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 Parliamentary Heel 
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Post Parliamentary Heel
Anybody have any idea how the term "parliamentary heel" came to be? So far as I can tell (and I'll rely on everyone here to clear up any misconception) it was in relation to heeling the ship for a bootopping.


Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:00 pm
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Post Re: Parliamentary Heel
Hi compassrose,

Your post the first time I've heard of it. Where did you come across it?

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susan


Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:01 pm
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Post Re: Parliamentary Heel
Well, I just Googled, & I found this here:
"Parliament, or parliamentary, heel, a makeshift method of cleaning or repairing the sides of a British naval ship of the era of sail when there was neither time nor opportunity to careen or dock her. She was heeled over by running the guns from one side of the ship over to the other side. Only the upper strakes could be cleaned since the maximum angle of heel with the ship still afloat was limited by the level of the lower gunports. According to an old belief, the name derived from the contempt in which parliamentary rule was held in the English Navy, implying that a half-done job was good enough to satisfy a parliamentarian. However, the more likely derivation is from the period of its introduction, the term coming into the British Navy during the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652–4) when England was governed by Cromwell's Parliament and when this process was much used. It did not spread into general use beyond the English Navy.
When, in 1782, HMS Royal George capsized and sank at Spithead with a great loss of life, she was undergoing a Parliament heel to carry out underwater repairs."

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Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:43 am
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Post Re: Parliamentary Heel
Thanks for tracking that down Alison.

I'll throw the term at a naval architect friend of mine the next time I speak to him. :)

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Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:25 am
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Post Re: Parliamentary Heel
Alison's post repeats Peter Kemp's opinion, expressed in the "Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea" (which, in turn, repeats the view of L.G. Carr-Laughton given in a 1939 issue of the "Mariner's Mirror"). It is probably all that we will get as both Carr-Laughton and Kemp would have done their best as far as research is concerned. The First Dutch War certainly would have seen many occasions when a hasty partial clean would have been nescessary and advantageous.


Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:30 am
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