Statement of Certain Immoral Practices Prevailing in His Majestys Navy: Addressed to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
Ellerton and Henderson, ( 1821), London
28vo, 22.5 cm. iv, 41 pp.
First edition of a work addressed to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, in hopes that they will abolish the evils exposed in this pamphlet. In the course of this endeavor, we learn quite a bit about the seamy underside of naval life – sex workers onboard, for example, being paid in food. Mostly about prostitution aboard ship and ashore, but there is some mention of buggery under the rubric of “unnatural crimes.” According to my notes, a second edition was published about 8 months after this first edition was issued, in which the author admitted defeat in his attempt to drain the swamp – the Lords of the Admiralty (have) deemed it inexpedient to adopt any measures for preventing the evils which this statement was drawn up to expose. The juiciest of the eyewitness accounts in both editions are, alas, blanked out, but it is abundantly clear those sailors were having themselves quite a time. A very good copy, mostly unopened, bound in original printed wrappers, which are lightly chipped. According to a note on the verso of the title page, this first edition was “Limited to 150 copies for private circulation.” Rare in this first edition. No copies online. Wolrdcat shows no libraries holding copies of this 1821 edition.