Printed Admiralty order regarding venereal disease amongst sailors, signed by Anson and others. Admiral Lord George ANSON.

Printed Admiralty order regarding venereal disease…
Printed Admiralty order regarding venereal disease amongst sailors, signed by Anson and others.

London: Office of the Admiralty, 5 October 1757.

Folio, 6 pages plus integral blank; folded to docket size with manuscript annotation "Admiralty New Instructions relating to Surgeons"

"The Risque of getting those Distempers"

A scarce and desirable relic of eighteenth-century naval life: an official printed order from the Admiralty concerning the treatment of venereal disease amongst seamen, signed by three Admirals including the famous privateer and Pacific voyager George Anson. The document concerns the treatment of the disease by navy surgeons, ordering that some 15 shillings be deducted from the wages of each sailor to cover the cost incurred by the Navy. Gonorrhoea and syphilis were the bane of naval life, and this document laments both the spread of disease and seemingly impossible task of curbing the adventures of men during their time on shore: 'Having taken into consideration the great charge upon the seamen and others serving in the fleet, for Cure of Venereal Distempers, and that the same does not answer the desired effect of punishing to such a Degree, as to prevent the Men from running the Risque of getting those Distempers…'.

A scarce and desirable relic of eighteenth-century naval life: an official printed order from the Admiralty concerning the treatment of venereal disease amongst seamen, signed by three Admirals including the famous privateer and Pacific voyager George Anson. The document concerns the treatment of the disease by navy surgeons, ordering that some 15 shillings be deducted from the wages of each sailor to cover the cost incurred by the Navy. Gonorrhoea and syphilis were the bane of naval life, and this document laments both the spread of disease and seemingly impossible task of curbing the adventures of men during their time on shore: 'Having taken into consideration the great charge upon the seamen and others serving in the fleet, for Cure of Venereal Distempers, and that the same does not answer the desired effect of punishing to such a Degree, as to prevent the Men from running the Risque of getting those Distempers…'.
The document is signed "Anson", followed by the signatures of two other Admirals (Forbes and Stanley).

Provenance: Private collection (U.K.).

Price (AUD): $985.00  other currencies     Ref: #4403246

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