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"Prize Money: Frigates, Snobbery and Jane Austen" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2020 9:03 p.m. PST

"In naval fiction set in the Age of Fighting Sail, prize money, accruing from the capture of enemy shipping which would subsequently be sold to third parties or bought by the Admiralty, is rightly shown as an important driver for Royal Navy officers and crew alike. For most on the lower deck it represented the only opportunity of their lives to earn a sum substantial enough to set themselves up in some comfort typically by purchase of a tavern or other small business. For the officers it could mean the difference between an old age spent in respectable near-penury and acquisition of a fortune that would secure significant property for themselves and their families. The navy differed from the army in that an officer did not need to purchase his commission (a practice that continued up to the 1870s). Younger sons from wealthy families, who due to the law of primogeniture were likely to inherit little or nothing, or sons from poor but respectable backgrounds such as Nelson could however enter the navy at a young age and hope to rise through competence and luck.

The allocation of prize money followed a fixed formula, and some who benefitted from it might not be directly involved in the capture of the enemy vessel. The total value of the prize was divided into eight parts which were assigned as follows:…"
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Amicalement
Armand

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2020 7:50 p.m. PST

Nice. I shall seek the "Dawlish Chronicles."

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2020 11:06 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend! (smile)

Amicalement
Armand

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