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Database: The Providence

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The Providence was one of many sailing ships in the British Merchant Navy - which basically means it was a trade ship, rather than one meant for war. You'll notice it's carrying cannons, but those are mainly for protection against pirate or privateer vessels (or for turning the ship into a privateer vessel, should the need arise.)

The ship was built in 1748, and made several trips a year between Britain and the North American colonies - with occasional visits to the West Indies. The manifest doesn't indicate anything particularly interesting - mostly it carried staples like tea, molasses and cloth. It's captained by its part-owner, one Samuel Smythe, who got something of a reputation among sailors for both cruelty to his crew and penny-pinching on rations.

Incidentally - that's not exactly a way to keep good sailors on board. The crew is probably both inexperienced and disgruntled. Ideally, you want an experienced crew who are hugely gruntled. Although you likely don't know much about running an 18th century sailing vessel - odds are you won't notice the difference.

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