THE BLACK SHIP by Dudley Pope


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Based entirely on contemporary records, this book by a well-known British naval historian tells of the ""bloodiest mutiny ever to occur in the Royal Navy"", in 1797 on the frigate Hermione, commanded by Capt. Hugh Pigot. The son of an admiral, Pigot, who was 27 when his crew butchered him, was one of the three cruelest captains in the British Navy's recorded history. Joining up at 12 and promoted solely through influence, at 24 he was made captain of the ship Success and sent to the privateer- infested West Indies, where a toadying Vice-Admiral protected him in his brutalities. On Success Pigot flogged two men to death with the cat o' nine tails and got into trouble for beating an American merchant captain. Transferred in January, 1797, to the Hermione, he favored some men and treated others mercilessly. After three men died jumping from the shrouds to escape, mutiny ""like a rope snapping"" broke out among part of the crew, who murdered Pigot and nine other officers. Sailing Hermione to Caracas, they surrendered to the Spanish, who made prisoners of them; on their release the mutineers were hunted for years and of the 34 captured 24 were hanged. Hiding high drama behind harsh fact, this true tale of horror and adventure at sea will appeal to naval buffs and historians; romantically-minded landlubbers may object to its factual flavor.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1963
ISBN: 1844158934
Publisher: Lippincott