Recital that Masters of Ships a suffer them to be boarded and Goods taken by Pirates, and that Inconveniences result therefrom.
Masters of Ships of 200 Tons and upwards yielding without fighting; Punishment.; Such Master taking Command of any Ship; Punishment.; Remedy for Owners of Goods on board such Ship.; Action against Master.
Whereas it often happeneth that Maisters and Commanders of Merchants Shipps [doe suffer theire Ships (fn. 1) ]
to be boarded and the Goods to be taken out by Pirates and Sea-Rovers notwithstanding they have
sufficient force to defend themselves whereby not onely the Merchants are much prejudiced but the Honour of
the English Navigation is thereby much diminished and Merchants discouraged from ladeing their goods on board
English Shipps to the decay of Shipping in the preservation whereof the wealth honour and safety of this Nation
is soe much concerned, to which the said Masters are encouraged by a practise used towards them by the Turks
and others who after they have taken out the goods as an encouragement to Masters of Shipps to yeild doe not
onely restore the Shipp with such goods as are claimed by the Masters or Seamen but many times pay unto
the Masters all or some part of the Fraight which hath many times caused suspition of treachery in the said
Masters to the great dishonour of the English Nation, For the prevention thereof for the future and for the
better encouragement to Merchants aswell Forraigners as English to fraight and use English Shipps Bee it enacted
by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall
and Commons assembled in Parliament and by Authoritie of the same That where and Goods or Merchandices
shall be laden on board any English Shipp which Shipp shall be of the burden of Two hundred Tunns or upwards
and mounted with sixteene Gunns or more if the Master or Commander shall yeild up the said Goods to any
Turkish Shipps or Vessells or to any Pirates or Sea-Rovers whatsoever without fighting that then and in such case
the Master shall (upon proofe thereof made in the High Court of Admiralty) be from thenceforth incapeable of
takeing charge of any English Shipp or Vessell as Master or Commander thereof, And if he shall at any time
thereafter presume to take upon him to command any English Shipp or Vessell he shall suffer Imprisonment by
Warrant from the said Court dureing the space of six Moneths for every Offence, And in case the persons soe
takeing the said Goods shall release give backe or lett passe the Shipp or shall pay unto the said Master any
Summe or Summes of Money or any Goods in lieu of Money for Fraight or other Reward or Gift that in all
or any such cases the ( (fn. 2) ) Goods or Money soe given or the value thereof, as alsoe the Masters part of such Shipp
her Tackle Apparell and Furniture soe released given backe or lett passe out of which the said Goods were taken
shall be lyeable to repaire the person whose Goods were soe delivered or taken by Action in the High Court of
Admiraltie, And in case the Commanders or Masters part of the Shipp, Tackle Apparell and Furniture together
with such Money and Goods given as aforesaid shall not be sufficient to repaire all the [dangers (fn. 3) ] sustained then the
Reparations to be recovered on the Masters or Commanders part of the Shipp to be divided pro rata amongst
the persons prosecuteing and proveing their damages and the persons damaged to have their Action against the
Master for the remainder.
II. No. Master to desert his Ship.
And be it further enacted, by the Authoritie aforesaid That noe Master of any such English Shipp as aforesaid
being at Sea and having discovered any Ship to be a Turkish Shipp Pirate or Sea-Rover shall depart out of his
Shipp upon any pretence whatsoever least by his detention on board any such Shipp the safety of his owne Shipp
III. Ships under 200 Tons not fighting; Penalty.
And be it further enacted That if the Master of any English Shipp or Vessell though not of the Burthen of
Two hundred Tunns or mounted with Sixteene Gunns as aforesaid shall yeild his said Shipp unto any Turkish
Shipp Pirate or Sea Rover (not haveing at the least double his number of Gunns) without fighting every such
Master shall be lyeable to all and every the penaltyes in this Act contained.
IV. Ships or Masters may be seized by Commanders of His Majesty's Ships of War, &c.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That upon Processe made out of the High Court of
Admiralty it shall and may be lawfull to and for all Co[m]manders of His Majestyes Shipps of Warr or the Co[m]manders
of any other English Shipps to seize such Ships or Masters soe offending according to the said Processe in such
case to be issued and the same to bring or send in custody into any Ports of His Majestyes Dominions there to
be proceeded against according to the intent and meaning of this Act;
V. Privileges of Foreign Ports.
Provided that none be hereby encouraged to violate the Rights of the Ports of any Forraigne Prince or State
in Amity with the Kings Majestie.
VI. Seamen, &c. refusing to fight, and discouraging others; Punishment.
And be it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if the Marriners or inferiour Officers of any English
Shipp laden with Goods and Merchandices as aforesaid shall decline or refuse to fight and defend the Shipp
when they shall be thereunto commanded by the Master or Commander thereof or shall utter any words to
discourage the other Marriners from defending the Shipp That every Marriner who shall be found guilty of
declineing or refuseing as aforesaid shall lose all his Wages due to him together with such Goods as he hath in
the Shipp, and suffer imprisonment not exceeding the space of Six Monethes and shall dureing such time be kept
to hard labour for his or their maintenance,
VII. Proviso for Master forced to give up his Ship by his Mariners. Exception.
Provided alwayes That if any Shipp shall have beene yeilded as aforesaid contrary to the will and endeavour
of the Master or Commander by the disobedience of his Mariners testifyed by their haveing laid violent hands
on him That in such case the Master or Commander shall not be lyeable to the Sentence of Incapacitie as aforesaid
nor to any Action for the Losses sustained by the Merchants unlesse he shall have received backe from the takers
thereof his Shipp or some Recompence Gift or Reward as aforesaid,
VIII. Such Mariners to be punished as Felons.
And bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That every Marriner who shall have laid violent hands
on his Commander whereby to hinder him from fighting in defence of his Ship and Goods co[m]mitted to his Trust
shall suffer death as a Felon.
IX. Mariners wounded in saving a Ship by Fight;
Court of Admiralty may levy Reward on Owners,; not exceeding Two per Cent. on Value of Ship and Goods on Oath; paid to Register. Fee,; to be distributed.
And for the better encouragement to Captaines Masters Officers and Seamen to defend their Shipps Be it
enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That when any English Shipp shall have beene defended by fight, and brought
to her designed Port in which fight any of the Officers or Seamen shall have beene wounded it shall and may be
lawful to and for the Judge of His Majestyes High Court of Admiralty or his Surrogate or the Judge of the ViceAdmiraltie within which the Shipp shall arrive at her returne upon Petition of the Master or Seamen of such Shipp
soe defended as aforesaid to call unto him such and soe many as he shall be informed to be Adventurers or
Owners of the Shipp and Goods soe defended and by advice with them to raise and levy upon the respective Owners
and Adventurers by Processe out of the said Court such Summe [and (fn. 4) ] Summes of Money as himselfe with the
major part of the Adventurers or Owners then present shall judge reasonable not exceeding the value of Two
per Cen? of the Shipp and Goods soe defended according to the first cost of the Goods to be made appeare by the
Envoice (which the Owner or his Factor or Correspondent is hereby required to produce) or by the Oath of the
said Owner Factor or Correspondent if thereunto required, which Money soe raised shall be paid unto the Register
of the said Court who shall receive for the same Three pence in each pound and noe more thence to be distributed
amongst the Captaine Master Officers and Seamen of the said Shipp or Widdowes and Children of the slaine
according to the direction of the Judge of the said Court with the Approbation of Three or more of the Owners
or Adventurers aforesaid who shall proportion the same according to their best Judgements unto the Shipps Company
as aforesaid haveing a speciall regard unto the Widdowes and Children of such as shall have beene slaine in that
Service, and to such as shall have beene wounded or mamed.
X. A Pirate Ship taken, how to be shared.
And in case the Company belonging to any English Merchant ship shall happen to take any Shipp, which Shipp
shall first have assaulted them, the respective Officers and Marriners belonging to the same shall after Condemnation
of such Shipp and Goods have and receive to their owne proper use and benefitt such part and share thereof as
is usually practised in Private Men of Warr,
XI. Master or Mariner burning or willfully losing a Ship;
And whereas it often happeneth that Masters and Mariners of Ships haveing ensured or taken upon Botomary
greater summes of money then the value of their Adventure doe wilfully cast away burne or otherwise destroy the
Shipps under their Charge to the Merchants and Owners great losse For the prevention thereof for the future
Bee it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Captaine Master Mariner or other Officer belonging to any
Shipp shall wilfully cast away burne or otherwise destroy the Shipp unto which he belongeth or procure the same
to be done he shall suffer death as a Felon.
XII. Continuance of Act.
Provided that this Act shall continue for Three yeares and from thence to the end of the next Session of
Parlyament and noe longer.