At Were 18th century British mariners incentivized to serve aboard fireships? I am assuming that my candidate 6th great grandfather Jeremiah was a Steward of the ship Cumberland from 7 Mar 1748 to 22 Aug 1750, and that the Cumberland was a fireship.

Comments on that question have raised some doubts as to whether this particular Cumberland was actually a fireship after all.

How can I establish that the Cumberland he served upon was (or was not) a fireship?


1 Answer 1


One clue I would consider is the rank mentioned for the individual in the linked question. The Steward in 18th century British navy was a civil position, hired by the Captain. If we look at Wikipedia page describing Royal Navy Ranks and look at the description in the entry for Steward:

A more senior cook and servant, usually reserved for flagships and larger vessels

A 66-gun third rank ship-of-the-line might have a Steward, whereas it would be less likely on an 8-gun fireship.

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