Wednesday, August 31

To cure beer that has turn'd Sour.

"To eight gallons of Beer throw in at the bung a quart of oatmeal, lay the bung on loose two or three days. then stop it down close, and let it stand a month. Some throw in a piece of chalk as big as a Turkey's egg, and when it has done working, stop it close for a month, then tap it."

From the book: "The Servant's Directory, Improved" or "House Keeper's Companion; Wherein the duties of the Chamber-maid, Nursery-maid, House-maid, Laundry-maid, Scullion or Undercook, are fully and distinctly explained. To which is added, Cookery and Pickling sufficient to qualify a person to act as THOROUGH SERVANT in any family."

Tuesday, August 30

For Stroke of the Sun


This is a species of apoplexy arising from long exposure to a hot sun, which produces a particular fulness in the head, as if it were ready to burst. There is at the same time a very disagreeable beating in the temples, and a shortness of breathing, or panting. When, by the effect of these symptoms, the person falls down as if insensible, active means of relief must be immediately had recourse to. The patient must be carried to a cool situation; his head and breast must be raised fiom the ground; and a current of of air be produced by fanning him. Plenty of cold water must be dashed over his body; and this fluid may be rendered still cooler by mixing it with vinegar, or dissolving in it a portion of sal ammoniac or common salt. If in a convenient situation, the body may be placed up to the breast in warm water; at the same time that cloths, dipt in very cold water, are applied to the head and neck, and renewed before they have acquired any warmth. A clyster may be also given, composed of a quart of cold water, in which, if the patient be costive, two ounces of Epsom salt may be dissolved just before it is administered, water being chiefly rendered cooler by the addition of salts during the time of their solution. By these means, the patient will be recovered from the immediate danger of this attack. But if a second attack of the same kind should occur, the evil is then more serious; and it requires a voyage to a cold climate, before the patient perfectly recovers his former state of health.

Taken from: The Naval Surgeon Comprising the Entire Duties of Professional Men at Sea
By William Turnbull

Page 235-236

Monday, August 29

An Interview with Albert Roberts

Jas. Townsend and Sons sent a camera crew out to the Jane Austen Fesitval in July to meet and interview the Acastas about our group and what we do… Townsend has begun a series for people who are new to reenacting and living history about how to get started in the hobby. One of the aspects they cover is how to create and flesh out a persona.

I was so busy over the course of the day that I barely got a chance to sit down with them, but once I did, we talked for a long time. Here is the result of that interview.

Friday, August 26

Another Signal from Ramillies

The Acasta, in company with HMS Ramillies and Dotterel, was sent out from the Royal Navy Dockyard at Bermuda in search of an American Frigate that is reported to be in the area. We have been on the lookout for a fortnight.

Today, the Ramillies came within sight again and was flying her signal flags.  You there! Fetch your copy of Popham's Signal Book and translate that signal straight away! Be sure to post your results in the comment area below. No peeking at the answers until you're done!

Thursday, August 25

Roast Beef of Old England

Written by Richard Leveridge in 1735

When Mighty Roast Beef was the Englishman's Food
It ennobl'd our veins and enriched our Blood:
Our Soldiers were Brave and our Courtiers were Good.
Oh! The Roast Beef of Old England, And Old English Roast Beef!

But since we have learned from all vapouring France,
To eat their Ragouts, as well as to Dance.
We are fed up with nothing but vain Complaisance,
Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

Our Fathers, of old, were Robust, Stout and Strong,
And kept open House, with good cheer all day long.
Which made their plump Tenants rejoice in this Song,
Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

When good Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne
E'er Coffee and Tea and such slip-slops were known;
The World was in Terror if e'er she did frown.
Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

In those days, if Fleets did presume on the Main,
They seldom, or never, return'd back again,
As witness, the Vaunting Armada of Spain.
Oh! The Roast Beef, etc.

Britannia’s high trident, still waving on high,
Bid her tars all be true, and their foes all defy,
To avenge all her wrongs they will conquer or die,
Like brave jolly tars of old England, The conquering brave British tars!

Now fill up a glass, while a bumper we have,
To Howe, Jervis, Duncan and Nelson the Brave,
To the bold British tars, who now rule on the wave,
Huzzah for the bulwarks of England, And health to each bold British tar!

Wednesday, August 24

Acasta encounters the Poictiers

Came into the company today of HMS Poictiers under the command of Captain Sir John P. Beresford as part of our continuing blockade of the port of Baltimore. We laid along side so that Capts. Freymann and Beresford could converse across the expanse betwixt the two ships. The weather, being fairly still, allowed them to use near conversational tones from one quarterdeck to the other. A fairly comical scene ensued, wherein, the Poictiers being a rather large 74 gun third rate saw that Capt. Beresford was obliged to talk down from on high whilst Capt. Freymann was obliged to talk up. 

There was some discussion in regards to the weather and the state of their respective barometers, as well as some of the recent movements of His Majesty's other ships belonging to the blockade. Toward the end of their conversation, Beresford extended an invitation to the Captain and other Acasta officers to dine that evening aboard the Poictiers and Freymann was pleased to accept his invitation.
A replica of the HMS Poictiers' figurehead at the Royal Museum in Portsmouth.
Later that evening at supper, Captain Beresford and his officers related tales of their recent travels up and down the coast, and the vessels they had recently captured. With names like "Little William", "Logan", "Rebecca", it sounded for all the world like the muster roll for a family gathering rather than a list of captured enemy ships. The lieutenants in attendance all lamented the relative small size of their captures thus far, and it occurred to me that when you are aboard a 74 gun third rate, every ship you encounter must seem quite diminutive in comparison.

Friday, August 12

HMS Victory, a Virtual Tour

 Special thanks to JASNA -GL member Janet Abell for allowing us to make use of the pictures she took aboard HMS Victory during her most recent visit to England, September 2013.