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…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Clark, Robert. "The Spithead Naval mutiny". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 January 2009
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]