Under Sir William Scott, arguably the greatest Judge of its long history, the High Court of Admiralty was during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars one of the most influential legal bodies in the land. It dealt not only with the technicalities of seizures in prize, but with the numerous related issues of nationality, neutrality, sovereignty and jurisdiction at a time when all those matters were frequently fluid and their application uncertain. The law that the Court sought to administer was not the common law of England, but international law, or the law of nations as it was then called. In consequence, Scott’s judgments often had much to say on the law of nations as then understood, and many of the principles he enunciated have survived, in customary or codified form, to this day.