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CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brandy

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ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG
ROLL THE OLD CHARIOT ALONG (2)


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Mr Red 10 Mar 02 - 06:32 AM
Gareth 10 Mar 02 - 06:47 AM
Barry Finn 10 Mar 02 - 07:19 AM
Liz the Squeak 10 Mar 02 - 08:33 AM
mack/misophist 10 Mar 02 - 08:37 AM
Crane Driver 10 Mar 02 - 09:08 AM
GUEST 10 Mar 02 - 09:22 AM
Mr Red 10 Mar 02 - 09:43 AM
Dead Horse 10 Mar 02 - 05:38 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Mar 02 - 08:38 PM
Lil' VanBone 11 Mar 02 - 12:27 AM
Gareth 11 Mar 02 - 02:28 PM
Liz the Squeak 11 Mar 02 - 07:28 PM
The Walrus at work 12 Mar 02 - 09:02 AM
Barry Finn 18 Mar 02 - 12:01 AM
Barry Finn 18 Mar 02 - 12:04 AM
Mr Red 18 Mar 02 - 03:47 PM
pavane 19 Mar 02 - 12:33 PM
Mr Red 19 Mar 02 - 02:51 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Mar 02 - 12:46 AM
Les from Hull 20 Mar 02 - 01:01 PM
wildlone 20 Mar 02 - 03:45 PM
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Subject: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:32 AM

Not bull shit but maybe Cow FYM (Farm Yard Manure)
But I was watching a TV program on Nelson and an eminent historian state that his body was pickled in brandy. Now the popular myth it was rum. So popular that the SOED CD ROM quote's the explanantion ot Nelson's Blood as navy rum.
So my questions are
1) is this a case of the historian being wrong?
2) a case of Jack Tar not getting a sniff of the brandy so the name stuck on rum instead?
3) both wrong and it was a cask of his own PORT wine which he would no longer be drinking?

I do have a photocopies of his orders to provisions companies listing his provision requirements from the museum in Monmouth which specialises in Nelson. He liked Port wine (sic) and Brandy - but it had to be Armangac and a lot of expensive whotsits like Japan Soy !
And for one who was fighting the French an unpatriotic surprise - Dijon mustard! No wonder the encagement proved hot!


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Gareth
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:47 AM

Contary to popular belief about Nelsons Navy, Rum, or strong spirits was the issue of last resort.

Beer, a gallon a day while it lasted or Wine, particullaly when in Mediteranean Waters, (Cape Trafalgar ain't that far from Gibralta).

I doubt wether Port would have acted as a presevative, and I am inclined to believe the Brandy theory, if for no other reason than double refined spirits, ( a rather crude form of alchol) were used as a form of primative disinfectent by the more enlightend Surgeons, and as a preservative by naturalists. If I recall correctly, Nelsons body was first taken to Gibralta where the normal preserving spirits would have been available.

With regard to the French connection - "Watch the Wall, My Darling, While the Gentlement ride by"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 07:19 AM

Hugill write "in fact it was Beandy" & the act ws refered to as "bleeding the Admiral". Barry


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 08:33 AM

Sailors used to have an unsavoury habit of forcing a knife blade between the cracks in the barrel, twisting it and thus obtaining a trickle of liquid with which to satisfy their alcoholic cravings. When Nelson was put into the brandy barrel (remember, the weather was warm and Gibraltar isn't THAT close to Trafalgar), the sailors continued the habit, thinking it might bring them some of his luck - much like the ancient habit of eating the brains of your elders or enemies when they died, hoping to ingest their wisdom. Hence the song - a drop of Nelson's Blood.

Rum would have been carried on board - even the British Army was promised a pint of rum a day, but brandy was for the officers. Being an admiral, I suppose it was considered unseemly to put him in the rum for common sailors, besides which, at a tot or a pint a day, it wouldn't have lasted to Gibraltar!

LTS


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: mack/misophist
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 08:37 AM

I read somewhere once that the barrel leaked and he was later repacked in salt. Not nearly as tasty.


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Crane Driver
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 09:08 AM

I got the story from Eric Illott, and it was definitely brandy. Brandy was reserved for the officers, and jealously guarded - the level in the barrels was recorded, and woe betide the crew if any was missing. Some bright spark on the Victory's lower decks realised that the barrel with the Admiral in wasn't going to be opened until they reached London, when the crew would be paid off and have a chance to get away before the deed was discovered. Apparently there wasn't a drop of brandy left when the barrel was opened. Like any story (or song) that has been through the oral transmission process, I wouldn't take it too seriously as history, but never let the facts get in the way of a good story (as our local paper says).


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 09:22 AM

Here's the real story:

Nelson's body was preserved first in a cask of brandy - at Gibraltar, this was changed to spirits of wine - lashed to the mainmast [of Victory] and guarded day and night by a marine sentry as his cabin had been. Pocock, ibid.


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 09:43 AM

Barry Finn
You know I searched "Shanties from the seven seas" AND in the "Roll the Old Chariots" (sic) pages he don't refer to no Nelson's Blood outside the song! AND rum nor brandy nor Nelson appear in the index. Gimme the page!!!
He refers to Doerflinger and wouldn't ya know it - my book isn't that one!!! Navy Rum is quite concentrated and high in sugar apperently which is also a preservative. Nelson paid for his own provisions so maybe it was the Armagnac.

BTW FWIW Martin Hugill is running shanty sessions at the Bishops Castle Folk W/e May 24-26th mrslemon.co.uk
Guest, source? - source?
Oh well, its down to the Monmouth Museum for a word or two.


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Dead Horse
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:38 PM

Hugills reference was in song, and I have the relevant tape in which he refers to the sailors habit of boring a hole in a cask of brandy (officers for the use of) and inserting a straw or quill with which to drink from, known as *sucking the monkey*. A monkey was a particular size of cask. After Nelson died, it was known as *bleeding the admiral*.


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 08:38 PM

"Guest"'s comment is presumably a quote from this web page, where the "ibid" makes sense, as it does not in this thread:

Tapping the Admiral

Tom Pocock appears to have written several books about Nelson.


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Lil' VanBone
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 12:27 AM

This may be a bit off topic -- well ok, it's entirely off topic, but I wonder what people have heard as recipes for grog? I've heard several very different recipes and I'm curious


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Gareth
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 02:28 PM

grog - try here

Gareth


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Mar 02 - 07:28 PM

Interesting that the site cannot get the Nelson connection right either....

Lime juice to prevent scurvy was a fairly important ingredient in grog, ... from it we get the words 'groggy' meaning intoxicated, staggery, as you would be drinking half a pint of rum a day, whether with water or not... and limey, a American slang word for a British ship or sailor.

And of course, the recipe for Cuba Libras.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 12 Mar 02 - 09:02 AM

The point that was missed on the site Gareth poined to, was that grog didn't keep in the same way that neat rum would, therefore it was more difficult for the sailor to "hoard his tot" and thereby helped to reduce some potential drunkeness.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 12:01 AM

Hi Mister Red. I don't remember saying the statement was from Hugill's Shanties of the 7 Seas. Try Songs of the Sea by Stan Hugill page 78, you'll find it there. You'll also find pretty much the same story related with the addition of the expression "shall we tap the admiral" meaning shall we have a drink. this is from the Ocean Almanac by Robert Hendrickson, copyright 1984, page 258. You'll also find this (not the story but the song) in Doerflinger's 'Shantymen & Shantyboys' as "We'll roll the GOLDEN chariot along" pages 49-50. Rum in itself won't spoil but add water to it (Grog, see story of Admiral Old Grog) & it won't last long, saving the navy some money & keeping the sailors from storing it up, which could lead to??? Nelson also gets credit for the expression "turning a blind eye". During the battle of Copenhagen (1801) Nelson held his telescope up to bis blind eye so he couldn't see the order to 'break off'. Realizing that to withdraw would mean failure in an important campaign. The result was a great victory, to which he later would remark the he had a blind eye so he sometimes had the right to use it (from "When a Lose Cannon Flogs a Dead Horse There's the Devil to Pay, by Olivia A Isil, 1996, see page 105. Time for me to shake a leg & turn in, goodnight, Barry


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 12:04 AM

Sorry about the repeat of the above, I came back to finish much later than I started. Barry


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 03:47 PM

Barry Finn Ta
Looks like I have research to do. Monmouth is probably the quickest - only an hour from me and the Forest of Dean FC meet in the Rugby Club alt Fri so any day now...


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: pavane
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 12:33 PM

I lived in Gibraltar for a while and there is a plaque marking the place where Nelson rested in his cask briefly - but I can't remember whether it said Rum or Brandy. Maybe someone could look it up when there. Or maybe THEY got it wrong too.


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 02:51 PM

Well I was told Rum makes yer glum, and Brandy makes yer partial to the Lady Hamiltons of this world. I think rum was more appropriate in this instances but you never know.....


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 12:46 AM

YEah, but the greatest sea-faring hero of this country got seasick!! Go figure!!

Adding water to the rum also made stale water drinkable... although it might not improve the flavour of the rum......

LTS


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: Les from Hull
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 01:01 PM

I can't imagine that there would be much rum in Nelson's fleet, Liz. The mediterranean ships would be on wine (Mistela, 'Miss Taylor') and the channel fleet ships on small beer. Until somebody provides me with a decent source for this story, I'll treat it as the myth in undoubtedly is. But it is a nice story, and a drop of Nelson's Blood never did me any harm!


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Subject: RE: CS:Drop of Nelson's Blood - Rum or Brand
From: wildlone
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 03:45 PM

Try this site for Provisions
Found on this site click
dave


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