The Seaman’s Speculum or Compleat School-Master

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The Nautical Research Guild is proud to offer the reprinting of The Seaman’s Speculum or Compleat School-Master by John Davis and edited by Merritt A. Edson, Jr.

The Guild published a limited edition of this 1711 treatise on late 17th and early 18th century rigging of British naval and merchant ships in 1985. The 1985 reprint was taken from a microfilm made by the Smithsonian Institute of the only known surviving copy. The book has since disappeared. Much of the information is presented in tabular format.

Also included are The Rules of Gunnery, which details the guns of that era, their requirements for powder and shot and the techniques of loading and firing. As part of The Rules, The Duty of the Clerk, Pilot, Mate, Surgeon and Seamen of a Ship, according to Custom lists the duties of the various crew members, both on board and at the end of the voyage.

This book is provided as a PDF download. 


  • Digital book, delivered as a PDF that is viewable on computers, tablets and mobile devices.
  • 171 pages.

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