The History of Leith

September 26, 2007

Life in the 18th-century royal navy


Winston Churchill, it is said, uttered the immortal phrase: ‘Naval tradition? Monstrous! Nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash!’ But by the time he came to reflect on the subject, the reality of life at sea in the late 18th and early 19th century had long passed from human memory. In the intervening years, it had been recreated by a series of graphic first-hand accounts and then distilled into an accepted wisdom by the poet John Masefield in his classic 1905 book Sea Life in Nelson’s Time. for more click here

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