Hammocks and their Accessories

By Rear-Admiral Sir R. Massie Blomfield, published May 1911


Christopher Columbus landed in Exuma in 1492 and first saw the natives’ ‘hamacs’; nets of cotton stretched between posts. Sir Walter Raleigh describes ‘hamacos’ in 1595 in Guinea, calling them ‘Brazil beds’ and the year after the Admiralty purchased three hundred bolts of canvas to make ‘hanging beddes’. Hammocks were slung 14 inches apart and, before action, placed as bulwarks in double nettings on the gunnell.   ‘Knittles’ are the small laniards suspending the hammocks. The Dutch used the term ‘hangmak’, the French ‘brangle’. In the Crimean War, oars were used with hammocks to make stretchers for the wounded.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Caribbean
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies | Science & Exploration

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