The Spithead Naval mutiny

(346 words)

Historical Context Note

In February and March 1797, Admiral Howe, who commanded the Channel Fleet from the luxury of Bath, received anonymous petitions from sailors asking for an increase in wages, which had remained unchanged since 1652 but had been very much devalued by the rise in food prices since the outbreak of hostilities with France, exacerbated by recent crop failures and famines. Such petitions were, however, not unusual in the Navy, and Howe merely passed them on to the Admiralty. The Channel Fleet returned to Spithead (in the Solent just off from the Britain's key naval base at Portsmouth), on 30th March. The grievances over pay not having met with response, on 16th April 1797 the “Spithead mutiny” erupted. Actually, this w…

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Citation:
Clark, Robert. "The Spithead Naval mutiny". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 January 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=7199, accessed 02 September 2014.]