Royal Naval Biography/Marshall, James
JAMES MARSHALL, Esq.
[Captain of 1832.]
Was made a lieutenant on the 4th Mar. 1815. His admirable system of mounting naval ordnance, an invention which, from its importance to H.M. service, cannot be too highly appreciated, led to his promotion to the rank of captain, Nov. 19th, 1832.
In 1827, this officer’s new gun-carriage was tried repeatedly on board the Galatea frigate, under the inspection of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas M. Hardy, and was found greatly superior to the common gun-carriages, in facility and rapidity of training and firing, as well as in allowing a greater traversing of about a point each way fore and aft. A series of experiments were subsequently carried on at Portsmouth, under the able management and impartial scrutiny of Captain Thomas Hastings, on board the Excellent 58, giving proof upon proof of the excellencies of the new system, in economy of labour, in time of manoeuvring, in the number of hands to serve the gun, in command of range, elevation, depression, and last, not least, in precision of fire. The breechings, too, underwent the severest tests, establishing facts beyond the power of biassed opinion to controvert. In consequence thereof, a very strong and unqualified report in favour of adopting the plan in our navy was sent by Captain Hastings to the Admiralty; and, in 1833, an order was issued for all ships to have their stern and bow guns mounted upon Marshall’s principle.