Boeteler's Dialogues

The Boatswain

Captain. The office of the Boatswain is to take into his custody, and to keep under his charge, all the ropes in general belonging to the ship: with all her cables, anchors, and sails; her flags, colours and pendants; and is to stand answerable for them. He is also to take care in peculiar of the long boat and the furniture thereof, and is either himself or his Mate to go in her, and to steer her upon all occasions. He is likewise to call up all the several gangs and companies of men, belonging to the ship, to the keeping of their watches, the exertions of their works and spells (as they call them), and to see that they do them thoroughly; and to keep them in peace, and in order one with another. Lastly, he is (in the nature of a Provost Marshal at land) to see all offenders punctually punished, either at the capstan, or by being put in the bilboes, or with ducking at the main yard-arm; accordingly as they are censured by the Captain, or by a Martial Court.

Admiral. This officer must needs be of much use and necessity for the due disciplining, and ordering of the whole company belonging to the ship; and it behoves him to be stirring, stout and faithful.

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

Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives.

Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.