These Articles of Demand were presented to Admiral Buckner by the Nore mutineers. It should be noted that the Admiralty received them and immediately rejected them. The official reply was “All that could reasonably be expected by the seamen and marines has already been granted them. Their Lordships cannot accede any further requests.”
That every indulgence granted to the fleet at Portsmouth (Spithead) be granted to His Majesty’s subjects serving in the Fleet at the Nore and places adjacent.
That every man, upon a ship’s coming into harbour (a certain number at a time so as not to injure the ship’s duty) to go and see their friends and families; a convenient time to be allowed to each man.
That all ships befeore they go to sea shall be paid all arrears of wages down to six months, according to the old rules.
That no officer that has been turned down by any of His Majesty’s ships shall be employed in the same ship again without consent of the ship’s company.
That when any of His Majesty’s ships shall be paid, that may have been some time in commission, if there are any pressed men on board, that may not be in the regular course of payment, they shall receive two months advance to furnish them with necessaries.
That an indemnification be made any men who have run and may now be in His Majesty’s naval service and that they not be liable to be taken up as deserters.
That a more equal distribution be made of prize money to the crews of His Majesty’s ships and vessels of war.
That the articles of war, as now enforced, require various alterations, several of which to be expunged therefrom; and if more moderate ones were held forth to seamen in general, it would be the means of taking off that terror and prejudice against His Majesty’s service, on that account frequently imbibed by seamen from entering voluntarily into service.
The Committee of Delegates of the whole fleet assembled in council on board HMS Sandwichhave unanimously agreed that they will not deliver up their charge until the appearance of some of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to ratify the same.
– Given on board HMS Sandwich by the delegates of the fleet, 20 May, 1797.
Courtesy of the Napoleonic Guide.
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