Ann Veronica Coats, Philip MacDougall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


The Naval Mutinies of 1797: Unity and Perseverance does not aim to replace Conrad Gill's definitive work on the mutinies of 1797, but to complement his scholarship and re-examine some of his conclusions. His extensive range of sources has been mined by subsequent historians, but The Naval Mutinies of 1797 is a meticulous exploration of documentation and nuance. While this multi-authored work lacks a single author's unity of theme, research method and interpretation, multiple specialist authors offer wider searches and insight. Each chapter explores a separate area of debate. Were the mutinies a struggle over ‘arrears of pay’ or a ‘revolutionary movement’; were there one, four or more mutinies? Emphasis is placed on documentary evidence, especially from the lower deck. What emerges predominantly is a desire for peace and unity on the part of the majority, together with a fundamental loyalty and internal discipline. After the mutinies the Admiralty aimed to restore peaceful relations to a status quo ante Spithead, but some writers indicate that it prompted an examination of officer discipline. A scrutiny of leadership as such is not central to this volume, but is demonstrated to be relevant to overall discipline. The original spelling and punctuation of quoted documents has been retained throughout except where noted to the contrary, to convey an authentic voice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Naval Mutinies of 1797
Subtitle of host publicationUnity and Perseverance
EditorsAnn Veronica Coats, Philip MacDougall
PublisherBoydell and Brewer Ltd
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781782040057
ISBN (Print)9781843836698
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


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