When a Royal Navy vessel or a private man-of-war captured an enemy ship, a court needed to establish whether the vessel was in fact a lawful prize: in other words whether the ship, crew or cargo belonged to an enemy state. To determine this, crew members were cross-examined (if necessary with the help of a sworn-in interpreter) about all matters relating to the ownership of the ship and its cargo. Commonly, three crew members were questioned, usually a cross section of the ranks aboard.
From these interrogations, we have created a database, containing all the information required by the interrogation rubric and therefore consistently present in the interrogations.The database comprises two tables, one of which deal with information about the ship, such as geographical markers of its ports of origin and destination, its tonnage, the number of nationalities aboard and information about its owner. This is linked to information about the crew, since there was normally more than one crew member interrogated per vessel. The crew table includes demographic information about the individual interrogated, an indicator of his literacy, his rank and the length and nature of his relationship with the master of the vessel.
|Date made available||31 Dec 2016|
|Publisher||UK Data Service|
|Temporal coverage||1800 - 1803|
|Date of data production||2011 - 2014|
|Geographical coverage||United Kingdom|