Slaves

H_C, the current opinion is very much against from some of the misguided opinions of the past. It is now accepted that discipline and harsh punishments (by the standards of today) would have unable alone to have stemmed the flow of pressed men when they went ashore at foreign ports, etc. Flogging was accepted by most seamen as a legitimate means of dealing with some of the very ill-disciplined and rough characters that served in the RN at that time. The fact that some of us today feel revolted by the practice does not alter the material facts that pertained in those far off days. The pay and scran onboard compared very favourably with the lot of the poor landlubber and other (merchant) seamen in Nelson's time. There are others here however who are better qualified to dispute your assertions. As Higgy has pointed out, he found it OK to serve under Nelson as a ruffy tuffy seaman. :lol:
 

Seaweed

RIP
Book Reviewer
Try the following (if you can find them):

Landsman Hay, ed. MD Hay, Hart Davis 1953 - one of the few literate, published accounts of life on the Lower Deck during the Napoleonic wars.

The Village Labourer, JL & Barbara Hammond, various editions 1911- , mine is the 1948 Guild Books reprint by Longmans.

Convicts and the Colonies, AGL Shaw, Faber 1966 & later paperbacks.

Experiences of a Convict, JF Mortlock, Sydney University Press reprint 1965 - probably the ONLY literate account by a convict although his transportation was later (1843). Mortlock is thought by some to have given Dickens information about life in the hulks which Dickens used in Great Expectations.

re pressing from homeward bound merchantmen, I am actually quoting to Indiamen's own logs. It was routine. No foreign service leave then! Indiamen's captains also flogged, including flogging embarked soldiers (particularly for theft, which as RRs all know, when it happens is a very corrosive thing for morale).

The trap is to view the eighteenth century through twenty-first century eyes. As someone said (too lazy to look it up), "The past is another country. They do things differently there."

As to slavery, many of the rebels from the 1685 Western Rising/Monmouth Rebellion were packed off to the West Indies as slaves. Ran out of rope for hanging them maybe.

Nelson, got at by some lily-livered liberal do-gooder for hanging someone on a Sunday, said he would hang a man on Christmas day if it were for the good of the Service.

All hands up to witness punishment!
 
Ltcootb wrote...
whereas most sailors at least got ship's biscuit and grog on a daily basis

Very true, in fact they got enough grog to make sure they were pissed most of time, and the officers as well, thats the only way they could survive life on board in those days. The two sides were,
The Sailors, respectful petitions, noisy demonstrations,strikes and mutinies.
The Officers, the beatings, floggings, courts-martial and hangings.

I suggest that you read a couple of books.
The Cutlass & The Lash (Mutiny and Discipline in Nelson's Navy) By Jonathan Neale 1985
The Command of the Occean By NAM RODGER 2004
Kind regards
 
billsubs wrote..
Are we not all slaves to something?

I dont think so, If you know where where slavery is relevent today let the authorities know, mind you we could be addicted, to drugs, alcohol, sex and many other vices, but non of these are slavery, on the other hand I am a bit submissive to the memsahib.
 

beltfedwombat

Midshipman
[quote="huffnut_cringe"]billsubs wrote..
Are we not all slaves to something?

I dont think so, If you know where where slavery is relevent today let the authorities know, mind you we could be addicted, to drugs, alcohol, sex and many other vices, but non of these are slavery, on the other hand I am a bit submissive to the memsahib.[/quote]


I think I'm a slave to my veg patch. Man it gets me down. Days of back breaking labour preparing and fertilizing the ground, planting, weeding, more weeding, pricking out, more weeding and more pricking out. Then just as you start to see the start of veggies growing, along come the bastard birds, the bastard slugs, the bastard caterpillars, the bastard moles, the bastard storm force winds and the next door neighbours bastard cat! I'd poison the lot of them and concrete over the damn veg patch if the long haired Colonel would let me. Organic veg my arse!

Cry Freedom! Cry Tesco! I have a dream! Is there a greengrocer out there that will free me from the chains that bind me!
 
The press gang and impressment rules was a part reason for the American War of independance the press gangs were invading American ships and taking crew members .
Americans were supposed to have a certificate of domicile or something and the RN was ignoring the paperwork !!

:nemo: :nemo:
 
Greenie said:
The press gang and impressment rules was a part reason for the American War of independance the press gangs were invading American ships and taking crew members .
Americans were supposed to have a certificate of domicile or something and the RN was ignoring the paperwork !!

:nemo: :nemo:

The practice of collecting 'deserters' from US flagged ships was certainly not appreciated by the septics at the time although because of the general shortage of seamen caused by the war they were known to actively support and perhaps even encourage deserters. It was cited by the septics as one of the main reasons for the war but the primary reason was they thought, wrongly as it turned out that they could nick Canada easily. In reality the War of 1812 was little more than an ill thought out land grab that went wrong.
 
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