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 Court Martial 
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Post Court Martial
I don't think we have a dedicated thread to this subject; if so, Susan, please advise.

How often did officers court martial themselves?

I've read of it before and noticed in The Times, May 6th, 1797, that Captain Nicholls of the Marlborough, 74, made application to the Lords of the Admiralty for one on himself by reason of his crew refusing to go to sea with him.

It is to be noted that the year was 1797. Were there other circumstances of this happening outside the mutiny scenario?

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Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:05 pm
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Mil posted about Sir Robert Calder, which I moved to a new thread under "Personnel."

It should be noted that Calder asked for a court martial to judge his conduct after he was criticized for not doing enough during his fleet's encounter with Villeneuve's.

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Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:17 pm
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The Times, March 23, 1801:

" .....Rear-Admiral TOTTY has left town for Yarmouth to be present at a Court-Martial to be held upon his conduct respecting the loss of the Invincible.

Captain Jordan, who belongs to the Baltic trade, and was a passenger on board the Invincible, apprized the First Lieutenant, some minutes before the Invincible struck, that the Pilot was leading the ship on a ridge of sands, which he pointed out but the Pilot refused to listen to any admonition. The Sands were very distinctly pointed out in several charts on board......


and, interestingly " ....The Lords of the Admiralty have sent a very strong remonstrance to the Treasury, complaining of the Master of the Excise cutter, which was in sight, but refused to afford any relief to the unfortunate sufferers on board the Invincible...... we forbear to state the name of the cutter, until the business is investigated......"

I found this snippet very interesting as in another thread - second item down - I mentioned where I had visited the site of the burial of the victims of the Invincible. For ease, if interested, I give here the link to the information contained on the Happisburgh village website.



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Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:44 pm
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Apart from the routine enquiries made for loss of vessels, I always find the reasons for different courts martial intriguing. I thought this particular one interesting from The Times, April 10, 1805:

" .... a Court Martial was held at Portsmouth on Lieut. Froad, of his Majesty's ship Favourite, for permitting the men to cheer Lieut. Perkins who had been dismissed the service by sentence of a Court Martial, on his leaving the Favourite; and for having received money into his charge belonging to G Bango and C Minifie, seamen, belonging to the Favourite, and for not having returned the same. Sentence - dismissed his Majesty's service ...."

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Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:49 am
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susan wrote:

It should be noted that Calder asked for a court martial to judge his conduct after he was criticized for not doing enough during his fleet's encounter with Villeneuve's.


There's something similar in this quote from The Times when Lord Gambier requested his own court martial:

.....The Times June 7, 1809:

" .... demanded a Court-Martial upon himself in consequence of some opinions that have been given relative to the operations in Basque Road...... to be held at Portsmouth on the 19th instant, to 'enquire into his Lordship's conduct in Basque Roads on he 17th of Marc and 19th April last.' Sir Roger Curtis is to be President ...."

If my memory serves me right, that is the incident involving Cochrane and where "my" Sir Harry Neale was captain of the fleet under Gambier.

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Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:37 pm
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From The Times October 31, 1803:

" .... a Court-Martial was held at Portsmouth, to try Mr John Trotter, Master of his Majesty's ship Melpomene, on charges of disobedience of orders, in not lending a spy-glass to the Captain, in order to look at a ship, supposed to be an enemy, his (the prisoner's) glass being thought the best for that purpose. The charges not being proved, he was acquitted ..."

That one sounds a bit different ... any comments?.


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Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:37 am
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.....The Times October 28, 1811:

" .... a Court-Martial was held at Portsmouth on Friday, on board the Gladiator, for the trial of Capt. Barrie, the Officers, and crew of His Majesty's ship Pomone, which was lost in attempting to come through the Needles. After a mature investigation, the Court acquitted Captain Barrie, his Officers, and crew; except the Master, who was ordered to be reprimanded ...."


THE NEEDLES


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Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:19 am
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Post The Woman in the Bread Room
Evelyn Berckman's book, 'The Hidden Navy' records that: 'On July 10, 1763, 'a Woman was found dead and sewed up in a Hammacoe in the Bread Room on board of His Majesty's Ship Defiance. A week later 'a Court Martial assembled on board His Majesty's Ship Essex for enquiry into the cause [case] and for trying several men for 'being the Cause of her Death'.


Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:05 pm
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.....The Times November 5, 1811, Portsmouth::

" .... a Court-Martial was held on John Fogerty, a private marine of the , the Barbadoes, for having struck the Master-at-Arms and Boatwain's Mate, when attempting to secure him for taking a jacket belonging to John McKay; and for kicking the gunner, and conducting himself in a mutinous manner towards Lieut. W Savage of that ship. The charge having been proved against the prisoner, he was sentenced to suffer Death; but as it appeared he had saved the lives of many persons by jumping into the sea after them, whenever aboard, the Court recommended him to the merciful consideration of the Lords of the Admiralty. ...."

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Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:31 pm
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From The Times of June 18, 1791:

"....Portsmouth...June 16....The First Lieutenant of the Winchelsea frigate has demanded a Court-Martial on all his Mess-mates in the Gun Room, for contemptuous behaviour; and the request is granted by the Lords of the Admiralty. It seems these gentlemen not only sent their superior officer to Coventry, but actually voted him out of the mess....."

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Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:15 am
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From The Times November 3, 1802:

"..... a Court Martial was held at Portsmouth, on board the Neptune, on John Geram, pilot of his Majesty's ship Pomone, for having run the said ship on the rocks going into St Aubin's Bay, on the evening of the 8th of September last. The Court agreed that the charges has been proved against the pilot, and that blame was imputable to him, for attempting to enter the Bay of St Aubin in the night, at a time when she might have remained with safety at sea until day-light, and did adjudge him to be mulcted of all the pay and allowances due to his for his services done as a pilot on board that ship, and to be imprisoned in the Marshalsea for three months from that day ...."




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From The Times of August 21, 1809::

" ..... a Court Martial was held on board the Salvador del Mundo, lying in Hamoaze, Plymouth, for the trial of Mr Glanville, Midshipman of the *, on charges exhibited against him by the Commanding Officer of that ship, for mutiny, desertion, insolence, and contempt. The Court having fully weighed and considered the evidence in support of the charges, as well as what the Prisoner had to offer in his defence, sentenced him to be dismissed his Majesty's service, rendered incapable of ever serving as an Officer, and to be imprisoned six months in the Marshalsea ......"


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Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:33 am
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From The Times of December 16, 1811:

" ..... a Court Martial was held at Plymouth, on 11th instant, on board his Majesty's ship Salvador del Mundo, on two seamen belonging to the Diana frigate, Captain Ferris, for the murder of a Midshipman, Quartermaster, and Captain's-steward, belonging to that ship, on board a French prize brig, that was on her passage to that port. The prisoners, with an accomplice, after they had committed the bloody deed, attempted to run the ship into Brest; but, fortunately for the ends of justice, they were fallen in with by the Aquilon frigate, Captain Bowles, when the vessel was again taken possession of, and the prisoners, who had attempted to escape in the boat, were pursued and overtaken. ..... the principal murderer, and who remained in the brig after the diabolical companions had quitted her, was thrown overboard by two of the Diana's crew, whose lives had been spared, on condition that they should assist in conducting the ship into a French port.... the prisoners were sentenced to be hung on board such ship as the Lords of the Admiralty shall direct ....."




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Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:06 am
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From The Times Apeil18, 1809:

"..... Court-Martial was held a few days since at Plymouth, of which Rear-Admiral Sutton was President, at which Lieut. Thomas Norris, Second Lieutenant, and Mr Stephen G Goddard, Purser, of the Orestes, were both sentenced to be dismissed his Majesty's service, for contemptuous behaviour towards their superior officers. Also, Mr John Callan, acting surgeon of the Orestes was dismissed from the Orestes on a similar charge .... ."





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From The Times of April 18, 1809:

" ..... A Court-Martial was held at Portsmouth ... on the Hon. Captain George Cadogan, of his Majesty's ship Crocodile, on charges exhibited against him in a memorial from Richard Cumberland, Esq. to the Lords of the Admiralty, setting forth that Captain Cadogan, and his first lieutenant (Mr Devon), had acted in a cruel, tyrannical, and oppressive manner towards W.R. Badcock, a midshipman of the Crocodile, and grandson of the complainant; which conduct had hastened his death. The Court agreed, that the charges had not been proved; that many of the observations stated in the memorial of the Prosecutor were unfounded, and that the death of Badcock could not, in the most remote degree, be ascribed to the punishment he received on board his Majesty's ship Crocodile; Capt. Cadogan was therefore acquitted ..."


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