Prize-Taking

This picture from 1793 shows a heavily-armed British privateer in the process of taking two Swedish vessels as prizes.  Thousands of other Danish and Swedish ships met the same fate between 1660 and 1815.  After a ship was captured a prize court decided whether or not it was a legal prize.   In order to assist the court in its deliberations any papers found on the ship, including log books, bills of lading, all kinds of letters and notebooks, mail-in-transit, and miscellaneous items, were seized.  Those seized documents, along with court proceedings, are known as “the Prize Papers,” and today they are archived in the British National Archives in London.  Our VR project uses these documents to explore knowledge and knowledge transfer between non-elite people (sailors, skippers, ocean travelers) in an age of global trade and travel.

Sjöhistoriska museet, Stockholm
Funded by a grant from the Swedish Research Council/Vetenskapsrådet
Copyright © 2019 The Scandinavian Prize Papers