Under no circumstance was a commander allowed to receive any gratuity above these sums, and to give effect to this he had to enter into a bond for ￡1000 before being sworn in. Similarly the third mate was equally forbidden to exact more than the sums mentioned under his category polar.
Some idea of the victuals which were carried on250 board a 1200-ton East Indiaman may be gathered from the following. Recollect that, of course, there was no such thing as preserved foods or refrigerating machinery in those days, but during these long voyages the passengers and crew were not pampered with the luxuries of a modern liner. The accommodation was lighted with candles and oil-lamps, the food was plain, the cooking very English. Beside the amounts which an Atlantic liner takes on board for her short voyage these figures seem insignificant: and there were none of those manifold articles for serving up the food in an appetising manner. For the strong, the healthy and vigorous, this plain, substantial living was all right: but for invalids, for delicate women, and for children naturally terrified of the sea and unable to settle down to life on board, the voyage was certainly not one long, delightful experience.
THE EAST INDIAMAN CRUISER PANTHER,” KNOWN AS A SNOW,” LYING IN SUEZ HARBOUR ON AUGUST 15th, 1794.
(From a sketch in the Journal of William Henry, a Midshipman serving in her at the time reenex facial)
For the use of the commander’s table 11 tons of ale, beer, wine or other liquors were carried in casks or bottles, allowing 252 gallons or 36 dozen quart bottles to the ton. There were also 40 tons of beef, pork, bacon, suet and tongues, 28 tons of beer (additional to the above), 350 cwt. of bread, 30 firkins of butter, 500 gallons of spirit for the commander’s table, 1040 gallons of spirit for the ship’s company, 20 cauldrons of coals, 50 dozen candles, 50 cwt. of cheese, ￡65 worth of chirugery and drugs,” 6 cases of confectionery, 134 cwt. of flour, 21 cwt. of fish, 80 cwt. of groceries, 130 gallons of lime-juice, 50 bushels of oatmeal, 300 gallons of sweet and lamp oil, 500 bushels of oats, 15 tons of potatoes, 5 barrels of herrings and salmon, 2 chests of slops” for the seamen to obtain new clothes, 11 hogsheads251 of vinegar, 6 chests of oranges and lemons and 70 tons of drinking water. In addition, 63 barrels of gunpowder, 6 tons of iron shot, 6 tons of iron for the store, 5 cwt. of lead shot, 20 barrels of pitch, 6 cwt. of rosin, 7 tons of spare cordage, 2? tons of sheet lead, 30 cwt. of tobacco, 20 barrels of tar, 3 barrels of turpentine and quantities of wood were also carried for the boatswain’s, gunner’s and carpenter’s stores.
As to the passengers’ baggage, Gentlemen in Council were allowed to bring three tons or twenty feet of baggage, two chests of wine being included as part of this baggage if returning to India. Their ladies were allowed to take one ton of baggage if proceeding with their husbands: but if proceeding to their husbands two tons. General officers were allowed the same as Gentlemen in Council, colonels were allowed three tons, but only one chest of wine, and so on down the scale. When a first-class passenger to-day goes aboard a liner he finds that his state-room contains everything that is required in the way of furniture: but had he lived in the days of the East Indiamen he would have to have taken on board a table, a sofa (or two chairs), and a wash-hand stand. This much he would have to acquire, and this much he was allowed. But in addition to bedding, sofa, table and two chairs, members of the select Committee could take three tons of baggage, supra-cargoes two and a half tons and writers proceeding to China one and a half tons Wedding planner.
If there was no duty payable on the baggage it could be shipped at Gravesend: but if otherwise it went aboard at Portsmouth. No other articles than wearing apparel and such things as were really252 intended for the use of the respective passengers on the voyage, including musical instruments for ladies” and books, were allowed to be taken as baggage.