The Early Modern Commons

British Tars, 1740-1790

Recent Posts

Langrage and Improvised Projectiles

18 February 2019

Detail from The Battle of Ouessan, James Gillray, 1790, Yale University Lewis Walpole Library.For as long as man has used gunpowder in warfare, he has stuffed whatever would fit...

Wherever the Wind May Take Them: The Universality of Maritime Labor

11 February 2019

The Jovial Crew, Thomas Rowlandson, 1786, Royal Collection Trust.In his book The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy, N.A.M. Rodger wrote 'Men joined a King's ship or a merchant's...

The Call of Nature

10 December 2018

Sailors of the eighteenth century were just as human as the rest of us. That means they had to sleep, eat, drink, and relieve themselves.Given both the personal and mundane nature of...

Shore Party Armaments: The Cutlass

10 October 2018

'Figure of Eight' Naval Cutlass, c.1740-1750, Colonial Williamsburg.I recently received an inquiry regarding the carrying of cutlasses. Follower Brian McNamara, a maritime archaeologist...