By-Paths in Naval Literature Part IV

By Charles N. Robinson R.N., published July 1921


During his imprisonment, following his 1689 capture, Captain George St. Lo had plenty of time to consider the future of the Royal Navy. Prisoners-of-war were barbarously treated yet, though of all nations and ages, none accepted French service. The French ability to speedily ready ships for sea – partly because all mariners were registered – astonished him.His far-sighted pamphlet ranged from the size of the Navy, to officer and seamen’s qualifications and the creation of a national register of seafarers. He further proposed schools for the offspring of Navy personnel killed in action.  Captain Lo writes about Navy manning, arguing that if wages were delivered promptly, pressing would not be needed. His pamphlet covers registration, funding, care of the wounded, schools, prize money, fisheries and privateers. In 1694, his second pamphlet was published dealing with manning by haulbolings as opposed to shacome-filthies, raggamuffings and scrovies.  This pamphlet dealt with discipline, internal economy of warships and cost effective manning. He was ahead of his time but his ideas would not be implemented for at least one hundred years.

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Filed under: English Channel | Nine Years' War | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration | Navies | Ship Handling & Seamanship

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