1717: 4 George c.12: Making perpetual the preferring of ships.

1717: 4 George c.12: An Act for inforcing and making perpetual an Act of the twelfth Year of her late Majesty, intituled, An Act for the preferring of all such Ships and Goods thereof, which shall happen to be forced on Shore, or stranded upon the Coasts of this Kingdom, or any other of her Majesty’s Dominions; and for inflicting the Punishment of Death on such as shall wilfully burn or destroy Ships.

WHEREAS the Act made in the twelfth Year of the Reign of her late Majesty Queen Anne intituled, An Act for the preserving of all such Ships and Goods thereof, which shall happen to be forced on Shore, or stranded upon the Coast of this Kingdom, or any other of her Majesty’s Dominions, will expire at the present Session of Parliament, unless the same be continued : And whereas the said Act hath been found by Experience to be of great Use and Benefit to the Seafaring Men and Merchants of this Kingdom, and other his Majesty’s Dominions: Be it therefore enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Confent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That the said recited Act, made perpetual, intituled, An Act for the preserving of all such Ships and Goods thereof which shall happen to be forced on Shore, or stranded upon the Coasts of this Kingdom, or any other of her Majesty ‘s Dominions, and all the Clauses, Matters, and Things therein contained, shall be and is hereby declared to be made perpetual.

II. Provided always, and it is hereby further enacted, That the said Act, or any Thing therein contained, shall not be construed to extend to, or any ways affect the ancient Jurisdiction and Usage of the Admiralty-Court of the Cinque-ports, or the Officers thereto belonging ; but the proper Officers of the said Admiralty-court shall be and are hereby authorized and impowered to put the said Act in Execution, within the Jurisdiction of the said Cinque-ports, in as full and ample Manner, to all Intents and Purposes, as any other Person or Persons are by the said Act appointed to do in any other Parts of this Kingdom.

III. And for the effectual preventing the wilful carting away, burning, or otherwise destroying Ships by the Owners, Matters and Mariners thereof, and thereto belonging; Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Owner of, or Captain, Matter, Mariner, or other Officer belonging to any Ship shall, after the twenty-fourth Day of June which shall be in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven to prejudice the hundred and eighteen, wilfully cast away, burn or otherwise destroy the Ship of which he is Owner, or unto which he belongeth, or in any Manner of wise direct or procure the same to be done, to the Prejudice of any Person or Persons that shall underwrite any Policy or Policies of Insurance thereon, or of any Merchant or Merchants that shall load Goods thereon, he shall suffer Death.

Source: Ruffhead, Statutes At Large, volume 5, via Wikisource.