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Press Gang

PRESS GANG, the popular name for the companies of officers and men who were commissioned to execute the warrants for the impressment of seamen in Great Britain (see IMPRESSMENT). These bodies consisted of a captain, one or more lieutenants, and a band of trustworthy men. They were sent to seaports, or occasionally to inland towns where sailors were likely to be met when going from one coast to another. A " rendezvous " was opened, volunteers were enlisted, deserters arrested, and such " able bodied persons " as were liable to be pressed for service in the fleet were seized, and sent to the guard ships (q.v.).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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