The East India Company was one of England’s most powerful trading companies. It shipped goods in great quantities from Asia to England, such as valuable spices, porcelains and silks.
The Halsewell was one of the Company’s grand trading ships. A page from the ship’s logbook reveals fascinating details about life at sea - men overboard, repairs and cleaning jobs, deaths and punishments, treacherous weather conditions. The unique conditions of life at sea required a set of expressions and vocabulary particular to seafarers. The products traded came to play a central role in British culture and, as a consequence, had a profound effect on the English language.
Transcript from the The Halsewell Logbook, East India Company, 1771
"Monday 12th Winds from the Westward and fair. Employed in Shifting the Cross Trees of the Fore Top Mast, Swept and got our small Bower Anchor. AM The Captain Came on Board and punished Andrew Stewart and John Duncan with two Dozen lashes each for Mutiny and at the same time punished Thomas Grundy for Going a Shore."