Here are two references to woman sailors in the British Navy.  This isn’t strictly bateau or Big Row related, but interesting anyway.

  • From “The Mariner’s Mirror”, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1913, p. 381:

“Women as sailors.–In the Annual Register for 1807, p. 496, there is an account of the court-martial which tried William Berry, first lieutenant of H.M.S. Hazard for an unnatural offence, and it contains the following passage:–“One of the witnesses in this awful and horrible trial was a little female tar, Elizabeth Bowden, who has been on board the Hazard these eight months.  She appeared in court in a long jacket and blue trousers.”

There is a further note of a female sailor on a Whitby collier.

  • From “The Mariner’s Mirror”, Vol. 26, No. 3, 1940, p. 310:

The HMS Hussar has a crew complement of 270, including one woman.  She was killed in action Sept. 11, 1814 at the Battle of Plattsburgh Bay shortly before the HMS Hussar struck.