Thinking back: Fionn Murtaugh, Captain’s Steward

Who are you?

James Fionntan Murtaugh, from Galway Ireland. Most just call me Fionn.

What are your dealings with the Archangel?

I’m d’capins Steward. Tis my responsibility to see to the capin’s personal needs. I take care of him, Lord knows someone must! I tell ye he would work hisself to death tendin’ to the running of the ship and the care of the crewe if left to his own. I also do what I can t’help make im appear his best at all times, especially where business is concerned. Tis said I set a fine table which has made my captain proud and many another act as if bitten by the green-eyed monster.

What is your most memorable event concerning that relationship, and do you have any prized possessions connected to the event?

When d’capin, decided t’ included me in his household staff, having me assist him not only on d’ship but in his home. It was then I knew, with no uncertainty, he appreciated my work and my attention t’detail, although I tell ye, oft times he is obviously irritated by what he calls my “fussing” over him and his tings. In that one decision he showed that he trusted me with his most prized “posession”, his family. He pays me well, not only in wages but in respect. He serves our crewe well, I do my part in service to him.

Prized possession? I’ve none. I nil give tings much value. Tis m’reputation, my integrity what I value most. That and the reptation of the Capin and ship he serves. He is a devote master and serves us well.

copyright 8/2013 M.Fleckenstein

Note:

“Having thus wriggled himself into his captain’s good graces, he endeavours to fix them, by following his leader in all his paces; which he does so exactly, that in less than a twelvemonth he obtains the garland of praise, Like master, like man.”
The Wooden World Dissected; In the Character of a Ship of War, by Ned Ward

The Captain’s Steward is hired by the captain not by the ship. He is often the only domestic servant on the ship. He tends to the needs of the captain only. He has exclusive access and control of the captain’s pantry, taking charge of and obtaining all the provisions for use in the great cabin. These distinctions usually find him an enemy in the mate, who does not like to have anyone on board who is not entirely under his control; the crew do not consider him as one of their number, so he is left to the mercy of the captain.

Fionn Murtaugh

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