Tag Archives: Admiral Sir Thomas Pakenham

Mutiny on HMS Culloden

According to Brian Lavery in Nelson’s Navy, there were over a thousand instances of mutiny between 1793 and 1815. These involved the spectrum from one man to multiple men and instances where the mutineers got their demands as well as those who were court-martialed.

Mutiny was not an activity to be lightly undertaken. The captain of a ship was the representative of the Sovereign and for all intents and purposes held the power of life and death over his crew. Once a mutiny did break out, even if tightly disciplined and for all the right reason, the odds were overwhelming that, at a minimum, the ringleaders were going to be festooning yardarms throughout the fleet when it ended.

One of the reasons the Spithead Mutiny was more protracted than need be was the insistence by the mutineers upon a Royal Pardon for all involved. They had good reason.

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Filed under Age of Sail, Mutiny, Naval Life