Showing posts tagged 18th Century



That time when a naval fleet was defeated by Cavalry,

In 1795 pretty much ever major power in Europe was determined to quash the newly formed French Republic.  Enemies attacked from all sides, and in the Netherlands one of the most unusual events in military history would occur; the defeat of a naval fleet by a cavalry force.

As part of the French Revolutionary Wars, France initiated a surprise attack and invasion of the Netherlands.  After captured Amsterdam in January of 1795, the French commander Gen. Jean-Charles Pichegru learned that the Dutch fleet was anchored off of Den Helder, 90km north of Amsterdam, and were quickly removing the ice covering the port’s bay so that they could escape to Britain. The winter was very cold that year, so much of the rivers and coastal bays were frozen over. Gen. Pichegru gave one of his commanders, Brig. Gen. Jean-Guillame de Winter command 8th Hussar Regiment and the 15th Line Infantry, and ordered him to make haste to Den Helder and either capture or destroy the Dutch fleet before they could escape.

To travel to Den Helder as fast as possible, Gen. de Winter order each Hussar to carry an infantrymen with him on his horse.  The men arrived 3 days later, and quietly made their way through Den Helder without being spotted by Dutch sailors.  The next morning they lined up at the bay’s shore and found the ice still intact, with the Dutch fleet still trapped in the harbor.  On the morning of Sept. 23rd, 1795, Gen. de Winter ordered his men to charge the Dutch fleet.  With the 8th Hussars at the lead, the French galloped over the ice and attacked the Dutch ships.  The Dutch, unprepared for a cavalry assault, were not cleared for action and hadn’t even loaded their guns.  By the time the Dutch were ready for combat, dismounted Hussars and infantry were scaling the ships and climbing on the decks.  

The attack on the Dutch fleet was a successful, with 14 ships of the line and 880 guns captured.  It was the only time in history a naval force has been defeated by a cavalry charge.

That’s frankly fucking incredible.

(Source: Wikipedia)

(Reblogged from parrotheadviking)

" Prince Frederick’s Barge "  …   Carved decorative work by James Richards, 1731-1732. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

(Source: Wikipedia)


" HMS Lancaster "  …  At the Cape of Good Hope [Circa 1800] … A watercolor executed by and contained in the diary of Seaman George Hodge …… George was 13 years old when he went to sea and started his diary in 1790 !!


(Reblogged from moonshine-and-sailors)

" Queen Charlotte Sailors Manning the Yards — 1796 "  …  A view of the Queen Charlotte Man of War, of 100 guns, laying at Spithead, where in the ships Company is represented Manning the Yards, in order to salute the Admiral on coming aboard; aquatint; published by John Fairburn, 24 Dec 1796 



Black Pirates.

During the ‘ Golden Age of Piracy’ Some estimate that nearly 5,000 pirates hunted prey between 1715 and 1726. Of that number, about twenty-five to thirty percent came from the cimarrons, black slaves who ran from their Spanish masters. Other blacks joined after pirates attacked slave ships. For example, when Sam Bellamy and his fellow pirates seized a “Guinea Ship,” twenty-five blacks went on the account. Stede Bonnet’s crew also included former slaves and freemen, and of the eighty sea rovers who followed John Lewis were numbered at least forty blacks from English colonies. Francis Sprigg’s cook was black and entrusted with dividing the spoils equally for the crew.

Not all black pirates were known by name. For example, thirty men escaped enslavement on Saint Thomas and went on the account in August 1699. A mulatto amongst Stede Bonnet’s crew had a confrontation with a white sailor who refused to sign the articles of agreement. After cursing the man, the black pirate wondered “why I did not go to the pump and work among the rest, and told me that was my Business and that I should be used as a Negroe.” (Kinkor, 199) Captain Bonnet overheard the exchange and concurred with the pirate – a man was either a sea rover or a slave, regardless of his color or status.

In his article “Black Men under the Black Flag,” maritime historian Ken Kinkor includes a chart listing various pirate captains and how many blacks were members of their crews. It can be said that the crews of some of the most successful pirates, including Samuel Bellamy and Blackbeard, were largely made up of ex-slaves.

  • Samuel Bellamy (1717) – more than 27 out of 180 men
  • Edward England (1718) – less than 50 out of 180 men
  • Edward Lowther (1724) – 9 out of 23 men
  • Blackbeard (1717) – 60 out of 100; (1718) – 5 out 14
  • Oliver La Bouche (1719) – 32 out of 64 men

These five pirate crews are but a small sampling of those listed, and they indicate these men were active members of the crew. Sometimes, they were the most fearsome and most trusted of the pirates, the men who boarded prizes first. They did not, however, always receive the same punishment as other pirates when captured. Whereas their comrades often went to the gallows, black pirates were often returned to the men who owned them, or they were sold into slavery. This was the fate of John Julian, a Miskito Indian, after he survived the wrecking of The Whydah Galley. Rather than try him for piracy, he became the property of John Quincy of Braintree

For example:

Black Caesar (died 1718) perhaps one most famous pirates of African descent The story goes that he is one of the only pirates that didn’t spill his guts when captured.  For nearly a decade, he raided shipping from the Florida Keys and later served as one of Captain Blackbeard’s chief lieutenants aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge. He was one of the surviving members of Blackbeard’s crew following his death at the hands of Lieutenant Robert Maynard in 1718. Caesar’s Rock, one of three islands located north of Key Largo, is the present-day site of his original headquarters and named in his honor.

Henri CaesarHaitian slave (Also known as Black Caeser)

Assisted in the removal of slave holders alongside L’Ouverture and his followers during the haitain revolution .Later, Caesar and his men took over a Spanish ship moored offshore, and thus became pirates in the Caribbean (much unlike Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise movies). When things got too dangerous in his native waters, he took off for the Florida Keys.

Now, he is said to haunt Key Largo and is apparently an honored guest at the Key Largo Piratesfest.

Other black pirates worth mentioning are James Black, Thomas Gates, Richard Stiles, and James White, and Hendrick Quintor.

Source 1:

Source 2:

Source 3:

(Reblogged from beforethemastrp)


Dying female monster


 with curling tail, long hair, webbed hands and the chest of a woman reclining on rocks. 1770s

Pen and black ink

 John Hamilton Mortimer 


(Reblogged from msbehavoyeur)

" Two-Masted Sloop — Swift [1721] "  …  Ship’s Plan ©National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London


" The Outer Harbor Of Brest "  ….  [1773]   Artist:  Henri Joseph van Blarenberghe 


" Golden Mermaid — 1732 "  …  Stern carvings on Prince Frederick’s Barge at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK  …  Photographer:  Chiswick Chap



An exceptional Portuguese azimuth compass by Manoel Ferreira, 1755 


An exceptional Portuguese azimuth compass 
by Manoel Ferreira, 1755 

(Reblogged from carleenallen)


A View of the QUEEN CHARLOTTE Man of War, of 100 Guns, laying at SPITHEAD, wherein the Ships Company is represented Manning the Yards, in order to Salute the ADMIRAL on coming aboard.

By John Fairburn, 1796. Click through for lovely bigness.

(Reblogged from shipsshipships)

James Cook’s ships, the Adventure and the Revolution in the Papetoai Bay (1777) 
Artist: John Cleveley


James Cook’s ships, the Adventure and the Revolution in the Papetoai Bay (1777) 

Artist: John Cleveley

(Reblogged from shipsshipships)
" View of the City of Amsterdam from the Tye "  ….  Engraving [1759]

" View of the City of Amsterdam from the Tye "  ….  Engraving [1759]

" Short Jacket and White Trousers "  [Circa 1750] …..  Women utilize a ruse to disguise themselves as sailors in order to enjoy a life at sea. … The full story is here: 

" Short Jacket and White Trousers "  [Circa 1750] …..  Women utilize a ruse to disguise themselves as sailors in order to enjoy a life at sea. … The full story is here: 

(Reblogged from ellenelizabethcox)