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British Postal Packet Hanover, 1757: a legal history



The wrecking of the Falmouth Postal Packet Hanover in 1763 led to three legal disputes and two court cases—in 1766 and 1997. This article recounts the origins and course of these disputes. It examines what the resolution of the 18th-century case and the second dispute has revealed of the law and practice of marine insurance in the mid 18th century. It further examines what the 20th-century case has revealed concerning the tension between ancient principles of commercial salvage and modern principles of heritage protection. Somewhat fortuitously, the examination of the case provides an opportunity to advance a simple solution to this conflict.