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Mutiny at Spithead

16 April to 15 May, 1797

Naval Balance The Leading Sailors
Conditions of the Fleets Officers and Crew
Naval Glossary Fleet Sizes
Naval Cannon Ranges Royal Navy Ship Ratings
Royal Navy Pay Mutiny at Spithead
Mutiny at the Nore British Ships at Anchor
Military Glossary  

Britain's "Wooden Walls" showed signs of cracking in 1797, when the Admiralty's disregard for its sailors' conditions led to the Channel Fleet's refusal to sail.

Demanding a pay rise, the first in more than a century, the sailors also reacted against their appalling life on board a Royal Navy ship.

For two weeks the mutineers, led by elected delegates, tried to deal with the Admiralty, but talks broke down starting a small amount of violence.

The situation was calmed and Admiral Lord Howe negotiated an agreement that saw a Royal Pardon for all crews, together with a pay rise and better living conditions.

Because of the relatively peaceful way in which the sailors handled themselves there were no reprisals against the mutineers.

A second, more serious mutiny occurred at the Nore.

 
 
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