Wednesday, September 15, 2010

From really deep in the Attic: Medieval Admiralty Law

I found this interesting document that has one of the earliest codes for Admiralty law in Western Europe. It was promulgated by none other than Eleanor of Aquitaine the wife of King Henry II of England the mother of King Richard the Lionhearted and King John.

Her first husband was king Louis VII of France and she accompanied him on the Second Crusade. During this she was impressed at how the Byzantines and the Arabs handled maritime disputes and brought it back to her for use in the Duchy of Aquitaine. Later it became the foundation of Admiralty in England when she ruled England in Richard's absence while he was crusading.

Article XX may be relevance when the PCs are members of the crew. Hope two man parties work out for the group and that one day's ration last them.

Article XX

When a vessel arrives at Bordeaux, or any other place, two of the mariners at a time may go ashore, and take with them one meal of such victuals as are in the ship, therein cut and provided; as also bread proportionably as much as they eat at once, but no drink: and they ought very speedily, and in season, to return to their vessel, that thereby the master may not lose his tide; for if so, and damage come thereby, they are bound to make satisfaction; or if any of their company be hurt for want of their help, they are to be at such charge for his recovery, as one of his fellow mariners, or the master, with those of his table shall judge convenient.

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