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England or to an Englishman or written in the English language shall not pass through the mails and shall be seized.
ART. III.--Every individual who is an English subject, of whatever state or condition he may be, who shall be discovered in any country occupied by our troops or by those of our allies, shall be made a prisoner of war.
ART. IV.-All warehouses, merchandise or property of whatever kind belonging to a subject of England shall be regarded as a lawful prize.
ART. V.--Trade in English goods is prohibited, and all goods belonging to England or coming from her factories or her colonies are declared a lawful prize.
ART. VI.-Half of the product resulting from the confiscation of the goods and possessions declared a lawful prize by the preceding articles shall be applied to indemnify the merchants for the losses they have experienced by the capture of merchant vessels taken by English cruisers.
ART. VII.—No vessel coming directly from England or from the English colonies or which shall have visited these since the publication of the present decree shall be received in any port.
ART. VIII.-Any vessel contravening the above provision by a false declaration shall be seized, and the vessel and cargo shall be confiscated as if it were English property.
ART. IX.-Our Court of Prizes at Paris shall pronounce final judgment in all cases arising in our Empire or in the countries occupied by the French Army relating to the execution of the present decree. Our Court of Prizes at Milan shall pronounce final judgment in the said cases which may arise within our Kingdom of Italy.
ART. X.-The present decree shall be communicated by our minister of foreign affairs to the King of Spain, of Naples, of Holland and of Etruria, and to our other allies whose subjects like ours are the victims of the unjust and barbarous maritime legislation of England.
ART. XI.Our ministers of foreign affairs, of war, of the navy, of finance and of the police and our Directors General of the port are charged with the execution of the present decree so far as it affects them.
(Signed), Done by the Emperor,
NAPOLEON. HUGUE MARET,
Ministerial Secretary of State,
ORDER IN COUNCIL OF NOVEMBER, 11, 1807.
Reprinted from American State Papers (Foreign Relations), Vol. III, pp. 26970. Also in the Annual Register for 1807, p. 746 ff. At the Court at the Queen's Palace, the 11th of November, 1807: Present,
the King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council. Whereas certain orders establishing an unprecedented system of warfare against this kingdom, and aimed especially at the destruction of its commerce and resources, were some time since issued by the Gove ernment of France, by which “the British islands were declared to be in a state of blockade," thereby subjecting to capture and condemnation all vessels, with their cargoes, which should continue to trade with His Majesty's dominions :
And, whereas, by the same order, “all trading in English merchandise is prohibited, and every article of merchandise belonging to England, or coming from her colonies, or of her manufacture, is declared lawful prize:”
And, whereas, the nations in alliance with France, and under her control, were required to give, and have given, and do give, effect to such orders :
And, whereas, His Majesty's order of the 7th. of January last bas not answered the desired purpose, either of compelling the enemy to recall those orders, or of inducing neutral nations to interpose, with effect, to obtain their revocation, but on the contrary, the same have been recently enforced with increased rigor :
And, whereas, His Majesty, under these circumstances, finds himself compelled to take further measures for asserting and vindicating his just rights, and for supporting that maritime power which the exertions and valor of his people have, under the blessings of Providence, enabled him to establish and maintain ; and the maintenance of which is not more essential to the safety and prosperity of His Majesty's dominions, than it is to the protection of such states as still retain their independence, and to the general intercourse and happiness of mankind :
His Majesty is therefore pleased, by and with the advice of his privy council, to order, and it is hereby ordered, that all the ports and places of France and her allies, or of any other country at war with His Majesty, and all other ports or places in Europe, from which, although not at war with His Majesty, the British flag is excluded, and all ports or places in the colonies belonging to His Majesty's enemies, shall, from henceforth, be subject to the same restrictions in point of trade and navigation, with the exceptions hereinafter mentioned, as if the same were actually blockaded by His Majesty's naval forces, in the most strict and rigorous manner: And it is hereby further ordered and declared, that all trade in articles which are of the produce or manufacture of the said countries or colonies shall be deemed and considered to be unlawful; and that every vessel trading from or to the said countries or colonies, together with all goods and merchandise on board, and all articles of the produce or manufacture of the said countries or colonies, shall be captured and condemned as a prize to the captors.
But, although His Majesty would be fully justified by the circumstances and considerations above recited, in establishing such system of restrictions with respect to all the countries and colonies of his enemies, without exception or qualification, yet His Majesty being, nevertheless, desirous not to subject neutrals to any greater inconvenience than is absolutely inseparable from the carrying into effect His Majesty's just determination to counteract the designs of his enemies, and to retort upon his enemies themselves the consequences of their own violence and injustice ; and being yet willing to hope that it may be possible (consistently with that object) still to allow to neutrals the opportunity of furnishing themselves with colonial produce for their own consumption and supply, and even to leave open, for the present, such trade with His Majesty's enemies as shall be carried on directly with the ports of His Majesty's dominions, or of his allies, in the manner hereinafter mentioned.
His Majesty is, therefore, pleased further to order and it is hereby ordered, that nothing herein contained shall extend to subject to capture or condemnation any vessel, or the cargo of any vessel, belonging to any country not declared by this order to be subjected to the restrictions incident to a state of blockade, which shall have cleared out with such cargo from some port or place of the country to which she belongs, either in Europe or America, or from some free port in His Majesty's colonies, under circumstances in which such trade, from such free ports, is permitted, direct to some port or place in the colonies of His Majesty's enemies, or from those colonies direct to the country to which such vessel belongs, or to some free port in His Majesty's colonies, in such cases, and with such articles, as it may be lawful to import into such free port; nor to any vessel, or the cargo of any vessel, belonging to any country not at war with His Majesty, which shall have cleared out under such regulations as His Majesty may think fit to prescribe, and shall be proceeding direct from some port or place in this kingdom, or from Gibraltar, or Malta, or from any port belonging to His Majesty's allies, to the port specified in her clearance; nor to any vessel, or the cargo of any vessel, belonging to any country not at war with His Majesty, which shall be coming from any port or place in Europe which is declared by this order to be subject to the restrictions incident to a state of blockade, destined to some port or place in Europe belonging to His Majesty, and which shall be on her voyage direct thereto; but these exceptions are not to be understood as exempting from capture or confiscation any vessel or goods which shall be liable thereto in respect to having entered or departed from any port or place actually blockaded by His Majesty's squadrons or ships of war, or for being enemy's property, or for any other cause than the contravention of this present order.
And the commanders of His Majesty's ships of war and privateers, and other vessels acting under His Majesty's commission, shall be, and are hereby, instructed to warn every vessel which shall have commenced her voyage prior to any notice of this order, and shall be destined to any port of France or of her allies or of any other country at war with His Majesty or any port or place from which the British flag, as aforesaid, is excluded, or to any colony belonging to His Majesty's enemies, and which shall not have cleared out as is hereinbefore allowed, to discontinue her voyage, and to proceed to some port or place in this kingdom, or to Gibraltar or Malta; and any vessel which, after having been so warned or after a reasonable time shall have been afforded for the arrival of information of this His Majesty's order at any port or place from which she sailed, or which, after having notice of this order, shall be found in the prosecution of any voyage contrary to the restrictions contained in this order, shall be captured, and, together with her cargo, condemned as lawful prize to the captors.
And, whereas, countries not engaged in the war have acquiesced in these orders of France, prohibiting all trade in any articles the produce or manufacture of His Majesty's dominions; and the merchants of those countries have given countenance and effect to those prohibitions by accepting from persons, styling themselves commercial agents of the enemy, resident at neutral ports, certain documents, termed "certificates of origin,” being certificates obtained at the ports of shipment, declaring
that the articles of the cargo are not of the produce or manufacture of His Majesty's dominions, or to that effect.
And, whereas, this expedient has been directed by France, and submitted to by such merchants, as part of the new system of warfare directed against the trade of this kingdom, and as the most effectual instrument of accomplishing the same, and it is therefore essentially necessary to resist it.
His Majesty is therefore pleased, by and with the advice of his privy council, to order, and it is hereby ordered, that if any vessel, after reasonable time shall have been afforded for receiving notice of this His Majesty's order, at the port or place from which such vessel shall have cleared out, shall be found carrying any such certificate or document as aforesaid, or any document referring to or authenticating the same, such vessel shall be adjudged lawful prize to the captor, together with the goods laden therein, belonging to the person or persons by whom, or on whose behalf, any such document was put on board.
And the right honorable the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, His Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and the Judges of the High Court of Admiralty, and Courts of Vice-Admiralty, are to take the necessary measures herein as to them shall respectively appertain.
THE MILAN DECREE.
Translated from Correspondance de Napoléon rer, No. 13,391 (Vol 16).
At Our Royal Palace at Milan, December 17, 1807. Napoleon, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine. In view of the measures adopted by the British government on the 11th. of November last by which vessels belonging to powers which are neutral or are friendly and even allied with England are rendered liable to be searched by British cruisers, detained at certain stations in England, and subject to an arbitrary tax of a certain per cent upon their cargo to be regulated by English legislation.
Considering that by these acts the English government has denationalized the vessels of all the nations of Europe, and that no government
1 See Introductory note above, page 18.