On This Day in Trinity House History – 7 June

1797

Mutiny at the Nore

Discontent among sailors at the Nore, a Royal Navy anchorage in the Thames Estuary, overflowed in riotous mutiny in May 1797. The mutineers, led by Richard Parker, used their fleet of ships to blockade London and stop trade in and out of the port, and were preparing to go over to the enemy with about twenty Masters of Merchant ships impressed to pilot them.

In response, a party of Elder Brethren proceeded to the mouth of the Thames and removed or destroyed all buoys and sea-marks. This action so enraged the Mutineers that they vowed to hang the first Elder Brother they could catch.

Captain Calvert, coming up from Broadstairs in the yacht, was captured and taken on board the Sandwich, where the mutineers proceeded to try him by Court Martial in the ward room.

His manner and conversation so disarmed them that they relented, and, after extracting from him the opinion of the public as to their action, allowed him to depart, which he did after assuring them “that they would all assuredly be hanged.”

The mutiny was quashed soon after, on 13 June.

 

Escape of HMS 'Clyde' from the Nore Mutiny, 30 May 1797 by William Joy. Photo credit: National Maritime Museum

Escape of HMS ‘Clyde’ from the Nore Mutiny, 30 May 1797 by William Joy. Photo credit: National Maritime Museum

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