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Mutiny on the Bounty

On this day, April 28, 1789, one of the most famous and remarkable stories in maritime history began, when rebellious mutineer Fletcher Christian and his supporters seized control of the HMS Bounty from its Lieutenant, William Bligh. The Bounty had 44 Royal Navy seamen (including Bligh) and two civilian botanists. Tensions had increased over time, Bligh was considered an exceptionally harsh and cruel taskmaster. There has been a five-month stopover in Tahiti, after which the sailors became less willing to accept Bligh’s discipline onboard the ship. Three weeks after leaving Tahiti, Christian acted, and he forced Bligh and most of his loyalists off the ship on April 28, 1789.

Robert Dodd (1748–1815) British marine artist

After Bligh reached England, the Admiralty despatched HMS Pandora to apprehend the mutineers. Fourteen were captured in Tahiti and imprisoned on board Pandora, which then searched without success for Christian’s party that had hidden on Pitcairn Island. After turning back towards England, Pandora ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, with the loss of 31 crew and four prisoners from Bounty. The 10 surviving detainees reached England in June 1792 and were court martialled; four were acquitted, three were pardoned and three were hanged. Christian’s group remained undiscovered on Pitcairn until 1808, by which time only one mutineer, John Adams, remained alive. Almost all of his fellow mutineers, including Christian, had been killed, either by each other or by their Polynesian companions. No action was taken against Adams; descendants of the mutineers and their Tahitian captives live on Pitcairn into the 21st century.

In 1932 the novel entitled Mutiny On The Bounty, written by Charles Nordhoff and James Hall, became a bestseller, followed by a series of movies, notably in 1935 when Charles Laughton played Bligh with Clark Gable as his first mate Fletcher Christian, and in 1962 when Trevor Howard took the role of Bligh with Marlon Brando as Christian.

My poem:


Published by poetisatinta

I was born and live in rural North Wales (UK) and found poetry again after a lifetime, so grateful I did :)

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