Original British Napoleonic Era Naval 1/2 GILL Copper Rum Measure for Grog from H.M.S. SPEEDY
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 small tankard measure is made of sheet Copper and stands just 2 1/2" high, the outer edge carries proof marks showing a CROWN over G.R. for King George III and the body is engraved with a Fouled Anchor under H.M.S. / SPEEDY.
H.M.S. SPEEDY was launched in Dover, Kent on June 29th 1782. She was a BRIG of 78 feet in length with a compliment of 90 men with 14 Cannons and 12 1/2 lb. Swivel guns. She served in the Mediterranean Fleet, was captured by the French and was eventually gifted by the French to the Papal Navy in December 1802.
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!
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