Women In British Maritime History

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British Maritime history thrives off the successes and achievements by many male pirates, kings and noblemen. Influential figures, such as Henry the 8th, rose Britain to power in the 14-15th century allowing them to be placed on the map as a continental power. Similarly, many male explorers (Columbus, Cabot) established routes and discovered different land masses. The impact and importance that women had in this time period was often overlook and never recorded within history. Women were considered a lesser in society and were discouraged to participate in many male activities. Even though this attitude towards women has carried forth into the 20th century, the impact and abilities that women had during the past went unnoticed. After careful…show more content…
Jo Stanley discussed the transitions that women went through when it involved the occupations on the sea and in the port towns. In the novel, “From Cabin ‘Boys’ to Captains, 250 Years of Women at Sea”, Stanley discusses the roles that women had throughout the life on ship. Women were stewardess on the ships, mostly brought on the ship because of their husbands who were of higher authority on the ship. Their roles progressed as the years went on. During the early 18th century, women were mostly found working on the ship, but as the decades progressed, late 18th century was when women were taking more leadership roles⁴. The majority of this novel follows the average woman's path to success, concluding with Britain's seafaring women in the 21st century possessing larger roles such as captain of large ships. During this era, if women were not on ships, they are often found within the port towns when their husband is off at sea himself. These women contain a massive amount of abilities as they must take care of everything at home. These women need to take care of any children they may have, and ultimately take care of the house while the husband is away. When the man of the household goes away, the wife takes his place. She will be the man of the house and have the responsibilities that he has until further notice. Within another article by mentioned author, Helen Doe, she discusses what happens within port towns while people are off overseas. Doe discusses the importance of certain individuals and shines light on what women are doing while their husbands are at sea. A large contribution that women made while their husband were away was their ability and knowledge towards the outside world. These women cared deeply about their husbands, and by them obtaining knowledge about these maritime communities they were able to fill the positions of jobs such as a
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