24th January 11.30 am. "‘Good and Fit for His Majesty’s Service’? Victualling the Royal Navy 1793-1815" : Dr Martin Wilcox

  • Naval victualling in the eighteenth century has, quite literally, a rotten reputation.  Contractors won their contracts through political connections with the connivance with corrupt officials, and supplied poor-quality food to the unfortunate seamen, at the expense of the hard-pressed taxpayer.  Based on the Leverhulme-funded ‘Sustaining the Empire’ project, this paper examines this series of assumptions.  It looks closely at the ways in which ships were provisioned and at how provisioning contracts were made and policed, and asks whether the victualling system was, as the contracts demanded, ‘good and fit for His Majesty’s service.’

  • Martin Wilcox gained a BA in History from the University of Durham, and MA and PhD in Maritime History from the University of Hull.  He joined Greenwich Maritime Institute as postdoctoral fellow in 2006, and co-authored Sustaining the Fleet 1793-1815: War, the British Navy and the Contractor State (Boydell & Brewer, 2010) with Roger Knight.  He returned to the University of Hull in 2014, where he is Lecturer in History.  He is also Director of the North of England Consortium for Arts and Humanities, and Reviews Editor of the International Journal of Maritime History.   His research takes in many aspects of modern British maritime history, with particular interests in the fishing industry, maritime labour and the Royal Navy.



11.30 am The Cutty Sark Pub just five minutes east of the Naval College,

4-6 Ballast Quay
SE10 9PD



£12 for the lecture or £10 for London Historians & Docklands History Group and past attendees plus the cost of the light lunch / bar snacks afterwards

Numbers are strictly limited so please book early.