What is IMPRESSMENT?

A power possessed by the English crown of taking persons or propertyto aid in the defense of the country, with or without the consent of the personsconcerned. It is usually exercised to obtain hands for the royal ships in time of war, bytaking seamen engaged in merchant vessels, (1 Bl. Comm. 420; Maud & P. Shipp. 123:)but in former times impressment of merchant ships was also practiced. The admiraltyissues protections against impressment in certain cases, either under statutes passed infavor of certain callings (e. g

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