The providing of food supplies. In the diary this generally refers to supplies for the Navy.
As an idea of what they ate aboard ship, I found this information, albeit 60 years before Pepys:
Sir Hugh Platt (1552–1611), an author, alchemist, speculator and inventor whose career touched on the fields of alchemy, general scientific curiosity, cookery and sugar work, cosmetics, gardening and agriculture, food manufacture, victualling, supplies and marketing.
Platt was a Navy victualler. In 1596 he had an idea to solve the provisioning problems of the Navy: pasta. This was the fourth of 5 years of poor harvests; there were riots in Britain and famine across Europe. It was also a time when longer voyages made victualling ships more difficult. Sir Francis Drake’s last voyage to the West Indies in 1595–6 suffered severe hunger.
The traditional sea rations of beef, cheese, liquor and salt fish were not enough.
Platt had a great solution. He laid out the virtues of pasta – or “macaroni” as he called it – in a series of points.
1. First, it is durable, for I have kept the same both sweet and sound, by the space of 3 yeares …
2. It is exceedingly light …
3. It is speedily dressed, for in one half hour, it is sufficiently sodden …
4. It is fresh, and thereby very pleasing unto the Mariner in the midst of his salt Meat …
5. It is cheap …
6. It serveth both instead of bread and meat, whereby it performs a double service.
7. Not being spent it may be laid up in store for a second voyage.
8. It may be made as delicate as you please, by the addition of oyle, butter, sugar and such like.
9. There is sufficient matter to be had all the year long, for the composition thereof.
This pasta proposal gives a good idea of who Sir Hugh Platt was, and shows Elizabethan inventiveness. Platt launched himself on many schemes, and this pasta project was typical. There is the appeal to Platt’s own hands-on experience: the boast about having kept macaroni “sweet and sound” for three years; the indication that he is actually familiar with cooking the stuff, or at least with making it “sodden”. There is the mixture of good thinking – pasta is indeed durable, light and cheap. And there is nonsense: as a pure starch food, it can hardly take the place of both bread and meat. Finally, there is the coy turn to profit at the end. What Platt means when he says that there is “sufficient” pasta to be had all year long is that he can supply sufficient – at a price.
Platt was the owner of probably the first macaroni press in London – a kind of extrusion machine, an illustration of which appears in one of his books. Platt’s scheme to alleviate military hunger is really a call for customers for his pasta supply business. It worked: Sir Francis Drake took Platt’s pasta on at least one of his voyages.
For more about Sir Hugh Platt, see https://prospectbooks.co.uk/products-page/current …
Malcolm Thick: Sir Hugh Plat. The Search for Useful Knowledge in Early Modern London
They used what they had. A short story from
from Rupert, Prince Palatine -- by EVA SCOTT
Late Scholar of Somerville College, Oxford
WESTMINSTER -- ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE & Co.
NEW YORK -- G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
The storm raged without abatement for three days, at the end of which "the Admiral"'s condition was hopeless. By continually firing her guns she contrived to keep the other ships near her, and by constant pumping the disaster had been deferred. But on the third morning, September 30, 1651, at 3 a.m., the ship sprang a plank, and although 120 pieces of raw beef were trodden down between the timbers, and planks nailed over them, it was without avail.
Yes, Rupert escaped in a row boat, but "the Admiral" went down with all hands -- and with all the treasure they had captured.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.