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 Food and Drink 
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Mil Goose wrote:


.... and there is me thinking the poor souls had to survive on mice and rats! :D



Well, some did. Jeffrey Raigersfeld gives us many examples of the hardships he had to bear as a raw midshipman in his "The Life of a Sea Officer". When he was on the MEDIATOR in the West Indies he relates:

"Our mess got a firkin of butter, and when it was half out, the butter, which was at that time one may say oil, was so full of small hairs, that however often we washed it we could not separate the hairs from the butter, so we swallowed both butter and hairs, and every day as the butter got lower in the firkin the hairs became more numerous until we got to the bottom, where was found a mouse with all its hairs off, and as we continually took out the butter with a spoon, we suppose the hairs of the mouse became mixed with the butter; the poor animal, as we supposed, fell in after the butter had melted, and sunk to the bottom."

I do find Raigersfeld's tendency to write in long sentences a bit trying!

Martin


Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:55 pm
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Post Re: Janet Macdonald: "Feeding Nelson's Navy"
timoneer wrote:
Janet Macdonald: "Feeding Nelson's Navy - The True Story of Food at Sea in the Georgian Era"

Truscott's pump for transferring liquids to/from casks, Brodie's stove, and the Lamb & Nicholson's stove are all described. The Brodie stove aboard HMS "Victory" is not only described but drawings and photos are included.
Don

It is interesting that none of the photos in the book came from the National Maritime Museum's files, although she did the work while at Greenwich University and made much use of the Caird Library. I understood her to say that neither she nor her publisher could afford the exhorbitant reproduction/copyright fees that the NMM demanded. The publishers (Chatham) did eventually use one of the NMM's images for the dust-jacket.
I see that the book has gone into another edition.

Martin


Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Janet Macdonald: "Feeding Nelson's Navy"
Martin Evans wrote:
I understood her to say that neither she nor her publisher could afford the exhorbitant reproduction/copyright fees that the NMM demanded.

I can attest to that. At one point I had called the NMM to see if I could use some of their images on my website. They wanted too much!

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susan


Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:38 pm
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Hi all, again.

I am truly amazed... So many interesting details and how many hours you' ve spent!!

I am so sorry for my ignorance but was there a specific room on a frigate where the sailors gathered to eat their lunch for example or it was just on the deck?

Happy to find so many information,
Panos

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Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:48 pm
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From the Nautical Magazine (Feb 1834):

"BISCUIT.—An experiment is about to be made, to ascertain whether bread can be better preserved in warm climates, when enclosed in iron tanks, than in bags. The Belvidera, 42, and Blonde, 46, are each to take out an iron cask filled with bread, which are to be returned to the Royal William Victualling Yard after they have been abroad 12 months, to undergo inspection."

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susan


Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:26 pm
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Post Eating
Pegasus,

No-one seems to have replied to your enquiry so here is a try!

With the average frigate's crew numbering around 245 men, there was cerainly no one 'room' in which they could take their meals. What happened was that, for socializing and eating purposes, they were divided into self selected messes of around 8 men each, one of whom acted as the cook and collected the food from the galley.

Illustrations of the time show them eating their meals sitting round rectangular wooden tables hanging from hooks between the guns - the gun decks on line of battle ships also being the accomodation decks. On a frigate it must have been different since the main accomodation deck was underneath the gun deck and was below the waterline so had no artillery. However, eating there in messes on tables hanging from the beams was probably also the practice.

Brian Vale


Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:19 pm
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Related to my post about William Cuming, again, from Willoughby's bio in Marshall:

"Captain Cuming was born near a borough town that gives its name to a beverage of which he was exceedingly fond, and it seems that he never sat down to dinner without expressing regret that he had none to offer his guests. On the unfortunate occasion to which we allude, Lieutenant Willoughby, after acquainting the officer of the watch that he was going down to dine, added, 'I hope the caterer has provided some Ashburton Pop!' upon hearing which, Captain Cuming accused him of contempt..."

I was curious about the Ashburton Pop reference, so I did some poking about using Google Books.

From Devon Notes and Queries (Volume III, Jan 1904–Oct 1905):

"This town has been as famous for a beverage called Ashburton Pop as London is for porter. I recollect its sharp feeding good taste, far richer than the best small beer, more of the champaign [sic] taste, and what was termed a good sharp bottle, when you untied and hand-drew the cork, it gave a report louder than a pop-gun, to which I attribute its name: its contents would fly up to the ceiling if you did not mind to keep the mouth of the bottle into the white quart cup, it filled it with froth, but not over a pint of clear liquor....The pop was but twopence a bottle. It's a great novel loss to the town, because its receipe [sic] died with its brewers about 1785."

It also seems to have been given in lieu of solid food to people suffering from consumption.

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susan


Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:23 pm
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The Times, February 24th, 1785:

" .... A corespondent who was some years since in a physical capacity in the royal navy, recommend that all provisions cured for the public service, for consumption on board the men of war, or troops in garrisons abroad, &c. should have one pound of coarse sugar added to every three pounds of salt, which, from its antiputrescent quality, would prove infitely serviceable to prevent scorbutic diseases and their consequence: would also assist in preventing the meat going to decay so soon as in the common mode of salting. ...."






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Thu Feb 11, 2010 11:04 am
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The Times, September 23rd, 1789:

" .... Commissioner Marshall's plan for a watering place for the use of the Navy, at Ryde in the Isle of Wight, is highly approved of by all Naval men, who are sensible with how much ease the ships may be completed with water upon an emergency, by only moving to the Mother Bank. ...."






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Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:47 am
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Post Re: Food and Drink
From The Ship-Master's Assistant and Owner's Manual (1795) by David Steel:

"Whenever possible, fresh fish is to be caught for the use of the sick; and, if any surplus, the same shall be distributed by turns, among the officers and seamen impartially, and that without any deduction of their allowance of provisions."

"Fresh meat is to be allowed twice a week, (when it can be conveniently done), instead of salt meat: three pounds of mutton accounted for a four-pound piece of beef, or a two-pound piece of pork with pease."

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susan


Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:19 am
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Post Re: Food and Drink
From Around the World on the Kamchatka, 1817–1819 by Vasilii Golovnin (translated by Ella Lury Wiswell):

"Only albatrosses and petrels were flying nearby, and the former were particularly numerous; we used bait to trap them and in the course of several days caught about a hundred. This was done more for amusement, because the flesh of these birds always retained a repulsive odor of seaweed no matter how we tried to prepare it, and could be eaten only by those accustomed to it. However, having exhausted the entire supply of poultry obtained in Rio Janeiro [sic] we did not disdain the albatross; these birds would have been even more welcome had I not laid in a good supply of canned soups and both roasted and boiled meat. No navigator starting out on a long voyage should neglect these products."

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Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:46 am
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Post Re: Food and Drink
From Recollections of James Anthony Gardner: Commander R.N. 1775–1814:

"...we got rather hungry and went to our berth in the cockpit to stew beef steaks. This was done by lighting several pieces of candle in the bottom of a lantern, and sticking forks (not silver ones) in the table round it with a plate resting on them over the candles (the head of the lantern being off), which stewed the steaks remarkably well."

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Sun May 15, 2011 5:52 am
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Post Re: Food and Drink
susan wrote:
From Recollections of James Anthony Gardner: Commander R.N. 1775–1814:

"...we got rather hungry and went to our berth in the cockpit to stew beef steaks. This was done by lighting several pieces of candle in the bottom of a lantern, and sticking forks (not silver ones) in the table round it with a plate resting on them over the candles (the head of the lantern being off), which stewed the steaks remarkably well."



....now that's what I call ingenuity and improvisation. :)

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Wed May 18, 2011 12:55 pm
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Post Re: Food and Drink
Mil Goose wrote:
susan wrote:
From Recollections of James Anthony Gardner: Commander R.N. 1775–1814:
"This was done by lighting several pieces of candle in the bottom of a lantern, and sticking forks (not silver ones) in the table round it with a plate resting on them over the candles (the head of the lantern being off), which stewed the steaks remarkably well."

....now that's what I call ingenuity and improvisation. :)

One of my friends recently gave me the modern day equivalent (lantern with heating attachment bits) for my birthday. Now, I can reenact this scene if I happen to lose power during a storm or something. :D

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susan


Mon May 23, 2011 7:04 am
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