Bravebenbow Admiral John Benbow, biography, mutiny, script, screen play, art, documentary

March 16, 2010


Filed under: — W.A.Benbow @ 2:19 pm

Documentary: Biography of Admiral John Benbow

By William A. Benbow


US Copyright 1-524591891
Phone: 250 478-7217 (Canada)

The Concept:

The mystery of how Admiral John Benbow (1651 – 1702) reached legendary status as a British folk hero, despite the mutiny of his captains in his last battle.
Short Summary:
1. Benbow’ is born into an impoverished old English family that has lost its status due to support for the King in the English Civil Wars.
2. His mid-life is defined by his uphill battles to recapture the respect and recognition that his family once held: to be worthy and accepted in English high society despite the many enemies he makes along the way.
3. In the end he suffers the ignominy of the mutiny of his captains, the loss of his last battle, and mortal injury; but rises to the revered status of legend not in the upper class he sought, but in the songs and pubs of his fellow tars.


Part One: (One hour)

Benbow is a mystery: popular hero yet never a battle he won. Memorialized in songs and pubs.
Uncle Colonel John Benbow: martyred for fighting for the king. Coat of Arms as symbol of nobility.
Born in Shrewsbury, raised in London (father tower incident).
Privateer in West Indies till privateering banned.
Joined Navy 1678: Mediterranean: court martial.
Quits Navy 1681: private merchant captain: fights pirates.
Benbow rejoins the Navy in 1689 in response to Glorious Revolution of William III.
Rapid promotion, Master Attendant at Dockyards, Trinity House.
Master of the fleet at Beachy Head, 1690: French victory.
Master of the fleet Spring and Summer 1692: possibly at English victory –  Battle of Barfleur and La Hougue.
Channel War: 1693 – 1694

Part Two:(one hour)

Channel War:1695 – 1697:fall out with Berkeley; popular hero.
Rear Admiral of the Blue in 1696: blockading Dunkirk and chasing French privateers, protecting English and Dutch trade.
Peace of 1697: rents Sayes Court, Czar Peter fiasco,
West Indies Commander in Chief 1699: a somewhat unsavoury posting: ran afoul of Governor, pursues pirates including Kidd.
Requests Coat of Arms addition and recognition.
Accepted 2nd tour of duty to the West Indies in 1701 when no one else would take it.
Squadron decimated by storm: only 10 ships proceed: concern re small size of squadron vs. French numbers in Caribbean.
Sickness, contention and strife amongst Captains and men, courts martial to maintain discipline.
Falls out with local authorities over supplies and pressing men.
Seeks out Du Casse: battle and captains’ mutiny.
Courts martial, death.
Historical comments/analysis
Memorials: songs and pubs at first; then more official.


 Documentary Script First Draft Part One October, 2011;

Documentary Script First Draft Part Two October 2011 R1

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