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Prize, procedure and costs, Determination of a prize case according to romano-canonical procedure by the Admiralty Court and the Great Council of Malines during the English-Scottish War of 1547

Prijs, procedure en proceskosten De afhandeling van een prijszaak volgens de Romano-canonieke procedure voor de Admiraliteit en de Grote Raad van Mechelen tijdens de Engels-Schotse oorlog van 1547

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The present article, dedicated to Prof. J.Th. De Smidt on the occasion of his 80th birthday, discusses the case of Jacques du Gal, a French merchant, and the Netherlands privateers Claes de Doot and Meeus Pietersz from Flushing. The former departed from the harbour of Dieppe in France with one vessel, headed for Scotland. During this journey, on the open seas, Du Gal bought an English ship, denoted in the records as the Mary Dertenny. This ship had been taken by the Scottish privateers Jehan Edinestone and Jehan Gourlat.

Near the Scottish coast, the ships of Du Gal were boarded by De Doot and Pietersz. After the latter had returned with their prizes to their harbour of origin, Flushing in the Low Countries, the Admiralty Court of Veere took jurisdiction of the case. It decided that Du Gal's own ship should be returned to him, but it declared that the Mary Dertenny was good prize. On appeal, however, the Great Council of Malines, the then supreme court of the Low Countries, ruled that De Doot and Pietersz should also return the Mary Dertenny to Du Gal.

The case of Du Gal v. De Doot and Pietersz is of interest, not only because it contains detailed information on the costs and the procedural steps to be taken before the Admiralty Court in a prize case, but also because it proves that, apart from legal arguments, diplomatic considerations may have been of importance when deciding prize cases before courts of law.

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