Anchoring and Mooring: an Examination of English Maritime Practice before c.1650

By Susan Rose, published May 2003


The definitions of anchoring and mooring can be blurred. ‘Anchoring’ is a specific action, ‘Mooring’ may describe the use of anchors or the action of being tied alongside a quay using ropes alone. The antecedents of these manoeuvers has been brought into question and the author has delved deep into history to establish any right or precedence for the practice of permanent moorings using specific ground tackle. The period chosen is from c.1200 and illustrated with port records and practices. Early documents show no unambiguous right to anchorage, just best practices that may be useful in future disputes. Mooring and anchoring developed continuously over the period. King’s ships and merchant vessels are considered, with definitions of equipment from contemporary marine dictionaries to illustrate the changes in understanding over time.

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Filed under: Medieval | Early Modern | Other (location)
Subjects include: Ship Handling & Seamanship

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