The Early Modern Commons

British Tars, 1740-1790

Recent Posts

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...

Pets Afloat

8 October 2018

Middle-Deck of the Hector, Man of War, Thomas Rowlandson, 1782, National Maritime Museum.Thomas Rowlandson took a tour from his studio in London to the wreck of the Royal George in...


5 October 2018

The name Jack Tar comes from sailors' tarred clothing. There is no evidence, as yet, that garments were intentionally tarred for waterproofing, but sailing was an inherently dirty business....

The Hornpipe

6 September 2018

Detail from The Sailor's Fleet Wedding Entertainment, M. Cooper, 1747, Lewis Walpole Library.The Sailor's Hornpipe is arguably the most recognizable maritime tune in popular culture....