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Thread: To Kick Start this!

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    Default To Kick Start this!

    4 ALL,
    Well this is a new section,and i would like to start it off with this question,which i am not too sure of myself!
    When or how was the Merchant Navy started!! Needs a bit of research i think!
    Cheers
    confused:
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 29th May 2009 at 08:46 AM.
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    Well Vernon as far as I know the origins of the M.N. go back centuries. Even before the time of Queen Liz first there were ships trading as merchants. These were distinct from men of war. There were also some that carried on as ships of 'chance'. They were neither one nor other but would raid trading ships as well as men of war if they thought there was a prize to be won. It was from those beginings that the M.N. as we knew it developed. Through the 16th and 17th century shipping improved and the early style of passenegr ships could include the "Mayflower' that took the pilgrim fathers to U.S. Some other origins lie with such people as Columbus, Vasco da Gamma, Van Diemen and the like. They ventures forth and returned with new goods. Potatoes, tobbaco, pasta spring to mind. As the new world developed so did the need for shipping with which to trade and take people. Through a natural progression the industry began to take shape as we knew it in the early 19th century with such events as slave trading ships as well as general cargo. Shiping companies go back as afr as the 1600's The East India trading company was one. The M.N. of our days began to take shape with the advent of steel sided ships and srteam replacing sail. But up until the end of sail there were still ships such as the Cutty Sark trading as merchantmen. The Boer war is I believe the first where the M.N. used ships as troop carriers. So where did it all begin, it began when man first began to use the sea as a means of trade transport.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
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    Default The History of the Merchant Navy

    Hello John that was a very interesting posting you gave, I also think in the more modern era that around the time the Mutiny on the Bounty took place in 1789, there were more and more Mutinies taking place and even a strike took place within ten years of the bounty mutiny which of course was the Royal Navy I guess, when the Mutineers secret Island was rediscovered Pitcairn Island in 1817 by an American Whaling ship the changes were happening then and Freight was getting carried to Australia, and as far as i knowNew Zealand was coming into the big picture, and people were starting to think in Engineering terms of Iron Ships. I have no idea when we actually got a Red Ensign, but i would take a guess that many of those early sailors in the British navy joined Privateers as they were termed and the Merchant navy certainly got big about 1870 when Sailing ship companies were formed and even crew agreements were Drawn up, youve hit on a very very interesting subject and probably of much interest to Schools on the net too.The East India Company and many more formed our very big Merchant navy. I only used the Mutiny on the bounty period as a basis for a lot of the changes and the formulation of Freight carrying ships, its all very interesting. best wishes Glenn in Oz.

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    Cool

    hi john and glenn. oops and vernon. very good general rundown of MN history lads. i think after the east india company started to arm its ships things got better for trade. then after the merchants opened up the china trade we had the clippers. fast sailing ships as opposed to the clumsy east indiamen with thier cumbersome decks and heavy cannon. and don't forget the english introduced opium to china and stole the tea seeds thus breaking the tea monopoly.cheers. alf
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    Default

    Well well Lads,i take my Hat off to you never expected such an informative reply so fast and it sure is a truly good writeup of the question!
    See i knew you all had it in you,just give something worth while and Bingo!
    But really i thank you for this info,it sure has enlightened me and i am sure it will others too.
    Keep the questions coming people,see what tremendous info one can obtain here,proving that this site is as good as ever. Thanks to Brian!!
    Cheers
    Vernon

    I will have to think up another good one!!
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    The Red Duster was not always our flag but was at one time the flag I believe of Canada. Another interesting fact, not thought about in 1966, merchant seamen were not allowed to go on strike. Such action could be determined as mutiny. Going back further, it was Henry 8 who started the British Roayl Navy as a means of defending the country, from those beginings we got the R.N. of today. Going back even further there was sea trade around the Meddi between various countries going back to the time of the Roman empire. So in fact the M.N. in one form or another has been around in some form since man first began to trade by sea. I have seen estimates that at one time there were over 200 shiping companies registered in U.K. The U.K. was at one time the largest ship building nation, how times have changed.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default MN History

    Hi Crusader.
    I have a book printed before the war by the Oxford University Press. called The Merchant Service Today, By Leslie Howe.
    In the first page they had this to say.The birth of the great industry of which we are going to write is lost in the mists of remostest antiqity. Men and goods have been carried by water since the dawn of time.
    To write the history of merchant shipping through the ages would be to write the history of civilisation itself. The merchant ship has always been in the van of progress. The might,wealth, and the extent of one empire after another have waxed and waned as it's merchant navy has grown in enterprise or been eclipsed by a more powerful rival.
    One thing all have had in common: the race of hardy,adventerous, and brave men who have manned the ships and faced with stout hearts the perils of the sea.
    Cheers Des

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    hi all . i can confirm that mutiny was still in articals in 1966 .we were on the HORNBY GRANGE in fremamtle.the crew attemped to walk off the ship.to be met by the cops who threatened us with mutiny if we stepped ashore.the old man had called then. we stayed on the gangway for hours.the oldman at the top waving the book at us and the cops at the bottom.we were eventually saved by the dockers and tugboat men. all the ring leaders got a double DR on our return to the uk. everybody else were black listed from the company holder bro,s and shaw savill our charterer, sorry if ive gone off track .best wishes for a great site geoff
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 24th October 2009 at 11:55 PM.

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    Default Great Thread

    Dear All, What a splendid thread, I can only add to all the above that is has stuck me how sailing ships have Non Commissioned Masters and Mates to sort our the detail of sailing matters leaving the Commissioned Captain and his officers to deal with Port Wine and battle strategy.
    Merchant ships just had Masters and Mates as today. If you look at the command structure of HMS Warrior you will see that the Under the Captain is the Commander with two stands of command of Master and Engineer a new struggle between Oil and water is emerging in 1860.
    http://www.stvincent.ac.uk/Heritage/.../officers.html
    Thanks
    Steve R770014 South Derbyshire

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    Default One and ALL

    To one and ALL
    Many thanks to ALL who have posted such informative things concerning this Thread!
    As said before its amazing!!
    Cheers
    Vernon
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