Richard Parker

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Parker, Richard


Born Apr. 24, 1767, in Exeter; died June 30, 1797, in London. English sailor; leader of the 1797 mutiny in the British Navy at the ports of the Nore and Sheerness.

In March 1797, Parker, a schoolteacher, signed on as a sailor on the ship Sandwich, where he became chairman of the delegates’ committee that headed the May 12 mutiny. The mutiny was caused by a decrease in pay and by oppressive conditions of service. The ideas of the French Revolution, which were then circulating among progressive sailors, were also a contributing cause. The rebel fleet blockaded the mouth of the Thames. On June 1, a squadron arriving from Yarmouth joined the rebels. On June 9, Parker ordered the fleet to put to sea, but a group of officers arrested him. After sentencing by a court-martial, Parker and 30 other mutineers were hanged.

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