A Letter of Marque is a special
license that was given to some ship captains which allowed them to
commit piracy on an offending country without fear of being booked with
This was usually a deal made between a country and a ship's captain that
required that the captain share all prizes captured with the country
that gave him the Letter of Marque. Most countries gave a Letter
of Marque to a captain in order to get payment for goods stolen by
another country during acts of piracy.