Boeteler's Dialogues

The Cook

Captain. The next officer, my Lord, is the Cook; and his work is (at sea as at shore) to dress meat according to the number of the messes of men he hath aboard. And this meat he is to receive from the Steward by the tale, and some of it by weight; and, being cooked, he is to deliver it to such persons as are chosen by every mess for the fetching of it away from him. And these men it behoveth himself and his mates to heed carefully, lest both himself and some other messes be cosened of their dues, by delivering twice, or a double allowance to one and the same mess, which is a frequent cheat amongst seamen, and pleaseth some of them almost as much as their very dinners besides. This Cook is also to take especial care and heed that both the flesh and fish be timely and sufficiently watered, and shifted, for the more wholesome feeding of the ship's company. To which end there are certain men to be appointed to do this particular work, being from their employment termed Shifters; and to be ranked men of the cook-room.

Admiral. I doubt not, but these Cooks know well enough how tolick their own fingers; and I assure myself that teir fat fees make them gainers, whosoever loseth by the voyage. …

Nathaniel Boteler: Six Dialogues about Sea Services. Between an High-Admiral and a Captain at Sea. Concerning the Commander in Chief … The Common Mariner … The Victualling out of Ships … The Names of all the Parts of a Ship … The Choice of the Best Ships of War … The Sailings, Signals, Chases and Fights …; By Nathaniel Boteler esq; lately a commander and a captain in one of His Majesties Royal ships of war.
Moses Pitt, London, 1685. -8vo, 13x6.5 cm, (4), 404, (12) pp.
Reprinted as NRS Vol. LXV in 1929. 8vo, xl, 342 pp, 7 plates.

Seems to have been written in 1634. Relies heavily on the works by Smith and Mainwaring. Second edition in 1688.

Updated 1996-02-25 by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.