Archive for Captain’s Steward

Kitty’s Adventures: The Treasure Coast Pirate Fest, January 3rd-February 1st ’15

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2015 by creweofthearchangel

By Kitty Sterling, daughter of Captain John Sterling and Alice Mason Sterling. 

January 29

We arrived in the dark. The night was cool and very windy, but I was not afraid because the Crewe were all there and I
knew they would all look after me. Mother and my step-father Captain Sterling were there of course, along with Joshua Merriweather, Fionntan Murtaugh, the Quartermaster Jack Roberts, and the Archangel’s blacksmith Adam Cyphers. Mother made me a cozy bed to rest and keep warm in while the adults set up the camp. When I grew tired of lying still I helped by fetching stakes and lines. The night insects sang loudly and the stars were big and bright.

January 30

I woke up just as the sun was coming up. I soon woke up Mother and talked her into taking a walk along the beach. The rising sun made the water all kinds of colors. We met some of the townspeople on our way back to camp. Breakfast was cooked in a big skillet over the fire, potatoes and onions and sausage and eggs. We all ate lots because we knew it would be a busy day. For the rest of the morning I was allowed to collect shells while the crewe readied the camp for the day and talked with the frequent visitors that stopped by.

Mr. Cyphers allowed me to play with his blacksmith hammer. I had a grand time carrying it about and stirring through the sand for rocks and small shells to test the hammer out on. Mother fussed all morning, sure I would smash my toes, but I did not smash a one! Or anyone else’s either.

Many of the landsmen who visited camp were interested in our navigation equipment. Several of the crew took turns explaining what each of the instruments did. This evening the crew joined together with the local militia for a firing demonstration. The great guns sounded out over the waters, a warning to any pirates who might be close by. 

January 31

This morning we had another fine breakfast, after which I helped by rinsing the clean dishes and stacking them to dry. When the morning work was done I explored the camp and gathered some more shells for my growing collection. One of them was nearly as big as my face!

There is a celebration in town today, and we all enjoyed the opportunity to make merry and spend time together, all while keeping a watchful eye out for pirates, of course. We celebrated Father’s birthday. Mother made some sugar-cakes and we all kicked a ball to and fro, with some of the townsfolk joining in from time to time. When I grew tired I rested in one of the hammocks. Joshua was in the other and we made a game of trying to turn one another out of them.

In the evening there was another firing demonstration. Too soon it was time to break down camp and return home. Once again I assisted by piling the stakes in their proper places and wrapping up the lines once they were removed from the tents.

Saying goodbye to the crewe is never easy, but I know it will not be long before we have more grand adventures!



Copyright May 25, 2015 S. W. Permenter


Thinking back: Fionn Murtaugh, Captain’s Steward

Posted in Crewe Reflections... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

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


“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