HOWE, Richard, 1st Earl, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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HOWE, Richard, 1st Earl (1726-1799). Admiral, commander-in-chief in North America, 1776.
Autograph Letter Signed to Vice-admiral Lord Keith, 2 pages 4to with address-leaf, Buxton 15 August 1797. Thanking Keith for the trouble he had taken 'about my wines left in your ship', arranging for their collection by Sir Roger curtis, and discussing in some detail the problems of the Queen Charlotte.
The latter part of the letter refers to the mutinous spirit on Howe's old ship, the Queen Charlotte.
'... I am much concerned for the the neglect which appears to have prevailed in the management of the Queen Charlotte since I left the Ship. I had before, some intimations of the same kind, proceeding as it was described, from mental incapacity of my poort friend douglas, during the later part of the time he remained in the command of the Ship; caused by the ffects of the complaint which terminated his existence. But I had no idea of the increas of the irregularities, in the degree that now it appears. Your Lordships temperate and steady interposition will soon, I doubt not, correct those abuses; in a ship I thought, all things considered, was to be prefered to any wherein I was ever embarked.'
Howe's correspondent, Lord Keith, had also fought in the American War (as Captain Elphinstone). The Dictionary of National Biography records that in 1797: 'A few months later, on the occasion of the mutiny at the Nore, Keith was specially appointed to the command at Sheerness. Both as captain and admiral he had always had the reputation of being lucky; and it was now supposed that his name would go a long way towards bringing the mutineers back to their allegiance. His measures at Sheerness had the happiest effect; and within a week after his arrival the revolted ships began to come in and surrender themselves. Within a fortnight the mutiny was at an end, and Keith was ordered to go to Plymouth and hoist his flag on board the Queen Charlotte as second in command in the Channel. The spirit of disaffection was still strong at Plymouth, but Keith again happily succeeded in bringing the men to listen to reason and to deliver up the ringleaders.'
[No: 20950]


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