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This article argues that the failed campaign of one former clerk against corruption in the Royal Navy's sick and wounded service during the Nine Years War sheds light on some roots of modern whistle blowing. During the 1690s, England's parliament took important steps towards becoming an organ of inquiry into the workings of all government departments. Parliament's desire for information that could assist it to check Leviathan's actions, coupled with the end of pre-publication censorship in 1695, encouraged the advent of pamphleteering aimed at showing how to improve or correct abuses within the administrative structure and practices of the expanding fiscal-military state. It was from this stream of informative petitioning directed at the Commons and the Lords that informants such as Samuel Baston, as well as George Everett, William Hodges, and Robert Crosfeild, tried to call time on either systematic injustices or particular irregularities within the naval service for what they claimed was the public interest. What they and others called ‘discovering’ governmental malfeasance should be seen as early examples of blowing the whistle on wrongdoing.

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Department of History, Arts Building, University of Saskatchewan, 9 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7K
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For their helpful comments and criticisms on drafts of this article, I thank Christopher Baxfield, Richard Kleer, Joe Ponic, the members of the University of Saskatchewan Department of History research seminar – especially Lisa Smith and Chris Kent, the anonymous referees of this Journal, and Phil Withington. Financial support was provided by the SSHRC of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan's Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity. I also thank Madeleine Peckham, Blaine Wickham, and Phil Baker for their assistance.

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1 A ‘Modern courtier’ in Samuel Baston, A dialogue between a modern courtier and an honest English gentleman (1697), Wing B1056, p. 3. All pre-1800 works published in London unless otherwise stated.

2 Luttrell, Narcissus, A brief historic relation of state affairs (6 vols., Oxford, 1857), ii, p. 130; Calendar of state papers, domestic series, of the reigns of William and Mary (CSPD William) (11 vols., Nendeln, 1969), vii, p. 425; The National Archives, Kew (TNA), SP 32/13, Robert Crosfeild, ‘The case of Robert Crosfeild’, Nov. 1696; Knights, Mark, ‘Parliament, print and corruption in later Stuart Britain’, Parliamentary History, 26 (2007), pp. 4961.

3 Baston, Dialogue, sig. A3v.

4 Robert Crosfeild, The government unhing'd: or an account of many great encroachments made upon the liberties and propertie of the people of England (1703), p. 5.

5 For treatments of Baston's complaints about the sick and hurt service that do not consider his printed output, see Ehrman, John, The navy in the war of William III (Cambridge, 1953), p. 445; Keevil, J. J., Medicine and the navy, 1200–1900 (3 vols., London, 1958), ii, pp. 196–8. Kathleen Harland's ‘The establishment and administration of the first hospitals in the Royal Navy’ (Ph.D. thesis, Exeter, 2003) uses the pamphlets for a discussion of the quality of care at Plymouth naval hospital, pp. 105–7, 114–20.

6 Horwitz, Henry, Parliament, policy and politics in the reign of William III (Manchester, 1977); Hoppit, Julian, A land of liberty? England, 1689–1727 (Oxford, 2000), pp. 26–7.

7 Downie, J. A., ‘The commission of public accounts and formation of the country party’, English Historical Review, 91 (1976), pp. 3351; Brooks, Colin, ‘The country persuasion and political responsibility in England in the 1690s’, Parliamentary Estates and Representation, 4 (1984), pp. 135–47; Hayton, David, ‘Moral reform and country politics in the late seventeenth-century House of Commons’, Past and Present, 128 (1990), pp. 4889; idem, The history of parliament: the House of Commons, 1690–1715 (5 vols., Cambridge, 2002), i, pp. 374–7, 548–9.

8 Brewer, John, The sinews of power: war, money and the English state, 1688–1783 (London, 1989); see also Storrs, Christopher, ‘Introduction: the fiscal-military state in the “long” eighteenth century’, in Storrs, C., ed., The fiscal-military state in eighteenth-century Europe: essays in honour of P. G. M. Dickson (Aldershot, 2009), pp. 320. On the relationship between print, parliamentary politics, and public opinion see Downie, J. Alan, ‘Gulliver's Travels, the contemporary debate on the financial revolution, and the bourgeois public sphere’, in McGrath, Charles Ivar and Fauske, Chris, eds., Money, power and print: interdisciplinary studies on the financial revolution in the British Isles (Newark, NJ, 2008), pp. 115–35; Knights, Mark, Representation and misrepresentation in later Stuart Britain: partisanship and political culture (Oxford, 2005), pp. 109–14, 126–7.

9 Ehrman, Navy in the war of William III, pp. 539, 595–6; J. A. Johnston, ‘Parliament and the navy, 1688–1714’ (Ph.D. thesis, Sheffield, 1968), pp. 59–63; Davies, G., ‘The seamy side of Marlborough's war’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 15 (1951), pp. 2144; Hurstfield, Joel, Freedom, corruption and government in Elizabethan England (Cambridge, MA, 1973), pp. 137–62 and 183–96; Pocock, J. G. A., The Machiavellian moment: Florentine political thought and the Atlantic republican tradition (Princeton, NJ, 2003), pp. 407–37; Prest, Wilfred, ‘Judicial corruption in early modern England’, Past and Present, 133 (1991), pp. 6795; Hoppit, Julian, ‘Checking the Leviathan, 1688–1832’, in Winch, Donald and O'Brien, Patrick K., eds., The political economy of British Historical experience, 1688–1832 (New York, NY, 2002), pp. 267–94.

10 Miceli, Marcia P., Near, Janet P., and Dworkin, Terry Morehead, Whistle-blowing in organizations (New York, NY, 2008), p. 6.

11 ‘whistle, n.’, OED Online (Mar. 2013), (accessed 29 Jan. 2013).

12 In German news media, the English word is used in conjunction with der Hinweisgeber or else Informant der Öffentlichkeit. The equivalent French noun is le lanceur d'alerte.

13 Nader, Ralph, Unsafe at any speed: the designed-in dangers of the American automobile (New York, NY, 1965); publisher's preface, in Nader, Ralph, Petkas, Peter J., and Blackwell, Kate, eds., Whistle blowing: the report of the Conference on Professional Responsibility (New York, NY, 1972), p. vii.

14 Nader, Ralph, ‘An anatomy of whistle blowing’, in Nader, Ralph, Petkas, Peter J. and Blackwell, Kate, eds., Whistle blowing; the report of the conference on professional responsibility (New York, NY, 1972), p. 3.

15 Miethe, Terance D., Whistleblowing at work: tough choices in exposing fraud, waste and abuse on the job (Boulder, CO, 1999); Lewis, David B., ed., Whistleblowing at work (London, 2001); Berlatsky, Noah, ed., Whistleblowers (Detroit, MI, 2012); Watson, Peter, Sotheby's: the inside story (London, 1998); van Buitenen, Paul, Blowing the whistle (London, 2000); Ellsberg, Daniel, Secrets: a memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon papers (New York, NY, 2002); Medoff, Rafael, Blowing the whistle on genocide: Josiah E. Dubois Jr. and the struggle for a U. S. response to the Holocaust (Bloomington, IN, 2009).

16 Cripps, Yvonne M., The legal implications of disclosure in the public interest: an analysis of prohibitions and protections with particular reference to employers and employees (Oxford, 1986); Vinten, Gerald, Whistleblowing: subversion or corporate citizenship? (New York, NY, 1994); Elliston, Frederick, Whistleblowing: managing dissent in the workplace (New York, NY, 1984); Kohn, Stephen M., Whistleblower law: a guide to legal protections for corporate employees (Westport, CT, 2004); Public Service Integrity Office, A comparative international analysis of regimes for the disclosure of wrongdoing (‘whistleblowing’) (Ottawa, 2004).

17 Carr, William, Carr's case being a brief relation of the cause and sufferings of Mr William Carr humbly tendred to the consideration of the honble House of Commons … (Amsterdam, 1670), Wing C632.

18 William Carr, To the right honourable the Commons of England … the humble petition of William Carr gent. (1667: the ESTC incorrectly guesses 1695), Wing C636A.

19 Carr, Carr's case, pp. 10–11; Journal of the House of Lords (LJ), xii, pp. 171–6, 16 and 18 Dec. 1667.

20 O'Brien, Patrick K., ‘The nature and historical evolution of an exceptional fiscal state and its possible significance for the precocious commercialization and industrialization of the British economy from Cromwell to Nelson’, Economic History Review, 64 (2011), pp. 408–46; Rodger, N. A. M., ‘From the “military revolution” to the “fiscal-naval state”’, Journal for Maritime Research, 13 (2011), pp. 119–28; Held, David, ‘The development of the modern state’, in Hall, Stuart, Held, David, Hubert, Don and Thompson, Kenneth, eds., Modernity: an introduction to modern societies (Oxford, 1995), pp. 5689.

21 Sir Edward Coke, ‘De Libellis famosis’, Quinta pars relationum (1624), STC 5508, mis-paginated as pp. 125–22 (sigs. Z1r–Z2r); State law; or the doctrine of libels discussed and examined (1729), pp. 13–16, at p. 14; Thomas, Donald, A long time burning: the history of literary censorship in England (London, 1969), pp. 50–1.

22 Bellany, Alastair James, The politics of court scandal in early modern England: news, culture and the Overbury affair, 1603–1660 (Cambridge, 2002).

23 The Kings cabinet opened: or, certain packets of secret letter and papers … wherein many mysteries of state … are clearly laid open (1645), Wing C2358; Richard Cust, Charles I: a political life (Harrow, 2005), p. 405.

24 Marvell, Andrew, An account of the growth of popery and arbitrary government in England (Amsterdam, 1677); Patterson, Annabel, Early modern liberalism (Cambridge, 1997), pp. 183231; Bannet, Eva Tavor, ‘“Secret History”: or, talebearing inside and outside the secretorie’, Huntington Library Quarterly, 68 (2005), pp. 375–96.

25 Johnston, ‘Parliament and the navy’, p. 113; anon., Some remarks on the bill for taking, examining and stating the publick accounts of the kingdom (1702), pp. 5–9; The appointments of Edward Russell, esq; now earl of Orford, when he was admiral of the blue, and admiral of the fleet (1705).

26 Journal of the House of Commons, xii, pp. 558–61, 10 Mar. 1699; Johnston, ‘Parliament and the navy’, pp. 91–6; Hayton, D. W., ‘Hon. Edward Russell (1652–1727)’, in Cruickshanks, Eveline, Handley, Stuart and Hayton, D. W., eds., The history of parliament: the House of Commons, 1690–1715 (5 vols., Cambridge, 2002), v, pp. 322–32; Aldridge, David D., ‘Admiral Edward Russell: pre- and post-Barfleur’, Guerres maritimes, 1688–1713: Ives journées franco-britanniques d'histoire de la marine, Portsmouth, 1er–4 avril 1992 (Portsmouth, 1992), pp. 155–72.

27 Graham, Aaron, ‘Auditing Leviathan: corruption and state formation in early eighteenth-century Britain’, English Historical Review, 128 (2013), pp. 806–38.

28 For a long time, the navy had been a particular concern of ‘reformers’; Aylmer, G. E., ‘Buckingham as an administrative reformer?’, English Historical Review, 105 (1990), pp. 355–63; Peck, Linda Levy, Court patronage and corruption in early Stuart England (Boston, MA, 1990), pp. 107–31.

29 Similar efforts during the 1640s were hampered by the reality that parliament was to a large extent also the government; Pennington, D. H., ‘The accounts of the kingdom, 1642–1649’, in Fisher, F. J., ed., Essays in the economic and social history of Tudor and Stuart England: in honour of R. H. Tawney (Cambridge, 1961), pp. 182203; Peacey, Jason, ‘Politics, accounts and propaganda in the Long Parliament, 1641–1647’, in Kyle, Chris R. and Peacey, Jason, eds., Parliament at work: parliamentary committees, political power and public access in early modern England (Woodbridge, 2002), pp. 5978.

30 Miethe, Whistleblowing at work, pp. 14–15.

32 Aylmer, Gerald, The state's servants: the civil service of the English republic, 1649–1660 (London, 1973), pp. 140, 156–62; Paul Seaward, ‘The Cavalier Parliament, the 1667 accounts commission and the idea of accountability’, in Kyle and Peacey, eds., Parliament at work, pp. 149–68.

33 Habermas, Jürgen, The structural transformation of the public sphere: an inquiry into a category of bourgeois society, trans. Burger, Thomas and Luh, Frederick (London, 1989), pp. 27–8; Knights, Mark, ‘How rational was the later Stuart public sphere?’, in Lake, Peter and Pincus, Steven, eds., The politics of the public sphere in early modern England (Manchester, 2007), pp. 253–63.

34 Hainsworth, D. R., The correspondence of Sir John Lowther of Whitehaven, 1693–1698: a provincial community in wartime (Records of Social and Economic History new series, 7, London, 1983), p. 433 n. 5; p. 671; Addison was also a client of Sir Joseph Williamson; CSPD William, viii, pp. 276, 329.

35 The total cost of the sick and hurt service during the Second Dutch war came to £18,000. During the Nine Years War, by contrast, the commission for sick and wounded spent over £260,000; British Library (BL), Additional Manuscripts (Add. MSS) 30999, fo. 1, ‘Account of war-time expenses according to the Commissioners for Accounts’, Nov. 1669; The manuscripts of the House of Lords, new series (HOL, ns) (10 vols., London, 1965), v, pp. 372–3.

36 TNA, ADM 3/3/204, June 1690, ADM 3/5/11, Nov. 1690, SP 32/3/112, fo. 49, 25 Nov. 1690, PC 2/74/74, Dec. 1690, ADM 3/8, 24 May 1693; HOL, ns, i, p. 172, 25 June 1693; TNA, ADM 2/173/309, Nov. 1693; Calendar of Treasury Papers … preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office (CTP) (6 vols., Burlington, VT, 2008), ii, p. 55, 8 June 1697.

37 TNA, ADM 3/3/6, Jan. 1690. Less than a year later, William III ordered a review of the commission's work on account of more complaints coming from the ports; TNA, PC 2/74/74, Dec. 1690.

38 Merriman, R. D., Queen Anne's navy: documents concerning the administration of the navy of Queen Anne, 1702–1714 (London, 1961), p. 218; Cook, Harold J., ‘Practical medicine and the British armed forces after the “Glorious Revolution”’, Medical History, 34 (1990), pp. 126, at p. 6; Harland, ‘First hospitals in the Royal Navy’, pp. 172–5. This judgement is recapitulated in Rodger, N. A. M., The command of the ocean: a naval history of Britain, 1649–1815 (London, 2004), p. 196.

39 TNA, ADM 3/6/376, 4 Feb. 1692.

40 Spencer Research Library, Lawrence, KS (SRL), MS 129/1, ‘Mr Dickinson's paper’, 30 Mar. 1692.

41 TNA, ADM 3/6/376, Feb. 1692, ADM 3/6/430, 3/6/441, 3/6/472, Mar. 1692.

42 TNA, T38/615, ‘An account of Mr Povey's payments to the commission for sick and wounded and their servants, 1689–1699’; BL, Add. MSS 42140, fos. 1r–1v, ‘Physicians, chyrurgeons, agents and others’ [of the commissioners for sick and wounded], 1 Jan. 1692/3. Baston's annual salary was £40.

43 BL, Add. MSS 11602, fo. 1; Richard Gibson, Publick service in, or relating to the Royal Navy … (1700?).

44 Samuel Baston, Baston's case vindicated: or a brief account of some evil practices of the present commissioners for sick and wounded … (1695), Wing B1055A, p. 1; CTP, ii, pp. 553–4, Jan. 1702. This Thomas Baston was probably the same man who appeared as a witness with Samuel Baston before the Lords in early 1695; LJ, xv, p. 517, 12 Mar. 1695.

45 Baston, Case, p. 6; 'City of Westminster, St Paul's Covent Garden, East Division, Curl Court', in Derek Keene, Peter Earle, Craig Spence, and Janet Barnes, eds., Four shillings in the pound aid 1693/4: the city of London, the city of Westminster, and metropolitan Middlesex (London, 1992).

46 Baston, Case, pp. 1–5.

47 Although Baston does not use the man's first name, he was almost certainly referring to Major William Churchill; BL, Add. MSS 42140, fo. 1v; TNA, SP 32/5/106, 6 Apr. 1694.

48 Baston, Case, p. 7. The record compiled for the commission for public accounts in the autumn of 1703 suggests that Baston was not paid after Dec. 1693; TNA, T38/615, ‘Mr Povey's payments’.

49 SRL, MS 129/2, ‘The representation of John Leakie and Sam[ue]l Baston of ye illegal and clandestine management of the present commission[ers] for sick and wounded seamen’; TNA, ADM 1/4080/1127, Shrewsbury to Admiralty; ADM 3/9, 8 Mar. 1694.

50 BL, Harleian Manuscripts 1492, fos. 36r–v, 38, 7 and 19 Mar. 1694. Baston might have also informed the navy board, since by late March 1694 it apparently suspected sick and wounded agents were falsifying forms and forcing seamen to bribe them prior to issuing discharge papers; Merriman, R. D., ed., The Sergison papers (Navy Records Society, vol. 89, London, 1950), pp. 213–14.

51 SRL, MS 129/2, fo. 2r. Since the Second Dutch war, tallies were issued as numbered paper standing orders which were linked to specific future revenues; they were supposed to be paid out ‘in course’; Dickson, P. G. M., The financial revolution in England: a study in the development of public credit, 1688–1756 (New York, NY, 1967), pp. 76, 350.

52 I thank Richard Kleer for clarifying this point. Quarterers were allowed 1s per day for lodging a sailor, and 6s 8d for cure; Royal Navy Museum, Portsmouth (RNM), Corbett papers, MSS 121/13, p. 9.

53 Baston, Case, p. 53.

54 Lucy Vickers, ‘Whistleblowing in the health service’, in Lewis, ed., Whistleblowing at work, pp. 70–83, at p. 74; Ellsberg, Secrets, pp. 326–8, 365–6; Gold, Gerald, Siegal, Allan M., and Abt, Samuel, eds., The Pentagon papers as published by the New York Times (Toronto, 1971); Rudenstine, David, The day the presses stopped: a history of the Pentagon papers case (Berkeley, CA, 1996), pp. 42–7.

55 TNA, SP 42/2/105, 24 Sept. 1693.

56 TNA, ADM 3/9, 14 Mar., 20 Mar., 9 Apr. 1694.

57 SRL, MS 129/3, ‘Report of the commission of the Admiralty on the complaint against the commissioners of the sick and wounded’, 14 Apr. 1694; Baston, Case, pp. 8–18.

58 TNA, PC 2/75/397, 18 Apr. 1694.

59 TNA, PC 2/75/424, 31 May 1694; Luttrell, Brief relation, iii, pp. 307–8, 8 and 10 May 1694, p. 322, 2 June 1694.

60 TNA, PC 2/75/424.

61 The tallies carried interest as high as 8 per cent, which was 2 per cent above the legal maximum for private loans; Richard Kleer, ‘“Fictitious cash”: English public finance and paper money, 1689–1697’, in McGrath and Fauske, eds., Money, power and print, pp. 70–103, at p. 74.

62 SRL, MS 129/4, ‘Proposals of John Leakie, surgeon, to Sir Robert Rich’, member of the Admiralty commission, 4 May 1694; Cumbria Record Office, Kendal, Admiralty papers of Sir John Lowther, DLONS L/13/7/2/44, pp. 26–37, 15 May 1694; Baston, Case, p. 23.

63 TNA, ADM 99/5, 5 Feb. 1705.

64 Baston, Case, pp. 22–38; BL Harl. MSS 1492, fos. 36r–v, 38v; BL Harl. MSS 1493, fos. 47r, 54r–55v, 61v–63v.

65 BL, Harl. 1493, fos. 54r, 55v; Baston, Case, pp. 24–36.

66 BL, Harl. 1493, fos. 61v–62r.

67 Baston, Case, pp. 25–9, 32–4, 35–6.

68 BL, Harl. 1493, fos. 61v–62r.

69 BL, Harl. 1493, fos. 77, 78v.

70 Robert Crosfeild, England's glory reviv'd demonstrated in several propositions (1693), Wing C7243, pp. 6–11, 13–17; Knights, ‘Parliament, print and corruption’, pp. 53–8.

71 Robert Crosfeild, Great Britain's tears humbly offered to the consideration of the Lords and Commons (1695), Wing C7244, pp. 9–13.

72 Baston, Case, p. 4.

73 Robert Crosfeild, Justice perverted, and innocence loyalty oppressed (1695), Wing C7245, p. 26; LJ, xv, 9 Mar. 1695, pp. 515–16; HOL, ns, i, p. 526.

74 LJ, xv, pp. 532; HOL, ns, i, pp. 527–8.

75 Baston, Case, pp. 45–52; BL Harl. MSS 1492, Jan. to Apr. 1695, contain no mention of Crosfeild or Baston.

76 Baston, Case, pp. 50, 53.

77 Ibid., sigs. A2r–v, pp. 8–18.

78 Raymond, Joad, Pamphlets and pamphleteering in early modern Britain (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 301–10.

79 Zaret, David, ‘Petitions and the “invention” of public opinion in the English Revolution’, American Journal of Sociology, 101 (1996), pp. 1497–555; Braddick, Michael, God's fury, England's fire: a new history of the English Civil Wars (New York, NY, 2008), pp. 128–30, 152–3; Hirst, Derek, ‘Making contact: petitions and the English Republic’, Journal of British Studies, 45 (2006), pp. 2650.

80 13 Car. II. ch. 5, ‘An act for preventing tumults and disorders in petitioning the king or parliament’, Statutes of the realm (11 vols., London, 1819), v, p. 308; Knights, Mark, ‘Petitioning and political theorists: John Locke, Algernon Sidney and London's “monster” petition of 1680’, Past and Present, 138 (1993), pp. 94111; idem, Politics and opinion in crisis, 1678–1681 (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 239, 258–65, 300; Harris, Tim, Restoration: Charles II and his kingdoms, 1660–1685 (New York, NY, 2005), pp. 184–5; Knights, Representation and misrepresentation, pp. 109–14, 123.

81 Knights, Representation and misrepresentation, p. 124; William Hodges, To the two most honourable Houses … an humble representation of the sad and distressed case of many thousands of their most gratious Majesties loyal seamen (1693), Wing H3642; George St Loo, England's safety, or a bridle to the French king: proposing a sure method for encouraging navigation and raising qualified seamen (1693), Wing S342, pp. 35–8; George Everett, The pathway to peace and profit (1694), Wing E3548A; William Hodges, An humble representation of the seamen's misery (1694), Wing H2331; John Perry, A regulation for seamen (1695), Wing P1649; William Hodges, Great Britain's groans: or, an account of the oppression, ruin, and destruction of the loyal seamen of England (1695), Wing H2327.

82 Robert Crosfeild, An account of Robert Crosfeild's proceedings in the House of Lords (1696), Wing C7240; LJ, xv, p. 654, 29 Jan. 1696; p. 678, 22 Feb. 1696, p. 688, 29 Feb. 1696; CSPD William, viii, p. 140, 12 Apr. 1696.

83 TNA, SP 32/13, Nov. 1696, Crosfeild, ‘Case of Robert Crosfeild’, p. 2.

84 Raymond, Pamphlets, pp. 213, 218–19.

85 Discourse betweene a resolved, and a doubtfull Englishman (1642), Wing D1572; Roger L'Estrange, Citt and Bumpkin in a dialogue over a pot of ale, concerning matters of religion and government (1681), Wing L1220; Withington, Phil, ‘‘“For this is true or els I do ly”: Thomas Smith, William Bullein, and mid-Tudor dialogue’, in Pincombe, Mike and Shrank, Cathy, eds., The Oxford handbook of Tudor literature, 1485–1603 (Oxford, 2009), pp. 455–71, at p. 458.

86 Freist, Dagmar, Governed by opinion: politics, religion and the dynamics of communication in Stuart London, 1637–1645 (Cambridge, 1997), pp. 248, 252; Harris, Restoration, pp. 218–19.

87 Baston, Dialogue, pp. 7, 9, 10–11, 13, 12; TNA, ADM 2/171 fos. 200–2, Mar. 1691; Admiralty Commission, Rules and directions appointed to be observed, in order to the returning to their Majesties service, such men as shall be put on shore, sick or hurt (1691), Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, BrSides By6 1691; RNM, Corbett papers, MSS 121/13, p. 7; Ehrman, Navy in the war of William III, pp. 128–33.

88 Baston, Dialogue, p. 12; a very unsubtle reference to the court's homiletical self-presentation, analysed in Claydon, Anthony, William III and the godly reformation (Cambridge, 1996).

89 [Charles Lawton], An honest commoners speech (1694), Wing H2580, p. 6; Goldie, Mark and Jackson, Clare, ‘Williamite tyranny and the whig Jacobites’, in Mijers, Esther and Onnekink, David, eds., Redefining William III: the impact of the king-stadholder in international context (Burlington, VT, 2007), pp. 177200.

90 Baston, Dialogue, pp. 26–8.

91 Ibid., p. 16.

92 TNA, SP 32/13/219–220, Nov. 1696, Crosfeild, ‘Case of Robert Crosfeild’, p. 2.

93 Crosfeild, Government unhing'd, pp. 4–5; Baston, Dialogue, sig. A3v.

94 Jones, D. W., War and economy in the age of William III and Marlborough (New York, NY, 1988), pp. 21–2.

95 CTP, i, p. 522, 24 June 1696, i, p. 550, 27 Oct. 1696.

96 Coxe, William, ed., The private and original correspondence of Charles Talbot, duke of Shrewsbury (London, 1821), pp. 411, 414–15; Horwitz, Parliament, pp. 184–7; Aldridge, ‘Russell’, p. 161; Hayton, ‘Russell’, pp. 330–1; Hopkins, Paul Anthony, ‘Sham plots and real plots in the 1690s’, in Cruickshanks, Eveline, eds., Ideology and conspiracy: aspects of Jacobitism 1689–1759 (Edinburgh, 1982), pp. 89110, at p. 98.

97 Baston, Dialogue, sigs. A3v, B1r; cf. John Lilburne, The oppressed mans importunate and mournfull cryes to be brought to the barre of justice (1648), Wing L2148.

98 Baston, Dialogue, ‘Epistle dedicatory’, sig. B1r.

99 Ibid., sig. A4v.

100 Ibid., sig. B1r.

101 St Loo, England's safety, pp. 35–8.

102 Crosfeild, England's glory, pp. 6–9, 11, 13–15; cf. Lincoln, Andrew, ‘The culture of war and civil society in the reigns of William III and Anne’, Eighteenth Century Studies, 44 (2011), pp. 455–74, at p. 457.

103 Everett, Pathway to peace, pp. 5–6, 11, 13–14, 17–18; Robert Ledgingham, The humble recital of Robert Ledgingham … (1698), BL 816m793, is a petition to instal pumps on ships.

104 Crosfeild, Justice perverted, p. 16.

105 Hodges, To the two most honourable Houses, pp. 1–2; idem, Seamen's misery, pp. 5–8; idem, Ruin to ruin after misery to misery (1699), Wing H2332, pp. 16–17.

106 Crosfield, Justice perverted, pp. 16–17; Baston, Dialogue, p. 12; William Eccles, Reasons for the taking off the Q---s and R---s (1700?), Wing E131; John Dennis, The seamens case with respect to their service in the navy (1698–9), Wing D1043; idem, Some reasons … to hear the petitioner John Dennis, when the report of the Q's and R's is read (1699), Wing D1044; The case of divers seamen … and the wives of seamen … together with several widows and others their friends … (1700), BL, 816m791; The humble case of the sailors … some further reasons … offered by the sailors … for taking off the Q's and R's (1700), Wing S4507B.

107 Crosfeild, Justice perverted, pp. 5–8, at p. 8.

108 George Everett, A word in season … Being a prospect of publick grievances, with some particulars relating to the imbezling of prizes and prize goods (1699), Wing E3549.

109 Hugh Speke, Some considerations … concerning the Lords of the Admiralty and the commissioners of the navy (1698?), Wing S4914B.

110 Crosfeild, Justice perverted, p. 11.

111 George Everett, Loyalty and fidelity rejected and oppressed (1699), Wing E3547, p. 16. Earlier in the same work, Everett stated that the Admiralty had encouraged another employee to take ‘his discoveries’ to the navy board, p. 11.

112 Hodges, Ruin to ruin, p. 28. For a similar suggestion see Crosfeild, Justice perverted, p. 21.

113 Hodges, Ruin to ruin, pp. 18–19, 25; idem, Humble representation, pp. 1, 9.

114 Baston, Dialogue, sig. A4v.

115 Everett, Loyalty, p. 13.

116 Crosfeild, Government unhing'd, p. 4.

117 Edward Chamberlayne, Angliae notitia, or, the present state of England (1700), Wing C1836, pp. 548–50.

118 Johnston, ‘Parliament and the navy’, p. 98.

119 Hodges, Ruin to ruin, p. 25.

120 Crosfeild, Government unhing'd, p. 5.

121 P. K. Watson, ‘The commission for victualing the navy, the commission for sick and wounded seamen and prisoners of war, and the commission for transport, 1702–1714’ (Ph.D. thesis, London, 1965), pp. 190–3.

122 Baston, Case, p. 7; for the commissioners' claim to have managed their financial affairs in a ‘husbandly manner’, see TNA, T1/72, fos. 123–6, Jan. 1701.

123 TNA, T38/615, ‘Monies charge on the late commission for sick and wounded seamen and its servants by the hon. commission of accounts compared with the office charge’, Oct. 1703.

124 HOL, ns, v, pp. 368–9, 372–3, Jan. 1704. Indeed, the report claimed that £124,416 of the total £260,000 the sick and wounded received from the navy's treasurer went to salaries and ‘travel costs’.

125 Ehrman, Navy in the war of William III, p. 596.

126 Johnston, ‘Parliament and the navy’, p. 113.

127 Merriman, R. D., ‘Gilbert Wardlaw's allegations’, Mariner's Mirror, 38 (1952), pp. 106–31; Johnston, ‘Parliament and the navy’, pp. 91–6; Brooks, ‘Country persuasion’, pp. 140–4; Aldridge, ‘Russell’, p. 163; The chief heads of the articles of impeachment against the earl of Orford (1701), Cambridge University Library, Broadsides.B.70.41.

* For their helpful comments and criticisms on drafts of this article, I thank Christopher Baxfield, Richard Kleer, Joe Ponic, the members of the University of Saskatchewan Department of History research seminar – especially Lisa Smith and Chris Kent, the anonymous referees of this Journal, and Phil Withington. Financial support was provided by the SSHRC of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan's Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity. I also thank Madeleine Peckham, Blaine Wickham, and Phil Baker for their assistance.

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The Historical Journal
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