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“Men of the World”: British Mariners, Consumer Practice, and Material Culture in an Era of Global Trade, c. 1660–1800


Growing numbers of sailors powered British fleets during the long eighteenth century. By exploring mariners' habits, dress, and material practice when in port, this article uncovers their roles as agents of cultural change. These men complicated material hierarchies, with a broad impact on developing western consumer societies, devising a distinctive material practice. They shaped important systems of transnational exchange and redefined networks of plebeian material culture. Mariners were also endowed with a growing rhetorical authority over the long eighteenth century, embodying new plebeian cosmopolitanism, while expressing facets of a dawning imperial masculinity. Marcus Rediker described eighteenth-century Anglo-American mariners as plain dealers, wageworkers, and pirates, as well as “men of the world.” This international contingent mediated between world communities, while demonstrating new tastes and new fashions. They also personified the manly traits celebrated in Britain's burgeoning imperial age.

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1 de Vries Jan, “Connecting Europe and Asia: A Quantitative Analysis of the Cape-Route Trade, 1497–1795” in Global Connections and Monetary History, 1470–1800, ed. Flynn Dennis Owen, Giráldez Arturo, Glahn Richard Von (Aldershot, UK, 2003), 35106, at 69–72.

2 Andrews Kenneth, Trade, Plunder and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise and the Genesis of the British Empire, 1480–1630 (Cambridge, 1984), 247–49; Rediker Marcus, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates and the Anglo-American Maritime World (Cambridge, 1987), vii, 290.

3 Colley Linda, Britons: Forging a Nation, 1707–1837, 2nd ed. (New Haven, CT, 2005), xvii.

4 For example, Davis K. G., The Royal Africa Company (London, 1957); Boxer C. R., The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600–1800 (London, 1965); Parry J. H., Trade and Dominion: The European Overseas Empires in the Eighteenth Century (New York, 1971); Chaudhuri K. N., The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company (Cambridge, 1978); Andrews, Trade, Plunder and Settlement; Price Jacob M., Perry of London: A Family and a Firm on the Seaborne Frontier, 1615–1753 (Cambridge, MA, 1992); Zahedieh Nuala, The Capital and the Colonies: London and the Atlantic Economy, 1660–1700 (Cambridge, 2010).

5 For example, Davis Ralph, Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (London, 1962); Rodger N. A. M., The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy (Annapolis, MD, 1986) and The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649–1815 (London, 2006); Ritchie Roy C., Captain Kidd and the War Against the Pirates (Cambridge, MA, 1986); Pérez-Mallaína Pablo E., Spain's Men of the Sea: Daily Life of the Indies Fleet in the Sixteenth Century, trans. Phillips Carla Rahn (Baltimore, 1998); Vickers Daniel with Walsh Vince, Young Men and the Sea: Yankee Seafarers in the Age of Sail (New Haven, CT, 2005); Christopher Emma, Slave Ship Sailors and their Captive Cargoes, 1730–1807 (Cambridge, 2006); Earle Peter, The Pirate Wars (London, 2006); Rogers Nicholas, The Press Gang: Naval Impressment and its Opponents in Georgian Britain (London, 2007); Mitchell Adrian, Dampier's Monkey: The South Seas Voyages of William Dampier, including William Dampier's Unpublished Journal (Kent Town, Australia, 2010); Lázaro Fabio López, The Misfortunes of Alonso Ramirez: The True Adventures of a Spanish American with 17th-Century Pirates (Austin, TX, 2011).

6 Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, vii.

7 Harvey Karen, “The History of Masculinity, circa 1650–1800,” Journal of British Studies 44, no. 2 (April 2005): 296311, at 308.

8 For example, McKendrick Neil, Brewer John, and Plumb J. H., The Birth of a Consumer Society: The Commercialization of Eighteenth-Century England (London, 1983); Weatherill Lorna, Consumer Behaviour and Material Culture in Britain 1660–1760 (London, 1988); Overton Mark, Whittle Jane, Dean Darron, and Hamm Andrew, Production and Consumption in English Households, 1600–1750 (London, 2004); Vickery Amanda, The Gentleman's Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (New Haven, CT, 1998) and Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (New Haven, CT, 2009); Stobart Jon, “Fashion, Heritance and Family: New and Old in the Georgian Country House,” Cultural and Social History 11, no. 3 (September 2014): 385406.

9 Katz Elihu, “Foreword” in Weimann Gabriel, The Influentials: People Who Influence People (Albany, NY, 1994), ixxii; see also Weimann, The Influentials, 141–44.

10 Weimann, The Influentials, 141–42.

11 The term “mariner” itself was interchangeable with “sailor” and used throughout the seventeenth century to refer to those below the rank of ship's master. The designation “sailor” gradually diverged from that of “mariner” over time as the latter came to mean a seaman with higher rank. Gerald Francis Lorentz, “Bristol Fashion: The Maritime Culture of Bristol, 1650–1700” (PhD diss., University of Toronto, 1997), 117–21.

12 Studies of seafaring communities reveal the prominent roles of women as managers and household heads. Wilson Kathleen, The Island Race: Englishness, Empire and Gender in the Eighteenth Century (London, 2003), 101; Hunt Margaret, “Women and the Fiscal-Imperial State in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries,” in A New Imperial History: Culture, Identity and Modernity in Britain and the Empire 1660–1840, ed. Wilson Kathleen (Cambridge, 2004), 2947.

13 I explore mariner's masculine practices in the context of “Models of Manhood” as assessed by Alexandra Shepard. “Models of Manhood,” chapter 3 in Meanings of Manhood in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2006; online 2010), DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299348.003.0004 (accessed 11 February 2014)

14 Alexandra Shepard, “Youthful Excess and Fraternal Bonding,” chapter 4 in Meanings of Manhood, DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299348.003.0005 (accessed 11 February 2014).

15 Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, 154.

16 Rodger N. A. M., “Honour and Duty at Sea, 1660–1815,” Historical Research, 75, no. 190 (November 2002): 425447.

17 Ludington Charles, The Politics of Wine in Britain: A Culture History (New York, 2013), 154–55, 221–22. Binging characterized various workingmen's communities, including the extractive industries of logging and mining. Wilk Richard, “The Binge in the Food Economy of Nineteenth-Century Belize,” in Changing Tastes: Food Culture and the Processes of Industrialization, ed. Lysaght Patricia and Burckhardt-Seebass Christine (Basel, 2004), 110–19.

18 Connell R. W., Masculinities (Cambridge, 2005), 187.

19 Brewer John, The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State, 1688–1783 (London, 1989); McCusker John J. and Morgan Kenneth, eds., The Early Modern Atlantic Economy (Cambridge, 2000); Zahedieh, Capital and the Colonies; Marshall P. J., “Introduction,” in The Oxford History of the British Empire. The Eighteenth Century, ed. Louis William Roger, Marshall P. J., and Low Alaine M. (Oxford, 2001), 127; Steele I. K., The English Atlantic 1675–1740: An Exploration of Communication and Community (Oxford, 1986); Darwin John, Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (London, 2012), especially chapters 2 and 3.

20 Alison Games addresses the varied cosmopolitanism of higher ranked men in The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitans in an Age of Expansion, 1560–1660 (Oxford, 2008).

21 For examples of cross-cultural imperial contacts by the British military and the circulation of goods through soldiers' hands, see Christian Ayne Crouch, “Sartorial Performance and Recognition during the Seven Years' War,” paper presented at the American Historical Association Conference, Washington, DC, January 2014; Phillips Ruth, “Reading and Writing Between the Lines: Soldiers, Curiosities and Indigenous Art History,” Winterthur Portfolio 45, no. 2–3 (June 2011): 107–24; Mancini J. M., “Siege Mentalities: Objects in Motion, British Imperial Expansion, and the Pacific Turn,” Winterthur Portfolio 45, no. 2–3 (June 2011): 125–40; Sandberg Brian, “‘The Magazine of All Their Pillage’: Armies as Sites of Second-Hand Exchanges during the French Wars of Religion,” in Alternate Exchanges: Second-Hand Circulations from the Sixteenth Century to the Present, ed. Fontaine Laurence (New York, 2008), 7696.

22 Muldrew Craig, The Economy of Obligation: The Culture of Credit and Social Relations in Early Modern England (New York, 1998); Linebaugh Peter, “Chips and Ships: Technology Repression and the Origin of the Wage,” in The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1991), 371401; Lemire Beverly, Dress, Culture and Commerce: the English Clothing Trade before the Factory, 1660–1800 (Basingstoke, 1997) and The Business of Everyday Life: Gender, Practice and Social Politics in England, 1600–1900 (Manchester, 2005); Hunt, “Women and the Fiscal-Imperial State”; McCants Anne, “Petty Debts and Family Networks: The Credit Market of Widows and Wives in Eighteenth-Century Amsterdam,” in Women and Credit: Researching the Past, Refiguring the Future, ed. Lemire Beverly, Pearson Ruth, and Campbell Gail Grace (Oxford, 2001), 3350; and Laurence Fontaine, “Women's Economic Spheres and Credit in Pre-Industrial Europe,” in Women and Credit, 15–32.

23 Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, 130–34.

24 Braudel Fernand, The Structure of Everyday Life, trans. Reynolds Siân (New York, 1985), 1:23–24.

25 Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, 116–31.

26 Mariners were not alone in defending supplements to a money wage. Rule John, The Vital Century: England's Developing Economy, 1714–1815 (London, 1992), 182–85; Lemire, Business of Everyday Life, chapter 4.

27 For example, Cruz Jesus, The Rise of Middle Class Culture in Nineteenth-Century Spain (Baton Rouge, LA, 2011), 92107; Murhem Sofia, Ulväng Göram, and Lilja Kristina, “Tables and Chairs under the Hammer: Second-Hand Consumption of Furniture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries in Sweden,” in Modernity and the Second-Hand Trade: European Consumption Cultures and Practices, 1700–1900, ed. Stobart Jon and Van Damme Ilja (London, 2010), 196219; Claverías Belén Moreno, “Luxury, Fashion and Peasantry: The Introduction of New Commodities in Rural Catalan, 1670–1790,” in The Force of Fashion in Politics and Society: Global Perspectives from Early Modern to Contemporary Times, ed. Lemire Beverly (Aldershot, UK, 2010), 6796; McCants Anne, “Exotic Goods, Popular Consumption, and the Standard of Living: Thinking about Globalization in the Early Modern World,” Journal of World History 18, no. 4 (December 2007): 433–62; Weatherill, Consumer Behaviour and Material Culture; Overton, Whittle, Dean, and Hamm, Production and Consumption.

28 Spufford Margaret, “Fabric for Seventeenth-Century Children and Adolescents' Clothes,” Textile History 34, no. 1 (May 2003): 4763, and The Cost of Apparel in Seventeenth-Century England and the Accuracy of Gregory King,” Economic History Review 53, no. 4 (November 2000): 677705.

29 Muldrew Craig, Food, Energy and the Creation of Industriousness: Work and Material Culture in Agrarian England, 1550–1780 (Cambridge, 2011), especially chapters 4 and 5.

30 Finn Margot, “Men's Things: Masculine Possession in the Consumer Revolution,” Social History 25, no. 2 (May 2000): 133–55, and Colonial Gifts: Family Politics and the Exchange of Goods in British India, c. 1780–1820,” Modern Asian Studies 40, no. 1 (February 2006): 203–31; Kwass Michael, “Big Hair: A Wig History of Consumption in Eighteenth-Century France,” American Historical Review 111, no. 3 (June 2006): 630–59; Harvey Karen, “Barbarity in a Tea-Cup? Punch, Domesticity and Gender in the Eighteenth Century,” Journal of Design History 21, no. 3 (Autumn 2008): 205–21; Ludington Charles, “‘Claret is the Liquor for Boys: Port for Men’: How Port Became the Englishman's Wine, c. 1750–1800,” Journal of British Studies 48, no. 2 (April 2009): 364–90.

31 de Vries Jan, The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (New York, 2008).

32 Trentmann Frank, “Materiality in the Future of History: Things, Practices, and Politics,” Journal of British Studies 48, no. 2 (April 2009): 283307, at 297.

33 Norton Marcy, Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World (Ithaca, NY, 2008), 157; Benedict Carol, Golden-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550–2010 (Berkeley, CA, 2011), 1819.

34 This literature is voluminous. See, for example, McKendrick, Brewer, and Plumb, The Birth of a Consumer Society; Weatherill, Consumer Behaviour and Material Culture; Berry Helen, “Polite Consumption: Shopping in Eighteenth-Century England,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 12, no. 1 (December 2002): 375–94; Styles John and Vickery Amanda, ed., Gender, Taste, and Material Culture in Britain and North America, 1700–1830 (New Haven, CT, 2006).

35 De Vries, Industrious Revolution, 52.

36 Pratt Mary Louise, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, 2nd ed. (New York, 1992), 7.

37 Fisher Michael H., Counterflows to Colonialism: Indian Travellers and Settlers in Britain 1600–1857 (Delhi, 2004), 3242, 66. For examples of the multicultural crews on East India Company ships, see crew list for the Addison August 1720, IOR E/1/11/160; crew list for the Dartmouth August 1720, IOR E/1/11/161; crew list for the Monmouth, February 1721, IOR E/1/12/57; crew list for the Streatham, February 1721, IOR E/1/12/58, British Library (hereafter BL).

38 Pratt, Imperial Eyes, 8.

39 Tim Hitchcock, Sharon Howard, and Robert Shoemaker, “Historical Background: Prerogative Court of Canterbury,” London Lives, 1690–1800,, version 1.1 (accessed 7 March 2013).

40 The National Archives holds 13,370 mariners' wills from 1600 to 1699 and 38,872 from 1700 to 1799.

41 Berg Maxine, Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (New York, 2005), especially chapter 2, and In Pursuit of Luxury: Global History and British Consumer Goods in the Eighteenth Century,” Past and Present 182, no. 1 (February 2004): 85142; Riello Giorgio and Parthasarathi Prasannan, eds., The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton Textiles, 1200–1850 (Oxford, 2009); Lemire Beverly, Cotton (Oxford, 2011).

42 I thank Margaret Hunt for information on the increased use of forms from about 1700.

43 Probated will, 1603, PROB 11/101/ir 902, National Archives, Kew (hereafter NA, UK). I thank Dr. Cheryl Fury for transcripts of mariners' wills from East India Company voyages, 1601–1604.

44 Probated will, 1601, Guildhall 9171/19/461v, Guildhall Library.

45 Lubbock Basil, Barlow's Journal of his Life at Sea in King's Ships, East & West Indiamen & Other Merchantmen from 1659 to 1703 (London, 1934), 1:156, 158, 271; 2:323–24; Dampier William, A Voyage to New Holland: The English Voyage of Discovery to the South Seas in 1699 (London, 1703), 193–95.

46 Probated will, 1603, PROB 11/102/180v, NA, UK.

47 Probated will, 1603, PROB 11/102/ ir 1017, NA, UK.

48 Pérez-Mallaína, Spain's Men of the Sea, 98–114.

49 Davis, Rise of English Shipping, 147.

50 Quoted in Chaudhuri K. N., “The East India Company and the Organization of its Shipping in the Early Seventeenth Century,” Mariner's Mirror 49, no. 1 (January 1963): 2741, at 37.

51 Bowen Huw, “Privilege and Profit: The Commanders of East Indiamen as Private Traders, Entrepreneurs, and Smugglers, 1760–1813,” International Journal of Maritime History 19, no. 2 (December 2007): 4388; Bruijn J. R., Commanders of Dutch East India Ships in the Eighteenth Century (Woodbridge, 2011), 303.

52 Quoted in Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, 131.

53 Ibid., 132.

54 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 1:194. Similarly, Cremer John, Ramblin’ Jack: The Journals of Captain John Cremer 1700–1774 (London, 1936), 175–76.

55 Pritchard E. H., “Private Trade between England and China in the Eighteenth Century (1680–1833),” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 1, no. 1 (August 1957): 108–37; Bowen Huw, “‘So Alarming an Evil’: Smuggling, Pilfering and the English East India Company, 1740–1810,” International Journal of Maritime History 14, no. 1 (June 2002): 131 and “Privilege and Profit”; Bruijn, Commanders of Dutch East India Ships.

56 Pritchard, “Private Trade between England and China,” 110; Flynn Dennis O. and Giráldez Arturo, “Born with a ‘Silver Spoon’: The Origin of World Trade in 1571,” Journal of World History 6, no. 2 (January 1995): 201–21, at 204.

57 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1712, IOR, E/1/4/148; 1712, /E/1/4/169; 1718, E/1/9/77; 1731, E/1/22/118; 1738, E/1/28/66 (1738), BL; Bruijn, Commanders of Dutch East India Ships, 212.

58 Probated will, 1639, PROB 11/185b (193), NA, UK.

59 Meyerstein E. H. W., ed., Adventures by Sea of Edward Coxere (Oxford, 1945), 14.

60 Mancini, “Siege Mentalities: Objects in Motion”; and for the lure of prizes, see the account of Harriott John, Struggles through Life . . . . (London, 1808), 1:44–46, 50–52.

61 PROB 11/168 (464) 1635?; PROB 11/205 (142) 1647, NA.

62 For handkerchief consumption and its varying ethnic associations, see White Sophie, “‘Wearing Three or Four Handkerchiefs around His Collar, and Elsewhere about Him’: Constructions of Masculinity and Ethnicity in French Colonial New Orleans,” Gender & History 15, no. 3 (November 2003): 528–49, and Geographies of Slave Consumption: French Colonial Louisiana and a World of Goods,” Winterthur Portfolio 45, nos. 2–3 (Summer/Autumn 2011): 229–48, at 232–33; White Shane and White Graham, “Slave Clothing and African-American Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries,” Past and Present 148, no. 1 (August 1995): 149–86; Hunt Patricia, “Swathed in Cloth: The Headwraps of Some African American Women in Georgia and South Carolina During the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century,” Dress 21, no. 1 (January 1994): 3038, at 30–31.

63 Probated will, 1728/29, PROB 11/632, NA, UK; Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1718, IOR E/1/9/114, 119; 1721, E/1/12/162; 1723, E/1/14/122; 1731, E/1/22/118; 1733, E/1/24/57; 1734, E/1/25/ 67-68, 83-4; 1738, E/1/28/69-70; T1/449/110, 112, BL; Report to the collector of customs, 17 April 1766, T1/454/190-192, NA, UK.

64 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 2 vols.

65 Ibid., 1:156.

66 Ibid., 1:158.

67 Lemire, Dress, Culture and Commerce, especially chapters 3 and 4, and The Secondhand Trade in Europe and Beyond: Stages of Development and Enterprise in a Changing Material World c. 1600–1850,” special issue, Textile: Journal of Cloth & Culture 10, no. 2 (July 2012): 144–63.

68 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 1:150, 159.

69 For example, Chaudhuri K. N., The English East India Company: The Study of an Early Joint-Stock Company 1600–1640 (London, 1965), and Trading World of Asia; Boxer, Dutch Seaborne Empire and The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 1415–1825 (London, 1969); Prakash Om, The Dutch East India Company and the Economy of Bengal, 1630–1720 (Princeton, NJ, 1985); Boyajian J., Portuguese Trade in Asia under the Hapsburgs, 1580–1640 (Baltimore, 1993); Bowen H. V., Lincoln Margarette, and Rigby Nigel, ed., The World of the East India Company (Woodbridge, UK, 2002); Langford Paul, A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727–1783 (Oxford, 1989); Wahrman Dror, Imagining the Middle Class: The Political Representation of Class in Britain, c. 1780–1840 (Cambridge, 1995); French Henry and Rothery Mark, “Hegemonic Masculinities? Assessing Change and Processes of Change in Elite Masculinities, 1700–1900,” in What is Masculinity? Historical Dynamics from Antiquity to the Contemporary World, ed. Arnold John H. and Brady Sean (Basingstoke, 2011), 139–66.

70 François Pyrard noted the characteristics of banyan merchants in the vibrant port of Cambay in the early 1600s. The Voyage of François Pyrard of Laval to the East Indies, the Maldives, the Moluccas and Brazil . . . . (London, 1888), 249.

71 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 1:186. My emphasis.

72 The busy market on the beach at the entrance to the Tapti River leading to Surat, termed “Swally” or Suhally [Suhali], was described in some detail by Peter Mundy in 1633. Temple Richard Carnac, ed., The Travels of Peter Mundy Asia 1628–1667 (Cambridge, 1914), 2:311–13.

73 Calendar of State Papers Colonial, East Indies and Persia, 1630–1634 (1892), 8:16–29, (accessed 1 March 2013).

74 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 1:205.

75 Ibid., 1:210, 221–22.

76 Ibid., 2:447.

77 Zahedieh Nuala, “London and the Colonial Consumer in the Late Seventeenth Century,” Economic History Review 47, no. 2 (May 1994): 239–61, at 251–53. Direct trade from India to Barbados was a recurring anxiety for the EIC and repeatedly reported by zealous correspondents. Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1721, IOR, E/1/11/108; 1724, E/1/15/38, BL.

78 Probated will, 1729, PROB11/632, NA, UK.

79 Ships' Diary, the Sussex and Winchester, January 1738, IOR/G/12/43, 75, BL.

80 Ships' Diary, Grantham and York, 1749-51, IOR/G/12/53, 113-14, BL.

81 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 2:455.

82 Ibid., 2:352.

83 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1723, IOR, E/1/14 /224; 1722, IOR, E/1/16/193; 1722, E/1/16/194, BL.

84 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 1:277; Disney Anthony, “Smugglers and Smuggling in the Western Half of the Estado Da India in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries,” Indica 26, nos. 1–2 (March–September 1989): 5775; Jones Evan T., “Illicit Business: Accounting for Smuggling in Mid-Sixteenth-Century Bristol,” Economic History Review 54, no. 1 (February 2001): 1738.

85 Bowen, “Smuggling, Pilfering and the English East India Company,” 10–21.

86 Bruijn, Commanders of Dutch East India Ships, 218.

87 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1722–23, IOR, E/1/14/15, 20–21, 33–34, 78, 117, 122; 1725, E/1/16/75, BL. Smuggling substantially expanded tea consumption, for example. Hoh-cheung and Mui Lorna H., “Smuggling and the British Tea Trade before 1784,” American Historical Review 74, no. 1 (October 1968): 4473.

88 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1718, IOR/E/9/114, 119, BL.

89 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1729, IOR/E/1/20/88, BL.

90 A fact evident in wills both with the naming of executors and beneficiaries. See Table 3 and discussion of findings.

91 Quoted in Colley, Britons, 65.

92 Ibid., 68.

93 For example, “The Sailor's Return,” a transfer print on a tile, c. 1744, PAF3819, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; “The Sailor's Farewell,” a cheaply molded earthenware jug from Staffordshire, 1790–1810, c.64-1952, Victoria & Albert Museum; Pratt ware jug molded in relief of a sailor's farewell on one side and a sailor's return on the other, c. 1790, AAA5151, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; “The Sailor's Return,” ballad and print, ND lwlpr07777, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.

94 “The Sailor's Return,” a tin-glazed tile, made in Liverpool by Sadler and Green 1758–1761, C449-1922, Victoria & Albert Museum.

95 Hillmann Henning and Gathmann Christina, “Overseas Trade and the Decline of Privateering,” Journal of Economic History 71, no. 3 (September 2011): 730–61, at 735–38.

96 Colley, Britons, 180.

97 Lincoln Margarette, Representing the Royal Navy: British Sea Power, 1750–1815 (Aldershot, UK, 2002); Land Isaac, War, Nationalism, and the British Sailor, 1750–1850 (New York, 2009).

98 Instances recorded in the Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1723, IOR/E/1/14/122 & 123; 1738, IOR E/1/28/70; 1725, IOR/ E/1/16/75; 1786, Miscellaneous Papers of the East India Company, 1738, IOR/H/497/333-5, BL; Ormrod David, Rise of Commercial Empires: England and the Netherlands in the Age of Mercantilism, 1650–1770 (Cambridge, 2003), 160; Disney, “Smugglers and Smuggling”; Karras Alan L., Smuggling: Contraband and Corruption in World History (Lanham, MD, 2010).

99 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 1:248.

100 Ibid., 1:204, 2:339.

101 Bowen, “Privilege and Profit” and “Smuggling, Pilfering and the English East India Company.” Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1728, IOR E/1/19/103; 1729, E/1/20/110-111; 1734, E/1/25/67-8; 1738, E/1/28/66, 69-70, 107, BL.

102 Thompson E. P., “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd,” in Customs in Common: Studies in Traditional Popular Culture (New York, 1993), 185–258.

103 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 2:226–28, 264.

104 Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, 6–7.

105 Thompson F. M. L., “Town and City,” in The Cambridge Social History of Britain, 1750–1950: Regions and Communities, ed. Thompson F. M. L. (Cambridge, 1990), at 24–25. For the pleasures of Surat, see IGR 18, Francis Rogers, “Brief Observations of the most remarkable Occurrences that hapn'd in a Voyage to the East Indies,” 1701–04, N.P. Caird Library, National Maritime Museum (hereafter NMM), Greenwich.

106 IGR Rogers, “Brief Observations,” 3 July 1702, N.P. Caird Library, NMM, Greenwich.

107 IGR Rogers, “Brief Observations,” September 1702, N.P. Caird Library, NMM, Greenwich. Peter Mundy described in 1632 the training up of young dancing girls both as dancers and prostitutes, “And there is scares any meeteinge of friends [sic] without them.” Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson A 315, fol. 73v.

108 Creighton Margaret and Norling Lisa, Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring in the Atlantic World 1700–1920 (Baltimore, 1996), vii.

109 Thomas J. H., Portsmouth and the East India Company 1700–1815 (New York, 1999), 34, quoted in Colley Linda, The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh (New York, 2007), 19.

110 Earle Peter, A City Full of People: Men and Women of London 1650–1750 (London, 1994), 7476.

111 Daniel Vickers, “Beyond Jack Tar,” in Early American History: Its Past and Future,” special issue, William and Mary Quarterly 50, no. 2 (April 1993): 418–24.

112 Fielding John, A Brief Description of the Cities of London and Westminster . . . . (London, 1776), xv.

113 Rodger, Wooden World, 34, 37–41.

114 Letter from Customs House, Edinburgh, T 1/467/121 (1768), NA, UK.

115 Scotland, Customs and Excise: Draft Clause for Suppressing Allowance of Portage to Seamen, 1768, T 1/466/243, NA, UK.

116 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1740–41, IOR E/1/30/41.

117 For example, Lemire Beverly, “Peddling Fashion: Salesmen, Pawnbrokers, Taylors, Thieves and the Second-Hand Clothes Trade in England, 1680–1800,” Textile History 22, no. 1 (January 1991): 6782, Dress, Culture and Commerce, and Business of Everyday Life, chapter 2.

118 Cremer, Ramblin’ Jack, 75–76.

119 Letter from Anthony Askew to his cousin, re Mrs. Bonner, 1746, D HUD 10/2/2/6, Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle Headquarters.

120 Account Books of Betty Wright, proprietor of sailors' lodging house and ship chandlery, 1743–44, CLA/024/08/124-126, London Metropolitan Archives (hereafter LMA).

121 Ibid., CLA/024/08/124, LMA.

122 Ibid., CLA/024/08/125, LMA.

123 Earle Peter, “The Female Labour Market in London in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries,” Economic History Review 42, no. 3 (August 1989): 328–53; Hunt, “Women and the Fiscal-Military State.”

124 Multiple bequests to an individual of the same name, at the same location, were treated as one bequest. Not every bequest included the geographic residence of the beneficiary.

125 Crew list for the Addison August 1720, IOR E/1/11/160; crew list for the Dartmouth August 1720, IOR E/1/11/161; crew list for the Monmouth, February 1721, IOR E/1/12/57; crew list for the Streatham, February 1721, IOR E/1/12/58, BL. Ralph Davis found a similar distribution of seamen. Seamen's Sixpences: An Index of Commercial Activity, 1697–1828,” Economica 23, no. 92 (November 1956): 328–43, at 339, Table 1.

126 Despite the repeal of sumptuary laws in England in 1604, the regulatory impulse remained strong within English (later British) authorities, with the anti-calico campaign (1690s–1720s) the most extreme of these social/political reactions against new-style consumer practice. Lemire, Cotton, chapter 3, and ‘Le goût du coton: Culture matérielle, politique et consommation dans le Japon des Tokugawa et l'Angleterre modern,” Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine 60, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 71106.

127 Edward Barlow likewise stipulated a “land waiter at the custom house of London” as one of his executors. Edward Barlow's probated will, 1705-6, PROB 11/500/352, NA, UK.

128 Purchase and use of domestic slaves, including concubines, was an established tradition among at least some EIC employees based in India. Love Henry Davison, Vestiges of Old Madras, 1640–1800 (London, 1913), 1:545; Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 2:468.

129 Probated wills, 1601, PROB 11/98/683; 1602, PROB 11/102/187; 1602, PROB 11/102/1v; 1603, PROB 11/101/ir 911; 1603, PROB 11/102/227-v, 1603; 1622, PROB 11/150b (9720); 1639, PROB 11/185b (28); 1643, PROB 11/203 (39); 1699, PROB 11/601; 1725, PROB 11/617, NA, UK.

130 Probated wills 1744-45, PROB 11/ 763, PROB 11/754, PROB 11/740; PROB 11/782; PROB 11/854; PROB 11/842; PROB 11/832, NA, UK.

131 For example, Lemire, Business of Everyday Life, chapters 2 and 3; Boulton Jeremy, Neighborhood and Society: A London Suburb in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, 1987), 2123, 62–92; Muldrew, Economy of Obligation.

132 Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 1:194.

133 Edward Barlow's probated will, 1705-6, PROB 11/500/352, NA, UK.

134 De Vries, Industrious Revolution, 45.

135 Dibbits Hester, “Pronken as Practice: Material Culture in The Netherlands, 1650–1800,” in Luxury in the Low Countries: Miscellaneous Reflections on Netherlandish Material Culture, 1500 to the Present, ed. Rittersma Rengenier C. (Brussels, 2010), 135–58; Anne McCants, “Global Wardrobes: Clothing Assemblies Reconstructed from the 18th c. Amsterdam Poor,” presented at the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, October 2012, Edmonton, Canada.

136 Tract printed in Aberdeen in 1739, sent to the Directors of the East India Company, 1740, IOR E/1/29/52b, 52d, BL.

137 Scotland Customs: correspondence concerning smuggling, 1775, T1/517/1-4, NA, UK.

138 Charles Ludington notes the exceptional quantities of French claret available in all coastal villages, towns, and ports of Scotland in the late 1600s and for much of the 1700s. Ludington, Politics of Wine in Britain, chapters 3 and 6. Michael Kwass notes the impact of smuggling along peddlers' routes in land-locked areas of Europe. Contraband: Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground (Cambridge, MA, 2014).

139 Report from Customs House, Portsmouth, 1764, T 1/429/18, NA, UK.

140 De Vries, Industrious Revolution.

141 For a discussion of prostitutes routinely found in India see Peter Mundy, in Temple, Travels of Peter Mundy, 2:216; Bodleian Library, Rawl. A 315, Relation 15, fol. 73; Lubbock, Barlow's Journal, 1:162, 192.

142 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1751, IOR/E/1/36/91, BL.

143 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1728, IOR E/1/19/103; 1733, E/1/24/124; 1731, E/1/22/233, BL.

144 Miscellaneous Letters received by the Directors of the East India Company, 1724, IOR, E/1/15/119-120, BL.

145 Scotland, Customs and Excise: Draft Clause for Suppressing Allowance of Portage to Seamen . . . . , 1768, T 1/466/243, NA, UK.

146 Formal and informal pawnbrokers were scattered throughout these neighborhoods, benefitting from the flow of goods through many hands. Lemire, Business of Everyday Life, chapter 2; Hunt, “Women and the Fiscal-Imperial State,” 31–33.

147 See, for example, Old Bailey Proceedings Online,, version 6.0 (accessed 9 March 2012), December 1714, trial of Mary Nichols (t17141209-37); April 1715, trial of Cornelius Gough (t17150427-84); April 1718, trial of John Morris (t17180423-26); February 1722, trial of John Andrews, alias Anderson Elizabeth Andrews, alias Anderson (t17220228-28); August 1726, trial of Isabel Lucky Sarah Jones (t17260831-27); January 1729, trial of David Millford (t17290116-2).

148 Cremer, Ramblin’ Jack, 125, 206.

149 Earle, City Full of People, 74–6; Robinson Charles Napier, The British Tar in Fact and Fiction . . . . (London, 1911), 87127. Newman Simon P., “Reading the Bodies of Early American Seafarers,” William and Mary Quarterly 35, no. 1 (January 1998): 5982; Dye Ira, “The Tattoos of Early American Seafarers, 1796–1818,” American Philosophical Society 133, no. 4 (December 1989): 520–54.

150 Styles John, The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England (New Haven, CT, 2007), 93.

151 Adams Elizabeth and Redstone David, Bow Porcelain (London, 1981), 59, 124–26, 137–38. AAA6050, Caird Library, NMM, Greenwich.

152 Further consideration of sailors' trousers can be found in Beverly Lemire, “A Question of Trousers: Seafarers, Masculinity and Empire in the Shaping of British Male Dress, c. 1600–1800,” Cultural and Social History (forthcoming).

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