Ship launching events

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Ship launching events

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    Peter S
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      In the early nineteenth century, newspapers often reported on merchant ship launches and the crowds that they drew. There are also some paintings showing crowds on board, ashore and in boats. I suspect that in earlier centuries ship launches were also big local events, particularly in smaller ports, but I have only been able to find a handful of very sparse newspaper reports and no images. Would anyone be able to point me to sources that describe launching ceremonies before 1800? Note that I am interested in merchant ships, not warships; I know that warships were sometimes launched with royal presence as early as the sixteenth century.

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