Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]


The delegates from the Roval made to them, renewed their former George returned immediately to

As soon as this alarming their ship, and informed their crew 'intelligence arrived, government of what had happened; after fome dispatched, with all speed, a person consultation, they refolved to fum- of the highest weight and authority, mon all the delegates on-board their to quell this unexpected tumult. thip. This was forth with done by This was lord Howe, an officer hoisting the red, usually called, the long held in the fiuft degree of rebloody fiag: a circunstance that spect and esteem in the British navy, ftruck terror through the fleet, as and personally beloved, by all that the signal was not generally under-' had served under him, for his hustood; the officers, in particular, mane disposition, as well as his were apprehenfive that fome fatal many great qualities. His presence designs were in agitation. The and exhortations wrought the deThips now proceeded to load their fired effect, and happily dissipated guns, to order the watch to be the suspicions that were beginning kept as at sea, and to put every to prevail

. The circumstance which thing in a state of defence.

principally operated was, that numOn the following day, the ships bers of thole to whom he addressed crews directed two letters to be writ- himself had been the companions ten, one to the lords of the admi- and instruments of the services he ralty, to acquaint then with the trad rendered to his country. The motives for their conduct on the inany years during which he had precedirg day, and another to lord filled important stations, and made Bridport, in which they styled him, a conspicuous figure in the navy; their father and their friend, and the many gallant actions he had allured him of their respect and at- performed, and, especially, the great tachment. This induced him to re- victory on the first of June, 1794, turn to his thip the next day, twenty- were circumstances that carried a third, and to rehoift his try, which powerful impression on the minds he had struck during the confusions of his fellow-camen, and induced on the twenty-first. After a short them to listen with confidence to and pathetic address to the crew, his representations. Good order was he informed them, that he had happily restored, and they unanibrought with him a redress of all mously agreed, in consequence of their grievances, and the king's par- the trust they reposed in his word don for what had palied. After and affurance that goverument would fome deliber:tion, these offers were faithfully keep its promises, to reaccepted, and every man returned turn immediately to their usual subto his dutie

ordination. Their feilow.seamen From the twenty-third of April at Plymouth were induced, by this to the seventh of May, the fleet re- example, to submit in the like mained in due subordination ; but, manner. on that day, a fresh mutiny broke From the first breaking out of this out. The feamen, from whatever mutiny, the public mind had been cause it arose, had conceived a mila · taken up with the means that would trust of government, and, appre. probably terminate it with most hending a violation of the promiles ipeed and success, and the genes

[P 2]


[ocr errors]


rality concurred in the propriety of pay and allowance to the seamen a ministerial application to parlia- and marines in the navy. ment, for a fun of money fufficient The resolutions, to, this intent, to defray the charge of augmenting being read, Mr. Fox faid, that he the pay of the feamen belonging to should certainly agree to them, but the navy, which was universally that his duty required of him not conlidered as a measure of firict to give a blent vote. He differed equity.

from the minister in his notions of Conformably to the expectation confidence. Every question relating of the public, the house of commons, to the public expenditure ought, in on the eight of May, took into con- bis opinion, to be fully discusled. fideration the estimates, laid before The filence of ministers had proit by ministry, for the purpose of duced the fresh disturbances in the that augmentation. Previously to fleet at Portsmouth, by exciting a the stating of them, Mr. Pitt ex- fufpicion of their fincerity. What prelled much repugnance to detail, notive, he asked, could have inas usual, the motives on which he duced them to suffer a whole fortfounded the neceflity of applying night to elapse before their applicato the house for an addition to the tion for the interference of parliapublic expenditure. He declared, ment, from which alone they could that, on the present occasion, he did derive effectual assistance, in this not find himlelf at liberty to enter critical conjuncture. Such a neginto a detail of the transactions that lect, on the part of ministers, arled him to apply. They were such gued a degree of guilt as well as that he felt himself obliged to say, of incapacity, that would involve that he would trust their judgement the house itself, wera the resoluwould induce them to concur in his tions to pass without a due cenmotion, without making it the fub- fure on ministry. The house was ject of a long discussion: nor was in duty bound to inquire how far he able to enter into a statement of the admiralty had acceded to the the events that had more recently petitions of the seamen, and whehappened; and, if he were, he ther they were fatisfied; and the Hhould feel a reluctance in doing it, remedy proposed would effectually as they were wholly, or in a great allay their discontents. The house degree, to be ascribed to misrepre- had a right to complete information, fentations. To silence these, and and their privileges ought not, by. to appease at once all discontent, an obsequious and anseasonable sinothing, in his opinion, would be so lence, to be given up to men who effectual as the unanimous decision had proved themselves unworthy of of parliament on the proposal be. their confidence. fore them. He therefore thought it

Mr. Sheridan acknowledged himhis duty to entreat the house to pass self convinced, by the circumstances their silent judgement on the present of the case, of the necessity to vote case, while they coincided with the with the minister, without infifting motion it occafioned him to make. upon information; but contended, He then moved for a total of four however, that the recent disturbhundred and thirty-fix thousand ances arose from the procrastination pounds, to answer the additional of ministry.



He pro

EUROPE. [213 On the following day, May 9, moved by Mr. Whitbread, and, by the subject was renewed by Mr. an animated speech in fupport of Whitbread, who declared, that, it this motion, by Mr. Sheridan. He appeared to him of such conse- feverely blamed the conduct of mi-, quence, that he confidered it his nifters, in postponing the confidaty formally to inquire, why mi- deration of the teamen's 'clemands, nistry had not, at an earlier period, urged with so many circumtiunces applied to the house, and thereby that rendered the highly critical prevented the dangers that had re- and serious, to fuch objects as the sulted from this neglect.

Imperial loan and the narriageThe answer of Mr. Pitt was, that portion of the princess royal, which every proper step had been taken were of such inferior importance to obviate the unhappy event that to the nation, and ought, therefore, had taken place. The feamen's without liewtation, to have been demands had been submitted to the laid aside till a business of such

magking in council, with all requisite nitude had been fettled. He inexpedition ; estimates of the lums finuated, that the ditiatisfaction in that would be wanted had been the wavy had been caused by enduly made out, for the inspection croachments on the righis of the and approbation of parliament; and seamen, or by attempis to abridge every thing put into an official train. them of their comforts. It was only, therefore, the customary posed that a joint committee of both observance of forms that had im- houses should be appointed, on this peded the speed which would other- occasion, with power to lend for wife have been employed, could persons and papers, and to adjourn the effects of such a delay have been from time to time, and from place foreseen. The fooner, for these to place, realons, a bill should be pailed, in This proposal Mr. Pitt combated, order to accelerate their termina- not only as an innovation in the diltion.

cipline of the navy, but as iconMr. Fox recapitulated the par- ftitutional. It faperfeded, at once, ticulars of this unfortunate business, the functions of the crecutive and lein justification of the censure which gillative powers.—Mr. Whitbread's he trusted the house would pass on motion was negatived, by 257 the conduct of administration. He against 63. Afier fome farthier described, in strong colours, the altercation, the resolutions he had perilous situation of some persons, moved, relating to the increase of of the highest rank and merit, in seamen's pay and allowance, were their professional character, in con- read, and á bill was ordered to sequence of the present commotions be brought in for paling them in the fleet, affirming it to be the into an act, together with a clauso duty of the house to express its for the continuance of pay to condemnation of thole who had, wounded seamen till they were by the rashness of their conduct, cured. The bill,' as soon as it brought them into such imminent was framed, went through all the danger.

neceflary formalities, and immediThe strictures of Mr. Fox were ately received the royal afleni, by Seconded by a vote of censure, commission.“

[P 3]






Subsequent endeavours were made “My lads, to prove the ministry guilty of grofs I once more call you together neglect, in suffering a business of this with a sorrowful heart, from what I nature to proceed with a dilatorinels have lately seen, the difaffection of that might, and ought therefore to the feets: I call it difaffection, for have been avoided: but they ex: the crews have no grievances. Το culpated themselves, by bringing be delertec by my fleet, in the face forward evidence that their in- of an enemy, is a dilgrace which, I tentions were clearly to have acred be'ieve, never before happened to a with more speed, if unavoidable British admiral; nor could I have impediments had not prevented fuppofed it rolible. My greatest them.

comfort under God is, that I have The suppressicn of the disturbances been supported by the officers, seaamong the seamen al Portímonth, men, and marines of this ship ; for without recurring to violent mea- which,, with a heart overflowing fures, and by granting their pe- with gratitude, I request you to actitions, occasioned universal' satis- cept ny fincere thanks. I flatter faction, and it was hoped that the myself much good may result from causes of their discontent being thus your example, by bringing thofe deeffectually removed, no farther com- luded people to a sense of their duty, plaints would arise to spread alarm which they owe, not only to their throughout the nation. But these king and country, but to them

, . reasonable expectations were in

felves. fhort time wholly disappointed by a * The British


has ever been fresh mutiny that broke out in the the support of that liberty which has fileet at the Nore, on the twenty- been handed down to us by our fecond of May.

ancestors, and which I trust we shall The crews on that day took pof- maintain to the latest potterity; and feffion of their refpective thips, that can only be done by unanimity elected delegates to preside over and obedience. This thip’s com them, and to draw up a fatement of pany, and others, who have dif their demands, and transmit them to tinguiñed themselves by their loy, the lords of the admiralty. Thelede- alty and good order, deserve to be, mands went much farther than those and doubtless will be the favourites of the seamen at Portsmouth and Ply. of a grateful country. They will mouth,and from their exorbitancy did also have, from their inward feelings, not appear entitled to the same indul- a comfort which will be lasting, and gence. On the fixth of June, in the not like the floating and falle confimorning, the feet at the Nore was dence of those who have swerved joined by the Agamemnon, Leopard, from their duty. Ardent, and Ilismen of war, together “ It has ofien been my pride, with the Ranger foop, which ships with you to look into the Texel, had deserted from the feet under and see a foe which dreaded coming admiral Duncan. When the ad- out to meet us: my pride is now miral found himself deserted by humbled indeed! my feelings are part of his fleet, he called his own not easily to be expreffed! our cup ship's crew together, and addressed has overfi wed and made us wanton. them in the following speech:

The all-wife Providence has given

[ocr errors]


At an

OF EUROPE. [215 us this check, as a warning, and I rected, by the lords of the admiralty, hope we shall improve by it. On to inform the seamen, that their dehim then let us trust, where our only mands were totally inconfiftent with security can be found. I find there the good order and regulations neare many good men among us; for cessary to be observed in the nary, my own part, I have had full confi- and could not for that reason be dence of all in this lip; and once complied with: but that on returnmore beg to express my approbation ing to their duty, they wouli receive of your conduct.

the king's pardon for their breach of May God, who has thus far obedience. To this offer Parker conducted you, continue to do fo; replied by a declaration, that the and

may the British navy, the glory feamen had unanimously determined and support of our country, be re- to keep poffefion of the fleet, until fiored to its wonted splendour, and the lords of the admiralty had rebe not only the bulwark of Britain, paired to the Nore, and redresled but the terror of the world.

the grievances which had been laid “ But this can only be effected by before them. La strict adherence to our duty and In order to put an end, with all

obedience; and let us pray that the pollible expedition, to a mutiny that almighty God may keep us in the appeared so dangerous, lord Spencer, right way of thinking.

lord Arden, and admiral Young, halGod bless


tened immediately to Sheernels, and address lo unassuming, held a board, at which Parker and modest, and pious, and to well cal- the other delegates attended; but culated, from its fimplicity and their behaviour was fo audacious, truth, to touch the human heart, that the lords of the admiralty rethe whole ship's crew were diilol- turned to town without the least ved in tears. They declared, by fuccess. The principal article of every exprellion they could devile, complaint, on the part of the mutheir resolution to abide by the tineers, was the unequal distribution admiral in lile or death. Their of prize-money, for the omillion of example was followed by all the which they much blaned their felother hips, besides those already low feamen at Portimouth. On mentioned. And the admiral, not- the return of the lords of the ad. withstanding the defection of fo con miralty, from Sheernels, a proclaliderable a part of his fquadron, re- mation was issued, offering his inapaired to his station, off the coast of jesty's pardon 10 all fuch of the Holland, to watch the motions of mutineers as should immediately rethe Dutch fleet; and resolved, ftill, turn to their duty; intimating, at not to decline, thoni it offer him the faine time, that admiral Buckbattle.

ner was the proper person to be apThe principal person at the head plied to on such an occasion. All of this mutiny was one Richard the buoys, by order of government, Parker, a man of good natural parts, were removed from the mouth of and some education, and of a re- the Thames, and the neighbouring markably bold and resolute cha- coast; from which precaution, any racier. "Admiral Buckner, the com- ships, that should attempt to get manding officer at the Nore, was di- away, would be in danger of run



« ForrigeFortsæt »