Broadside calling for sailors to enlist in the Rattle-Snake


This 1791 broadside is an advertisement calling for sailors to enlist in the Rattle-Snake, a naval ship described as a ‘sloop of 16 guns’. At the time, the monarchies of Europe were alarmed by the French Revolution, and were considering supporting the French monarchy, or taking military advantage of the country’s political chaos, and so needed more sailors to enlist.

Pay for sailors at the time was, however, much higher on merchant ships than naval vessels, so new recruits needed plenty of persuasion. Impressment (forced conscription) was used to build up the crews of naval ships, but desertion levels were high.

Full title:
Advertisement for sailors to enlist in the Rattle-Snake
1791, London
Broadside / Ephemera
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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