Friday 24 May 2024

Recruiting at Greenock

This article appeared in the Caledonian Mercury dated 28 March 1792.  It gives a wonderful description of a Royal Navy recruiting squad in Greenock.  

The article reads:- "Our recruiting has begun today with spirit – a neat small boat, handsomely painted and ornamented, with ensign, pendant and jack, was mounted on a four-wheeled carriage, and manned with four handsome boys, dressed in white frocks and trousers, and black caps banded with blue ribbons, inscribed “Clyde Volunteers”.

"A Ship Master dressed in sailor’s jacket and trousers, with a huge hanger in his hand, and a fur cap on his head, sat as coxswain.  The boat was drawn through all the streets, the boys imitating the actions of rowers".

"It was preceded by the Commissioners with fiddles, playing “Rule Britannia” etc and followed by the Volunteers, with blue inscribed ribbons in their hats, marching with drums and fife.  The Ship Master harangued at proper stations.  Beef and biscuit were handed from the boat; and the air resounded with “God save the King, down with the French, huzza!”

Must have been quite a show!

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