Author Results for R. Morton Nance

The Ship of the Renaissance Part II

By R. Morton Nance

In the Mediterranean it would seem that, once the idea of sails auxiliary to the mainsail was accepted, square foresail and topsail and lateen mizzen all blossomed forth almost simultaneously in the largest ships. The Mediterranean carrack type became the pattern for the build and rig of later fifteenth-century three-masters, as we find them most […] Read More

Filed under: Tudors | High Middle Ages | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean | Other (location)
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Miscellaneous | Navies | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Ship Models & Figureheads | Shipbuilding & Design | Weapons | Whaling & Fishing

The Ship of the Renaissance Part I

By R. Morton Nance

A detailed and technical article on the development of ships in the Renaissance period. The author gives examples of sail development, build development and types of rigging. Focussing mainly on the ships of the Mediterranean, reference is also made of ships in more Northerly waters. The article has illustrations and is continued in a later […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | High Middle Ages | North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean | Other (location)
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

West Cornwall Fishing Luggers before 1850

By R. Morton Nance

Cornish fishing luggers began as two-masted square-rigged boats, perhaps influenced by carvel-built Breton fishing boats. Over time they evolved into decked vessels, carrying lugsails on three masts, with the raked mizen set far aft. The author traces this evolution using contemporary images (most reproduced as sketches in the article), and the recorded accounts of fishermen […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design | Whaling & Fishing

The Little Ship of the Ashmolean

By R. Morton Nance

In 1685, shortly after the Ashmolean collection was formed, its catalogue includes what was listed as being ‘a little ship’. This was carved from a block, so it was not a model in the fullest sense. It was 18 inches long, and by 1938 its state of preservation was quite poor, retaining 14 of her […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Ship Models & Figureheads

Some French Carracks

By R. Morton Nance

The small scale and conventional treatment of fifteenth century shipping miniatures rarely allow them to be of great use to the archaeologist, it is from a few engravings and paintings that we have gained most of our knowledge of contemporary ships. A notable exception to this rule, however, is an illustration to a French translation […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design | Whaling & Fishing

Some Ships of 1541-2

By R. Morton Nance

In a series of pen drawings, reproduced from the originals that decorate a dated plan of Calais, which at first glance show promise, we are left, on much closer examination, with drawings that lack the details portrayed by an artist with sea going experience. To the nautically curious mind and eye the artist’s vigorous, straight […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Other (Early Modern)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Harbours & Dockyards | Shipbuilding & Design

Killicks Again

By R. Morton Nance

This paper investigates the design of the killick, an anchor formed from wooden spars to which is lashed a heavy stone. The author describes a number of different possible designs with one, two or four spars, some using a stone with a hole drilled through the middle, and with different methods of securing the spars […] Read More

Filed under: Baltic | English Channel | North Sea | Irish Sea | Other (Early Modern)
Subjects include: Archaeology | Shipbuilding & Design

Brigantines

By R. Morton Nance

In this short article Morton Nance takes issue with Dr. Dingley (Oct 1920) over his use of the term brigantine to describe a totally different vessel and the confusion caused by his ignoring the use of oars in such vessels. In Morton Nance’s view the common rig for such vessels was the square mainsail and […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Shipbuilding & Design

Fresh Light on “Terradas” and “Gelves”

By R. Morton Nance

This article investigates the characteristics of traditional Indian Ocean vessels, based on the observations of Europeans since 1600. Related to the modern dhau (dhow), these ships share a number of key features: steering by ‘rudder-bands’; matting sails with one or two reefs; and unique stem-head decorations. The modern East African vessels called mtepe have some […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

The “Grande Louise” Drawing

By R. Morton Nance

Nautically, as showing a typical ship of 1500, the picture is, perhaps, less satisfactory; yet it gives us many features by which to trace its relationship to such earlier carracks as served as models to artists like “W. A.” and his fellow-craftsmen of Italy, whose more careful work we already know. It is not as […] Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design

Cromsters

By R. Morton Nance

Mentioned by Elizabethan writers along with such small craft as crayers, drumblers, hoys and barks, one frequently comes upon the name of the cromster, crumster, or crompster. The definition or cromster in the New English Dictionary as ” a kind of galley or hoy,” based upon Raleigh’s mention of” two or three crumsters or gallies,” […] Read More

Filed under: Tudors | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Navies | Shipbuilding & Design | Weapons

British Ships Through Dutch Spectacles

By R. Morton Nance

Van der Meulen left behind him, in the form of prints, a fairly full and true account of the state of Dutch shipping and craft at the end of the 17th century. Not content with portraying Dutch ships, he tried his hand at foreign vessels, too. In doing this, I am afraid that it must […] Read More

Filed under: North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Shipbuilding & Design

Some Old Time Ship Pictures Part V A Group of Florentines

By R. Morton Nance

The continuation of this series of analyses of early ship illustrations, these from the fifteenth century, in which the author generally discusses the hull construction, the masts and rigging with the intention of demonstrating the value of such illustrations to naval historians. In this article the sails and rigging are the main interest, in an […] Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

A Primitive Western Type

By R. Morton Nance

At a time when coracles were, apparently, the only boats of the greater part of Britain, and when the northern clinkerbuilt ship had not yet arrived at carrying sail, the Venetans of the Morbihan, and by implication their naval allies of South Britain also, were using carvel-built sailing vessels in which they could voyage across […] Read More

Filed under: Early Middle Ages | Late Middle Ages | English Channel | High Middle Ages | Other (location)
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Merchant Marines | Shipbuilding & Design

Some Old Time Ship Pictures Part VI A Batch of Carracks

By R. Morton Nance

A review of a wide assortment of illustrations of I5th century ships of the carrack type. When running before the wind these ships lowered their yards to half-mast and the consequent bellying of their sails was due to this ‘Dutch-reef’. In sailing on the wind the yards would be hoisted higher and the sails stretched. Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Art & Music | Merchant Marines | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

A “Great Dane” of 1600

By R. Morton Nance

An examination of the principal features of a large and highly decorated Danish warship shown in an engraving by Christian Moller which the author identifies as likely being the Tre Krone; the flagship of a squadron of seven ships that brought King Christian IV to England in 1606. Read More

Filed under: Baltic | Other (Early Modern)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Navies | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

Sea-Stones and Killicks in West Cornwall

By R. Morton Nance

In areas where rocks are plentiful and trees are scarce, wood and iron have traditionally been replaced with stone for many purposes. The article describes many examples of such stones for anchoring and other maritime purposes – providing the Celtic names that were given to them in various villages of West Cornwall. 21 pen and […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Medieval
Subjects include: Archaeology

The Ark Royal

By R. Morton Nance

A comparison of the painted panel, formerly in Canterbury Cathedral, with the Ark Royal print, shows that the rig of these two ships is practically the same, the only important difference lying in the fact that in the Ark Royal the furled spritsail is lowered into the beak, while it remains standing out on the […] Read More

Filed under: Tudors | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Navies | Shipbuilding & Design

Some Old Time Ship Pictures Part III Two Fifteenth Century Fishing Vessels

By R. Morton Nance

Writing in his Glossaire Nautique, concerning various ancient pictures of ships of unnamed types that had come under his observation, Jal describes one, not illustrated by him, in terms equivalent to these:- “The work of the engraver, Israel van Meicken (end of the 15th century) includes a ship of handsome appearance; of middling tonnage ; […] Read More

Filed under: Baltic | North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Art & Music | Ship Models & Figureheads | Shipbuilding & Design | Whaling & Fishing

Northern Ships of Circa 1340

By R. Morton Nance

The sculptor of the ship upon the tomb of Saint Peter Martyr has given us there a typical ship of the South in 1339, with all its Mediterranean features as yet uninfluenced by the example of Northern visitors to those waters. Of our Northern, or Ocean, square-rigged ships at the same date we have no […] Read More

Filed under: Popular Topics | High Middle Ages | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

Some Old Time Ship Pictures Part II A Mediterranean Carrack

By R. Morton Nance

This article provides a comparison of southern or Mediterranean carrack design with the Flemish Kraeck, which was described in detail in Mariner’s Mirror 2:8(1912). It is detailed description of a drawing of a carrack found in a fifteenth century Neapolitan manuscript. The details of the vessel are examined for comparisons and contrasts with the engraving […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design

Some Old Time Ship Pictures Part I The Kraeck

By R. Morton Nance

The Kraeck, engraved by the craftsman known by his initials WA, has already been mentioned in this journal and here makes a personal appearance. The redrawn illustration preserves the detail that gives her her chief value, and which is here described. This illustration of a fifteenth century carrack was the inspiration for a number of […] Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean | Other (location)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design

Trows, Past and Present

By R. Morton Nance

As the day nears when the last of the old open-holded trows must go, this article captures their growth from square-sailed river-barges on the Severn and two Avons to sea-going ketches in the Bristol Channel while those with unrivalled life-long knowledge of those craft are still around to share it. Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Other (Nineteenth C) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

A Sixteenth-Century Sea-Monster

By R. Morton Nance

The sixteenth-century sea-monster is the image of a ship depicted by Brueghel. Drawing on this and other contemporary and slightly earlier images from sources such as the Orbis Civitates Terrarum and a Mercator’s Atlas, the author attempts a classification of types, including carracks, hulks and galleons, discussing distinguishing features such as beakheads, round bows, forecastles […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design

An Italian Ship of 1339

By R. Morton Nance

In this paper the author looks at the great detail in the ships sculptured by the Pisan artist, Balduccio, in 1339, upon the tomb of S. Peter Martyr, in the church of S. Eustorgio in Milan. The detail of this sculpture is used to explain many of the features of ships found in less detailed […] Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design

A Fifteenth Century Trader

By R. Morton Nance

  This piece analyses the image of a late fifteenth-century ship, signed “W.A.”, and known from a print at the Victoria and Albert Museum. As illustrated by a copy in the article, the vessel has two masts, no forecastle, and a raised poop. While some aspects of the hull and rigging agree with other paintings […] Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Other (location)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design