En 04b Laws for Seafarers

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    Ott 2023

    4b. Laws for the Navigators

    [027/12] Laws for the navigators[1] (‘navigators’ is the title given to the seafarers):

    1. All Frya’s sons have equal rights. Therefore, all stout young men may put themselves forward as seafarers to the alderman, who may not refuse them unless there is no berth for them.

    2. The navigators may appoint their own captains.

    3. The traders must be chosen and appointed by the community that owns the goods, and the navigators shall have no vote in their election.

    4. If, during a voyage, it is found that the king is wicked or incompetent, another may be put in his place. Upon returning home, the king may lodge a complaint with the alderman.

    5. If the fleet returns with profits, the navigators must receive [028] one-third, divided thus: The sea king twelve shares of the proceeds, the watch-by-night seven shares,[2] the boatswains each two shares, the pilots each three shares, the rest of the ship’s folk each one share, the youngest apprentices each a third, the middle ones a half share, and the oldest each two-thirds.

    6. If any have been rendered lame, the general community must care for them. They must also sit in the front at public feasts, at domestic feasts — indeed, at all feasts.[3]

    7. If any have died on the voyage, their nearest relatives shall inherit their share.

    8. If they have left behind widows and orphans, the community must see to their care. If the dead were killed in battle, the sons may bear the names of their fathers on their shields.[4]

    9. If an apprentice has died, his heirs shall receive a full share.

    10. If he was betrothed, his bride may ask seven shares in order to dedicate a stone to her fiancé. But then she must remain an honorable widow all her life. [029]

    11. If the community equips a fleet, the shipowners must provide the best provisions for the voyage, and for the women and children.

    12. If a navigator is worn out and poor, and he has no land or home, such must be given to him. If he desires neither land nor home, his friends may take him into their home and the community must improve it to fit his status, unless his friends refuse this benefit.

    Notes

    1. ‘navigators’ (STJURAR) — or: steersmen; possibly related to ‘Sturii’, a Germanic tribe described by Pliny the Elder in Natural History, Book IV.
    2. ‘watch-by-night’ (SKOLT BY NACHT) — Dutch: ‘schout-bij-nacht’ is defined as: “a commander whose duty it was to see that the ships of a fleet sailed in the prescribed order at night”; equivalent to the rank of Rear Admiral.
    3. Compare ch. 3e, 3rd law.
    4. Compare ch. 3e, 4th law.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.41 cont.] Laws for the Navigators.

    Navigator is the title of those who make foreign voyages.

    1. All Frya's sons have equal rights, and every stalwart youth may offer himself as a navigator to the Olderman, who may not refuse him as long as there is any vacancy.

    2. The navigators may choose their own masters.

    3. The traders must be chosen and named by the community to which they belong, and the navigators have no voice in their election.

    4. If during a voyage it is found that the king is bad or incompetent, another may be put in his place, and on the return home he may make his complaint to the Olderman.

    5. If the fleet returns with profits, the sailors may divide one-third among themselves in the following manner: The king twelve portions, the admiral seven, the boatswains each two portions, the captains three, and the rest of the crew each one part; the youngest boys each one-third of a portion, the second boys half a portion each, and the eldest boys two-thirds of a portion each.

    6. If any have been disabled, they must be maintained at the public expense, and honoured in the same way as the soldiers. [p.43]

    7. If any have died on the voyage, their nearest relatives inherit their portion.

    8. Their widows and orphans must be maintained at the public expense; and if they were killed in a sea-fight, their sons may bear the names of their fathers on their shields.

    9. If a topsailman is lost, his heirs shall receive a whole portion.

    10. If he was betrothed, his bride may claim seven portions in order to erect a monument to her bridegroom, but then she must remain a widow all her life.

    11. If the community is fitting out a fleet, the purveyors must provide the best provisions for the voyage, and for the women and children.

    12. If a sailor is worn out and poor, and has no house or patrimony, one must be given him. If he does not wish for a house, his friends may take him home; and the community must bear the expense, unless his friends decline to receive it.


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