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I publish them regularly on topics based around my enduring love for all matters maritime. I keep them short and light, so they should be no longer to read than the time it takes to drink a coffee. If you want to receive them, please subscribe below

Press Gangs

The press gang is deeply imbedded in our perception of the 18th century Royal Navy. The popular view is of warships, ever hungry for manpower, sending club-wielding thugs to raid sleepy coastal villages at dawn, or to round up the inebriated from taverns to be taken away to a life at sea. Yet many songs of the time, like Rule Britannia composed in 1740 and Hearts of Oak in 1759 make much of the navy as a defender of British freedom. How ironic that freedom should come at the expense of the liberty of her citizens? The legal basis for Impressment (the formal name for the practice) dates back to the medieval period, when during times of war, the crown had the right to call on the services of m

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