BOUNTY (through O. Fr. bontet, from Lat. bonitas, goodness), a gift or gratuity; more usually, a premium paid by a government to encourage some branch of production or industry, as in England in the case of the bounty on corn, first granted in 1688 and abolished in 1814, the herring-fishery bounties, the bounties on sail-cloth, linen and other goods. It is admitted that the giving of bounties is generally impolitic, though they may sometimes be justified as a measure of state. The most striking modern example of a bounty was that on sugar (q.v.). Somewhat akin to bounties are the subsidies granted to shipping (q.v.) by many countries. Bounties or, as they may equally well be termed, grants are often given, more especially in new countries, for the destruction of beasts of prey; in the United States and some other countries, bounties have been given for tree-planting; France has given bounties to encourage the Newfoundland fisheries.
Bounty was also the name given to the money paid to induce men to enlist in the army or navy, and, in the United Kingdom, to the sum given on entering the militia reserve. During the American Civil War, many recruits joined solely for the sake of the bounty offered, and afterwards deserted; they were called "bounty-jumpers." The term bounty was also applied in the English navy to signify money payable to the officers and crew of a ship in respect of services on particular occasions.
Queen Anne's Bounty (q.v.) is a fund applied for the augmentation of poor livings in the established church.
King's Bounty is a grant made by the sovereign of his royal bounty to those of his subjects whose wives are delivered of three or more children at a birth.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)