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Personal Possessions from the H.M.S. Boscawen: Life on Board a Mid Eighteenth-century Warship During the French and Indian War

Gail Erwin
Thesis: December 1994
Chair: Crisman
Nautical Archaeology Program

From 1759 to 1760, during the later stages of the French and Indian War, the H.M.S. Boscawen sailed with General Jeffrey Amherst's flotilla against French rivals on Lake Champlain. In addition to serving as warship, the Boscawen was used to transport soldiers and supplies to British fortifications along the lake. With the formal conclusion of the war in 1763, the Boscawen was taken out of military service and moored at the King's Shipyard below Fort Ticonderoga. Stripped of armament and rigging, she rotted and sank into the mud.

Between 1983 and 1985 the discovery and excavation of the sloop Boscawen were carried out as a multidisciplinary study of naval architecture, maritime history, shipboard life, and artifact conservation. The excavation produced over 5,000 artifacts; the assemblage reported here consists of 1,345 items relating to the crew's clothing diet, and recreation. The study of these artifacts has contributed to our knowledge of shipboard life on British Army warships during the French and Indian War, indicating the terms of interaction between British and Provincial forces, and reflecting the relationship between the armies and navy.

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