The Sea-Man's Vade Mecum, 1707.

The Duty of the Clerk, Pilot, Mate, Surgeon and Sea-men of a Ship, according to the Custom of France.

The Duty of Sea-men.

The Sea-men shall be obliged to appear at the Days and Places appointed, to take a Board the Provisions, rig out the Ship, and set Sail.

2. A Sea-man hired for a Voyage, must not leave the Ship, without a Discharge in VVriting, till the Voyage is ended, and the Ship moored at the Key and unladed.

3. If a Sea-man leaves a Master without a Discharge in VVriting, before the Voyage is begun he may be taken up and Imprisoned where-ever he can be found, and compelled to restore what he has received, end [sic] serve out the time for which he had engaged himself, for nothing; and if he leaves the Ship after the Voyage is begun, he may be punish'd corporally.

4. However, if after the Arrival and unlading of a Ship at the intended Port, the Master (instead of returning) takes a Fraight to go elsewhere, the Sea-men may leave him if they please, except it be otherwise provided by their Agreement.

5. After the Ship is laded, the Sea-men shall not go a Shore without Leave from the Master, under Pain of five Livres for the first Fault, and may be punished corporally, if they commit a second.

6. We forbid the Mariners and Sea-men to take any Bread ot [sic] Victuals, or draw any Drink, without the permission of the Master or Steward, under Pain of the loss of one Month's Wages, and of a greater Punishment, if the Fault deserves it.

7. The Sea-men or others that spill the Drink, destroy the Bread, make the Ship leaky, excite a Sedition to break the Voyage, or strikes the Master, having Arms in their Hand, shall be punished with Death.

8. Any Sea-man seeping in his Post, or upon the Watch, shall be put in Irons during fifteen Days; and any of the Company finding one asleep, and not acquainting the Master therewith, shall pay 5 Livres.

9. Any Mariner abandoning the Master and the Defence of the Ship in time of Battle, shall be punished corporally.

10. We forbid all Persons to raise, within Extent of our Kingdom and the Land, and Countries under our Obedience, any Sea-men for Foreign Armaments and Expeditions; and we in like manner forbid our Subjects so to engage themselves without our Permission, under pain of exemplary Punishment.

[pp 139-141]

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives.

Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.