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The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries$
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Ralph Davis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497384

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497384.001.0001

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Shipping Management and the Role of the Master

Shipping Management and the Role of the Master

(p.153) Chapter 8 Shipping Management and the Role of the Master
The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Ralph Davis

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines British shipping management in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with particular focus on the role of the shipmaster. It identifies several of the problems in ship management and the consequences that came from joint-stock ownership. It also explores how ships advertised business and employment, and the decision making-process behind the chartering of ships. It determines the duties of shipmasters and how they varied based on the level of involvement of the ship’s managing owner. Using contemporary correspondence to further illustrate the life of the shipmaster, it attempts to define the scope of his authority. It concludes that despite the level of autonomy a shipmaster might attain, ultimately the crucial decisions that ensured a ship’s success lay with the shipowners: purchase of the ship, how to deploy it, and indeed the choice of shipmaster.

Keywords:   British Shipmasters, Shipowning, Joint-Stock Shipowners, Shipping Advertisements, Shipmaster Correspondence

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