Officers and soldiers could be tried only by courts-martial, the clergy (including numbers of persons in minor orders, who were practically laymen) only by ecclesiastical courts.
A violent quarrel exacerbated by political differences broke out among the British commands, which led to two courts-martial and to the resignation of Keppel, and did great injury to the discipline of the navy.
The life of Lord Gambier is to be read in Marshall's Royal Naval Biography, in Ralfe's Naval Biography, in Lord Dundonald's Autobiography of a Seaman, in the Minutes of the Courts-Martial and in the general history of the period.
Of special interest is the series of naval records, despatches to and from naval commanders, proceedings of courts-martial, and togs in the Record Office which have never been properly utilized.
The only executions were those of military ringleaders of mutinies or military spies, after due public trial and conviction by courts-martial; the total number of these executions was 63.