Spain”s Men of the Sea

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When Juan Ponce de Leon “discovered” Florida, he was accompanied by several ships which were each manned by a captain, ship’s officers, ordinary seamen and ships boys. They all dressed in clothing that was both functional and identified them as a seafaring men. Their clothing was loose fitting, allowing them to work in around the decks and rigging. When need be, they could roll up their sleeves and trouser legs. We can draw from the contemporary illustrations painted by 16th Century artist Christoph Weiditz’s, for some of the details of how these sailors dressed. Here are some images from his so-called costume book, circa 1530-1540. Germanic National Museum, Nuremberg, ed. 22474.









“Thus sits the lord of the ship on a railing on the ship In Spain, when they go over sea.”

“This is the patron on the ship who directs and governs the ship, stands still and looks at the winds as the ship wants to have. If he whistles with the whistle, the barkeroles know what to do, and if they are wanting (making mistakes), he pulls his rope and gives them … (?)” The “patron” is most likely the ship’s captain.
“This is also a top barkerol on a ship that pulls the rudder back.” As far as I can tell, a “top barkerol” is most likely the chief boatswain. The boatswain  bo’s’n, bos’n, or bosun,  is the senior ranking member of the crew and acts as go-between for the ship’s officers and lower ranking crew.  

Pattern Sailor Felted Cowl-Hood