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Title: Power, Protest, Poaching, and the Tweed Fisheries Act of 1857 and 1859: 'Send a Gunboat!'
Contributor(s): Kent, David (author)
Publication Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1179/174587005X68414
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Abstract: The Tweed Fisheries Acts of 1857 and 1859 were victories for upstream landowners over coastal and estuarine commercial fishermen. In the manner of the Game Laws, these class-based Acts placed the interests of leisured, sport-fishing anglers above those of the net-fishing communities at the mouth. The latter were severely disadvantaged, and the fishermen and their families often clashed with the River Tweed Commission's bailiffs and local police who tried to enforce the Acts' restrictive terms. In particular, the contraction of the autumn netting season to allow more fish into the upstream reaches had converted legal fishing into poaching and was met with open defiance. The inability of the Commissioners to prevent mass disobedience or provide enough bailiffs to enforce the law prompted a request to the Home Secretary for assistance, with a suggestion that the Admiralty supply a gunboat to protect the bailiffs and overcome the protests. HMS Ruby was despatched to Berwick in October 1861 for the close season, and a succession of gunboats followed over the next twenty years in an unprecedented deployment of naval force to support the civil authorities.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Northern History, 42(2), p. 293-315
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Place of Publication: Leeds
ISSN: 0078-172X
Field of Research (FOR): 210305 British History
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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