The World of the Medieval Shipmaster: Law, Business and the by Robin Ward

By Robin Ward

Regardless of a history of battle, piracy, depopulation, bullion shortages, adversarial political judgements, felony uncertainties and deteriorating climatic conditions, among the mid-fourteenth and the mid-fifteenth centuries the English service provider transport thrived. New markets have been constructed, voyages turned longer, ships and cargoes elevated in measurement and cost, and an curiosity in send possession as an funding unfold in the course of the community.
Using a wealthy diversity of examples drawn from court docket and parliamentary documents, modern literature and the codifications of maritime legislations, this e-book illuminates the evolving administration and advertisement practices which constructed to control the relationships among shipowners, shipmasters, crews and delivery retailers. It additionally brings to existence send functionality, navigation, seamanship, and the often harsh stipulations on board.

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PRO C 47/59/2/48 mm. 1, 2 and 5–7. org/terms THE WORLD OF THE MEDIEVAL SHIPMASTER a storm. 14 In 1357, the king of Portugal claimed from Edward III the restitution of goods which had been taken at sea by a French ship and then later by Englishmen. Edward replied that the decision, made by the admiral before whom the Portuguese owner had sued for restitution, was ‘rightfully constituted’, and that the goods were a good prize and therefore belonged to the Englishmen. It is possible that the plea was merely a summary decision by a local admiral and had not been heard in an admiral’s court, but an admiral acting alone, perhaps without writ, appears to have made a legal decision.

22 Although most chapters of the Coutumier are not relevant to the present review, some are especially useful. In chapter 88 the responsibilities of the shipmaster are more clearly defined than in Oleron; chapters 63, 64, 83, 86 and 87 define the mutual responsibilities in law of shipowners in partnership, information which occurs nowhere else; chapter 86 touches on the master/servant relationship which between merchant law and common law had become confused in England; chapter 94 concerns the shipmaster’s contribution to general average and chapter 95 defines the responsibilty for hiring pilots.

The commission sat intermittently until 1403, crystallising certain aspects of maritime law by recording opinions on a number of practical questions posed to the jurors, who sat under oath. By its constitution, the commission brought considerable practical experience to its deliberations. The members, initially, were the Warden of the Cinque Ports, the Admiral of the North, and 19 mariners drawn from ports along the south and east coast of England. Although listed as one inquisition, the articles fall into three groups, each collected at a different time and covering rather different ground.

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