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Mil Goose wrote:
".....1796. A team of one-legged Greenwich pensioners beat a team of one-armed Greenwich pensioners by 103 runs ....."

I found more about this match in the Annual Register for 1796.

It says that they were playing for a prize of 1000 guineas at the "new cricket-ground, Montpellier gardens, Walworth." After the match the one-legged men held a 100-yard race for 20 guineas, with the first three receiving prizes.

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Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:16 am
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susan wrote:
Mil Goose wrote:
".....1796. A team of one-legged Greenwich pensioners beat a team of one-armed Greenwich pensioners by 103 runs ....."

I found more about this match in the Annual Register for 1796.

It says that they were playing for a prize of 1000 guineas at the "new cricket-ground, Montpellier gardens, Walworth." After the match the one-legged men held a 100-yard race for 20 guineas, with the first three receiving prizes.



... thanks for that, Susan. I find the subject of the Greenwich Pensioners a fascinating one. I shall continue to delve.

How splendid it would be at the annual Festival of Remembrance if the Greenwich Pensioners still existed and stood beside the Chelsea Pensioners.

However, seeing as that cannot be I was delighted to find there is a painting of them together on the NMM site with a very fascinating description which is well worth reading.

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Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:09 am
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From Extracts from a Journal: Written on the Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico, in the Years 1820, 1821, 1822 by Basil Hall.

Describing the reactions of the officers and men when approaching Cape Horn. While the officers showed varying degrees of interest...

"The sailors in the meantime, habitually indifferent to everything of this nature, amused themselves with a noisy game of leap-frog along the deck."

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Tue Apr 11, 2006 7:25 am
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From The Private Journal of Captain G. F. Lyon, of H. M. S. Hecla (1824) by George Francis Lyon:

More cricket.

"Our officers and people had for some days past amused themselves by playing at cricket and foot-ball, and some lively matches took place, although as many tumbles were made as notches run."

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Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:31 am
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From Journal of H.M.S. Enterprise, on the Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin's Ships by Behring Strait: 1850–55 by Richard Collinson:

"The skittle alley proved a great resource to our people, giving them healthy exercise in a spot protected from the wind, which seldom admitted of our going abroad. Seeing that something was required to aid it, a billiard room was built, the table being formed of blocks of snow, the upper surface of which was puddled, and an ice rim frozen around it; fresh water was then poured upon it, which froze into a compact sheet; but many air-bubbles appearing on the surface, it had to be scraped; the pockets were then cut; and finding our ice cushions were not sufficiently elastic, the carpenter was not to be balked, but getting a walrus hide, and stuffing it with oakum, he made capital cushions; and then finding the grape-shot we had recourse to for balls too heavy, he produced some made out of our lignum vitae, which, considering he had no turning-lathe, quite surprised me. I do not suppose any of the men had ever played at billiards before, so they could not complain of the table; but the thing took admirably, and gave them what I wanted, occupation off the lower deck of their own accord."

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Sun May 28, 2006 7:03 am
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Post Swimming and Diving
Swimming and Diving -- From "The Life of a Sea Officer" by Jeffery Baron De Raigersfeld

The following incident took place when Raigersfeld was Captain’s Servant aboard HMS "Mediator" during 1783-1786. The ship was captained by Cuthbert Collingwood and on station at English Harbour, Antigua.

Whilst here, generally of an evening, the ship's company had permission to bathe alongside after the decks were cleared up, and it was very amusing to see with what alacrity the men stripped and plunged into the water, some from the fore part of the ship, whilst others, running up the fore rigging, would leap from off the fore and fore-top sail yardarms into the water feet foremost. One of the men used to go off the fore-fop gallant yardarm, a height of more than a hundred feet; and as there were stages alongside for the caulkers to caulk the ship's bends, I was constantly bathing from them five or six times a day, so that at last I became as good a swimmer as any on board, and no one except the man who jumped from the top gallant yard surpassed me, nor would lie probably have done so had not the officers forbidden my attempting it.

Raigersfeld was allowed to swim so often because he was indulged due to his young age (about 12).

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Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:49 pm
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From James Scott's Recollections of a Naval Life:

"Buffet the bear, leap-frog, wrestling, &c. were pursued by others; in short, every one was at liberty to amuse himself as he thought fit, the quarter-deck being alone kept sacred."

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Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:20 pm
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Post Riding Ostriches
Riding Ostriches -- From "The Life of a Sea Officer" by Jeffery Baron De Raigersfeld

The following incident took place when Raigersfeld was a midshipman aboard HMS "Vestal" about 1788. The ship was captained by Sir Richard Strachan and occurred during a stay of five or six weeks at the Cape of Good Hope.

During our stay here, I was asked by the man of the house where I lodged if I should like to ride upon an ostrich, my answer was yes, and I persuaded another young midshipman to accompany me: the next day, about nine in the morning, two large ostriches came to the door with a man to conduct them, whom we were told the ostriches would obey, and that we need be under no apprehensions. The birds were very tall and had a cloth over their necks, ever which we were lifted up and got astride, having a kind of bridle from the mouth of the bird to hold by; the man had a stick, and we set off at a gentle walk until we got clear of the town, and came to a soft white sand that lay at the westward of it; the man then told us we should ride a mile out, and a mile in, so off the birds went at a quick walk, and in a few minutes we were all three a the mile out, so turning about, the man began to run as fast as he could,, and the birds at a long trot, used their wings and went at a fine pace past the man until they came to where we set off from, and we were very glad it was over, as it shook us much. There were three of these birds kept here for this purpose, and the man made a great profit by them.

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Sun Jun 18, 2006 6:08 pm
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Post Re: Riding Ostriches
timoneer wrote:
Riding Ostriches -- From "The Life of a Sea Officer" by Jeffery Baron De Raigersfeld


During our stay here, I was asked by the man of the house where I lodged if I should like to ride upon an ostrich, .




....shades of the Swiss Family Robinson, eh!!! :wink:

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Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:50 pm
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From G.F. Lyon's A Brief Narrative of an Unsuccessful Attempt to Reach Repulse Bay, Through Sir Thomas Rowe's "Welcome," in His Majesty's Ship Griper (1825):

"We also sent our ponies, ducks, geese, and fowls on the ice, which in the forenoon presented a most novel appearance; the officers shooting looms [loons] as they flew past, and the men amusing themselves with leap frog and other games..."

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Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:44 am
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susan wrote:
From G.F. Lyon's A Brief Narrative of an Unsuccessful Attempt to Reach Repulse Bay, Through Sir Thomas Rowe's "Welcome," in His Majesty's Ship Griper (1825):

"We also sent our ponies, ducks, geese, and fowls on the ice, which in the forenoon presented a most novel appearance; the officers shooting looms [loons] as they flew past, and the men amusing themselves with leap frog and other games..."



...yes, looks like leap frog was popular. Hercules Robinson, on the Salvages, writes:

"...I clambered up the cliff to the green table land...the hot hazy sea was spread out on every side...nothing living was in sight but the gulls wheeling round my head, nor did any sound meet my ear, but the occasional distant shout of laughter from the men below, whose performances had by this time degenerated into 'skylarking' ...I saw down looking over upon my ship...and watched the men still digging and occasionally at leap-frog and at play....." **

I could have made that quote a lot shorter, but it sounded so idyllic I thought I would share it with you.


** Sea Drift

p.s inspired by Admiral Robinson, I surfed a bit to find out about the sea birds in that part of the Atlantic. Click here if this interests you.

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Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:13 am
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From The Journal of an Oriental Voyage, in His Majesty's Ship Africaine (1841) by Richard Blakeney, who was a Marine officer:

"We shot some albitrosses [sic], and caught others with a hook and line..."

But in a Hitchcockesque moment...they get their revenge.

"...they have been frequently known to attack men when over board, an instance of which occurred on our passage. A man fell from the fore chains, and in less than two minutes an abitross [sic] picked out his brains before assistance could be given."

Ouch.

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Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:51 am
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Mil Goose wrote:
...yes, looks like leap frog was popular.

I wonder why leap frog was so popular among sailors? I just noticed the following in "Recollections of My Sea Life from 1808 to 1830" by Captain John Harvey Boteler, R. N., edited by David Bonner-Smith:

"In the middle of the Belt [near Denmark] was an uninhabited island, Sproe; no great size, chiefly of fine turf, a pond or two, and myraids of frogs. Many of the ships had gardens on it; running the chance of reaping the produce, for it was an anchoring place of most ships; we used to land there for leap-frog and other games."

Unless the British sailor played it differently than the childhood game I remember, there is no manner of scoring or competition. It is basically just exercise. What am I missing?

BTW, this book, which I got through an ILL, is excellent so far. Interesting and well written.

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Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:41 am
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From Naval Surgeon. Cree writes in his journal entry for 27 Apr 1841:

"Dine with the 18th and after went over to Kowloon to see a cricket match between the officers of Navy and Army. The Chinese looking on appeared to be greatly interested."

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Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:25 am
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From Volume I of Memoir of the Life of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington (1873):

"During the long and severe winters which prevailed in Nova Scotia whilst the country was yet uncleared of wood, the principal diversion of the officers of such ships as were stationed at Halifax was in skating; and the string of lakes running inland from the side of the harbour opposite that town...offered great encouragement to the practice of that exercise."

I guess they weren't too keen on curling. :lol:

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Wed May 23, 2007 11:38 pm
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