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Practice of Ropemaking with the Tools
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The subject of Rope-making having never hitherto been fully treated on, every attention has been bestowed to render the following explanations clear and explicit. And it is hoped that a reference to the Plates, connected with, the descriptive Practice of Rigging, and the other parts of this treatise, will afford a satisfactory, distinct, and accurate, account of the several operations.


BACK-FRAME WHEEL for laying cordage, from a six-thread ratline to a two-inch rope, is about four or five feet in diameter, and is hung between two uprights, fixed by tenons on a truck, and supported by a knee of wood. Over its top is a semi-circular frame, called the head, to contain three whirls (that turn on the brasses) with iron spindles, secured by a hasp and pin. They are worked by means of a leather band encircling the whirls and wheel. Three of the whirls are turned when hardening the strands, and one only when closing the rope, the strands being hung together on it. The truck, on which the back-frame wheel is fixed, runs on four wheels, and is made of three-inch oak plank, about nine feet long and thirteen inches broad, at one end, and eleven inches broad at the other.

BACK-HOOKS, large strong iron hooks, to close ropes and cables, fixed in the breast-board of the sledge.

BANDS, to encircle the wheels and whirls, are of leather, large line, or catgut. The leather is for the spinning and back-frame wheels, the line for the table-wheel, and the catgut for line and twine wheels.

BLOCKS, single, double, or treble, are strapped with a hook and thimble, and reeved with a rope, called the tackle-fall, which is used to stretch the yarn to its full extent, (before the press is put on,) by a capstern, or crab, at the lower-end of the rope-walk. The sail is then belayed, until every yarn is hove through the strands and brought down, so that the rope may not exceed the circumference intended.

BOLTS for whirls are large iron pins with round heads driven in the board over the crank-wheel for the whirls to run on.

BRASSES, set into the heads of laying or spinning wheels, are about four inches long and two broad. In the middle of the upper-end is a hole for the spindle of the whirls to work in.


BRIDGE, an oak plank, thirty-two inches broad and three thick, fixed across the top of the kettle, with a mortise through the middle to admit the step, and a hole at the end for the yarn to pass through to the nipper.

CABLES, ropes made of nine strands, that are nine inches and upwards in circumference.

CABLETS, cable-laid ropes, under nine inches in circumference.

CAPSTERN. A round body of wood, about eight feet high and fourteen-inches in diameter. It turns on a spindle at top and bottom, has four holes near the middle for levers or bars, and is turned by men or horses. Its use is to draw the yarn, when tarring, out of the copper through the nipper, to be coiled away in the yarn-house, and there properly hardened before used; if not, it will kink in closing.

A CAPSTERN, or CRAB, is fixed in the ground at the lower-end of the walk, and is used in stretching the yarn to its fullest extent, before it is worked into strands, by means of the tackle-fall, led from the sledge to the capstern, they being about eighteen yards distant from each other.

CLEARER. A tool similar to the hatchell, but with finer teeth, as the hemp is always finished on it for lines and twines, for sail-makers, &c.

CLOSING of ropes, see LAYING.

COUCH. To couch well is to lay close and even.

COIL. A rope turned in form of a ring, one turn upon another, for easy stowage, and that it may run out free.

CRAB, a sort of small capstern, fixed in a frame of wood at the lower-end of the ground, used to stretch the yarn, by giving power to the tackle.

CRANK-WHEEL, for spinning of lines, box-cord, &c. is fixed on an iron spindle or axis with a handle to turn it by: It hangs between two posts; the after one is six feet high, one foot broad, and five inches thick; in its upper part, above the wheel, is let in a semi-circular board, two feet six inches long, two feet broad, and five inches thick, to receive three sets of whirl-bolts, with whirls on them, for the spinners to hang their threads on: at the front side of the wheel is a short post supported by a knee of oak for the spindle to rest on.

DRAGS are formed like the after part of the sledge, to which they are fastened by ropes, and are lined with a board on the upper side. They contain weight, as a press, when the rope requires more than the sledge can carry to keep the strands of a proper stretch, and prevent their kinking, as they get hard, and as the rope is brought to its intended size.

FIDS, to make eyes, splices, &c. in large ropes, are round lignum-vitae pins, thick at one end and tapering to a point. They are from eight to twenty inches long.

FOREGANGER, a short piece of rope, one quarter of an inch in circumference, (larger than a whale-line,) to fix on the harpoon when they strike a whale.

FORE-LOCK-HOOKS are made of iron, with a long neck and handle; they have an eye at the end of the neck for the fore-lock to go through, and are to hang the yarn on, to harden and close ropes, from two-inches and a quarter and upwards.

GROUND-TOW, the loose hemp that comes from the sides of the hatchellers and spinners.

A HATCHELL, to clear the ends of the hemp, by drawing it through, has forty sharp-pointed iron teeth, one foot long, fixed in wood.

HAULED ABOUT is a term used in making a short cable-laid rope, when one strand is made long enough to make three; or, for a four strand rope, long enough to make two, and form an eye at the lower end for a stay.


A HAUL OF YARN is about four-hundred threads, when warped off the winches, with a slight turn in it, to be tarred.

HAWSERS, ropes made of three or four single strands. When made of four strands it is called shroud-laid, and is used in merchant-ships.

HEART, a strand slack twisted, used in some four-strand ropes it is run down the middle, to fill the vacancy that would otherwise occur, and thereby forms a round. It is best hawser-laid.

IRON JACKS, sometimes used instead of the table-wheel or back-frame wheel, differ from the latter by having an iron wheel with cogs, which work in the whirls, they having iron cogs like-wise.

JUNK, old cables or hawser-ropes, cut into various lengths.

KINKING, the twisting or curling of a rope, by being twisted too hard.

KNITTING, the tying together certain quantities of yarn, when warping into hauls to be tarred.

LAYING, the closing of the strands together to compose the rope.

LAYING-HOOK, the hook on which the strands are all hung together for laying or closing.

LOPER, used to lay lines, has two iron swivel-hooks (that run round in a brass or iron box) at each end, for the line to hang on, and work, by the power of the fore turn, from the wheel at the upper end.

MARKING-YARN, a white thread, untarred, laid in rope for the king's or East-India company's mark. That for the king's is spun the contrary way.

MARLINE-SPIKES, to make eyes, splices, &c. in small ropes, are long iron pins, in shape of a fid, from eight to sixteen inches long.

MAIL, to rub off the loose hemp that remains on white cordage, is a kind of steel chain-work, flat, and fastened upon leather, about nine-inches long and seven-inches broad.

NIBBED-HOOKS are of iron, used to hang the yarn on to harden the strands, and lay ropes from two inches and a quarter to three inches and a quarter.

A NIPPER is formed of two steel plates, eight inches square and half an inch thick, with a semi-oval hole in each four inches wide, which, by the upper plate moving, enlarges or contracts as the tarring of the yarn requires. It is thus fixed. A post, twelve inches square, is placed between the kettle and capstern, with a mortise cut eighteen inches long from the kettle's surface and five inches wide. The under-plate is turned up on each side, to form two grooves, and is set into the front-side of the post from the lower part of the mortise: the upper-plate has a dove-tail on the back, that slides up and down in a groove into the grooves of the lower plate, and, by a staff, made fast to its front, it is highered or lowered, and regulated by a weight suspended at the other end, so that the yarn receives no more tar than is required, and what is squeezed out drops in a trough and returns into the kettle.

PENDANTS, short pieces of rope, doubled, with a large eye spliced at each end, and a thimble seized in the bight, used to hook the tackles where wanted.

POSTS AND RAILS, along the whole length of the walk. The posts are eight feet high, exactly opposite to each other, and support, on the head, the rails that cross the ground, in which are iron hooks for the spinner to hang his yarn on as he spins it.

PRESS-BARRELS are old tar-barrels filled with clay, and laid on the sledge or drag to add weight when the rope is closing.


RAN, twenty cords of twine, wound on a reel, and every cord so parted by a knot as to be easily separated.

REACHING-POST, a post sixteen or eighteen inches diameter, and about four feet high, fixed in the ground at the lower-end of the walk. It is used in stretching the yarn by means of a tackle, one of the blocks of which is hooked to a strap round the post, the other block to a pendant at the sledge, they being about eighteen yards distant from each other.

REELS to reel ropes on, from a six-thread ratline to a two-inch rope, have four ribs fixed at each end in a flat circular piece of wood; round the edges, are blades, or handles, to turn them: one of the circular pieces is called the head, and is made to slide off for taking the coil away. They turn on an iron spindle with a round head, and are from ten to thirty-six inches long, and from twelve to eighteen inches diameter.

REELS, HAND, are used for reeling marline and other lines. They are narrow boards, with three or four holes at each end, in which pegs are fixed to reel the line on.

REELS, TWINE, have four oak bars, about eighteen inches long, one of which slides for the conveniency of taking off the twine.

ROPE-HOUSE GROUND, OR WALK, should be four-hundred yards long and about ten broad. At the upper-end are fixed the spinning-wheels, over which is the hatchelling-loft, also the back-frame wheels, tackle-boards and posts, winches for winding the yarn on as it is spun, and reels for reeling the ropes on. On each side are stake-posts: in the middle is fixed the warping-post; and, at the lower-end, the capstern and reaching-post. Back-frame wheels for small, and sledges and drags for large, ropes, are used towards the lower-end.

ROUNDING is giving the rope an additional turn after being closed.

SERVING-MALLET has a round head, about twelve inches long, to serve round the parcelling and spunyarn, which is woolded round the rope, to work the worming into the cuntline of the rope.

SERVING of ropes is binding them round with rope-yarn.

SHIVERS. The foul particles taken from the hemp when hatchelling.

SHORT-LAID, implies short-twisted.

SHORT-HAULS, hauls of yarn for rope short of the common length.

SHORTS. The toppings and tailings of the hemp, which are dressed for bolt-ropes and whale-lines. Shorts, also, implies the distinction between the long hemp used in making staple-ropes, and inferior hemp.

SLACK-LAID means slack-twisted.

SLEDGES are frames made of strong oak, clamped with iron in different parts. They are from three feet wide and eight or twelve feet long to five feet wide and fifteen feet long, according to the size of the rope. The two sides are the length of the sledge, made of oak, five by seven inches thick, and tied in with oak bars at each end: near the front are two uprights, five feet high, set into the sides, and supported by two slanting pieces from the upper-end. A breast-board, nine inches wide and from two to three inches thick, is fastened with iron pins to the uprights, and contains holes for the hooks to go through on which the yarn is hung, which, being turned by men, is twisted into rope, and so closed or finished. These sledges are loaded to such a degree as the rope in making requires.

SPINNING-WHEEL, for twelve spinners, to spin yarn at the same time, is about five feet in diameter, and is hung between two posts fixed in the ground: over its top is fixed a semi-circular


frame, called the head, which contains twelve whirls, that turn on iron spindles, with hooks to their front-ends to hang the hemp on, and are worked by means of a leather band encircling the wheel and whirls.

STAFFS for tops are round, from six to eight feet long, and from two and a half to five inches diameter, which go through a hole in the top, or are confined under it by a bolt and tails: they run on a truck-wheel at the lower-end as the rope closes.

STAFF for the nipper is an oak bar seven feet long and four inches square, one end is fixed in an iron strap on the upper-plate of the nipper; on the other end a weight is suspended sufficient to press the tar out of the yarn.

STAKE-POSTS are of oak, about four feet high and twelve inches diameter, with a mortise-hole in each for the stake-heads to go in and out, to keep the rope from the ground. They are placed about ten yards distant from each other along the whole length of the walk.

STAKE-HEADS are about four feet long and four by three inches square, with four wooden pins to keep the strands asunder. For lines they are about two feet long and three by two inches square and have six pins.

STAPLE-ROPES, a term for ropes made of hemp not inferior to clean Petersburgh.

STEP, OR TONGUE, for the tar-kettle, is made of three-inch oak plank, five feet long and thirteen inches broad, which tapers to nine inches at the bottom, and is put into the kettle through a mortise in the bridge. Within four inches of the lower-end of the step is a round hole five inches diameter, for the yarn to pass through. The step is suspended and regulated by a tackle.

STOVING is placing of white rope in an iron stove or oven, to which heat is communicated by means of a flue, which makes the rope more limber and pliant to receive the tar.

STRAND, one of the twists or divisions of which a rope is composed.

STRAP, a number of yarns platted together with an eye at one end, to put a stick through: it is bound round the end of the tails to twist them tight when the rope is to be laid hard. Some have a hook at the other end, to hook the strands in laying: others are made of the same sized rope as the pendants, with an eye spliced in each end.

STRAPS, pieces of rope spliced to surround blocks, or fasten large ropes, &c.

TABLE-WHEEL, to lay ropes, from a six-thread ratline to a two-inch and half rope, is fixed in the wheel-house, at the upper-end of the rope-walk, in a frame fixed in the ground, with two sliding cheeks, and bands to work the whirls, which go separately over each whirl, and round the turning-wheel. (Some have six sets of whirls, of different sizes, with iron spindles, and nibbed or forelock-hooks at the outer-end.) A tackle-board, twelve inches broad and three inches thick, with six holes for the hooks to go through, is fixed above the cheeks upon cleats.

TACKLE-FALL, the rope that connects the blocks together. The whole assemblage is called a tackle, and is used for stretching the yarn, &c.

TAR, a liquid gum of blackish hue, which distils from pines, or fir-trees: when prepared by boiling, it is used in tarring ropes. Stockholm tar is the best for this purpose, and no other is allowed in the royal navy.

TAR-KETTLE is made of copper, and holds from ten to twenty barrels of tar. It is set in strong brick-work, and over it is fastened, from side to side, in the direction of the nipper, a bridge made of three-inch oak plank, thirteen inches broad, through the middle of which is a mortise for the step to go through to keep the yarn down when drawing through the kettle. On that side of the kettle next the capstern is an upright post, twelve inches square, in which is fixed a nipper, to press


the tar out of the yarn; and a staff, with a weight suspended at the end, is fixed on the side of the nipper, to keep it down, that the yarn may have no more tar than is necessary.

TOPS, to lay ropes, from a six-thread ratline to the largest cables, are conical pieces of wood, with three or four grooves or scores from the butt to the end, for the strands to lie in, and form a triangle. If too broad at the breech, the rope will not close well, nor the strands work so close as they should. A hole is made through the centre of the top, one-third the length from the biggest end, for the staff or bolt to go through, round which are put pieces of old rope, called tails, for the layer to close the rope with, and lay it hard or slack, according to the use it is for. A hole is likewise made through the middle of the top length-ways, for laying ropes with a heart. A collar is put on to assist the layer when the work is too heavy, and to enable him to hold the tails and close the rope well.

TOPS, to lay ropes of three inches and upwards, have a staff under them, with a truck-wheel at the lower-end. An iron bolt goes through the centre of the top and is lashed down to the staff, on which the tails are put and rounded over the rope, being too heavy to be laid with the collar. A strap is put round the tails with a woolder for the layer to close the rope with.

TOPS, to lay cables, have a leg to support them with a truck-wheel at the end to run, besides the staff which the tails go over.

TOPS, for laying lines of all sizes, are of hard wood, tapered at the after part, that the line may close sharp. Those for sash-lines have four grooves, and for drum-lines eight grooves.

TOPPINGS, what comes from clearing hemp when hatchelling.

TOPPING AND TAILING is the clearing both ends of the hemp with the hatchell.

TRUCK-BARROWS are of different sizes, have three wheels, and are used to take hauls of yarn from the yarn-house, and remnants of yarn, coils of rope, &c. from the ground to the rope-house.

TRUSSELS have four legs braced together with stout pins: they are used at the upper-end of a rope, or put under ropes of a short length, when the strands cannot be put on the stake-heads.

WARPED INTO JUNKS is yarn warped into short lengths for spunyarn.

WARPING is running the yarn off the winches into hauls to be tarred.

WARPING-POST, a post, fourteen or sixteen inches diameter, fixed in the middle of the ground for warping the yarn into hauls.

WARPING-BLOCKS are used to warp the yarn into hauls for tarring. The tops and bottoms are made to separate, to let in the sheaves and screw down.

WARPING-HOOK, for hanging the yarn on, when warping into hauls for tarring, is a large iron hook hung occasionally to the warping-posts.

WHIRLS are of beech or ash, five inches long, cylindrically formed, and fixed on iron spindles in the heads of wheels, with a hook at one end for the spinner to hang his hemp on. They are like-wise used to hang the yarn on for hardening, and laying ropes, from a six-thread ratline to a two and a half inch rope. Those for twines and lines are made of box wood, with a hole through the middle, and two or more grooves round them, one to hold the catgut which encircles the wheel, and the other to hold a small cap, made of catgut, to which the thread is fastened in spinning or laying. The whirls for large work are four inches in diameter, with three or four grooves and an iron cap.

WINCH (a) is, to wind the yarn on as it is spun, and consists of eight spokes, to form the body, and eight blades, four at each end, to contain the spokes, and an iron bolt with a round head to turn it on.


WOOLDERS, single and double handed, are sticks about three feet long and four inches in circumference, with strops of rope-yarn made fast, to fix on the rope and assist the men at the hooks in closing the rope.

WORMING is laying strands along the cuntlines of ropes, to make an even surface for serving.

YARN, called twenty-five, twenty, and eighteen thread yarn, differs only in the fineness; the twenty-five being finer than the twenty, &c. It is thus distinguished, because either twenty-five, twenty, or eighteen threads a hook, make a rope of three inches in circumference, and so in proportion.


TO explain what ropes are seems to be unnecessary. Their utility on-board of ships, will be fully discussed in that part of this work which relates to the rigging. Under the present head, we shall develope the art of making the various ropes, not only those useful in nautical concerns, but shall extend our directions from the cable to the smallest line.

HEMP for making cordage. RIGA RHINE HEMP is the best; the next in quality is PETERSBURGH BRAAK HEMP; and of these cordage for shipping is generally made: but some Druana, Koningsberg, and Archangel, hemp, is equal to any except the Riga rhine. Memel hemp is inferior.

Riga out-shot and Petersburgh out-shot hemp is little inferior to the Petersburgh braak hemp; and ropes made from them are with difficulty distinguished from those made of braak hemp.

Chucking is a long, stout, coarse, hemp, rather foul, and used for making inferior rope. Short chucking is the foul hemp from the ends of the long chucking.

Half-clean hemp is short, very foul, and full of shivers. Cordage made from it is consequently foul, and easily distinguished from that of the braak hemp. It is, however, fit for spunyarn.

Codilla is a short hemp taken from the root-end of Petersburgh.

The inferior hemps are chiefly used for ordinary white ropes for exportation.

Italian hemp is of a fine, white, soft, texture, six or seven feet long, and is chiefly used in England for seaming-twine or fine fishing-lines.

The bands, which the bales of hemp are bound with, are of the same quality with the hemp they bind, and are made into spunyarn; but, if very good and spun smartly, they will warp for packing-ropes and other cordage.

Ropes should be made of nothing inferior to Riga or the best Petersburgh hemp, well hatchelled, to clear the ends, which else, in spinning, would run in with the long hemp. One pint or more of oil, according to the quality of the hemp, should be used to every hundred weight, to oil the ends, (which is done with a wad of hemp,) that they may pass free in hatchelling, and from the sides of the spinner when spinning.

After the hemp is properly cleaned by the hatchell, it is spun into yarn. In spinning, the spinner must be careful to hold his hand close; otherwise the yarn will be neither round nor smooth. The spinning-wheel must be kept turning a constant regular pace, that the yarn may be spun with a regular turn or twist; for, if slack-spun, it will break in warping or straining up.


In general, every yarn or thread for cordage should be spun the length of one hundred and sixty fathoms, and weigh from three and a half to four pounds; it should then be wound upon winches, and warped into hauls for tarring.

The yarn for tarring has a slight turn put into it,* and is laid by the side of the tar-kettle: a piece of rope is then tied to one end of the haul, and carried under the step in the tar-kettle, through the nipper and round the capstern, which, being turned, draws the yarn through the kettle, from whence it is hauled off and placed in the yarnhouse.

The tar must be well boiled before used, and kept gently boiling while the yarn is in the kettle. (Some think a brisk boiling makes brighter yarn.) If too hot, and the yarn not kept clear of the bottom, it will burn; if too cold, it will make it overweigh and clog. That all parts of the yarn may be equally tarred, the capstern should be kept regularly going; for if, by accident, it should stop, the yarn would burn; to prevent which, the step that keeps the yarn down must be instantly raised, and the yarn taken out.

Yarn for cables requires more tar than for hawser-laid ropes. For running and standing rigging, the less tar the better, provided the thread is well covered.

After yarn is tarred, it is laid in the yarn-house, for a day or two, to harden, before the hauls are opened, for making into ropes or strands for cables.

The yarn, for twisting into strands, is hung on the hooks in the tackle-board, at the upper-end of the walk, and upon hooks in the breast-board of the sledge, at the lower-end, which are turned by men at both ends until the strands are hard: It is kept from the ground by the stake-heads.

Before the turn is put in, the yarn should be stretched to its full extent by means of the tackle fixed from the sledge to the capstern, at twenty yards asunder, at the lower-end of the ground; and, when stretched to two hundred fathoms, the press is put on the sledge and drag, before the tackle-fall is cast off; for, if the yarn be not properly stretched before the tackle-fall is cast off, the rope will not be of its size nor well made.

When twisted sufficiently hard, the strands are hung on one hook in the breast-board of the sledge, but remain separate on the three hooks at the other end. The top is placed in at the sledge, and the rope twisted by turning the hooks at both ends one way, and, as the rope closes, the top moves toward the upper end. [See top.]

The strength of the men at the hooks being greatly inadequate to the force required for twisting of cables, woolders are used, according to the size of the cable, at equal distances, along the whole length.

The strands should have a good hardening before the top is put in to lay the rope, and the layer should see that the heavers at the upper-end keep the same hardness that the strands had before the top set off, nor should he begin to lay the rope until the sledge or wheel is moved by the power of the twist from the upper-end.

When the top is put in, some of the weight should be taken off the sledge or drag; for, if laid with as much weight as is used in the hardening, it would be too stiff, but, by removing a part of the weight, the strands will couch better.

Cables should be rounded by the lower hook after they are laid, to throw the turn well up. They are generally thought to wear best when slack-laid; but some think when short-laid.

Thirty fathoms of yarn, warped for each strand, will make twenty fathoms of hawser-laid rope; it being as three to two. [See table of yarn]

*Or is slightly, twisted.


Thirty fathoms of yarn, warped for each strand, will make eighteen fathoms of cable-laid rope; it being as five to three.

Thirty-five fathoms of yarn, when warped and hauled about in four parts, will make a stay-rope of five fathoms, the strands being shorter laid than other cable-laid ropes.

Bolt-ropes. Twenty-eight fathoms and a half of yarn make twenty fathoms of rope.

Buoy-ropes are commonly laid shorter than cables.

The general rule for all four-strand ropes is, for every twenty fathoms to allow thirty-one, which is one fathom more than for three-strand ropes.

Hawser-laid ropes stand, when closed, one hundred and thirty-five fathoms, and cable-laid one hundred and twenty fathoms.

For hawser-laid ropes, the bigness in the yarn should be as 2 and 3/4 is to 3; so that, to make a rope of 3 inches, take as many threads of yarn as measure 2 inches and 3/4 and so in proportion.

It has been proved that a cable of 10 inches and a half in circumference, made from very fine spun yarn, is equal in strength and duration to a common cable of 14 inches.

CABLETS, used for tow-lines or hawsers, require the strands to be laid shorter than cable-strands, but not so short-laid in closing; for, being used in water, they would become stiff, hard, unhandy to coil away, and liable to break in cold weather.

Yarn, for ropes of this sort, should be finer than for cables, and spun to run from 18 to 20 threads to 3 inches circumference. It should not be much tarred, (the yarn being pressed in making the strands, and again in closing,) as the tar would ooze out and the strands kink.

STAY-ROPES have four strands, with a heart running through the middle, which keeps the rope true; and, when hawser-laid, as a rope, prevents it from stretching, and the strands have each their proper bearing. The stays are made of fine yarn, spun from the best topt hemp. Twenty threads a-hook make a rope 3 inches in circumference, and so in proportion for any size. The yarn is warped to the length and size for the stay wanted. The strands are warped long enough for one strand to make two, when hauled about and hung upon the back-hook. By this an eye is left for the upper-end of the stay to go through and form a collar to go over the mast-head.

For stays of 9 inches in circumference, each strand should be 3 inches and a half, and so in proportion. The heart must be near the size of the strand, or the rope will not lie round and true.

Particular attention should be paid in making the stays, as on them the safety of the mast, &c. greatly depends.

Main, fore, and mizen, topmast, and some topgallant-mast, stays are cable-laid.

TACKS, main and fore, are cable-laid, and regularly tapered from about 10 yards from the knot to the end; when finished they should be half the circumference at the end as at the knot; they are tapered by cutting away two threads from each strand in every two yards, (or more, according to the length,) from the beginning of the taper to the end. Twelve fathoms and one foot of yarn, when warped, are allowed for each strand in a tack 8 fathoms long, and so in proportion for any length. The single foot is allowed for the knot at the head.

HEMP for BOLT-ROPE yarn and worming should be well topt, and tailed; that is, both ends cleared by the hatchell, or it will not make good thread. A thread of 180 fathoms weighs 2 pounds, and 15 ounces; and 28 fathoms and a half of yarn make 20 fathoms of rope, and so in porportion.

BOLT-ROPE is slack-laid, made white, and stoved and tarred by the sail-maker when used. For the merchant-service, it is generally tarred in hauls, as other rope, but sometimes as for the navy.


TILLER-ROPE is made of fine white 25-thread yarn, untarred, and contains 3 or 4 strands, with or without a heart. It is laid harder than other ropes.

Ropes, from 2 inches to the largest size, for running rigging, are hawser-laid, and made of 3 strands on a sledge: these take more hardening and closing than those made on a wheel, and, when laid, stand 120 to 130 fathoms. They should be short-laid, a good hard kept up before, and the hook or wheel turned briskly about behind; but it depends much on the judgement of the layer.

Ropes made of hemp inferior to Petersburgh braak hemp, viz. half clean or out-shot, ground-tows, and white oakum, purchased as old stores from the navy sales, &c. are easily known by opening the end for two or three feet, untwisting the strands, and opening the yarn a little way; if it appears short, in using it will stretch, and lessen in the circumference.

Ropes made from topt hemp will not stretch so much as common cordage, for the short hemp taken from it hinders it from receiving so much tar.

Deep-sea lines are hawser-laid; hand lead-lines, marline, house and sean lines, sean-ropes, and hammock-lines, are made from groundtows or inferior hemp dressed down to shorts, and what comes from it makes oakum.

The toppings of all hemp, for bolt-rope yarn, stay-yarn, &c. is made into spun-yarn, containing 2, 3, or 4, yarns, which is tarred more than if for cordage.

TWICE-LAID CORDAGE is made of cast rigging, as shrouds, stays, mooring and other cables, which, if not much worn, will make good ropes for wetting ships sides, worming and woolding for cables, spun-yarn for seizing, worming for large stays, seizing for strops of blocks, small cable-laid ropes for warping ships, ratlines, scaffolding-ropes for dock yards, &c.

When the yarn of this old stuff is overhauled, a little thin tar should be poured on it, which will make it pliable and lie better. The yarn unfit for knotting will pick into oakum for caulking.

To open a cable, for making it into small ropes, hang the strands upon 3 hooks in the tackle-hoard, stretch it out tight upon the hooks in the sledge, and heave till they are untwisted; then draw out the yarn.

The process of making small ropes is similar to making large ones; except the twisting and closing, which are done by a back-frame wheel or a table-wheel.

In all cable-laid ropes, the proportion of the circumference is to the length of the strand in one round as 11 to 15; that is, if the circumference be 14 inches and a half, the length of the strand in one circumference is 19 inches and 7/8. In all hawser-laid rope the proportion is as 12 to 16; that is, if the circumference be 7 inches, the length of the strand in one circumference is near 9 inches and 3/8. The strength of ropes depends on the hardening or well manufacturing, and not on the bare strength of the hemp; for it strengthens through every stage. Viz. When first spun into yarn, it is little better than hemp extended; when twisted into strands, it shortens and strengthens, and encreases in the same manner when laid into rope.

Where the diameter and circumference of one rope to another is as 2 to 1, that is, where one rope is twice as big as another, the square of the diameter is as 4 to 1; which shews, that one rope has 4 times as much yarn in it as the other, and consequently is 4 times as strong, according to the different magnitudes. [See Table of the Proportional Strength of Ropes.]

Cable-laid ropes shorten as 5 to 3, and hawser-laid ropes as 3 to 2; consequently, the length of the yarn and strength will be accordingly; that is, the strength will be in the yarn, after it is laid in the rope, as much as if the rope-maker, in spinning, had allowed the


quantity of hemp in 2 feet as he he did in 3 feet, so that the strength communicated by the process is two-thirds.

A rope is the same size when laid as the yarns were before twisted; so that what the yarns are lessened by twisting is made up by shortening; from which it is inferred, that the yarns are always of an equal bigness, since the hemp is the same at one time as at another, and not any way diminished. This strength in ropes, caused by the shape and form, is demonstrated by the following figure.

Rope construction.

Here A B C shews the length of the strand in one round. A B the angle the strands make in laying; A C the progressive length that the strands make by one circumference; and A D the diameter of the rope.

Were the strands single, without being twisted one about another, the strength would then be only in proportion as the area of each particular strand is in itself; but, if the strands could possibly be twisted so as to be directly perpendicular to the base, the strength would then be found, by multiplying the diameter of the strands and the diameter of the whole rope one into the other, and the half of the product would be the strength of the laid strands; but more particularly take the area of the single strand and area of the whole cable, and add them together, and the half of that will shew the strength of each strand when they are well twisted together.

But as it may be observed the strands lie at a certain angle between a perpendicular and the base, so that, as the angle of incidence is to radius so is the relative to the absolute strength.


BOLT-ROPE Twine, used in sewing the sail to the bolt-rope, is made from the bar of the long hemp, or from the long rough hemp unbeat. It contains two or three threads, is twisted slack, and wound into half-pound skains containing 200 yards. Eight threads are spun out of half a pound of hemp, each 50 yards long.

Cod-lines of 18 threads are used on the banks of Newfoundland. The thread is spun 100 yards, having 6 threads to a strand, 3 strands to the line, and standing 40 fathoms, which weigh 3 pounds.

Cod-lines of 15 threads, 5 in a strand, smartly laid, spun 90 yards, stand 35 fathoms, which weigh 2 pounds and a half.

Cod-lines of 12 threads, 4 in a strand, are spun 80 yards. They are smartly laid, and stand 30 fathoms, weighing 2 pounds.

Cod-lines for home use have 12 threads, 4 in a strand. Thirty-five fathoms weigh one pound and a quarter.

Cod-lines of 9 threads, 3 in a strand, spun 80 yards, stand 30 fathoms, which weigh one pound and a half.


Cork-lines for nets and seans, used in the royal navy, are made as the sean-lines. Ten fathoms weigh 3 pounds.

Deep-sea lines, 18 threads, cable-laid, are made of good bar hemp, 2 threads twisted together, 3 to a strand. The strands before laid to stand 160 fathoms, and to be smartly laid. They will shorten in laying and closing to 120 fathoms, and weigh 12 pounds a line.

Deep-sea lines, for the royal navy, are of 12 threads, hawser-laid. Eighty-five fathoms weigh 14 pounds.

Deep-sea lines of 12 threads, hawser-laid, are generally for exportation. They have 3 strands, 4 threads in a strand, spun 160 yards, and stand 60 fathoms, which weigh 12 pounds.

Deep-sea lines, used by East-Indiamen, are of strong rough hemp, cable-laid, 9 threads, 3 in a strand, spun 120 yards, stand 50 fathoms, and weigh 8 pounds.

Dolphin-lines of 12 threads, 4 in a strand, each spun 120 yards, stand 50 fathoms, which weigh 2 pounds and a half.

Drum-lines, for drums, have 16 threads, 2 in a strand; they are laid with a heart, spun 60 yards, and stand 20 fathoms, which weigh 2 pounds and a half.

Drum-fish-line has 9 threads, 3 in a strand, is spun 65 yards, stands 25 fathoms, which weigh one pound.

Foregaugers. Yarn for foregaugers is made of the best dressed long hemp, each thread of 80 fathoms long, weighing half a pound. It has 3 strands, 48 threads in each, and is warped to the number of foregaugers wanted.

Hambro'-lines are chiefly used by sail-makers for holes-holes. The 12-thread lines have 4 threads in a strand, spun 70 yards, and stand 25 fathoms, which weigh 4 pounds.

Hambro' 9-thread lines, 3 threads in a strand, are spun 70 yards, and stand 25 fathoms, which weigh 3 pounds.

Hambro' 6-thread lines have 3 strands, 2 threads in a strand, spun 60 yards, stand 20 fathoms, which weigh 2 pounds.

Hammock-lines of 3 threads, spun 100 yards, are slack-laid, stand 50 fathoms, and weigh 3 pounds.

Hand-lead-lines have 12 threads, 4 in a strand, spun 60 yards, smart-laid, stand 20 fathoms, which weigh 4 pounds.

House-line, of 3 threads laid together, used for seizing strops of blocks, is spun 60 yards, and stands 30 fathoms, which weigh one pound.

Jack-line is made of bar hemp, and has 9 threads, 3 in a strand; it is made to any given length.

Lead-rope, for nets and seans, is made as the sean-lines. Ten fathoms weigh 4 pounds.

Log-lines of 12 threads are made from fine long hemp, 4 threads twisted together. The strands are smartly laid, and 30 fathoms weigh one pound.

Log-lines of 9 threads are made from sound long hemp, three threads twisted together, spun 80 yards, smartly laid, and, when stretched 30 fathoms, weigh one pound.

Log-lines of 6 threads are made from the bar of the long hemp that was dressed for fine twine, &c. and spun 80 yards in length. Two threads are twisted together, and the strands smartly laid: when stretched, it is 30 fathoms, and weighs one pound.

Mackrel-line; 6 threads, 2 in a strand, spun 65 yards, hands 25 fathoms, which weigh half a pound.


Marline, of 2 threads laid together, is generally used for seizing strops of blocks; it is spun 90 yards, and stands 40 fathoms, which weigh one pound.

Sash-line of 4 strands, 2 threads in a strand, is spun 60 yards, and weighs 2 pounds a line.

Seal-twine for seal-nets is made of 12 threads, 2 threads first twisted together, then 6 of them hardened together, and wound up in half pound skeins, or 80 yards.

Seaming or sail-makers twine, for sewing the seams of sails, is made of the best long hemp, beaten, spun fine, and well dressed over a fine clearer; 18 threads are spun out of half a pound of hemp, every thread 50 yards in length; 2 threads are twisted together slack and wound on a reel, in half pound skeins, containing 450 yards: but 3 threads are used in the royal navy.

Sean-lines, for fixing the sean-nets, have 18 threads, 6 in a strand. They are laid slack, and are from 30 to 100 fathoms long. Ten fathoms weigh 2 pounds.

Sean-twine is made from good long hemp, each thread spun 54 yards; 3 threads are laid together. When hardened and stretched, each cord stands 50 yards; 900 yards are wound on a reel, and 18 cords weigh 2 pounds.

Sean-nets are made of 3-strand topt-twine to any given length or depth. The meshes or squares are from 2 inches in the bunt regular to 3 inches in the wings.

Seans used in the royal navy are made of 2-strand twine, 2 pounds and 1/4 to a ran, and 18 cords to a ran; 2 threads to a cord, or 900 yards of twine to 2 pounds and 1/4.

Spunyarn, for ordinary white ropes, is made of bands, which should be twice hatchelled through a hatchell with finer teeth than those used to hemp for cordage. A thread of 180 fathoms in length should weigh 5 pounds, and be wound upon winches in 2, 3, or 4, threads, then warped into junks to make 2, 3, or 4, yarn spunyarn, and wound on a reel into coils of various sizes.

Spunyarn should be well tarred, as it is used for serving round the shrouds and stays, to resist the wet and keep the rope from being chafed.

Store-twine, used by sail-makers for old work and on-board of ships, is made from good long hemp, well dressed. Fourteen threads are spun from half a pound; 2 threads are twisted together, and wound into half pound skeins of 350 yards.

Turtle-twine, for turtle-nets, is made of good bar hemp, spun 100 yards. Three threads are laid together, stand 90 yards, and weigh one pound.

Whale-lines are made of dressed hemp spun fine. Each thread of 160 fathoms should weigh 2 pounds. These lines were formerly made white, stoved, and then tarred, as bolt-ropes; but they are now warped and tarred as other cordage: warped 90 fathoms, which, when tarred and hauled about, make 180 fathoms, and the line to stand 120 fathoms, 2 inches and 1/4 circumference, 3 strands, 24 threads in each, and weigh about one hundred weight.

Whipping-twine. The same as bolt-rope twine.

Whiting-lines, of 6 threads, 2 in a strand, are spun 60 yards, and stand 20 fathoms, which weigh half a pound.

Worming is made of 2 or 3 strands. Two or more threads in a strand are warped into short hauls, and so knitted as to lay 2 threads together. It is tarred as other yarn for cordage. If it be made of 2 strands, it is laid with a stick, if of 3, with a top. It is used for seizing of ropes, and for worming the cuntlines of the shrouds and other standing rigging.



A Table Shewing the Length of Yarn required for Cables, Hawsers, &c.

Finger pointing right For Stays, Tacks, Sheets, and Buoy-Ropes, which are Cable-laid, allow the same Length as is shewn for Yarn in the Tables for Cables, which shew how many Fathoms and Feet of Yarn will make a Fathom of Cable, from 1 to 120 Fathoms. - When you have the Sledge to the End of the Yarn, stretch it as tight as you can, and then lay as much Weight upon the Sledge as is convenient to keep the Work tight.

The Length of Yarn required for Cables, from 1 to 120 Fathoms.

The Length of Yarn to Hawser-laid Cordage, from 1 to 140 Fath.

The Length of Yarn for making Bolt-Ropes is as 7 to 10, that is, 21 Fath. of Rope will take 30 Fath. of Yarn.

The Length of Yarn for a Strand of Buoy-Rope, or a Sheet, to bring about in 3 Parts.
Stays, The Len. of Y. for mak. Stays is as 7 to 1, that is 3 Fa. of Ro. will take 21 F. of Yarn.

The proportional Strength Ropes bear to each other.
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GOVERNMENT are frequently supplied with cables and other cordage from the merchants yards; in which case, they find their own hemp; and stipulate that they shall be made in the following mode, and with the following proportions of materials.

A proper quantity of the best Petersburgh braak hemp, for the cables, &c. wanted, is furnished and delivered by government to the maker: each cable to be 100 fathoms long; cablets 120 fathoms; hawsers, down to 7 inches inclusive, 108 fathoms; hawsers, 6 inches and a half and under, 130 fathoms; and coils 130 fathoms in length: to be made of the hemp sent by government; which is to be dressed, spun, tarred, and laid, under the inspection of a person appointed.

All cables and cordage to be tarred with good Stockholm tar, without mixture of any other, except about one-third part, which may be of Russia tar; and to be made of the same sized yarn, and with the same number of threads tarred as dry; laid with as good a press, and hardened in the same manner, as in his majesty's yards; and to be in every respect as good as any made by his majesty's workmen.

A white thread, twisted the contrary way, is to be laid in all the strands of the cables and large cordage; and a twine in the small cordage for the king's mark, so as to be seen on the outside of the strands.

In any of the strands, there is to be no greater number of threads at the ends of the cables or cordage than in the middle of them.

The tar is to be surveyed and approved of, by the person appointed to oversee the making, before it is used.

An oath is to be taken, by the master or foreman, that the cables, &c. delivered were made of his majesty's hemp, and tarred as aforesaid, and the affidavit is to be produced at the place where the cordage is delivered.

With each parcel of cordage, a bill of parcels must be delivered, containing every particular; with the size, length, and weight, thereof: with a certificate from the overseer, that the particulars are made in all respects agreeably thereto, as to workmanship, size, and quality of tar. To each cable, &c. is to be fastened a tally, with the maker's name, and weight and length of such cable, &c.

The work to be delivered at the place agreed on, free of expence to government.

The cordage is to be measured in the maker's ground; and, should it exceed the following sizes, it is not to be received:

Cables of 10 inches and upwards, 3/4 of an inch.

Cables of 9 inches and a half to 4 inches, 1/2 an inch.

Hawsers of 12 inches to 7 inches and a half, 3/4 of an inch.

Hawsers of 7 inches to 4 inches, 1/2 an inch.




The Weight of Cables, Hawsers, &c. for Government.
Cables of 100 Fathoms
Cablets of 120 Fathoms.
Hawsers of 130 Fathoms.
Coils of 130 Fathoms.
*** The above Weights are exclusive of the Bands.
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Cables, Cablets, &c. ought to agree, in weight and measurement, with the foregoing table; but must not exceed in weight more than ten hundred weight in twenty tons, or in that proportion, although their actual measurements may happen to be encreased, as before mentioned.

If the weight of the cables and cordage exceed the weight specified, no allowance for making the same, or weight of hemp, to be allowed. Three pounds weight of bands is allowed to every hundred weight of cordage.

Three quarters of a hundred of spunyarn to be received for every ton of cordage.

Should the articles be found not conformable to these particulars, by his majesty's officers, they are to be taken away at the maker's expence, who is to deliver the like quantity in lieu thereof, made of his own hemp, equal in goodness to his majesty's.

To be paid as per agreement at the rate of     per ton.

The price paid by government, in 1792, was 4l. 10s. per ton,




THE cordage is to be made of the best Petersburgh braak hemp, without any hemp-bands; the hemp to be viewed before spun, and the yarn before tarred; each yarn must bear the weight of three quarters of a hundred suspended, or the cordage will be refused. To be tarred dry with Stockholm tar, and the cordage laid hard. The ropes must not exceed the size, nor contain a less number of threads, than expressed in the annexed Table, which is, for cable-laid, 18 threads, and for hawserlaid 21; with a white thread put in each coil, and delivered to the company's craft, free of charge, and bound up with new twelve-thread ratline. The company to receive the bounty, and payment to be made four months after delivery.

THE duty on cordage, imported, tarred or untarred, is 8s. 6d. per cwt. and no drawback. Bounty on the exportation of cordage, manufactured in Great Britain, not less than 3 tons, 2s. 4d. 1/4 per cwt. Old ropes may be imported duty free.

CABLE-LAID CORDAGE of 18 Thread Yarn, 120 to 123 Fathoms Long
SHROUD-LAID CORDAGE of 21 Thread Yarn, 130 or 133 Fathoms long
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THE only parliamentary regulations, relative to the manufactory of cordage, are contained in the following abstract of "An act for more effectually preventing deceits in the manufacturing of cordage for shipping, and to prevent the illicit importation of foreign-made cordage." 25 Geo. 3. c. 56.

1. The first section of this act repeals the act of the 35. Eliz. c. 8.

2. From the 25th of July, 1785, no person shall use, in the manufacturing of cables, hawsers, or other ropes, for the use of shipping, or shall knowingly vend or sell any thereof, in the manufacturing of which there shall be used any hemp, usually known or distinguished by the respective names or descriptions of short chucking, half clean, whale-line, or other toppings, codilla, damaged hemp bought at public or other sales, or any hemp whatsoever, from which the staple part thereof than have been taken away by the manufacturer, under the following penalties; viz. every such person, being the manufacturer of such cable, hawser, or other rope, shall forfeit such cable, hawser, or other rope, and also a sum of money equal to treble the value thereof; and every person who shall knowingly vend or sell such cable, hawser, or rope, not being the manufacturer thereof, shall forfeit a sum of money equal to treble the value.

3. And, for the better distinguishing the quality of cables, hawsers, and other ropes for the use of shipping, it is enacted, that, whenever any cable, hawser, or rope, as aforesaid, shall be manufactured of any hemp, the use whereof is not prohibited by this act, and the staple and quality whereof shall be inferior to clean Petersburgh hemp, such cable, hawser, or rope, as aforesaid, shall be deemed inferior cordage, and the manufacturer shall distinguish such cable, hawser, or rope, by running into the same, from end to end of each cable, three tarred mark-yarns, spun with the turn contrary to that of rope-yarn, and also one like tarred yarn in every other rope, for the use of shipping, and by marking or writing on the tally thereof the word STAPLE or INFERIOR, as the case then be; and every manufacturer making default herein shall forfeit the sum of ten shillings for every hundred weight of such cable, hawser, or rope.

4. Whenever any new cable, hawser, or other rope for the use of shipping, shall be vended or sold by the manufacturer, there shall be affixed thereon a tally, containing his name, signed by himself or his attorney, together with the name of the place where the same was manufactured, under the penalty of forfeiting, for every such offence, the sum of ten shillings for every hundred weight.

5. If any rope-maker shall put his name, or permit it to be put, on the tally of any cable, hawser, or other rope for the use of shipping, not being his manufacturing; or if the vender or proprietor of any cable, hawser, or other rope as aforesaid, or any other person whomsoever, shall wilfully and knowingly put or mark, upon the tally to be affixed thereon, the name of any person, not being the manufacturer thereof, every person so offending shall forfeit, for every such offence, the sum of twenty pounds.


6. If any person shall make, or cause to be made, cables of old or worn stuff, which shall contain above seven inches in compass, then every person so offending shall forfeit and lose four times the value of every such cable.

7. All pecuniary penalties or forfeitures, by this act imposed, exceeding five pounds, shall and may be recovered by action, bill, plaint, or information, in any of his majesty's courts of record at Westminster; and all pecuniary penalties or forfeitures, not exceeding five pounds, shall be levied and recovered by distress, and sale of the goods and chattels of the offender, by warrant under the hand and seal of any justice of the peace for the place wherein such offender shall reside, which warrant every such justice is hereby impowered to grant, upon the information or testimony of two or more credible witnesses upon oath; and the overplus (if any) of the money arising by such distress and sale, shall be rendered upon demand to the owner of such goods and chattels, after deducting there-out the charges and expences of such distress and sale; and in case sufficient goods and chattels cannot be found, and such penalty or forfeiture shall not be forthwith paid, such justice shall cause such offender to be committed to gaol or to the house of correction, there to remain for anytime not exceeding three calendar months, nor less than seven days, or until such penalty or forfeiture, and all costs and charges attending the same, be paid; and all such penalties and forfeitures, and also all cordage which shall be forfeited, in pursuance of this act, shall be paid and delivered to the person who shall sue and prosecute for the same; and it shall be lawful for such person to sell or otherwise dispose of such cordage (after being cut into lengths not exceeding twelve feet) to and for his own use and benefit.

8. Whenever any ship or vessel, belonging to his majesty's subjects, resident in Great-Britain, or any of the British colonies, having on board any foreign-made cordage, shall be navigated into any port within this kingdom, the master thereof, at the time of making his report at the Customhouse, shall make an entry, upon oath, of all the foreign-made cordage on-board, for or in respect of which the said duties shalt not have been before paid (standing and running rigging in use excepted); and such master shall, before such ship or vessel shall be cleared by the officers of the customs inwards, where any discharge shall be made of her lading, pay the like duties, for all such foreign-made cordage as shall be specified or mentioned in the said entry, as by law are charged upon or payable for or in respect of any foreign-made cordage imported into this kingdom; and is the master of any such ship or vessel shall make default therein, all such foreign-made cordage as aforesaid, as shall be on-board such ship or vessel, shall be forfeited to his majesty; and such master shall, for every such offence, also forfeit the sum of twenty shillings for every hundred weight thereof.

9. Provided always, that nothing herein before contained shall be deemed, construed, or taken, to charge any captain or master, of any ship or vessel coming from the East-Indies, with any duty, for or upon account of such ship or vessel having any foreign-made cordage on-board, such cordage having been, by such captain or master, actually brought from the East-Indies.

10. Provided also, that nothing in this act contained shall extend to the materials at present in the use of any ships or vessels that were built abroad before the passing of this act, and are the property of the subjects of Great Britain.

11. If any person shall think himself aggrieved by any matter or thing done in pursuance of this act, and for which no particular method of relief is herein before appointed, such person may, within fourteen calendar months, appeal to the general quarter-sessions, to be holden for the place wherein the cause of appeal shall have arisen, the appellant first giving fourteen days notice at least in writing of his intention to exhibit such appeal, and the matter thereof, to the person appealed against, and,


within four days after giving such notice, entering into a recognizance, before some justice of the peace for such place, with two sufficient sureties, conditioned to try such appeal at, and abide by the order of, and pay such costs as shall be awarded by, the justices at such general quarter-sessions; and the said justices, at such sessions, upon due proof of such notice being given, and of the entering into such recognizance as aforesaid, shall hear and finally determine the causes and matters of such appeal in a summary way, and award such costs to the party appealing or appealed against as they shall think proper; and the determination of such justices shall be binding, final, and conclusive, to all intents and purposes whatsoever.

12. Provided always, that no order, verdict, judgement or other proceeding, made, touching or concerning any of the matters aforesaid, or touching the conviction of any offender against this act, shall be quashed for want of form, or be removed by certiorari, or any other writ or process whatsoever, into any of his majesty's courts of record at Westminster: and, where any distress shall be made for any sum or sums of money, to be levied by virtue of this act, the distress itself shall not be deemed unlawful, nor the party making the same be deemed a trespasser, on account of any defect or want of form in the summons, conviction, warrant of distress, or other proceeding relating thereto; nor shall the party distraining be deemed a trespasser ab initio, on account of any irregularity which shall hereafter be done by the party or parties distraining; but the person aggrieved by such irregularity shall and may recover full satisfaction for the special damage in any action upon the case; provided that no plaintiff shall recover, in any action, for such irregularity, if sufficient tender of amends hath been made to him, by or on behalf of the defendant, before such action brought.

13. Actions or suits then be commenced within three calendar months next after the cause of action shall have arisen, and not afterwards.


THERE shall be paid for every hundred weight, containing one hundred and twelve pounds avoirdupois, of cordage, wrought up and manufactured in Great-Britain from foreign rough hemp, or hemp of the growth of Great Britain, except hemp of the growth or produce of the British colonies or plantations in America, which shall be really and truly exported out of this kingdom to parts beyond the seas (except the Isle of Man) by way of merchandize, and so in proportion for any quantity of thereof, by way of bounty, the sum of two shillings and four pence three farthings; which bounty shall be paid to the person exporting the same, by the customer or collector of the customs, with the privity of the comptroller of the port from whence the same shall be exported, on a debenture to be made forth by the said customer or collector, according to the entry of the goods and the shipping thereof, verified by the searcher: and oath is to be made, by the exporter or manufacturer thereof, on the entry or debenture before the customer, collector, or comptroller, of such port, that the said cordage is of British manufacture, and made of hemp imported from foreign parts, or from hemp of the growth of Great Britain, and not from hemp of the growth or produce of the British colonies or plantations in America; and exported, or intended to be exported, to parts beyond the seas, and not relanded, or intended to be relanded, in any part of Great-Britain or the Isle of Man.


And the exporter, with one or more person or persons must give sufficient security, to the said customer or collector of the port, in a penalty of the value of the goods, that such cordage so shipped, or any part thereof, shall not be relanded, or brought on shore again, in any port or place of Great-Britain or the Isle of Man: and such security shall be discharged in the manner hereafter mentioned; that is to say, for such of the said goods as shall be entered for, or landed in, the kingdom of Ireland, the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, or Sark, the condition of the bond shall be, to bring in a certificate in discharge thereof within six months from the date of the bond; and within eighteen months for such of the said goods as shall be entered for, or landed in, any of his majesty's plantations in America or Africa; and within thirty months for such of the said goods as shall be entered for, or landed in, any port or place at or beyond the Cape of Good Hope: which said certificate, for such cordage as aforesaid as shall be landed in any port or place where any officer of his majesty's customs shall be resident, shall be signed by the proper officer of his majesty's customs there, importing that such goods were there landed, and testifying the landing thereof; and, for such cordages shall be entered for the islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, or Sark, the said certificate shall be signed by the proper officer of his majesty's customs, if any such officer shall be residing in those islands respectively; and, for want of such officer residing there, then by the governor of those islands, or the deputy-governor thereof respectively; and, for such cordage as shall be entered for any other foreign port or place, a certificate must be brought under the common seal of the chief magistrate in such place, or under the hands and seals of two known British merchants then being at such port or place, that such cordage was there landed; or such bond or bonds shall be discharged, upon proof, in either of the said cases, that such goods were taken by enemies, or perished in the seas; the examination and proof thereof being left to the judgement of the commissioners of the customs in England or Scotland respectively for the time being.

Any searcher, or other proper officer of the customs, after the entry of any of the said goods, and before or after the shipping thereof, may open and strictly examine any ball, quoil, or other package, as now by law they may do, to see if the goods are right entered; and, if the same shalt be found to be right entered, the officer shall, at his own charge, cause the same to be repacked to the satisfaction of the exporter; but, in case the said officer shall find goods, or any part thereof, entered under a wrong denomination, or to be less in quantity than expressed in the exporter's indorsement upon the entry of such cordage, all such goods, so wrong entered, shall be forfeited, and may be seized, and the exporter or owner of such goods shall also forfeit the value thereof.

If any dispute shall arise, whether the same was made in Great-Britain, or is entitled to the bounty granted by this act, the onus probandi shall lie on the exporter, claimer, or owner thereof, and not on the officer.

If any of the said cordage shipped to be exported, for which allowance is hereby made, shall be re-landed or unshipped in any port or place in Great-Britain or the Isle of Man, contrary to the true intent or meaning of this act, without the licence of one or more of the principal officers of such port or place first had and obtained, or unless it be in case of distress, to save the laid goods from perishing, the goods (over and above the penalty of the bond) and treble the value of such goods shall be forfeited and lost.

The said allowance shall be paid out of money arising from customs and other duties upon hemp imported, or to be imported, from parts beyond the seas; and in case any collector of the customs, in any out-port in South Britain, or of any port in North Britain, shall not have money sufficient in his hands to pay such bounty, then every such collector shall, if thereunto required, forthwith, without


fee or reward give, to the person entitled to such bounty, a certificate under his hand, attested by the comptroller, certifying, to the commissioners of his majesty's customs in London, if such cordage is exported from any port in that part of Great-Britain called England, or to the commissioners of his majesty's customs at Edinburgh, if such cordage is exported from any port in that part of Great-Britain called Scotland, that he hath not money sufficient to pay the said bounty, and also what is due for the same to such person; and upon producing such certificate, and the debenture of the cordage exported, the said receptive commissioners of the customs shall cause to be paid, without fee or reward, by the receiver-general or cashier of the customs, at London or Edinburgh respectively, to the person producing every such certificate and debenture, the sum of money so certified to be due, out of the monies arising from any of the duties, revenues, and customs, under the management of such respective commissioners; and if the receiver-general or cashier of the customs, at Edinburgh, shall not have money sufficient in his hands to pay the bounty so certified to be due, the commissioners of his majesty's customs at Edinburgh, or any three of them, shall forthwith, without fee or reward, give such exporter, or seller for exportation, a certificate, certifying the same to the commissioners of his majesty's customs at London, which certificates being affixed to the debentures for the bounty of the said cordage so exported, and being produced to the said commissioners of his majesty's customs at London, they are required to cause the money thereby certified to be due to be paid by the receiver-general or cashier of the customs, without fee or reward, out of the monies that shall be in his hands arising from any of the duties, revenues, and customs, payable on foreign rough hemp, under the management of the said commissioners at London.

The bounty given by this act shall not extend to cordage re-manufactured from any sort of old cables, old ropes, or old cordage whatsoever, commonly called twice-laid cordage.

In case any of the customs or other duties now payable on the importation of foreign rough hemp shall be redeemed, or otherwise cease to be payable, so much of the allowance, to be made on the exportation of the cordage before mentioned, shall be abated, as shall bear a proportion to the customs or duties so redeemed, or that shall cease to be payable on rough hemp.

All drawbacks, payable upon the exportation of foreign rough hemp from this kingdom, shall cease, determine, and be no longer paid or payable.

The several penalties and forfeitures, in this act mentioned, may be prosecuted in any of his majesty's courts of record at Westminster, or in the court of exchequer at Edinburgh respectively; and one moiety thereof shall be to the use of the king, and the other moiety to such officer of the customs as shall sue or prosecute for the same.

If any action shall be commenced against any person for any thing done in pursuance of this act, the defendant may plead the general issue, and give the special matter in evidence; if the plaintiff be nonsuited or discontinue his action after the defendant shall have appeared, or is judgement shall be given upon any verdict or demurrer against the plaintiff, the defendant shall recover treble costs.

The preceding act would have expired but for the following one, which revived it for four years, and amended it.



Abstract of an Act to revive, continue, and amend, so much of an Act, made in the sixth Year of the Reign of his present Majesty, intitled "AN ACT FOR ALLOWING A BOUNTY ON THE EXPORTATION OF BRITISH-MADE CORDAGE, AND FOR DISCONTINUING THE DRAWBACKS UPON FOREIGN ROUGH HEMP EXPORTED," as relates to allowing a Bounty on the Exportation of British-made Cordage. 26. Geo. 3. c. 85.

Such part of the preceding act as relates to allowing a bounty upon the exportation of British-made cordage shall be revived for the term of four years, and thence to the end of the then next session of parliament, subject to the several amendments, alterations, regulations, and restrictions, herein after provided and expressed.

No bounty shall be allowed or paid upon the exportation of cordage wrought up and manufactured in Great-Britain from hemp of the growth of the British colonies or plantations in America, or of the United States of America, nor for any cordage whatever which shall be exported, unless the quantity thereof shall be three tons weight at the least.

Upon the entry for exportation, in order to obtain the bounty, the exporter shall make oath that the same is really and truly intended to be exported as merchandize, and not for the use of the ship during her then voyage, or any future voyage; and the master or commander of the ship or vessel shall join in the bond required to be given for the due exportation of such cordage, or, on failure thereof, no bounty shall be paid.

Nothing in this or any other act contained shall extend to disallow the bounty on the due exportation of such cordage to any foreign port or place whatever, except the Isle of Man, but that the same shall be and is hereby required to be paid on such exportation, other than to the Ile of Man.

Every ship or vessel, on-board of which any cordage shall be shipped for exportation, in order to obtain the bounty herein before granted, shall have on-board (over and above the quantity entered for exportation) a sufficient quantity of cordage for the use of such ship or vessel, according to the nature of the voyage, for which no bounty shall be allowed; and such ship or vessel, before clearing at any port in the kingdom, shall be visited by the proper officer of the customs, who shall not permit her to sail, if there be not on-board a sufficient quantity of cordage for the use of such ship or vessel, independent of and besides the quantity entered for the bounty; and such ship or vessel shall not sail upon her intended voyage until there shall be provided a sufficient quantity of cordage for the use of such ship or vessel.

No entry shall be permitted to pass for the exportation of any such cordage, or the vessel having onboard such cordage be permitted to go out of port, unless a certificate shall be produced, under the hands of the commissioners of his majesty's navy, or any three or more of them, signifying that such cordage hath been tendered to them for the use of his majesty's dock-yards, at the fair and then market price of such cordage in London, and that the same hath been refused by that board; and if any person or persons shall pass any entry for such cordage, without having such certificate produced to him or them, such person or persons shall forfeit and lose the sum of one hundred pounds.

There two acts have been continued for the further space of four years by the 31 Geo. 3. c. 43.

Upon the importation of cordage tarred or untarred there is payable a duty of 8s. 6d. per cwt. and no drawback allowed upon exportation: and there is a farther scavage-rate in the port of London of one penny per cwt. of 112 lbs. upon the importation of cable ropes for cordage.

Old ropes may be imported duty free.


ROPES, cable laid, have 9 strands, each containing an equal number of threads: they are divided in three, and made into three larger strands, which laid (or twisted) together make the rope. Example: a rope, cable laid, 8 inches in circumference, has 333 threads, equally divided, and laid into 9 strands; these 9 strands, being equally divided in 3, are laid into 3 larger strands, which, when laid together, make a rope 8 inches in circumference; and so in proportion for all fixes. 30 fathoms of yarn make 18 fathoms of rope cable laid, and so in proportion.

Ropes, hawser laid, have 3 strands, with an equal number of threads in each, as the size of the rope may require. Example: a rope, hawser laid, 8 inches in circumference, has 414 threads, equally divided in 3, and laid into 3 strands, which 3 strands, when laid together, make a rope of 8 inches in circumference; and so in proportion for all fixes. 30 fathoms of yarn make 20 fathoms of rope hawser laid, and so in proportion.

The number of yarns given, for ropes of any size, mini allow of 9 equal divisions if cable laid, and 3 equal divisions if hawser laid, that all the strands may be alike. Ropes of 1 inch to 2 inches in circumference are hawser laid; of 3 inches to r o inches, either hawser or cable laid; and from to inches to any greater dimension always cable laid. Ropes made on the wheel, and all shroud or hawser laid ropes, for the merchant service, should, when closed, stand full 130 fathoms long; it cable laid, 120 fathoms long. Ropes made in the King's yards, if cable laid, stand 102 fathoms; if hawser laid, 2 23 fathoms. Ropes made of fine spun yarn, laid smart, are esteemed the strongest, and wear best.

Taper-laid Tacks from 3 to 10 inches Circumference.

The Number of Cables, and their Sizes, allowed in the Navy, to ships of each rate.

RULE to calculate very nearly the Weight of any Size Rope from 3 to 24 Inches in Circumference, 120 Fathoms long, and lesser Lengths in Proportion; viz multiply the Size of the Rope by itself, and one fourth of that Product is the Weight in Hundreds of 112 Pounds. Example-Suppose the Rope 10 Inches in Circumference; 10 Times 10 is 100; the Quarter of which is 25 Hundred Weight, or 2800 Pounds, the Weight of 120 Fathoms of Rope 10 Inches in Circumference.

DUTY on CORDAGE, tarred or untarred, imported, 8s. 6d. per Cwt. and no Drawback.-Bounty on the Exportation of Cordage manufactured its Great Britain, not less than 3 Tons, 2s. 4d. 3/4 per Cwt. Old Ropes imported Duty free.
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