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Lord Howe’s Speech Before the Glorious First of June, 1794

Posted by Nicholas Blake, on June 1st, 2015


The Battle of the Glorious First of June was fought between the French and British fleets deep in the Atlantic in 1794, with the British commanded by Admiral Lord Howe. His speech is important for its rarity and its content.

He reminds the sailors that their enemy ‘had murdered their Sovereign’ and exercised ‘cruelties … unparalleled’, urging them to fight to prevent the French from ‘disseminat[ing] the same pernicious principles all over Europe’; gives his prize money to the men of his flagship; and is ‘well persuaded each Individual present would acquit himself as became the character of a loyal Briton’.

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