The New International Encyclopædia/Fish, Royal

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FISH, Royal. Certain ‘great fish,’ as the whale and sturgeon, which by English law are the property of the Crown, when either thrown on shore or caught near the coast. “Our ancestors,” says Blackstone, “seem to have entertained a very high notion of the importance of this right, it being the prerogative of the Kings of Denmark, and the Dukes of Normandy; and from one of these it was probably derived to our princes. It is expressly claimed and allowed in the statute De Prærogativa Regis (17 Edw. II., c. 11), and the most ancient treatises of law now extant make mention of it.” Strictly, it was the head only of the whale which belonged to the King, the tail being a perquisite of the Queen Consort. In Scotland whales thrown on shore above six horse-power draught belong to the Queen or the Admiral. See Game Laws.