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Thread: Distribution of Prize Money

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2023
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    Lt. William Bush

    Default Distribution of Prize Money


    in the frigate action recently reported, I, Lt. Bush, was in command of one of the British frigates as Acting Captain because her captain fell sick before the battle commenced. One French frigate was boarded and taken and safely brought to port by a prize crew. The French vessel was boarded by the second British frigate being part of the squadron.

    Thoughout the action, both British frigates were always in sight of the action, in which the French vessel was taken.

    We are in high hopes, that the captured French frigate will be condemned as a prize.

    This raises the question, how the potential prize money will be divided:

    I believe, that usually 3/8 of the shares go to the captain, which won the prize, 1/8 to the Admiral he serves under, 1/8 to the officers of the captain's ship, 1/8 to the Warrant Officers etc. of the ship, and 2/8 to the crew.
    As in this action two British frigates were involved, the prize money will be distributed along these lines among the two ships.

    However, how is an Acting Captain treated with regard to the prize money?
    Would he receive 3/8 or rather 1/8 to be subdivided with the other officers according to his normal rank?
    Would the outcome be any different, if the ship's captain had not been sick belowdecks but sick in port?

    Lt. Bush
    "Jeder Krieg, auch der siegreiche, ist ein Unglück für das eigene Volk, denn kein Landerwerb, keine Milliarden können Menschenleben ersetzen und die Trauer der Familien aufwiegen."
    Helmuth von Moltke d. Ä.

  2. #2
    Stats Committee
    Master & Commander
    United States

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    I suspect that as 1st Lieutenant watching over the ship while the captain was ill would be the same as if he were wounded in the exchange and you assumed command. That is, you're still a lowly lieutenant and not a true master and commander yet. Sorry


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