letter of marque

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letter of marque


letters of marque

1. a licence granted by a state to a private citizen to arm a ship and seize merchant vessels of another nation
2. a similar licence issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to seize goods or citizens of another nation
Also called: letter of marque and reprisal
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(or let′ters) of marque′,

license granted by a state to a private citizen to capture and confiscate the merchant ships of another nation. Also called let′ter of marque′ and repris′al.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.letter of marque - a license to a private citizen to seize property of another nation
license, permit, licence - a legal document giving official permission to do something
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Under a letter of marque, he raids the ships of Earth's opponents, slowing down their progress and ability to compete with the home system.
Sat picking thru parings of conquest, letter of marque allowed--scuttled pelts, slaves.
It discusses the heritage of Banister and his wife Hermione Pelham and their status and position in Newport society in comparison to other merchant and aristocratic families; the importance of the cargoes he selected for shipment, including exports of colonial staples, textile imports, and imports of semi-manufactured goods, raw foods and materials, and processed foods; his key role in the expanding economies of the Atlantic world and how he also built and outfitted privateers, Letter of Marque vessels, and merchant ships, as well as worked with captains and crews; the expenses of the Banister family in comparison with his income, to understand how spending transformed status among colonial consumers in urban northern society; and the
Armed with a letter of marque and several 12-pounders, the swift Baltimore schooners and their crews preyed upon British shipping and occasionally threatened the Royal Navy.
(13) Though "letters of marque" and "letters of reprisal" differed--the former were for seeking restitution within the territory of a sovereign and the latter beyond it (for example, by capturing flagged ships of the offending state)--the term eventually collapsed into the all-embracing "letter of marque and reprisal." Such commissions increasingly became part of public warfare; their use to pursue private reprisals was uncommon by the mid-1700s.
There are no fewer than four of them on the home page of Letter of Marque Theater Co., a new troupe in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn.
This article explores the improbable, if not politically impossible, application of the letter of marque concept to the cyber arena.
In the absence of an international governing body, merchants could seek a "letter of marque and reprisal" from their government that allowed them to steal from another party for failure to pay debt, for theft of property, or for similar grievances (Garitee 1977, 3-4; Starkey 1990, 20-21).
A letter of marque is a license for privateers to attack or kill persons who have wronged the United States in the judgment of Congress, while a letter of reprisal is a similar measure geared toward organizations or governments.
Early in the first Letter of Marque the narrator, having outlined his reasons for travelling, summarizes and continues:
A letter of marque or reprisal in eighteenth-century international law permitted the bearer, frequently a private party, to seize property or people of a foreign nation in order to redress an injury or harm inflicted by that nation.
(57) Property that was seized was brought into court to be condemned, with captors receiving the amount specified by the letter of marque and reprisal, and the remainder going to cover other costs.