Original British Napoleonic Era Naval 1/2 GILL Copper Rum Measure for Grog from H.M.S. NAIAD

Item Description

Original Item: One only. We've all heard of Scurvy the terrible decease contracted through lack of Vitamin C. The decease was rampant in the BRITISH NAVY in the 18th Century. Even barrels of "fresh water" stored for a long ocean voyage developed the most awful scum from algae.

In 1740 the British Vice Admiral EDWARD VERNON who was overall commander of the West Indies Station ordered that every English seaman should receive a ration of RUM everyday. This amounted to a HALF PINT. When issued neat it led to problems of abuse with sailors saving rations to be consumed all at once leaving them insensible to their required tasks. It was resolved therefore that the HALF PINT Rum Ration should be mixed with TWO PINTS of fresh water creating what we now know as "GROG." It had been intended for Lime and Orange juice to be added but was very rarely available.

Thus started a tradition that stood in the Royal Navy for more than 200 years.

This bulbous measure is made of sheet Copper and stands just 3 7/8" high, with a brazed on copper tube handle. The outer edge carries proof marks showing a CROWN / G.R. / 3 4 for King George III and IV and under this it is marked with the size GILL. The body has a lovely line engraving of a naval vessel,  under which it is engraved H.M.S. NAIAD.

HMS Naiad was a Royal Navy fifth-rate frigate that served in the Napoleonic Wars. She was built by Hall and Co. at Limehouse on the Thames, launched in 1797 and commissioned in 1798. Naiad was built to a design by Sir William Rule. She was an expanded version of his AMAZON CLASS frigates. She served in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and her last actions occurred in 1824-5. She was paid off in 1826. She then served for many years in Latin America as a depot ship, first for the Royal Navy and then for the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. She was broken up in 1898, 101 years after her launching.

Even for the Grog nobody wanted to be an Able Seaman in Royal Navy in those just terrible times. The total daily ration being just TWO and ONE HALF PINTS of Grog per man, that's it 2 1/2 pints of liquid PER DAY regardless of heat and weather, that's what a British Sailor got!

Ready to serve or just display.

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