View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:52 pm



Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
 Pitcairn's Island and the Bounty 
Author Message
Volunteer

Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:41 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Post Pitcairn's Island and the Bounty
Having recently aquired a couple books of the Nordhoff and Hall Bounty trilogy I am fascinated by the history of the famous mutiny and what became of all the people involved. There is much information available on the web yet very little here at Sailing Navies. So in the interest of helping Sailing Navies become a first rate site dealing with the Age of Sail I thought I might start a thread concerning the well known historical events surrounding the Bounty.

Already being somewhat familiar with the basic story what I would like to do with this thread is have Sailing Navies members add any anecdotes, knowledge, etc. not often found in the general historical accounts concerning Pitcairn's Island and the Bounty. Perhaps someone else or myself could also start a new fiction thread concerning the books I mentioned. For any responses on this topic I would be very grateful.

Thanks, Jeff


Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:43 pm
Profile
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:32 pm
Posts: 2960
Location: Hawaii
Post 
Hi Jeff,

I moved your post into this section, since the mutiny on the Bounty is an event that a lot of people are interested in. We've mentioned aspects of it in other threads, but you're right...there was no dedicated thread...until now.

I'm a Bligh apologist for the most part. One of the things on my list to see on my first trip to the UK was his tomb in Lambeth. I think he was an interesting man, who has been unfairly maligned. He may not have been the most brilliant officer in terms of people skills, but he certainly wasn't the worst either. That title goes to Hugh Pigot, who paid the price for it.

Here's the link to the thread about Bligh.
There's also a Peter Heywood thread

_________________
I have the honour to be, &c.
susan


Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:15 pm
Profile YIM
Lieutenant
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 6:58 am
Posts: 143
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Post 
Rather interesting news from Pitcairn Island......the documentary should be good.

Cheers


Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:30 am
Profile
Volunteer

Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:41 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Post 
Thanks for the update LizMc...I have been casually following the story for several months now. Makes one wonder if that island is cursed or something. I am glad I don't have to decide what to do about such problems. It is a bad deal that the people on the island have to go through this crap. I encourage everyone to go the Pitcairn Islander's website... http://www.lareau.org/pitc.html


Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:53 am
Profile
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:32 pm
Posts: 2960
Location: Hawaii
Post 
Not sure if this link has been posted before: Pitcairn Islands Study Center

Today (28th) is the anniversary of the mutiny.

I like this image of the scale model of Bounty's launch. (The seagull and the man trying to hit it with the oar is a nice touch :) Food!). It still amazes me that they all managed to squeeze into the boat.

_________________
I have the honour to be, &c.
susan


Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:44 am
Profile YIM
Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:02 am
Posts: 2747
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Post 


From The Times, October 31 1792:

".... The sufferings of the unhappy mutineers of the Bounty were greater than it could be imagined human nature is capable of bearing. They have been upwards of nineteen months in irons, fastened to a bar, five months of which time both legs and hands were secured, when they were entirely without cloathing [sic], till the natives of a friendly island procured them such articles as they could part with, with some straw, which the prisoners made into hats, and other useful apparel.

Before the mutiny took place, from the extreme length of the voyage, forty men were put on the allowance of twelve, and even that scanty pittance consisted of food condemned, being unwholesome, and in a state of putrefaction, and which, according to the instructions of the navy, ought to have been thrown in the sea, if it could have been spared. In this manner they fared for sundry months. ....."



_________________
- Mil -
aka Mary ....


Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:08 am
Profile YIM
Lieutenant

Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:53 am
Posts: 176
Location: UK
Post 
The Times of 7 September 1790 carried Bligh's account of the Mutiny:

'Notwithstanding the roughness with which I was treated, the remembrance of past kindness produced some signs of remorse in Christian. When they were forcing me out of the ship, I asked him if this treatment was a proper return for the many instances he had received of my friendship. He appeared disturbed at my question, and answered, with much emotion, 'That - Captain Bligh - is the thing. I am in hell; I am in hell.'

It will naturally be asked, 'What could be the reason for such a revolt?' In answer to which I can only conjecture that the mutineers had assured themselves of a more happy life among the Otaheitans that they could possibly have in England; which joined to some female connections, have most probably been the principal cause of the whole transaction. The women of Otaheite are handsome, mild and cheerful in their manners and conversation, possessed of great sensibility and have sufficient delicacy to make themselves admired and beloved. The chiefs are so much attracted to our people that they rather encourage their staying among them than otherwise, and even made them promises of large possessions. Under these, and many other attendant circumstances equally desirable, it is now perhaps not so much to be wondered at, though scarcely possible to have foreseen, that a set of sailors, most of them void of connections, should be led away; especially when in addition to such powerful inducements, they imagined it in their power to fix themselves in the midst of plenty, in the finest island in the world, where they need not labour and where allurements of dissipation are beyond anything that can be conceived.......

But if it should be asserted that a commander is to guard against an act of mutiny or piracy in his own ship, more than by the common rules of service, it is as much to say that he must sleep locked up, and when awake, be girded with pistols....

The secrecy of the meeting [to plan the mutiny] is beyond all conception. Thirteen of the party who were with me had always lived forward among the people; yet neither they, nor the messmates of Christian, Stewart, Haywood or Young had ever observed any circumstances to give them suspicion of what was going on. With such close-planned acts of villainy and my mind free of suspicion, it is not wonderful I have been got the better of. Perhaps if I had had marines, a centinel [sic] at my cabin door might have prevented it; for I slept with my door always open that the officers of the watch might have access to me on all occasions. The possibility of such a conspiracy was ever farthest from my thought. Had the mutiny been occasioned by any grievance, real or imaginary, I must have discovered symptoms of their discontent which would have put me on my guard; but the case was far otherwise. Christian in particular I was in the most friendly terms with. That very day he was engaged to dine with me; and the preceding night he excused himself from supping with me on pretence of being unwell; for which I felt concerned, having no suspicions of his integrity and honour.'


Christian's account appeared in The Times of 13 September 1796:

'This extraordinary nautical character [Christian] has, at length, transmitted to England his account of the conduct of the mutiny on HMS Bounty.

We are told, by this enterprising mutineer, that the revolt he headed on board HMS Bounty was not ascribable to any dislike of their commander, Captain Bligh, but to the unconquerable passion which he and the major part of the ship’s crew entertained for the enjoyments which Otaheite [Tahiti] still held out to their voluptuous imaginations. ‘It is but justice, says he, ‘that I should acquit captain Bligh in the most unequivocal manner of having contributed in the smallest degree to the promotion of our conspiracy by any harsh or ungentleman-like conduct on his part. So far from it that few officers in the service, I am persuaded, can be found superior to him or produce stronger claims upon the gratitude and attachment of the men whom they are appointed to command. Our mutiny is to be wholly ascribed to the strong predilection we had contracted for living at Otaheite, where, exclusive of the happy disposition of the islanders, the mildness of the climate and the fertility of the soil, we had formed certain tender connections which banished the remembrance of old England entirely from our breasts.’ After describing the seizure and securing of Captain Bligh’s person in his cabin, Christian thus concludes his account of this brutal revolt. ‘During the whole of this transaction, Captain Bligh exerted himself in the utmost to reduce the people to a sense of their duty, by haranguing and expostulating with them, which caused me to assume a degree of ferocity quite repugnant to my feelings as I dreaded the effect his remonstrance might produce. Hence, I threatened him several times with instant death unless he desisted; but my menaces were all in vain. He continued to harangue me with so much manly eloquence that I was fain to call in the dram bottle to my aid, which I directed to be served round to my associates. This heartened and encouraged me. We went through the business, though on my part, I suffered more than words can express from the conflict of contending passions; but I had gone too far to recede; so putting the best face on the business, I ordered the boat to be cut adrift, wore ship and shaped our course back for Otaheite.’


Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:52 pm
Profile
Lieutenant
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:27 am
Posts: 108
Location: East of everywhere, Canada
Post 
Wondering what those with bigger reading lists than mine would recommend as the best factual account of the story?
Two that are available through the local library are Richard Hough's and Caroline Alexander's. The latter has some negative reviews which seem to agree that it's rather long & disjointed & wanders off on tangents, but the reviewers who really liked it really liked it. Not sure I want to read both right away & wondering which would be the best overall.
Or any other suggestions?

_________________
Alison

...life on land is DRY :(


Last edited by Alison on Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:44 am
Profile
Commander

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:27 am
Posts: 389
Location: Australia
Post 
The account from “The Times” of 1796 reproduced in Polly’s post of 25th August, 2008 is one of a series of letters which appeared in print in London in 1796 – allegedly written by Fletcher Christian from South America. They were (and are) generally described as “vulgar forgeries”.

As regards accounts of the mutiny, the most reasonable seem to me to be those contained in Mackaness’ “The Life of Vice-Admiral William Bligh” (various editions and publishers) and Gavin Kennedy’s “Bligh” (Duckworth, London, 1978).


Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:49 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 9 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.