Maritime Pilotage Acts of the Nineteenth Century

By Tri Tran, published February 2003


The 1808 Act on Maritime Pilotage led to the creation of many pilotage companies in England, licenced by Trinity House, and brought the pilotage system under its control in the Thames and 40 English seaports. Little has been published on this activity, which was fundamental to commerce. The Act aimed to ensure that pilots were well-trained, competent, reliable and licenced. The paper looks in detail at the economics, operations, bases and vessels of this very demanding, but well-paid profession, and focuses on the London pilots. Pilots adjusted to the changes brought about by the advent of steam technology, and the pilotage system successfully resisted shipowners’ calls for deregulation.

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Filed under: English Channel | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Administration | Harbours & Dockyards | Leisure & Small Craft | Lifesaving & Coastguard | Merchant Marines | Miscellaneous | Ocean Liners & Passenger Craft | Shipbuilding & Design

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