trading places
home contact us site map
world in 1600 getting there bantam expansion india china impacts
getting there
image strip
ship building first voyage on board ship hazards cargoes
on board ship

Conditions on board were always cramped, unsanitary and difficult. An early East Indiaman was rarely more than 37 metres long by 11 metres wide. That’s only about four times the length and width of a London bus!

The seamen’s diet grew worse as a voyage progressed. Food was hard-baked bread, beer, cider, wine, dry salted beef, pickled pork and dried peas and beans. Fresh fish surprisingly played little part. Some ships carried chaplains and doctors; but as women at this time generally didn’t travel, female passengers were few and far between.

  surgical instruments   shipwreck material

Seventeenth century surgical instruments, from 1639 edition of Woodall.
(click image to enlarge)

Further Information

Shipwreck Material
Bottles from The Earl of Abergavenny
Courtesy of Ed Cumming,
Weymouth Underwater Archaeological Group
(click image to enlarge)

Further Information

ship and bus comparison  

A typical East Indiaman compared with a London bus.
(click image to enlarge)




World in 1600Getting ThereBantamExpansionIndiaChinaImpactsHOMECONTACT US SITE MAP

ShipbuildingFirst VoyageOn Board ShipHazardsCargoes