The Lost World of the Sailing Ships 1780 to 1880: An Introduction to Maritime History
Monday 19th September 2016 - Friday 9th December 2016
Delivery: Distance Learning (Online)
The many harbours and havens around the British and Irish coastlines were once thriving maritime communities. The men and women of these communities were bound together by the sailing ships that traded up and down the coast and into deep waters of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. This course aims to give you an insight into this lost world and help you to explore the rich variety of source material that is available locally and elsewhere.
Students will be introduced to different themes. The first session will be an introduction to the Britatin’s maritime economy in the nineteenth century and will consider what elements made up the economy and examine how the world of sail changed during the period. This will include a brief introduction to general sources. The rest of the sessions will be based around a particular themes. Each session will introduce you to the topic, give you some background reading material and introduce you to source material and where to find it, including an introduction to the expanding amount of good research material on the Internet
The module will include a selection of the following:
- Introduction to the 19th century maritime economy
- Maritime communities: structures, changes and influences
- Vessels: the categories, their cargoes and how and why they changed
- Trades and routes: the places and the impact of steam
- Mariners: education, career and comparison with other occupations
- Investors: who they were and how they made profits
- Ports: the rise and fall of ports and the relevant factors
- Shipbuilding and shipwrights: business structure and business pressures
- Sailmakers, blockmakers, ropemakers: the role of the ancillary trades
- Privateers: the last days of privateering and the opportunities for gain
- Smugglers: an examination of the organisation of smuggling and its eventual control.
This list provides an indication of reading materials appropriate to the module. It is recommended that students consult the course tutor before purchasing books.
Duffy, M. et al (eds) (1993), A new maritime history of Devon, Volume 1, London, Conway Press.
Duffy, M. et al (eds) (1994), A new maritime history of Devon, Volume. 2, London, Conway Press.
Greenhill, B. (1978), The merchant schooners, London, National Maritime Museum.
Jackson, G. (1983), The history and archaeology of ports, Tadworth, Tadworth World’s Work.
Ville S. (ed) (1993), Shipbuilding in the United Kingdom in the Nineteenth Century: a regional approach, St Johns, Newfoundland, International Maritime Economic History Association.
Ward-Jackson, C. H. (1986), Ships and shipbuilders of a Westcountry seaport. Fowey 1786-1939, Truro, Twelveheads Press.