Reply To: Royal Navy Soap Issue.

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    National Archives shows it being traded by 1636.

    By the time the records get to 1704, the mentions are of very small quantities (when vessels are captures by privateers), which may be for use on board.

    “High Court of Admiralty: Prize Court: Prize Papers. Examinations and Ships Papers 1702 to 1727. K and L. (Described at item level). empty casks, 62 green hides, 2 bales of allome (150 pound weight each), and a box of soap (160 pounds), bound for Cherbourg. Taken by privateer”

    70 kilos of soap is a lot, about 700 bars, but when you think how much a crew could use over the course of a 6 month voyage, it makes sense, and is far less than you might expect to be carried for trading. But it does not specify if it is issued to crew.

    1705-1706 “25 pounds of soap”. 110 bars.

    My guess would be that the early mentions are more likely to be trade, but by the early 1700s, it was being issued to sailors.