Royal Navy- maintaining and conditions

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  • The Royal Navy
    • Maintaining Fleet
      • In 1792 there were 125 ships in commission operated by 20 000 seamen.
      • 'Comptroller of the Navy' was responsible for building and maintaining the fleet
        • 1780's Rear Admiral Charles Middleton worked with Tory Prime Minister 'William Pitt the younger' on Naval reforms
          • 'Coppering' of the fleet reduced warship repairs
          • New docks were built in Portsmouth and Plymouth
          • Massive stocks of timber and rope were built up
          • Dockyards were more closely supervised to prevent corruption and waste
          • Improved gunnery through gun checks, carronade and gunlocks
    • Conditions
      • Low pay- half that of merchant seamen and often months overdue
        • By 1793 there had been no wage increase since 1652
      • Sailors slept in hammocks just 14 inches wide
      • Food was plentiful by standards of the day, but very monotonous
        • Fresh fruit and vegetables prevented scurvy in crew
      • Sailors could be at sea for years at a time
      • Work was physically hard
      • Discipline was harsh, cat-o'-nine-tails used to flog sailors who broke rules


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