Keppel At Algiers: Diplomacy and the Limitations of Naval Power

By David Syrett, published February 2005


The seizure, in March 1749, of a British Post Office packet, the Prince Fredrick, sparked a confrontation which twenty six year old Hon. Augustus Keppel, Commodore of the Royal Navyís Mediterranean was charged to resolve through diplomacy. In the event neither the ship nor its cargo of bullion and diamonds were restored to the British and relatively minor concessions were made by the Bey of Algiers. The British side were slow to realise that the Bey was essentially powerless to stand against his Janissaries on the issue so they eventually settled for an agreement to overhaul the system of Mediterranean passes issued to British merchant ships in preferance to resorting to force.

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Filed under: Austrian Succession | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers | Strategy & Diplomacy

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