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ALIEN SEAMEN IN THE BRITISH NAVY, BRITISH LAW, AND THE BRITISH STATE, c. 1793 – c. 1815

  • SARA CAPUTO (a1)
Abstract

During the ‘long eighteenth century’, several thousands of sailors born outside British territories served in the Royal Navy. This phenomenon, and the peculiarities of their employment compared to that of British seamen, remain largely unstudied. This paper aims to show that, as far as disabilities or privileges were concerned, official legislation only played a very small part in making alien seamen's experiences in the navy distinct from those of their British colleagues. More broadly, this article argues that, whilst transnationalism can be overemphasized, there are specific contexts and groups of people for which the power of the state falters when it comes to obstructing movement, and indeed it is forced, for its very survival, to act strategically against the barrier to circulation that frontiers normally constitute. In similar circumstances, the origins of the individuals concerned, intended as official labels that states normally use to classify them, control them, and claim or disclaim ownership over them, can become all but meaningless. Thus, naval sailors, as useful state servants, can be an excellent case-study to understand the category of legal ‘foreignness’ as it developed in modern nation-states, and the tensions inherent to it.

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Corresponding author
Robinson College, Cambridge, cb3 9ansc914@cam.ac.uk
Footnotes
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I would like to thank Dr Renaud Morieux, my supervisor, and the two anonymous reviewers for detailed and precious feedback on earlier drafts of this article, and the editor of the Historical Journal Professor Emma Griffin for her assistance through the publication process. Dr Gareth Atkins, Cameron Holloway, and audiences at the Cambridge Faculty of History and Social History Society Conference also offered many helpful comments and suggestions. My Ph.D. research, of which this article is part, is jointly funded by Robinson College, Cambridge, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, through a Lewis-AHRC Studentship.

Footnotes
References
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1 Muster book of HMS Nightingale, 1 Sept. – 31 Oct. 1811, The National Archives (TNA), ADM 37/3109, [fo. 6].

2 Robert Ritchie, journal of voyages, 1811–12, Edinburgh, The National Library of Scotland, GB233/MS.9232, fo. 10.

3 Ritchie introduces him as ‘son of the musician in Edin’. Golby, David J., ‘Corri family (per. c. 1770–1860)’, Oxford dictionary of national biography, online edn (Oxford, 2014); Grant, James, Cassell's old and new Edinburgh: its history, its people, and its places (6 vols., London, 1881–7?), ii, pp. 178–9; Aliens Register, 1798–1803, Edinburgh City Archive, SL115/2/1.

4 Brubaker, Rogers and Cooper, Frederick, ‘Beyond “identity”’, Theory and Society, 29 (2000), pp. 147.

5 The author is currently completing a broader research project on the topic. See also Lewis, Michael, A social history of the navy, 1793–1815 (new edn, London and Mechanicsburg, PA, 2004; orig. edn 1960), pp. 127–33; Frykman, Niklas, ‘Seamen on late eighteenth-century European warships’, International Review of Social History, 54 (2009), pp. 6793.

6 TNA, ADM 36 and 37 series.

7 Lucassen, Jan and Penninx, Rinus, Newcomers: immigrants and their descendants in the Netherlands, 1550–1995 (Amsterdam, 1997), pp. 717.

8 Ibid.

9 Cerutti, Simona, Étrangers: étude d'une condition d'incertitude dans une société d'ancien régime (Montrouge, 2012).

10 Noiriel, Gérard, État, nation et immigration: vers une histoire du pouvoir (Paris, 2001), pp. 313–14, 338–48.

11 Haupt, Heinz-Gerhard, ‘Une nouvelle sensibilité: la perspective “transnationale”’, Cahiers Jaurès, 200 (2011–12), pp. 173–80, at pp. 178–9; Morieux, Renaud, The Channel: England, France and the construction of a maritime border in the eighteenth century (Cambridge, 2016), p. 18.

12 Wilson, Thomas M. and Donnan, Hastings, ‘Nation, state and identity at international borders’, in idem and idem, eds., Border identities: nation and state at international frontiers (Cambridge, 1998), pp. 130; Potter, David M., ‘The historian's use of nationalism and vice versa’, American Historical Review, 67 (1962), pp. 924–50, at pp. 927–8.

13 Rediker, Marcus, Between the devil and the deep blue sea: merchant seamen, pirates, and the Anglo-American maritime world, 1700–1750 (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 5, 7–8, 7980; Land, Isaac, War, nationalism, and the British sailor, 1750–1850 (New York, NY, 2009), pp. 1719.

14 Perl-Rosenthal, Nathan, Citizen sailors: becoming American in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge, MA, and London, 2015).

15 Pedemonte, Danilo, ‘Deserters, mutineers and criminals: British sailors and problems of port jurisdiction in Genoa and Livorno during the eighteenth century’, in Fusaro, Maria et al. , eds., Law, labour and empire: comparative perspectives on seafarers, c. 1500–1800 (Basingstoke, 2015), pp. 256–71; Richard J. Blakemore, ‘The legal world of English sailors, c. 1575–1729’, in ibid., pp. 100–20.

16 Land, War, pp. 27–8; Morieux, Renaud, ‘Diplomacy from below and belonging: fishermen and cross-Channel relations in the eighteenth century’, Past and Present, 202 (2009), pp. 83125.

17 Blackstone, William, Commentaries on the laws of England, in four books (13th edn, London, 1800), pp. 372–4; Cockburn, Alexander, Nationality: or the law relating to subjects and aliens, considered with a view to future legislation (London, 1869), pp. 725; Parry, Clive, British nationality law and the history of naturalisation (Milan, 1954), pp. 56, 10–14, 43–6, 50–2, 60–3, 74–82, 91–6, 107; Marzagalli, Silvia, ‘Négoce et politique des étrangers en France à l’époque moderne: discours et pratiques de rejet et d'intégration’, in Augeron, Mickaël and Éven, Pascal, eds., Les étrangers dans les villes-ports atlantiques: expériences françaises et allemandes XVe–XIXe siècle (Paris, 2011), pp. 4562, at pp. 46–7; Fahrmeir, Andreas, Citizens and aliens: foreigners and the law in Britain and the German states, 1789–1870 (New York, NY, and Oxford, 2000), pp. 43–6.

18 Lottum, Jelle van, Lucassen, Jan, and van Voss, Lex Heerma, ‘Sailors, national and international labour markets and national identity, 1600–1850’, in Unger, Richard W., ed., Shipping and economic growth, 1350–1850 (Leiden and Boston, MA, 2011), pp. 309–51, at pp. 329–35.

19 Lucas and Penninx, Newcomers; Bartlett, Roger P., Human capital: the settlement of foreigners in Russia, 1762–1804 (Cambridge, 1979), pp. 2330; on populationism, see Statt, Daniel, Foreigners and Englishmen: the controversy over immigration and population, 1660–1760 (Cranbury, NJ, 1995), pp. 4451, 74–90, 99–109.

20 Avallone, Paola, ‘Il controllo dei “forestieri” a Napoli tra XVI e XVIII secolo: prime note’, Mediterranea, 3 (2006), pp. 169–78; Rapport, Michael, Nationality and citizenship in Revolutionary France: the treatment of foreigners, 1789–1799 (Oxford, 2000), pp. 33–4; Sahlins, Peter, ‘Sur la citoyenneté et le droit d'aubaine à l'époque moderne: réponse à Simona Cerutti’, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 63 (2008), pp. 385–98; Cerutti, Étrangers, pp. 31–76.

21 Morieux, Renaud, ‘Des règles aux pratiques juridiques: le droit des étrangers en France et en Angleterre pendant la Révolution (1792–1802)’, in Chassaigne, Ph. and Genet, J.-P., eds., Droit et société en France et en Grande-Bretagne (XIIe–XXe siècles): fonctions, usages et représentations (Paris, 2003), pp. 127–47, at pp. 129, 132, 134–5, 137–9; Rapport, Nationality and citizenship, pp. 88–90, 142–50, 186–7, 194–207; Morieux, Channel, pp. 300–3; Noiriel, É tat, p. 312.

22 Rapport, Nationality and citizenship, esp. pp. 33–82, 194–208; Marzagalli, ‘Négoce’. For Britain, see Conway, Stephen, Britannia's auxiliaries: continental Europeans and the British empire, 1740–1800 (Oxford, 2017), esp. ch. 6. Cf. the motivations for inclusive subjecthood in newly conquered imperial territories: Muller, Hannah Weiss, ‘Bonds of belonging: subjecthood and the British empire’, Journal of British Studies, 53 (2014), pp. 2958, at pp. 54–5. On reciprocal agreements regarding the droit d'aubaine, see Sahlins, Peter, ‘The eighteenth-century citizenship revolution in France’, in Fahrmeir, Andreas, Faron, Olivier, and Weil, Patrick, eds., Migration control in the North Atlantic world: the evolution of state practices in Europe and the United States from the French Revolution to the inter-war period (New York, NY, and Oxford, 2003), pp. 1124, at pp. 15–17.

23 Fahrmeir, Citizens and aliens, pp. 152, 154, 163–73, 196–7, 209–22.

24 Blackstone, Commentaries, p. 372; Craies, W. F., ‘The right of aliens to enter British territory’, Law Quarterly Review, 6 (1890), pp. 2741; Fahrmeir, Citizens and aliens, pp. 193–4.

25 Blackstone, Commentaries, p. 372; Fahrmeir, Citizens and aliens, pp. 163–73, 178.

26 33 Geo. III c. 4; 38 Geo. III c. 50; 43 Geo. III c. 155; Margrit Schulte Beerbühl, ‘British nationality policy as a counter-revolutionary strategy during the Napoleonic Wars: the emergence of modern naturalization regulations’, in Fahrmeir, Faron, and Weil, eds., Migration control, pp. 55–70, at pp. 56–8; Morieux, Channel, pp. 296–300, 303–6.

27 Morieux, ‘Des règles’, pp. 130–7.

28 33 Geo. III c. 4 § v; 38 Geo. III c. 50 § viii; 43 Geo. III c. 155 § xi, xxvii.

29 Morieux, ‘Des règles’, pp. 145–6.

30 See e.g. Captain Burns to Evan Nepean, 24 Mar. 1800, TNA, letters from captains, surnames B, ADM 1/1524, 459a; Admiralty digest 1796 vol. 2, ADM 12/71, 16.

31 Captain Drury to Philip Stephens, 14 Jan. 1794, TNA, letters from captains, surnames D, ADM 1/1715; James Shaw to Evan Nepean, 1 Nov. 1802, letters from lieutenants, surnames S, ADM 1/3126.

32 At the battle of Camperdown, in 1797, enemies serving aboard 6 of the 18 British ships included 29 Dutchmen, 7 Spaniards, and 6 Frenchmen, whilst an 1807–13 sample of 3 musters returned 34 Swedes, 12 Danes, 10 Dutchmen, and 3 Frenchmen. See Sara Caputo, ‘Scotland, Scottishness and the British navy, c. 1793–1815’ (M.Sc. dissertation, Edinburgh, 2015), p. 14; Sara Caputo, ‘Foreigners in the British navy, 1793–1815: some initial notes towards a quantitative analysis, and its limitations’ (poster presented at the Economic History Society Annual Conference, Royal Holloway, London, 31 Mar. – 2 Apr. 2017), www.ehs.org.uk/dotAsset/2722e578-484b-4a1a-968f-5a6c8b31f679.ukn. At least 54 Frenchmen and 24 Spaniards fought for Britain at Trafalgar: Bruno Pappalardo, ‘Trafalgar ancestors’, TNA www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/trafalgarancestors/advanced_search.asp.

33 Fahrmeir, Citizens and aliens, pp. 163–4.

34 Blackstone, Commentaries, p. 372.

35 Harper, Lawrence A., The English Navigation Laws: a seventeenth-century experiment in social engineering (New York, NY, 1939), pp. 3460.

36 Ibid., pp. 53, 55; Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen sailors, pp. 27–8.

37 Harper, English Navigation Laws, pp. 390, 414.

38 Ibid., pp. 68, 349.

39 16 Geo. III c. 20. Renewed: 17 Geo. III c. 34; 18 Geo. III c. 6; 19 Geo. III c. 14; 20 Geo. III c. 20 § i; 21 Geo. III c. 11; 22 Geo. III c. 16. For the French Wars period, see 33 Geo. III c. 26; 43 Geo. III c. 64. See also 34 Geo. III c. 68.

40 13 Geo. II c. 3 § i, iii.

41 34 Geo. III c. 68 § viii.

42 12 Car. II c. 18.

43 47 Geo. III sess. 1 c. 32 § cii.

44 47 Geo. III sess. 1 c. 36 § xvii. See also 47 Geo. III sess. 1 c. 32 § ciii.

45 Newman, Brooke N., ‘Contesting “black” liberty and subjecthood in the anglophone Caribbean, 1730s–1780s’, Slavery and Abolition, 32 (2011), pp. 169–83; Morieux, ‘Des règles’, p. 144; Brown, Christopher L., ‘From slaves to subjects: envisioning an empire without slavery, 1772–1834’, in Morgan, Philip D. and Hawkins, Sean, eds., Black experience and the empire (Oxford, 2006), pp. 111–40, at pp. 117–20, 133–6; Muller, ‘Bonds of belonging’, pp. 32–51; Gould, Eliga H., ‘Zones of law, zones of violence: the legal geography of the British Atlantic, circa 1772’, William and Mary Quarterly, 60 (2003), pp. 471510, at p. 505. On different imperial contexts, see Sen, Sudipta, ‘Imperial subjects on trial: on the legal identity of Britons in late eighteenth-century India’, Journal of British Studies, 45 (2006), pp. 532–55.

46 Sherwood, Marika, ‘Race, nationality and employment among Lascar seamen, 1660 to 1945’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 17 (1991), pp. 229–44.

47 Chesterman, John, ‘Natural-born subjects? Race and British subjecthood in Australia’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 51 (2005), pp. 30–9, at pp. 32–5, 38–9; Benton, Lauren, Law and colonial cultures: legal regimes in world history, 1400–1900 (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 167209.

48 Cerutti, Étrangers. See also Morieux, ‘Des règles’, pp. 129, 138, 141.

49 See the question of blacks and subjecthood in ancien régime France, and the position of Jews: Rapport, Nationality and citizenship, pp. 18–20; Marzagalli, ‘Négoce’, pp. 48–9.

50 Rogers, Nicholas, The press gang: naval impressment and its opponents in Georgian Britain (London and New York, NY, 2007); Dancy, J. Ross, The myth of the press gang: volunteers, impressment and the naval manpower problem in the late eighteenth century (Woodbridge, 2015); Rodger, N. A. M., The wooden world: an anatomy of the Georgian Navy (2nd edn, London, 1988), pp. 164–82.

51 13 Geo. II c. 17. Apprentices, seamen in the coal trade, and some fishermen were also exempt: 13 Geo. II c. 28 § v; 2 Geo. III c. 15 § xxii–xxiv; 11 Geo. III c. 38 § xix; 48 Geo. III c. 110 § xxvii; 50 Geo. III c. 108; 51 Geo. III c. 34 § vi.

52 London Packet, or New Lloyd's Evening Post, 8–10 Sept. 1800.

53 Morieux, Renaud, ‘Patriotisme humanitaire et prisonniers de guerre en France et en Grande-Bretagne pendant la Révolution française et l'Empire’, in Bourquin, Laurent et al. , eds., La politique par les armes: conflits internationaux et politisation, XVe–XIXe siècles (Rennes, 2014), pp. 301–16. The parallel was also in contemporaries’ minds: that week, the Sun complained that, ‘upon the same principle with which the French Government mean to compel all Foreign Seamen resident in the Republic to enter into their Navy, they may oblige all the Foreign Military whom they take prisoners, to enter into the French Army’: Sun, 11 Sept. 1800.

54 There are hundreds of examples. See e.g. Navy Office to Evan Nepean, 10 Sept. 1801, Greenwich, National Maritime Museum, Board of Admiralty, in-letters, ADM/B/202; M. De Courcy to Admiral Milbanke, 26 Feb. 1802, TNA, commanders-in-chief Portsmouth, ADM 1/1052, n. 204; William Bradley to Admiral Milibanke, 9 Mar. 1802, n. 236; B. S. Rowley to Evan Nepean, 23 Aug. 1803, TNA, commanders-in-chief Nore, ADM 1/736, n. 266.

55 Noiriel, É tat, pp. 313–14.

56 38 Geo. III c. 46.

57 Wolf, Joshua, ‘“To be enslaved or thus deprived”: British impressment, American discontent, and the making of the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, 1803–1807’, War and Society, 29 (2010), pp. 119; Gilje, Paul A., ‘“Free trade and sailors’ rights”: the rhetoric of the War of 1812’, Journal of the Early Republic, 30 (2010), pp. 123, at pp. 9–17.

58 Zimmerman, James Fulton, Impressment of American seamen (New York, NY, 1925), pp. 21–6; Cockburn, Nationality, pp. 70–8; Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen sailors, pp. 140–53, 183, 186–7.

59 Zimmerman, Impressment, pp. 18, 25, though see p. 86; Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen sailors, pp. 10–11, 48, 82–3, 129–39; Cockburn, Nationality, pp. 71–2. See also David Lenox to Evan Nepean, 4 Oct. 1797, TNA, letters from foreign consuls, 1796–8, ADM 1/3850.

60 Zimmerman, Impressment, pp. 28–9, 36, 41–2; Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen sailors, pp. 140–53.

61 Thomas Simpson, journal of HMS Arethusa, 14 May 1805 – 14 June 1806, TNA, ADM 101/86/1, fo. 13.

62 Letters from foreign consuls, 1793–1820, TNA, ADM 1/3849 to ADM 1/3858.

63 TNA, ADM 101/86/1, fo. 14.

64 See e.g. muster book of HMS Arethusa, 1 Nov. – 31 Dec. 1805, TNA, ADM 37/280, fos. 3, 12, 13, 15. The examples are countless. See also McCranie, Kevin, ‘The recruitment of seamen for the British navy, 1793–1815: “Why don't you raise more men?”’, in Stoker, Donald, Schneid, Frederick C., and Blanton, Harold D., eds., Conscription in the Napoleonic era: a revolution in military affairs? (London and New York, NY, 2009), pp. 84101, at p. 95.

65 Tim Hitchcock et al., The Old Bailey proceedings online, 1674–1913, version 7.0, www.oldbaileyonline.org (OBP), Oct. 1793, trial of Richard Tuart (t17931030–66).

66 See e.g. TNA, ADM 1/3850, containing nineteen examples between July 1797 and November 1798. There are occasional exceptions to this formula, especially when the papers were unmistakable: David Lenox to Evan Nepean, 5 Feb. 1798; Joshua Johnson to Evan Nepean, 11 Feb. 1796; David Lenox to Evan Nepan, 14 May 1798.

67 TNA, ADM 1/3850 contains twenty-seven examples (June 1796 – Nov. 1798).

68 George Wolff to Evan Nepean, 2 May 1796, TNA, ADM 1/3850.

69 Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen sailors, pp. 27–44; Noiriel, É tat, pp. 317–29, 339–40.

70 OBP, Apr. 1795, Lewis Bonnevento (t17950416–42); Courier and Evening Gazette, 18 Apr. 1795; The register of the times – volume 4 (London, 1795), p. 352.

71 Constable, Marianne, The law of the other: the mixed jury and changing conceptions of citizenship, law, and knowledge (Chicago, IL, and London, 1994), pp. 1–2, 96111; Oldham, James C., ‘The origins of the special jury’, University of Chicago Law Review, 50 (1983), pp. 137221, at pp. 164–71; Lockwood, Matthew, ‘“Love ye therefore the strangers”: immigration and the criminal law in early modern England’, Continuity and Change, 29 (2014), pp. 349–71.

72 Benton, Law; Rapport, Nationality and citizenship, pp. 20–9.

73 Lockwood, ‘Immigration’, pp. 362–5.

74 Constable, Law of the other, pp. 112–27; Oldham, ‘Origins of the special jury’, pp. 169–71; Fahrmeir, Citizens and aliens, pp. 180–1.

75 Constable, Law of the other, pp. 137–48.

76 22 Geo. II c. 33 § xii, xiv.

77 39 & 40 Geo. III c. 100 § v.

78 Constable, Law of the other, pp. 4–5, 26–7, 67–95, 149–52.

79 Lorenz Hansen to the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, 17 May 1798, TNA, ADM 1/3850; Christopher Henry Martens to Evan Nepean, 13 Nov. 1798.

80 John Williams, TNA, law officers’ opinions, 1800–2, ADM 7/305/28–9.

81 Ibid.

82 Courier and Evening Gazette, 18 Apr. 1795.

83 Byrn, John D., ed., Naval courts martial, 1793–1815 (Farnham and Burlington, VT, 2009), pp. 427–36.

84 Ibid., p. 435.

85 Ibid., pp. 431–2, 435.

86 Ibid., p. 432.

87 Ibid., p. 435.

88 Eder, Markus, Crime and punishment in the Royal Navy of the Seven Years’ War, 1755–1763 (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2004), pp. 10, 81–5, 145–6.

89 Regulations and instructions relating to His Majesty's service at sea (13th edn, London, 1790), p. 47.

90 Byrn, ed., Naval courts martial, pp. 125–30.

91 Court martial of Alexander Vannetta, 31 Dec. 1808, TNA, law officers’ opinions, 1805–8, ADM 7/307/68.

92 See e.g. the cases of John Wheeler (1811), John Mose (1806), and James Seymonds alias Simmons (1808): Byrn, ed., Naval courts martial, pp. 288–93, 438, 450–1.

93 Francisco Falso and John Lambert, 18 Sept. 1798, TNA, courts martial papers, Aug.–Sept. 1798, ADM 1/5364. I found this case thanks to a mention in Adkins, Roy and Adkins, Lesley, Jack Tar: the extraordinary lives of ordinary seamen in Nelson's navy (2nd edn, London, 2009), p. 12. The juridical parallel between cultural extraneousness and ‘madness’ was also drawn in 1820s Australia: Benton, Law, p. 189.

94 For some of the relevant legislation, see 39 & 40 Geo. III c. 94; 48 Geo. III c. 96 § xxvii. These include specifications for the custody of ‘insane Persons charged with Murder’, ‘High Treason’ or ‘Felony’ – ordinarily all capital crimes.

95 Hay, Douglas, ‘Property, authority and the criminal law’, in Hay, Douglas et al. , Albion's fatal tree: crime and society in eighteenth-century England (London and New York, NY, 1975), pp. 17–63, at pp. 22–6, 4063; King, Peter, ‘Decision-makers and decision-making in the English criminal law, 1750–1800’, Historical Journal, 27 (1984), pp. 2558; Langbein, John H., ‘Albion's fatal flaws’, Past and Present, 98 (1983), pp. 96120; Eder, Crime and punishment, pp. 5–6, 133–4.

96 Watts, A. D., ‘The protection of alien seamen’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 7 (1958), pp. 691711.

97 Zimmerman, Impressment, pp. 17, 19–21, 25, 49–51.

98 Watts, ‘Protection’, p. 697; Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen sailors, pp. 121–2.

99 Wildman, Richard, Institutes of international law, ii: International rights in time of war (London, 1850), pp. 3645.

100 Ibid., pp. 97–8; Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen sailors, pp. 121–2.

101 Fahrmeir, Citizens and aliens, pp. 71, 84–6, 92; Statt, Foreigners and Englishmen, pp. 34–7. For some figures, see Beerbühl, ‘British nationality policy’, pp. 58–66.

102 6 Ann. c. 37 § xx.

103 13 Geo. II c. 3 § ii.

104 See n. 40.

105 20 Geo. III c. 20 § iii; Parry, British nationality law, pp. 90–1.

106 ‘A proposed bill to prevent aliens, for a limited time, from becoming naturalized, or being made or becoming denizens; except in certain cases’ (June 1818), 19th Century House of Commons Sessional Papers, i, p. 579, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers Online http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:hcpp&rft_dat=xri:hcpp:rec:1818-005403.

107 Fahrmeir, Citizens and aliens, p. 70; Zimmerman, Impressment, pp. 82–3; Chitty, Joseph, A treatise on the law of the prerogatives of the crown (London and Dublin, 1820), p. 14.

108 34 Geo. III c. 68 § vii; 42 Geo. III c. 61 § viii.

109 Cockburn, Nationality, pp. 29–34.

110 34 Geo. III c. 68 § viii.

111 Journals of the House of Lords, beginning anno tricesimo quarto Georgii Tertii, 1794, xl, 94a, 112b, 115b, 118b, 120a, 216a, 219a, 244a. For drafts of amendments, concerning other portions of the bill, see British Mariners Bill – Amendments and Clauses, 3 Apr. 1794, London, Parliamentary Archives, Records of the House of Lords: main papers, HL/PO/JO/10/7/965.

112 Lars Jansby, 8 Mar. 1808, TNA, law officers’ opinions, 1805–8, ADM 7/307/61, fo. 2.

113 Ibid., fos. 2–4.

114 Ibid., fo. 3.

115 Ibid., fo. 1.

116 Wm Schroeder, 6 Feb. 1810, TNA, law officers’ opinions, 1809–10, ADM 7/308/27.

117 Ibid., fos. 2, 5.

118 Debate on naturalizing foreign Protestants, 7 Nov. 1693, in The history and proceedings of the House of Commons, ii: 1680–1695 (London, 1742), pp. 415–45.

119 On seafarers’ strategic self-fashioning, see Land, War, pp. 27–8; Morieux, ‘Diplomacy’. For other examples of strategic use of, alternatively, belonging and extraneousness, see Cerutti, Étrangers, pp. 167, 214–17; Benton, Law, pp. 85, 99–100, 165–6.

120 Harper, English Navigation Laws, p. 389.

121 Cerutti, Étrangers, pp. 17–20, 63–9, 292–9.

122 House of Commons, 18 Feb. 1813, Hansard, 1st series, 24, cols. 630–2, 634–7.

123 Zimmerman, Impressment, pp. 21–9, 81–4; Cockburn, Nationality, pp. 70–8.

124 Cockburn, Nationality, p. 54.

125 For the subsequent history of contradictions inherent to naturalization and indelible allegiance, see Fahrmeir, Citizens and aliens, pp. 46–51, 63–4, 86, 91–3.

126 Ibid., p. 238.

127 Ibid., p. 93; Statt, Foreigners and Englishmen, pp. 186–92.

128 No officer named Camillo Corri ever passed the examination for lieutenant. See Pappalardo, Bruno, Royal Navy lieutenants’ passing certificates (1691–1902) (2 vols., Kew, 2001).

129 On these, see Morieux, ‘Diplomacy’.

I would like to thank Dr Renaud Morieux, my supervisor, and the two anonymous reviewers for detailed and precious feedback on earlier drafts of this article, and the editor of the Historical Journal Professor Emma Griffin for her assistance through the publication process. Dr Gareth Atkins, Cameron Holloway, and audiences at the Cambridge Faculty of History and Social History Society Conference also offered many helpful comments and suggestions. My Ph.D. research, of which this article is part, is jointly funded by Robinson College, Cambridge, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, through a Lewis-AHRC Studentship.

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