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had not immediately come down to the house, and called for a luan to invigorate the brave exertions of their illustrious ally! He could not possibly agree with Mr. Fox, that ministers should be driven to a negotiation by the intervention of parliament, and considered the motion to have a most dangerous tendency.

Sir John Macpberson thought it was but justice to declare to all Europe, that we only came forward in defence of our own rights and liberties, and not enslave or entrench upon those of other nations. On these grounds, he considered it his duty to support the motion.

Mr. Johnes opposed it, protesting that he never could forget the ignominious manner in which our ambassador had been dismissed, nor forgive the insult offered to the nation. Ihe objects we contended for, he thought, were our liberties, our fortunes, our religion, our God, and our king.

Mr. Green said a few words in fa

vour of the morion, and—

Colonel Fullarton expatiated upon the unconciliatory temper and offensive manner in which our diplomatic intercourse had been conducted on the continent.

"These were not times (he said) to entrust the interests of the country to plenipotentiaries, who entrenched themselves behind the ramparts of etiquette, and stalked on the stilts of ambassadorial mightiness."

It was well known, from the commencement of the war, that the French had resisted all ideas of treating with the confederated powers; they had proved their wisdom in so doing, for by treating individually they had detached every power from the confederacy, excepting Austria and England.

Mr. Weston and Mr. Martin supported the motion.

The question was at length loudly called for, and the house divided.— ForMr.Pollen's motion,S5—Against it, »yi—Majority, 206.


Alarming Mutiny nt Portsmouth. Delegates chosen by the Fleet. The Sailors rtfuse to weigh Anchor. Lord Howe arrives with the Act for an Increase of I'ay. The Sailors return to their Duty. A Mutiny at the Nore. The Flag of the Sandwich struck. Delegates chosen. Deputation of the Admiralty to Sheerness. Part of. Admiral Duncan's Fleet join the Mutiny. Proclamation of Pardon. The Earl of Northesk arrives in London with Proposals from thee Sailors. Preparations made to attack the Mutineers. Several of the mutinous Ships return to their Duty. The Delegates seized. Court-martial held upon Parker and other Mutineers. Parker's Trial, Conviction, and Execution. Mutiny on board the Pompee off Brest. Parliamentary Proceedings on the Mutinyin the House of Lords—in the Commons. BUI passed Jor the Augmentation of the Seamen's Wages. Bill passed to prevent Excitations to Mutiny and Sedition. Bill for pcrventin" an Intercourse with the Ships in Mutiny.

THE British nation was, per- debted for more than success in a haps, never engaged in a con- common warfare: for safety and extest in which the importance of its istence. It was therefore not with

naval power was more apparent than the present. To that we are in

out the most serious apprehensions, that a spirit of disaffection was observed,

served, in the spring of 1 "971 *° break out in the fleet, the origin of which it was not easy to trace, though the consequences of its continuance were sufficiently obvious. The professed, and perhaps, the real motive of the disturbance, was the redress of certain grievances respecting the quantum and distribution of their pa)r and provisions: complaints not new in their nature, but (as their petitions set forth) more intolerable than ever from the circumstances of the times.

In the month of February some letlers were forwarded from the fleet at Portsmouth to earl Howe; praying for his lordship's influence towards obtaining redress of certain grievances mentioned in those letters. As the letters were, however, anonymous, and appeared to be roost of them written in the same hand-writing, and couched in the same language, they were considered as the production of some factious individual, and therefore were deemed unworthy of attention. This neglect of the petition of the leamen, on their return to port, on the 3lst of March, produced a geaeral correspondence, by letter, from ship to ship through the whole fleet; *nd at length it was unanimously *greed, that no ship should lift an anchor till the demands of the seamen were complied with. Matters remained in this state till the 14th of April, when lord Bridport received orders from government to sail from Portsmouth with the channel fleet: on the following day, however, when the signal was made to prepare for sea, a general disobedience was obvious j and instead of weighing anchor, the seamen of the admiral's ship ran up the shrouds md gave three cheers (a signal previously agreed upon to announce the disobedience of orders) and these cheers were instantly answered in

the same manner from the other ships, which sufficiently manifested a complete combination. The inferior officers appeared to concur with the men, and all the exertions of the commanders were ineffectual; but, excepting their refusal to weigh anchor, their conduct was more orderly and peaceable than could have been expected. Delegates were then appointed from each ship, to represent the whole fleet; the admiral's cabin being fixed upon as the place for their deliberation, while the officers were restrained, by force, from going on shore. Petitions were next drawn up, and presented to the admirals then upon the spot, stating their demand of an increase of wages, and also some regulations for their benefit, with respect to the ratio of piovisions. They further expressed a hope, that an answer might be given to their petition before they were ordered to put to sea again. This, however, was qualified with the exception, "unless the enemy were known to be at sea."

On the 17th, the men were publicly sworn to support the cause in which they wore engaged. On the next day, a committee of the admiralty, with earl {Spencer at their head, arrived at Portsmouth; who made several propositions to reduce the men to obedience. The lords of the admiralty next proceeded on board the Queen Charlotte, and conferred with the delegates from the seamen of the fleet; who assured their lordships, that no arrangement should be considered as final until it should be santioned by the king and parliament, and guaranteed by a proclamation for a general pardon.

On the 23d, the admiral returned to his ship, hoisted his flag again, and, after a short address to the crew, he informed them, that he

had had brought with him a redress of all their grievances, and his majesty's pardon for the offenders: after some deliberation, these offers were accepted, and every man returned with cheerfulness to his duty. It was now generally thought that all disputes were finally settled: the silence, however, of Mr. Pitt, in omitting to explain the reasons which called for an increase of pay to be granted to the navy, when he submitted a motion for that purpose to the house of commons, was construed, by part of the seamen, into a disposition not to accede to their demands. In confirmation of this supposition, on the 7th of May, when lord Bridport made the signal to •weigh anchor and put to sea, every ship at St. Helen's refused to obey. A meeting of the delegates was ordered on board the London. Vice admiral Colpoys resolved to oppose their coming on board, and gave orders to the marines to level their pieces at them ; the marines obeyed, and a slight skirmish ensued, in ■which five of the seamen were killed. The whole crew of the London now turned their guns towards the stern, and threatened to blow all aft into the water, unless the corarmnders surrendered; to this imperious menace they reluctantly submitted, and admiral Colpoys and captain Griffiths were confined for several hours in separate cabins.


The sailors at Portsmouth remained in this mutinous State till the 14th of May, when lord Howe at length arrived from the Admiralty, with plenary powers, to enquire into, and settle the matters in dispute; be was also the welcome bearer of an act of parliament, which had been passed on the 9th, granting an additional allowance, and also with his majesty's proclamation of pardon for all who should immediately return to their duty.

On the 15th, the delegates from the several ships landed; and pro* ceeded to the governor's house at Portsmouth; and after having partaken of some refreshments, marched in procession to the fleet, accompanied by lord and lady Howe, and some officers and persons of distinction. Having visited ^he ships at St. Helen's, they proceeded to Spithead, where the crews of the ships under sir lioger Curtis were happily conciliated. At seven in the evening his lordship landed, and the delegates carried him upon their shoulders to the governor's house, amidst the plaudits of the surrounding multitude. Affairs being thus adjusted, the. sailors afterwards appeared to bs perfectly satisfied, the officers were generally re-instalcd in their commands, the flag of disaffection was struck, and the fleet prepared to put to sea to encounter the enemy.

The public saw, with infinite satisfaction, that the grievances of their brave defenders were redressed, and that they had' returned to obedience and to their duly; but this pleasure was speedily turned into fresh alarm and consternation, by at new mutiny in another quarter, which for boldness and extent, wast without a parallel in the naval history of Britain.

The- North-sea fleet, as well as the ships lying at the More, appeared to have the redress of other grievances in view, besides what related to the increase of pay and provisions, which bad been demanded by the grand fleet at Spitbead. The mutineers, in imitation of what had been done at Portsmouth, chose delegates from every ship, of whom a man of the name of Richard Parker was appointed president. After bav-f ing either confined or sent on shore their principal officers, they transmit, ted to the lords of the admiralty a se

ries of articles, or conditions, to which they peremptorily demanded complia ice, as the only terms upon which tbey would return to obedience; several of those articles were regarded as entirely incompatible with the discipline of the navy, while some others, such as a more equal division of prize money, were represented by some, as no more than reasonable additions to the concessions to which government had agreed at Portsmouth.

The adherents of administration contended, that considering what bad already been done for the seamen in general, nothing short of unconditional submission ought to be accepted by government from such daring mutineers and rebels; while some of the adverse party conceived, that by moderate and modified concession, the love and fidelity of the navy would be more effectually secured, than by adapting harsh and coercive measures. The mutineers at the None, on the 23d of May, struck the flag of admiral Buckner, on board the Sandwich, and hoisted a red flag, the symbol of mutiny, in its stead. They compelled all the ships which lay near Sheerness to drop down to the Great Nore, in order to concentrate the scene of their operations; amongst which was the St. Fiorenzo, which had been fitted up to carry the princess of Wirtecnberg to Germany, iiach man-of-war sent two delegates; and besides these, there was in every ship a committee, consisting of i2 men, who determined, not only all affairs relative to the internal management of the vessel, but decided upon the merits of the respective delegates. At the commencement of the mutiny, the delegates came every day to Sheerness, where they held conferences, and paraded the streets and ramparts of the garrison. Richard Parker, who was consider

ed as the rebel admiral of the fleet, marched at the bead of the^e processions, which were accompanied with music and flags, and had a triumphal appearance, calculated to make new converts to their illicit proceedings. 'lbe delegates and committee-men went on shore and returned on board as they pleased. This indulgence, however, was soon put an end to by the arrival of lord Keith and sir Charles Grey, who had been sent down to superintend the naval and military proceedings in that quarter.

The mutiny having now risen to the most alarming height, a deputation of the lords of the admiralty, at the head of whom was earl Spencer, proceeded to Sheerness, but they had no conference with the delegates, as they demanded unconditional submission as a necessary preliminary to any intercourse whatever. , Finding the sailors rather rising in insolence and disobedience than inclining to submission, the deputation from the admiralty departed from Sheerness, after having signified to the seamen, that they were to expect no concessions whatever, further than what had been already made by the legislator^, the benefit of which they might yet enjoy on returning to their duty

The seamen now began to perceive their desperate situation, and proceeded to take measures which indicated a design, either to secure their present situation, or to seek safety by flight; some of the most desperate among them suggested" the idea of carrying the ships to the enemy, but the majority revolted at so treacherous a proceeding, though even adopted to save their lives, alleging that a redress of their grievances was their primary, and should be their ultimate, object. With a view of extorting compliance ance with their demands, they proceeded to block up the Thames, by , refusing a free passage up and down the river to the London trade.


The ships of neutral nations, however, colliers, and a few small craft were suffered to pass, having first received a passport, signed by Richard Parker, as president of the delegates. In order to concentrate their force, all the ships which lay near Sheerness dropt down . to the Great Nore. The line-of-battle ships were drawn up tn a line, at about half a mile distant from each other, and moored with their broad sides abreast. In the space between the line -of-battle ships, the detained merchantmen and other vessels were moored. On the -Jthof June, the whole fleet evinced its loyal disposition by a general salute,' which was fired from all the ships at the Nore, in compliment to hismajesty's birthday, and the ships were decorated in the same manneras is practised on rejoicing days; the red flag, however, being kept flying at the maintopmast of the Sandwich. On the Otb of June, in the morning, the Agamemnon, Leopard, Ardent, and Isis men-of-war, and the Ranger sloop, joined the mutinous ships at the Nore, havrng deserted from the fleet of admiral Duncan, then in Yarmouth roads.' The force of the mutineers, at its greatest heighth consisted of eleven ships of the line, exclusive of frigates, in.all, twentyfour sail. The appearance of such a multitude of shipping, the London trade included, under the command of a set of common sailors in a state of mutiny, formed a singular and awful spectacle. Several of the officers were sent on shore, but the greater part of them were deprived of their command, and confined on board their own vessels. Notwithstanding the enormity of their offence against the laws of discipline

and the articles of war, the deportment of the seamen to their superiors during the suspension of their command was, with some exceptions, respectful. All communication being stopped with the shore, the mutineers supplied themselves with water and provisions from the ships which they detained; and a party of seamen landed on the isle of Grain, and carried off a number of sheep and other provisions, giving in return, it is said, bills drawn by the delegates on the commissioners of the admiralty. During the mutiny, there were some exaggerated reports of their plundering different trading vessels j the chief act which they perpetrated of this kind, however, appears to have been that of robbing a vessel of 300 sacks of flour, of wljich they found themselves in need, and which' were distributed throughout the fleet.

After the departure of the deputation of the admiralty from Sheerness, a proclamation was issued, offering his majesty's pardon to ail such of the mutineers as should immediately return to their dMty; intimating at the same time, that admiral Buckner was the proper person to be applied to on such an occasion.

An act of parliament was speedily passed, for the more effectual restraining the intercourse from the shore with the crews of the ships in a state of mutiny; and still more active measures were taken to compel the seamen to return to their duty. All the buoys were removed from the mouth of tire Thames, and the neighbouring coast, by the order of government; a precaution which, above every other that could be errrployed, perplexed the mutineers, as any large ships which might attempt to sail away were in danger of running aground. Great preparations were also made at Sheerness,

again so

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