Ads & Pamphlets
About Riches and Honor 1779
This recruitment advertisement is for a privateering crew aboard the Revenge as it appeared in the Nova Scotia Gazette on January 12, 1779. At that time Nova Scotia, Canada was a territory of the British Crown and a major port where the powerful British fleet was stationed.
This advertisement for crew is for a privateering expedition to the southward with the intention of capturing French ships and their booty. The British government issued letters of marque to these private war ships to hunt down the Empire’s enemies. The Revenge was different than a pirate ship because it sailed under a Letter of Marque which is a license that allowed them to arm a private warship and seek out the King’s enemies. They could not capture ships that were friendly with England.
In 1779 the wharves and docks were rife with all kinds of sailors looking for a chance to climb out of their deep poverty by signing on to one of the numerous Privateers in the harbor. While the Naval fleet was in port these sailors were trying to hide from the numerous English press gangs that were forcibly taking any able-bodied man to fill their ships. There was no chance at all for riches in the Navy–only harsh discipline and suffering. A sailor’s’ only hope of riches was to crew aboard a privateer or turn pirate. This advertisement most likely appeared just after the British fleet had sailed to reclaim their breakaway American colonies that had recently declared independence.
In olden times, kingdoms and governments did not have navies. They would license private warships (privateers) to capture their enemies’ shipping and goods. These licenses were called Letters of Marque. Without one you were a pirate and would hang.
Below is the text of Riches and Honor 1779.
All Gentlemen Volunteers :
Seaman and able bodied Landsman, who wish to acquire
Riches and Honor
are invited to repair on board the Revenge Privateer ship of War,
now laying in Halifax Harbour;
mounting Thirty Carriage Guns, with Carronades, swivels, &c.
bound on a Cruize to the Southward for four Months against the French and all His Majesty’s enemies,
and then to return to this Harbour.
All volunteers will be received on board the said ship~or by
Captain James Gandy
at his rendezvous at
Mr. Proud’s Tavern near the Chandlery,
where they will meet with all due encouragement, and the best treatment; Proper Advance will be given.
January 12, 1779