Flag of convenience in the Mediterranean sea in the 18th Century. The case of Giorgio the English

Journal title SOCIETÀ E STORIA
Author/s Maria Stella Rollandi
Publishing Year 2011 Issue 2010/130
Language Italian Pages 22 P. 721-742 File size 891 KB
DOI 10.3280/SS2010-130003
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The article examines several aspects of the shipping expeditions conducted between 1767 and 1769 by the Giorgio, a vessel operating commercially under the English flag but owned by Gian Tommaso Balbi, a Genoese aristocrat. The Giorgio transported primarily grains and cereals from the Aegean Islands (the Archipelago) to Spain. Its operations were motivated by speculative gains at a time of rising grain prices. The investor that funded the shipping expeditions adopted the flag mimicry following a business practice that was common at the time among Genoese merchant ships due to the political and military weakness of the Genoese Republic. However, as soon the investment turned out to be unprofitable, funding of the operations was cut short and the shipping expeditions terminated. The voyages’ documentation presents interesting aspects concerning the embarking and debarking of goods and personnel associated with the navigation routes. It provides data with respect to the dynamic and differentiated seafaring labour market of the time. In particular, the specific case examined provides insights on the oscillating retributions of crew members, both Italian and foreign.

Keywords: Flag of Convenience, Maritime History, Seafaring Labour Market, Grain Trade, Trade Network

Maria Stella Rollandi, Mimetismo di bandiera nel Mediterraneo del secondo settecento. Il caso del <i>Giorgio</i> inglese in "SOCIETÀ E STORIA " 130/2010, pp 721-742, DOI: 10.3280/SS2010-130003