Up with the Rogers! A Brief History of British Pirates

As Black Sails comes to an end, I have decided to write something on pirates to deal with the emotional rollercoaster but thoroughly enjoyable five series which have created in many ways the best filmed interpretation of pirates in filmography. Not only because the show is incredibly clever in blending in literary narrative (let’s remember this is all a pretense for Treasure Island) and history, but because it is generally crafted with greatness in terms of scenery, characterisation and dialogue. As you all know, representation and perception in cultural studies is my thing, and I could go on a massive rant about audience and cultural citizenship…Perhaps another time. Today I am just going to talk about some of the most famous British pirates. Why them? Well, I find them to be peculiar characters, some of which are represented in the show, but mostly because of the stereotype of pirate accent. Most of us will think of pirates and immediately have that distinctive sound form in our ears. Well, the reason why this may have become a favoured characteristic pirate depiction is because many pirates, privateers and buccaneers actually came from the UK; particularly places with a long maritime tradition such as the West Country (Cornwall, Devon, etc.). As you may know if you are a Brit, those are areas with pretty stong, recognisable accents – and that is what now has created your “aarrrgghhhh, matey” sound. But if you do not believe, well, check these guys out. *Disclaimer: I am not going to talk about Edward Teach, aka “Black Beard” because he is a better known and remembered figure*.

Henry Every – aka “The Arch Pirate”

He was born in Plymouth in 1659. Considered by many perhaps the most successful pirate of all – and perhaps the inspiration for Treasure Island itself – Every started his career at sea as a sailor and slave trader. A man of opportunity, he mutinied whilst on board of the Charles II in 1694. As a consequence he found himself elected captain of this renown ship. Unlike our pirates from Black Sails, he made most of his infamous career at the Indian ocean, which eventually lead him to his most incredible enterprise: the seizing of the Ganj-i-Sawai. This was a type of trading ship known as a Ghanjah dhow, and belonged to the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Every not only managed to seize the treasure ship, but also its escort ship, the Fateh Muhammed. The feat is, nonetheless, impressive. The ship Every commanded, The Fancy, counted with 46 guns, which against the 62 in the Ganj-i-Sawai ought to have perished. However, luck wa son their side, as it seems at least one (if not more) canons of the treasure ship exploded during their fight against the pirate giving them a considerable advantage due to the structural damage and chaos on board. Historian Jan Rogozinski has estimated that the amount Every gained from this attack is somewhere between $200-400 million, making him the richest pirate in history. And just as Every comes and succeeds in 1695, he suddenly disappears, ship and treasure included, in 1699. Where to and how is something that scholars are still trying to find a plausible answer for.

Bartholomew Roberts, aka “Black Bart”

A Welshman born in 1682 in Casnewydd Back, he became a pirate when he was captured along with the rest fo the crew he was part of by Captain Howell Davis (yet another Welsh pirate). Eventually he came to lead his own crew on board of his own vessel, the Royal Fortune. Roberts’ area of influence spread from Nova Scotia to Brazil. His success, unlike Every’s, is remarkable due to the number of ships capture rather than treasure accumulate. Forbes have estimates that Black Bart would have accumulated some $32 million. However, he has been attributed the top amount of 470 ships captured. Roberts did also build a reputation for “dressing to the nines before combat” according to Pat Kinsella. Nevertheless Black Bart will meet his fate for all the crimes committed in his pursue of piracy, at the hands of a top man of the Royal Navy: Captain Chaloner Ogle. February 1722, Battle of Cape Lopez, the British man-of-war The Swallow overpowers the Royal Fortune off the coast of Gabon. The battle was not all that deadly, but Bart gets caught in the range of cannon fire from the British very early in the battle, meeting his very own pirate death at sea.

John Rackham, aka “Calico Jack”

This is one for the Black Sails fans, for Jack was actually a real pirate. He was born in England around 1682, and is best known for three things. The first one which will always go down in pirate history (real or popular) is his design of the Jolly Rogers. The second one will be something else the tv viewers will be aware of: the two feisty ladies that were at the core of his crew. Mary Read and Anne Boney – we have talked about this previously so I will not go into details, but check this out https://nuhistory.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/the-bulldagger-of-the-harlem-rennaissance-the-gay-emperor-the-bisexual-pirate-and-the-blonde-bombshell/

The other thing for what Jack is famous is what gives him his nickname “calico”. This would have been for one (or probably both) of these reasons: the fact that he had a taste for flashy and colourful garments, or his previous background as a textile smuggler. Interestingly, the series touches upon both of this facts: Jack often appears wearing interesting clothes in comparison to the likes of Flint and Vane, and he does tell the audience of his origins back in England where his father used to be a tailor and how he got tangled up with the wrong people for pursuing seemingly illegal deals. Money wise, Rackham is pretty down the ladder. Forbes estimated an amount of $1.6 million in accumulated wealth. However, you may be pleased to know that the series has treated Jack with a fair amount of accuracy and respected. His ship was indeed the Revenge, and he used to be Charles Vane quartermaster, whom he actually deposed after retreating from a French man-of-war whilst raiding the coast of Jamaica. Like many other pirates, Rackham met his end with a nose around his neck charged of piracy, treason and other crimes against the crown. He was hanged in Port Royal with several members of his crew on the 18th of November 1720.

Samuel Bellamy, aka “Black Sam”someone else noticed the several black-something pirates in history?

Born in 1689 in Devon – (I wonder what is it with Devon and interesting Bellamy’s…Muse anyone?), Black Sam was best known for his fighting style that involved stashing his sash with 4 loaded duel pistols; just in case. As a good Devonshire man, Bellamy was a former sailor for the Royal Navy, who joined the crew lead by the renown Benjamin Hornihold. In a similar way to Rackham, Sam raises to power following Hornigold’s refusal to attack English ships, therefore leading the aspiring pirate to take control over the Marianne. He only kept his title of captain for a year, but in this time he managed to capture 5 ships, and was acclaimed by his followers for his generosity when splitting the loot. Total earnings? Just the modest amount of around $120 million. Nevertheless, Black Sam met a pretty nasty, although common death for people of his trade: he drowned at sea during a storm in 1717.

I hope what you get out of this is that, there were many pirates beyond Black Beard. And that these men were clearly not just savages, but sharp people capable of great feats. Whether you agree with their cause or not. I hope that as series like Black Sails become popular, a genuine interest for the subject grows to demystify them and bring those personal stories of freedom, success and well, sometimes infamy, to the forefront without disdain from our peers.

Battle of Jutland: May 31st 1916

The Battle of Jutland took place on the 31st May 1916 during the First World War. The battle saw two of the greatest and largest fleets in history come together which saw a huge loss of life and a battle which both sides claimed victory. I enjoy naval history, my family have served in the navy or been in naval disasters, with a relative who died on the Hood when it exploded from a shell from the Bismarck, another who died on the Titanic, and with my Great-Uncle and a Grandfather both being chief-engineers in the Navy and merchant navy, and many others working in Sheppey and Chatham dockyards, the opportunity to write about Jutland was one I could not simply miss. So I hope this brief blog will give an insight into the battle.

The English fleet was classed as the best and the most efficient of the time, however this can be easily contested as just as another Victorian tradition, which Eric Hobsbawm argues; that by the beginning of the 20th century, the navy was tactically and technologically behind other European states, but the idea of Britannia ruling the waves prevailed. This is important to note, as it could be argued that the British were complacent in their ship design because of this belief.

As tensions rose at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, it could be seen that England had involved itself with an arms race with Germany before the war had started. J.R. Jones, a leading historian in the field of the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the seventeenth centuries, states that ‘a study of the Rumps reaction to the Dutch decision to set out a massively expanded fleet in 1652 would have warned the Kaiser and Tirpitz that the enlarged High Seas Fleet would be seen in Whitehall as a provocative challenge to be met. The Anglo-Dutch War is an important comparison, as it allows us to see many similarities as well as noting the age-old idea that history repeats itself. So, with both nations building dreadnoughts and super dreadnoughts, it was inevitable that both navies would clash at some point and when both navies met at Jutland, it would be hard to predict who would win.

Before the battle itself is discussed, the location must be analysed. The battle took place in the North Sea, off the coast of Denmark and just below Norway. This battle was important because it would decide who controlled the North Sea, and this is very significant, mainly due to the fact that Germany needed supplies from its colonies and other countries which could only be sent via the North Sea. Therefore if England had won the battle, the Germans would effectively be blockaded, whilst if the Germans had won, then the North Sea would be open to trade and supplies. It can be seen that Jutland was an extremely important battle, and one that could be argued as a turning point in the war.

My details on the battle come from a variety of sources, such as the BBC and the History channel. I will however try to briefly describe what happened that the battle, to give a summary of events. It can be noted that the English did have an advantage in the battle, they in fact enjoyed a ‘numerical advantage over the German High Sea Fleet of 37:27 in heavy units and 113:72 in light support craft.’ This is quite a large difference in numbers, but if you have studied any military history, then you would know that numbers do not necessarily mean victory. However the British Grand Fleet also enjoyed the advantage of having broken German signal codes.

The battle itself can be described in two very distinct phases. The first phase took place at 4:48 p.m. The scouting forces of Vice Admirals David Beatty and Franz Hipper located each other around in the Skagerrak, otherwise known as Jutland, and started a running artillery duel at around fifteen thousand yards. What was noted during this duel was the impressive craftsmanship of the German ships. It was noted that Admirals Hipper’s ships took a severe pounding but survived due to their superior honeycomb hull construction. The German ships were not surprisingly better made the their English counterparts, which would lose three battle cruisers, with the reasons being that there was a lack of antiflash protection in the gun turrets, which allowed fires started by incoming shells to reach the powder magazines. The English Admiral Beatty commentated stating that “[t]here seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today.” In this first phase, the superiority of the German fleet was made known, even with fewer numbers; they outgunned the British fleet and survived the British firepower. It does question the notion of England ruling the waves, which I argue as a historian was never really the case.

The second phase started at around 7:15pm. Admiral John Jellicoe used the advantage of the fading light to outmaneuver the German fleet and cut them off from their home base, and causing damage to the German flagship. However, the German fleet escaped this hangman’s noose, which can be only described as great seamanship and leadership. However by the end of the battle, losses were heavy, British losses amounted to 6,784 men and 111,000 tons, and German losses to 3,058 men and 62,000 tons. If we look at the battle as terms of what was lost, the British lost, but battles are never that simple, and with the German fleet retreating to port, it allowed the British to keep a blockade on German ports, which would prove disastrous to the German nation, with food supplies running low.

The battle lead Germany to change naval tactics to that of the U-boats and raiding, which reminds us a lot of the Second World War. The Battle of Jutland was the only major naval battle of the First World War, but it was decisive, it saw the British Navy claim the seas, even though the losses on the British side were much higher than that suffered by Germany. Eric Hobsbawm’s idea of the invented tradition seems to be justified by the battle, Britain no longer had the best fleet, Jutland proved that the British ships were inferior to their German counterparts, but the sheer quantity of ships and manpower gave the British a slight advantage. The German admirals were as efficient as their British counterparts. Finally the battle saw a huge loss of life for both sides all because of the arms race that happened a decade before. The rivalry between European states, would lead to the largest and one of the most devastating naval battles in our history.

Bygdøy Museums in Oslo: 4 Exhibitions in 1 day

Welcome to another post related to our recent trip to the Norwegian capital! Today I will be giving you a quick review and visit to these 4 fantastic museums that are all placed in the peninsula of Bygdøy. You can get there either by boat service or on the bus, takes about 10-20 minutes from Oslo’s city centre depending on the method of transport that you take and the time of the day. These are the museums Alex and I wanted to see, but there are some more, so you could certainly get 2 days worth of visits in this area if you really wanted – we simply did not have time for the Holocaust Centre or the Maritime Museum! Now, I appreciate that 4 museums in one day seems like a lot, but do not let this scare you away, they are all actually not very big museums at all. And if you are willing to stretch the area of Bygdøy to a 2 day affair, then you can spread them out even more.

Let me give you a breakdown of our schedule for that day: Viking Ship Museum dead on the opening hour at 10:00 am, we finished there around 11:30 am, and walked for a couple of minutes to the Norwegian Folk Museum. We were done there by after lunch, around 1:oo pm roughly. Then we headed for the waterfront and decided we had time to see the Fram Museum, where we spent a little bit more than an hour. Finally we landed next door to the Kon Tiki Museum right before 3, having an hour exactly until the museum closed – we did not miss anything terribly important, apart from the film showing of the Oscar-winning documentary, for which they have specific shows during the day. In any case, the visit were not overwhelming (this was Alex’s judgement, not mine! He is the saner one, you can trust him), and the ship thematic really worked well, highlighting the individual contexts and really bringing forward how important boats have been for the Norwegian nation throughout all of history, and for different purposes. Now I wont go mad, expect a few pictures, videos and text reviewing out experience. In any case, I hope you get if nothing else a glimpse of a very interesting cultural enterprise!

Viking Ship Museum

I could not be happier than seen the fascinating viking age ships that have made such a deep mark in historiography – I was there, and with the ones from Denmark, this is all something I can tick off the list of things to do in life. The museum itself is not very big, and it does not have loads of material in exhibition, or explanatory panels, but to be honest – if you’re here is because you want to see the ships, and they are totally work the visit. This will only be a teaser as I have plans for a combo update with the ships of Roskilde too, so here you go:

Oseberg burial ship, in all its glory.
Oseberg burial ship, in all its glory.

It was incredibly difficult to photograph the boats with my incredibly poor equipment – aka my phone – so I decided at some point that video was useful – my comments and difficult for words show how boggled I was at this. Vid. 1 – Gokstad. Vid.2 – new museum competition.

Thinking about the future! Conscious effort of preserving the past, which I prominently saw all across different museums in Oslo.
Thinking about the future! Conscious effort of preserving the past, which I prominently saw all across different museums in Oslo.
One of the carved head posts from the burials at Oseberg and Gokstad.
One of the carved head posts from the burials at Oseberg and Gokstad.
One of the burial wagons - simialr to those from the Nationalmuseet in Copenhagen.
One of the burial wagons – similar to those from the Nationalmuseet in Copenhagen.

All in all a fantastic place, but I would recommend now, knowing that they are planning on remodelling soon, that you wait and visit when that is sorted. Unless you are dying to go, in which case hurry up!

Norwegian Folk Museum

This was a very pleasant visit – very similar style and idea to the Open Air Museum in Copenhagen, but with more exhibitions. They have 2 buildings with small exhibits regarding local history about the Saami, the history of regional costume, and other items from Norway’s history from a domestic, rural and cultural point of view. This place has much more activity during the summer months – they have daily activities and different areas of the museum open. Some places were being improved or restored so I would suggest this may be better suited for warmer seasons. In any case, it was very quaint.

Displays from the Saami exhibition.
Displays from the Saami exhibition.

Buildings from the reconstructed Old Town.

Buildings from the reconstructed Old Town.

The Starve Church - my main reason for oming to this place. Absolutly glorious.
The Starve Church – my main reason for coming to this place. Absolutely glorious.

Fram Museum

Considered the best museum in Norway (period), this was not scheduled but as we had some time spare, we decided we should not go without seeing it. The museum is dedicated to the Norwegian expeditions to both poles, and I must say that, although it is really not my area of expertise, it was a great experience. I have taped most of our interaction in the museum, simply because it was fairly difficult due to the layout to take decent pictures. In addition, the museum is very modern in its approach to the story it tells so taping it allowed me to reflect this a bit better. I have to say, as a piece of contextualisation and suiting purpose to the materials displayed, is probably one of the best museums I have been in the last few years that achieves this greatly. The actual Fram ship is the centre piece o the exhibition – inside it there are displays from cabinets and objects within the boat, while the 3 levels created around the ship talk about the different expeditions. They even have an area dedicated for children to feel like a pole explorer. Overall, this museum gets a 5 star rating. And on a last comment, the museum shop is absolutely terrific, with some great books on the subject which are difficult to find elsewhere – so if you stop by, do consider taking some of those gems home with you.

The Fram.
The Fram.
Example of the varied displays from the museum, these metal sheets creating timelines and conecting pictures really bring forward the information while keeping some sort of modern nautical spirit.
Example of the varied displays from the museum, these metal sheets creating timelines and connecting pictures really bring forward the information while keeping some sort of modern nautical spirit.

The Kon-Tiki Museum

This is a museum that every humanist should visit – in my very modest opinion. This is the story of a man who did not give up his theory and vision despite the odds and the criticisms. This is the story of a man who even put his life at risk to proof a valid point regarding the interactions between the people in South America and the Pacific Islands, and beyond. Thor Heyerdahl, man and legend, and the work of a life time, all neatly displayed in this museum, with no ostentation, and no oversimplification of the matter, which is not easily achieved. The man who picked a raft boat and proved his peers wrong, or at least created reasonable doubt. If you can make it for the documentary showing, I am sure you would not regret it – unfortunately we could not make it, which I regret. But in any case the museum is worth a visit, they have the preserved balsas that Thor got made for his historical experiments, as well as some information regarding his involvement in the Easter Island archaeological excavation. This is not only a biographical piece about the man, but also a top piece of ethnographic, anthropological and archaeological research in a subject perhaps not very prominent in Europe.

Ra II - the boat with which Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic in 1970 trying to prove that there could have been a cultural interaction between the old mediterranean cultures such as Egypt the Americas.
Ra II – the boat with which Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic in 1970 trying to prove that there could have been a cultural interaction between the old mediterranean cultures such as Egypt the Americas.
The Kon Tiki expedition balsa.
The Kon Tiki expedition balsa.
Displays from the museum - the pannels are concise but present enough information. The objects perhaps are not displayed in the best way, but it works.
Displays from the museum – the panels are concise but present enough information. The objects perhaps are not displayed in the best way, but it works.

And that is all for today folks – I hope these brief looks at these 4 amazing exhibitions gets your wanderlust going so you embark in your own cultural expedition to Norway. See you in the next update!

German U-Boats in World War One

During the first world war maritime warfare underwent a technical change that led them to becoming a revolutionised weapon. Both the British and Germans used them to lead attacks on other submarines, merchant ships and battleships. World War One was the first time submarines are used for a significant amount of time in battle or skirmishes. The German submarines entertained a distinguished success in managing to halt and destroyed almost half of all food and supplies carried by the British Merchant Navy. Even though they had similar purposes they should not be confused with the Austro-Hungarian submarines.

Unterseeboot, or ‘U-Boat’/’Undersea Boat’, had several naval stations on German coast lines, and the Germans had a total of 29 boats at the beginning of the war. Most were manufactured in Brugge Harbour but requirements for more submarines meant that development grew to involve Zeebrugge and Oostende Harbours. Each piece of the submarines was designed and built inland in German factories and then transported to the harbour were they would be fitted together piecemeal. A large amount of naval manufacturing took place in these harbours since torpedoes and destroyer boats were also constructed large-scale here. Even though they were crucial in damaging enemy naval war ships they were mostly designed for commercial warfare, as the main aim was to sink merchant ships from between Britain, America and Canada.

The U-boat Campaign during World War One took place during the entire four years. It mostly took place in the waters around Britain and in the Mediterranean since these were the busiest channels for sea port trade. Since both Germany and England relied on imports for food and fertilizer, the general idea was to blockade each other and sink the ships. Pre-War England had a vastly superior navy, something that had been built up to prestige over some five hundred years. This meant it was vital for Germany to catch up in naval aspects in order to successfully unhinged Britain’s trading standards. This they did with swift renovations to their underwater ships. In August 1914 the first ever submarine flotilla patrol took place by German U-boats with the aim to sink the British Grand Fleet’s premium ships. However U-15 subs failed in the one attack that took place with torpedoes missing their mark. The Germans knew that merchant ships in the Mediterranean had to make stops in places like Crete, Gibraltar, Malta and navigate the Suez canal. It was around these areas that were targeted in order to disallowed British and neutral ships to pass. U-33, U-39 and U-35 were responsible for taking control of the Mediterranean commercial fleets.

The second attack taking place mere days after the announcement of War between England and Germany was broadcast. On the 5th of September HMS Pathfinder was sunk by U-21, the first of which to be done by a self-propelled torpedo. The next biggest was during the 1915 Gallipoli campaign when the U-21 sank two pre-dreadnaught battleships, one the most lethal battleships in the English and American navy. Commercial warfare began in 1915 when the Kaiser declared the waters surrounding the British Isles to be a series of war zones. This meant merchant ships could be attacked without warning and without provocation even if they are ships declared neutral. However restrictions had to replaced onto submarine movements and attacks when a SM U-20 sank an American civilian ship the RMS Lusitania and SS Sussex. Part of the Sussex Pledge the Germans were forced to do was to limit submarine fleets. The Germans resorted to surfacing submarines while in battle which led to a small victory at the Battle of Jutland. Despite winning the battle the British Grand Fleet was still in control of British waters. Therefore the Germans went back to just targeting merchant ships. This succeeded with several million tonnes of shipping destroyed up until 1918. 1917 saw a reversion to unrestricted submarine warfare but by armistice the Germans had failed to deplete the British resources enough. This meant on the declaration of peace in 1918 all the German submarines had to surrender and sail to the British submarine port at Harwich. The decisive moment was when Japan joined the Allies in 1917 who were strongly anti-submarine. The Japanese fleets aided by the French and Italian was successful in patrolling the Mediterranean and blockading the Germans.

Most of the U-boats the Germans created were studied at great length ensuring some of the more technical aspects were taken into consideration when upgrading the British submarines. Much was scrapped in aid in use as building materials and the rest was sold to Allied navies. The last moment to take place by the German Submarines during World War One was to stage and suppress a naval mutiny since the loss of so many ships destroyed naval morale.

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The Historic Dockyard at Portsmouth was a place I have been meaning to visit since first year and I eventually got around to it on a beautiful yet chilly January weekend (as the above photo suggests)! The dockyard is home to one of the world’s oldest dry docks that was commissioned during the reign of Henry Vii in 1495. It houses the remains of the ill-fated Mary Rose and Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory. In the past Portsmouth has played a substantial role for defending the south coast of Britain throughout the years and still remains as an important base for the Royal Navy today. The following documents my key features of the day

Mary Rose

The Mary Rose was a Tudor warship that was completed during the early years of Henry Viii’s reign. It was thought to have been named after Henry’s favourite sister Mary. In spite of the ship sinking off the coast of Portsmouth, it had survived other previous campaigns against the French since 1512. During one of the earlier campaigns the Mary Rose was considered to have been a fast and nimble ship of the English fleet. However it is still best remembered for sinking at the Battle of the Solent on 19th July 1545. So how did the Mary Rose meet her downfall?

During the third war with France the French fleet under the orders of Admiral Claude d’Annebault set sail for England in July 1545 with 128 ships. The English fleet swiftly sailed back to Portsmouth harbour after not being able to oppose the French without heavy galleys. However the waters of the Solent made the situation far worse. The English fleet had only thirteen small galley ships to confront the French and was commanded by two larger ships, one being the Mary Rose. Unfortunately the wind force was particularly strong that day and the very early on during the battle the ship leaned sideways into the Solent and water started to come in through the open gun ports. Many men perished as the Mary Rose sank and it was estimated that 90% of the men on board died. It has been argued that more men might have survived if the anti-boarding netting was not on the sides of the ship. As well as open gun ports other suggestions have been put forth to determine why the Mary Rose sank so quickly. Some contemporary accounts suggest the crew did not listen to orders to other suggestions that the French actually succeeded in bombing the ship and as a result the Mary Rose sank.

Bones-

From the wreckage the Mary Rose is considered to be a snapshot in time. Many objects had been found from this period which include arrows, chests and even a variant of the game backgammon. For instance we can learn a lot about the men who were on the ship from the bones that have since been recovered. Common features that have been determined by the bones of Tudor seamen suggest many had rickets as the shape of the bones towards the lower leg bowed outwards, suggesting many men had a Vitamin D deficiency due to their diet and most likely from their life at sea. Other findings from the bones suggest scurvy, malnutrition and fractures too were common.

HMS Victory

HMS Victory was a ship that was launched in 1765. In spite of being launched in 1765 and experiencing battles at Ushant, Cape Spartel and Cape St Vincent. However she is best known as being the flagship of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Wishing not be buried at sea Lord Nelson wished to be buried on land after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar. In order to preserve his body for burial he was placed in a cask that contained alcohol until HMS Victory made it back to England.

Punishment at sea on the HMS Victory-

Who would visit the HMS Victory without mentioning one the Royal Navy’s infamous disciplinary procedures, the Cat o’ nine tails. The Cat o’ nine tails was a multi-tailed rope that was used for physical punishment and weighed roughly 370 grams. They were administered on deck so that the crew would watch the punishment taking place it was thought this helped to deter other troublemakers of the crew witnessed the Cat. Boys at sea were however spared the Cat o’ nine tails but they were not spared an alternative form of physical punishment. They received a similar module to the Cat but it was made of softer rope and contained five tails not nine. Although a huge crowd did not gather for this punishment it was still however humiliating for the troublemaker as they were usually canned on their rear end. In order to stop the spread of infection salt was rubbed into the wounds of men. The whole point of this practice was to aid the perpetrator’s pain but salt added to the punishment as it made the wound sting further.