Skip to comments.Conditions in Nelson's navy uncovered by scientists
Posted on 09/03/2011 7:14:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Sailors in Admiral Nelson's navy were plagued by scurvy, ridden with syphilis and often mutilated by amputations but only a minority were from lowest social class, Oxford University archaeologists have found.
An examination of 340 skeletons from three 18th and 19th century Royal Navy graveyards found that a "surprisingly high" proportion suffered from scurvy and infected wounds.
The bones, excavated from sites in Greenwich, Gosport and Plymouth, also found that more than six per cent of sailors in Nelson's navy, were amputees, many of whom died as a result of operations that went wrong.
But despite uncovering evidence of syphilis, ulcers, serious tooth infections and possible malaria among the remains of the seamen, researchers said evidence indicated that only a minority came from the lowest rung of the social ladder.
The unprecedented scientific investigation into life below decks for Nelson's men, by researchers from Oxford and Cranfield Universities, will be broadcast tomorrow evening (SUN) in a Channel Four documentary, Nelson's Navy: Back From the Dead.
Individuals examined by the scientists included an 11-year-old boy who may have been a "powder monkey" transporting ammunition to gunners and a "top man" who worked at the top of the masts and most likely died by falling from the rigging during a battle.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
More than six per cent of sailors in Nelson's navy, were amputees, many of whom died as a result of operations that went wrongÂ Photo: ALAMY
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
Nelson was an amputee.
bump ya scurvy cag!
The ship was unheated save for one cook stove so it is no surprise that respiratory diseases were rampant among the crew and I would think that it was a far more debilitating cause of casualties than battle with the French or battle against the French disease (syphilis). Once impregnated with salt, the crew's clothes simply never got dry.
As one descends the decks he sees that the headroom shrinks at each level and probably explains why young boys were used as "powder monkeys", described in the article, because they could run at full speed without ducking to retrieve shot and powder from below during battle.
I recommend a visit To HMS Victory to anyone who has the opportunity.
Rum, sodomy and the lash.
I’ll be the first man to admit I could have NEVER made it as a sailor back in those days. Tough bastards all.
I haven’t toured HMS Victory, but seeing Old Ironsides made much the same impression. Can’t imagine living like that, especially sending kids to sea. Sailors must have been short.
Maybe the lower class sailors that were pressed into service were buried at sea?
To the weevil!
didn’t they also use women as “power monkeys” and who knows what else?
Just doesn’t seem proper to disturb “Royal Navy Graveyards” for such..... Sort of like digging up veterans at Arlington two hundred years from now isn’t it ?
“Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.”
Vice Admiral of the White The Right Honourable Horatio, Viscount Nelson, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Hillborough in the County of Norfolk, Duke of Bronte in the nobility of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit and a Knight of the Ottoman Empire’s Order of the Crescent,Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim, Colonel of the Marines, Freeman of Norwich, Bath, Yarmouth, London, Salisbury and Exeter.
Send me a post card. (but I'm glad some of mine did)
In fact to go further, I would not have gone WEST, lol. That mode of transportation (wagons),is not for me. (but again glad they did)
Always choose the lesser of two weevils.