How to Survive in the Georgian Navy: A Sailor's Guide

How to Survive in the Georgian Navy: A Sailor's Guide

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Rigidly organised and harshly disciplined, the Georgian Royal Navy was an orderly and efficient fighting force which played a major role in Great Britain's wars of the 18th and early 19th centuries. This book explores what it was like to be a sailor in the Georgian Navy - focusing on the period from 1714 to 1820, this book examines the Navy within its wider historical, national, organisational and military context, and reveals exactly what it took to survive a life in its service.

It looks at how a seaman could join the Royal Navy, including the notorious 'press gangs'; what was meant by 'learning the ropes'; and the severe punishments that could be levied for even minor misdemeanours as a result of the Articles of War. Military tactics, including manning the guns and tactics for fending off pirates are also revealed, as is the problem of maintaining a healthy diet at sea - and the steps that sailors themselves could take to avoid the dreaded scurvy. 

Covering other fascinating topics as wide-ranging as exploration, mutiny, storms, shipwrecks, and women on board ships, this ‘Sailor's Guide' explores the lives of the Navy's officers and sailors, using extracts from contemporary documents and writings to reconstruct their experiences in vivid detail.


144 pages

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About the author: Bruno Pappalardo is the Principal Naval Records Specialist at The National Archives. He is the author of Tracing Your Naval Ancestors (2002) and The National Archives' online resource Nelson, Trafalgar and Those Who Served (2005). He also contributed to and was the naval records consultant for Tales from the Captain's Log (2017).The National Archives is one of the world's most valuable resources for research and home to more than 1,000 years of history.

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