The Elizabethan Seaman

By Kenneth R. Andrews, published August 1982


The Elizabethan explorers are well known; not so the seamen.  Those mariners are seen through the jaundiced eyes of commanders of pressed men with low pay, crowded conditions and poor food. Local history sources, the 1582 shipping census and the Admiralty Court are needed to speak to the infrastructure beneath the seamen and masters, the preference for piracy over royal service and why wage levels were less important than regularity of employment.  Contemporary attitudes show disdain for the sailors; yet the maritime achievements of that age are also their due.

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Filed under: Tudors | Atlantic | Baltic | English Channel | North Sea | Indian Ocean | Caribbean | Pacific
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Merchant Marines | Navies | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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