Shipboard Fittings

Shipboard Fittings

Again, very few contemporary drawings exist, and information is sketchy.  In general it can be assumed that fittings, as for the rigging, were fairly standardised, and that domestic fittings followed contemporary land practice.  Some good references are:

Boudriot, Jean    The Seventy-Four Gun Ship (4 Volumes, 1986-88).  Covers French practice in minute and exceedingly comprehensive detail.  Beautifully illustrated.  Expensive (Now translated to English).

Boudriot, Jean    La VENUS, 1982.  As above, but one volume dealing with the French Frigates from which the LEDA class, including UNICORN, were derived.  Unfortunately only available in French, but worthwhile for the drawings alone.

Arthur Bugler            HMS VICTORY, Repair and Restoration.  (HMSO. 1966).  Excellent and comprehensive detail for VICTORY, but rather early for UNICORN.

Peter Goodwin            The Construction and Fitting of the Sailing Man of War 1650-1850. (Conway 1987).  Largely based on Victory, Unicorn and Foudroyant (Trincomalee), this book provides good comparisons of the three ships as they were in 1987, with good constructional drawings.

Dr. Frank Howard            Sailing Ships of War.  (Conway 1979).  A good comprehensive survey of the development of ships hulls, rigging and fittings.

Brian Lavery             The Arming and Fittings of English Ships of War 1600-1815 (Conway 1988).  A first-rate, well researched and illustrated explanation of the various fittings and how they changed over time.  Unfortunately stops a few years short of Unicorn, but nonetheless extremely relevant and useful.

David White               Anatomy of the Ship.  The Frigate Diana.  (Conway, 1987).  Beautifully detailed, well researched drawings of almost every aspect of the 1793 Diana.  Although some 30 years earlier than Unicorn this ship was a direct precursor and the drawings are highly relevant.

Mariners’s Mirror The Journal of the Society for Nautical Research.  The back numbers are well worth a search, as four issues a year have been. published since 1910, and almost every aspect of Maritime history has been touched upon.

Model Shipwright            Quarterly Journal from Conway Maritime Press, with an excellent blend of modelmaking and serious historical investigation.

Useful contemporary sources include:

“The Sheerness Books”            3 Volumes held in the National Maritime Museum, (Draught Room), with the original drawings which would have accompanied Navy Board Orders.  Dates circa. 1820-1850.  A goldmine, but the drawings often refer to experimental fittings which may not have become standard practice.

 “The Admiralty Collection”                 A vast collection of plans of Royal Naval ships, foreign captures, etc., held in the Draught Room of the National Maritime Museum.  Many of the later “as fitted” (ca 1840) drawings show considerable detail of fittings, some of which are relevant to Unicorn’s period.

Contemporary Models            Maritime Museums all over the World.