Thesis

British naval impressment and its effect upon the British North American colonies

Britain relied upon the practice of impressment
 to man its navy until the late 19th century. The feudal system of the Norman period provided precedent for such a method of recruiting. The successive lines of English kings recognized the strength of such precedent and appointed officers to facilitate the press. By the 13th century reeves or bailiffs impressed English subjects
 into the king's fleet and closely supervised trade for the kingdom's benefit. Royal press warrants demanded immediate compliance, and the king's officials enforced them vigorously. British naval press warrants rarely called upon landsmen or subjects lacking nautical skills to man warships. Only in times of emergency did the crown issue general warrants. Such warrants pressed seamen regardless of previously granted immunities. Naval commanders could press from inbound and outbound commercial vessels despite the adverse effect upon the country's economy. Even during a general press the king demanded only the services of experienced seamen aboard warships. He also compensated the mariner with a shilling for prest money and a small wage.

Thesis (M.A., History) -- California State University, Sacramento, 1969.

Britain relied upon the practice of impressment to man its navy until the late 19th century. The feudal system of the Norman period provided precedent for such a method of recruiting. The successive lines of English kings recognized the strength of such precedent and appointed officers to facilitate the press. By the 13th century reeves or bailiffs impressed English subjects into the king's fleet and closely supervised trade for the kingdom's benefit. Royal press warrants demanded immediate compliance, and the king's officials enforced them vigorously. British naval press warrants rarely called upon landsmen or subjects lacking nautical skills to man warships. Only in times of emergency did the crown issue general warrants. Such warrants pressed seamen regardless of previously granted immunities. Naval commanders could press from inbound and outbound commercial vessels despite the adverse effect upon the country's economy. Even during a general press the king demanded only the services of experienced seamen aboard warships. He also compensated the mariner with a shilling for prest money and a small wage.

Relationships

Items