Jump to content

16-gun brig captain's cabin furniture

Recommended Posts

Dear new friends,

I need your help about the topic subject: how was fitted the captain's cabin of a 16-gun brig both Americam and British at the end of the XVIII c. or in the Napoleonic Era? I know the french style of furnishing but I do not find pics or drawings as regards the American/British styles.

Sorry for my english and meny thanks for just a bit of attention.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The captain supplied his own furniture: so there was no 'standard' issue. The only things in a brig's cabin might be a rudder trunk, or casing with a top for a chart table, if the rudder di not go up through the deck above.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In researching my biography of Captain Johnston Blakeley, USN, 1781-1814 - Shameless plug: "Blakeley and the Wasp: The Cruise of 1814", Stephen W. H. Duffy, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2001, I came across this little gem.



The following enclosure was in a letter dated March 27, 1811 from the Washington Yard Commander, Captain Thomas Tingey, to the Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton, Washington Navy Yard:


"Sir, I have the honor to enclose a requisition, of Lieut. J. Blakeley [Commander] of Cabin Furniture of the [uSS] Enterprize.


In submitting this indent for your consideration, I feel it is my duty to state that, when this vessel was fitted from the Yard in 1808, she was furnished with silver table spoons, tea spoons, and other usual plate, with chairs, table clothes, and all the customary articles for the cabin: Not one single material of which was returned with her."


I consider it also incumbent to inform you, that all the vessels equipped from this yard have been furnished with bosun's calls, of silver, very few of which have ever been returned."


[Note: Lieut. Johnston Blakeley, was just then assuming command of the newly repaired Enterprise. Blakeley would immediately set about re-rigging her as a brig.]


"One dozen dishes

Ditto Soup Plates

Ditto shallow plates

Ditto small plates

Ditton tureens - one of tin

2 bowels

2 sugar dishes

1 dozen wine glasses

1 dozen tumblers

2 quart decanters

2 pint decanters

2 salt cellars

1 looking glass

2 tea kettles

2 sugar canisters

1 tea tray

2 waiters

12 table spoons

12 tea spoons

6 iron table spoons

1 set casters

1 soup ladle

1 dozen large knives

1 dozen large forks

1 dozen small knives

1 dozen small forks

12 table clothes

2 ditto covers

12 towels

2 brooms

2 candel sticks

2 pair steel snuffers

1 cork screw

6 chairs

1 coffee mill

1 pepper mill

2 brass cocks

2 brass canisters

1 mattress and [1]pillow.


The above  is a list of the furniture wanted for the use of the US schooner Enterprize, washington, 25th March, 1811, J. Blakeley approved and submitted."


Blakeley was, or course, to go on to glory in the second corvette named the USS Wasp. But he found it very difficult to procure these items for his Wasp in 1813 using, as he stated, this very list, due to wartime shortages in Newburyport, Mass, and Portsmouth, NH. But by this time, the stressed Navy Department was not so picky. The official indent, dated Baltimore, 1813, for use in all the six new corvettes then building [Wasp, Frolick, Peacock, Erie, Ontario and Argus] contained but one word: "discretionary".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note: The ward room chairs supplied to the Frigate Essex, fitted out in Salem, Mass, in 1799, were described as "Windsor-backed chairs". They were lightweight, but very strong. I suspect that this was a standard, so the Enterprise's six chairs listed above were certainly Windsors too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



To follow Frolick's post if you can take a look at the ESSEX PAPERS book. There is an entire indent of what Her Captain (Edward Prebble) had brought on board as his personal stores as well as what was "provided". 


You'll probably find similar (records / stores) for most of the era you're researching







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...