Courts Martial of Mathews and Lestock

Bound volume of 7 pamphlets, 6 of which relate to the Courts Martial of Admirals Thomas Mathews and Richard Lestock; and one other.

London: Various publishers, 1739 - 1746.

Price: $2,500.00

About the item

Mostly first editions (unless otherwise noted below). 1 vols. 8vo. Courts Martial of Mathews and Lestock. Contemporary calf backed marbled boards. Binding worn, internally clean. Provenance: Philip.C. Duschnes; Paul Peralta-Ramos (with stamp).

Item #217802

A good, single collection relating to the trials of Admirals Mathews and Lestock which resulted from their engagement with the French and Spanish fleet near Toulon, in February, 1744. The battle, part of the War of the Austrian Succession, is said to have "marked the lowest pitch reached in discipline and fighting and efficiency by the fleet in the 18th century, and it had a very bad effect in confirming the pedantic system of tactics set up by the old Fighting Instructions ... " - Encyclopedia Britannica (11th ed). To the puzzlement of many contemporary observors, Rear-Admiral Richard Lestock, who was second in command and who kept his distance from the battle, was acquitted. In contrast Vice-Admiral Thomas Mathews, who engaged the enemy (however confusedly) was censured and was one of seven ship-captains to be discharged from the service.

A hand-written table of contents on the front free flyleaf gives a list of the contents, amended in pencil by a later hand.

1. [Corbett, Thomas]. An account of the expedition of the British fleet to Sicily, in the years 1718, 1719 and 1720. Under the command of Sir George Byng, Bart. ... Collected from the Admiral's manuscripts, and other original papers. With folding table. For J. and R. tonson, 1739. Third edition. Lacking final leaf (pp. 95-96). Sir George Byng, the naval hero, was the father of Admiral John Byng, who presided over the cout martial of Lestock, and was himself court-martialed and executed a few years later. ESTC T 142387.

2. [Mathews, Thomas]. Authentick letters from Admiral Mathews to the Sec--t----s of st--te, the L----ds of the Ad------ty, &c. Relating to his expedition to the Mediterranean, with their answers ... [2], 5-29, 29-30, 30-68 pp. Printed for W. Webb. Title leaf detached. ESTC T 22798.

3. [Mathews, Thomas]. Ad[mira]l M[athe]ws's conduct in the late engagement vindicated. Wherein the whole affair is compendiously stated. The several pieces published by Mr. L[estoc]k examined with candor. ... By a gentleman of the Royal Navy. For M. Cooper, 1745. Lacking half-title. ESTC T 115878

4. [Mathews, Thomas]. The Charge of Thomas Mathews, Esq; also the answer and defence of Admiral Mathews to the said charge, &c. For E. Cooper, n.d. [`746?]. ESTC T 182897.

5. [Lestock, Richard]. Vice-Adm--l L-st-k's Account of the Late Engagement near Toulon, between His Majesty's fleet and the fleets of France and Spain : as presented by him the 12th of March 1744-5 : also, letters to and from Adm---l L-st--k, relating thereto since his arrival in England, with notes. London: for M. Cooper, 1745. ESTCT4221.

6. [Lestock, Richard]. Vice-Admal Lestock's recapitulation, as spoke by him at the Bar of the Honble House of Commons, on Tuesday the 9th of April, 1745. Containing, his remarks on the evidence that have been examined, ... printed for John Millan, 1745. ESTC T 177090.

7. [Lestock, Richard]. The sentence pronounc'd by the Court-martial, sitting aboard His Majesty's Ship, the Prince of Orange, at Deptford, on Tuesday, the 3d of June, 1746, on Vice-Admiral Lestock. printed for M. Cooper, 1746. ESTC T 47456.