Warwick Week One

From MarineLives
Jump to: navigation, search

Let's get started

It was great to see such a good turn out at our launch meeting on the Warwick campus on Tuesday, November 21st 2017. Our next physical meeting will be on Tuesday, December 5th 2018, at 4 pm, with Dr Benjamin Redding facilitating the meeting in person and Colin Greenstreet co-facilitating by Skype. Details of the meeting location will be circulated by Dr Redding to participants.

In the meantime, it is time to get started with learning to read C17th notarial hands and you becoming familiar with the range of subject matter found in the High Court of Admiralty.

Colin Greenstreet is available to answer questions and to provide support to individual Warwick students at all times between our bi-weekly meetings. Just drop him an email, or skype him on colingreenstreet.marinelives.

Below are some actions we would like Warwick participants to do in preparation for next Tuesday's meeting.

Warwick MarineLives collaborative transcription programme, 2017/2018

Complete your short biographies

Please complete the online biographies each of you started at last Tuesday's launch meeting. We have moved the biographies to a new wiki page named Tools: Warwick biographies. There you will find the photographs you uploaded, together with the text your started writing.

Joshua, you may want to change your photograph from the test shot of mountains to something a little more like yourself. Though to be fair, Colin has a shot of mountains in the background of his, together with a dog.

It would be good if each of you could add a couple of sentences as to what you would like to get out of the Warwick/MarineLives programme, any dissertation topics you are considering, and any particular historical interests you have. This will help us identify manuscript pages with content of particular relevance to your own interests, as we select material on which to work together.

If you need a reminder on how to upload photographs to the wiki and formatting basic wiki text, you can find instructions by clicking here.

Becoming familiar with the MarineLives wiki & different types of content

(1) Chose a topic that interests you and see what you can find in the MarineLives wiki about the topic. Come to our next meeting prepared to tell us what you have learned about search and navigation in the wiki.

For example, Joshua, you mentioned you are studying History and Italian, why don't you explore "Italy", "Italian", or some of the Italian cities, such as "Leghorn(e)", also known as "Livorno", "Genoa", "Naples" and/or "Venice"

For example, Finn, you mentioned you are studying for a maritime related masters in Global History, why don't you explore terms related to physical aspects of commercial ships, or alternatively to navigation?


  • Use the search box, which you will find at the top right hand corner of every page. Type in a keyword and search against that word. The search box cannot handle "fuzzy" logic or wild cards, so you will have to run your searches with spelling variants of your key words. The search box can handle combinations of words - put the combination of words or word string in inverted commas in the search box to force the search to be performed as the exact combination, rather than simply a page containing multiple words.
  • Look for existing finding aids already prepared by other volunteers, which can help you in your exploration of your chosen topic

For example, there are multiple glossaries, some of which you can find in the left hand side bar on each wiki page, but others you will find by typing "Glossary" in the search box

Finn, you might want to look at Tools: Marine Glossary, if you decide to look at physical aspects of ships

See if you can discover the names of all the glossaries. When we last looked there are nine in all on the wiki.

(2) Choose a type of legal case and see if you can find three different cases of that type. Come to our next meeting prepared to tell us about one of those cases.


  • Take a look at the slide in the slide pack we used at our launch meeting, which lists different types of cases. Chose one type of case from the slide and see if you can find examples for which there are witness depositions.
  • Wage disputes and ship bilgings or collisions are always fun. Disputes involving the supply of ropes, pulleys, ironwork, beer, beef, chandlers goods and other ship supplies are very revealing about the nature of shore trades and the social and micro history of the Thames shoreline.
  • Chose a volume of depositions and simply browse it sequentially; or use the search box to look for key words such as "bilging" or "wages"; or browse the Semantic biographies or Semantic occupations (see the top of the left hand side bar on every page), chose the name of a person or an occupation, and see what cases these lead to). Each biography contains links to relevant depositions containing the person being profiles. The biographies often contain short summaries of relevant cases in which the person gave a witness statement in the High Court of Admiralty.

Types of High Court of Admiralty case
Semantic biographies sorted by occupation

Some simple exercises

(1) Take a look at the wiki page titled Online Training Activities and start to work your way through the exercises. We would like you to be comfortable with this material, and to have practised the full set of tasks by Christmas. In the meantime, have a go at a couple of tasks and bring your questions to our next meeting on December 5th, 2017.

Online Training Activities

(2) Skim through the wiki page Avoiding Transcription Errors.

(3) Come to our next meeting with your questions.

Your first page

At our next meeting we will work through a couple of manuscript pages collectively - why don't each of you find a manuscript page in the volume of depositions HCA 13/53, which you think legible and interesting to work on with the group and propose your choice at our meeting?

Some possible pages to work on today are:

HCA 13/53 f.24r

- Deposition of Thomas Hobson in case about wages

HCA 13/53 f.24v

- Deposition of John Haines, "one of his majestyes watermen"

HCA 13/53 f.26r

- Deposition of Roger Bennett, a waterman, in the case of Kinge and Taylor against Gilbert