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History of the Liverpool Privateers and Letters of Marque


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We assume, for the sake of illustration, that the reader
wishes to become practically acquainted with the method of
fitting out, arming, manning, and manoeuvring privateers
and letter-of-marque ships in ancient Liverpool.


A book worth the (free) download and definately worth reading:


History of the LIVERPOOL PRIVATEERS and Letters of Marque by Gomers Williams, 1897 (available in several other formats)



An excerpt (p. 26):

[On how to act when met by a ship of much superior force]


"Begin the attack upon the weather quarter, shooting
the ship upon the wind with the helm a-lee, till the after-
lee gun, with which we begin, can be pointed upon the
enemy's stern ; then fire, the lee broadside, as it may be
called. The ship begins the attack upon the enemy when the
topsails are thrown aback, with the helm a-lee, boxing the
ship round on her heels, so as to bring the wind so far aft
that the ship may immediately be steered close under the
enemy's stern, with particular orders to begin with the
foremost gun, to rake them right fore and aft with the great
guns, as they pass in that line of direction, all aiming and
firing to break the neck or cheeks of the rudder head, the
tiller' ropes, blocks, &c, so as, if possible, to destroy the
steerage tackle, which design, if it proves successful, takes
the management of their ship from them, so that she must
lie helpless for a time, in spite of their endeavours. When
the aftermost gun is fired, put the helm hard-a-weather to
bring the ship by the wind ; and then stand off on the
other tack, to keep clear of their lee broadside and act
according to their motions, and the experience of the effect
your attack has had upon them. (...)"





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