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Uniforms of the Royal Navy and Marines circa 1724?


timboat
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I'm interested in making 3d models of British Sailors and Marines from around 1724.  Does anyone have any references?

 

I know there was no set standard for the Navy before 1748 but I image it was very similar to that but tailored in early 18th century fashion.  I'm sure the sailors wore descent clothing but nothing special like the officers.  The only real reference I've found was the Blackbeard painting with Maynard.

 

How about the Marines?  I've only been able to find fragments of what they wore.

Edited by timboat
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You're after sailors and marines rather than officers?

 

Unfortunately they usually don't get much notice from contemporary sources - only the Important People do.

 

But you might try looking for contemporary paintings of naval actions and see if any have scenes on-deck, rather than of the overall action (something like an earlier version of the scene on the deck of the Victory at Trafalgar). 

 

You might find something worthwhile either here or in the links from it, though I think most of them are too late for what you have in mind.

 

The top picture here is of a midshipman from 1731. That's the closest I've been able to get so far.

 

Here's a site that has contemporary pictures of buccaneers, filibustiers etc, many of whom are of the "lower classes". Mostly French, I'm afraid, but might help. And another here which could be of use, though they cover a wide range of dates.

 

And a site with a couple of pictures of the 17th-18th century uniforms of the Royal Marines (Prince George of Denmark was married to Queen Anne of Britain).

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly
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There's a book of contemporary paintings.. Fighting Ships by Sam Willis that contains many deck scenes with Marines and sailors.    I've seen a few sites such as:  http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2014/october/20/141020-royal-marines-uniforms

 

and this: https://www.google.com/search?q=royal+navy+uniform+history&biw=1374&bih=746&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjW6L3kz93PAhUJ1CYKHTREBAoQsAQIOAshould lead you in the right direction.

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And some more - here from a couple of decades before your time period, and here from a couple of decades after. They're not all that different, and maybe you can interpolate the details and come up with something appropriate for the time in between.

 

Are these for a ship you're building?

 

Steven

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And an ordinary sailor seems generally to have worn either floppy trousers (slops) or petticoat breeches, a shirt and most likely a Monmouth cap, plus presumably a jacket when it was cold (info from here.

 

By the way the word "slops" comes from their originally being made in Shropshire, otherwise known as  "Salop" -

 

from Wikipedia:

 

Salop is an old name for Shropshire, historically used as an abbreviated form for post or telegrams, it is thought to derive from the Anglo-French "Salopesberia". It is normally replaced by the more contemporary "Shrops" although Shropshire residents are still referred to as "Salopians".

 

 

Steven 

Edited by Louie da fly
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Maybe they didn't. I think that's more Hollywood than reality. I don't know enough about Samurai to comment, but our ideas of pirates are formed more from fiction than fact. As far as the military goes, well, red's a bright colour; but maybe there were plenty of other coloured sashes as well.

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They wore sashes to wipe the blood off their sword blades before they put them back in the scabbards.

 

Long time ago I watched a youtube video on medieval sword myths that made a lot of sense.  One myth being knights stabbing the sword into the ground to pray.  He pointed out why would a knight take a sword with a sharp edge, the same sword he uses to defend himself, and stab it into rocks, sand and dirt.  He also pointed out they wouldn't take a sword blade full of blood, which is salty and corrosive to steel, and stick it back in their scabbards, which were made out of wood.  The blood not only would rust the blade it would dry like glue and make the sword stick in the scabbard.  So they would use a cloth or a rag to wipe the blade off first.  Made a lot of sense to me, so I filed that away.

 

Last Halloween my office dressed up as pirates and I took the practical approach to my attire.  Wondering why pirates wore sashes I came to the conclusion it was to clean their cutlasses before they put them back in the scabbard.  Other cultures and militaries of that time, including Samurai, sometimes wore sashes too.  I guess after militaries wearing them for so long they became more of a decoration than a necessary item with different colors to signify different units or ranks.  I guess you could say it was a form of a belt, but why didn't they use a normal, leather belt like everyone else?  And while Hollywood may have made the imagine of pirates with sashes popular, I would imagine Hollywood got this idea from somewhere.  At least this is my theory.

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When in doubt, refer to either contemporary sources, which could be of mixed veracity::

 

Defoe, Daniel, and Charles Johnson. 1724. A General History of the Pyrates, : From Their First Rise and Settlement in the Island of Providence, to the Present Time. With the Remarkable Actions and Adventures of the Two Female Pyrates Mary Read and Anne Bonny ... To Which Is Added. A Short Abstract of the Statute and Civil Law, in Relation to Pyracy... London: : Printed for, and sold by T. Warner... http://archive.org/details/generalhistoryof00defo.

 

post-18-0-46083600-1478600524.jpg

 

post-18-0-17693100-1478600525_thumb.jpg

 

post-18-0-91109100-1478600525.jpg

 

Or Scholarly research:

 

Little, Benerson. 2012. “Eyewitness Images of Buccaneers and Their Vessels.” The Mariner’s Mirror 98 (3): 312–26. doi:10.1080/00253359.2012.10709007.

 

 

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Charles Johnson's book is a wealth (or should we say a "treasure chest"?) of knowledge and insight in to the lives of pirates.  I'm currently listening to the audio book on youtube.  I found the story of Mary Read to be very interesting.  It's a shame movie makers are so focused on making lame movies with explosions and lens flares instead of stores like Mary Read or even Sam Bellamy.

 

That being said, I realize his book is based on his research and point of view, and my not include evidence of them wearing sashes if they did.  This is just a theory of mine on a practical reason why they would have worn them.

 

I'm really curious about this painting of Blackbeard and Maynard by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, who is known for historical paintings.  Even though it was created in 1920 it is very accurate.  The Royal Navy uniforms are accurate being made of common shoes, stockings, breeches, period accurate waist coat and frock coat.  Blackbeard himself is wearing normal shoes contrary to cavalier boots that are usually depicted, slops and a frock coat.  I'm very curious where Ferris got the idea to paint a sash.

 

Capture-of-Blackbeard.jpg

Edited by timboat
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