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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 Pay and Conditions of Merchant Seamen

The Pay and Conditions of Merchant Seamen

(p.127) Chapter 7 The Pay and Conditions of Merchant Seamen
The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Ralph Davis

Liverpool University Press

This chapter studies the conditions of crewmen during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries through the systems of payment and wages. It explores the methods by which wages were calculated - such as through shares of the ship’s earnings or payment in lump sum, often the case for shorter voyages. It finds that peace and wartime rates differed, and seeks to determine the reasons for the stability of peacetime wages. It then breaks down the crew roles and their payment rates, and compares the difference between master, mate, and carpenter wages. It give further attention to legislative regulation; advance payments; contributions to social security; and portage. The relationship between wages for slave trade cargoes also comes under consideration, due to disputes over crew requests to carry slaves freight free. Finally, it looks at the difficulties and dangers of the seafaring life, in order to determine why so many men took the risks involved in a career at sea.

Keywords:   Maritime Labour, Maritime Wages, Seafaring Wages, Slave Trade, Maritime Labour Conditions

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