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 Wages 
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Post Wages


From The Times of June 10th, 1785:

" ..... Seamen are so very much distressed for employment at this time, that very expert mariners have offered themselves to the merchants service so low as 16s per month ..."



Blake & Lawrence's The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy has seamen in the RN being paid, in 1793, 19 shillings a month. I always understand the merchant service to pay more, so does anyone have any idea how much in 1785 those "expert mariners" would have been taking a drop in pay?

I hasten to add that although the snippet does not mention East India Companies, I more or less assumed that they would be included in the companies being offered up to. Please feel free to correct me if you consider I am wrong in my assumption; I'm always keen to learn! :)




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Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:44 am
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Post Re: Wages
Mil!

The fall in merchant marine wages was presumably due to supply and demand. 105,443 men were voted for the navy in 1783, 65,677 in 1784 and 28,878 in 1785.

With some 76,000 ex-RN seamen thrown onto the labour market and looking for work as a result, ship owners would certainly have taken the chance to push wages down, particularly - when to meet the labour shortage caused by the RN was it was at its biggest - they would have been artificially inflated in wartime.

Wages apparently varied from port to port and from trade to trade. Nicholas Rodger in 'The Wooden World' says that average London wage was 25 shillings a month, rising to 60 shillimgs during the war; equivalent figures for Bristol being 30 shillings and 35 shillings.

Brian Vale


Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:13 am
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The Times, July 23rd, 1785:

" .... Yesterday Dapt. David Tolme of the Indian Company's ship Resolution, attended the Court of Directors, and delivered in his account of seamens wages, which amounted to 13,920l. This ship has been out near six years. ...







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