The Swan Circle

A story of Georgian networking

“The greatest discovery made in Navigation”

18th Century Digressions, Military & Naval No Comments »

"It is said an Englishman is arrived from Spain (whose brother is now master ship-builder at Ferrol) who has invented a method to make the largest man of war go two knots an hour in a dead calm, or upon a lee-shore. We are told, it is the greatest discovery made in Navigation, for these many years.

 "The Spaniards were so sensible of the utility of his invention, that some considerable offers were made to him for imparting the Secret, which he rejected in favour of his native country; and when information was given that he intended to depart the kingdom, a messenger was dispatched from Madrid to stop him, but luckily he had sailed in the packet for England, a few hours before the order arrived."
 

Feb. 3-10 1759 The Universal Chronicle

 

An extraordinary tale of survival at sea

18th Century Digressions, Military & Naval 1 Comment »

Sailors praying after the Battle of the Nile

Glasgow, December 25. Copy of a letter from the Mate of an East-India ship to his wife in Cartsdyke, near Greenock.

My Dear,

   "This is to acquaint you that I am yet living; and I do think there is not on earth a more remarkable instance of the great mercy and goodness of God, than has been shewn in my preservation. I arrived in India the 15th of August, 1753 [?], and agreed to go Mate along with Capt.Hugh Kennedy, an old Comrade of mine in Virginia. I will be particular in my first voyage, and I hope you will chuse what follows to be put in the News-Papers, that all concerned may have a true and impartial account of the fate of their friends and relations.

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Apprentices and the Puritan Parliament

17th Century Digressions, Entertainment & Culture, Occupations & Trades No Comments »

In 1644 Parliament ordered the burning of all copies of the 'Book of Sports', withdrawing the right to engage in recreational activities on a Sunday. However apprentices, scholars and servants benefited from the following Ordinance of 1647:

An Additionall Ordinance of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament concerning Dayes of Recreation allowed unto Schollers, Apprentices and other Servants1647 Ordinance

'No Master shall wilfully detaine or with-hold his Apprentice or other Servant within doores or from his Recreation, unless Market daies, Faire daies, or other extraordinary occasion; yet so as such Master shall allow unto such Apprentice or other Servant one other day instead of such day employed in the service of his Master.'

The Parliament decreed that every second Tuesday of the month was to be a day's holiday, when all shops, warehouses, etc. were to be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Ordinance was prompted by a petition from the London apprentices presented on 22nd June and passed by Parliament on 28th June.They recognized that by abolishing the holy days of the church, the opportunities for recreational activities had been reduced

 

The suffering apprentice

18th Century Digressions, Occupations & Trades No Comments »

During the 18th century, it was commonplace for apprentices to suffer at the hands of their masters. What follows is a particularly nasty example from The Universal Chronicle dated 1759:

Thomas Jenkins, a pin-maker, was tried and found guilty, for assaulting and cruelly using Ann Townsend his apprentice, by running pins into her cheeks, arms, thighs, &c. confining her in a cold garret, and feeding her on bread and cold water, &c. The Court deferred passing sentence till the adjournment of the session, which will be on the 7th February.

Susanna Perwich – Further notes

17th Century Digressions, Entertainment & Culture No Comments »

As a follow-up post to the article on Susanna Perwich, it seems apt to include a number of factual omissions by Scholes. These were clearly not included in his text because they were probably deemed irrelevant to his purpose. After all, his argument was to briefly examine the freedoms that Susanna enjoyed in a restricted political and religious environment, to those of her continental counterparts.

  The Virgin Pattern is the main factual source for biographical details regarding the life of Susanna Perwich, and from it and from Mary Hays' Female Biography, we know that she was the daughter of Robert Perwich born 23rd September 1636 at Aldermanbury. The veracity of this and many of the other personal details, I have not checked. In her eighth year the family moved to Hackney, whereby they supervised the education of young ladies at a boarding school and where no doubt Susanna was initially taught and practised many of her skills. It seems that she not only excelled in music, but in writing, arithmatic and needlecraft.

 

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