Ancient authority to arm a private warship ~ a
In olden times, Kingdoms and governments did not have
They would license private ships (privateers)
To capture their enemies' shipping and goods.
These Licenses were called Letters of
Letters of Marque have been issued since the thirteenth
Sailed under the protection of Letters of Marque
They were privately owned warships Commissioned by a belligerent
nation to carry-on naval warfare for profit.
The captured ships, booty and plunder would be divided between the issuing
government, the vessel’s owner, and her crew.
In the 18th century
365 Letters of Marque were issued from Boston alone!
Privateering is distinguished from Piracy.
Piracy is carried on without enlistment by a government (Letters of Marque).
Because Pirates did not carry Letters of Marque—they would be hanged.
Privateers were not hanged. They were usually held for ransom or imprisoned.
US conviction for piracy was in 1819
List Letters of Marque