That one calls « Armements mixtes » are armaments made of naval vessels given on loan by the King to private person for privateering; having made up a society under private law, these « intéressés » provide the money required for the funding of supplies, pays and victualling. The conditions of the vessels, on the time of the loan and when returned, as well as the apportionment of the bounty provided by the selling of prizes are made according to the King’s will, whether he wishes to stimulate the privateers or to reduce the expenditure of the State. Starting first in France during the Dutch war, the way of employing the royal naval vessels rocketed during King’s William War and the war of Spanish Succession when, for political reasons, the Fleet was not any more necessary for Louis XIV Grand Strategy, whereas, for economics reasons, the sovereign could not afford anymore to keep it active.
Therefore, even when the Fleet is not there, Brest navy yard remains a beehive buzzing with activity: here levied sailors are sheltered and looked after, vessels built, mended and maintained, units made ready to sail for operations; it welcomes visiting vessels armed in other ports, houses incoming prizes of which it prepares the judgments. The neighbouring Port-Louis/Lorient port compound is of assistance in this multiform working.
Being, informally, first amongst equals in the naval community of the “Ponant”, the ”Intendant” of Brest is the prime element, “la cheville ouvriere”, of the organization which encompasses most of the vessels operating in the North Atlantic ocean; following his daily path allows one to figure out how much impact the « armements mixtes » have upon the life of Brest navy yard.