The Elizabethan Sailorman
The accounts of the maritime expeditions of the Elizabethan Age offer an insight into the lives of the ordinary crew members. They suffered from bad food and inadequate clothing, sleeping on deck or in the hold. Health was the great problem, in particular scurvy. Expedition leaders tried to ensure the health of their crews by embarking surgeons and giving attention to their diet. In spite of the hardships sailors were motivated by the knowledge that life on shore was not easier and by the chance albeit uncertain of sharing prize money. But when England needed them, these sailormen “had no equal”.