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MINISTERS, GOVERNORS, AND CONSULS TO PROVIDE FOR SEAMEN WRECKED. By 31 Geo. II. c. 10, § 26, British governors, ministers, and consuls, residing in foreign parts, or, where none such are present, any two British merchants, are required to provide for seafaring men and boys, subjects of Great Britain, who by shipwreck, capture, or other unavoidable accident, shall be in foreign parts, or who shall have been discharged there as unserviceable from the royal navy, and subsist them at 1s. 6d. per diem each; and send them home as soon as conveniently may be, in any ship belonging to the royal navy, or in any merchant ship. Masters of merchant vessels to bring home seafaring persons.-Every master of a merchant ship, homeward-bound, is required to take all such seafaring persons on board, (not exceeding four to each 100 tons,) and bring them to some port in Great Britain. Upon arrival, if he produce to the navy-board a certificate from the governors or consuls, &c. of the number and names of the men and boys taken on board by their directions, and his own affidavit specifying the time during which he subsisted them, and whether his own complement of men was full or not, he will be paid 1s. 6d. per diem for the passage and provisions of each person above the number of his full complement. § 27.
58 Geo. III. c. 38.
An Act to extend and render more effectual the present regulations for the relief of seafaring men and boys, subjects of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in foreign parts.
Masters of vessels in foreign ports refusing to take on board seafaring men. Any master having the charge of any merchant ship belonging to his Majesty's subjects, that shall be or arrive in any such foreign parts, and be bound from thence to any port in the United Kingdom, and who shall be required in writing under the hand or hands of any such governor, minister, consul, or merchants, to take on board any such seafaring men or boys, being subjects of the said United Kingdom, (rot exceeding the number mentioned in the said act,) for the purpose of carrying and conveying them to the said port in the said United Kingdom, and who shall neglect and refuse to take on board or to carry and convey them accordingly, shall, for every such offence, forfeit and pay the sum of 100l. for each and every such man or boy whom he shall so refuse or neglect to take on board, and to carry and convey as aforesaid. § 2.
Masters leaving seamen on shore on account of sickness to leave their wages also. If any master of a merchant vessel belonging to his Majesty's subjects, shall leave any seafaring man or boy on shore at any foreign port, on account of sickness or any other inability to proceed on the voyage, every such master shall deliver to the governor, minister, or consul, if any there, or if not then to two respectable merchants, a true and just account of the wages due to such seafaring man or boy, and pay the amount thereof, either in money, or by a bill upon the owner or owners of such ship, to such governor, &c. as the case may be; and in default of his so doing, or in case of the owner not accepting and paying such bill when due, such owner shall be liable to an action for the amount, with interest at the rate of 5l. per centum per annum, to be brought in any of his Majesty's courts of record at Westminster or Dublin, or in his Majesty's court of exchequer in Scotland, at the suit of the holder or holders of such bill, as for money had and received by such owner to his or their use; but, in case of payment
of such wages being duly made as required by this act, the same, when received by the said governor, &c. as the case may be, shall be applied by him or them towards the payment of any hospital expenses of such seafaring man or boy as aforesaid, (except the charges for his subsistence,) and also towards the payment of the expenses of clothing, bedding, or other necessaries that may be supplied to him, and the remainder (if any) shall be paid to such seafaring man or boy. § 3. Masters refusing to deliver such account and pay the same, or delivering a false account, liable to the penalty of 201. to be recovered, with full costs of suit, by any person who will sue for the same. § 4.
9 Geo. IV. c. 31.
Assaulting a seaman to prevent him working-If any person shall unlawfully and with force hinder any seaman, keelman, or caster from working at or exercising his lawful trade, business, or occupation, or shall beat, wound, or use any other violence to him, with intent to deter or hinder him from working at or exercising the same, every such offender may be convicted thereof before two justices of the peace, and imprisoned and kept to hard labour in the common gaol or house of correction for any term not exceeding three calendar months. § 26. Learing seamen abroad.-If any master of a merchant vessel shall, during his being abroad, force any man on shore, or wilfully leave him behind in any of his Majesty's colonies or elsewhere, or shall refuse to bring home with him again all such of the men whom he carried out with him as are in a condition to return when he shall be ready to proceed on his homeward-bound voyage, every such master shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and, being lawfully convicted thereof, shall be imprisoned for such term as the court shall award. (See 58 Geo. III. e. 38, § 1, in page 34.) The mode of prosecution, trial, &c. are to be the same as are specified in that section of that act. § 30.
Offences against this act may be tried and determined as any other offences committed within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty of England. $ 32.
59 Geo. III. c. 69.
Abstract of an Act to prevent the ENLISTING or engagement of his Majesty's subjects to serve in FOREIGN SERVICE, and the fitting out or equipping, in his Majesty's dominions, vessels for warlike purposes, without his Majesty's license.
Enlisting, &c. in foreign service, &c. declared a misdemeanour.—If any natural-born subject of his Majesty, his heirs and successors, without the leave or license of his Majesty, for that purpose first had and obtained under the sign manual, or signified by order in council, or by proclamation, shall enlist or enter himself, or shall agree to enlist or enter himself, to serve as a sailor or marine, or to be employed or engaged, or shall serve in and on board any ship or vessel of war, or in and on board any ship or vessel used or fitted out, or equipped or intended to be used for any warlike purpose, in the service of or for or under or in aid of any foreign power, prince, state, potentate, colony, province, or part of any province or people, or of any person or persons exercising or assuming to exercise the powers of government in or over any foreign country, colony, province, or part of any province or people, or shall go to any foreign state, country, colony, province, or part of any
province, or to any place beyond the seas, with an intent or in order to enlist or enter himself to serve, or with intent to serve in any warlike or military operation whatever, whether by land or by sea, in the service of or for or under or in aid of any foreign prince, &c. as an officer, or sailor, or marine, in any such ship or vessel as aforesaid, although no eulisting money or pay or reward shall have been or shall be in any or either of the cases aforesaid actually paid to or received by him, or by any person to or for his use or benefit, in any or either of such cases, every person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and upon being convicted thereof, upon any information or indictment, shall be punishable by fine and imprisonment, or either of them, at the discretion of the court before which such offender shall be convicted. § 2.
Masters of ships taking offenders on board.-If any master or other person having or taking the charge or command of any ship or vessel, in any part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or in any part of his Majesty's dominions beyond the seas, shall knowingly and willingly take on board, or if such master, &c. or any owner of any such ship, shall knowingly engage to take on board any person or persons who shall have been enlisted or entered to serve, or shall have engaged or agreed or been procured to enlist or enter or serve, or who shall be departing from his Majesty's dominions for the purpose and with the intent of enlisting or entering to serve, or to be employed, or of serving, or being engaged or employed in any naval or military service, contrary to the provisions of this act, such master or owner or other person as aforesaid shall forfeit and pay the sum of 501. for each and every such person so taken or engaged to be taken on board. § 6.
Seamen entering or serving on board a slave ship, to be imprisoned two years. See SLAVE TRADE, Appendix, PART ÏV.
SUING FOR WAGES IN THE ADMIRALTY.
The convenience arising to mariners suing for wages in the admiralty is so great, that, out of regard to that useful body of men, it is permitted that they may sue for wages there. But although this liberty is permitted to mates and mariners, it is denied to the master; for the master contracts upon the credit of the owners, and the mariners upon the credit of the ship. (Smith v. Plummer, 1 Barn. & Ald. 57.) The convenience and benefit accruing to the mariners from this practice are, 1st. That they may all join in a suit there for wages, (thereby lessening the expense,) which could not be done by the usual courts of the kingdom; and, 2d. In the admiralty, the ship itself is answerable, and not the owners. The admiralty is expressly forbid indeed to meddle in anything done within the realm, by two early statutes; but so beneficial is the jurisdiction of the admiralty in these cases of wages, that the courts of common law will not interfere by prohibition when it can be avoided. And it is to be noticed, that seamen in suing in the admiralty court are not confined only to their actual service at sea, but may sue also for their wages earned in rigging and fitting out a ship for a voyage, even though the owners have not prosecuted such voyage. (Abbott, 485. 2 Lord Raym. Rep. 1044.) And the master having a distinct interest from the seamen, may be a witness for them in a suit against the owners for their wages. (1 Edw. 235.) But if the agreement of the seamen with the master for wages be of a special nature and by deed, if
the fact of the deed come in question, it can only be tried in a court of common law. (2 Str. R. 968.) If there be a contract for seamen's wages in the hands of the owner or master, they are compellable to produce it in court by 2 Geo. II. c. 36, and 31 Geo. III. c. 39. See pages 26 and 39. If suit be necessary for recovery of seamen's wages, it must, in common cases, be brought within six years; but if due under a special deed, within twenty years.
In what cases wages are due.—If a ship be lost before she arrives at any port of delivery, the seamen lose all their wages. If she be lost after coming to a port of delivery, they only lose their wages from the last port of delivery; and, even though the officers and mariners gave bond not to demand wages unless the ship returned to London, and she arrived at a delivering port, and afterwards was taken by an enemy, they had their wages to the delivering port. If they run away, though after coming to a port of delivery, they lose all their wages.
If a ship outward-bound arrive at her destined port, unload there, receive freight to return to England, and be taken by enemies in her return, the mariners shall have their wages to the time she arrived at the port she unloaded in, and for half the time she staid there to
If a seaman be impressed before the ship arrive at the delivering port, and she afterwards arrive there safe, his wages are recoverable for the time he served. (2 Lord Raym. R. 1211, 7 Taunt. 319.)
An action was brought by a sailor for wages in a voyage from Barnstaple to Newfoundland, and thence to Spain, Portugal, or some port in the Mediterranean. The ship was taken after her arrival at Newfoundland, and the action was brought for the wages due on that part of the voyage. Verdict was given for the defendant; and, on motion for a new trial, it was the opinion of the court that it was all one entire voyage. The fish is only the lading of the ship; no matter where taken in. And the ship was lost before its arrival at the port of delivery; as the freighter lost his cargo, the mariner ought to lose his wages.
A sailor was hired for a voyage from Jamaica to Liverpool, and took of the captain this promissory note: "Ten days after the ship Governor Parry, myself master, arrives at Liverpool, I promise to pay to Mr. T. Cutter the sum of thirty guineas, provided he proceeds, continues, and does his duty as second mate in the said ship, from hence to the port of Liverpool. Kingston, July 31, 1793." The ship sailed on the second of August, and arrived at Liverpool on the 9th of October following; but T. Cutter died on his passage the 20th of September. An action was brought by his administratrix; and the court were of opinion, that, as there was no general usage among merchants with respect to these notes in such a case as the present, they must decide that, as T. Cutter did not continue to do his duty till arrival at Liverpool, his representative could recover nothing even for that part of the time in which he did duty. Cutter v. Powell, 6 T. R. 320.
The cargo of a ship was lost by capture by a Swedish privateer, which carried her into Gothenburg: the master staid there three months to refit and take in new lading; and, to prevent the seamen from going away, he agreed to pay them so much a month while they staid there. And, in an action for this, the master would have discharged himself on the rule, that freight is the mother of wages, and that none are ever paid while the ship is lading or unlading; which the Chief Justice agreed to be the general doctrine: but he held it not
sufficient to set aside a special agreement, as there was in this case. The seamen therefore recovered their wages.
Seamen violently detained by an embargo, and separated from the ship, but afterwards restored, and navigating the ship home, are entitled to wages during the whole time of detention, such ship having earned her freight. (4 Camp. 185.)
The time at which seamen may demand their wages is now generally settled by the express terms of the agreement in common use between masters and mariners; see page 29: but the two statutes last mentioned have themselves left little ambiguity on this subject for the former of them relating to ships engaged in foreign voyages, directs that the seamen shall be paid in thirty days after the ship's entry at the custom-house : and the latter, as to ships employed in the coasting trade, directs that they shall be paid within five days after the ship shall be entered at the custom-house, or the cargo be delivered, or at the time the seamen shall be discharged, whichever shall first happen.
Though it has been said that wages are not generally due till the completion of the service for which a mariner was hired; yet it has been decided, that if such an one die on board during a voyage, his representatives may recover the proportion of wages actually due at the time of his decease. (Armstrong v. Smith, 1 Bos. & Pul. 299.)
Abstract of an Act for facilitating the Recovery of the Wages of Seamen in the Merchant Service. 59 Geo. III. c. 58.
Complaint of seamen about wages not exceeding £20.—After reciting that, whereas the seamen and mariners employed in the merchantservice, and in the coasting trade of this kingdom, are exposed to great difficulties, expense, and inconvenience, in suing for or obtaining payment of their wages, in cases of dispute with the masters or owners of vessels in which they may have served; and that it is expedient that greater facility should be given for recovery of such wages: it enacts, that from and after the 1st day of August, in the year 1819, it shall be lawful for any seaman, mariner, or other person, (except masters or apprentices,) who shall have served on board any ship trading from any port or place, in that part of the United Kingdom called England, to ports beyond the seas, or to any other port or place in Great Britain, by virtue or in pursuance of any contract or engagement, in writing or not in writing, and whether the same be by parol or by deed under seal, or otherwise, in case the master or commander, or other person having or taking the charge of any such ship or vessel, after the expiration of two days from the time of entry at the custom-house, or from the delivery of her cargo, or from the time when such seaman or mariner, or other person, (except as aforesaid,) shall be discharged, which shall first happen, (unless an agreement shall have been made and entered into to the contrary, and in that case, after the expiration of the time so stipulated or agreed for the payment of such wages as aforesaid,) neglect or refuse to pay to any such seaman, &c. (except as aforesaid,) his wages, or any part thereof, to complain to any justice of the peace residing in or near to the place where such vessel shall have ended her voyage, or been cleared at the custom-house, or delivered her cargo, or to any justice of the peace residing in or near to the place where such master or other person, or (in case of there being no master or other person in charge of any such ship or vessel) where any owner or owners thereof shall then happen to be; and thereupon such justices are hereby