Richard Parker (sailor)

Richard Parker (Sailor)

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Richard Parker (sailor)

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Richard Parker (16 April 1767 – 30 June 1797) was an English sailor executed for his role as president of the so-called "Floating Republic", a naval mutiny in the Royal Navy which took place at the Nore between 12 May and 16 June 1797.

Early life and career

He was born in Exeter, the son of a successful baker, and was apprenticed as a navigator in 1779. From 1782 until 1793 he served on various ships of the Royal Navy mainly in the Mediterranean and India service, achieving the rank of master's mate and a probationary period as lieutenant. However on the ship Assurance he was goaded into an act of mild insubordination by an established lieutenant who informed on him resulting in his being court-martialled in December 1793. As a result he was disrated and eventually discharged from the Navy in November 1794. He returned to Exeter, reuniting with his wife Anne, but fell into debt and was jailed in Edinburgh in early 1797. After three weeks in jail, he accepted a quota of £20 in return for reenlistment in the navy, his despair at the prospect such that he attempted suicide on the way to the embarkation point at Sheerness by flinging himself overboard.

The Nore mutiny

Upon his arrival at the Nore, one of bases of the North Sea fleet, Parker was assigned to the ship which was widely regarded as one of the worst in terms of its squalid and overcrowded conditions. It was on the Sandwich on 12 May that the Nore mutiny broke out which Parker played no role in...
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