Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Impressment

Impressment, the legalised compulsion of a man to serve in the Royal Navy. The practice of impressment is of very ancient date in England, and though it. is naturally odious, and has for many years been disused, it may in war-time be again revived. It seems to have been first formally legalised by an Act of 2 and 3 Philip and Mary.