Ann Veronica Coats & Philip MacDougall have a new book which is available for pre-order in hardcover, The Naval Mutinies of 1797: Unity and Perseverance. It will be released wordlwide on 17 November 2011.
The naval mutinies of 1797 were unprecedented in scale and impressive in their level of organisation. Under threat of French invasion, crews in the Royal Navy’s home fleet, after making clear demands, refused to sail until their demands were met. Subsequent mutinies affected the crews of more than one hundred ships in at least five home anchorages, replicated in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
Channel Fleet seamen pursued their grievances of pay and conditions by traditional petitions to their commanding officer, Admiral Richard Howe, but his flawed comprehension and communications were further exacerbated by the Admiralty. The Spithead mutiny became the seamen’s last resort. Ironically Howe acknowledged the justice of their position and was instrumental in resolving the Spithead mutiny, but this did not prevent occurrences at the Nore and elsewhere.