Erastus Cornelius Benedict.

The American admiralty, its jurisdiction and practice, with practical forms and directions online

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the said Lord Cornbury, full power and authority to erect one or
more Court, or Courts Admiral within our said province and terri-
tories for the hearing and determining of all marine and other causes
and matters, proper therein to be heard, with all reasonable and nec-
essary powers and authorities, fees and privileges, as also to exer-
cise all powera belonging to the place and office of vice-admiral, of
and in all the seas and coasts within your government, according to
such commission, authorities and instinictions as you shall receive
from oureelf, under the seal of our admiralty, or from our High
Admiral, or commissioners for executing the office of High Admiral
of our foreign plantations for the time being."

§ 123. Commission of Yiee-Admiral. — The commission to the
governor as vice-admiral was very full, granting, in language so
clear that it cannot be misunderstood, an admiralty jurisdiction as
wide and beneficial as the most zealous supportei-s of the English
Admii-alty ever claimed for it.

The commission to Lord Cornbury as vice-admiral was as follows.
The original commission is in Latin, and I have availed myself of
the English translation of similar commissions given by Stokes and
Du Ponceau.*

§124. The Same. — "Letters patent granted to the very noble
and honorable, Edward, Lord Cornbury, Governor of the provinces
and colonies of New York, Connecticut, and East and West New
Jersey, in America, and of the same Commander in Chief, for the
time being, for the office of Vice-Admiral in the said provinces and
colonies of New York, Connecticut, and East and West New Jersey.

" William the Third, by the giace of God, of England, Scotland,
France and Ii-eland, King, and Defender of the faith, to our well

^Dnnlap's Ad. Prac. 85; Stokes' View of the Colonies, 166; Du Pon. on Juris.
16S.

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66 THE AMERICAN ADMIRALTY.

beloved, and liege Edward, Lord Cornbury, our Governor of our
provinces and colonies of New York, Connecticut, and East and
West New Jersey, in America, and Commander in Chief of said
provinces and colonies for the time being, greeting : ^

§ 125. " We confiding very much in your fidelity, care, and cir-
cumspection in this behalf, do, by these presents, which are to con-
tinue during our pleasure only, constitute and depute you the said
A. B. Esq., our Captain General and Governor in Chief aforesaid,
our Vice-Admiral, commissary, and deputy in the office of Vice-
Admiralty, in our provinces and colonies, aforesaid, and the terri-
tories depending thereon in America, and in the maritime parts of
the same and thereto adjoining whatsoever; with power of taking
and receiving all and every the fees, profits, advantages, emoluments,
commodities, and appurtenances whatsoever due, and belonging to
the said office of Vice-Admiral, commissary, and deputy in our prov-
inces and colonies, and the territories depending thereon, and mar-
itime parts of the same and adjoining to them whatsoever, according
to the ordinances and statutes of our High Court of Admiralty in
England.

§ 126. "And we do hereby remit and grant unto you, the afore-
said A. B., our power and authority in and throughout our provinces
and colonies, aforementioned, and the territories depending thereon,
and maritime parts whatsoever of the same and thereto adjacent,
and also throughout all and every the sea shore, public streams,
poits, fresh water rivers, creeks, and arms, as well of the sea, as of
the rivers and coasts whatsoever of our said provinces and colonies,
and the territories depending thereon, and maritime parts whatso-
ever of the same and thereto adiacent, as well within liberties and
fmnchises, as without.

"To take cognizance of, and proceed in, all civil and maritime
causes, and in complaints, contracts, offences, or suspected offences,
crimes, pleas, debts, exchanges, accounts, charter parties, agreements,
suits, trespasses, injuries, extortions, and demands, and business civil
and maritime whatsoever, commenced or to be commenced between
merchants, or between owners and proprietors of ships and other
vessels, and merchants or others whomsoever, with such owners and
proprietors of ships and all other vessels whatsoever, employed or
used within the maritime jurisdiction of our vice-admiralty of our



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THE COLONIAL ADMIRALTY JITRISDICTION. 67

said provinces and colonies, and the territories depending thereon,
or between any other persons whomsoever, had, made, begun, or
contracted for any matter, thing, cause, or business whatsoever,
done or to be done within our maritime jurisdiction aforesaid, to-
gether with all and singular their incidents, emergencies, dependen-
cies, annexed or connexed causes whatsoever or howsoever, and such
causes, complaints, contracts, and other the premises above said, or
any of them, which may happen to arise, be contracted, had or done,
to hear and determine according to the rights, statutes, laws, ordi-
nances, and customs anciently observed.

§ 127. "And moreover, in all and singular complaints, contracts,
agreements, causes, and businesses civil and maritime, to be per-
formed beyond the sea, or contracted there, howsoever arising or
happening : and also in all and singular other causes and matters,
which in any manner whatsoever touch or any way concern, or an-
ciently have and do, or ought to belong unto the maritime jurisdic-
tion of our aforesaid Vice-Admiralty in our said provinces and colo-
nies, and the territories depending thereon, and maritime parts
thereof, and to the adjoining whatsoever; and generally, in all and
singular all other causes, suits, crimes, offences, excesses, injuiies,
complaints, misdemeanoi-s, or suspected misdemeanors, trespasses,
regi-ating, forestalling, and maritime businesses whatsoever, through-
out the places aforesaid, within the maritime jurisdiction of our
Vice-Admiralty of our provinces and colonies aforesaid, and the
territories depending thereon by sea or water, on the banks or
shores of the same howsoever done, committed, perpetrated, or
happening.

§ 128. " And also to inquire by the oaths of honest and lawful
men of our said provinces and colonies, and the territories depend-
ing thereon, and maritime parts of the same and adjoining to them
whatsoever, dwelling both within liberties and fmnchises and with-
out, as well of all and singular such matters and things, which of
right, and by the statutes, laws, ordinances, and the customs anciently
observed were wont and ought to be inquired after, as of wreck of
the sea, and of all and singular the goods and chattels of whatsoever
ti'aitoi's, pirates, manslayers, and felons, howsoever offending within
the mai-itime jurisdiction of our Vice- Admiralty of our provinces
and colonies, aforementioned, and the territories depending thereon,



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68 THE AMERICAN ADMIRALTY.

and of the goods, chattels, and debts of all and singular their inain-
tainers, accessories, councillors, abettors, or assistants whomsoever.

" And also of the goods, debts, and chattels of whatsoever pei-son
or persons, felons of themselves, by what means, or howsoever com-
ing to their death within our aforesaid maritime jurisdiction, where-
soever any such goods, debts, and chattels, or any part thereof, by
sea, water, or land in our said provinces and colonies, and the terri-
tories depending thereon, and maritime parts of the same and thereto
adjacent whatsoever, as well within liberties and franchises, as with-
out, have been or shall be found forfeited, or to be forfeited, or in
being.

§ 129. " And moreover, as well of the goods, debts, and chattels,
of whatsoever other tmitors, felons, and manslayers wheresoever of-
fending, and of the goods, debts, and chattels of their maintainers,
accessories, counsellors, abettors, or assistants, as of the goods, debts,
or chattels of all fugitives, persons convicted, attainted, condemned,
outlawed, or howsoever put, or to be put in exigent for treason,
felony, manslaughter, or murder, or any other offence or crime what-
soever ; and also concerning goods waived, flotson, jetson, lagon,
shares and treasure found, or to be found ; deodands, and of the
goods of all othei-s whatsoever taken, or to be taken, as derelict, or
by chance found, or howsoever due, or to be due ; and of all other
casualties, as well in, upon, or by the sea and shores, creeks or coasts
of the sea, or maritime parts, as in, upon, or by all fresh waters, poi-ts,
public streams, rivers, or creeks, or places overflown whatsoever, with-
in the ebbing and flowing of the sea or high water, or upon the shores
and banks of any of the same within our maritime jurisdiction afore-
said, howsoever, whensoever, or by what means soever arising, hap-
pening, ^r proceeding, or wheresoever such goods, debts, and chattels,
or other the premises, or any parcel thereof may, or shall happen to
be met with, or found within our maritime jurisdiction aforesaid.

" And also concerning anchorage, lastage, and ballast of ships,
atnd of fishes royal, namely sturgeons, whales, porpoises, dolphins,
kiggs, and grampuses, and general of all other fishes whatsoever,
which are of a great or very large bulk or fatness, anciently by
right or custom, or any way appertaining or belonging to us.

§ 130. " And to ask, require, levy, take, collect, receive, and ob-
tain for the use of us, and to the office of our High Admiral of Great



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THE COLONIAL ADMIRALTY JURISDICTION. 69

Britain aforesaid for the time being, to keep and preserve the said
wreck of the sea, and the goods, debts, and chattels of all and singu-
lar other the premises.

" Together with all, and all manner of fines, mulcts, issues, for-
feitures, amerciaments, ransoms, and recognizances, whatsoever, for-
feited, or to be foi-feited, and pecuniary punishment for trespasses,
crimes, injuries, extortions, contempts, and other misdemeanors
whatsoever, howsoever imposed or inflicted, or to be imposed or in-
flicted for any matter, cause, or thing whatsoever in our said prov-
inces and colonies, and the territories depending thereon, and mari-
time parts of the same and thereto adjoining, in any Court of our
Admiralty there held or to be held, presented or to be presented,
assessed, brought, forfeited, or adjudged ; and also all amerciaments,
issues, fines, perquisites, mulcts, and pecuniary punishments what-
soever, and forfeitures of all manner of recognizances, before you
or your lieutenant, deputy or deputies in our said provinces and
colonies, and the territories depending thereon, and maritime parts
of the same and thereto adjacent whatsoever, happening or imposed,
or to be imposed or inflicted, or by any means assessed, presented,
forfeited, or adjudged, or howsoever by reason of the premises, due
or to be due in that behalf to us, or to our heirs and successoi-s.

§131. "And further to take all manner of recognizances, cau-
tions, obligations, and stipulations, as well to our use as at the
instance of any parties, for agreements or debts, or other causes
whatsoever, and to put the same into execution, and to cause and
command them to be executed ; and also to arrest, and cause and
command to be arrested, according to the civil and maritime laws,
and ancient customs of our said court, all ships, pei'sons, tilings,
goods, wares and merchandizes, for the premises and every of them,
and for other causes whatsoever concerning the same, wheresoever
they shall be met with, or found throughout our said provinces arid
colonies, and the territories depending thereon, and maritime parts
thereof and thereto adjoining, as well within liberties and franchises,
as without; and likewise for all other agreements, causes or debts,
howsoever contracted or arising, so that the goods or persons may be
found within our jurisdiction aforesaid.

§ 132. " And to hear, examine, discuss, and finally determine the
same, with their emergencies, dependencies, incidents, annexed and



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70 THE AMERICAN ADMIRALTY.

connexed causes and businesses whatsoever ; together with all other
causes, civil and maritime, and complaints, contracts, and all and
every the respective premises whatsoever above expressed, accord-
ing to the laws and customs aforesaid, and by all other lawful usage,
means and methods, according to the best of your skill and knowl-
edge.

" And to compel all manner of persons in that behalf, as the case
shall require, to appear and to answer, with power of using any tem-
poral correction, and of inflicting any other penalty or mulct, ac-
cording to the laws and customs aforesaid.

"And to do and administer justice, according to the right order,
the cause of law, summarily and plainly, looking only into the truth
of the facts.

§ 133. " And to fine, correct, punish, chastise, reform, and to im-
prison, and cause and command to be imprisoned in any jaols, being
within our provinces and colonies, aforesaid, and the territories de-
pending thereon, the parties guilty, and the contemners of the law
and jurisdiction of our Admiralty aforesaid, and violatoi-s, usurpers,
delinquents and contumacious absentei's, masters of ships, mariners,
rowers, fishermen, shipwrights, and other workmen and artificers
whatsoever exercising any kind of maritime affairs, according to
the rights, statutes, laws and ordinances, and customs anciently ob-
served ; and to deliver and absolutely discharge, and cause and com-
kiand to be discharged, whatsoever persons imprisoned in such cases,
*vho are to be delivered.

§ 134. " And to preserve, or cause to be preserved, the public
streams, ports, rivers, fresh waters and creeks whatsoever within
our maritime jurisdiction aforesaid, in what place soever they be in
our provinces and colonies aforesaid, and the territories depending
thereon, and maritime parts of the same and thereto adjacent what-
8<»ever, as well for the preservation of our navy royal, and of the
fleets and vessels of our kingdom and dominions aforesaid, as of
whatsoever fishes increasing in the rivers and places aforesaid.

" And also to keep, and cause to be executed and kept, in our
said provinces and colonies, and the territories depending thereon,
and maritime parts thereof and thereto adjacent whatsoever, the
rights, statutes, laws, ordinances and customs anciently observed.

" And to do, exercise, expedite, and execute all and singular other



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THE COLONIAL ADMIRALTY JURISDICTION.

things in the premises, and every of them, as they by ri
cording to the laws and statutes, ordinances and custon
should be done.

§ 135. " And moreover to reform nets too close, anc
lawful engines or instruments wheresoever, for the catchi
whatsoever, by sea or public streams, ports, rivers, fresl
creeks whatsoever, throughout our provinces and colonic
and the territories depending thereon, and maritime j
same and thereto adjacent, used or exercised, within oi
jurisdiction aforesaid wheresoever.

" And to punish and correct the exercisers and occupi
according to the statutes, laws, ordinances and customs

§ 136. " And to pronounce, promulge and interpose
of sentences and decrees, and to put the same in execi
cognizance and jurisdiction of whatsoever other cause
maritime, which relate to the sea, or which any manner
spect or concern the sea, or passage over the same, or na
time voyages, or our ssiid maritime jurisdiction, or th
limits of our said Admiralty and cognizance aforementio
other things done, or to be done.

" With power also to proceed in the same, according
utes, laws, ordinances and customs aforesaid, anciently v
of mere office mixed or promoted, as at the instance of
as the case shall require and seem convenient.

§ 137. " And likewise with cognizance and decision
the sea, and of the death, drowning, and view of dead 1
persons howsoever killed or drowned, or murdered, or
happen to be killed, drowned, or murdered, or by any c
come to their death, in the sea, or public streams, ports, f
or ci-eeks whatsoever, within the flowing of the sea and
mark, throughout our aforesaid provinces and colonies, i
ritories depending thereon, and maritime parts of the
thereto adjacent, or elsewhere within our maritime jurisd
said.

" Together with the cognizance of Mayhem in the afor(
within our maritime jurisdiction aforesaid, and flowin|
and water there happening ; with power also of punishij



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72 THE AMERICAN ADMIRALTY.

quents in that kind, according to the exigencies of the law and cus-
toms aforesaid.

" And to do, exercise, expedite, and execute all and singular other
things, which in and about the premises only shall be necessary or
thought meet, according to the rights, statutes, laws, ordinances and
customs aforesaid.

§ 138. " With power of deputing and surrogating in your place
for the premises, one or more deputy, or deputies, as often as you
shall think fit; and also with power from time to time of nahiing,
appointing, ordaining, assigning, making, and constituting whatso-
ever other necessary, fit, and convenient officers and ministers under
you, for the said office, and execution thereof, in our said provinces
and colonies, and the territories depending thereon, and maritime
parts of the same, and thereto adjacent whatsoever.

§ 139. "Saving always the right of our High Court of Admiralty
of England, and also of the Judge and Register of the said Court,
from whom or either of them it is not our intention in any thing to
derogate by these presents ; and saving to every one who shall be
wronged, or grieved, by any definitive sentence or interlocutory de-
cree, which shall be given in the Vice- Admiralty Court of our prov-
inces and colonies aforesaid, and the territories depending thereon,
the right of appealing to our aforesaid High Court of Admiralty of
England.

§ 140. " Provided nevertheless, and under this express condition,
that if you, the aforesaid A. B. our Captain General and Governor
in Chief, shall not yearly, to wit, at the end of every year, between
the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel and All Saints duly cer-
tify, and cause to be effectually certified (if you shall be thereunto
required), to us, and our Lieutenant Official, Principals, and
Commissary-General and Special, and Judge and President of the
High Court of our Admiralty of England, aforesaid, all that which
from time to time, by virtue of these presents, you shall do and exe-
cute, collect, or receive in the premises, or any of them, together
with your full and faithful account thereupon, to be made in an au-
thentic form, and sealed with the Seal of our Ofifice, remaining in
your custody, that from thence, and after default therein, these our



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THE COLONIAL ADMIRALTY JURISDIC

Letters Patent of the Office of Vice-Admiralty afc
granted, shall be null and void, and of no force or t

§ 141. " Further we do, in our name, command
our Governoi-s, Justices, Mayors, Sheiiffs, Captains
liffs, Keepers of all our Gaols and Prisons, Constab
our Officers and faithful liege subjects whatsoev^
them, as well within liberties and franchises, as witl
about the execution of the premises, and every of tV
ing, favouring, assisting, submissive, and yield o
things as is fitting to you, the aforesaid A. B. our
and Governor in Chief of our provinces and colonic
to your Deputy whomsoever, and to all other Ofl
pointed, and to be appointed, of our said Vice-Adn
and the territories depending thereon, and mariti
same, and thereto adjoining, under pain of the la
which will fall thereon.

" Given at London, in the High Court of our Ad
land aforesaid, under the Great Seal thereof
October, 1701."

§ 142. Govt. Bellamont's Commission.— There

commission, or letters patent to the governor and j
under the act of 11th and 12th Wm. IIL, for th<
suppression of piracy.^ This authorized the creatic
whenever occasion might require, of adniii-alty cour
piracies, felonies, and robberies committed on the a
harbor, river, creek or place, where the admiral hai
ity, and jurisdiction, according to the civil law ai
the admiralty. The commission to Governor B
follows :

General Admiralty Oommianon.

§143. '^William the Third, by the grace of (
Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, Defender o
To our Right ti-usty and right well beloved cousi
of Bellamont, our Capt. Genl. and Govr. in Chief
of New York, and territories depending thereon,
to the Governor or Commander in Chief of the

6 6 Evans' Stat 126; Stokes' Colonies, 281-2



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<4 THE AMERICAN ADMIRALTY.

New York for the time being: To our Trusty and well beloved
John Nanfan, Esquire, our Lieut. Govr. of the said province of New
Yorke, and to our Lieut. Govr. of the said province for the time
being: To our Trusty and well beloved, the Govr. of our CoUony
of Connecticut foi the time being : To our Vice Admii-all or Vice
Admiralls of our Province of New Yorke, East and West New Jer-
sey, and Connecticut, now and for the time being: To our Trusty
and well beloved Steplien Cortland, Wm. Smith, Peter Schuyler,
John Young, James Graham, Abraham De Peyster, Robt. Living-
ston, Samuel Staats, Jolin Carbell, and Robert Waltei-s, Esqs., mem-
bers of our council in the said province of New Yorke, during their
continuance in our said council, and to the membei*s of our council
in tlie said Lsland for the time being : To our Chief Justice of our
province of New York, now and for the time being: To our Judge
or Judges of the Vice Admiralty in the said province New Yorke,
East and West New Jei-sey and Connecticut, now and for the time
being : To our trusty and well beloved, the Captains and Com-
manders of our ships of Warr within the Admiralty Jurisdiction of
the said provinces of New York, East and West New Jei-sey, and
Connecticut, now and for the time being : To our Trusty and well
beloved, our Secretary of the said province of New York, now and
for the time being: To our Trusty and well beloved Thomas Wea-
ver, Esquire, Receiver of our Revenue of our said province of
New Yoike, and to the receiver of our revenue in the said province
for the time being : To our Trusty and well beloved Patrick Mayne
and Edward Randolph, Esqrs., Surveyors Genl. of our Customs in
America and to the Surveyors General of our customs in America
for the time being: To our trusty and well beloved, the Collectors
of our plantation duties in the said provinces of New York, East
and West New Jei-sey, and Connecticut, appointed in pursuance of
an act made in the Twenty-fifth year of the reign of our Royal Un-
cle, King Charles the Second, for the better securing the plantation
trade, now and for the time being : and to our trusty alid well be-
loved George Larbin, Esquire, Greeting :

§ 144. " Whereas, by an act passed last session of parliament,
entitled an act for the more effectual suppressing of piracy, it is,
amongst other things, enacted, that all piracies, fellonies and rob-
eries, committed in or upon the sea, or in any haven, river, creek, or
place where the Admiral or Admiralls have power, authority or ju-



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THE COLONIAL ADMIRALTY JURISDICTIO

risdiction, may be examined, enquired of, tryed, hear
mined and adjudged, according to the directions of tl
any place at sea, or upon the land, in any of our Islandi
Colonies, Dominions, forts or fnctones, to be appoii
purpose by our Commission or Commissions, under t
of England, or the Seal of the Admiralty of Englan
all or any of the Admirals, Vice Admirals, Rear Adn
of Vice Admii-als, or Commanders of any of our SI
and also to all or any such peraon or persons, officer <
name, or for the time being, as we should think fit to a
said Commissioners shall have full power, jointly oi
warrant under the hand and seal of them, or any of
mit to safe custody any person or persons against wl
tion of piracy, Robery, or felony upon the sea, shall 1
oath ; and to call and assemble a Court of Admiralty
or upon the land, when, and as often as occasion shall i
Court shall consist of seven persons, at least. And it
acted^ that if so many of the persons aforesaid cannot
be assembled, any three of the aforesaid pei*sons, whe;
ident or Chief of some English factory, or the Govr.,
or member of our Council, in any of the plantatioi
aforesaid, or Commanders of some of our Ships, is alw
shall have full power and authority, by virtue of th
call and assemble any other pei-sons on Ship board, or i
to make up the number of seven. And it is providec
sons but such as are known merchants, factors, or pla



Online LibraryErastus Cornelius BenedictThe American admiralty, its jurisdiction and practice, with practical forms and directions → online text (page 9 of 80)