ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2009-07 > 1248604021
From: "jennifer De Angelis" <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Pressing of two shoulders.
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2009 12:27:01 +0200
It would help if you tell us in what type of record you found this term.
I agree with others who talk about Pressing of men into the army, "Pressing
of 2 Soldiers" rather than pressing of shoulders of meat. The largest
amount on Impressment went on by the Royal Navy impressing men into that
A lot might depend on the type of source you have for your information. The
gangs, as far as I know, were feared because they would often use force in
order to get a man to join the Army or Navy and "take the King's shilling".
Once that shilling was handed over the man was in the army/Navy and that was
that, he could not give it back. There were exceptions to this rule
dependant on the impressed persons occupation and in some circumstances,
wealthier people would bribe the press gangs not to Impress them.
If you make a google search for the term Press Gangs you will find quite a
number of sites on the subject, but be wary about which you take as being
correct in every word.
Wikipedia has articles on Impressment, mostly about the Royal Navy, but near
the bottom of this page below is a piece on the Impressment into the British
"Starting in 1645 the New Model Army raised by Oliver Cromwell was largely
manned by Impressment. After the restoration of the monarchy Impressment
into the army was discontinued"
As you said the piece you found was for the 17thC then maybe the two
Shoulders/Soldiers were pressed into the New Model Army by Cromwell's men as
explained on the page below
I have found errors here and there in what is written on Wikipedia before
now, so I tend to use what is written there as a guide only and try to
verify things found on this site by other means if I can. I can't vouch for
how correct what is written on the above page is.
The National Maritime Museum has a maritime research guide on the subject of
press gangs and impressment at the link below. But today I can't get the NMM
site to open at all, maybe they are doing maintenence on the site, so try
another day to see if you can open this link.
There is also this page about Press Gangs, the page is part of the official
Welcome to Portsmouth website, Portsmouth being a Naval Base in Hampshire
England. Therefore the information about the Royal Navy and press gangs
should give an accurate idea of what happened.
Hand writing in the 17thC could be very hard to read and spellings all over
and what reads as Shoulders could have been meant to read Soldiers.
Of course, what you have found might be a butchers bill for his having
pressed 2 shoulders of meat, but without your telling us the source of your
information we can't be sure about what is meant more exactly.
<<In 17th C, money was paid for 'pressing of two shoulders'.
I imagine It was a contractual arrangement.
Can anyone enlighten me?>>
|Re: [Ess] Pressing of two shoulders. by "jennifer De Angelis" <>|