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Dec. 15th, 2005

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Valentine Joyce - Naval Mutineer of 1797

Valentine Joyce - Naval Mutineer of 1797

Extract from page:

As unequivocally stated by Mr. Dugan, the 'leading spirit was a quartermaster's mate of Royal George, Valentine Joyce, who had served a sentence for sedition, lost his tobacco shop in Belfast as a result, and had recently come aboard in the quota'. Even on first reading, I was doubtful of this. For a landsman to have made quartermaster's mate in such a short period of time (the various Quota Acts having been passed in 1795 and 1796) would have meant spectacular promotion. Even if most past published works had also maintained a similar line on this individual's background, one stood out in contradiction. Written in the 1930s, within The Floating Republic was analysis of the leading characters as experienced seamen and Valentine Joyce was specifically mentioned in this way. In fact, this work goes further. Not only does it pour cold water on rampant political objectives by the mutineers, Joyce himself is stated as having been born in Jersey and apparently having family in Portsmouth. A relatively recent doctoral thesis, Mutiny in the Public Eye by David London, clearly shows these mutinies to have been industrial relations disputes, primarily in relation to naval pay that had not been improved in over 140 years. Joyce's background and naval career are outlined, from information supplied by Ann Coates and this is identical to that in a published modern entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Unfortunately, the information given in these two accounts is not particularly accurate either.

Link here

Dec. 12th, 2005

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English Harbour - Antigua

Known today as Nelson's Dockyard

Extract from page:

In Antigua’s southeastern corner lies a jewel of a harbour, completely enclosed by land and rugged hills. During the 18th and 19th centuries, when the sugar trade, so economically important to Europe’s warring nations, was threatened, the admirals of England’s navy chose this harbour to establish a repair yard in the Eastern Caribbean. This historic treasure, the Dockyard, was built using the skill, ingenuity and combined effort of the colonial residents of both African and European descent. Our ancestors laboured to build it under difficult conditions, and we must treasure this heritage.

Nelson's Dockyard

Nov. 29th, 2005

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The London Season

British Social History

Extract:

The London Season is one of the most glamorous events in the world. Usually it starts after Easter and ends in August. Events include the horse races, the Derby, the even classier Ascot, the Chelsea Flower Show, concerts, balls, dances and The Proms, of course. However, the Season is not as elegant as it once was when young ladies were presented to the Court and men and women swirled around huge ball room floors in their finest evening wear.

The Season was regarded as a ‘marriage market’, a chance for the young men and women of the aristocracy and upper middle classes to meet each other and choose partners. As the girls were chaperoned it was difficult for them to meet privately so girls would often marry the first acceptable partner. Marriages were often not love matches but formed on the basis of eligibility, money and, perhaps, common interests. This was especially true in the Regency period when the idea of marrying for love was relatively new. An example of this is Fanny, in Mansfield Park, who was severely chided for refusing the rake Henry, by her uncle Sir Thomas Bertram. He regarded Fanny, who came from a poor family, as very lucky to receive this offer from such an eligible young man and told her that she may never receive another one!


Link to Article (Scroll down past the ads)
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Cherbourg - The Roadstead

The roadstead

Extract from site:

In 1780, a naval officer, Louis Le Couldre de la Bretonnière, suggested closing the roadstead with a "rampart of rubble" almost four kilometres long, with no link to the coast. In 1783, construction was entrusted to an engineer of the Public Works Department, future architect of the Pont des Arts in Paris and of bridges over the Loire, Alexandre de Cessart. He imagined a sea wall formed by the juxtaposition of ninety wooden "chests", in the shape of truncated cones, almost 20 metres high and 50 meters in diameter at their base. These cones, prefabricated on dry land, then towed out to the site, were designed to be sunk and filled with stones.

Link to Cherbourg Tourism Site

History of the harbour from the same site

Nov. 9th, 2005

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General: The food Timeline History

The Food Timeline

Extract

Ever wonder what foods the Vikings ate when they set off to explore the new world? How Thomas Jefferson made his ice cream? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? Who invented the potato chip...and why? Welcome to the Food Timeline.

Food history is full of fascinating lore and contradictory facts. Historians will tell you it is not possible to express this topic in exact timeline format. They are quite right. Everything we eat is the product of culinary evolution. On the other hand? It is possible to place both foods and recipes on a timeline based on print evidence and historic context.


Click Here

Oct. 19th, 2005

hornyteddy

nautacarus

Language Resources - Etymology

Online Etymology Dictionary
This dictionary, based on a number of authoritative works, is a great place to find the origin of words and avoid anachronistic language by checking first usage dates. For instance, "sea-dog" in the sense of old sailor is attested from 1840; "tar" from 1676. It includes numerous nautical terms and gives alternatives where the etymology is uncertain (e.g. "mizzen"). Search options include exact match and "natural language", which will find any part of a compound word or phrase.

Oct. 15th, 2005

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maxi47

Royal Navy: Newspaper Extracts of Ships movements

Newspaper Extracts 1810 -> 1841 Index

This page contains indexes before 1810

Extract from the 1791-1798 Merchant ship index:

Nov 19, 1795

La Nymphe, Capt. Losack, convoying the cavalry from the Elbe, met with a violent gale of wind from the North Seas, in which she lost her rudder, and became so ungovernable, that for some time she was in imminent danger of being lost. She is, however, fortunately arrived safe in Margate Roads.

We are sorry to learn that all the convoy did not escape as well ; the Cleopatra and three other transports from Bremerlee, having run on shore near Calais, and it is feared the crews will be made prisoners.

By a letter from Corunna, from Captain Malyar, of the De Terfey, we are informed, that he anchored under the cannon of that Castle, along side of a French schooner-privateer, of 14 guns and 180 men, that cruises between that place and Vigo. This privateer anchors at night at Corunna, and weighs in the morning, and a strict watch is kept on the hills, to make signals when any vessel appears in sight, and by that means she had done a great deal of mischief.


Main page index

Oct. 3rd, 2005

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Royal Navy - Tactics, daily life

Naval Evolutions

Extract:

Definitions of Lines or Orders

We call naval evolutions the diverse movements performed by fleets or squadrons at sea, in ranging or forming them into such lines or positions as may be thought most proper or expedient, either by engaging, defending, or retreating to the greatest advantage. This term we have borrowed from land armies, where they signify, by the word evolutions, the different motions or wheelings they give their battalions or squadrons, as may seem most advantageous, in the various methods of attacking, defending, or retreating.


Naval Evolutions

Seaman's Rations

Extract

Sun
Pork 1 Pound
Pease ½ a Pint


Page here

Duties of the Crew

Extract

Master

1.He is to repair on Board, and obey his Commanders Orders, for the Dispatch of what is to be done towards her fitting out. 2.He is to inspect the Provisions and Stores sent a Board, and of what appears not good, he is to acquaint the Captain. 3.He is to take care of the Ballast, and see that it be clean and wholesome, and sign the Quantity delivered. 4.He is to give his Directions in stowing the Hold, for the most Room, Trimming the Ship, and for Preservation of the Provisions. 5.He is to take singular Care that the Rigging and Stores be duly preserved; and to sign the Carpenter's and Boatswain's Expence Book, taking care not to sign to undue Allowances. 6.He is to navigate the Ship, under the Directions of his Superior Officer, and see that the Log and Log-Book be duly kept. 7.He is duly to observe the Appearances of Coasts; and if he discovers any new Shoals or Rocks under Water, to note them done in his Journal, with their Bearing and Depth of Water. 8.He is to keep the Hawser clear when the Ship is at Anchor. 9.He is to provide himself with proper Instruments, Maps, and Book of Navigation, and keep a regular Journal, nothing therein the going out and coming in of all Stores and Provisions; and when the Ship is laid up, he is to deliver a Copy of the same into the Navy-Office, together with his Log-Book. 10.He is to be very careful not to sign any Accounts, Books, Lists or Tickets, before he has thoroughly informed himself of the Truth of every Particular contained in the same.

Page here

Oct. 2nd, 2005

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US Navy: Operations Against Tripoli 1804

NAVAL OPERATIONS AGAINST TRIPOLI
Commodore Edward Preble to the Secretary of the Navy


Extract from PDF document

US SHIP CONSTITUTION, Malta Harbor, 18 September 1804 I had the honor to write you from Messina, under date of the 5th of July; I then expected to have sailed the day following, but was detained, by bad weather, until the 9th when I left it, with two small bomb vessels under convoy, and arrived at Syracuse, where we were necessarily detained four days. On the 14th I sailed, the schooners NAUTILUS and ENTERPRISE in company with six gun-boats and two Bomb vessels, generouslyloaned us by His Sicilian Majesty. The bomb vessels are about thirty tons, carry a thirteen-inch brass sea-mortar and forty men. Gun-boats, twenty-five tons, carry a long iron twenty-four pounder in the bow, with a complement of thirty-five. They are officered and manned from the squadron, excepting twelve Neapolitan bombadiers, gunners, and sailors, attached to each boat, who were shipped by permission ot their Government. This step I thought found necessary as every vessel in the squadron was considerably short of complement.

This is a nine page PDF document of the logs of the Constitution

Link here
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Royal Navy: Fireships

What is Fire ship?

Extract from site:

A fire ship is a ship that is deliberately set on fire and collided with enemy ships in order to destroy them, or to create panic and make them break formation.

Warships of the age of sail were highly vulnerable to fire. With seams caulked with tar, ropes greased with fat, and holds full of gunpowder, there was little that would not burn. Accidental fires destroyed many ships, so fire ships presented a terrifying threat.


Link to definition page

Thomas Cochrane

Extract:

In April 1809, Cochrane led a successful fireship attack on a powerful French squadron anchored in Basque Roads, off Rochefort. In the confusion of the attack, all but two of the French ships were driven hard on shore. However, Cochrane tried to have his superior officer, Lord Gambier, court-martialled for not following up the attack in full.

National Maritime Museum Site

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy, by Julian Stafford Corbett

Extract

Towards the middle of the eighteenth century indeed the occasions on which the fireship could be used for its special purpose was regarded as highly exceptional, and though the type was retained till the end of the century, its normal functions differed not at all from those of the rest of the flotilla of which it then formed part. [page 122]

Project Gutenberg

The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane
Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc.


Extract from page

The most brilliant deed of all, one of the most brilliant deeds in the whole naval history of England, was his well-known exploit in the Basque Roads on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of April, 1809. Much against his will, he was persuaded by Lord Mulgrave, at that time First Lord of the Admiralty, to bear the responsibility of attacking and attempting to destroy the French squadron by means of fireships and explosion-vessels. The project was opposed by Lord Gambier, the Admiral of the Fleet, as being at once "hazardous, if not desperate," and "a horrible and anti-Christian mode of warfare;" and consequently he gave no hearty co-operation. On Lord Cochrane devolved the whole duty of preparing for and executing the project. His own words will best tell the story.

eText of book

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