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In the year 1787, Lieutenant William Bligh, a young British Naval Officer having most recently served as sailing master to Captain James Cook on his voyages to the South Pacific, was commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks and the British Admiralty, to undertake a voyage in a small ship, HMS Bounty. The goal of the voyage was to obtain a large number of breadfruit plantings to be taken to the Caribbean where they would be transplanted to provide food for the slaves in those colonies.
The voyage was difficult, and ill-feelings were rampant, although probably no more than on other long sea voyages of the period. After a long stay in Tahiti to enable the gathering and stowing of the breadfruit plantings on board the ship, the Bounty began its voyage to the Caribbean and then back to England. On the morning of April 28th, 1789, led by Masters Mate Fletcher Christian, twelve crewmembers staged the now famous mutiny, capturing the ship, and setting Lt. Bligh and his supporters adrift in the ship's launch.
Was Bligh an arrogant martinet? Was Christian a neurotic traitor? Were both men innocent victims of circumstance? John Hagan has compiled two interesting articles, one in defense of Bligh, the other in defense of Christian.
Some 2,000 articles and books, 5 major motion pictures, and numerous shorter documentary films have looked into virtually every aspect of this mutiny, undeniably one of the most famous sea stories of all time. There is much disagreement as to who was to blame for the incident, and the history remains, to this day, an interesting topic for maritime history and South Pacific buffs. If this site piques your interest, visit your local library and read more about William Bligh, Fletcher Christian, and the rest of the players in this drama.
For a brief article on the Bounty story in Spanish, read Historia de un motín by Prof. Emilio Garcia Gómez, Dept. of English and German, University of Valencia, Spain.
|A remnant of the HMAV Bounty, recovered from Bounty Bay off the coast of Pitcairn Island, where it was burned and sunk in 1789. The original copper sheath can be seen around it. This relic was given to Glynn Christian by Len and Thelma Brown on Pitcairn Island during his 1980 expedition researching his book, Fragile Paradise, the only biography of Fletcher Christian. The relic is currently on display at the State Library of New South Wales, in Australia. Glynn Christian (firstname.lastname@example.org), has republished his book in a new edition that contains new evidence and conclusions, as well as a photograph of Fletcher Christian's daughter. For more information on the relic or on the book, feel free to contact Glynn. (Picture contributed by Tony Carpenter)|
Loris De Gaspari, member of the Pitcairn Island Study Group (#1002). has created a Yahoo club dedicated to all persons with an interest in Pitcairn and the Mutiny on the Bounty. To visit, go to http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/pitcairnislands . Joining Yahoo clubs is free, and if you join, we will be able to exchange ideas, thoughts and messages about the island.
Even more recently, Barbara Kuchau has formed the Friends of Pitcairn eGroup where we can discuss Pitcairn and Bounty issues via email, or on line if that's what you prefer. To join (it's free also), all you need to do is go out to egroups at http://www.egroups.com/ and sign up. Once signed up for egroups, you can search for "Pitcairn", and join the Friends of Pitcairn.
|The Bibliography of HMS Bounty, William Bligh and Pitcairn Island||An outstanding bibliography compiled by H. L. Kerr in April 1989 (the 200th anniversary of the mutiny) and updated regularly. If you have references you'd like to add, please contact the author.|
|Pitcairn Island Home Page||Pitcairn was the refuge of Fletcher Christian, and 8 other Bounty mutineers. The population of the Island today consists of their descendants.|
Indexed by Interest
|OnLine Friends of the Bounty & Pitcairn:|
A listing of people who have expressed interest in the HMS Bounty, its crewmembers, and their descendants, especially the families living on Pitcairn Island today.
|The Bounty's Acting Crew||There have been 5 motion pictures and a musical play written about the Mutiny on the Bounty. Here is information about all the actors and actresses who have played roles in firm or stage versions of the saga.|
|Mutiny! A tribute to the David Essex musical|
|Events Matrixing: Restriction, Confusion & Neglect in the Bounty Mutiny||A fascinating academic thesis by Ian Campbell examining the causes, effects, and personalities of the Bounty Mutiny.|
|Endeavour Straits||A fictional, but historically realistic account of the sinking of the HMS Pandora, which went down while returning Bounty mutineers to England for trial. I do not know the author of this short work, and if anyone knows, please tell me, and I will attribute it.|
|Photos of Bounty III in Moorea from the 1984 Gibson/Hopkins Movie (from Curt Zaumeyer)||Picture #1 (220K - Original Slightly Damaged)|
Picture #2 (151K)
Picture #3 (68K)
Picture #4 (83K)
Picture #5 (111K)
Diagram of the original Bounty (52K)
|Mr. Bligh's Bad Health||Lieutenant (later Admiral) William Bligh has been one of the more controversial figures in British Naval History. This study by Ian Campbell investigates the state of Bligh's health and its possible affect on his behavior.|
|Poetry, Songs & Drama About the Bounty, Pitcairn, & Norfolk||We are beginning to collect songs, poems, and other cultural information about the HMS Bounty and its aftermath ... if you know of any, let us know.|
|Pitcairn Island Map||A map of modern day Pitcairn.|
|Norfolk Island Map||A map of modern day Norfolk, where many of Pitcairn descent live today.|
|Transcripts of Bounty Crew Information||Ross Archer, of Auckland, NZ, a Bounty descendant, has transcribed information from three different books about the Bounty crew.|
|The Captain from Nantucket and the Mutiny on the Bounty||Captain of the Topaz, Folger was the first to discover Pitcairn and its population of Bounty descendants. A fabulous limited edition book.|
|The Mutiny on the Bounty - A 1990's Scenario||How much does a book change if its characters change? What would the Bounty Saga have been like if the characters were 1990's urban Americans? Another way to view a 200-year-old historical event as fiction.|
|Historia de un motín
|A brief report of the Mutiny and its aftermath.|
|The Bounty Game||An online adventure game based on the famous mutiny. Win a free HMS Bounty painting.|
|The HMS Bounty||This site is brought to you by the Society for the Preservation of HMS Bounty, a non-profit group made up of former crew, family and friends of the HMS Bounty II Replica Ship. Our love for the ship is great, our numbers are growing and we hope to repatriate her to Nova Scotia, Canada, where her life began.|
|The Tall Ship Bounty Homepage||Information about the HMS Bounty II Replica Ship, currently sailing out of St. Petersburg, FL, and Fall River, MA, in the USA..|
|Pitcairn Island Study Center||The official web site for the PISC, a museum-research facility on the campus of Pacific Union College, Angwin (Napa Valley), CA. The PISC contains the largest North American collection of materials relating to the Mutiny on the Bounty, Captain William Bligh, H.M.S. Bounty, Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands.|
|The Bounty Chronicles||A very interesting series of essays on Bounty-related topics, all fully illustrated with 36 original oil paintings.|
|The HMS Bounty Site||Nathan, a Bounty descendant, put together a nice website project.|
|Flying Artefacts||This page describes the Maryport Maritime Museum's Flying Fish carving, and briefly summarizes the Bounty story.|
|Bounty Beyond the Voyage||Julie Pearson's book on the Bounty, produced for the bi-centenary of the mutiny (1989), is available from the author.|
|The Blaydes & Haworth Families and the Bounty||A short piece about the two families for whom the Bethia, later the Bounty, was originally built.|
|The Bounty, Blaydes House, and the University of Hull||This website has details of the plans to restore the house owned by the family that built the Bounty.|
|The Queensland Museum Explorer||The wreck of HMS Pandora (1791) is a major project undertaken by the Queensland Museum. HMS Pandora is best known as the frigate which the British Admiralty sent to the South Pacific to bring to justice the men who commandeered the Bounty. Having found a number of the mutineers, the ship was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef. Four of the prisoners and thirty-one of Pandora's crew died when their ship sank. See their "Dive the Pandora" pages.|
|The Papers of Sir Joseph Banks||This beautifully designed site by the State Library of New South Wales (Australia) contains fully indexed facsimile copies of important papers of Sir Joseph Banks, many relating to the Bounty and Pitcairn.|
|Norfolk Island - The Web Site||A joint project of !Impressions! Incorporated and the Norfolk Island Society of Pitcairn Descendants. In 1856, the Bounty descendants living on Pitcairn were forceably removed to Norfolk, another Pacific Island closer to other inhabited places and having a harbor. Some families soon returned to their homes on Pitcairn to form the basis for the families living there today. About half of Norfolk's population is of Pitcairnese descent.|
|HMS Bounty: A Descendants Page||George Snell would very much like to make contact with other descendants with an interest of researching our ancestors. He has a large Descendants database file and would share this file with those interested in swapping information.|
|The Great Revolution in Pitcairn||This fable by Mark Twain was drawn from actual history, and can be taken as a practical lesson in the dangers of democracy and the politics of reform.|
|Bounty Club Deutschland e.V.
|A group recently formed to bring information about the Bounty and Pitcairn to the German-speaking world.|
|Toute Synthese Coute; Essai de Kérygmatique (in French)||It is the peculiar view of a seafarer on the actual world in its dynamic perspective, raising questions on the purpose of its challenges, and attempting to answer them. By wandering far away from the new age, hedonist trend of our times, it is intended to provide stronger clues our future, based, not only on the practical observation of our world, but also on history, on religious and cultural values. The well known story of 'Bounty mutiny', together with some references to maritime history and to the modern merchant marine are used as examples.|
This The History Ring site is owned by |
Paul J. Lareau.
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Any persons with an interest in the HMS Bounty, its crewmembers on that ill-fated 1787
voyage, and their families and descendants in the South Pacific, England, and elsewhere
are asked to contact me.
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