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war as were actually present ships, besides having the at the destroying or taking stimulus of constant exertion of any armed ship of any of and excitement, reaped a rioh His Majesty's enemies. Such harvest, while the main fleet officers and orews en- blookading the enemy's ports, titled to have distributed denied the zest of action but among them as prize bounty, faithful to duty for long "& sum oaloulated at the rate months together
all of £5 for each person on board weathers, received nothing. the enemy ship at the begin. Yet the blockading fleet, like ning of
engagement," the Grand Fleet, was the Sooh constituted Naval shield behind which the capBounties distinguished ture of enemy's
enemy's commerce from the Prizo Fand.
was made possible. There was also a further But the Admiralty declared reward, prize salvage, arising they were unable to make any from oocurrences such as oame distributions until after the before Sir Samuel Evans in close of hostilities, with the Maroh 1916.
result that not one, but many The Pontoporos, although & officers and men advertised Greek vessel, was carrying publioly their willingness to ooal from British merohants accept oash offers for their at Caloutta to British mer- post-war prospeots of prize ohants at Karachi when the money. Not indeed that such Emden oaptured and com- a withholding of prize money mandeered her oargo.
was an innovation. On the the British light oruiser H.M.S. oontrary, it seemed the geneYarmouth appeared, and found ral praotice in the ancient days the Pontoporos in company to
withhold these rewards with the Markomannia, , & till long after the participants supply - ship to the Emden in the actions had died, and The Markomannia was sunk ofttimes their relations and the Greek vessel released, well. and the law aotion wag & olaim By appointing a Prize by Captain H. L. Coohrane Claims Committee whioh deand the
orew of H.M.S. oided whether compensation Yarmouth that they saved should be given to olaimants the latter from certain de whose olaims are not recognised struotion, and were thus en- by the prize law, but would titled to remuneration for prize be good in equity or civil law, galvage and recaptare.
the Admiralty brought more These
proposed changes of the legal element into the were cordially weloomed in matter of prize law, and their the Navy.
new plan expenses beoame added to the meant that all would share already large sums spent on in the harvest reaped by a commissions and claims and few. Under the old and now costs of sales. So the lawyers obsolete system, the vessels have taken their dues, until at engaged in oapturing enemy present the Naval Prize Fund
amounts to £5,600,000, a single which was captured by them full share being earned by off the coast of Wales. thirty months' qualifying ser- The King's purse was the vice. The value of one such real deciding factor. If his share is 50s. Upon this basis fortunes were at low ebb, the I observe a recent writer mariners received nothing. If ealoulated that the first dis- the King was in fands, there tribution would result in the was a chanoe of his being gen. Commander-in-Chief of the erous. But usually he pooketed Grand Fleet receiving £2500, the whole amount. and the ordinary seaman or The Crown in practice, howmarine £7, 10s.
ever, in the following reign, Daspite the large amount admitted the right of the that has been allowed to the captor to
to & share of the lawyers, and incidental ex- takings, and in the famous penses, all of which accounts Black Book of the Admiralty the Admiralty guard most of Edward III. the division zealously, there still remains of prize money is expounded this large sum, and there is in the Norman - French lanthe absolute certainty of its guage in which that book was being received by those en- written. One quarter was astitled to it. This was not so sured to the King's Majesty, in the old days, even apart and another quarter to the from the peoulations of prize- owners of the capturing ships, money agents.
while the remainder went to Nicolas observed that prize the captors; but the Admiral money seems to have been as and a chosen few of his officers anoient as the Navy itself. would appear to have secured Originally a force developed by far the greater part, for for piratioal purposes, “it is bitter dissatisfaction existed not surprising that the men of amongst the sesmen and the Navy sought for loot as mariners, culminating in a a reward of their prowess, and proposal emanating from an as a recompense for the soars inquisition of mariners held at of battle.” In the reign of Queensborough in 1375, tbat King John, all oaptures at sea after the deduction of the wore regarded as the property King's share, and in the of His Majesty entirely, and absence of the Admiral, the whether any reward was paid remainder should go one-half to the osptors depended on his to the owners, and one-half to bounty alone. It is related the captors; but that the that in 1205 the King granted master of the ship should have a moiety of their takings to a twice as much as any mariner. number of_galley-men in the But nothing occurred to secure serviee of Thomas of Galway, further consideration for the and a few years afterwards mariners' claims till, in 1596, the sum of £100 to mariners the instructions and articles and galley-men on account of for the Cadiz fleet by Robert, the sale of the goods of a ship Earl of Essex, and Charles,
Lord Howard, Lord High proceeds from the
the sale of Admiral of England, contained merchant prizes were one-third the following references to to officers and men, one-third prizes :
to the widows' and orphans' “XVIII. When you shall fund, and one-third to the be appointed to give ohase State. A farther new scheme and that you shall surprise was instituted in 1653, by any enemy ships that shall which ten shillings per ton of have treasure or merohan- every prize was paid, besides dige of value in her, you £6, 138, 4d, for each gun carried shall take great oare that and to £10 per gun for every those commodities in her man-of-war destroyed. be preserved; in respect Three millions sterling was whereof, and for your loyal the extent of the booty at the and faithful service to be capture of Havana in 1762 done on this voyage, Her by our combined naval and Majesty's favour, bounty, military forces. What hapand pleasure is that a third pened to it is best told by the part of that which shall historian Howitt, who says: be taken from the enemy,
dishonourable 80 it be not the King's oonduot in the distribution of treasure, jewels, & prize money, which has too oarraok, shall be employed often disgraced our service, to
the commodity and was most flagrant here and benefit of the whole com- inoited the loudest murmurs. pany, over and above his The Admiral and General ordinary wages, accord- pocketed each £122,697; the ing to his desert."
sea oaptains £1600 each; and Parliament in 1642 assigned the field officers only £564; to officers and men of the the land oaptains £184 each oapturing ships one-third of (not much & naval the value of the prizes taken lieutenant,
bad each by them; but it was the £234), whilst the poor sailors praotice to make unjustifiable had nearly £3, 148. 9d. each, deduotions on various pretexts, and the poor soldiers, who had and with the delays in pay- borne the brunt of the heat, ment that always character. the labour, and the fighting, ised these awards, discontent received the paltry som of in the Navy was general. The £4, 18. 8d. each. What had sums were often not paid for been the nature of the service many years.
to these poor fellows may be An Aot of 1649 gave the known from the fact that seamen half the value of a eleven hundred of them were man-of-war taken, the other killed by the climate and the half going to a fund for the enemy, and of the remaining relief of the sick and wounded, army, at least 10,000 men, widows and orphans. Men-of not more than 2500 war were paid for at the value oapable of servioe. By this of £12 to £20 per gan. The conquest the passage of the
Spanish plate fleets was left The mutineers at the Nore entirely at our mercy.” in 1797, when they presented
Rodney-always a poor man, their demands, referred to this and a far greater fighting sailor matter of the unjust distributhan Pooook - had not the tion of prize money; but honoar of taking Havana, and nothing came of that petition, with it the sum of £122,000, save that it was the commencewhich fell to its actual captor ment of a series of exposures as prize money. Rodney was, by Coobrane of the existent in faot, in command in the evils. West Indies at the time, and One may well wonder how had most brilliantly captured it came about that the captors Martinique, St_Lucia, and of prizes received notbing, and other islands. Yet by a dis- as the gallant Admiral regraceful piece piece of
offioial marked, in some cases were jobbery Rodney bad been put into debt for an aot of recalled, or rather left with valour on the high seas. When the Leeward Islands com- Coobrane was appointed to the mand and a diminished force; Pallas in 1805, he received his while Pooook, with a huge sailing orders from the Adfleet and large land forces, miralty; but the Admiral of had the distinotion of reduc- the Port of Plymouth recalled ing Havana and pocketing & those orders, copied them, and fortune in prize money.
reissued them to Coobrane. Disoontent over prize monoy This allowed the Admiral, Sir slumbered for years after this William Young, to olaim bis enactment, till the famous share of any prize money that Coohrane (later the Earl of the Pallas might make. The Dandonald) began his vigorous Admiral's jurisdiction exoampaign against the Admir- tended no farther than Plyalty Prize Courts and naval mouth Sound. But by relawyers and agente generally, issuing the sailing orders he in an effort to secure for the extended his authority wheractual captors some modicum, ever the Pallas might sail. however small, of the value of That ship had a wonderful their prizes.
oruise. She captured three Referring in his autobio- Spanish ships laden with gems graphy to these scandalous and dollars and golden ingots, peoulations of the Courts and and of the proceeds of these the lawyers, he says S
captures Sir William Young “We got all the fighting, claimed, and actually rewhilst the Admiralty Court ceived, one-half of Cochrane's and its hungry parasites share. Returning to Plymouth monopolised the greater por after this eruice with some tion of our hard-won prize £200,000 in specie and Spanmoney
In many cases they ish merohandise, "his lordship took the whole, and in one [Cochrane), by way of gratify. cage brought me into debt, ing the seamen of his ship, and though the prize was worth to show bow lucky she had ceveral thousand pounds." been in Spanish prizes, ordered to be hoisted on the fore, main, lagger might be swelled up to and mizzen - trucks of their the expense of condemning an respective masts three massive Indiaman; the labour of capture Spanish golden candlestioks, ending in nothing but putting whioh, glittering in the sun, money in the prootor's pockets. had a whimsical effeot to bun- He instanced the case of a dreds of speotators assembled Jewish agent who received below Government House." two-thirds out of the produce of
Assiduous investigations by the vessel, the remaining third Coobrane rovealed amazing being for the Admiral, Captain, goandals and abuses with re- and seamen. gard to this money, partioularly The Judge of the Admiralty at the Admiralty Prize Court Court was most angry at what at Malta, dealing with the he called the unfounded ao. prizes in the Mediterranean, at ousations of Cochrane, but the whose hands both he and his Treasurer of the Navy, Mr Rose, orew had suffered considerably. admitted in his reply that there A pirate ship he had captured were such cases, and instanoed near Corsioa was condemned as one in which an agent at Portsa Droit of Admiralty, it being mouth, who had £62,000 to ourrently reported at Malta distribute, made up his oharges that certain persons connected to £9462, of which £1200 was with the Admiralty Court had for postage. a share in her. No one on the Captain William Stanhope Pallas obtained a farthing of Badoook, an officer of Lord St that money, but, on the oon- Vinoent's day, recounts that he trary, the ship's company was was so unfortunate as to lose oondemned by the Admiralty every penny of the prize money Court to pay 500 double sequins to whiob he had beoome entitled as ooste.
during the French war, owing So bad had it become that to bankruptoy in various parts Coohrane tried, with little hope of the world of four agents to of su00e88, to get baok to Eng. whom he had ontrusted his land to expose these robberies prize affairs. of the Malta Court, “the “These honest people,” he officials of whioh were reaping says, “have an easy way of colossal fortunes at the expense getting rid of money committed of naval officers and seamen, to their charge. A ship brings who were wasting their lives captured vessels into harbour. and blood for official game." On board oomes Mr A., B., C.,
Finally he did manage to get or D., with a smirking face and home, and on the floor of the soft tongue, making low bows, House of Commons exposed the hoping that he may have the appalling extortions of the honour - being an accredited Prize Courts. In the course of agent under a bond of £20,000 his speech he said that “the-to transact the affairs of H.M. most insignificant vessels were ship. Offioers generally being oondemned at an expense equal strangers in the port, and hav. to that of the largest, so that ing orders frequently to prothe condemnation of a fishing ceed to sea again in forty-eight