JamesG

Privateer Percentage?

4 posts in this topic

While the usual dispersal of shares to a crew seems fairly well documented, I'd like to know what cut a privateer would get in the 1716-1722 period; if you were a pirate, took the King's Pardon, got a Letter of Marque, would you get 50% of whatever ship you took? 80%? Were there different rates between the Crown and private consortiums? What about expenses or overhead? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

 

James

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The amount varied from ship to ship, some going to the investors and some to the crew. Sometimes the profits were shared out after the investors had claimed their expenses, sometimes before. Often, members of the crew were also investors so took a slice from both pots. In general terms I'd say a 50/50 split between investors and crew was about usual, but variations were common.
 

In the 17th century the crown, via the Admiralty, took a flat 10% of the profit before it was divvied up, but by 1716 that practice had ended. You mention Crown consortia, but I can't think off the top of my head of any monarch, at least any English/British monarch, who invested in privateering.

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A very big THANK YOU for that!

Regarding monarchs -- I suppose I was thinking of the pirates who took the 1718 pardon and turned "law-abiding." If any of them served as privateers in the 1720 war against Spain, who would they turn over their 50% to?

 

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That would be to whomever financed their shipping, but I must confess I don't know specifically who that was.

 

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