The Mutiny in the John and Thomas

By N.A.M. Rodger, published August 1984


This article gives a background to press gangs operating in the mid 18th century navy. The events of the John and Thomas mutiny are recounted in the reports of Captain George Johnstone, sent to convoy and subsequently recover the press tender John and Thomas. Following these events Lieutenant Robert Sax commander of the John and Thomas resigned his commission and Johnstone was court marshalled and acquitted. The John and Thomas affair, though not typical, casts an interesting light on several aspects of the mid-18th century navy and gives examples of opportunities available to ambitious young men at that time.

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Filed under: English Channel | Seven Years’ War | Mutiny & Discipline | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Administration | Navies

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