Account of the Bounty by Lieut. Bligh

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Bounty Arm 'd Vessel:

I introduce here among my general memorandums, as it in some degree relates to the New Colony & Public Service.

Cape of Good Hope Decr.. 20th..1789 Sir      Having been so unfortunate as to lose His Maj. arm'd Vessel Bounty; I have transmitted to you an account of the failure of the voyage I had the Honor to be entrusted with & also a description list of the Pirates. I passed through Endeavor Streights in the Latitude of 10:30. So. between the Prince of Wales's Islands about which are a number of dangerous shoals: I saw but a few Islands to the No.ward of me & I have reason to think that a tolerable fair passage may be found through to the Wt.ward about the Latitude of 10°:00's. I was to have explored this streight, which I should have done from the side of New Guinea. Coupang in Timor lies 12 miles to the NE of the SW part of the Island in Latitude 10°:12's. Longitude by my account 125°:45′E but by the Dutch 121°:5′Et. It is a safe & convenient Road & affords good water which can be conveniently got; other Supplies are doubtful, but what Cattle they can spare are tolerably good: It is a pleasant Village situated on the sides of a fine River; the Resident with four other people in the Civil department & about 30 Soldiers are the whole of the Europeans. The No.side of the Island is the most elligible way for a Ship to come from the Et.ward, One Ship Trades here view facsimile

for the Dutch Et. India Company & are not allow'd to lie in the road before the 10th of March; In April the Et.erly Monsoon is set in & continues until the middle of October or beginning of November, the wind is however a little variable until December when the Wt. Monsoon is steady with Rains as the Et. Monsoon is in May with fine weather: The Island Pamow gives good anchoring places in the Wt. Monsoon.      Oranges, Limes, Breadfruit, fine CocoaNuts, Nanca's Karambola's & other Fruit are to be got at Timor, the Horses are small & but few Sheep or Goats; No more Rice or Indian Corn is cultivated than is used. They have the Mountain Rice which does not require any more water than the common rain. There are some Portuguese Settlements on the No. part of the Island, who are from report a very miserable set of People.      I have thought it my Duty to say so much of Timor as it is a place but little known & lies elligible for a Stopping place if Endeavour Streights is found a safe route for Shipping.

To Capt. Phillip Comr. In Chief

Signed W.Bligh.

     Botany Bay  

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     Lieut. W. Bligh presents the following account of the loss of His Majesty's Arm'd Vessel Bounty, unto His Excellency Arthur Phillip Esqr. &c.&c.&c.

     On the 23rd. of December 1787. I sailed from Spithead with H.M.S. Bounty under my Command for Otaheite, there to take on board the Breadfruit Plant for the West Indies. The Burthen of the Ship was nearly 215 Tons; Her extreme length on deck 90Ft..10In. & breadth from outside to outside of the bends 24Ft..3 in. A Flush deck & a pretty Figure Head of a Woman in Riding Habit; She mounted 4 four pounders & 10 Swivels & her Complement was,
1. Lieut & Commander 2. Masters Mates 1. Gunmen Mate
1. Master 2. Midshipmen 1. Carpenters Mate
1. Boatswain 1. Clerk 1. Sailmaker
1. Gunner 2. Qr. Masters 1. Armourer
1. Carpenter 1. Qr.Masr.Mate 1. Carpenters Crew
1. Surgeon 1. Boatswains Mate 1. Corporal
24 Able Seamen
Total. 45 One of which is a Widows Man. There was likewise a Botanist & his Assistant.

 On the 23rd. of March 1788. I doubled Staten Land & attempted to make my passage round Cape Horn to the Wt.ward between the Latd. Of 59° & 61°, but I met with such dreadful tempestuous weather & high Seas with Hail & Snow Storms, that altho' I tried 30 days I could not accomplish it; I therefore view facsimile

(as my people were getting ill & as I had the Honour to have the most discretionary Orders to do as I thought best for the Voyage) determined to bear away for the Cape of Good Hope on the 23rd of April & repass'd Staten Land the next day: On the 24th of May I Anchored in False Bay & having Refitted & Compleated my Stores & Provisions, I sailed on the 1st of July, arrived at Van Diemans Land 20th of August & after wooding & watering, I sailed from thence the 4th September.

On the 19th Sepr. After having pass'd the So. part of New Zealand I discovered very dangerous Rocky Islots never known before, they extend 3 1/2 Miles Et. & Wt. & 1 1/2 No. & So. they lie from the Traps off the So. end of New Zealand, S89°Et 146 Leags. Latd. Of them in 47°:44'so. Longitude 179°:09′Et. called them Bounty Isles. I arrived at Otaheite the 26th of October & remain'd until the 4th April 1789 when I sailed with 1015 Breadfruit Plants & many other Fruit kind in all 774 Pots, 39 Tubs & 24 Boxes. Obsd. In Totourah Harbour 17°.31′:30"So. 210°.31′:37"Et. I anchor'd at Anamocka the 24th April & left it the 26th.

On the 28th A little before Sunrise Fletcher Christian who was Mate of the Ship & Officer of the Watch, with the Ships Corporal came into my Cabin while I was asleep & seizing me tied my hands, assisted by others who were also in the Cabin all arm'd with Musquets & Bayonets; I was now threaten'd with instant death if I spoke a word, I however called for assistance & awakening every one; but the Officers who were view facsimile

in their Cabins were secured by Centinels at their doors, so that no one could come to me; The Arms were all taken possession of & I was forced on deck in my shirt with my hands tied behind my back & secured by a Guard abaft the Mizn.Mast during which the Mutineers express'd much joy that they would soon again see Otaheite.

I now demanded of Christian the cause of such a violent act, but no other answer was given but hold your tongue Sir, or you are dead this instant & holding me by the line which tied my hands he often threaten'd to stab me in the breast with a Bayonet he held in his right hand. I however did my utmost to rally the disaffected Villains to a sense of their duty but to no effect.

The Boatsn. was order'd to hoist the Launch out & while I was kept under a guard abaft the Mizen Mast the Officers & Men not concern'd in the Mutiny were order'd into the Boat, this being done I was told by Christian Capt.Bligh, your Officers & Men are now in the boat & you must go with them, & with the guard they carried me across the deck with their Bayonets presented on every side, when making another effort, one Villain said to the other, blow his brains out. I was at last forced into the Boat & we wore then veer'd astern in all 19 Souls. I was at this time 10 leagues from Tofoa the NW most of the Friendly Islands. The Boatswain & Carpenter with some other whilst the Boat was alongside collected several necessary view facsimile

things & water, & with some difficulty a Compass & Quadrant were got, but Arms of no kind, nor any Maps or drawings of which I had a valuable collection. The Boat was very deep & much lumber'd & in this condition we were cast adrift with about 28 Gallons of Water 150 lbs of bread 30 lb of Pork 6 Quarts of Rum & 6 Bottles of Wine; the day was Calm attended with light breezes & I got to Tofoa by 7 O'clock in the evening but found no place to land the shore being so steep & rocky:

On the 30th I found landing in a Cove on the NWpart of the Island & here I remain'd in search of Supplies until the 2nd of May when the Natives discovering that we had no fire Arms, they made an attack upon us with Clubs & Stones; In the course of which I had the misfortune to lose a very worthy man (John Norton Qmaster) & most of us hurt, more or less; Getting into our Boat was no security, for they followed us in Canoes loaded with stones, which they threw with much force & exactness, happily night saved the rest of us.

I had determined to go to Amsterdam in search of Poulahow the King but taking this transaction as a sample of their natural dispositions, there was little hopes to expect much from them; for I consider 'd their good behaviour hitherto as owing to a dread of our fire Arms, & now knowing that we had none, would not be the case & that supposing our lives were safe, our Boat & every thing would be taken from us view facsimile

& thereby I should never be able to return. I was also earnestly solicited by all hands to take them towards home & when I told them no hopes of releif remain'd for us but what I might find at New Holland until I came to Timor a distance of 1200 leagues they all agreed to live on one Ounze of Bread pr Day & a Jill of Water; I therefore after recommending this promise forever to their Memory, bore away for New Holland & Timor across a Sea but little known & in a small Boat deep loaded with 18 People, without a Single Map of any kind & nothing but my own recollection & general knowledge of the situation of places to direct us.

Unfortunately we lost part of our Provisions, our stock now only consisted of 20 lbs of Pork, 3 bottles of wine, 5 of Rum & 150 lbs of Bread & 28 Gallons of Water. I steer'd to the WNW with Strong Gales & bad weather suffering every Calamity & distress.

I discover'd many Islands & at last on the 28 May, the Coast of New Holland & enter'd a break in the Reef in Latitude about 12°:50′.S. & Longitude 145°:00′ Et. I kept on in the direction of this Coast to the No.ward, touching at such places as I found convenient, refreshing my People by the best means in my power, these Refreshments consisted of Oysters & a few Clams, we were greatly benefited by them & a few good nights rest; On the 4th of June I past the No. part of New Holland, steer'd for Timor & made it on the 12th which view facsimile

which was a happy sight for every one, particularly several who were perhaps could not have existed a week or a day longer.

I followed the direction of the So.side of the Island & on the 14th in the afternoon saw the Island of Rotty & West part of Timor, round which I got that night & took a Malay on board to shew me Coupang where he informed me the Governor resided; On the next morning before day I anchored under the Fort & about 11 O'clock I saw the Governor who received me with great Humanity & kindness; Necessary directions were instantly given for our support & perhaps a more miserable set of Beings were never seen. Thus happily ended through the assistance of Divine Providence without accident, a Voyage of the most extraordinary Nature that ever happened in the World, let it be taken in its Extent Duration & so much want of the Necessaries of Life.

The People who came in the Boat were

John Fryer . Master  Thos. Haywood   Lawre. Leebogue. Sailmkr. 
Wm. Cole. Boatsn.  John Hallett }Mid Robt. Tinkler }AB 
Wm. Peckover. Gunner   John Samuel. Clk.   John Smith }AB  
Wm.Purcell. Carpenter  Pr. Linklater. Qr.Masr.  Thos. Hall }AB 
Thos.D.Ledward. Actg. Surgeon  John Norton. Do. Killed at Tofoa  Robt. Lamb }AB 
Wm. Elphinstone. Mastr. Mate  George Simpson.QMr.Mate  David Nelson.Botanist. 

 The secrecy of this Mutiny was beyond all conception, so that I cannot discover that any who were with me had view facsimile

the least knowledge of it, & the comparing this with the description list will shew the Strength of the Pirates. I remained at Timor till the 20th of August when I sailed & arrived at Batavia the 1st of October, from whence I sailed in a Dutch Packet on the 16th of October & arrived at the Cape of Good Hope 16 of December. Signed W Bligh. Lieut Commander.

Description List of the Pirates remaining on board His Majestys Arm'd Vessel Bounty on the 28th of April. 1789.

Fletcher Christian. MasMate. Aged 24 Yrs. 5Ft..9In. high very dark complexion dark brown hair, strong made; a Star tatowed on his left breast; backside tatow'd; a little bow legg'd; He is subject to a violent perspiration in his hands, so that he soils anything that th he handles.

George Stewart: Mid. Aged 23 Yrs. 5Ft.7In. high. Good complexion, dark hair, slender made, narrow chested & long neck, On his left breast is tatowed a Star & also one on the left arm on which is likewise tatowed a heart with darts, tatowed on the backside, very small features. (Drown'd when the Pandora was lost.)

Peter Heywood. Mid. Aged 17 Yrs. 5Ft. 7In. fair complexion, light brown hair, well proportion'd, very much tatow'd & on the right leg is tatowed the legs of a Man as the impression of that loin is, at this time he had not done growing; He speaks with the Isle of Man accent. (Condemned Sept.18. 1792 recommended for mercy. Pardon'd 27 July [Oct] 1792)

Edward Young: Mid. Aged 22 Yrs. 5Ft. 8Ins. dark complexion & rather view facsimile

a bad look, dark brown hair, Strong made, has lost several of his fore teeth & those that remain are all rotten; A small mole on the left side of the throat & on the right arm is tatowed a Heart & dart through it with EY. underneath & the date of the year 1788 or 1789. We are not sure which.

Chas. Churchill. Ships Corporal. Aged 30 Yrs. 5Ft. 10In. fair complexion short light brown hair, baldheaded, Strong made, the forefinger of his left hand crooked & the hand shews the marks of a severe scald, tatowed in several parts of the body. (Made a Chief at Otaheite & murder'd by Mat. Thompson at Otaheite.)

Jas. Morrison. Bt.Mte. Aged 28 Yrs. 5Ft. 8In. Sallow Complexion, long black hair, slender made, lost the use of the first joint of the fore finger on his right hand, tatow ed with a Star under his left breast & a garter round his left leg with the Motto, Honi - Soi, Qui Mal y Pense, has been wounded in one of his Arms with a Musquet ball. (Condemn'd 18 Sept. 1792 & recommended for mercy. Pardon'd 20 Octr. 1792.)

John Mills. Gunners Mte. Aged 40 Years. 5Ft. 10In. fair complexion light brown hair, a strong raw boned Man, a Scar in his right Arm pit occasion'd by an absciss.

John Millward. Ab. Aged 22 Yrs. 5Ft. 5In. brown complexion, dark hair, strong made, tatowed under the pit of the stomach with a Taoomy or Breast Plate of Otaheite. (Condemn'd 18 Sepr. & executed 29 Octr. 1792.)

Matthew Thompson. Ab. Aged 40 Yrs. 5Ft. 8In. very dark complexion short black hair, slender made, has lost the joint of his great toe on the right foot, is tatowed. (Killed by the Natives & offer'd as a Human sacrifice by the Otaheiteans for the Murder of Churchill.)

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Wm. Mickoy. Ab. Aged 25 Yrs. 5Ft. 6In. fair complexion, light brown hair, strong made, a scar where he has been stab'd in the belly, a small scar under his arm, is tatowed.

Matthew Quintal. Ab. Aged 21 Yrs. 5Ft. 5In. fair complexion, light brown hair, Strong made, very much tatowed on the backside & other places.

John Sumner. Aged 24 Yrs. 5Ft. 8In. fair complexion, brown hair slender made, a scar upon the left cheek & much tatowed. (Drown'd when the Pandora was lost.)

Thos. Burkitt. Aged 26 Yrs. 5Ft. 9In. fair complexion, very much mark'd with the Small Pox; brown hair, well made & very much tatowed. (Condemn'd Sepr. 18 Executed 29 Octr. 1792.)

Issac Martin. Aged 30 Yrs, 5Ft. 11In. Sallow complexion, short brown hair, raw boned, tatowed on his left breast with a Star.

Wm. Muspratt. Aged 30 Yrs. 5Ft. 6In. dark complexion, brown hair. Slender made, very strong black beard, scar'd under the Chin tatowed in several places. ( Condemn'd Sepr. 18/92. Remanded for the opinion of the 12 Judges. 27 Octr. 1792. Pardon'd. 10 Febry. 1793.)

Henry Hilbrants. Aged 25 Yrs. 5Ft. 7In. fair complexion, sandy hair, very strong made, his left arm shorter than his right having been broke. Is an Hanoverian & speaks bad English He is tatowed in several places. (Drowned when the Pandora was lost.)

Alexander Smith. Aged 22 Yrs. 5Ft.5In., brown complexion, brown hair strong made, pitted with the Small Pox, very much tatowed, Scar on his right foot.

John Williams, Aged 25 Yrs. 5Ft.5In. dark complexion, black hair view facsimile

slender made, a scar on the back part of his head, Is a Native of Guernsey, speaks French, is tatowed.

Richard Skinner, Aged 22 Yrs. 5Ft.8In. fair complexion, light brown hair, very well made, scars on both ancles & on his right shin. (Drowned when the Pandora was lost.)

Thomas Ellison aged 17 Yrs. 5Ft.3In. fair complexion, dark hair strong made, got his name tatowed on his right Arm & dated October 25th 1788. (Condem'd 18 Sepr.1792 Executed 20 Octr.)

Wm. Brown. Botanist Assist. Aged 27 Yrs. 5Ft.8In. fair complexion, dark brown hair, rather slender made, remarkable scar on one of his cheeks which contracts the eye lid & runs down to his throat, occasioned by the Kings Evil; is tatowed.

*Michael Byrne, aged 28 Yrs. 5Ft. 6In. fair complexion & is almost blind; plays the Fiddle; has the mark of an issue on the back of his neck.

*Joseph Coleman. Armourer. Aged 40 Yrs. 5Ft.6In. fair complexion, grey hair, strong made, a Heart tatowed on one of his Arms. This Man declar'd publickly to me when I was in the Boat that he knew nothing of the transaction & begg'd of me to remember he told me of it, & that he was kept against his consent.

*Thos. McIntosh. Carp.Crew. aged 28 Yrs. 5Ft.6In. fair complexion, light brown hair, slender made, pitted with the Small Pox.

*Chas. Norman. Carp.Mte. Aged 26 Yrs. 5Ft.9In. fair complexion, has a remarkable motion with his Head & Eyes: The two last are likewise deserving of Mercy.

(*Acquitted - September 18 - 1792 - )

          Sign'd. W Bligh. Lt. Commander

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The Mutineers after turning Capt. Bligh adrift, made sail & steer'd for the Island Tubai, at which place they had determin'd to Fortify & settle themselves, but on their arrival, found themselves destitute of almost every necessary towards effecting their purpose; it was then agreed to go to Otaheite for those necessaries, making the best story they could to deceive the Natives, in which they succeeded by telling that they had been at an Island, where they had met their old friend Capt. Cook, (who they had supposed was dead) & that he had kept Capt. Bligh & all those who were with him, at Tubai, & sent Mr. Christian with the Ship for what supplies they could grant. They readily beleiv'd the story & were so overjoy'd at hearing that Capt. Cook was alive & again in that part of the world, that they furnish'd Christian with every thing he wanted & even gave them a Bull & Cow; with these they again all went to Tubai & went on with every success towards settling; but soon quarrelling among themselves, Christian lost his Authority & nothing was done; He then took their opinions the majority of which were for going to Otaheite, to which place Christian carried them & afterwards left the Island with the remainder & some Natives of Otaheite & which is the last account gain'd of Christian by the Pandora. Those who were left at Otaheite, built a Schooner in which some of them had embark'd under the direction of Morrison the Bos.Mate, but soon losing confidence in him they again return'd to Otaheite; where Churchill was made a Cheif by the Natives & killed by Thompson in a quarrel, the consequence of which was that they Natives killed Thompson & offer'd him up as a human sacrifice according to the Custom used among them. The People found at Otaheite by the Pandora & taken together with the Schooner, were

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Peter Heywood.Mid.}   Condemn'd 18 Sepr. 1792 & Pardon'd 27 Octr. 1792 
J. Morrison Bs.Ma.} Condemn'd 18 Sepr. 1792 & Pardon'd 27 Octr. 1792 
J. Millward} Condemn'd 18 Sepr. 1792 Executed - 29 Octr. 1792 
T. Burkitt}  Condemn'd 18 Sepr. 1792 Executed - 29 Octr. 1792 
T. Ellison}  Condemn'd 18 Sepr. 1792 Executed - 29 Octr. 1792 
W. Muspratt} Condemn'd 18 Sepr. 1792 Respitted - 27 Octr. 1792 Pardon'd 10 Febry.1793 
Mi. Byrne} Acquitted - 18 Sepr. 1792 
Jos. Coleman} Acquitted - 18 Sepr. 1792 
T. McIntosh} Acquitted - 18 Sepr. 1792 
C. Norman} Acquitted - 18 Sepr. 1792 
G. Stewart.Mid.} Drown'd when the Pandora was lost. 
J. Sumner}  Drown'd when the Pandora was lost. 
H. Hillbrant} Drown'd when the Pandora was lost. 
Ro. Skinner} Drown'd when the Pandora was lost. 

Remain'd in the Bounty -

F. Christian. Mtr.Mate
E. Young - Mid
J. Mills - Gunnr.Mte.
W. Mickoy
M. Quintal
J. Martin
J. Williams
W. Brown