On This Day: 7 October 1704

On this day in 1704, Thomas Studds made an inventory of the things he had on board the Mary Galley. Studds was a cousin (once removed) of Thomas Bowrey and a midshipman on the ship. Having no children himself, Bowrey took a number of young men under his wing during his life in England. Studds was one of these.

The list provides a rare insight into what a young midshipman in the merchant service required at the time. There is much more material available for those serving in the Royal Navy. Studds had, in his sea chest, 4 check shirts, drawers, caps (one velvet) and handkerchiefs. He had 3 pairs of shoes but just 2 pairs of buckles and 2 pairs of stockings.  Studds’ bedding was a pair of pillowbears, a pair of blankets and one quilt. He took a tin box (his sea chest?) and tin candlesticks, 2 knives and forks, 2 combs and a pewter chamber pot.

Also included was 4 yards of broad check. Was Studds still growing and may he need more shirts made before the end of the voyage? No breeches are mentioned so, perhaps drawers were the loose trousers worn by sailors rather than an undergarment. However, Peter Earle reports mariner’s Wills that include breeches and drawers and he says that the breeches worn by sailors were their short, wide trousers. The most surprizing omission is any from of waterproof outer clothing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s