the occurrence he may be able to offer, so that, if she be captured after having separated, the Underwriters may he enabled to judge whether they ought to pay her insurance.
The Officer commanding a Convoy may carry one or more Lights during the night, as from circumstances he shall think proper; or he may direct any other Ship or Ships to do so.
When Convoys bound to different ports sail at the same time, or when they meet at sea, they are, for the better protection of the whole, to keep company together as long as their respective courses shall allow them, and during their continuing together the Ships of War are to carry the appointed signal distinguishing the Convoys they belong to; and the Merchant Vessels of one Convoy are to be kept from mixing with those of another, to prevent as much as possible all mistakes and confusion when the Convoys separate.
While two or more Convoys continue together the senior Officer is to command the whole.
All Officers having the command of Convoys are to take under their protection the Vessels of Her Majesty's Allies, which shall be ready to sail, and the Masters of which shall request it; and they are to protect such vessels as effectually, to all intents and purposes, as those of Her Majesty's subjects. But Her Majesty's Ships are not to take under their protection the Vessels of any Power which is at war with any other Power with which Her Majesty is not at war, nor the Vessels of a Neutral Power, unless ordered so to do, or some very particular circumstances shall occur to render it necessary, of which they are to send the earliest possible information to the Secretary of the Admiralty.
When the Captain of one of Her Majesty's Ships is about to sail during war from any port not in the United Kingdom, or when war may be expected, he is, if the nature of his orders will admit of it, to give timely information to Merchant Vessels, and to take under his protection all those bound the same way, who shall be desirous and ready to accompany him, bearing in mind the directions contained in the preceding Article. He is also to take under his protection all Vessels he may meet with on his passage, and to see them in safety as far as his course and theirs shall be the same.