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Sailors, National And International Labour Markets And National Identity, 1600–1850

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Chapter Summary

What makes this time-consuming but readily-available source remarkable for research into the questions discussed here are two types of data they contain. First, they combine data for each ship about origin, route and planned destination, tonnage and crew members with origins. Secondly, they contain the results of the interrogations by the Prize Courts of the most important three or four men on board mainly from the early eighteenth century onward. Certainly, it has been documented that even the Royal Navy attracted a number of non-native sailors. The incident off Galway in 1667 points to a number of aspects of the early modern European maritime labour market. The changes open the question of the degree to which international labour markets could be more or less effective than national ones. Finally, whereas the eighteenth century saw an increase of foreigners in the maritime labour market the subsequent century witnessed an overall decline.

Keywords: crew; international labour markets; maritime labour market; sailors



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