Lord Love the Irish and Damnation to the English: The naval mutinies of 1798

By Philip MacDougall, published November 2022


Concentrating on a series of mutinies that were planned during the summer of 1798 to take a number of British warships of the Channel Fleet into the enemy port of Brest, this article is a micro study of one of those ships, the 74-gun Defiance in the three-week period, 7–28 July 1798, during which the plot was hatched. The intention is to throw light on a number of key questions that relate to the organization and character of these planned mutinies, with consideration given to the motivating factors, the extent to which an organizational structure existed and identification of the key activists. Effectively a cross-sectional micro analysis of one ship’s crew at a single point in time, it will allow for a better understanding of the vast range of factors that coalesced in the development of a plot to seize not just this warship, but at least seven other ships of the Channel Fleet while cruising off the port of Brest.

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Filed under: English Channel | Mutiny & Discipline | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea | Strategy & Diplomacy

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