Mutiny at the Nore

12 May to 13 June, 1797

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Discontent among sailors at the Nore, a Royal Navy anchorage in the Thames Estuary, overflowed in riotous mutiny in May 1797.

The sailors, led by Richard Parker, a former officer who had been voted president of the fleet by the mutineers, wanted an end to impressment, unequal pay, poor quality rations, and better leave entitlements.

They also wanted to remove cruel or unpopular officers from ships and have them banned from serving on them again.

Worst of all - at least in the authorities' eyes - the fleet blockaded London and stopped trade in and out of the port. Click here for the articles of demand of the mutineers.

Despite a reasonable start the mutiny was hijacked by radical delegates to the unofficial Fleet Parliament whose intransigence and bid for a mini social revolution hardened the stance of the Government and Lords of the Admiralty.

Cut off from food and racked by internal dissent, the mutiny eventually dissolved with ships slipping their cables and deserting the cause.

Parker, along with many leading co-conspirators, faced swift justice from the vengeful Admiralty and after a brief trial was hanged for treason and piracy.

Several other leading mutineers also swung from the yardarm, while other key offenders were either jailed or flogged.

An earlier mutiny at Spithead had been settled peacefully with a Royal Pardon and major gains for the mutineers.

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