“The contract of bottomry is a negotiable instrument, which may be put in suit by the person to whom it is transferred; it is in use in all countries of maritime commerce and interests. A contract in the nature of a mortgage of a ship, when the owner of it borrows money to enable him to carry on the voyage, and pledges the keel or bottom of the ship as a security for the repayment. If the ship be lost the lender loses his whole money; but if it returns in safety, then he shall receive back his principal, and also the premium stipulated to be paid, however it may exceed the usual or legal rate of interest.” — Smyth’s Sailor’s WordBook.
This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.
in Aqua Scripto • Link
AS Gleaned from the OED [f. BOTTOM n. 7 + -RY, after Du. bodmerij.]
"A species of contract of the nature of a mortgage, whereby the owner of a ship, or the master as his agent, borrows money to enable him to carry on or complete a voyage, and pledges the ship as security for repayment of the money. If the ship is lost, the lender loses his money; but if it arrives safe, he receives the principal together with the interest or premium stipulated, ‘however it may exceed the usual or legal rate of interest’. Also attrib., as in bottomry-bond, -money.
1622 MALYNES Anc. Law-Merch. 171 The name Bottommarie is deriued by the Hollanders from the Keele or Bottome of a ship..The money so taken vp by the master of the ship, is commonly done vpon great necessitie..the vse payed for the same is verie great, at 30, 40, and 50 pro cent. without consideration of time"
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.