Cannon shot


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CANNON SHOT, war. The distance which a cannon will throw a ball. 2. The whole space of the sea, within cannon shot of the coast, is considered as making a part of the territory; and for that reason, a vessel taken under the cannon of a neutral fortress, is not a lawful prize. Vatt. b. 1, c. 23, s. 289, in finem Chitt. Law of Nat. 113; Mart. Law of Nat. b. 8, c. 6, s. 6; 3 Rob. Adm. Rep. 102, 336; 5 Id. 373; 3 Hagg. Adm. R. 257. This part of the sea being considered as part of the adjacent territory, (q.v.) it follows that magistrates can cause the orders of their governments to be executed there. Three miles is considered as the greatest distance that the force of gunpowder can carry a bomb or a ball. Azun. far. Law, part 2, c. 2, art. 2, Sec. 15; Bouch. Inst. n. 1848. The anonymous author of the poem, Della Natura, lib. 5, expresses this idea in the following lines: Tanto slavanza in mar questo dominio, Quant esser puo d'antemurale e guardia, Fin dove puo da terra in mar vibrandosi Correr di cavo bronzo acceso fulinine. Far as the sovereign can defend his sway, Extends his empire o'er the watery way; The shot sent thundering to the liquid plain, Assigns the limits of his just domain. Vide League.

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