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The Act for Calling Home Seamen and Mariners (1652)

Posted by Jack Abernethy, on October 18th, 2019


First passed in 1650, this law was an attempt to bring back to England the seamen who were serving in the Dutch navy at a time of a severe recruiting crisis in Britain. Following the first Anglo-Dutch War many feared that British mariners now serving not just in Dutch ships but all those also in all foreign fleets, would be deployed against the Commonwealth.  There was profound distrust within the Commonwealth government of its own navy, and the Act attempted to prevent British mariners leaving to join fleets abroad. It also draws attention to the leaching of mariners into English and Irish privateers.

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