Memoirs of Richard Parker, the Mutineer.
George Cawthorne, ( 1797), London
8vo, 21 cm. 36 pp.
… together with an account at large of his trial by Court Martial, defence, sentence, and execution and a narrative of the mutiny at The Nore and Sheerness, from its commencement to its final termination. Third Edition. This is an account of the trial of the head of the Nore mutineers, a disrated officer named Richard Parker. The participants were weary of the war with France, low pay, and harsh working and fighting conditions. They were inspired by the successful Spithead Mutiny, which had just taken place, and which won concessions from the Admiralty. That body was not inclined to concede a second uprising – particularly after the mutineer fleet blockaded London – and the mutiny soon collapsed. Parker was summarily tried and hanged from the yardarm of his own ship. The pamphlet begins with a short biography of Parker, then gives a report of the execution, written by an officer who witnessed it. Surprisingly, it is rather sympathetic to “a man, with endowments which all must lament were so unfortunately directed against the interests of his country.” Then comes an almost hour-by-hour account of the mutiny and, finally, a 14-page summary of the court martial, with key testimony recorded. It is a genuinely rare pamphlet, no copies online and only POD reprints available. Not in Adams & Waters, which cites several other publications on the mutiny published in 1797. According to Worldcat, only the BPL and National Maritime Museum, Caird Library hold hard copies. In self wraps, side sewn as issued. Tanning in the upper right corner of the first few pages, with random spotting and tanning thereafter. An excellent copy. And, if you are interested in the particulars of how a man was hanged from the yardarm of a ship in 1797 (a complex technical and ceremonial procedure) this is the pamphlet for you!