Life at sea
Gain a fascinating insight into the lives of sailors and seamen throughout history. From the protocols of the Royal Navy to the traditions, customs and working lives of 18th and 19th century crewmen, we explore what life was really like on the high seas.
This month’s item of the month is a recently acquired prize ledger compiled under Sir Coutts Trotter and dating 1786–1792. It illustrates the workings of the administration of the Royal Navy, and how the prize money system was managed during this period. In many ways it is an early example of ‘bonus culture’, a very topical subject!
Alan Villiers aboard the 'Grace Harwar' N61226_tile.jpg
Alan Villiers was a distinguished sailor, author and photographer. His work vividly records the period of early 20th century maritime history.
Full dress coat - cuff detail, Royal Naval uniform- pattern 1856.jpg
Our uniform collection holds over 7000 items, including items owned by Admiral Nelson, Edward VII and Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher.
Poor records mean the valuable contribution of Asian crew members to Britain's mercantile fleet have often remained hidden. However new crew lists found in our archives promise huge potential for future research.
It will be five years this July that our team of Navy Board In-letters volunteers: Derek, Roger, Terry, David, John and Fred, have so far provided full page summaries to seventy-six of our volumes from the archive. This is over more than double what had been achieved only two years ago.
Aerial photo of a cargo ship.jpg
The shipping industry produces 940 million tonnes of CO2 every year. Could a new era of wind power help make global trade more sustainable?
We get a fascinating insight into life on board a Royal Navy aircraft carrier in the inter-war years.
Cocked hat, Royal Naval uniform- pattern 1843 .jpg
The gold lace on naval officers’ uniforms has traditionally be used to indicate rank. But what are its origins?
Nelson's Coat National Maritime Museum L8624-073_tile.JPG
Get up close to the actual uniform Admiral Nelson was wearing when he was fatally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Lieutenant's logbook for HMS Temeraire 1803-1809
Artist and writer John Kelly delves into the fascinating history of the ship's log and the many experiences and discoveries it has recorded.