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war as were aotually 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 rich His Majesty's enemies. Saob harvest, while the main fleet officers and crews were en- blockading the enemy's porte, titled to have distributed denied the zest of action but among them as priza bounty, faithful to duty for long " & som caloolated at the rate months together in all of £5 for each person on board weathers, received nothing. the enemy ship at the begin. Yet the blockading fleet, like ning of the engagement,” the Grand Fleet, was the Such constituted Naval shield behind which the capBounties as distinguished ture of enemy's commerce from the Prizo Fand.
was made possible. There was also & further But the Admiralty declared reward, prize salvage, arising they were unable to make any from oocurrences such as came 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 pablicly their willingness to ooal from British merchants accept cash offers for their at Caloutta to British mor- post-war prospects of prize chants at Karachi when the money. Not indeed that such Emden osptared and com- & withholding of prize money mandeered her oargo. Then was an innovation. On the the British light oruiser H.M.S. contrary, it seemed the geneYarmouth appeared, and found ral practice in the ancient days the Pontoporos in company to withhold these rewards with the Markomannia, å till long after the participants supply - ship to the Emden in the actions had died, and The Markomannia was sunk ofttimes their relations as and the Greek vessel released, well. and the law aotion was a claim By appointing & Prize by Captain H. L. Coobrane Claims Committee which deand the crew of H.M.8. oided whether compensation Yarmouth that they saved should be given to claimants the latter from certain de. whose claims 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, salvage and recaptare. the Admiralty brought more
These proposed ohanges of the legal element into the were oordially welcomed in matter of prize law, and their the Navy. The new plan expenses became 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 daes, until at engaged in capturing 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 vioe. 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 chance of his being genCommander - in - Chief of the erous. But usually he pooketed Grand Fleet receiving £2500, the whole amount. and the ordinary seaman or The Crown in praotice, 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 & share of the lawyers, and incidental ex- takings, and in the famous ponses, 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 88titled 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 oaptors; 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 foroe developed by far the greater part, for for piratioal purposes, “it is bitter dissatisfaotion existed not surprising that the mon of amongst the seamon and the Navy sought for loot as mariners, culminating in & a reward of their prowess, and proposal emanating from an as a rooompense for the soars inquisition of mariners beld at of battle." In the reign of Queensborough in 1375, that King John, all captures 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 baptors 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 oocurred to secure service 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 galloy-men on account of for the Cadiz fleet by Robert, the sale of the goods of a ship Earl of Essex, and Charles,
bounty alones depended o paid rem
and tonomy shiper merohana 46, 138.410 per
Lord Howard, Lord High prooeeds from 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 further new scheme and that you shall surprise was instituted in 1653, by any enemy ships that shall which ton shillings per ton of have treasure or meroban- every prize was paid, besides dise 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, “The same dishonourable 80 it be not the King's conduot in the distribution of treasure, jewels, or a prize money, which has too carrack, shall be employed often disgraced our service, to the commodity and was most flagrant here and benefit of the whole oom- inoited the loudest murmurs. pany, over and above his The Admiral and General ordinary wages, scoord- pooketed each £122,697 ; the ing to his desert.”
sea captains £1600 each; and Parliament in 1642 assigned the field officers only £564; to officers and men of the the land captains £184 each capturing ships one-third of (not 80 much as a naval the value of the prizes taken lieutenant, who had each by them; but it was the £234), whilst the poor sailors praotice to make unjustifiable had nearly £3, 148. 9d. each, deductions on various pretexts, and the poor soldiers, who had and with the delays in pay- borne the brunt of the heat, ment that always obaraoter the labour, and the fighting, ised these awards, discontent received the paltry som of in the Navy was general. The £4, 1s. 8d. eaoh. 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 were war were paid for at the value oapable of servioe. By this of £12 to £20 per gan. The conquest the passage of the
The capableore than 10,00maini
while Pal larger ion of
Paling order the Admicelled
Spanish plate fleets was leftThe mutineers at the Nore entirely at our mercy.” in 1797, when they presented
Rodney-always a poor man, their demands, referred to tbis and a far greater fighting sailor matter of the unjust distributhan Pocock — had not the tion of prize money; but honour 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 Cochrane of the existent in fact, 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 nothing, and other islands. Yet by a dis- 88 the gallant Admiral regraceful piece of official marked, in some cases were jobbery Rodney bad been put into debt for an act of recalled, or rather left with valoar 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 Ad. fleet and large land forces, miralty; but the Admiral of had the distinction of reduc- the Port of Plymouth recalled ing Havana and pocketing & those orders, copied them, and fortune in prize money. reissued them to Cochrane.
Disoontent over prize money This allowed the Admiral, Sir glumbered for years after this William Young, to claim his enactment, till the famous share of any prize money that Cochrane (later the Earl of the Pallas might make. The Dandonald) began his vigorous Admiral's jurisdiction exoampaign against the Admir- tended no farther than Ply. alty Prize Courts and naval mouth Sound. Bat by relawyers and agents 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 bad & 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, peculations of the Courts and and of the proceeds of these the lawyers, he says :
captures Sir William Young “We got all the fighting, olaimed, and aotually rewhilst the Admiralty Court ceived, one-half of Cochrane's and its hungry parasites share. Returning to Plymouth monopolised the greater por. after this eruise 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 how lucky she had several thousand pounds." been in Spanish prizes, ordered
and with sed the receptek prize the meroben ding way of , and
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 Indisman; the labour of capture Spanish golden candlesticks, ending in nothing but putting which, glittering in the sun, money in the proctor's pockets." had a whimsical effeot to ban. He instanced the case of a dreds of speotators assembled Jewish agent who received below Government House." two-thirds out of the produce of
Assidaous investigations by the vessel, the remaining third Cochrane revealed amazing being for the Admiral, Captain, scandals and abuses with re- and seamen. gard to this money, particularly The Judge of the Admiralty at the Admiralty Prize Court Court was most angry at what at Malta, dealing with tbe he called the unfounded acprizes 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 currently reported at Malta distribute, made ap his charges that certain persons connected to £9462, of which £1200 was with the Admiralty Court had for postage. & 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 con- Vincent's day, recounts that he trary, the ship's company was was so unfortunate as to lose condemned by the Admiralty every penny of the prize money Court to pay 500 double sequins to which he had become entitled as costs.
during the French war, owing So bad had it become that to bankruptoy in various parts Cochrane tried, with little hope of the world of four agents to of success, to get baok to Eng. whom he had entrusted his land to expose these robberies prize affairs. of the Malta Court, “the “These honest people,” he offioials of whioh were reaping says, “have an easy way of colossal fortanes 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 offioial game.” On board comes 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 oourse of agent under a bond of £20,000 his speech he said that “the —to transaot the affairs of H.M. most insignificant vessels were ship. Officers generally being condemned at an expense equal strangers in the port, and havto that of the largest, so that ing orders frequently to prothe condemnation of a fishing need to see again in forty-eight