Prize and Prejudice

BookPrize and Prejudice

Prize and Prejudice

Privateering and Naval Prize in Atlantic Canada in the War of 1812

Research in Maritime History, 11

2017

October 18th, 2017

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This journal examines privateering and naval prizes in Atlantic Canada in the maritime War of 1812 - considered the final major international manifestation of the practice. It seeks to contextualise the role of privateering in the nineteenth century; determine the causes of, and reactions to, the War of 1812; determine the legal evolution of prize law in North America; discuss the privateers of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and the methods they utilised to manipulate the rules of prize making during the war; and consider the economic impact of the war of maritime communities. Ultimately, the purpose of the journal is to examine privateering as an occupation in order to redeem its historically negative reputation. The volume is presented as six chapters, plus a conclusion appraising privateering, and seven appendices containing court details, prize listings, and relevant letters of agency.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover1
Title Page3
Copyright Page4
Table of Contents5
Tables8
Illustrations9
Acknowledgements10
INTRODUCTION11
CHAPTER 1: RELUCTANT ENEMIES21
Causes of the War of 181221
Popular Opinion25
The Atlantic Provinces to 181226
The Pursuit of Trade28
i) Smuggling29
ii) Specie32
iii) The Licensed Trade34
CHAPTER 2: GOOD AND LAWFUL PRIZE43
The Origins of Admiralty Law44
Prize Law Transformed46
The Role of the Admiral49
The Development of Prize Law51
Lawful Prize53
Refining the Rules56
Colonial Vice-Admiralty Courts58
United States Admiralty Courts62
CHAPTER 3 : PRIZEMAKING AND THE VICE-ADMIRALTY COURT AT HALIFAX65
The Prelude66
The Practitioners69
i) Sir Alexander Croke69
ii) Richard John Uniacke71
The Problem72
The Process73
i) Prize Master's Affidavit73
ii) Petitions73
iii) Monition75
iv) Allegations77
v) Standing Interrogatories78
vi) Disposition78
Recaptures79
Appeals81
Prize Agency82
The Cost of Justice85
CHAPTER 4: PUBLIC SERVICE, PRIVATE PROFITS87
The Atlantic Privateers120
The Nature of Privateering90
A Dicey Business91
The Liverpool Experience93
Readying for Sea99
i) Affidavit of Sureties101
ii) Articles of Agreement102
iii) The Ship's Company103
Privateer Perquisites105
Generous Warfare106
Prisoners of War108
Cartel113
Prize and Reprise114
CHAPTER 5: ON HIS MAJESTY'S SERVICE119
The Atlantic Squadron120
The American Navy121
British Naval Problems at Sea and Ashore126
Manpower Shortages129
Naval Prize and the Profit Motive134
i) Head Money136
ii) Ransom136
iii) Joint Capture138
Gentlemen and Jack Tars139
Evaluating Naval Prize141
CHAPTER 6: THE FORTUNES OF WAR145
Commercial Warfare145
The Toll on America147
Strict and Rigorous Blockade150
Compulsory Convoy155
Maritime Risk: Insuring and Securing Trade158
Economic Impact161
CONCLUSION: PRIZEMAKING APPRAISED165
APPENDICES169
APPENDIX 1 : Prize Cases Appearing before the Vice-Admiralty Court of Halifax from June 1812 to May 1815169
APPENDIX 2: Standing Interrogatories214
APPENDIX 3: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Letter of Marque Vessels, 1812-1815221
APPENDIX 4: Investment in Privateering225
APPENDIX 5: Royal Navy Vessels and Their Prizes233
APPENDIX 6: Letters of Agency - RN Ships242
APPENDIX 7: Prize-Related Activity Among Merchants in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick247
Bibliography253