28th April
It was on this day...
1789 Mutiny on The HMS Bounty

Fletcher Christian, the master's mate, along with 25 petty officers, take control of the ship three weeks into a journey from Tahiti to the West Indies. The ship then set sail for Tubuai, south of Tahiti.

The Captain, William Bligh, and 18 of his loyal officers, were put in an open boat. Thanks to excellent seamanship, they managed to make it 3,600 miles to Timor in the East Indies on June 14, 1789. Bligh would proceed to England where he would take command of another ship, also charged with transporting breadfruit.

The Bounty had set sail from England in December 1787 bound for Tahiti in the South Pacific. It was then to collect breadfruit and then transport it to the West Indies where it would be used as food for slaves.

On its arrival in Tahiti the crew enjoyed 5 months of near idilic conditions and Christian fell in love with a Tahitian, Mauatua. Then, on the 4th April, the Bounty set sail. The mutiny occurred on this day, 28th April, 1789.

Following the mutiny, Christian and his followers attempted to colonize the island of Tubuai, but this failed. They set sail for Tahiti, where 16 crew men decided to stay, despite the danger they would be caught by the British here (they would be captured, and returned to England, three were hanged).

Christian and 8 of the original mutineers, 6 Tahitian men and 8 others and a baby then set sail for a suitable home. They found and then settled on the Pitcairn Island, 1000 miles east of Tahiti. They were never caught.

Nothing was heard of them until an American vessel was attracted to the island by smoke, in 1808. The US ship found a community of women and children and John Adams, the last remaining mutineer. He was granted an amnesty by the British in 1825. He died 1829.

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