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Collection Summary

Creator: Bligh, William, 1754-1817.
Title: Notebook and list of mutineers, 1789 [manuscript].
Date Range: 1789
Collection number: MS 5393
Extent: 107 p., 3 fol. leaves.

 

Introduction

Scope and Content

MS 5393 comprises the unpublished autograph manuscript documenting Lieutenant William Bligh's voyage in the Bounty's launch from the ship to Tofua and from thence to Timor, 28 April to 14 June 1789. This manuscript is the original notebook from which Bligh wrote all his subsequent narratives. The notebook itself belonged to Mr Hayward who was in the launch with him and there are 1 1/2 p. of navigational recordings and calculations, 8 rough sketch charts of islands and showing the boat's track through the Barrier Reef and along the coast of Australia to the Torres Strait and one autograph chart headed "Eye sketch of part of New Holland in the Bounty's launch by Lieut. Wm. Bligh". The list of mutineers is headed by Fletcher Christian who was second-in-command before the mutiny. Each mutineer's physical appearance is described in detail.

Background

William Bligh, son of Francis and Jane Bligh, was born at Plymouth in 1754. In 1776, he was appointed master of the Resolution under the command of Captain James Cook and in 1787 took command of the Bounty on an expedition to the West Indies. The crew, under Fletcher Christian, mutinied in 1789. Bligh became Governor of New South Wales in 1806. He was recalled to England in 1810 and in 1812 became Rear-Admiral of the White. Bligh died in London in 1817.

 

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as [manuscript item title], Notebook and list of mutineers, 1789 [manuscript]., National Library of Australia, MS 5393, [manuscript item number].

 

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