Bylaws for
Ship's Company H.M.S. Richmond


Objectives and Goals

The Ship's Company H.M.S. Richmond (Richmond) was established as a historic reenactment and living history, Royal Navy and Marine unit of the American War for Independence period and in some instances, the War of 1812 as well. Our objective is to accurately portray the lifestyle, drill, uniforms, equipment and overall bearing of Royal Navy Sailors and Marines during the period from 1775 to 1814. This portrayal shall be done in a manner that is informative, educational and enjoyable to both the participant and the public.


1. The membership of the Richmond is open to all races, creeds, national origins, of either sex, but all membersí portrayals must be consistent with historic life in the Royal Navy during the period 1775 to 1814 (portrayals should reflect these distinct timelines).

3. Membership in the Richmondís Shipís Company is by invitation only.

4. New recruits are not afforded full membership privileges until qualifying as set forth in paragraphs 5, 6, and 7 of this section below.

5. Any new recruit shall at the end of 12 months be considered a full member of the Richmond provided they have achieved the objectives set forth by these Bylaws and the Captainís Order Book, and have been voted in by a simple majority of full members via response to an e-mail or written ballot.

6. At the end of the 12 months provisional status, any new recruit who has not met the aforementioned objectives may petition the membership for an extension not to exceed 6 months. Petition will be granted by a simple majority vote of members by e-mail or written ballot.

7. The Richmondís full status members may extend at anytime prior to 12 months full membership to any individual who has met all the required objectives by a simple majority vote of the membership by e-mail or written ballot.

8. Provisional and full members agree to complete all on-line CBT courses and pass the open page (open book) exams (passing score of 70% minimum) noted as required for their billet within 3 months of the respective exams being made available on line.

9. Provisional members agree to obtain the required Sailor fit out togs and kit gear for ratings and warrant billets as currently published on the Richmond site at within one year of joining. This also applies to the Marine sea dress. The current Marine Det. sea dress may be found at These fit outs are also included in the Captainís Order Book. Where required for the safety and proficiency of any member, period eyeglasses or contacts must be obtained prior to participation in any event. An extension may be requested for fit out by petitioning the membership through the captain and may not exceed 6 months. (Please Note: As of January of 2002 the HMS Richmond will extend her time period to include the War of 1812-1814. It will be incumbent on the individual member to insure that his rig reflect the fashion and accoutrements of that timeline.)

10. Provisional members who for any reason cannot complete the requirements of these Bylaws and Captainís Order Book, even after the granting of extensions for fit out and course completions, may remain as provisional members without voting rights and may not participate as part of the Richmondís Shipís Company as a reenactor during events, provided minimal dues remain current.

11. Membership in the Richmond may be revoked by a simple majority vote of the full membership via e-mail ballot or during a business meeting provided there is a quorum, against any member who is accused of violating the code of conduct or other parts and sections of these Bylaws or the Captainís Order Book. Two members and an officer or NCO must agree to press charges for this vote to take place. Due process will follow the procedure of a naval Court Marshall of our era.

12. Any member who does not attend at least one Richmond registered event during the course of a calendar year that is within 300 miles of their residence shall be deemed to have terminated his or her membership, except for military service, extenuating circumstance or there not having been any events within this radius.

13. Dues shall be set at $20 for ratings and Marine enlisted up to the rank of Serjeant Of Marines; $35 for Midshipman and Warrants, and $50 for commissioned Navy and Marine officers. Yearly dues will be required by all members and recruits for procuring supplies, association dues (from which reenacting liability insurance comes from for the members), Internet hosting fees, recruiting ads, &c. prorated to the first of January. Failure to pay dues by the last of January of any year will result in loss of membership privileges until reinstated upon payment in full.

14. The Captainís Order Book shall have the weight of organizational law and may be amended by simple administrative action and the information made available to all members.

15. The Bylaws of this shipís company may be amended at any time by a 2/3 vote of the full membership, having been so sanctioned and affected at a business meeting or by e-mail after such a request for relieve is delivered to the captain and he conducts a ballot by e-mail.

16. Each member shall have made available to them a copy of the Event Rules and Regulations (Captain's Order Book), these Bylaws, any safety regulations (viz., ordinance procedures) and CBT course requirements, and acknowledge by a written statement or an e-mail indicating that the member has read these documents and agrees to be governed by them.

Rights of Full Members in Good Standing

1. Vote at all business meetings of the Richmond, which may be conducted by electronic forum online or as part of any event the Richmond is in attendance in which a quorum is determined to exist.

2. Hold any position within the Richmond consistent with their knowledge, certification where required, accurate historical portrayal and ability to meet the obligations of the position (billet).

3. To serve as a member of the Richmond in a manner consistent with their historical portrayal, at any and all events where the Richmond is in attendance; taking precedence over provisional members where space is limited aboard host vessels.

4. Be sent notifications of any business brought before the unit for a vote of the membership, all events, activities or functions that the Richmond will attend and schedule of pre-event formations, drills and qualification schedules.

Obligations of Membership and Code of Conduct

1. To conduct themselves in a manner which promotes the harmonious conduct of the Shipís Company.

a. There shall be no drinking on the event grounds or aboard any host vessel unless specially authorized by the then present commanding officer. No member shall become intoxicated, abusive or behave in a disorderly or belligerent manner under any circumstances.

b. Members arriving at any event shall make their presence known to the then Officer of the Watch.

c. Members (when in attendance at an event) shall attend all posted Marine drills and Division formations unless the Officer of the Watch or Senior NCO has excused them.

d. The Richmond's officers or their designated staff shall maintain the military decorum of the assigned grounds or host vessel.

e. No member may use his/her membership to forward their commercial enterprise, Political beliefs, or conduct themselves in a manner, which would reflect negatively upon the Richmond or associate the Richmond, or itís members with political, religious, racial, or other beliefs, or personal commercial enterprise outside the context of the AWI period.

2. To respect the person and property of all Richmond members and all fellow members of the reenactment community.

No Richmond member shall say any remark before the public disrespectful of another group or individual outside of historical context.

3. To obey the laws of the United States, States therein; Canada; and the United Kingdom; as they may be associated with events attended, its political subdivisions, and those laws and regulations required by event sponsors, organizers, owners and their agents of host vessels.

4. To obey all safety regulations of the NMLHA and/or H.M.S. Richmond at any and all events.

5. To adhere to the "Regulations of the Navy " and the "Articles of War" except where this conflicts with the first 4 articles of the Code of Conduct.

a. To conduct themselves in camp, in formation, on and below deck and in battle in a military manner.

b. To render proper military honours to all Officer Ranks and flags of opposing forces (whether a reenactor or current active service), or any other nation, regardless of the flag or the person wearing the uniform.

c. To present an accurate appearance and behaviour (includes no beards during an event) that does honour to the memory of the men who served in the Royal Navy and Marines of 1775 to 1783.

6. To present an accurate portrayal of life in the Royal Navy during the entire time while attending events and present in the authentic camp area, battle field or aboard a host vessel.

7. To promote historical accuracy the following rules must be adhered to.

a. No non-period items may be visible at any time within the active event grounds or aboard a host vessel.

b. No non-period activities within the active event grounds or aboard a host vessel.

c. No non-combatants under arms.

d. We are depicting a military naval unit and as such all members must obey any lawful and reasonable order given by a superior Officer or NCO during the active part of an event, unless it is felt the safety of that member, or others involved would be compromised.

8. Any person who violates the code of conduct may be recommended for Court Marshal and dismissed through the proceedings covered in section 8 above.


Business Meetings

1. The Richmond will conduct at least one business meeting during each calendar year during a published event or through an online forum closed to the publick.

2. The business meeting will be held to nominate and elect members for elected positions as may be required, and conduct the business of the unit as may be brought to the deck.

3. All decisions voted at the business meetings will require a simple majority of all members, but only when a quorum is determined to exist. (Except as otherwise noted above)

4. The Commanding Officers or Executive Officers of the Navy and of the Marines are responsible for all decisions required between business meetings.

5. The Commanding Officer or the 1st lieutenant of the Navy billets will chair all business meetings.

6. In the absence of a Commanding Officer or lieutenants, including Acting lieutenants if any, the highest-ranking officer or NCO will assume those responsibilities.


Elected Officers

1. Elections for Quarterdeck officers will be held upon petition by 1/3 of the eligible to vote membership to the captain. Subject to elections are the Commanding Officers for both the Navy and Marines and Treasurer. All other officers and inferior officers are by appointment of the elected commissioned officers.

2. The Commanding Officer or any officer may be removed from their position for cause, by a 2/3 majority vote of all the members. This vote shall be conducted at any business meeting or at any time by e-mail ballot, sanctioned by and conducted by the captain. All full members must vote, even if to enter an abstention vote.

3. The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining accurate records of the funds of the shipís company, accounting for all expenditures, writing of authorized checks and collections of all revenues.

                        Given on board His Majestyís Ship Richmond, off of Maumee Bay

C.V. Fisher, Esq.


Revised version, dated 3 January, 2002


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