This collection of naval court martial transcripts and related documents from the time of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars contributes not only to our understanding of military jurisprudence in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries but also to our knowledge of Georgian and Regency criminal law in general. Each chapter presents transcripts relating to different groups of offences. Chapter one deals with procedural matters; Chapter Two covers trails arising from transgressions of the laws of Georgian and Regency society like drunkenness, theft, violence and homosexuality. Chapter Three is devoted to proceedings against types of naval offence, such a mutiny, insolence, desertion or loss of ship. Chapter Four treats of cases involving adjudications for multiple infractions. These transcripts are presented in their entirety and offer a unique window to the social conditions and behaviour aboard the King's ships at the time.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Glossary; Introduction; Procedure; Social crimes; Naval crimes; Multiple offences; Documents and sources; Index.
John Byrn works for a public library in South Florida. He holds a doctorate from Louisiana State University, and degrees from the University of Connecticut, Florida State University and a Stetson University.
'Naval Courts Martial offers an excellent introduction to the administration of justice in the Royal Navy during the period of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars... I hope that the volume encourages non-specialists to explore the fascinating legal history of the Royal Navy. In an era when practically everything is being converted into an on-line database of some sort, it is wonderfully refreshing to read a newly-bound volume of expertly edited primary documents.' Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord