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The Conservators of the sea

Since the bureaucracy exists, the court is the place of the power. In Genoa, Palazzo Ducale was the seat of the Parliament and all the magistratures. Each one of them but the magistrature of the Conservators of the sea. It had its seat in a strategic position, close to the harbour and Palazzo San Giorgio, the seat of the economic power.

This magistrature was composed by six members, five magistrates and one mayor. Magistrates remained in office for twenty months, while the mayor remained in office for three years. They dealt with the inspection of the ships, checking their license and giving them the authorisation to leave the harbour of Genoa, cashing a duty in.

Moreover, Conservators had to judge if a shipwreck really happened or if it was an attempt to make a fraud. This was the thorniest task they had to carry out. Once a conservator’s proxy was over, he couldn’t be elected for the next three years.

This was also the reason why Conservators always complained about their tasks and were looking forward to ending their proxy.

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