Catalogue description Board of Trade: Legal Branch: Survey of Rights to Wreckage under the Merchant Shipping Act 1854

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Details of BT 212
Reference: BT 212
Title: Board of Trade: Legal Branch: Survey of Rights to Wreckage under the Merchant Shipping Act 1854

Records relating to the examination of claims to rights of wreck and decisions between claimants under s.454 of the Merchant Shipping Act.

The documents in this series are mainly copies of royal grants of manorial rights, dating from the reign of Henry VIII onwards, together with maps, abstracts of title, and some supplementary material. They are arranged firstly by countries and secondly in a clockwise order round the respective coastlines, beginning in England at Northumberland, in Scotland at the Orkney Islands, in Wales at Glamorgan, and in Ireland at Antrim. There is a number of gaps, particularly in the Scottish material.

Date: 1855-1872
Related material:

Other records relating to wrecks are in BT 243

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Board of Trade, Legal Branch, 1875-1887

Physical description: 341 volume(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

The Merchant Shipping Act 1854 s.454 laid down a procedure whereby persons able to prove their legal title could take possession of unclaimed wreckage found on their beaches. Thereafter the Board of Trade appointed Mr O'Dowd of HM Customs to visit various towns around the coastlines of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland to examine claims to wreck and decide between the rights of the claimants. The work continued from 1855 to 1872. It is not clear whether Mr O'Dowd was then still involved, nor has any report of the work been found other than amendments to lists of persons entitled to wreck or the annotation 'Admitted' on some of the papers.

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