British Privateering Enterprise in the Eighteenth Century

David J. Starkey

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ISBN: 9780859893121

Publication: January 1, 1990

Series: Exeter Maritime Studies

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
An important part of eighteenth-century maritime conflict involved the destruction of enemy commerce and the protection of home trade. In performing these tasks, state navies were augmented by privateers, vessels owned, equipped and manned by private individuals authorised by their governments to attack and seize the enemy’s seabourne property. For their reward, the investors and seafarers engaged in privateering ventures shared in the proceeds of any ships and goods taken and condemned as lawful prize. Privateering therefore represented a business opportunity to the maritime community, a chance to acquire instant wealth at the enemy’s expense; at the same time, it appeared as a cheap convenient means by which the state might supplement its naval strength. In this important analysis David J. Starkey draws upon a wealth of documentary evidence to throw fresh light upon the character, scale and significance of the British privateering business.

David J Starkey is Professor of Maritime History and Director of the Maritime Historical Studies Centre at the University of Hull.

Preface Introduction Part 1: Character 1. Origins and Regulation 2. Private Men-of-War and 'Letters of Marque' 3. Risks and Rewards Part 2: Scale 4. 1702-1712: 'Their Privateers will be Lords and Ours will be Beggars' 5. 1718-1720: 'To Cruise on the Spaniards under His Majesty's Commission' 6. 1739-1748: 'Good Pickings for Privateers of Force' 7. 1756-1762: 'Small Ship, Vessels, or Boats, being, or Pretending to be, English Privateers' 8. 1777-1783: 'Additional Forces' Part 3: Signficance 9. Constraints and Determinants 10. 'Private Interests Inseparable from... the Public Interests of the British Nation'? 11. 'The Finest Opportunity'? Appendices 1. Primary Source Materials: Problems and Methods 2. Monthly Activity Rates of Private Men-of-War, 1702-1783 3. Outfitting Costs 4. Share Values 5. Five Prize Accounts 6. Crew Composition, Royal Family Private Ships-of-War, 1747 7. Commissioned Vessels by Region, 1793-1801 8. Commissioned Vessels by Region, 1803-1815 Bibliography Index

A first class work of original scholarship and a readable account of a dramatic chapter in nautical history.
  Lloyd's List

The excellence of this book lies in the research that has gone into it, its orderly structure and its readability. Most of all it opens the way for even more detailed work to be undertaken at national, regional and local levels. We are indeed deeply indebted to Dave Starkey.
  The Northern Mariner

... an excellently researched and written guide to eighteenth-century British privateering which sets new standards for academic achievement.
  The American Neptune

Format: Hardback

Size: 228 x 148 mm

344 Pages

ISBN: 9780859893121

Publication: January 1, 1990

Series: Exeter Maritime Studies

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