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"The impress service: press gangs and the Royal Navy" Topic

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Tango0102 Dec 2017 11:32 a.m. PST

"Imagine that your beloved husband or son suddenly disappeared after meeting friends at a neighborhood bar, and that you would not know for months what had happened to them. You fear that he has been taken by a pressgang.

Such was the case in Jane Austen's time, when Great Britain fought long wars over land and sea. Since medieval times it had been the royal prerogative to impress free men into a seamen's service. The custom was roundly condemned, except in cases of "necessity of the sudden coming in of strange enemies into the kingdom."* During times of war, "the tempation of impressment" was "too strong to be resisted by Parliament."* And so pressgangs would roam towns and the countryside to take men against their will to serve in His Majesty's navy…"
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Windy Miller04 Dec 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

A very well known period of British naval history. One particularly successful press gang was led by an Andrew Miller, which is why the Royal Navy is known to this day as the Andrew.

Tango0104 Dec 2017 9:39 a.m. PST



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