Monday, October 19

Jack Nastyface

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Jack Nastyface, memoirs of an English Seaman 
by William Robinson
a short review by Tony Gerard

Memoirs from actual inhabitants of the lower decks are fairly rare, and this is one of those rare gems. Robinson was a volunteer (he soon regretted that) in Nelson's navy. He was actually at Trafalgar  and several other notable actions. At less than 200 pages the book is an easy read. The first part of the book give a good, but brief and general, over view of the life of a common Royal Navy seaman of the time. The second part is a general account of Robinson's career in the Navy  up to the time of his desertion. The book concludes with a brief account of the common methods of punishment in the Royal navy and Robinson's thoughts on impressment. An excellent book which should be a part of each Acasta's personal library. I especially recommend it as a first research book for anyone just beginning a Royal Navy impression.

You can also find the Acastas on INSTAGRAM where we post images of life in the Royal Navy circa 1800-1810. It is our goal to have these images be as if you are looking through a window in time. Give us a follow and keep up with all things Acasta!


Monday, October 12

More from the Mail Packet







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Monday, October 5

A Recipe for Chicken Pye

Don't forget to check back every Monday at 8AM CST for brand new ACASTA content!

A reply to a mail packet letter received by HMS ACASTA while pressing hands at the Fair at New Boston. By the ship's cook to Widow Smith of the Penny Whistel Tavern. (A letter that was forwarded to the new ship's cook when it was found to be undeliverable to the ship's Steward in last year's mail packet)
M. Schwendau, Ship's Cook

Widow Smith
Penny Whistel Tavern
Portsmouth

Good Widow Smith,

I received your letter while ashore at New Boston and was delighted in having your recipe for Chicken Pye. I recall the Captain’s fondness of the dish and hearten that your shared such a prize fare with me. I will have to indulge in making it soon for the Captain's table after we are stowed a sail. It will be a grand addition to table for the officers. Such a noble pye will be an honor at the table. I truly give you thanks for the kind offer of your dish to entrust to my recipe book. 

While ashore I messed the Captain on a very fine Virginia ham. It reminded me of the hams from the Lancaster area. They are peculiar in the making of them here in the America’s, they have the luxury of using sugar in the cure. Much like the Gloster hams that are cured in molasses. It was truly a fine ham, so much so in size. The Captain shared it with the hands ashore on the press. We also enjoyed melons and the first harvest of apples. I do believe the men were much impressed with fare, as it was not just iron rations. Unfortunately the green's grociers offerings were sparse in their offer. Only offering carrots and onions at this time. 

I look forward to seeing you in the Penny Whistel again and telling of the new foods I have discovered here in the Americas. 


Your Most Humble Servant,

Michael Schwendau
~HMS ACASTA