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So early as the month of February, in the present year, it was observed that symptoms of difsatisfaction appeared on board the Channel-fleet; and some anonymous but not ill-written letters were received by lord Howe, the seamen's friend,' froin Portsmouth, stating their grievances, and requesting his interest to obtain redress. These complaints were not of a political but personal nature, and related chiefly to the very bad quality of their provisions, and to the scantiness of their allowance, notwithstanding the incredible extravagance of expenditure in the Navy and Vi&ualling offices. These intimations being unfortunately neglected, on the return of the fleet to port, March 31, a general correspondence took place by letter from thip to ship, and at length it was unanimously agreed that no fhip should lift an anchor till the demands of the seamen were complied with On the 14th of April, ford Bridport, the admiral, unsuspicious of the mutiny, making a signal to prepare for sea, the seamen of his own ship, instead of weighing anchor, ran up the shrouds, and gave three cheers, which were instantly anfwered from the other thips.


Constitutional Ad did not permit it to consent to any alienation of that which, according to the laws, constituted the territory of the republic.' That it was impoflible his majesty's minifters could have misunderstood this declaration ; for in the note dated Downing-street were these words : • To s demand such as this is added a declaration that no proposal contrary to it will be made or listened to.' That fix months afterwards the ministers again made overtures for peace; but in so ungracious a manner that their fincerity might reasonably be questioned ; and demanded, as their SINE QUA NON, those very terms which, before they began their negotiation, THEY KNEW WOULD BE REFUSED. Thar, under all these circumstances, the house humbly and carnestly entreated his majesty to enter into a negotiation upon such terms as France would be likely to listen and accede to and in such a manner as would leave no doubt of a pacific intention. And the house begged leave to assure his majesty that it would entertain no doubt of the success of such a negotiation; and would feel confidence, after the restoration of peace, that such wise regulations might be adopted by the legislature as would relieve the people from their burdens,.remove every complaint of unequal representation, re

store their antient constitution, and ensure to his majesty the affections of bje ' fubje&s,-the glory, prosperity, and happiness, of his future reign."

Delegates were then appointed from each ship to represent the whole fleet, who thet in the admiral's cabin ; and petitions being drawn up, were presented to the admirals then on the spot, praying for an increase of wages, and the establishment of various regulations respecting provisions; and expressing their hope that a satisfactory answer might be given to their petitions before they were ordered to put to sea again ; qualified, however, with the remarkable exception, unless the enemy were known to be at sea. On the 17th the men were publicly sworn to support the cause in which they were engaged.' On the next day a committee of the Admiralty, with earl Spencer at their head, arrived at Portsmouth, who made several propositions to reduce the men to obedience. The lords of the Admiralty next proceeded on board the Queen Charlotte, and conferred with the delegates from the seamen of the fleet, who assured their lordships that no arrangement would be considered as final until it should be sanctioned by the king and parliament, and guarantied by a proclamation for a general pardon. On the 23d the admiral returned to his ship, hoisted his flag again, and, after a short address to the crew, he informed them that he had brought with him a redress of all their grievances, and his majesty's pardon for the offenders. After some dea liberation, these offers were accepted, and every man returned with cheerfulness to his duty. But, in consequence of a most hazardous and reprehensible delay in bringing this business before parliament, the spirit of mutiny was again excited, and on the 7th of May, when lord Bridport once more made the fignal to put to sea, every ship at St. Helen's refused to obey. Admiral Colpoys, who attempted the restoration of discipline, was put under arrest, and several lives were lost in a skirmish between the seamen and marines. Immediate intelligence of this new and alarming instance of disobedience being transmitted to London, Mr. Pitt, on the 8th of May, thought fit at length to introduce the subject into the house of commons, and moved for 2 A 2


III. the sum of 372,000 l. for nine months' increased pay and allowance of provisions, commencing from the ist of April, requesting that this motion might pass the house, to avoid all misrepresentation by a filent vote. Mr. Fox faid, “ that it was by silence and the want of discussion the mischief had happened. If, when it was firft known that the seamen were dissatisfied, the house had been confidered as entitled to the confidence of ministers, and the business had been properly difcuffed, the events of Easter would not have taken place. But the delay which had intervened seemed purposely meant to give scope for misrepresentation." After an angry debate, the resolution passed.

On the fucceeding day the subject was revived by Mr. Whitbread, who declared, that unless a satisfactory explanation was given respecting that fatal delay, for which the minifter stood responsible to that house and the country, it was his intention to move à direct vote of censure against him. Mr. Pitt still persisted in his filence ; saying only " that the necessary time had been taken for preparing eftimates." After fome severe strictures on the part of oppofition, a meffage was sent to the lords, to defire that they would continue fitting for some time; and the bill, founded upon the resolutions of Mr. Pitt, was brought in, and passed through all its stages in both houses in one day.

Lord Howe was immediately dispatched to Portsmouth as the welcome messenger of this intelligence, bearing also, with the Act of Parliament, his majesty's proclamation of pardon for all who should forthwith return to their duty. This celebrated veteran was received with the loudest acclamations of affection and applause; the officers were reinftated in their commands, the flag of disaffection was struck, and the feet put to sea to encounter the enemy.

However fpeedily and happily this mutiny had been appeased, the example was very dangerous, and it was immediately followed by the North-Sea fleet lying at the Nore, under the command of admiral Buckner, consisting of eleven Thips of the line and as many of inferior size. The mutineers, in imitation of what had been done at Portsmouth, chose delegates from every ship, of whom a man, named Parker, was appointed president. After having either confined or sent on shore their principal officers, they transmitted to the lords of the Admiralty a series of articles or conditions to which they peremptorily demanded compliance, as the only terms upon which they would return to obedience ; though several of them were of a nature totally different from those insisted upon at Portsmouth, and altogether incompatible with the discipline of the navy. On the 23d of May the mutineers hoisted a red flag on board the admiral's fhip the Sandwich, and dropped down to the Great Nore, in order to concentrate the scene of their operations. The mutiny having now arisen to a most alarming height, a deputation of the lords of the Admiralty, earl Spencer himself, as before, being at thc head, proceeded to Sheerness, and offered to the delegates the same terms which had been already accepted at Portsmouth with gratitude. But such was the infolence of this convention, that they insisted upon unconditional submission to their demands, as a neceffary preliminary to any intercourse whatever. On which the deputation departed, after previously declaring, in firm language, « that the seamen were to expect no concessions whatever further than what had been already made by the legislature.”

With the view of extorting compliance with their requifitions, the mutineers now proceeded to block up the Thames, refusing a free passage up and down the river to the London trade, supplying themselves with water and provisions from the ships which they detained. Measures were now also adopted on the part of government to enforce fubmiffion. All intercourse with the shore was strictly prohibited; batteries were erected with furnaces for red-hot balls ; gun-boats prepared; and, what extremely perplexed the mutineers, all the buoys were removed from the mouth of


the Thames. The council of delegates now began in some degree to relent, and lord Northesk, captain of the Monmouth, who had been hitherto kept in confinement, was released, with a message from the president Parker to " the KING, wherever he might be,” stating the ultimate conditions on which the fhips would be given up. His lordship accompanying earl Spencer into the royal presence, accordingly delivered his message ; and a privy-council being held upon the occasion, the demands of the seamen were again resolutely rejected. This being fignified to the mutineers, fymptoms of apprehension began to appear, and, on the 10th of June, several of the fhips struck the red flag and hoisted the union ; but no overtures were made to them. On the 13th, the Ajax, Standard, and Nassau, separating from the fleet, went under the protection of the guns at the fort of Sheerness. This excited despair in the remainder ; and, on the same day, a resolution was taken to submit to the king's mercy. Parker himself, who had in vain, and at too late a period, proposed putting to sea, surrendering quietly to a guard of soldiers, who had orders from admiral Buckner to put him under arreft ; and, with about thirty other delegates, he was accordingly committed to the black-hole in the garrison of Sheerness. One of the delegates, Wallace, on the first appearance of the soldiers, in that spirit of heroic desperation which might rather have been expected from president Parker, shot himself dead upon the spot. Parker being immediately brought to his trial before a court-martial, consisting of captains in the navy, was executed in a few days after on board the Sandwich. He died with resolution, but discovered no indications, either during the continuance of the mutiny, or subsequent to its suppression, of superior parts or fagacity. Had his talents been equal to his situation he might have made himself very formidable to the government. The courtmartial continued sitting more than a month, during which time great numbers were capitally convicted, very many of


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