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Castle Eden - Passenger Memorandum
P42: The Summer Ships - Author: Colin Amodeo
Diet supplied by the Association was nourishiing rather than dainty. Each passenger consumed about 16 lbs weight of food each week and between cooking and drinking, 21 quarts of water. Washing was done in salt water. There was 3 1/2 lbs of salt meat and 5 1/4 lbs of biscuit. But, as passengers did their own cooking, much food was wasted and in the Castle Eden's case, much proved unfit for use. 

The rations were served out to the passengers every few days and it seems from all accounts that there was never enough due mainly to the poor allowance provided for children nearing adulthood. The diet consisted of about four ounces of preserved meat for each adult and three potatoes, but two children under twelve years had only the same as one adult (one and a half potatoes and 2 ounces of meat). The result was that families of six children and two adults did not have enough food.

Boys who at home eat as much as a man each day, now had to make do with two hard biscuits, three and a half ounces of bread and four ounces of meat on the bone (about two ounces after cooking), rice or oatmeal, twelve ounces per week and of course there was tea or coffee.
Some wished they had not come on the voyage not because of the hardship of the voyage but because of the diet, of which they found there was not enough of some things and very inferior quality of others. Many wished that they had bought flour, sugar and tinned milk with them.

Most ships carried a small amount of live stock on board to supplement the diet for the Captain and officers. Typically there would be on board ten sheep, ten pigs, about thirty ducks and thirty hens.

In the galley there was an oven in which bread was baked three times a week but there was never sufficient of it. On occasions the cook would prepare a large pan of porridge with oatmeal.
Some of the passengers had spare food they had bought with them and one account related that one passenger sold half a large cheese at two shillings and six pence per pound making a very handsome profit. Very high prices would have been paid for such things as tinned meats, cheese, hams, eggs, jams, German sausage, tinned fish, milk and lump sugar as none of these items could be obtained on board for love nor money.


   Immigrants conditions