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|Date:||10/24/2014 9:25:20 AM
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|Pirate Sam is going over some maritime charts.....
He hears a noise & suddenly turns to face YOU! Arrggghh! Are ya comin' back to hear about the Royal Navy's outlandish treatment of the men who sailed those ships? Well, get yer sea legs readied because we'll be lookin' at that right now!
Why serve for the Royal Navy?
That was the question fer every abled bodied man when looking for a job. Should I join Her Majesty's Royal Navy?. The treatment & payment of each individual sailor was shabby at best! It wasn't just the fact that the wages were so low, but also that collecting wages were extremely hard because the "authorities" would find a way to hang on to it as much as they could.
An ordinary seamen in the Royal Navy received 19s per month to be paid in a lump sum at the end of a tour of duty which was around half the rate paid in the Merchant Navy. However, corrupt officers would often "tax" their crews' wage to supplement their own & the Royal Navy of the day was infamous for its reluctance to pay. From their meager wages, 6d per month was deducted for the maintenance of Greenwich Hospital with similar amounts deducted for the Chatham Chest, the chaplain & surgeon. Six months' pay was withheld to discourage desertion.
ARGH!! That makes me blood boil! No wonder pirates had such mistrust of uniformed sailors! They be legal type pirates!
Holding a crewman's pay was proved an insufficient incentive as it was revealed in a report on proposed changes to the RN by Admiral Nelson. He wrote in 1803; he noted that since 1793 more than 42,000 sailors had deserted. Roughly half of all RN crews were pressganged & these not only received lower wages than volunteers but were shackled while the vessel was docked & were never permitted to go ashore until released from service. To be "pressedganged" meant that you were forced to serve on Her Majesties' Royal Navy.
While the Royal Navy was ripe with morale issues, some issues of the day about prize money were addressed in the "Cruizers and Convoys" Act of 1708. It handed over the share that usually went to the royalty that was in charge, now handed it over to those who captured the ship. Not to say that the Crown never got the money or some part of it, but it rarely happened. The judging or condemnation of a ship, its crew, and its cargo now was determined by the High Court of the Admiralty & this process remained in force with little change up to the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars
There was a great deal of money to be made this way.
the record breaker, admittedly before our wars, was the capture of the Spanish frigate the Hermione, which was carrying treasure in 1762. The value of this was so great that each individual seaman netted £485 ($1.4 million in 2008 dollars). The two captains responsible, Evans and Pownall, got just £65,000 each ($188.4 million).
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