A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Diets Of 18th century Sailors.

The Victualing Board actually kept meticulous records of a sailor’s official rations: 1 lb of bread and 1 gallon of beer per day (!), plus 1 lb of pork twice a week, 2 lbs of beef twice a week, or butter and cheese the other three days. But when the going got tough out in the middle of watery nowhere, did sailors actually get their rations? Yes, it seems, based on an analysis of nitrogen isotopes extracted from the bones of 80 sailors. The elevated levels of nitrogen suggested that sailors did get as much beef and pork as the Victualing Board recorded. And despite being at sea, they didn’t seem to eat much fish.
More of the story here:

2 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Maybe being around the docks, they got more than enough fish when ashore.

Le Loup said...

Could be Gorges,though I would imagine that if a seaman was working hard & needed more food he would throw a line in. Split the catch with the cook.
Keith.