Monday, November 28, 2016

The sailor's journal, 1805

"The Sailor's Journal". London: 1805. Lewis Walpole Library.
Today's image is from a broadside ballad. Like The Sailor and the Ghost (1805) it is also an engraving from Laurie and Whittle of London. The song is about a Royal Navy officer bidding farewell to his dear Nancy and his eventual return, a scene portrayed above the lyrics to the song. The final half-stanza goes:
At seven up channel how we bore,
While hopes and fears rush'd on my fancy,
At twelve I gaily jump'd on shore,
And to my throbbing heart press'd Nancy.
As the song concerns a naval officer and one is shown in the engraving it's safe to say that sailors in the boat are supposed to be Royal Navy sailors; that said, they don't look much different from other sailor portrayed in engravings. All four sailors wear round black hats. Two of the men in the background are wearing light-colored shirts and don't seem to have on jackets or waistcoats; one has a dark-colored handkerchief tied tightly around his neck.

The sailor in the bow holding a boathook has on light-colored broad trousers, a double-breasted jacket worn open, a double-breasted light-colored waistcoat, a light-colored handkerchief tied in a small knot around his neck, and short hair peeping out from under his hat.

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