Thinking a little more about the fuss about Rule Britannia. Can some one explain the difference between
1. Slaves - men taken by slavers from their families and work and compelled under threat of corporal and capital punishment to work for long hours at great danger. e.g. Africans sold into slavery and working on plantations in America and the Caribbean.
2. Jolly Jack Tars - men taken by the press gang from their families and work and compelled under threat of corporal and capital punishment to work for long hours at great danger. e.g. On the ships that would rule the waves and manned by Britons who "never never never never will be slaves."??
The Although not used after 1815, impressment remained legal until the early 1900s. It was replaced by conscription in time of war from 1916 and then national service.
How many 'Africans sold into slavery ' - often by their fellow Africans - were volunteers?
The overwhelming danger to British seamen was not enemy action (this accounts for only 6.3% of those who perished at sea), but rather disease and
The Royal Naval Academy in Portsmouth was founded in 1733, to train 'King's Letter Men'.
The Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich was founded in 1692, at the express wish of Queen Mary , to look after old, sick and injured seamen.
The first purpose built Naval Hospital was built in Haslar in 1745, the largest brick-built building in Europe at the time.
Every sailor in the Fleet paid into the Fleet Fund to provide care for those too sick or injured in Service to work.
The Pressgang was by no means the only way of manning the Fleet - for example, Nelson's crew at Trafalgar contained 44 nationalities.
Every ship in the Fleet carried volunteers , serving without pay in the hope of preferment to the rank of Midshipman - and detested by ships captains who preferred to make lucrative arrangements of their own to train young men for a life at sea.
To portray life in the Royal Navy as in any way comparable with the conditions endured by African slaves in the Caribbean is absurd.