Mutiny On The Spanish Main
HMS Hermione & The Royal Navy's Revenge
In 1797 the British frigate HMS Hermione was serving on the Jamaica Station, at the heart of Britain's bitter war against Revolutionary France and Spain in the Caribbean. However, under the sadistic and mercurial Captain Hugh Pigot the ship became a floating hell as
he flogged his men without mercy, and ruled his ship through terror. His brutal regime, exceptionally harsh even by the standards of the day, eventually pushed his men beyond the limits of human endurance. When it came, the mutiny this provoked was the bloodiest in British naval history, an outburst of violence that saw the butchering of Pigot and the hacking to death of his officers. The mutineers then sailed to the Spanish Main and treacherously handed the frigate over to the Spanish.
This blood-soaked mutiny incensed the British Admiralty, who launched a relentless worldwide manhunt for the mutineers that continued for a decade. Then, two years after she became the Spanish frigate Santa Cecilia, the Hermione was recaptured in what was one of the most daring and brilliantly executed cutting out operations of the Age of Fighting Sail.
Drawing on letters, reports, ships' logs, and memoirs of the period, as well as previously unpublished Spanish sources, Angus Konstam intertwines extensive research with a fast-paced but balanced account to create a fascinating retelling of one of the most notorious events in the history of the Royal Navy, and its extraordinary, wide-ranging aftermath.