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"Feeding Nelson's Navy" Topic

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21 Mar 2019 9:28 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Feeding Nelson S Navy" to "Feeding Nelson's Navy"Removed from Napoleonic Media board

Areas of Interest

18th Century
19th Century

245 hits since 21 Mar 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2019 9:13 p.m. PST

"This celebration of the Georgian sailor's diet reveals how the navy's administrators fed a fleet of more than 150,000 men, in ships that were often at sea for months on end and that had no recourse to either refrigeration or canning. Contrary to the prevailing image of rotten meat and weevily biscuits their diet was a surprisingly hearty mixture of beer, brandy, salt beef and pork, pease, butter, cheese, hard biscuit and the exotic sounding lobscouse, not to mention the Malaga raisons, oranges, lemons, figs, dates and pumpkins which were available to ships on far-distant stations. In fact, by 1800 the British fleet had largely eradicated scurvy and other dietary disorders. While this scholarly work contains much of value to the historian, the author's popular touch makes this an enthralling story for anyone with an interest in life at sea in the age of sail."


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BrianW21 Mar 2019 11:20 p.m. PST

I have this book. It goes a LONG ways towards disproving the "horrible rotten food of the Royal Navy" stories that come out of the period. She explains that a lot of those stories seem to come from condemned RN food that was bought up by merchant ship captains and fed to their crews.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2019 11:25 a.m. PST



Mr Astrolabe22 Mar 2019 12:21 p.m. PST

Yes, I've read a fair amount on the period and, aside from instances of scurvy, venereal diseases & Yellow fever Royal Navy sailors were generally quite healthy compared to the land based population and this could only have come about with good diet being a significant factor.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2019 11:53 a.m. PST

So… they have the best cooks? (smile)

How they managed to made that on that kind of ships… withour refrigerators… cleaning space for the food… etc…

Maybe man were more strong on those times?


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