The Danish-Norwegian involvement in the Napoleonic Wars from 1807-1814 is remembered as the ‘Englandskrigen. Taking sides with Napoleon the Danes and Norwegians were vastly overpowered by the British navy at sea throughout the war. Nonetheless, the Danes were able to disturb British trade in and out of the Baltic Sea through the deployment of hundreds of privateering vessels. This article investigates whether or not it was profitable for the many privateers to enter into this particular business. We analyze court cases and lists of goods acquired as prizes by privateers to answer the question of profitability, along with estimates of the fixed costs and running costs associated with privateering. The results suggest that in general there seems to have been an economic loss to running a privateer-vessel as ship-owner, since it seems that there would be more expenses than earnings linked to the operation for the investor. On the other hand, our findings would also suggest that there would be easy money in the industry for the common sailor, and especially so with extraordinarily large prizes.
|Translated title of the contribution||The privateering business in North Jutland, 1807-1814|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Jul 2017|
- maritime history
- Napoleonic Wars