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The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries$
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Ralph Davis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497384

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497384.001.0001

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The Merchant Seamen

The Merchant Seamen

(p.105) Chapter 6 The Merchant Seamen
The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Ralph Davis

Liverpool University Press

This chapter studies the role of the crewmen in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by focussing on their identities, relationship with the sea, and career rewards. It begins by listing the quantities and duties of men on specific voyages, to highlight the variety in crew sizes and determine which roles were vital across all forms of shipping trade. It examines the living conditions of crew members; the specialisation of skills; the flux in intake during wartime; navigation apprenticeships; the possibilities of promotion; and the structure of crew hierarchies. It concludes that conditions for crewmen would vary between shipmasters, but that harsh treatment by the shipmaster would often spur crew members to seek promotions to their own command.

Keywords:   Maritime Labour, British Shipping Crews, Shipping Apprenticeships, Shipmasters, Maritime Labour Conditions

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