Archive Results For: Press Gangs

The Cost of Impressment During the Seven Years War

By Larry Neal

During the Seven Years War (1756–1763), as in the wars before and after, the Government had the problem of manning the Royal Navy in times of war without handicapping the merchant marine upon which the nation’s wealth, and ultimately its survival, depended. Larry Neal uses contemporary statistics and collates them against some of the proposals […] Read More

Filed under: Seven Years’ War | Press Gangs | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

The Naval Aspects of the Nootka Sound Crisis

By Paul Webb

While the diplomatic exchanges between Britain and Spain relating to the Nootka Sound crisis of 1790 have been well studied, the naval aspects have not and some authors have dealt with them summarily and, at times, inaccurately. This article sets out in detail the naval armaments undertaken by both Britain and Spain. The author shows […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Pacific | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Logistics | Strategy & Diplomacy

Impressment & the American Merchant Marine 1782–1812; an American View

By George Selement

British seamen deserted frequently.  The British navy boarded neutral American ships to recover them and then also seized other nationalities. The British pressed ten times the number that might be British. Less than ten percent of wrongly pressed Americans were released.   The Americans protested but diplomatic negotiations foundered for reasons of British security, American nationalism, […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | War of 1812 | English Channel | Other (Eighteenth C) | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Merchant Marines | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

The Impress Service in North-East England During the Napoleonic War

By Norman McCord

A comprehensive study of the brutal system of conscription which was found to be necessary to enable the manning of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars as exemplified by the operation of the “press” on the Tyne and Wear ports. Read More

Filed under: Napoleonic War | North Sea | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

Impressment of Seamen During the War of the Spanish Succession

By G. Hinchliffe

The paper is based on the correspondence kept by Tancred Robinson while a captain in the Royal Navy during the War of the Spanish Succession. It focuses on letters received from the Admiralty concerning men on ships he commanded who had been impressed, in some cases requiring their release and in others confirming their impressment. […] Read More

Filed under: Spanish Succession | English Channel | North Sea | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

Diana versus Caravan and Topaz

By Anthony Steel

The incidents described in this paper relate to Anglo-American disputes about impressment as US trade with Canton was developing. Such voyages, from the US or Europe were long and hazardous and took a toll on experienced white seamen. This paper describes two incidents in 1807 of the attempted impressment by HMS Diana of a French […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Press Gangs | Other (location)
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

To Outsail the Dutch

By R.A. Preston

By the middle of the seventeenth century Dutch men-of-war were superior to those of the English. Much attention was given to the art of shipbuilding and to the need for competing with the Dutch in the development of speed, roominess and sailing qualities. The Great Neptune, completed by about the end of December 1623, was, […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Francis Drake | English Channel | North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Pirates | Mediterranean | Shipwrecks | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Logistics | Merchant Marines | Navies | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design | Strategy & Diplomacy | Weapons | Whaling & Fishing

The Transmigrations of the Cutter Jackal

By G.A. Rutherford

This is an intriguing account of how the cutter Jackal, 10 guns and 60 men, was taken by a mutinous crew to France and sold into Foreign Service. In 1799 the Jackal was waiting in the Downs to form part of a small squadron ordered to cruise off the Texel to intercept enemy ships. Short […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Mutiny & Discipline | Other (Eighteenth C) | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

Document: The pitfalls and dangers to the officers employed upon the impress service 1722

By courtesy of L. G. Carr Laughton

The letter from the Lords of the Admiralty to Charles Lord Townshend, Secretary of State demonstrates that in the early eighteenth century the impressing of merchant seafarers into the Navy was not a straight forward task, and that at times the Navy suffered embarrassing and deadly reverses. Read More

Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Press Gangs | Other (location)
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

Seventeenth Century ‘Profiteering’ in the Royal Navy

By Isobel G. Powell

Naval supplies were not the only way for the unscrupulous to make a profit. Pressed seafarers generally arrived onboard with just the clothes they wore and at the end of a term of service they were left with just filthy rags. In 1623 the problem was addressed by the sale of “provant clothes” or “slops”, […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Health at Sea | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

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