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Pardon for Seamen and Marines as have Deserted and Returned into His Majesty's Service on or Before the First Day of September 1801


Whereas We are desirous to give all due encouragement to such seamen as may have deserted from any of our ships, and shall be willing to return to our service : We have thought fit, by and with the advice of our privy council, to publish this our royal proclamation, and do hereby promise our most gracious pardon to all such deserters as shall Repair on board any of our ships or vessels on or before the first day if September next ; and we do hereby further promise our most gracious pardon to all such seamen as having deserted are now belonging to some one of our ships (in which ship they are hereby permitted to continue), and do declare that such deserters shall be entitled to receive all wages that may be due to them in the ship from which they may have deserted, at the time of such desertion ; and we do also hereby promise our most gracious pardon to all marines who may have deserted from our service, and shall, on or before the said first day of September next, surrender themselves at the head-quarters of the marines established at Portsmouth, Plymouth, or Chatham, or to any recruiting party of our said forces ; and we do hereby declare, that all seamen and marines, so surrendering themselves as aforesaid, shall be released and discharged from all prosecutions, imprisonments, and penalties, commenced or incurred by reason of any such offence ; but we do hereby further declare, that all such deserters, whether seamen or marines, who shall not, on or before the said first day of September next, surrender themselves onboard one of our ships or vessels of war, or at the head-quarters of the marines established at Portsmouth, Plymouth, or Chatham, or to some recruiting party of-the said forces, or who shall hereafter absent themselves from the ships to which they belong, or from the marine quarters, without leave from their commanding officers, shall be tried at a court martial, and being found guilty shall be deemed unfit objects of our royal mercy; and shall suffer the punishment of death, or such other punishment as they shall be condemned to suffer by sentence of the said court.

Given at our Court at Weymouth, the thirtieth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and one, and in the forty-first year of our reign.

George R.

God Save the King.