Napoleonic POW Ship  Model


Napoleonic POW Ship Model

Model displayed behind glass, which made it a bit awkward to get a good shot.

Model made by Napoleonic Prisoners of War.

During the wars between 1775 and 1825, many thousands of prisoners were taken and between 1803 and 1814, over 120,000 were brought to Britain alone. They were of many nationalities, although those from France along with other Northern Europeans predominated. In Britain, these prisoners were incarcerated in over 50 places.

These were prison hulk ships, one or two farms and many gaols all over the country and in addition, 3 special camps or depots were built at Norman Cross, Dartmoor and Perth. In Scotland, prisoners were also held at Edinburgh, Selkirk and Valleyfield.

Napoleonic prisoners in Britain were not only rough sailors, but included in their numbers many skilled craftsmen from different trades. Ordinary sailors earned a couple of pence (1new pence) per day in prison, while officers and NCOs got more. However, many wished to enhance their pay by exercising their skills and selling their wares at local markets, which they were allowed to do. A variety of fine work was produced and some of the men, occasionally working in teams, (possibly in some prisons only) turned to making ship models. These they sold for as much as 40, but even then, it was little recompense for the work involved.

The models are made from an assortment of pieces of wood, bone and other materials.

All of these models and many more, both naval and merchant through the ages, can be seen in The Clyde Room, Museum of Transport, Glasgow. One of my favourite places and highly recommended, if youre ever in the city and its free!

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