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 The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:01 pm

Mention of boat names in another thread prompted reflection on this. About here, although fishing smacks had names - I think - they were never used. The 'bhut' - sort of rhymes with 'look' - was called just that.  My own racer(abroad) likewise I called my 'Flyer' - a local One Design class name and we used class numbers for recording race results. Newcomers to both my home town and my overseas club, however, used boat names as is the norm. Navy ships often used a repeat name, which is confusing when researching and some seem very odd. And it seems from posts  here that the ancient naming of craft is recorded for Nordic regions as well as well as the better known practice of the ancient Med. seafarers Then there are house names. necessary before numbering, my own has a really daft one that we have to use to sort it from others with the same number (!) Anyone any more interesting observations on this?
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:15 pm

Ancient Greece provides two proofs of long tradition regarding ship naming, firstly that they had names during the time of the Second Athenian Confederacy and secondly that they were female. The Epigraphical Museum in Athens has a list of triremes' names from the period contained on the "Tabulae Curatorum Navalium" which can be quite specifically dated to 373-372BCE.

The names show great variation and no little imagination when the sheer size of a fleet exceeds available personal names and one is forced to feminise placenames and abstract nouns to create new ones. While the tabulae don't confirm it, I reckon the temptation to re-use names for naval vessels was as prevalent a custom then as now, especially I assume if an earlier bearer of the name was considered propitious in some way.

Too lazy to transcribe them all I am grateful to the authors of the excellent Classics Pages website for having taken the time to classify them and with appropriate commentary on the meanings of each. I especially like their observation on how the jack-tars of the day would have actually regarded "Aphrodisia". Another long tradition, it seems. Also I wonder how many sailors of the day were rather underwhelmed to hear they had been assigned crew duties on "Miss Fussy"?:




Triremes named after heroines & goddesses

Pandora: she to whom all gifts were given (by the gods). This would be a good name if you didn't know the rest of her story!

Olympias: the Olympian (female) - chosen of course for the reconstructed trieres, now a serving ship of the Hellenic navy

Phosphoros : bringer of light - referring probably to Eos, goddess of the Dawn, although the same word was later applied to the Morning Star (planet Venus)

Hebe: goddess of Youth, married to Heracles after his apotheosis

Kytheria: the Cytherean - that is Aphrodite, from her possible birthplace on the island of Cythera.

Asklepias: the daughter of Asclepios, god of healing

Akhilleia: the Achillean. Trying to bend the rules by naming his ship after Achilles.

Amphitrite : wife of Poseidon, a pretty obvious one

Seiren: The Siren, named for the creatures who tried to lure Odysseus on to the rocks in the Odyssey

Triaina: Trident. Now a guided missile, but originally the symbol of Poseidon's power.

Hephaistia: the Hephaestean. Named for Hephaestus, god of fire, and patron of the workers.

Nereis: Nereid. Daughter of Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea. Thetis, mother of Achilles was the most famous of them

Parthenos: The Virgin - nothing to do with Richard Branson; this ship was dedicated to Athena, the Virgin Goddess

Europa and the Bull - though she was nothing to do with the continent of Europe!

Aphrodisia: belonging to Aphrodite: but the sailors will have seen the name as neuter plural rather than feminine singular: ta aphrodisia was a common euphemism for sex.

Aianteia: Ajax's own. Compare Akhilleia above - a way to get a masculine flavour while still keeping the name feminine.

Thetis: The Thetis - still the name of a warship in the Royal Navy.

Tritogenes: another name for Athena - no one even in the 4th century BC knew what it meant.

Europe: Named for Minos' sister who rode on the bull's back - not EU sponsored!

Kekropis: daughter of Kekrops - the legendary founder of Athens. Also the name of one of the 10 tribes (electoral constituencies) in Athens.

Euia : devotee of Bacchus - a Maenad, wild uninhibited worshipper of Dionysus.

Pandia: "all divine"


Triremes named after places

Hellas : Greece - not a political concept at the time, more an abstract idea

Aithiopia: the African Queen (? as in the movie). Word literally means "burnt- faced", the usual Greek term for Black.

Salaminia: The Girl from Salamis - the island opposite the Peiraeus, scene of the great victory over the Persians in 480 BC [the last time anything eventful happened there - a fisherman I spoke to in 1989 talking about the battle made it sound like something which happened maybe a generation or so ago] According to Aristophanes' Lysistrata, girls from Salamis were renowned for their easy virtue.

Delias : The Girl from Delos - tiny island sacred to Apollo, which had housed the anti-Persian war chest [funds of the Delian Leaugue] until transferred to Athens for "safe keeping"

Delphis: The Girl from Delphi - site of Apollo's oracle in central Greece. Or it could mean "The Dolphin" - an equally suitable name, with associations with Dionysus.

Nemeas: the Girl from Nemea - associated with a monstrous lion killed by Herakles, a temple of Zeus, and the Nemean Games.

Doris: Dorian Girl - would have seemed a strange name to earlier generations of Athenian, for who the Dorian Spartans were enemies.

Eleusis : the small town west of Athens, home of the "Mysteries" - a secret rite observed annually in honour of Demeter and Persephone.

Pallenis : Girl from Pallene, an Attic village (deme). Only deme to have a trieres named after it.

Ionike : The Ionian - the Athenians regarded themselves as the leaders of the Ionian Greeks (as Sparta did of the Dorians)


Triremes named after animals or objects

Melitta : "The Bee"

Delphis : the Dolphin (or the Girl from Delphi - see above)

Panthera: Leopard

Lykaina : She-wolf

Salpinx : "The Trumpet"Synoris? How manmy horses?

Sobe: "The Horse's Tail" (?)

Sphendone: "The Sling" (weapon)

Synoris : "Pair of Horses"

Peristera - "The Dove" (not an image of peace in Greek culture)


Triremes named after abstract ideas

Philotimia : "Ambition". Word used for rivalry between politicians and others - not incompatible, however with...

Eleutheria: "Freedom". One of the key words of the Athenian democracy.

Euphemia: "Silence"

Euporia: "Plenty"

Pronoia: "Foresight"

Boetheia: "Help" [in sense of reinforcement]

Aktis: "Sunbeam"

Aura : "Breeze"

Gnome :"Intelligence"

Dikaiosyne: "Justice"

Hegemone: "Leadership"

Demokratia: "Democracy"

Nike: "Victory" (like Nelson's flagship) - and various combinations: Aristonike: Victory for the best. Kleonike - famous in victory. Polynike: much victorious. Axionike - worthy of victory. Pasinike - Victory for all; Agathonike : glorious in victory; Stratonike - victory for the army; Kallenike (sic) - Beautiful in victory; Polemonike - Victorious in War; Nikariste - best victory; Nausinike - Victory in Ships

Homonoia :"Harmony" - now the name of the busiest square in Athens

Apobasis: landing, disembarkation. Something to look forward to as a rower!

Eudaimonia: "Happiness"

Symmachia: The Alliance

Epideixis : Show, Display [as a part of philotimia - Athenians were not ashamed to flaunt their wealth, if they had it]

Andreia : "Courage"

Eukarpia: "Fruitfulness"

Hygieia : "Health"

Dynamis: "Power"

Charis:"Grace"

Parrhesia : "Free Speech"

Hegemonia: "Leadership"

Doxa: "Glory"

Eutychia: "Good luck"

Parataxis: being a buddy - fighting alongside

Eunoia: "Loyalty"

Strategis: "Generalship"

Theoris : "Sacred Mission"

Eueteria: "Prosperity"

Anysis: "Achievement"

Syntaxis : fighting together


Descriptive names

Okeia - swift

Takheia - quick

Ariste - best

Potone - winged (?)

Stilbousa - glittering

Paralia - from the coast

Euphrainousa - joyful

Petomene - flying

Stephanousa - crowning

Kallixena - Beautiful Stranger

Eucharis - Charming

Soizousa - Saving

Nikosa - Winning

Kratousa - Conquering

Hippia - Horsey

Gnoste - Famous

Thera - Beast

Panoplia - Armed to the teeth

Ephebos - Young man [the only masculine name I came across] - an ephebe was a youth between 18 and 22 performing compulsory military service.

Askousa - Exercising

Euploia - Plain sailing

Prote - first

Phanera - clear, obvious

Hedeia - "Sweetie"

Stephanephoria - wearing the crown

Hipparche - "Mistress of the Horse"

Proplous - leading ship

Kouphotate - "Light as a feather"

Hikane - "Up for it"

Hippegos - "Commander of the Horse"

Agreuousa : "Huntress"

Leontis - Lioness - but also the name of an Athenian tribe (see Kekropis)

Kratiste - "The Greatest"

Stephanoumene - "wearing the crown" (crown was of course a symbol of victory, not royalty!)

Erythreia - Red

Leuke - White

Ortheia - direct, straight

Iousa - "The Goer"

Megiste - the Greatest

Tryphousa (sic) - "Miss Fussy"

Nea - new

Aglaia - Spendid

Prepousa - "Miss Nice"

Hiera - holy

Naukratousa - winning at sea

Paidothera - Scouting for boys (?)

Epipedosa - leaping in.

Epione : Miss Gentle

Anthera - flowery



And two verbs!

Hegeso : Lead the way! (Aorist imperative: also occurs as a girl's name on the well-known stele)

Nikeso : I shall win
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:19 pm

Between the wars my grandad was skipper on the private yachts of the wealthy Sussex land-owner, Col. Buckley. Over the years Buckley owned several yachts in which he sailed around Scandinavia, the Med' and the Scottish Islands (one of which, the Isle of Shuna, he owned). One of his yachts was the 'Mollihawk', and I still have a plaque that was once in the saloon, which grandad removed and made into a solitaire board when she was sold:



The paintword is a bit grubby and faded but you can still see the name, and the pennants of the Royal Thames Yacht Club (left) and the Royal Victoria Yacht Club (right).

And here she is (at least I think this is the Mollihawk, if not it's another of the colonel's yachts):

        

And below deck, complete with paintings and potted palms ... I think that's Col. Buckley at left with the pipe.



A mollyhawk (with a "y") is a species of black-backed gull from the southern oceans down to the Antarctic ... Colonel Buckley had made his fortune as a sheep farmer in New Zealand, before retiring back to England.

..... and Priscilla, I realise this wasn't quite what you were asking for, but knowing you are keen on yachting I just thought you'd like the pictures. Wink


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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:00 pm

@nordmann wrote:
 I wonder how many sailors of the day were rather underwhelmed to hear they had been assigned crew duties on "Miss Fussy"?:

... or childishly excited at being assigned to Baden Powell's old ship, Paidothera - Scouting for boys?

Though you rightly say Thetis was a name used several times for warships of the Royal Navy, I doubt it will be used again. The last HMS Thetis (a submarine) sank during sea trials in 1939 with the loss of 99 men including several civillian contractors (only 5 men managed to escape). She was salvaged and recommissioned but her name was changed to HMS Thunderbolt. As Thunderbolt she was sunk for a second time in 1943 with the loss of all hands. So Thetis is probably considered a rather unlucky name.


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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:55 pm

I remember somebody on the old BBC boards asking what was the oldest known ship name. It is The Praise of the Two Lands a ship built in the reign of Pharaoh Sneferu; circa 2613 BC

wiki:
"The large Egyptian vessel, built by the pharaoh Sneferu, was about 100 cubits (just over 50 m) long and made of cedar wood. Ancient Egypt was treeless, generally speaking, and domestic wood was very rare. The earliest boats on the Nile were assembled of bundled reeds lashed together, the two sḥn ("armloads") of the Pyramid Texts. The earliest written record of international trade of timber is from the Palermo Stone where Sneferu imports cedar from Phoenicia (now Lebanon), Bringing forty ships filled [with] cedar logs. Shipbuilding [of] cedar wood, one ship, 100 cubits [long]

During ancient times, "name devices" for ships typically were of gods/goddesses of the city in which it came from or the name of the guardian deity. Typically called a parasemon or episemon, it was the ship's name and often indicated the hope for good luck at sea.

Many times an ancient Egyptian ship was named after the pharaoh and one of his virtues. For example, the ship of Amenhotep II, who reigned 1427 BCE to 1400 BCE, was called, Amenhotep II who made strong the Two Lands. This ship was built some 1200 years after Sneferu's, Praise of the Two Lands, which is the earliest known ship name. The "Two Lands" referred to here are Upper Egypt upriver and Lower Egypt at the delta. The name of Sneferu's ship Praise of the Two Lands had political implications as the name is believed to have signified the unity between the lands of Upper and Lower Egypt

It is not known if the name of the ship (i.e. Praise of the Two Lands) was put on its side as is done today so others could see the letters. It is likely that a bold mark was used instead since there were no telescopes that could be used from shore or another ship. The special mark would be the means of identification."
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:02 pm

Rules for naming houses;

House Names

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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:15 pm

@Meles Meles wrote:
Though you rightly say Thetis was a name used several times for warships of the Royal Navy, I doubt it will be used again.

Credit where credit is due - the comments following the Greek ships' names are, I believe, by Alan Wilson, the author of the website I thanked for listing them out.

In naming trawlers the tradition in Ireland reverses the logic in which a ship that has sunk, especially if several ships with the same name have sunk, therefore renders the name unlucky. It is more probable that the name will be reused as a tribute to those who drowned. Seamen are a funny crew ...

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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:30 am

Hikani - appeals no end as a name for a racing boat - 'Up for it' with that slight touch of drunken bravado. The stair walls  to my office abroad displayed ship shields  from the many I visited - but occasionally  some went missing - and I suspect visiting junior naval personal  had a few  and envious expats tarting up their bars. I wish I had kept them but they were given for my office and not for me I reckoned. I am not sure if 'Ardent'  - sunk in the Falklands was replaced but I have been on two 'Sheffields.'

RN ships are named for their class, I think? I went on  a Zulu and an Ashanti - so was there a tribal class? Frigates, I think they were.

Thank you folks for some interesting stuff here.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:39 am

PS And thank you Trike re House names and that they can be changed. The ones in our row, are, we think, named after prisons........... Our house deeds state very strongly that we may not brew beer.. iI wonder if that could be enforced?
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:28 pm

@Priscilla wrote:


RN ships are named for their class, I think? I went on  a Zulu and an Ashanti - so was there a tribal class? Frigates, I think they were.


Tribal Class frigates is exactly what they were, Priscilla. There were also Tribal Class destroyers in both World Wars ( not the same ships, the WW2 ones were built in the late 30s)


Be careful if you do decide to rename your house, P, and check with the Local Authority on their rules. As an example, here is one for West Norfolk;

http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=23699
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:51 pm

A practice, which is particularly, though not exclusively, a practice of US aircrew, especially WW2 aircrew, is naming their aircraft;

A B-17G Flying Fortress, the name & artwork on this one is quite restrained compared to some others.



RAF Lancasters might get L for Leather or A for Apple, nothing like the extravaganzas on their US counterparts.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:01 pm

US fighter pilots got in on the act as well;

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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:31 pm

@Triceratops wrote:
@Priscilla wrote:


RN ships are named for their class, I think? I went on  a Zulu and an Ashanti - so was there a tribal class? Frigates, I think they were.


Tribal Class frigates is exactly what they were, Priscilla. There were also Tribal Class destroyers in both World Wars ( not the same ships, the WW2 ones were built in the late 30s)


Be careful if you do decide to rename your house, P, and check with the Local Authority on their rules. As an example, here is one for West Norfolk;

http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=23699
The WWI Tribals included at least one non-tribe - HMS Amazon (and when Nubian and Zulu were damaged, the bow of Zulu was mated to the stern of Nubian to create "Zubian").
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:45 pm

Since the Council will not sort out our house numbering the thought of changing the names will bring on a  dreadful flurry of the 'not possibles,' I fear. And finding a suitable name for a very ordinary looking heap would be difficult. 

There are many daft house names - friends abroad once rented a 'Casa Del Plenty' and not far from it was the weary name 'At Lasta House.' This one built by a Minister who, one assumes, eventually got his mitts into the national trough.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:57 pm

Within a few miles of here are two large "ranch-style" bungalows. One is named "Ponderosa" and the other "Southfork". Both apparently owned by former itinerant scrap metal traders.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:19 pm

Naming artillery was (is?) a popular pastime with gunners. 'Roaring Meg' and 'Sweetlips' both served during the British Civil Wars of the 1640s. Each gun in the so-called Waterloo Battery at the Tower of London (made up of French artillery captured at said battle) has its own name, although I can't remember what they are, alas. Further back, catapults got named, too. Famously Edward I employed a massive trebuchet known as War Wolf. 'Bad Neighbour' was applied to an engine at the Siege of Dover Castle (1216) and at at least one siege during the Crusades (I forget which).
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:33 pm

Mons Meg, Edinburgh Castle.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mons_Meg
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:03 pm

http://www.pbenyon.plus.com/ILN_1899-1900/RN_Brig_Joe_Chamb.html

Another of the naval guns on a "Scott carriage" - locally improvised to counter the Boer "Long Toms" was named either "Winston Churchill" or perhaps "Lady Randolph Churchill". The names seem to have been awarded by the "bluejacket" naval gun crews. The guns were later used in the First World war campaign in the then German colony of South West Africa.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:42 pm

@Triceratops wrote:
Rules for naming houses;

House Names


I notice that in that link they give Llamedos as an example of a house name that is a play-on-words; however, I can't help wondering if that was a joke made up by the owners, or if they named it after the rainy, druid-infested country in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels (which was in turn inspired by Dylan Thomas's Llareggub).  Incidentally, the abode of the gods on Discworld is Dunmanifestin.  I'm willing to bet at least one person on 'Roundworld' has adopted that name, too!
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:57 am

@Anglo-Norman wrote:
Naming artillery was (is?) a popular pastime with gunners.  'Roaring Meg' and 'Sweetlips' both served during the British Civil Wars of the 1640s.  Each gun in the so-called Waterloo Battery at the Tower of London (made up of French artillery captured at said battle) has its own name, although I can't remember what they are, alas.  Further back, catapults got named, too.  Famously Edward I employed a massive trebuchet known as War Wolf.  'Bad Neighbour' was applied to an engine at the Siege of Dover Castle (1216) and at at least one siege during the Crusades (I forget which).


Long Cecil, manufactured by Rhodes' De Beers work in Kimberley during the Second Boer War, today on the Honoured Dead Memorial in said city:


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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:01 am

And the giant German railway gun of WW2, Schwerer Gustav:


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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:03 am

@Anglo-Norman wrote:
Each gun in the so-called Waterloo Battery at the Tower of London (made up of French artillery captured at said battle) has its own name, although I can't remember what they are, alas.

It is actually quite revealing about how soldiers thought at the time (and probably still do) that the names even of captured artillery should be respected through continuation of use.

One of the guns you refer to I found an image of which, if you view it in largest format (and it blows up pretty large if you click on the "fullsize" option), has on its accompanying plaque that it was named "L'Etonnant" (The Astonishing) - a marvelously aggressive and optimistic moniker for something which at Waterloo was one amongst thousands of pieces of the same calibre.



The story behind how the "Waterloo Battery" was assembled on the day of the battle itself makes for a rather humorous sub-plot to the whole Waterloo saga. Having captured French artillery, and then having "lost" it in the confusion of the day, a hurried entreaty was made to the Prussians to "loan" some captured guns that they were busy re-commissioning and present them to the British commander as trophy, what with him (Clinton) having already been informed they were on the way to him. The junior officer responsible (a Lt Smith) was blatantly pleading for assistance in saving face with his commander.

The Prussians magnanimously agreed on the basis they got them back once the originals were "found" or, if the British captured better, to replace them with these. However while in the process of having them moved to Clinton's sector, these too were also lost alas, this time to their original owners, ironically in the melee of Clinton's own offensive against an attempted French flanking manoeuvre, one which was ultimately successful but in which Clinton died. This led to the British actually finding the guns they had originally taken and lost earlier. However now they had a problem as the Prussians were expecting these in return for the ones they had loaned earlier and poor Smith would have to explain this to his new commander, whoever this turned out to be.

The situation was resolved when, after ultimate victory, the Prussians found the original loan items in their now quite extensive batch of captured artillery and there is a document at the War Museum, apparently signed by Blucher himself, in which he graciously allows the British to hold on to their own booty - since there was now so much to go round anyway - and touchingly commends Smith for his bravery in guarding the captured artillery with no mention of the huge SNAFU en route to everything working itself out. However the confusion of the whole day is evident in the guns which make up the Waterloo Battery at the Tower, one of which in fact is actually part of the "loan" consignment which never made its way back to the Prussians.

It's amazing how seriously these issues were taken, even at the height of battle. And no wonder indeed that the cannons' individual names played an important role. On-the-spot inventories must have depended heavily on these unique attributes.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:43 pm

@Anglo-Norman wrote:
Naming artillery was (is?) a popular pastime with gunners....

For his 1512 French campaign Henry VIII commissioned twelve new cannons named for the twelve apostles. One (John I think) came off the road in northern France and got stuck in a ditch. It was briefly abandoned and was found by a French force, but it was too heavy to move and they too had to leave it. It was eventually recovered, much to Henry's relief, but a squad of English sappers and engineers, under the command of the Master of Ordnance.

But guns are not just named by their gunners but also by their targets. It was the French that called Charles V's monster mortar 'The Ostrich', presumably because it dropped such monstrous eggs on them. And it was again the French who in 1918 gave the name 'Big Bertha' to the huge gun the Germans used to shell Paris from over 70 miles away (although Parisians initially thought they were being bombed by a high altitude Zeppelin as the shells arrived with no sound of areoplane engine or distant gunfire). The Germans called it the 'Paris Geschütz' (Paris Gun) or the 'Kaiser Wilhelm Geschütz'. A similar massive railway gun that was briefly used to bombard Stalingrad in 1942 was named simply 'Dora' after the daughter of the senior Krupps engineer.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:04 pm

@Meles meles wrote:
@Anglo-Norman wrote:
Naming artillery was (is?) a popular pastime with gunners....
But guns are not just named by their gunners but also by their targets. It was the French that called Charles V's monster mortar 'The Ostrich', presumably because it dropped such monstrous eggs on them. And it was again the French who in 1918 gave the name 'Big Bertha' to the huge gun the Germans used to shell Paris from over 70 miles away (although Parisians initially thought they were being bombed by a high altitude Zeppelin as the shells arrived with no sound of areoplane engine or distant gunfire). The Germans called it the 'Paris Geschütz' (Paris Gun) or the 'Kaiser Wilhelm Geschütz'. A similar massive railway gun that was briefly used to bombard Stalingrad in 1942 was named simply 'Dora' after the daughter of the senior Krupps engineer.

The original Big Bertha was 420mm mortar designed to smash the forts at Liege;

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:31 pm

Yes - the confusion between "Big Bertha" and "Long Max" (an alternative name for the Paris gun) bedevils research in this area.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/angus-macvicar/11685941143

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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:36 pm

@nordmann wrote:
However the confusion of the whole day is evident in the guns which make up the Waterloo Battery at the Tower, one of which in fact is actually part of the "loan" consignment which never made its way back to the Prussians.

Shhh! If we keep quiet they might not realise!

Fabulous story, though.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:42 pm

We surely can't discus naming weapons without considering all the famous swords, mythic (is that the correct usage of the term, guv?) though the most widely known may be. This seems to have been a post-Classical phenomenon, as far as I know there are no records of Greek or Roman weapons which had a name assigned to them although Greek blades could be dedicated to a deity and, I think, engraved with that name.

Were bronze swords personified like this?  Given how magical, rare and exceptional the earliest ones were, it would not seem to be unthinkable but maybe just in association with their owner?

And polished stone axes? Surely a jadeite axe which had come all the way from the Alps and glistened green in the sun must have been celebrated somehow?
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:02 pm

@ferval wrote:
Mons Meg, Edinburgh Castle.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mons_Meg


Ferval,

a bit out of circulation last days, but as I prepared some days ago this reply and as I see that the big cannons subject has gone on on this thread...my research about the mediëval cannons...

To start iwht we have the same cannon in Ghent Belgium:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulle_Griet



And about superguns:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supergun


And the "bombards"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombard_(weapon)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_artillery_in_the_Middle_Ages


And specifically about the artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy in realtion with your Mons Meg:
http://www.amazon.com/Artillery-Burgundy-1363-1477-Armour-Weapons/dp/1843831627
https://goo.gl/SKKdZ8


Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:30 pm

And interesting how the "bombards" as the Mons Meg ware made...from the wiki above:
"Most bombards started with the construction of a wooden core surrounded by iron bars. Then, iron hoops were driven over these bars in order to surround and cover them. The whole structure was then welded with a hammer while it was still hot at about 1300°C (2350°F)[citation needed]. The rings then subsequently cooled and formed over the bars to secure them. The last step was to incinerate the wooden core and to attach a one-piece cast. The complicated procedure required a highly skilled forge who could work quickly and precisely with a hammer.[1]"

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:14 am

Interesting comparison of the wrought-iron and cast bronze guns of the Mary Rose on her wikimisleadia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Rose
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:39 am

There's an article in the Royal Armouries Yearbook (Volume 3, 1998) about the Mary Rose's wrought-iron port-pieces which differs somewhat from the Wiki article.  The article describes the making and firing of a replica.  The staves were not attached to one another, rather it was simply the iron hoops forced over them which held them together.  The staves' job was primarily to provide the suitable 'passage' to guide the shot.  The description of the gun-carriages as "hollowed-out elm logs" is misleading, making it sound much cruder than it was, as they had to be carefully shaped with multiple groups the give and exact fit between barrel and carriage.  Test firing showed that the stone shot did not shatter on impact (with the exception of one which seems to have split in two before impact).
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:45 am

@Anglo-Norman wrote:
There's an article in the Royal Armouries Yearbook (Volume 3, 1998) about the Mary Rose's wrought-iron port-pieces which differs somewhat from the Wiki article.  The article describes the making and firing of a replica.  The staves were not attached to one another, rather it was simply the iron hoops forced over them which held them together.  

That is of course essentially how a cooper would make a wooden barrel (note the word) to hold liquids. Before the development of blast furnace technology there was no way to get temperatures high enough to melt a sufficient quantity of iron to cast a gun barrel, and so iron guns could only be produced by this hoop-and-stave method. Similarly I very much doubt it would be possible at that time to get sufficient localised heating to be able to hammer-weld the staves together in-situ as is proposed by wiki.

Moreover even when the capability to produce liquid iron was developed, the resulting cast iron could often be alarmingly brittle. The iron used to make the hoops and staves for guns was wrought iron, ie essentially pure, elemental iron (generally by weight over 99.99% purity). Accordingly wrought iron has a much higher melting temperature (and thus it could only ever be produced and worked in a plastic, semi-solid state) and a much lower carbon content, than cast iron (the liquid iron alloy produced, once one can get the temperature consistently above about 1200°C, from an iron ore and coke/charcoal mixture). Wrought iron also generally has far fewer embrittling non-metallic inclusions and impurities, eg bits of slag, since these mostly get hammered out during its production. Wrought iron is a much tougher material than cast iron and had a long history of use in making plough-shares, spades, mattocks, nails, door hinges, horse-shoes, chains, torch brackets, fire-dogs, window grills and fancy iron railings ... and also as the start material in producing steel for knives, shears, razors, billhooks, swords and armour.

Water-powered blast furnaces capable of producing molten iron were developed, probably by Flemish monasteries, sometime around the middle of the 15th century but possibly earlier (the dating is uncertain as this was valuable technology and so to protect their industrial secrets the monks wrote nothing down ... there is some archeological evidence that monks in Yorkshire may have worked out how to do it too, or maybe they just obtained the technology from their continental bretheren). In England Henry VIII can be credited for sponsoring independent research, conducted by the existing iron foundaries in the Sussex Weald, who had started trying to develop this new technology in the 1490s. Eventually with royal support, blast furnaces were established (of necessity they were big industrial works rather than the previous artisanal blacksmith-type concerns), and finally the production of iron cannon, cast in one piece from liquid cast iron, became a real possibility. But at first the advantage of a blast furnaces was just in being able to produce large quantities of metal which was either cast directly into cannon balls, or used as a feed-stock in the manufacture of wrought iron and steel for general blacksmiths, armourers and hoop-and-stave gun makers. Only later (mid to late 16th century) did it really become feasible to cast actual gun barrels with some hope that the resulting cannon wouldn't be more of a hazard to the gunners than to the enemy. Cast iron guns were cheaper to produce than hoop-and-stave iron guns, but were often regarded with suspicion by gunners because of their tendancy to burst, without prior warning, on firing. Accordingly hoop-and-stave cannon were still standard ordnance well into the 17th century.

Hoop-and-stave guns do however generally suffer from more 'windage', that is the degree of miss-fit of the ball in the barrel which of course crucially affects the gun's accuracy and range, and so they tended to be used more for close-range, anti-personal guns (as on the 'Mary Rose'). The degree of windage of cast cannon (whether iron or bronze) was generally better, but the real problem of getting a good fit of the ball in the barrel wasn't really solved until it was possible to precision drill-out the cannon bore (an 18th century development, I think).

Gun barrels, just like bells, could be readily cast in bronze, which has a considerably lower melting temperature than iron (bell metal - ie copper with typically 22% tin - melts at about 950°C, as opposed to over 1200°C for cast iron depending on the carbon content). Most early bronze cannon were produced by long-established bell foundries (again often monasteries) and it's probably no coincidence that the earliest cast bombards actually look very much like bells rather than gun-like tubes. But the copper and tin for bronze were considerably more expensive than iron, which is why the master gunners (who later were often master gun makers too) always had first claim on the church bells of any towns taken in war.

PS ... and returning somewhat to the original topic,

Wrought iron, hoop-and-stave guns were not immune from bursting. James II of Scotland was killed in 1460 during the seige of Roxburgh castle while observing the firing of "The Lion", a large gun he'd had imported from Flanders. Unfortunately for James, when 'The Lion' roared it blew up and, "he was stricken to the ground and died hastily". Incidentally Mons Meg's barrel (or rather the breach) also has an obvious hole in the side ... it burst while firing a salute in 1680.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:49 pm

I today came across a list of the artillery train provided by the town of Lille to Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, in 1475. Of the 114 assorted artillery pieces listed, only one is specifically named: "the serpentine Lambillon". The list also names more generically "a serpentine of Montlhéry" (the place of origin, presumably) and "2 Jacquin serpentines", possibly referring to a gunfounder named Jacques. The exact nature of serpentines is unclear but they seem to have been breech-loaders of varying sizes. The four given appellations here all seem to have been particularly large examples.

It is interesting, also, that only serpentines are named. The train also included bombards, bombardelles, mortars and courtaux (from context the last probably being medium-sized guns, although it isn't clear). However, none of these seem to warrant a name - or at least one worth listing.
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:12 am

serpentine was also the name given to a lower-quality gunpowder, slower burning than coarse corn, which would probably imply it was intended for use in long-barrelled guns. Curtals and mortars were shorter barrelled rather than smaller calibre - mortars in particular often had a small calibre at the breech, but a step in the bore for a much larger projectile, fired at short range but high elevation. The cannon perrier or cannon pedro  shared this bore shape, and fired a stone shot (as the name woul;d suggest).
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:43 am

A serpentine is also the name given to the S-shaped mechanism linking the trigger to the slow-match for firing a matchlock musket.

And talking bombards and mortars, no has mentioned the delightfully named, 'Pumhart von Steyr', built in Austria about 1420 and clearly showing its wrought-iron, hoop-and-stave construction:

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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:25 pm

@Meles meles wrote:
@Anglo-Norman wrote:
There's an article in the Royal Armouries Yearbook (Volume 3, 1998) about the Mary Rose's wrought-iron port-pieces which differs somewhat from the Wiki article.  The article describes the making and firing of a replica.  The staves were not attached to one another, rather it was simply the iron hoops forced over them which held them together.  

That is of course essentially how a cooper would make a wooden barrel (note the word) to hold liquids. Before the development of blast furnace technology there was no way to get temperatures high enough to melt a sufficient quantity of iron to cast a gun barrel, and so iron guns could only be produced by this hoop-and-stave method. Similarly I very much doubt it would be possible at that time to get sufficient localised heating to be able to hammer-weld the staves together in-situ as is proposed by wiki.

Moreover even when the capability to produce liquid iron was developed, the resulting cast iron could often be alarmingly brittle. The iron used to make the hoops and staves for guns was wrought iron, ie essentially pure, elemental iron (generally by weight over 99.99% purity). Accordingly wrought iron has a much higher melting temperature (and thus it could only ever be produced and worked in a plastic, semi-solid state) and a much lower carbon content, than cast iron (the liquid iron alloy produced, once one can get the temperature consistently above about 1200°C, from an iron ore and coke/charcoal mixture). Wrought iron also generally has far fewer embrittling non-metallic inclusions and impurities, eg bits of slag, since these mostly get hammered out during its production. Wrought iron is a much tougher material than cast iron and had a long history of use in making plough-shares, spades, mattocks, nails, door hinges, horse-shoes, chains, torch brackets, fire-dogs, window grills and fancy iron railings ... and also as the start material in producing steel for knives, shears, razors, billhooks, swords and armour.

Water-powered blast furnaces capable of producing molten iron were developed, probably by Flemish monasteries, sometime around the middle of the 15th century but possibly earlier (the dating is uncertain as this was valuable technology and so to protect their industrial secrets the monks wrote nothing down ... there is some archeological evidence that monks in Yorkshire may have worked out how to do it too, or maybe they just obtained the technology from their continental bretheren). In England Henry VIII can be credited for sponsoring independent research, conducted by the existing iron foundaries in the Sussex Weald, who had started trying to develop this new technology in the 1490s. Eventually with royal support, blast furnaces were established (of necessity they were big industrial works rather than the previous artisanal blacksmith-type concerns), and finally the production of iron cannon, cast in one piece from liquid cast iron, became a real possibility. But at first the advantage of a blast furnaces was just in being able to produce large quantities of metal which was either cast directly into cannon balls, or used as a feed-stock in the manufacture of wrought iron and steel for general blacksmiths, armourers and hoop-and-stave gun makers. Only later (mid to late 16th century) did it really become feasible to cast actual gun barrels with some hope that the resulting cannon wouldn't be more of a hazard to the gunners than to the enemy. Cast iron guns were cheaper to produce than hoop-and-stave iron guns, but were often regarded with suspicion by gunners because of their tendancy to burst, without prior warning, on firing. Accordingly hoop-and-stave cannon were still standard ordnance well into the 17th century.

Hoop-and-stave guns do however generally suffer from more 'windage', that is the degree of miss-fit of the ball in the barrel which of course crucially affects the gun's accuracy and range, and so they tended to be used more for close-range, anti-personal guns (as on the 'Mary Rose'). The degree of windage of cast cannon (whether iron or bronze) was generally better, but the real problem of getting a good fit of the ball in the barrel wasn't really solved until it was possible to precision drill-out the cannon bore (an 18th century development, I think).

Gun barrels, just like bells, could be readily cast in bronze, which has a considerably lower melting temperature than iron (bell metal - ie copper with typically 22% tin - melts at about 950°C, as opposed to over 1200°C for cast iron depending on the carbon content). Most early bronze cannon were produced by long-established bell foundries (again often monasteries) and it's probably no coincidence that the earliest cast bombards actually look very much like bells rather than gun-like tubes. But the copper and tin for bronze were considerably more expensive than iron, which is why the master gunners (who later were often master gun makers too) always had first claim on the church bells of any towns taken in war.

PS ... and returning somewhat to the original topic,

Wrought iron, hoop-and-stave guns were not immune from bursting. James II of Scotland was killed in 1460 during the seige of Roxburgh castle while observing the firing of "The Lion", a large gun he'd had imported from Flanders. Unfortunately for James, when 'The Lion' roared it blew up and, "he was stricken to the ground and died hastily". Incidentally Mons Meg's barrel (or rather the breach) also has an obvious hole in the side ... it burst while firing a salute in 1680.


Meles meles, thank yu so much for this interesting survey.

Did in the meantime some further research about the use of cannons in the Middle-Ages and found maong others this:
http://www.themcs.org/weaponry/cannon/cannon.htm


And this interesting book where the first 90 pages are available on the web and are just about the mediëval artillery, its components, the several methods of construction, the life of the "artillerists", how a bobardement was conducted and that much more...
https://goo.gl/vLai4G
http://www.amazon.com/Artillery-Illustrated-History-Weapons-Warfare/dp/185109556X

Kind regards, Paul.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:55 am

Of course many ships had two names (warships especially) - the "official" one and the sailors' own name.
This one had 3 - when taken over by the RN in 1918, she was renamed "Glory X", but she was known as the "packet of Woodbines" to the lower deck.
http://i-am-modelist.com/2012/09/27/askold-2/
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PostSubject: Re: The Naming of Ships, Boats and Property   Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:34 pm

HMY Royal Caroline was a ship-rigged royal yacht in Great Britain. She was named after Queen Caroline, the wife of King George II. On January 29, 1750 the Royal Caroline was launched.
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