General Instructions, For The Guidance Of The Commanders, Officers, And Crews, Of Cruizers Employed In The Revenue Coast Guard. 1822..


In original half tan calf over stiff card boards with printed paper label, Cruizers' Instructions, on front. Extremities worn and foxing at beginning; otherwise a good copy. Manuscript Distribution and Proportions of Reward notice, referring to 1824 order, pinned to verso of first free endpaper. One ink margin note dated 1823.





J. Hartnell, Wine Office Court, Fleet Street, For His Majesty's Stationary Office.,





Item Description

8vo, in fours. 5.25 x 8 inches. [vi] + 47 pp.


Illustrated by specimen forms in text.


A hitherto unrecorded publication dating from 1822, the year in which the the British Coast Guard was founded (called at first the Revenue Coast Guard). In that year the decision was made to amalgamate three separate anti-smuggling bodies: the Revenue Cruisers, the Riding Officers and the Preventative Water Guard, which had all been under the authority of HM Treasury. As of 15 January 1822, these services were placed under the authority of the Board of Customs and renamed the Coast Guard. The primary objective of this new body was to prevent the smuggling of dutiable goods into Britain, but also to assist imperilled vessels. The first recorded general instruction book for the Coast Guard was not issued until 1829, but these Instructions seem to have been issued for the highest ranking officers of the Coast Guard at the time of the merger. A prefatory note from the Comptroller General of the Revenue Coast Guard has a blank space left for the precise date in 1822 when the Instructions are to come into force. The contents of the first part include pay and wages, persons entered to be examined and fitness certified, boys to be fit and not under eleven years of age, keeping of muster books, allowances for victuals and stationery, examination of expense books, supply of stores, etc. The Additional Instructions clearly set out the duties to be performed by the new service, which include quarantine, watching suspicious vessels, seizing vessels and reporting on them, handling vessels suspected of having contraband goods concealed on board, apprehending smugglers and prohibiting the service's vessels to be used for trade or passenger or pleasure purposes. A document, not in the British Library or recorded by COPAC, which sheds light on the formation of the Coast Guard and the campaign against smuggling in the early nineteenth century.

[Stock No. 24650]


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