Original British Napoleonic Era Naval 1/4 PINT Pewter Rum Measure for Grog - H.M.S. Phoebe

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 shape measure is made of pewter and stands just over 3" high, with an "ear" style handle.  It is stamped QUARTER next to the handle, and also marked 1/ 4 PINT opposite the handle on the lip. The rum measure is marked around the waist with two fouled anchors, between which is:


HMS Phoebe was a 36-gun fifth rate of the Royal Navy, was launched 24 September 1795. She had a career of almost twenty years and fought in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. Overall, her crews were awarded six clasps to the Naval General Service Medals, with two taking place in the French Revolutionary Wars, three during the Napoleonic Wars and the sixth in the War of 1812. Three of the clasps carried the name Phoebe. During her career, Phoebe sailed to the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, North America and South America.

Once peace finally arrived, Phoebe was laid up, though she spent a few years as a slop ship during the 1820s. She was then hulked. The Admiralty finally sold her for breaking up in 1841.

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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