I had a few questions regarding Royal Marine officers that I would appreciate your feedback on!
First I was wondering who was attracted to a career in the Royal Marines? Were these typically middle class in nature? Perhaps attracted by the promotion regime in the Marines (as those might have been for the Artillery and Engineers)?
Why would someone choose a career in the Royal Marines versus the Royal Navy? It seems as though there was a greater potential for promotion (and prize money, etc.) in the Navy than the Marines? I understand that this was only the potential for promotion and this wasn't always realised. Was there more likelihood of employment in the Marines, less chance of being on halfpay? Family tradition?
It seems like there are families where brothers went in to either the Navy or the Marines, such as the Malcolms, where Pulteney went into the Navy while James went into the Marines. But I don't know how common this practice was, or whether a distinction was made in people's minds on the relative merits of serving in one or the other.
And finally, how common was it for Royal Marine officers to survive on their salaries? Did they require support from family at home? Was prize money essential to their financial well being? Was it a struggle for those of smaller means to live off their wages?
I'd appreciate any and all thoughts and opinions and I'd especially appreciate any recommendations for books or other sources on Royal Marines in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. I can't seem to find a lot on them, plenty on the Royal Navy but less on their Marine counterparts.
Thanks very much!
And I forgot Tom Connery's "Markham of the Marines" series, a swashbuckling trilogy published twenty years ago.
You might be interested in a couple of fictional series about Royal Marines of this period. John Danielski has written at least five books in his "Thomas Pennywhistle" series, and Howard Morgan has written a couple about "Jack Vizzard". I cannot comment on their historical accuracy, but Danielski's books were, as far as I can remember, quite entertaining.
Slightly later: BOLT_UP753191_The_Sons_of_Neptune_and_of_Mars.pdf (port.ac.uk)