- fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of the ship or its cargo.
- the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up lawsuits and quarrels.
- the purchase or sale of ecclesiastical preferments or of offices of state.
Origin of barratry
Examples from the Web for barratry
He looked at barratry from every side, and the more he looked the less he seemed to like it.Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas
The diverting a ship from her right course, with evil intent, is barratry.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
But as yet there is nothing but his own raving to convict him of barratry.Mary Anerley
R. D. Blackmore
For barratry and major sea-crimes, the penalty was death and dismemberment.Merchantmen-at-Arms
David W. Bone
But of all sins, that of “barratry” was one of the most hateful to him.
- criminal law (formerly) the vexatious stirring up of quarrels or bringing of lawsuits
- maritime law a fraudulent practice committed by the master or crew of a ship to the prejudice of the owner or charterer
- Scots law the crime committed by a judge in accepting a bribe
- the purchase or sale of public or Church offices
Word Origin and History for barratry
early 15c., "sale of ecclesiastical or state offices," from Old French baraterie "deceit, guile, trickery," from barat "malpractice, fraud, deceit, trickery," of unknown origin, perhaps from Celtic. In marine law, "wrongful conduct by a ship's crew or officer, resulting in loss to owners," from 1620s. Meaning "offense of habitually starting legal suits" is from 1640s. Sense somewhat confused with that of Middle English baratri "combat, fighting" (c.1400), from Old Norse baratta "fight, contest strife." This was an active word in Middle English, with forms such as baraten "to disturb the peace" (mid-15c.); baratour "inciter to riot, bully" (late 14c., mid-13c. as a surname). Barataria Bay, Louisiana, U.S., is from Spanish baratear "to cheat, deceive," cognate of the French word; the bay so called in reference to the difficulty of its entry passages.