It was an Admiralty rule, founded upon very old usage, that every male British subject was eligible to be pressed into service.
But the principal raids by press-gangs were on experienced seafarers, particularly those serving aboard merchant vessels.
The customs and practices referred to were the naval equivalent of the unwritten common law of Great Britain; and your persona is legally bound to conform to the law of the land, of which a large part is not recorded in statute form. But as the men had insufficient funds to go to London money lenders came to the home ports and paid as little as 60% of the value of the pay tickets. In a document to the Admiralty he attributed his good fortune to the use of lemons; this resulted in their adoption for general use in British ships.
The study of naval customs and traditions of 1775 to 1783, like the study of the larger body of history itself, is not an exact science, and the material stated herein is the product of much research, substantiated by at least some evidence, and the assistance of the noted authority on the subject, LTCMD A. After 1728 men were paid aboard ship after returning to their homeport. Lime juice came in to use due to the plentiful supply from the West Indies, while not as effective as lemons, does have similar properties.
This is where the term Limeys comes as a reference to British sailors.
From Saxon times press-gangs had functioned in order to provide seamen.
At the end of the period this rate of pay, fixed by law, was about one-quarter the pay of a seaman in the merchant service.
From about 1660 to 1797 the pay of an Ordinary Seaman had remained at 19 shillings, that of an Able Seaman at 24 shillings, a month.
o portray an accurate persona, it is necessary in all respects to conform to the established customs and practices of His Majesty's Service at Sea. Until 1825 some pay was held back as a guarantee against desertion. At the end of a commission each man was given a pay ticket, which could be cashed at the Admiralty. Resolution (1772-1775), lost only one man to scurvy.There is little doubt that pressing for the naval service was legal (and incidentally the right has never been repealed or abrogated) provided the press-gangs held a warrant issued in the county and was accompanied by a commissioned officer. There was also lawful protection documents that barred press-gangs from taking the person.These were of short tenure and only for necessary skilled craftsmen, men with connections, &c.The EU is likely to block Britain’s plea for a temporary customs union to prevent Brexit border chaos if it also demands the right to seek other trade deals, a former Commissioner has warned.Karel De Gucht described the plans being put forward today by the Government as “very problematic” and at odds with Brussels’ ideas for a transitional period.