Sunday, February 19, 2006

Letters of Marque

A Highlander Pirate? Indeed the Captain's ancestors were allegedly Norse Vikings that came to plunder Northern Scotland. The apparently elected to remain in the heathers and thistles yet likely the pirate remains.

"Letters of Marque and Reprisal" were used by many European nation-states to authorize favored privateers to act as essentially legalized pirates during conflicts, and there were plenty of those in the 19th century when the practice was finally ended. Captains holding Letters of Marque could seize merchant cargoes and even ships of a nation with whom the issuing state was at war.

Lovely concept in a way this pirating and perhaps I was also born two hundred years too late. As Jimmy Buffett should have suggested, a pirate facing forty with nothing to plunder (even though as a lawyer maybe there is a little of that left!) can at least bake. And can't a fully developed modern pirate also garden, entertain, cook, design, ...

While I might long to hear the cannons thunder I admittedly also enjoy a pefect presentation ... and good grog! Tilt those tankards Team Tartan! Not Martha but Marque and not Stewart but Stuart, Captain Plaid gets domestic.