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The Court Martial of Mr Ford Forster 1776

Vol (),

This transcribed passage is but one interview from the courts martial proceedings during the 1776 trial of Mr Ford Forster, who had been serving as Master aboard the Carcass. The trial was held in New York on 15 December, in the midst of the American Revolutionary War, and resulted in Forster being ‘Dismissed from His Majesty’s Service, and rendered incapable of serving as an officer in it’.[1] The peculiarities of Forster’s ‘very mutinous and disorderly behaviour’ – and the manner in which Forster’s case was handled by the assembled court – gives us insight into how naval authority and discipline was exercised, in times of war and an ocean away from home.

[1] ‘Ford Forster Master of the Carcass Bomb Vessel for Mutinous behaviour’. TNA, ADM 1/5307/589-592, Courts Martial records.

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