By B. Burg
Boys at Sea is a learn of homoerotic existence within the Royal military in the course of the age of sail. It bargains not just with intercourse between traditional crewmen, yet unearths that the main constant function of prosecutions for sodomy and indecency concerned officials forcing their attentions on ships' boys. The e-book lines each function of sexuality at sea, and offers a probing examine a depressing and terrifying point of the lives of children who served in Britain's warships.
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Extra info for Boys at Sea: Sodomy, Indecency, and Courts Martial in Nelson's Navy
In all likelihood he had his own cabin located near the forecastle, close by the cabin of the carpenter, and near the galley, where the stove kept him warm in winter and the gun ports were located far enough above the water line so they could often be left open in the summer to admit light and fresh air. His cabin was most probably convenient to the roundhouses, the enclosures that offered a measure of privacy to warrant officers and sometimes petty officers exercising their bodily functions. 27 There is no judging from the court martial record whether Boatswain Coise’s professional demeanor squares with Ward’s description.
80 Still, for officers and men of the eighteenthcentury Royal Navy, the crime of sodomy was not the failure to extend hospitality, as indicated in Genesis, nor was it any other of a number of lapses that might be inferred from the Bible. It was the specific sex act enumerated in the twenty-ninth of the Articles of War. 2 Regulating Sodomy in the Pre-Nelson Navy England’s Commonwealth government produced the first modern code for regulating the navy. The Laws of War and Ordinances of the Sea, enacted in 1652, contained thirty-nine articles governing all aspects of shipboard conduct deemed important by members of parliament.
They met at “a certain tavern in the city” and there acted out lavishly described girlish charades. 56 Even contemporary historians were not immune to taking swipes at those suspected or accused of homoerotic preferences. Although Thomas Gordon, a widely read political commentator, had once written a book on Lord Chancellor Francis Bacon and another on the Catiline conspiracy, he did not concentrate on his subjects’ predilections for sodomy. The profoundly negative treatment of Bacon used his early seventeenth-century bribery conviction as a metaphor for government corruption in the eighteenth-century collapse of the South Sea bubble.