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prize


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The name normally used to describe an enemy vessel captured at sea by a ship of war of a privateer. The word is also used to describe contraband cargo taken from a merchant ship and condemned in prize by a Court of Admiralty. In its strict and original legal definition, prize in Britain is entirely a right of the crown, and no man may share in prize except through the gift of the crown. Most other maritime nations had similar definitions of prize, limiting it by right to the ruling body from whom it issued by gift. With the growth of maritime trade, and therefore the increase in value of prize, nations passed their prize laws under which the taking and condemnation of prize cargoes was controlled. At the Hague Convention in 1907, international rules were adopted to regularize the capture of prize.

See also prize money.

See also prize money.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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