The Articles of War (1757 version) rigidly commanded life in the Royal Navy. Flogging was the most common punishment. Previous versions of the articles as well as subsequent emendations are found here. Informative writings are: Life at Sea in the Royal Navy of the 18th Century by Andrew Lambert; Crime and Punishment (NelsonsNavy); Tyranny of the Lash? Punishment in the Royal Navy during the American War, 1776-1783 ((Northern Mariner, 9(#1, 1999): 53-66, based on primary sources)); and Forecastle and quarterdeck : protest, discipline and mutiny in the Royal Navy, 1793-1814. (PhD thesis, University of Warwick, 1990.)
Archive for November, 2014
These are volumes containing works that are not lengthy enough to get published by themselves. As is stated in the preface to the first of these volumes by the editor: “In the course of the last few years I have received from different quarters and have collected a variety of documents, individually too short for a volume and yet of such interest as to render it very desirable to lay them before the Society [Naval Records Society].” Two volumes are currently available freely online. The first, published in 1902, contains such material as the journals of Henry Duncan; extracts of the papers of Lord Hood; and letters from Lord Nelson. And the second volume, published in 1912, contains works by such luminaries as John Jervis and George Pringle.
Those of us who enjoy the various trials and travails of Stephen Maturin should be interested in this project from The National Archives – Surgeons at Sea: Royal Navy Medical Officers’ Journals. The Admiralty series that contains these documents, ADM 101, has been digitized (N.B., many of the files are quite large) though not transcribed, meaning that the journals are presented in their original form with no clear print version accompanying them. However, with each dated entry comes a summary of the pages for that particular day. There is a quite informative highlights guide that should be perused as well as four podcasts that shed additional light on the project and its contents.
Spanning the centuries from Henry VIII to the Napoleonic era, Select naval documents provides almost 150 documents culled from such repositories as The Public Record Office and the Calendar of State Papers, inter alia. You will find here Henry’s sea laws, Drake’s view on strategy, and several writings of Nelson. Within this one volume are signal documents that allow one to trace the development of the British navy into the power that it became.
Volume 12, published in 2013, is now online. It covers the American and European theaters from April 1 -May 31 1778 and contains the same elements as previous volumes.