Necessary Instructions for a Sea-Gunner.

1. The First thing is, that when a Gunner cometh into a new Ship, that he diligently and carefully measure his Guns, to know they are full fortified, be reinfoced or lessened in Metal.

2. Then he must with a Ladle and Spunge, draw and make clean all his Guns within, that there may be no old Powder, Stones, Iron, oe any thing that may do harm.

3. That he seach all the Guns within, to see if they are taper Chamber'd, or true bored, or whether they be Crack'd, Flaw'd, or Honey comb'd within; and finding what Ball she shoots, to mark the Weight of the Ball over the Port; that thereby he may see the Mark or Number upon the Carrieage and Case; so that in time of service they may not go wrong.

4. The Guns being dimensioned and clean as aforesaid, take half a Ladle of Powder for every Gun, and blow them off, spunge, them well; and finding them clean, you may load them with their respective Cartridges and Powder, they being ramm'd home with a strait Wadd after it.

Then let the Ball role home to the Wadd, and set a Wadd close home to the Ball, that the Ball may not roul out with the motion and thumbling of the Ship.

Then must you Tomkin that Piece at the Muzzle, with a wooden Tomkin, which you must tallow round about, to preserve the Powder from wetting.

Likewise make a little Tapon of Ockam for the Touch-hole, which must be tallowed also, to prevent any wet coming to the Powder that way; then let your leaden Apron be put over it; then make your Piece fast, as occasion presents.

5. The Piece being loaded and fast, then provide to every Piece 24 Cartridges at least, ready made; that is to say, 12 fill'd and 12 empty.

Likewise you must be careful, so long as the Gunner's Crew are busie with teh Powder, that there be no burning Match or Fire in the Ship; Also to lay his Cartridges in Barrels or Chests, that when there is occasion to use them, they may be without abuse.

6. The Gunner must see that he sorts his Ball very well, and lay every sort by themselves in several Cases; and upon every Case set the Weight of one of the Shot, which is in them.

Also you ought to make the Bags for Hail for the Guns above, and fill them Stones, small Shot, or Pieces of old Iron, which may be a great annoyance to the Enemies Men.

7. If it falls out that any new Ports must be cut out in the Ship, you must be careful that it be made over a Beam, or as near one as possible you can; Also that they be not higher or lower than the Ports before; likewise that there be room for the Guns to play, because if one Gun be dismounted, there might be another brought to her place: And observe that the Carriage stand on her Trucks: The uppermost part of the Carriage must stand in the middle of the Port, up and down, that a Man may lay his Piece as you please.

8. You must be careful that the Powder in the Powder-Room be well covered with Hides: And also that the Ropes, Rammers, and Spunges be ready at hand. And you must not let the Powder be unturned above a Month, because the Salt-Petre will be apt to the lower part of the Barrel, which would be dangerous to make use of that Powder; And you must every Month draw your Guns; if you think they have got any wetness or moisture in the Powder; Also for fear of the Salt Petre dissolving, which may prejudice the Piece. You must also be careful of the Candle and Fire about the Gun-Room, and especially the Powder-Room, that there may come no disaster.

Likewise a Gunner must keep a good Account of all Materials that that belong to the Guns, as Ball, Match, and Powder. What part thereof he spends, also what remains.

9. A Gunner must use all diligence before they engage with an Enemy, to set a Barrel or Water betwixt every two Guns, that when they have conveniency they may dip the Spunges for the cooling of the Guns, and for fear of Fire remaining in the Piece, which may do hurt.

10. Also you must be sure that there be no melted Fire-works done in the Ship, but ashore; for it is dangerous, and a great hazard to the Ship, and Goods; and Men's Lives may thereby be destroyed.

Also that in time of service, no Fire-works be brought up in the Round-house, or great Cabbin, to stand, for fear of coming from the Enemy may fire it, and so destroy the Ship, but rather to have them kept below in the Powder-Room, or Steward-Room, to prevent Danger.

11. Necessaries that a Gunner ought to have for his Ordnance, and the quantity thereof according to the Length of the Voyage, the Quantity and Quality of his Guns.

Also if you go in a Man of War, or a Merchant-man, then there is difference of Provisions; only I will here name them that belong to a Sea Gunner, that he may take such a Proportion of each, as the occasion may require, and at the End of the Voyage to give an Account what Stores are spent, and what there is yet remaining.

Gunners Stores.

Powder and Match.

Round-shot of every sort.

Double-headed Shot.

Cut Iron of a Foot, or a Foot and a half long.

Wooden Tomkins for each sort of Gun.

Cartridge-Paper and Glew.

Threed, Needles, Twine and Starch.

Mallets, Handspikes, Rammer heads.

Worms, Ladles, Spunge-heads, & Spunge-staves, Beds and Quoins of several sorts.

Old Shrouds for Breeching, and twice lay'd Stuff for Tackles.

Lathers, double and single Blocks, new Rope for double Tackles.

Some old Shrouds for Spunges, some Lines, Marline, Tarr'd Twine, Port-Ropes.

Moulds for Carriages for each sort of Gun, Axle-Trees and Trucks.

Pouch-Barrels and Linstocks, Crows, Splice-Irons, Primes, Staples and Rings, Tackle-Hooks, Nails, Thimbles, Port-Bands, Sheet-Lead and Leaden-shot, old Canvass, Scales and Weights.

Lanthorns, Muscovia-Lights with a large Bottom to put Water in, to prevent danger from the Sparks of the Candle flyiug [sic] upon the Powder-dust, that may get into the Lanthorn, Dark-Lanthorns, Powder-Measures, Sope, Powder-Horns, Priming-Irons, Nippers, Plyers, Moulds to cast leaden Bullets.

And for Instrument such as follow, which every Gunner of a Ship ought to be furnished withal.

Callaper Campasses large and small, for taking the Diameters of the Base Ring, Body of Muzzle of a Gun, and the Diameters of Shot.

A New Rule called the Sea-Gunners Rule, whose use is shewed at the End of this Book.

Brass Heights for Shot.

A Gunners Scale and Quadrant.

Brass Compasses with Steel-points.

Which Instruments, and any other belonging to the Art of Navigation you may be furnished with, by John Seller, at the Hermitage in Wapping; with all sorts of Books, and Maritime Charts, and Atlasses, for any of the known Parts of the World.

John Seller: The Sea-Gunner: Shewing the Practical Part of Gunnery , as it is Used at Sea. ...
Printed by H. Clark for the Author, London, 1691. pp 157-163.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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