The Nore Mutiny—Sedition or Ships’ Biscuits? A Reappraisal

By Anthony Brown, published February 2006


The Nore mutiny of March-May 1797 has been attributed to many factors including a large influx of quota men, infiltration by the United Irish, and the influence of radical societies. Based on close analysis of ships muster books to determine the movement and affiliations of the seamen involved, this essay argues that none of the factors above was the root cause the mutiny. Rather than a seditious conspiracy, the Nore mutiny developed in support of the earlier Spithead mutiny for better pay and conditions, but poor communication and misunderstanding prevented compromise and led to a tragic result.

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Filed under: English Channel | Mutiny & Discipline | French Revolution
Subjects include: Navies

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