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"Food at sea in the age of fighting sail" Topic

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349 hits since 25 Nov 2022
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2022 8:09 p.m. PST

"Few subjects have been more misunderstood than the diet of ratings and their officers on board Royal Navy vessels during the ‘long eighteenth century' from 1688 until 1815. It makes a good story, particularly from the onset of the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, when British warships remained on station for unprecedented durations, both to enforce the blockade of France and its continental possessions, and to fight its fleets in the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas.

Conventional wisdom has conceived of Royal Navy ships as ‘floating concentration camps' manned by miserable and frequently coerced sailors subject to brutal, and brutally arbitrary, discipline at the whim of sadistic captains. They and their officers may have eaten well and even lavishly, but their men subsisted on substandard stores of rotten meat and weevilly biscuit…"

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Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2022 10:27 a.m. PST

Jolly good article!

JMcCarroll26 Nov 2022 12:52 p.m. PST

Hope you like worms with your salted pork!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2022 3:25 p.m. PST

Happy you like it…


Thresher0127 Nov 2022 10:13 a.m. PST

What's not to like about fresh protein to spice up your meal?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2022 3:06 p.m. PST



NotNelson28 Nov 2022 4:45 a.m. PST

I think the thing that frequently gets missed is how bad the general public had it in those days. In the Navy you were pretty much guaranteed food and shelter every day whereas many starved in civilian life, especially in Ireland where significant numbers of recruits came from. Many commentators look at this in comparison to current living standards and completely fail to understand the context of the time.

Blutarski18 Dec 2022 4:23 p.m. PST

"The lesser of two weevils"


chironex25 Dec 2022 4:15 a.m. PST

Don't forget sauerkraut! "Keeps away the dreaded scurvy. Mr Hamilton, our surgeon, swears by it." – an interactive exhibit in the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Dec 2022 2:35 p.m. PST



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