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The term admiralty refers to a court or board that exercises jurisdiction over maritime affairs.
Originally formed in England during the time of Henry VIII, the agency later developed into a Board of Admiralty that was composed of five commissioners, each of whom was responsible for administering a separate area of maritime activity.
In the late colonial period, the Stamp Act (1765) mandated the use of vice-admiralty courts to try violators of the law. Angry Americans were outraged because matters before those courts were heard by royally appointed judges, not by local juries.
Present-day admiralty law deals with such shipping issues as cargo damage, wrecks, and collisions.
The Vice-Admiralty Courts
A provision of the Currency Act established a "super" Vice-Admiralty court in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1764. This court had jurisdiction from the Floridas to Newfoundland and the judge was appointed and sent directly from England. The new court ...
Secret Orders from the Admiralty
Additional instructions for Lt. James Cook, appointed to command His Majesty's Bark The Endeavour Whereas the making Discoverys of Countries hitherto unknown, and the Attaining a Knowledge of distant Parts which though formerly discover'd have ...
The Boston Massacre
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