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What is it?


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Hi members,

I have a question regarding this particular cyllindrical black structure with, what appears to be a couple of reinforcing metal rings, indicated by a red arrow, on the attached illustration.

This is a painting od the HMS Royal Katherine of 1664 by an unknown (to me) artist.

I have never seen anything like this before.


Does anyone have a clue?






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I think Tadeusz may have your answer.  A various times they also hung barrels off the chainplates to soak the salted meat to get the salt or soaking peas and/or beans out before cooking.  I've also seen accounts where a barrel was set up by a scupper to catch rainwater, but that doesn't appear to be the case here since it's sunny.

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  • 5 weeks later...

It is most possible that it is a toilet.  At this period the roundhouses for petty officers,  as later fitted to the beakhead bulkhead,  were not yet built;  and I have read of similar things being fitted to the sides of ships,  accessible from the gun-deck,  for the use of the middle ranking members of the crew.


Mark P

Edited by Mark P
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In the original post, the 'roundhouse' is unlikely to be a toilet as it is positioned immediately above a gun port!


I've read elsewhere that this could possibly be a steeping tub: where salt pork or beef was desalinated (to a degree!) by immersion in fresh water.

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