Archive Results For: Health at Sea

Sea Fare

By R. C. Holmes

Early modern food at sea was not all bad. There are accounts of sumptuous food being enjoyed on passage in sailing ships in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with rations for the ordinary men far in advance of those enforced by the Merchant Shipping Act 1906 or the Board of Trade scale laid down by […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Health at Sea
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

John Morris and the Carthagena Expedition, 1739-1740

By Frank R. Lewis

The Carthagena expedition is recounted drawing on 23 letters of John Morris. He joined the navy in 1739 as masters mate in the 80 gun ship Torbay. His letters give a detailed account of preparations for the West Indies, with frequent complaints of overwork and the damaging effects of delays in sailing. The Torbay sailed […] Read More

Filed under: Austrian Succession | Health at Sea | Caribbean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics

The Commission of Sick and Wounded and Prisoners, 1664–1667

By J. J. S. Shaw

The first commission appointed to oversee and organise the treatment of sick and wounded naval seamen and prisoners-of-war was appointed in 1653. With the imminent outbreak of war with the United Provinces in 1664 four new commissioners were appointed. Although well-intentioned the new commission was never able to fulfil its role adequately, with money being […] Read More

Filed under: Dutch Wars | Health at Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea

The Hospital Ship, 1608 – 1740

By J J Sutherland Shaw

The hospital ship evolved during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – old sixth rates or hired merchant ships were used for this purpose. Using records from the British Library and The National Archives the author gives details of medical equipment and stores supplied from a list dating from 1672-78, also numbers of surgeons carried and […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Health at Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

The Trafalgar General Order Book of H.M.S. Mars

By Captain Duff RN

The General Order Book issued by Captain Duff when taking command of the Mars is reproduced in full. Most aspects of running the ship are covered but great emphasis is placed on health and the quality and quantity of food. The document highlights the importance placed on cleanliness, both of the vessel and the men […] Read More

Filed under: Napoleonic War | Health at Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration | Navies | Ship Handling & Seamanship

Sir William Monson Consults the Stars

By E.G.R. Taylor.

In the year 1583 Simon Forman, a Poor Scholar graduate of Oxford University, took up his profession of astrologer in London. He kept an elaborate “casebook”, entering the exact enquiry, the “table” he drew from the heavenly aspects, the prognostication he made and the events as they turned out. From these he compiled, using his […] Read More

Filed under: Tudors | Health at Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

Document: Warrants for Surgeon (1717) and Surgeon’s Mate

By courtesy of W. G. Perrin

These two letters, the first dated 18 April 1717, appoint suitably qualified medical personnel to the position of Surgeon and Surgeon’s Mate aboard a Royal Navy vessel. The Surgeon, George Spragg, is also informed how he is to perform his duties and keep records of the treatments undertaken. Read More

Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Health at Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration | Navies

Documents: Disinfecting Ships in 1758

By courtesy of Miss D. M. Walker

The letter, dated 16 November 1758, instructs Vice Admiral Henry Harrison, Commander in Chief at Plymouth, as to the appropriate actions he was to take to ensure any infectious diseases carried aboard vessels returning from overseas voyages were to be eliminated. These actions included emptying the ship, including the ballast, and thoroughly cleaning the interior. Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Seven Years’ War | Health at Sea
Subjects include: Administration | Navies

The Hughes-Suffren Campaigns

By Vice-Admiral Sir Herbert W. Richmond

It is impossible to reconcile Admiral Ballard’s account of the Hughes-Suffren campaigns in the April 1927 Mariner’s Mirror with the extensive contemporary evidence. Ballard is incorrect in asserting a number of points, including that Hughes lost his nerve before the end of the 1782 campaign; that after the battle on September 3rd 1782, Hughes was […] Read More

Filed under: American Revolution | Health at Sea | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Ship Handling & Seamanship

Document: Beds in Troopships

By courtesy of Miss Fairbrother

Reproduced are two letters, one from Captain Gordon Falcon, HMS Melpomene, and a letter of authorisation to carry out his proposal. His letter of 11 January 1813 proposed a simple change to the placing of the beds in troopships to improve the lot of the soldiers being transported overseas. The existing arrangement had the beds […] Read More

Filed under: Napoleonic War | Health at Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Navies | Shipbuilding & Design

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