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AN ABSTRACT , OF fome Years | OBSERVATIONS Concerning fuch General and Unperceived Occafions OF Sicklinefs in FLEETS AND SHIPS of WAR; Which come not under the Cognizance of Phyfick and Surgery ; But are wholly to be judged of, and remedied by Perfons of Experience in the Affairs of the Admiralty. For whole Perufal alone it is Calculated and Printed, Printed in the Year, MDCCIX. a TO . The Right Honourable THE Lords Commiffioners, | For Executing the Office of Lord High-Admiral of Great-Britain. My Lorns, HIS Abftrad, containing. nothing but what comes un- der your Lordfbips Cogni- zance, was put in Print for no o- ther end, than for your Lordfbips more eafy Perufal. The Author never deening to make it Publick, without your Lordbips Approba- tion. Your Lordfips are farther Humbly deftr'd to obferve, That | the firft Article of the Three in- tended upon this Subject, is wll . that that the Author's Circumflances would as yet permit lim to pick - out of the numerous and various Obfervations he from time to time has made upon, the great and man unperceivd Occaftons of Sicknefs in Fleets, and Ships of War. I am, My Lonps, _ Your Lordthips moft Oblig’d, and mon en- tirely Obedient, Humble Servant, od An C1) 4n ABSTRACT of fome Years Obfervations, &c. HESE Occafions of our Sicklinefs are treat- - ed of in the following Sheets, in three diftint Articles, viz. In ‘Article 1. Such Occafions of our Sickli- nefs that proceed from the nature of our Mens Duty, and Allowances of Keeping, befides their own want of Care in the Service. Article IT. Such Occafions of Sicklinefs which pro- ceed from the want of rightly order’d, and ufed Hof- pital Ships, Article IIL. Such Occafions of Sicklinefs as moft ne- ceffarily. flow from the ufual Management of Phyfick, and Surgery in the Fleet. Article I. Of the Occafions of Sicklinefs that arife from the nature of our Duty, @c. at Sea. I fhall briefly premife, 1. That althoughall Men zhct tan and of common Underftanding are, at Years of Difcretion, ai - fufficiently enabled, by their common Experience (as yo riemfetves. the Beafts are by Inftin&) to judge what fuits beft or worft with their Health; according to a vulgar Say- That the Ne ing, (viz. Every Man is a Fool or a Plyfician.) Yer edt tare neither Man nor Beaft can poffibly make fo effectual or les, des ufe of fuch natural notices, when they are under the tin Management of others, as when they are at their own wef this na- Difpofal. Witnefs Guinea-Slaves, and labouring Cattle , *#«! Benefit. which feldom ail any thing, till prey are put under the (2) the Yoke of others. Whence, both Man and Beaft, by natural Inftiné, hateConfinement ; and are never brought to comply with it, but by force of Cuftomatid Neceffity. . ~ : That fir this. 2+ That, for this very Reafon, the greateft Generals Cay, Gen:- have ever ufed more than ordinary Diligence to difco. fa fap Vet, and to remedy all {uch Occafions of Sicklinefs a- this dof@. mongft their Men; which proceed either from their own Negledts, or from the nature oftheir Duty. ThuPhyficians 3. That Phyficians and Surgeons at Sea, only re- Gsweiins a gard Difeates already formed , but have neither Pow- ‘Fadges of feeb €F, Much lefs any experience in Generalfhip, to pre- rarer. Tot vent the general Occafions of Sicklinefs. Nay, on the fous te C».coutrary, thefe Men often are too generally no fmall fsf'm — Occafions of our Sicklinefs, either through want of aims en Skill, or Diligence; and confequently, by fuffering . wcafins of Difeafes that might have been prevented by timely Silim. — SEiHI, to run toa pitch of Malignity and Infe@ioufnefs, as hall be made appear, God willing, in Article 3. of this Effay. Befides, that the ableft Phyficians that ever appear’d in the World have made it out upon Record, that hardly one of ten Medicines in common ufe, is other- wife neceffary, <‘but for keeping up the Pomp of the Profeffion, and gratifying the Apothecaries, who have fo long been the main Supporters and Introducers of moft Phyficians {whence the Fleet has been fo com- monly fitted with Medicines, much more for the In- tereft of the Apothecary, and his Favourites, than for that of the Services) but rather very much to the con- trary, as the faid third Article will make good. 4. That the general Occafions of Sicklinefs. treated of in this Article, are owing to the want of neceffa- ry Precaution, againft the Injuries of the fix follow- ing Particulars, that relate to what we call good Keep- ing, viz. 1 Of 1. Of the Air we live in, namely, as well the o- pe Air, as that within Board, - For that the fitt of thefe is a moft conftant general Caufe of our Sicknefs, Sieling®. appears palpably from hence, viz. That’ our Sicknef- That the open fes are all of one and the fame kind, on Board of e- hiss om very Ship in the fame Fleet, tho’ not equally violent. of or Difegts And, 2. That as the Seafon or Climate are varied, fo“ 5 do all our Diftempers vary to the very fame kinds. For inftance, in our own Seas, our Feavers are moft com- monly Aguith, and tedious, efpecially Spring and Fall , but as the Fleet proceeds to the Weftward, our Fea- vers change gradually into very malignant, infectious, and mortal ones, all over the fame Fleet, even before they arrive at the Weft-Indies : Whilft, in proceeding towards the Streights, and Southern Seas, they grow gradually more continual, and incline to Loofnefs; which foon turns bloody and infectious. But this might be made out by many Obfervations , as of the great difference of Gravity and Springinefs that is to be obferved betwixt the Sea-Air, and that on Shoar. Likewife by the notable grofnefs of the Sea-Air, in comparifon to that of the Continent, name- ly, by which it furrounds and covers our Land-Air and Soil, (in Great Britain, and other Ilands) from the violent Heats of fome more Northerly Countries, and from the piercing Frofts of fome more Southerly Parts. Moreover, by that intolerable Stink it prefents us with, in clofe, faltry, calm Weather ; by which it plainly difcovers what noxious Contents it abounds with. Alfo by the fuddenefs, frequency, variety, vio- Jence, and unforefeen Alterations of itsStorms ; which the more untoward they at any time happen to be, the more our Men are obliged to be expofed to them, con- And that it trarywife to what it is on Shoar. Which I hope will ae A be enough to evince, that ten times more caution, if ter precaution poflible, is requir’d againft the Tojuries of the onen tnd et Seg Z a And that parti- cadarly, upin she nine fellomw- ing Accounts. AuppEr C4) Air at Sea, than on Shore. And confequently, that more than ordinary Precaution, with regard to the following Particulars, is abfolutely neceffary, towards. rendring our Fleets and Ships healthy. Thefe Particulars are, 1. The ill Confequences of that long Confinement of imprefs'd Men, on Board of Tenders; In want of fufficient Cloathing, Bedding, Room, Exercife, and too often even of Viduals. For,, upon thefe accounts, I conftantly obferv’d the firft Rife of Sicklinefs in our Ships, to be owing to fuch Men, who moft commonly. brought their Illnefs on board with them. 2. OF entring or impreffinng infirm, or otherwife ufelefs Creatures but for number fake, For fuch I always found to be the very next fubjeds of our Sicklineffes ; if not to be often before-hand. with the other. 3. Of keeping poor naked Wretches (being prefs’d without Neceflaries) two Months on. Board, before that Slops (for bedding and cloathing) can be iffued out to ’em. For fuch never failed, fen-- fibly to augment the numbers of our Sick. As, 4. OF the Infufficiency of the ufual Slops; which to my certain knowledge, many poor Sailors trufting ‘to, have fuffer’d very touch by Sicknefs. 5. Of fuch as fell their Cloaths for a little good Suck (as they call the very worft of Spirits; for Suttling is ftill kept on foot by one means or other.) And who, ra- ther than fail, will take up Slops and Tobacco of the Purfer for that ufe. For which reafon, I havesftner than once obtain’d of my Commanders, in Men ef War, to have a fearch made for all the Spirits thar were on board, and to have them fecur'd, and ferv’d out as occafion required. 6. Of fuch, who in great num- bers, fcorn to thift after being Wet, or have nothing to fhift withal, who ufually added not a few to our fick Numbers. 7.Of thofe who fcorn to put on theirCloaths after hot Work, or in the Evening of a hot Day, and the the like. - 8. Of fuch, who in great Numbers Dare all Weathers with open Breafts, and laugh at almoft all Advices that pre-fuppofe Mortality. And, in the laft place, of thofe who, in their Liquor, chufe to fleep any where, butin their Hammocks; as on bare Decks, Chefts, or expos’d to cool Air, the fcorching Sun, the Dew, Cold, and the like. For I never obferv’d any cavfe of Feavers morecommon, Suttling being too: fweet a Trade to be eafily retrench’d. How flight foever the abovefaid Occafion may fern. That rhefe Nog- to be, at firft view, yet, if I may conclude any thing "si ee# from conftant Experience, thefe Means alone are e~ rier of she qen nough to confume all the Navy Allowance for Me- 4”. dicinal Stores; provided a Surgeon be honeft, and un- derftand his Bufinefs, which was the only Caufe why I found my felf oblig’d to accept of Hofpital Ships, fooner than ’twas otherways my Intereft to do, as be- ing at no Expence for Medicines in them, It is true, the firft two or three of the Inconveni- pug the fy ences nam’d, may feem incapable of Remedy; becaufe three feem ca- they are the unavoidable Refults of Imprefling, which le # Reme- is hitherto fo indifpenfably neceflary. Neverthelefs I se "selene have often thought, and difcours’d of an Expedient, «fit: me among fome Perfons of good Judgment, which 126,200 could gladly with fome of deeper Underftanding in loathing fuch Marters had in Confideration ; becaufe I never could hear any material Objection againft its Feifable- nefs and Ufe, in this Particular, viz. To have all Her Majefty’s Seamen cloath’d on a like foot, and in a correfponding manner, to that of the Soldiery (ba- ting for Fafhion to be adapted to the Work, and the Stuff, which for the Out-fides might be ftrongeft Can- vafs, Tarpawling, or the like), For by this means, 1. The fame Care would be had of the Cloathing, both by Commanders and Men, as is had amongft the Soldiery. By which means our Men would be un- fpeak- ~ (6) fpeakably better fecur'd againft the Injuries of the Air aforefaid. 2. Our Sailors would be thereby con- fiderable Savers, and nothing nigh fo much at the devotion of Landladies and Slop-fellers, that fo much debauch ’em from the Service, as "twill hereafter far. ther appear. 3. It might be made a Capital Crime to wear any other Cfoathing, while in the Service, or till one is fairly difcharg’d, or perhaps till one has adually recover’d a Receipt for his Cloathing, And, Care being taken that no other Cloathes are kept by any of the Men on board, I imagine it might prove a very effectual Expedient, as well againft Deferting, as againft the forefaid three firft Occafions of Sicknels which I mention’d. ber But however that be (for I pretend not to be able ,t0 give a decifive Judgment in any of the Particulars I aedzrevay ce mention, in this Paper) yet Pm very inclinable to Ba F* think, that the remaining Occafions I nam‘d, and my which very much increafe our Sicklinefs, might, by good looking after, eafily be remedied. For which I once had the fuccefsful Experience of a worthy Com- mander; who, {peaking upon that Subject, was often pleas’d to tell me, he laid it down for a Principle, that Sailors, generally fpeaking, have as much need of good looking after, in all that relates to their Health, on board, 2s younger Folks ina Family ; not only on account of what their Duty expofes ‘em to, but, more efpecially, of their childifh Indifcretion. wr aie f Thus far of the Injuries of the open Air. Now stip isa grea- for thofe of the Air within Board, which I hope eafi- ir f fa * ly to make appear to deferve no lefs Confideration. fiefs, ccer2- For that it, moft commonly, is a very confiderable ing 1 thir Occafion of Sicklinefs, and Lofs of Men, is palpable 7 d am from hence, vix. Becaufe any common reigning Di- ftemper of the whole Fleet, is always obferv’d to be confiderably more fierce on board of fome Ships, than it ~ CF) it is in-the reft; without any other aflignable Caufe, than what we call the particular Unwholfomenels of the Ship, that is (in very deed) of the Air of the Ship. . About which every one commonly make their Obfervations. As particularly that a Ship which is very tight under Water, and leaky above, is com- monly unhealthy, in comparifon to thofe of the con- trary Conditions. Nor indeed can it be otherwife, in the main, with Ships, than with Houfes, in this Particular. The laft whereof being ill kept, or bad- ly feafon’d, has been a notorious Occafion why one Fa- mily has fuffer'd confiderably more, by the reigning Diftemper of a Seafon, than others, In a word, fo noted an Occafion of defperate and fatal Sicklinefs has the unwholfome Air of a Ship been reputed, that no Pains have been commonly fpar'd for correéting it. As by clearing a Ship of all the Sick at once; then wafhing, fcraping, airing Chefts and Hammocks, Funking with Pitch, and other Gumms, fprinkling with Vinegar, yea even by letting in plenty of Water, by a Plughole, into the Bilge, and often, and much Pumping. But the worft is, that notwithftanding all thefe That none of Means are carefully us'd,. the very fame Ships prove Tr pee in alittle time, as unhealthy.as before. Which feems ring a Ship plainly to argue, 1. That the unwholfome Air with. ;mlons bite in board of fuch Ships, ows its hurtful Taint to the for she falom- want of a like Seafoning, before, or at fitting out to in Rewéns. Sea, as new Houfes, or old, and for fometime unin- habited Ones always require, before a Family can expect to live healthy in them, 2. That this tainted Air, of an unwholfome Ship, is conftantly: fupply’d with Recruits of its noifom Contents, from the very Materials of the Ship. Llfe the letting in of much clear, and pumping out all the choaking Bilge Water, with the other ufual Methods above-mention’d, read . ectu- (8) effe@ually render fuch a Ship wholfome. Contrary to what our daily Experience teaches us. For as a peftilent Air is ever obferv'd to infed even the Walls and Goods in Houfes, fo a long included Air,. as well as Water, in a much pefter’d Ship, may, for want of Communication with the open Air, putrify, and pro- duce an il! Quality, that infinuating it felf into the Materials of a Ship, may be a confiderable time the occafion of unwholfome Air in the fame Ship, as long included and damp Air renders Houfes unwhol- fome. Nor is any thing more obvious to common Obfervation, than that Ships do generally require a proportionable Time at Sea, to that they lay up ip, to make ‘em healthy; and that even new Ships often require a feafoning Time there, “before they are ob- ferv'd to be comparatively healthy. And therefore it «follows, 3. That this Unwholfomenefs may be pre- *" vented, or taken off beforehand (fince fome Ships are aually free of it.) And that? more particularly by a different way of keeping our Ships in the Ordinary, and of feafoning new ones. For inftance, at leaft for fome time before fitting out, fuppofe that Ships be ve- ry much and often pump’‘d, by letting in Water on purpofe, which benefits {uch Ships as happen to be very leaky while they lie up, have of neceflary Courfe, and perhaps would be found to have been far more healthy, on that account, than fuch Ships as did not happen to require fuch frequent pumping, if the Dif ference were narrowly to be inquird into. Like- wife were all the Cavities of Ships that lie up, efpe- cially for fome time before fitting out to Sea, to be as clear of afl manner of Lumber as may be poflible, and much, and frequently expos’d to free and dry Air (if cen 'wais, not alfo well feafon’d by as cautioufly kept Fires, as weufe in Bread-rooms, before we take in our Provi- fions.) No doubt it would fweeten a Ship confide- . rably,