I seem to remember reading that at the end of a voyage a sailor got a conduct report written by the captain along with his pay. These testimonials were then valuable in getting him his next job. It sounds extremely reasonable and plausible but I'm struggling to find any confirmation. I'm interested in the period 1500-1750.

  • Source requests are generally out of scope for H:SE - see extensive discussion on meta. Please, anyone who wants to discuss whether source requests should be out of scope, direct the discussion to meta. – Mark C. Wallace Nov 10 '16 at 15:57
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    History without sources is just hearsay. However I've edited the question. – TheMathemagician Nov 10 '16 at 16:38
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    Completely and vigorously agree that history without sources is hearsay and that sources should be part of every answer. However H:SE has had extensive discussion about how we want to treat questions that explicitly ask for sources; the summary is that we don't want to be the place where people argue over sources. We don't want to host the physiocrat vs microhistory vs exchange entitlement debate over the legitimacy of historical sources; there is simply too much subjectivity, ephemerality, etc. I think the resulting question is excellent. – Mark C. Wallace Nov 10 '16 at 16:48
  • If you did well in the Royal Navy absolutely you were well received. I can't speak to "testimonials" as I am unclear what this means...although certainly isn't hearsay which is rampant on this site. – Doctor Zhivago Nov 10 '16 at 17:38
  • By testimonial I mean a short note written by the captain attesting to your good conduct and character. A sailor would show them to future potential employers. – TheMathemagician Nov 11 '16 at 9:56

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