Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Trinity House (and Tobacco and Trusses)

T is for Trinity House (and Tobacco and Trusses)

It is amazing what we take for granted isn't it?  

Oh look there's a lighthouse.

Oh look there's a buoy!

Harbour Tours - Portsmouth Harbour - boats / yachts - ROROI

In my reading about naval records I came across a mention of Trinity House.  I'd never heard of it before.  

Apparently, if you wanted to be a ship's master in the Royal Navy (they're the people that get to navigate the ship), then you would have to be examined by Trinity House (Pappalardo, p. 14).  And the same if you wanted to be a schoolmaster /naval instructor - although it did change to the RN College Portsmouth in 1819 (Rodger, p. 29).   Letters regarding masters' candidates from 1702-1807 can be found in ADM 6/134 or ADM 1/4314-4315 for the period 1808-39.  In contrast, a gunner was examined by the Ordnance Board and a Chaplain by the Bishop of London (Rodger, p.6) 

Trinity House is very old indeed.  It was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1514 and, as a charity, had all sorts of responsibilities from marine surveying, pilot licensing, making and setting up beacons and markers to providing welfare for seamen and their dependents.  

The majority of Trinity House Archives are held at the London Metropolitan Archives.  Trinity House has a page and some contacts for genealogy enquiries here.

Thank you Trinity House for all that you do to keep us safe when we're messing about in boats or sailing the high seas.

Oh yes, before I forget...tobacco and trusses.  If you are reading a Muster record you may find that it has columns for Trusses and Tobacco...not necessarily together...clothes and beds seem to come between them (Rodger, p.52).  Anyway the Purser would sell you tobacco and keep a record of how much you had.  Lifting heavy sails could often cause an internal injury or rupture so the Surgeon might dole out trusses (people might call them hernia belts today) to those with injuries.  Interesting, no?

Player's Pipe Tobacco. Advertisement

The trials and tribulations of navy life.  

How are your trials and tribulations going in the Blogging from A-Z challenge?  I'm in by the skin of my teeth tonight.  Nighty night.  I'm sailing off to the Land of Nod.


Fowler, Simon, Tracing Your Naval Ancestors - a Guide for Family Historians, Pen and Sword Family History, 2011

Pappalardo, Bruno, Tracing Your Naval Ancestors, PRO, Kew, Surrey, 2002

Rodger, NAM, Naval Records for Genealogists, Public Record Office Handbook No. 22, 1998


Jill Ball said...

I'm in awe. I don't know how you are keeping up with the challenge and managing to have a real job too.

Alex Daw said...

Just don't drop in and see me without warning Jill ;) The house is a disaster zone!

Suzanne McClendon said...

I'm hanging on, but feeling a bit overwhelmed. I don't know how you do it. Your posts are wayyyy more detailed than mine and I'm doing all I can to write just a little bit with the videos that I'm posting. However do you do it?

I am enjoying visiting the various blogs that I visit each day. I had intended to add a new one to my list each day, but it is all I can do to keep up with the 13 that I try to comment to each day. But, I love it!

Thanks for another very informative post. Have a blessed day!

Alex Daw said...

Dearest Suzanne - Well I am very honoured that you keep choosing to visit my blog. It is just lovely reading your comments. I only manage to do it with the patience of my dear husband and son who somehow can manage living in a pigsty. I just took an hour or two off to try and tidy up the joint. How does a house get so messy. Why don't those dishes clean themselves? And the clothes? Why don't they wash and fold themselves? And the beds? Why don't they make themselves? Sigh.

Bob Scotney said...

Trinity House is one of our institutions that we should always be proud of.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Bob. I'm ashamed never to have heard of it before.

Dianne Nolin said...

That was another interesting post from you. I don't know where they used to keep these records in Canada, but I know that in some Sessional Papers of Canada they would list all those who got their Master and Mates certificates.
My 3yr old Shiba Inu has discovered how to open cupboards, drawers and closet doors. I figure if I can teach her how to do laundry she can fold and put it away!

Fran Kitto said...

Thank you for Sunday's. No post due. Although it is now Monday morning and I am trying to get in a comment or two having just finished my part trans-Tasman ANZAC Challenge post and part letter U #atozchallenge post. That was hard. Alex, this was interesting. I really know hardly anything about the navy. Nearly at the end of it. Fran

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Trinity House also paid pensions to wives of sailors (incl merchant seamen) who lost their lives. As my 2xgreat grandfather died at sea I'd have thought his widow would have received something but nary a thing can I find. There is a Trinity House in Leith but only open at unhelpful hours,