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The Plough Boy Journals

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Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge

For OCTOBER, 1794.

322 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Oct.

. . . .

Authentic and Interesting Narrative of the Adventures of the Mutineers, who piratically seized his Majesty's Ship Bounty, under the Command of Captain Bligh, and were pursued by order of Government, by the Pandora Frigate, under the Command of Captain Edwards. Including a particular Detail of their singular Projects, and various Disagreements, Embarrassments, Escapes, Stratagems &c. in the Island of Otaheite.

[Never before Published.]

Collected from the oral Communications of some of the Parties who were acquitted on their Trial.

To which is added a circumstantial Account of the Characters of the Ringleaders; Escape of some, Detection and Surrender of others; their Trial, Conviction, Execution, &c. &c.

To the Reader.

      AS the public curiosity has never yet been gratified by a satisfactory account of the adventures of the Bounty mutineers, after the commission of their crime, and before the arrival of the

1794 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 323

Pandora frigate, it is presumed that the transactions of those unfortunate people during that critical interim will not only be highly acceptable, but of infinite service to the public. What has been hitherto related is demonstrably the mere produce of conjecture, or, what, is worse, of partiality; but the writer of these papers has no motive for deceiving and flatters himself that the incidents herein detailed will testify a thorough knowledge of the affair and carry within themselves conviction of their truth.

      HIS majesty's ship Bounty, of 215 tons, carrying four carriage guns, six-pounders, and four swivels, and manned with 46 men (officers included), was fitted up for the purpose of visiting the island of Otaheite, and taking on board and conveying the bread fruit plants and many other fruits of that country to the British islands in the West Indies She was dispatched from England in December 1787 and on the 26th of October 1788, arrived at the island of Otaheite, where she continued in the execution cf her business.

      Fletcher Christian, the master's mate, a man of respectable family and connections in the North of England and who had been on two voyages before this with captain Bligh, being accounted a most excellent seaman, became during their stay in Otaheite remarkably attached to the natives, who manifested, upon every occasion, the highest respect for the captain and his people. Add to this, some female connections, which rendered the place still more agreeable, and made Christian believe that he could lead a much happier life here than in England.

      Three others, who were midshipmen, Heywood, Young, and Stewart, were equally enamoured with the women at Otaheite, who being possessed of great sensibility and delicacy are exceedingly engaging, and withal remarkably handsome.

      Captain Bligh had as great a regard for Heywood as for Christian, being a young man of wonderful abilities, and likewise of a respectable family in the North of England. Both Young and Stewart had been strongly recommended to the captain. Young was not, however, that good seaman which he appeared, but Stewart, who had always maintained a good character, was a most excellent one. His family who resided in the Orkneys, were likewise respectable.

      These four had privately imparted to each other their wish of abiding in the island, and accordingly projected the villainous plan of piratically seizing the Bounty whenever a favourable opportunity offered. Christian, to disguise his intention, still behaved to the captain, with the greatest respect, but while the captain and his officers were attending a Haeva (or entertainment) which had been prepared by the chiefs of the island in compliment to the English, Christian artfully prevailed upon Charles Churchill, who was master at arms; John Mills, the gunner's mate; and James Morrison, the boatswain's mate, to join him in his intended projects. He represented to them the great happiness they would enjoy among the islanders, and how far preferable it was to be their own masters than continue any longer servants. With these and similar expressions he soon inflamed their minds, and they all united in the base resolution of deceiving and oppressing a worthy commander.

      Such, however, was the secrecy with which this mutiny was contrived, that not an item was dropped that might give room for the smallest suspicion, notwithstanding all those who were true friends to the captain were continually living forward among Christian and his associates.

      After they had executed the object of their voyage and procured on board 1015 of the bread-fruit plants and several other articles, in high preservation, the Bounty departed from Otaheite on the 4th of April 1789.

      Christian and his gang had been sufficiently on their guard not to discover to any of the natives, even their greatest favourites among the females, their intention to return, for fear the captain might be apprised of it, and frustrate their design. On the contrary, they

324 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Oct.

took leave of those people with the same seeming regret as did the captain and officers.

      Christian had been lately promoted by captain Bligh, and frequently dined and supped with the captain by invitation. When they had completed their wooding and watering at Annamooka, one of the Friendly Islands, they continued their voyage with uninterrupted success till the 28th, on which day Christian and his party put their design into execution. The preceding night the captain invited Christian to sup with him, but, pretending illness, he excused himself, and Captain Bligh was exceedingly concerned for his supposed indisposition.

      This day at sun-rise Christian had the morning-watch and while the captain was asleep he entered his cabin, with Charles Churchill, master at arms, John Mills, gunner's mate, and Thomas Burkitt, a seaman. Having now seized the captain they tied his hands with a cord behind his back, and threatened him in the most dreadful manner with instant death if he made the least disturbance. The captain, notwithstanding their menaces, called out to his officers, but these had been already secured by Christian's accomplices.

      The captain was now dragged out of his bed and forced upon deck in his shirt, while, upon his enquiring the cause of such violence, they still repeated their menaces and blasphemy. Christian had appointed centinels to watch the fore-hatchway, while only the carpenter and boatswain were allowed to come on deck. Christian gave orders that the launch should be hoisted out, which done, he commanded two midshipmen, Hayward* and Hallet, to go into the boat, still threatening the captain to kill him on the spot if he made the least murmur. Christian made choice of those people whom he thought the most useless to him, and ordered them all into the boat, while he held the captain fast by the bandage with which his hands were secured, and others of his party surrounded him with their pistols cocked. Some of the mutineers were employed in compelling the officers into the boat, during which the whole party, even Christian their ringleader, betrayed great fear and agitation of mind.

      The captain endeavoured to dissuade them by the most gentle means from their purpose; but they were too determined to be moved by all that he could utter. After the officers were in the boat Christian forced the captain over the side, and as soon as he was in, the boat was veered astern The captain requested some arms to be given him but they laughed at this; however they threw into the boat four cutlasses,some pieces of pork, and clothes.

      The mutineers who kept possession of the Bounty were in all 25, being the most able men of the ship's company, viz.

      Fletcher Christian, the chief ringleader and master's mate.
Peter Heywood, midshipman       }
Edward Young, ditto                   } ringleaders
George Stewart, ditto                  }
Charles Churchill, master at arms }

            John Mills, gunner's mate
            James Morrison, boatswain's ditto
            Thomas Burkitt, seaman
            Matthew Quintal,ditto
            John Sumner, ditto
            John Milward,ditto
            William M'Koy ditto
            Henry Kilbrant,ditto
            Alexander Smith, ditto
            William Muspret ditto
            Michael Byrne, ditto
            Thomas Ellison ditto
            John Williams, ditto
            Isaac Martin, ditto
[This man being one of those who by compulsion guarded the captain, discovered an inclination to assist his commander, and even got into the boat to share his fate; but he was afterwards obliged to return to the vessel, being threatened with instant death in case of noncompliance.]
            Matthew Thompson seaman
            Richard Skinner, ditto

N O T E.

      * This name has frequently been confounded with Heywood,one of the mutineers.

1794 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 325

            William Brown, gardener
            Joseph Coleman, armourer,
            Charles Norman, carpenter's mate,
            Thomas M'Intosh,ditto

      These three last were detained contrary to their inclination. Christian was for some time considering within himself whether he had better detain William Purcell the carpenter, or the carpenter's mate; at last he determined upon the latter.

      Captain Bligh was now turned adrift, with the master, surgeon, botanists, gunner, boatswain, carpenter, master's mate, two midshipmen, two quarter-masters, the sailmaker, two cooks, quarter-master's mate, butcher, clerk, and boy. While the boat was astern the unfortunate wretches that were in her were cruelly ridiculed by those vile usurpers who had thus taken violent possession of the Bounty.

      Some of Christian's party upon their separation exclaimed, "Huzza for Otaheite!" which gave him much offense, as he dreaded the captain's following him there. In order, therefore, to deceive the boat, they steered W. N. W. and as soon as the launch, was out of sight made for Otaheite.

      There is no doubt that, if Christian had in the least suspected that the captain or any of the officers who were with him would ever have been able to have reached home, he would have added murder to ingratitude. His hopes were, that either they would have perished in the attempt, or become resident in one of the remote islands. It is not probable that he could have enjoyed even a moment's tranquility at Otaheite, had he entertained a suspicion that his base conduct was reported in England.

      At the time of their separation the captain reminded him of the several favours he had shewn him. This stung him to the heart, and he repeatedly exclaimed, "I know captain – hold your tongue – say no more – I am a villain – I am – but – it can't be helped." Afterwards when his conscience pierced him, he cried out, "Oh, God – Oh, God – I am in hell – I am in hell." However, for fear of disheartening his comrades, he endeavoured to conceal his emotions, and in order to keep up their spirits ordered each man a dram, this being the second they had taken since the mutiny commenced.

      Christian became somewhat pensive while a few of the others began to laugh and joke about the dismal situation of the captain and his officers. This raillery augmented Christian's agitation, which became so great that he wanted power to conceal it. As for Coleman, Marton, Norman and M'Intosh, they were silent; but their looks plainly testified that they were displeased with their present situation. Coleman once ventured to give his advice, when Christian proposed a dram a piece, observing the great danger they should be in if any of the men were intoxicated.

      Christian remained on deck till the launch was out of sight, but he never looked at it without showing strong emotions. Afterwards he wished to retire to the cabin, but began to be afraid even of his own party, lest they might rebel against him, be tempted to follow the launch, and deliver him up to the captain. He therefore enjoined Heywood and Churchill to stay on deck and be particularly vigilant. He then went down to the cabin and began to examine the stores.

      The thoughts of what was past prevented them from thinking upon what was to come. They were now returning to Otaheite, but never once consulted among themselves what they should say to the natives. Indeed Churchill hinted something of it to Christian, but he seemed quite indifferent about the matter, imagining that any story they thought proper to tell would be credited by the natives.

      They were determined not to stop at any of the islands, but make the utmost expedition to reach Otaheite. The weather, however, becoming tempestuous, and the wind unfavourable, they were obliged to anchor at an island about seven leagues from their intended port. They tarried here three days, during which time they saw no inhabitants, and the land wore a dreary appearance. Having now a fresh breeze they weighed and proceeded for Otaheite.

      While passing Annamooka they were

326 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Oct.

visited by several canoes from the neighbouring islands. These natives (who knew them) expressed great astonishment at their return, while Christian pretended that some very urgent reasons required their longer stay at Otaheite. Nothing material occurred during the remainder of their passage.

      All the mutineers agreed that Christian should take the command of the vessel, which at first he modestly declined, wished to resign it to Stewart, who expressed great satisfaction at what they had done. Christian, however, reserved it, while Stewart acted under him.

      On their approaching the island, Christian ordered every man to remain under arms, for fear the captain might have contrived to have visited some of the neighbouring districts and communicated his misfortunes to the king, more particularly Tinah, a chief of Otaheite who was exceedingly partial to him. Christian, of course, knew that the natives would be inclined to take his part and perhaps unite their force to recover the vessel. These apprehensions were soon removed by Churchill, who remarked the impossibility of captain Bligh's reaching Otaheite, or any of the adjoining islands, without their observing the launch; notwithstanding, it was deemed advisable that they should all remain on their guard.

      As soon as they were in sight of Otaheite several of the natives came off in canoes to learn the cause of their unexpected return. Christian told them that captain Bligh had, to his great astonishment, discovered that captain Cook was alive and at Whytutakee, and accordingly both he and his officers were determined to remain there with him. The news accordingly spread, but the story created much surprize.

      Notwithstanding Christian displayed so much cunning and artifice in the execution of his plan, he was certainly deficient in this respect. The story he told had every appearance of deception, and must certainly in the course of time be discovered. By affirming that captain Cook was alive he naturally excited a curiosity among those people to see him; and as they had so often heard before that he was dead, undoubtedly he exposed himself to suspicion. Had Christian declared that captain Bligh and his officers had gone in the launch to make some discovery, and being overset had perished, the story being probable, would certainly have been believed, particularly by people inclined to credulity. But Christian was unwilling to insinuate that any thing had happened to the captain, knowing how well he was beloved by the chiefs of this island, for fear the misfortune might be attributed to him and his supposed death resented. He was likewise unwilling to place too much confidence in the natives, for fear they might take any advantage and shew an inclination to plunder.

      Tinah and Poeeno, two chiefs remarkably attached to captain Bligh, immediately hastened on board the Bounty. They were soon followed by others, who were equally surprised at meeting with their old friends; but Tinah and Poeeno alternately enquired the meaning that captain Bligh sent them back; why, also, he did not come with them, and bring captain Cook whom they maintained so great a regard for? To these questions Christian made but very sorry answers, and with lame equivocations evaded others.

      The chiefs understanding that these were come to settle with them, immediately began, according to custom to choose each his friend which they call a Tyo. Their notions of friendship are, indeed, very extraordinary. When person become a Tyo to any one, it is expected of that person that he will cherish his friend's wife, the neglect of which will otherwise occasion much coolness and indifference. They are, however, exceedingly faithful to their friends, for they would shudder at the thoughts of betraying them. They are likewise ready to supply their wants even to their own injury; and when those who have Tyos die without issue, their titles and estates, agreeable to the law of Tyoship, devolve to their chosen friends, with whom, according to custom, they change names at the time their friendships are contracted.

1794. Narrative of the Mutiny on hoard the Bounty. 327

      The mutineers now landed, while the best refreshments that the place afforded were immediately provided. It is impossible to describe the pleasure which some of the females felt upon seeing their former gallants; they were particularly assiduous in preparing the most agreeable food for their reception.

      Captain Bligh while he was here had a tent erected for his use; Christian accordingly took possession of this, and told the chiefs that captain Bligh had appointed him commander in his stead and that he was now captain Christian during Bligh's absence. To this all his accomplices agreed and behaved to him with assumed respect.

      Christian divided his company into two parties, one to remain on board the vessel and one onshore, and to take it by turns.

      A short time after they had landed, Churchill, whom Christian had made his most constant companion, became the Tyo of a great chief in the upper districts, and received an invitation to his house. Christian, in order to court the favour of the chiefs, was remarkably profuse in his presents; he was likewise cunning enough to take the merit of all the donations, which created a degree of jealousy between him and his confederates.

      A grand Haeva was now prepared for the entertainment of Christian and his party on shore. A great number of chiefs attended, and Christian, Churchill, Heywood, &c. were received in due form by the king and his levee. The performers consisted of two men and two women. A ring being formed, the entertainment commenced with the male performers, who began to wrestle, then throwing themselves into frightful and indecent positions: after they had displayed a number of abominable attitudes and distortions they retired, and the two ladies came forward. Their dress was fanciful. These began to display attitudes equally disagreeable and indecent. They performed for near half an hour, during which time they never ceased the exercise. Among the ladies wrestling and the like are great accomplishments; Iddeah, Tinah's wife, was a remarkably fine wrestler. In short girls will come from the remotest places to acquire these great accomplishments, and attain improvement from these Haeva entertainments. The girl who can fight, tumble, wrestle, &c. the best, is always the most respected.

      Some short time after this another Haeva was performed. The ladies now, instead of wrestling, danced; after which a present of cloth, which the dancers always came in with round their waists, was made to Christian.

      There was a wrestling match between a woman and a man, wherein all difference of sex was lost sight of, for the woman was equally if not more violent than the man, and she almost broke his leg with a fall. As soon as he was down, some who were attending hastened to his relief, raised him from the ground and while some held his body, others, with amazing agility put his leg, which was sprained, to rights. The lady who had thrown him, received universal congratulations, and, indeed, she was not a little proud of her triumph.

      Tinah regularly visited Christian every day both on shore and on board the vessel. This chief, however, could not conceal his dissatisfaction at the absence of captain Bligh and the other officers, nor could he, indeed, reconcile it to himself why the captain would not return and abide in Otaheite in preference to any other island. Iddeah, Tinah's wife, who had been remarkably attached to captain Bligh, became exceedingly melancholy at his seeming indifference. On this account she entertained an aversion to Christian and his accomplices, and seldom or ever accompanied her husband in his visits.

      During the intervals of solitude, Christian was frequently seized with remorse and horror at what he had done. Reflection almost set him mad and he certainly felt more anguish at the commission of the mutiny than any of those who had been his first, chosen confederates. Whenever Churchill or Stewart were in his company he endeavoured to resume his vivacity, and shake off those gloomy terrors which occasionally clouded his mind.

328 A Genuine Letter from a young Lady, &c.. Oct.

Churchill was naturally possest of a sprightly disposition, his presence, therefore, in a great measure dispelled his uneasiness, and helped to keep up his companion's spirits.

      Martin likewise expressed much unhappiness when alone, but none of the men dared to shew the least disapprobation of what was done, for fear of being immediately destroyed; for several suspected that Christian had given secret orders to some of his most particular friends, to put to instant death any who should complain or mutter at their present situation, lest the natives might discover what had happened, and of course revenge their ill treatment to captain Bligh. Whether or not Christian had issued such directions is not to be ascertained; but, considering his situation, it is by no means unlikely, villains being always jealous of each other.

      Some of the natives who visited the Bounty committed several depredations. Christian complained to Tinah of his people's thefts and misbehaviour. This chief, when captain Bligh was in the island, was very assiduous in recovering whatever was stolen, and testified great concern whenever such dishonesty was practised; but now affairs seemed to wear a different complexion. Tinah paid little or no attention to Christian's complaints nor seemed to be the least concerned for whatever loss he sustained. The fact was, the natives thought they were at liberty to do whatever they liked, since the captain whom they looked upon as the chief of those English, was absent; and Christian was afraid to assume too much authority for fear he might incur their displeasure and be consequently abandoned to ruin and misery.

      Here Christian seemed again deficient in prudence; for as he pretended that the captain had appointed him chief in his stead, he should certainly have arrogated that consequence (which he no doubt would had he been honestly invested with the power,) and by occasionally displaying his authority, he would certainly have commanded that respect which captain Bligh and his predecessors had maintained.

      It was observed that Christian had, previous to his departure from this island with the captain, entertained a penchant for some of the female natives; to one he was particularly attached. She was young, affectionate, genteel, and, setting aside the disfigurements which the customs of their country render general, she might well be accounted handsome. Their mutual affection was remarkable, and the sincerity of their loves indisputable. In short, they were married according to their fashion, which is no more than making a bargain for her with her parents, and exchanging mutual promises before all their friends who are on this occasion invited. Among these natives polygamy is allowable; and what is not more wonderful than true, they enjoy domestic harmony even with a plurality of wives.

(To be continued.)
. . . .

( 385 )




Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge

For NOVEMBER, 1794.

1794. Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 415

Authentic and Interesting Narrative of the Adventures of the Mutineers who Piratically seized his Majesty's Ship Bounty.

(Continued from Page 398)

      AMONG the Otaheiteans, instead of the wife bringing any property to the husband, it is a rule whenever a man chooses a female for his companion, that he must buy her of her parents, who are generally very unreasonable in their demands; and if the husband does not continue his presents in a regular manner, it is in the father's power to take home his child and dispose of her in a more profitable manner: thus it appears that interest subdues all ties of parental affection; and traffic of this kind is so common that the young ladies themselves are by no means strangers to their own value being always present at the time they are bargained for, and not a little conceited when they cost a good price. This mode of getting wives was very inconvenient to our adventurers as their stock was now getting low, and they had not wherewithal to continue their donations; besides, what they had was in common to all, for Christian, dreading any quarrel or jealousy among themselves, agreed that there should be no private property, and a speedy consumption was naturally the consequence. They were, in some measure, however, enabled to give presents by the quantity of presents they received.

      It is in the husband's power also to put away his wife if he disapproves of her, and in such cade the fruits of their connection are destroyed; but if the husband becomes a tender father, and espouses his child, then the marriage state is said to be confirmed. There is no doubt but the affection of English fathers made a strong impression upon the women of Otaheite, who, notwithstanding the barbarous custom of their country, are remarkable for their maternal feelings. It is not then to be wondered at that they should be more attached to men, though strangers, who they knew would both preserve and love their offspring, than even to their own countrymen, who had so frequently put the savage custom in execution. This, then, accounts for their partiality to our adventurers, who were equally charmed by their gaiety, and attached by their remarkable constancy; for, notwithstanding the levity of their disposition, and natural inclination to mirth, they were always sincere in their love protestations.

      Christian being looked upon by the natives as a chief among his own people, thought it absolutely necessary to support the character though in appearance; it was, however with much difficulty that he could command even a feigned respect for several of his party became tired of doing him this outward homage, and in their moments of jealous reflections considered themselves as good as he, and deemed it therefore unworthy their character as men, to pay him that respect which they did not think he deserved: thus the ringleader of these mutineers, the very man who stimulated them to the daring act of rebellion, found it impossible to quench that spirit which he before encouraged, and, with reason indeed, apprehended a mutiny among themselves. The want of honest friends added much to his remorse and fear, nor was he assured of the sincerity of those with whom he consulted and advised. In this precarious situation it behoved him more and more to obtain and secure the affections of the natives; for which reason, though labouring under all the difficulties before observed, he supported his seeming authority and acted in the same manner as the chiefs of the island; he not only indulged himself with a plurality of wives but likewise entertained a number of concubines, choosing such females as were in his sight the most accomplished and agreeable. He gave a loose to passion, which served in a great measure to dispel those gloomy thoughts which occasionally stole in to the great annoyance of his rest, and to banish from his mind the commission of that crime which he never recollected but with horror and confusion.

      Christian was in high estimation

416 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Nov.

among the ladies of Otaheite, who were not a little assiduous in their endeavours to render the place as agreeable and commodious as possible. Several presents of cloth he received from his female visitors, who, according to the custom of the island, came with it wrapt round their bodies, and as they seldom brought small quantities, they appeared uncommonly bulky and corpulent whenever in this generous mood.

      Next to Christian, Heywood, Churchill, Stewart, and Young, were the greatest favourites with the women. Coleman, who was exceedingly ingenious and prudent, was likewise highly respected but this man was so reserved and thoughtful that he partook of little amusement. His only pleasure was in assisting the natives in building canoes, houses, nourishing their plants, &c. Being remarkably clever both for invention and the execution of his works, he rendered no small assistance to the people during his stay in the island.

      As yet Christian had not indicated to the natives his design of remaining among them, and several of the chiefs, particularly Tinah, who were desirous of visiting England and being introduced to King George, made application to Christian, Churchill and Heywood, whom they looked upon as those of the greatest weight, for leave to accompany them to England, as they were still led to imagine that some time or other they intended to depart. During these applications Churchill would refer them to Heywood, Heywood to Christian, and so on, by which means they were amused for a while; but Tinah at last took an opportunity of renewing his request when they were all together. Christian, however, evaded giving him either a promise or a refusal, saying that it was neither in his power to ascertain the time of his departure, nor to comply with their request till he had consulted Captain Bligh, for though he was Captain Christian he led them to understand that he was still subservient to the orders of Captain Bligh, being all the same as an inferior chief among them. Afterwards he gave Tinah, and many other chefs who became troublesome in their solicitations, an absolute denial, by observing, that the Bounty was too small a vessel for their reception, and that they had not at present a sufficiency of accommodations. Christian, however, to keep these people in good humour told them that captain Bligh had given orders that a large ship should be got ready as soon as possible and that every necessary article should be provided for their safe conveyance to England.

      The mutineers, some more and some less, began now to entertain fears of their situation. Both Christian and Young doubted the permanency of the native's attachments, and suspected that their plan of setting at Otaheite would be attended with inevitable danger. Martin and Norman lamented already their condition, which, in the words of the former, was no better than "perpetual banishment," as they were wandering about like "vagabonds upon earth." Churchill, who was Christian's most constant counsellor and adviser, recommended him to keep his ground, observing, that they would have a worse chance with islanders they were unacquainted with, than with those people with whom they had been so long intimate; Besides, Churchill was partial to their climate, which was remarkably fertile and agreeable.

      Christian, after some consideration with himself privately communicated to Churchill and Stewart his wishes of gaining the favour of all or as many as possible of the chiefs of the other districts for fear some unforeseen misfortune might compel them to take refuge in one of their islands. In order, therefore, to secure a warm reception elsewhere, whenever necessity urged, he recommended to these and afterwards to the rest to take wives from the different islands, as by such union they might establish a future settlement. He also advised all his people to observe the manners of the natives, and accustom themselves to them; hoping by such imitation to win their good graces and render their friendship more stable. However, he cautioned them not to be too precipitate or remarkable

1794. Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 417

in their exertions to please, but to affect a similarity of manners by degrees, and gradually creep into their favour.

      Agreeable to Christian's advice Stewart took a wife of no inconsiderable rank among the natives; she was related to a chief near Malavai Bay who had chosen Stewart for his friend or Tyo before the match had been thought of. Their union was celebrated with a grand feast, and the congratulations of a numerous assembly were profusely bestowed upon the happy partners.

      Stewart' father-in-law was a native of great property whose fortune consisted in land ,this being esteemed here the greatest wealth. He now conformable to their custom, took upon him the name of Stewart, and gave his own title to his son-in-law. Christian and Churchill likewise bore foreign titles by means of their Tyo-ships; Mills, Morrison, and Quintal, had also the same honour owing to their connections with the daughters of three respectable chiefs belonging to the same, districts.

      Tinah and the chiefs of Otaheite did not much relish the connections between these two mutineers and their neighbours. Christian was not aware of the jealousy it would create, but from the distant behaviour of Tinah afterwards, he perceived it was not altogether agreeable. In order to secure his own safety and render himself the more agreeable to the inhabitants of Otaheite, he confined all his female connectons to that island only. Let it not, however, be thought that Christian by so acting was studying his own interest alone, it was, on the contrary, the result of after-consideration; he was far from being selfish or unfriendly, for, setting aside his base ingratitude to captain Bligh, he displayed many instances of true friendship. He frequently condemned himself for the commission of his horrid crime, but as frequently declared that he would die before he would ever yield to undergo that punishment his country would inflict.

      "No, never never (were his own words) shall Fletcher be brought to justice for what he has done: though thousands and ten thousands attacked me, I'd die ere I would surrender. I'd rather meet a host of devils than once see the injured captain Bligh's relations."

      The mutineers agreeable to their leader's advice, began now to imitate the manners of the natives. Churchill was the first who attempted to chew the Yava, a root of an intoxicating nature, but which instead of exhilarating the spirits rather stupifies them. It is productive of many disagreeable consequences as it not only debilitates the constitution, but likewise occasions a disorder similar to the leprosy; notwithstanding which it is a high honour to partake thereof, as none but the chiefs, or arces, have the kings permission to use it. Previous to their taking it, it is first chewed their by their attendants, who as soon as well masticated, put it into a neat wooden bowl made for the purpose, and small quantity of water being poured over they squeeze it well, straining the liquor always through a piece of cloth; after which they administer it to their masters, who drink it with the greatest goút. This root, though quite different to our liquorice in taste and effect, resembles it very much in shape and colour. Churchill could not conform to the custom of using it after it was chewed, and therefore had the first and best of it; but it made him so exceedingly ill that he took a turn against it ever after. Ellison also made trial of it, but having drank or rather sucked a moderate share he was not great a sufferer; he was induced to the attempt in hopes that would answer the room of tobacco.

      Though Christian had advised his people to make connectons in different places, yet they chiefly confined themselves to one district; it being Churchills opinion that they would thus establish a more permanent situation by adhering to one island, than if they were to scatter their favours, and endeavour to make universal friends.

      Coleman was continually employing his ingenuity in promoting the welfare of the islanders: imagining it possible to extract rum and sugar from the

418 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Nov.

remarkable fine sugar canes which grew in great abundance here, he made a still, and succeeded in the experiment; but then, perceiving his own people were already inclined to animosity, and dreading that the produce of his labour might be the means of heightening those contentions by intoxication and, perhaps, create different broils between the English and natives, the effects whereof might have a fatal tendency, he immediately broke the still, and thus terminated his labour! It is doubtful whether, he is more deserving of praise for the ingenuity of his contrivance, or for his prudence in dissolving it. Certainly their situation was so critical that inebriety might have been attended with dreadful consequences.

      So far had they now adopted the manners of the natives, that they not only had their meals at those stated periods which the natives chose, but likewise imitated their manner of eating – using shells instead of knives.

      Some of the seamen were likewise determined to undergo the operation of tattooing, which consists in making figures on the body by scarring, and is not only painful (while doing) but exceedingly tedious. In bearing those characteristic stains they thought to render themselves the more agreeable to the inhabitants. The first who underwent this operation was John Sumner, and Oedidy, a chief, provided a person whose profession it was to perform it. The hinder part of his loins and thighs were marked with black lines in various forms. These marks were made by striking the teeth of an instrument which resembles a comb just through the skin, and rubbing a sort of paste made of soot and oil into the parts thus struck which leaves thereon an indelible stain. Sumner made many wry faces during the performance, but he was afraid of incurring the ridicule and raillery of the natives by making any noise, therefore bore the pain of this dreadful operation with as much patience as he possibly could. Having been present week before at the tattooing of girl about eleven years of age, who suffered those marks to be made on her thighs, posteriors, &c. without betraying much agitation he was consequently induced to be the more patient for fear the chiefs (who are very much inclined to wit and humour) might insinuate that he could not bear as man what the poor girl did who was child. Sumner after being thus stained, did not, however go naked, agreeable to Christian's advice not to affect their manners all at once. After this a few of the other men were tattooed. Heywood and Coleman likewise underwent the operation. These were marked in chequers, which are emblems of rank and distinction.

      The king of Otaheite had now tabooed hogs. This is, in fact, a kind of proclamation to prevent the use of them, and the natives are so attentive to the restriction that on no account whatever would they disobey. His majesty's motive for this taboo was to give these animals an opportunity of encreasing, for, owing to the great consumption there had been lately of hogs, it was apprehended that without such restriction the useful commodity of pork would become scarce the island. Previous to this there had been general taboo upon the hogs in all the neighbouring islands. In consequence of this they were confined to dog's flesh, fish and poultry, for some time.

      Stewart was the first who adopted the natives manner of dressing meat, which he did in an entertainment he gave to several chiefs who were introduced by his father-in-law. He had a dog dressed in the following manner: A pit was dug about three yards wide, and half a foot deep, the bottom whereof was neatly paved with large pebble stones; in this a fire was kindled by rubbing a piece of dry wood upon the side of another, and which was kept in with husks of the cocoa-nuts, leaves &c. &c. The fuel was taken out and the ashes raked up on each side as soon as the stones were sufficiently heated and which were then covered with a layer of green cocoa nut tree leaves, while the animal intended to be baked was carefully wrapt up in the leaves of the plantain and placed this oven. It was then covered with the hot em-

1794. Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 419

bers, and on these were likewise placed yams and bread-fruit, wrapt up in the same manner with leaves of the plantain, over which additional embers, hot stones with combustibles were laid, and the heat preserved by covering the pit close. If the beast designed thus to be drest is very large, it is split, if not, it is put in whole. A stated time is allotted for the baking according to the size of the dish, which when expired they open the pit and take out the meat, which, as allowed by many navigators, is better dressed than if under the care of an English cook.

      Water being the chief drink of the island it was not much relished by our English heroes, who frequently wished for spirits or wine, as by this time the liquors which they had on board were all used except a little that was used for occasional drinking. Coleman was frequently upbraided for breaking the still, and as frequently courted to renew his labour; but this he peremptorily refused, being too well convinced of the disposition of his partners who, if they had had an opportunity, would certainly have indulged their intemperance. After dinner and supper they had sugar canes to chew, which the natives used in the same manner. With this they were obliged to content themselves instead of a bottle and glass.

      The chief who had made Churchill his Tyo was now taken ill, and not withstanding all the assistance that was administered to him (for the people of this island are exceedingly skilful) he died. Their cures in surgery are wonderful, but their physical knowledge is more confined. The chief was attended by one of the priests, who are also their physicians but after he applied the juice of some herbs he shook his head in order to indicate that dissolution was inevitable! The title and estate of this chief descended to Churchill according to the law of Tyo-ship; and a day being appointed for the ceremony Churchill received all the honours which are paid upon this occasion.

      About this time several of the mutineers disagreed among themselves, and that jealousy and envy which Christian so much dreaded, began now to spread, their baneful influence among them, and be productive of continual dissention. The respect which the natives paid to some more than others was the occasion of much private spleen. Christian, Churchill, Young, and Stewart, had several enemies, particularly the former who carried himself, they thought, in too supercilious a manner, when, in fact, the pride and authority which Christian affected were for their general safety.

      Soon after Churchill had come into possession of his new title and estate, he desired Thompson who was one of their seamen, to fill two vessels which he had with water. Thompson felt himself hurt at being thus commanded, and asked if he knew whom he was speaking to.

      "To a seaman," replied Churchill; with a stern look; but perhaps you forget that I am master at arms."

      "I remember," answered Thompson, equally haughty, I remember what you were when Bligh was our commander; but as to what you are, I think you now no better than myself, although the people here have dubbed you a chief. To be a servant to a villain is intolerable, for we are all villains alike; perhaps, if the truth were known, you are a greater villain than some among us –––"

      Churchill interrupted Thompson with a menace, which the other disregarding, said with a sneer, "D–n you, though you are a chief you shall be your own servant for me."

      Some of the natives were attracted to the spot where these disputants were by the noise they made, and not understanding why their chief Churchill should be treated in this insolent manner, obliged Thompson to retire. This cut him to the very heart, and he began now to meditate revenge both against Churchill and Christian.

      It is necessary to remark, that Christian had advised his men always to carry their guns ready charged with them, for fear of any sudden attack of the natives; for he did not know how soon a breach between them might take place.

      The next day Churchill and Thomp-

420 Anecdotes and Intrigues of the Court of France. Nov.

son met again, when the latter, being of a vindictive disposition, renewed the contention. Churchill was exceedingly warm, having been provoked by Thompson's upbraiding him as one of the greatest villains (alluding to his being one of the ringleaders), and above all with his exclaiming in a scornful manner, "Oh, what a great chief!" that, losing all patience, Churchill exclaimed with much rage, Hold your tongue, scoundrel, or, by G--, I'll kick you." "Scoundrel!" echoed Thompson who immediately leveled his musket at him, and lodged the contents of it in his breast.

      Three natives were present when Churchill fell, who by their loud lamentations soon collected others. Thompson, apprehensive of their fury, fled. Churchill lived but a few minutes, during which time he could not speak; the ball had entered near his heart He was conveyed in great solemnity to the habitation of that chief whom he succeeded.

      The murder was soon reported to Christian, who was extremely affected at the news. Tinah enquired if he did not mean to put to death the offender; but Christian apprehended that if he threatened Thompson with punishment he might be tempted to make a discovery of the mutiny business, and bring destruction upon all their heads. Christian therefore evaded coming to any resolution,but hinted that Churchill being a chief of theirs, and all the same as one of their own people, they should take the business under their consideration.

      In the mean time both the men and women were bewailing the untimely death of Churchill; the latter were particularly clamorous in their grief and continued their lamentions for several nights. Having obtained Christian's permission they intended to bury him according to their own funeral ceremonies; the body was therefore disembowelled in order to avoid putrefaction, the intestines and viscera drawn out, and the cavities supplied with cloth after which it was constantly rubbed with cocoa-nut oil, which keeps it in seeming perfection though it soon wastes away. These operations being performed, the corpse was shrouded, and the relations of the chief whom Churchill succeeded being silent mourners, it was conveyed on a bier supported by men's shoulders, according to our fashion, while a priest attended the procession, which was frequently repeated backwards and forwards, sprinkling the ground occasionally with water and praying in broken sentences. Afterwards the body was laid on a kind of a stage erected for the purpose, as they never deposit a corpse in the Morai or burial-place till the flesh is entirely wasted from off the bones.

      Thompson, in the mean time, being more afraid of his own people than of the natives had some thoughts of repairing to the island of Huheine; for he knew well that Churchill, whom he had murdered, was one of Christian's private counsellors, and he naturally supposed that Christian would resent his death; not only out of respect to the memory of the deceased but in order to prevent any future disturbance among his own people, which might have a similar termination. He was, however, unprovided with proper necessaries for his intended expedition, and wandered about several hours, subsisting upon those berries which were edible, and which he pulled from off the trees in his way.

(To be continued.)

( 481 )




Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge

For DECEMBER, 1794.

502 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Dec.

. . . .

Authentic and interesting Narrative of the Adventures of the Mutineers who piratically seized his Majesty's Ship Bounty.

(Continued from Page 420.)

      THOMPSON's present anxiety was in avoiding his own party, for he did not entertain the smallest suspicion of the natives becoming his enemies, who, as he thought would leave it to Christian to punish his offence, not knowing that Christian had resigned that power to them, and in this, indeed, Christian may be thought to have acted exceedingly wisely; for, without incurring the resentment of any more of his people, the murderer was amply punished and his fate was sufficient to deter others from acting in the same violent manner. The relations of Churchill (by tyoship) were in vigilant pursuit of Thompson, and on the second day after the commission of the murder found him. Whenever these natives are inclined to hostility the preparations which they make give timely indication of their intention. Treachery is very seldom among their faults, but even when they are disposed thereto, they have not cunning sufficient to disguise it. Thompson perceiving them at a distance, knew their purpose by their manoeuvres; they rattled stones together and joined in a war-chorus. Upon a nearer approach their designs were more apparent and one of them flinging a stone at him he presented his empty musquet, for his ammunition was now all expended. The natives retreated till he had fired, for they were now so well acquainted with those arms as to know that he could not fire again without replenishing his musquet; so that they intended to take advantage of the interim. As soon as they had retired Thompson endeavoured to fly, but in this he was disappointed; for the natives had divided themselves into parties, and he found himself so surrounded that refuge was impossible. He presented his musquet at this party as he had done before at the other, which a while postponed their intentions. Perceiving among these a chief whom he had been lately on good terms with, he made signs to speak to him holding out his hands as a token of friendship. But to his great surprise the chief, being more the friend of the deceased than of him, rejected his proposals of peace, and like a man of true valour declared himself an open enemy, Thompson then by signs (which were frequently interrupted by two or three of the natives who were continually making efforts to advance, at whom he as frequently presented his empty musquet) represented to the chief how unfair it was for so many to come upon one man. The chief not only understood but felt this remark, and by some signal which he gave obliged his party to retire while he came up to Thompson by himself. Thompson hoping to court his favour made no efforts of defence; he received however a blow from the

1794. Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 503

chief, whereupon he reeled some paces, while the musquet fell out of his hands. Thompson now fell a victim to their fury; but though he was dealt with in a most barbarous manner, he did not suffer a lingering death. His limbs were all separated and every chief who was related to Churchill by tyoship demanded a part. The meanest of kin received his skull, which there is no doubt is preserved to this day, and exhibited upon every occasion.

      Oedidy reported the unhappy catastrophe of Thompson to Christian. It is impossible to describe his feelings upon the occasion. He felt not for Thompson or Churchill, but for himself, dreading that one day or other it might be his own fate; and indeed he had some reason to think that, encouraged by their success now, they would be induced on every frivolous occasion to renew their attacks and by such means exterminate his whole party.

      Every day the mutineers became more and more convinced of the precariousness of their situation. Several thefts were committed by the natives, and the chiefs paid little or no attention to the complaints which were made against them. Indeed Christian began to lose his consequence very much, while Coleman, from rendering himself useful to the natives, was apparently the most regarded. The carpenters, as they occasionally contributed their assistance towards building, were likewise held in esteem. It is true, Tinah, Oedidy, and the other chiefs, still continued their visits, but they were evidently made not out of friendship, but mere curiosity. Tinah was particularly inquisitive and troublesome. –– His remarks on Christian's story likewise displayed much observation. He wondered that captain Cook's death (if he was now alive) was not contradicted long ago. He was likewise surprised that he should fix his residence in Whytutakee.

      Christian perceived too plainly the impropriety of his story but he avoided equivocation for fear of rendering bad worse.

      Tinah asked him what induced captain Bligh to settle there too? Were the people of that island more friendly and agreeable than the people of Otaheite? He wished also to know is king George had consented to it? These questions puzzled Christian not a little, and his palpable confusion did not escape the notice of the enquirer.

      This inquisitive chief also asked Christian what time he meant to leave them? "Immediately," answered Christian, "if we are already grown troublesome." After this, another of the chiefs observed, that as captain Bligh had settled in Whytutakee and seemingly abandoned his own people as well as his foreign friends, that it would be equally just in him to settle in Otaheite, after the example of his commander? "True true," cried Christian! "perhaps I may, I'll consider." Christian's seeming approbation of this advice served to encrease their suspicions, and in all probability the proposal was made for the sake of trying him: it was impossible though for any man in the critical situation of Christian to be always upon his guard. Tinah afterwards seriously asked Christian if he intended to abide with them during life? Christian replied, with a forced smile, in the affirmative. "Then captain Bligh has used me very ill," cried Tinah. "He received from me some* presents to deliver to king George, and I find that the greater part of them remain in the vessel."

      This unexpected observation made Christian contradict himself and pass it off under a declaration that he was only joking. He waited, he said, for a more convenient season, when he intended to proceed for England; and, according to captain Bligh's directions, deliver those presents to the king in the name of the donor.

      But," interrupted Tinah, "has the captain given you a list of those things which I expect in return, and which are to be sent by the large vessel, in which we are to visit England?"

      Christian endeavoured to amuse the


      * The bread-fruit plants which were put on board the Bounty were design by the chiefs of Otaheite as a present for his majesty.

504 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Dec.

people still with false assertions and promises but he found it no easy task to carry on the deceptions: nor had he prompt answers indeed to make to the different questions which were put to him.

      Tinah, among other ingenious remarks, wondered, that if Christian intended to depart from the island he should have taken to himself any wives: for Christian had two children by two Women, and another of his ladies was pregnant; by suffering those two children to live, he accordingly confirmed the marriages. If the father destroys his child, he is at liberty to leave the woman (as we have before observed) and many children are there destroyed in the island of Otaheite and elsewhere, agreeable to their laws, which are instituted, as they infer to prevent an overstock of inhabitants. Christian however declared that he intended to bring his family to England with him.

      "And yet," interrupted Tinah, "you could not make room for me." "Perhaps," replied Christian confused, "I shan't bring them till the large vessel is ready." Tinah facetiously observed that a large vessel was necessary seeing that so many of his people were married; he then hinted his astonishment at some of them being tattooed: but this Christian represented was intended as a compliment to the island, and that out of respect to the Otaheiteans they intended to introduce the custom in England. He afterwards declared, that when he returned to the island he might settle for good and all with his family provided he found his company was still agreeable to the inhabitants.

      Christian now saw that in many respects the advice which he had given his people was attended with many evil consequences, particularly their having connections in other districts, which created no small jealousy among the chefs of Otaheite. Their conforming likewise with their manners gave room for further suspicions.

      During a conference with Heywood, this gentleman advised Christian to return to England and throw themselves on the mercy of God: but Christian would not listen to this, though he never once entertained a thought that captain Bligh could have arrived there safe. Heywood still urged the propriety of their departure, and was seconded by Coleman and others. Stewart, who was as much averse to the proposal as Christian, apprehended that they were mutinously inclined, and observed to Christian, how fatal it would be for them if Coleman (the friend of captain Bligh) had gained sufficient influence over Heywood to persuade either him, or any of their party, to use violence, and force their return to England. The idea alarmed Christian, who strictly commanded Stewart to observe and listen to their consultations.

      "Rather than return," said he, "I would die! – I know Coleman – the carpenters too – they would all discover --sooner would I suffer massacre, and all the tortures these barbarous natives could inflict, than once set my foot upon English ground to be called to an account, and bear the reproaches that I should surely meet!"

      From that time Christian began to suspect the fidelity of Heywood, and continual jarrings between them took place. Notwithstanding, Heywood still urged the propriety of their returning to England, and endeavoured by the most persuasive arguments to prevail upon him to comply; but Christian was still inexorable. "I have considered it well," says he, "and by G–– I'll die before I agree."

      "Considered! (echoed Heywood) – would to heaven you had considered before you had acted at all."

      This keen reproach stung Christian's soul, and he was never afterwards on friendly terms with Heywood.

      The natives were now constantly on board the Bounty, and as Christian's authority had very much decreased, there were no means employed to prevent it; the consequence of which was, that several depredations were committed, and the seamen who remained on board were exceedingly incommoded by the frequent visits they received.

      Several of the natives now expressed a desire to sleep in the ship, and Elison hastened to Christian to communicate to him their request, at this time Chris-

1794. Narrative of the Mutiny on Board the Bounty. 505

tian had sent one of his wives with a message to M'Intosh the carpenter.

      Christian was by no means surprised at the natives' request, for during their stay in the island several of the chiefs had already slept on board, and it was a common practice while capt. Bligh was there, who frequently entertained Tinah and his wife Iddeah the whole night.

      Christian's wife having returned from M'Intosh, appeared very much distressed; her uneasiness soon alarmed Christian, who requested an explanation. From her he understood that the natives had formed a design to seize the ship and that those who were to sleep on board were to assist in the plot. The intelligence alarmed Christian exceedingly, and he was for some time doubtful whether or not the design was planned by Heywood: but a few minutes consideration assured him of the contrary. Heywood's anxiety to return to England would never admit of his being a confederate of the natives. Of course it was as bad for the one as for the other. However, as there were more of his party that he could confide in, he resolved on both devising and executing a project himself to destroy that of the natives.

      Accordingly he requested this his most favourite wife, and who on every occasion evinced the greatest sincerity and affection for her husband, to return to the vessel and feign herself exceedingly ill. This she did and Christian in a short time after followed, and brought thirteen other females on board with him. None of the other mutineers at this time had the least suspicion of either the natives design to seize the vessel or Christian's intention to defeat their purpose.

      Christian's wife acted her part with most surprising sagacity, upon which her husband, apparently agitated at her supposed illness, requested her to lie down: after some seeming reluctance she consented; and the rest of the women (who were partly acquainted with the business) agreed to stay with the sick lady. In the evening, Christian intimated his design of sleeping on board all night with the women. The natives expressed their astonishment, and repeated their wish to remain that night on board: but Christian, seemingly distrest at his wife's counterfeited groans, declared that it was impossible to-night but that tomorrow night they and their friends might. This occasioned much apparent confusion; the natives were now going backwards and forwards, talking and whispering among themselves, which Christian soon put a stop to under pretence that his wife was very much disturbed with their noise; he therefore requested that they would be so kind as to let her sleep for a while, which he was in hopes would recover her from her indisposition. He likewise expressed an eagerness to return on shore, and therefore seemed anxious that his wife might be able to attend him as soon as possible. With these and similar pretences he prevailed upon the natives to depart but retained all the women, except one of his other wives, who was a confederate in the plot, and followed the natives on purpose to watch their motions and report their intentons.

      Coleman and Norman, who were now on board, were sent on shore by Christian upon some frivolous excuse; for these men Christian had no confidence in.

      Some short time after the wife who followed the natives returned, and informed Christian that her countrymen seemed very much displeased at what had happened; they had however procrastinated their intention of seizing the vessel till a more favourable opportunity arrived, and agreed among themselves to behave to the English with their usual good-nature in order to disguise their purpose.

      The inferior chiefs were only concerned in this plot, as the mutineers had fortunately acquired the tyoship of all those of consequence, and were therefore in no danger of being betrayed by them; it being deemed unpardonable treachery to deceive or abandon any of their chosen friends.

      Christian, not a little elate at having baffled the plot which was contrived against him, found it absolutely necessary to take advantage of the present

506 Adventures of the Baron de Lovzinski: Dec.

      time,and quit the island. There being but few of his party in whom he could confide, he made the women his chief confederates, He intended to retain a few of his own people, and chose, in his own mind, those who were the most illiterate, and consequently the least ambitious; the rest were dismissed on some idle pretences. The ladies were employed in bringing on board as much stores as they could possibly provide with secrecy, while Christian observed to the men, that he wished to move the Bounty to a more eligible situation. At this time there was a native on board, and Christian, in order, to get rid of him, gave him a letter for Heywood, to be delivered to him at the tent. It is supposed that Christian now acquainted the men who were on board (and were to the number of nine) with the necessity of leaving Otaheite immediately.

      Early the next morning Heywood received Christian's letter, informing him that having discovered a base conspiracy among the natives, self preservation prompted him to make a precipitate retreat; and having known Mr. Heywood's determination of keeping his ground or returning to England (if ever he could), he thought it would have been to little purpose to have communicated to him his design. – Providence, he added, might afford him an opportunity of seeing his native country, but for his part banishment was his choice, and he now intended to seek refuge where his name with his bones might be buried in oblivion.

      When Heywood imparted these contents to his few remaining friends, surprise and consternation became universal – Various were their conjectures. – Heywood imagined that he did not know himself where he was going to, but went in search of some new island, while others supposed that he proceeded to the island of Tobooy; for it was remarked when Christian had landed there after the mutiny, in order to shelter from the wind and weather, which prevented them from reaching Otaheite as soon as they wished, that he observed in case they did not meet a kind reception at Otaheite, they might return here and establish a settlement for themselves, seeing that the place was uninhabited. He was also heard to say, that if he had a few hogs, dogs, &c. and some of the ladies of Otaheite there, he would make himself lord of the island, and not proceed any further. Others were of opinion that he went to Ulietea, the natives of which at this time was not on good terms with the people of Otaheite. Some of the women understood from Christian's wives, that they intended soon to visit Palmerston's Isles. This accordingly varied their conjectures. Be it as it may, Christian and those whom he had taken with him, not only eluded the present danger which threatened them, but likewise all future detection. It has been however thought with some reason, as shall be hereafter mentioned, that he, notwithstanding these escapes, perished in his enterprizes; but if the suggestion be false, and he still lives, much may be expected from his abilities which are allowed to be very great, and capable of colonizing any island.

[To be concluded.]
. . . .




Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge

For JANUARY, 1795.

1795. Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 15

. . . .

Authentic and interesting Narrative of the Adventures of the Mutineers, who piratically seized his Majesty's Ship, Bounty.

(Concluded from Page 506 of our Mag. for Dec.)

      HEYWOOD and his people began to consider what they had best say to the natives, whose rage and resentment they had much reason to dread; for they were now bereft of all means of making their escape, consequently exposed to their fury, which, on account of their project's having been frustrated, they had every just cause to apprehend. Coleman railed bitterly against the conduct of Christian; he thought that he should have at least protected those whom he had compelled to join him, nor suffered them to be among the number of the forsaken wanderers. The carpenters suggested the plan of building a vessel, and imagined that they might not only obtain the permission, but likewise the assistance of the natives, for the sake of deriving instruction from the work, as they had frequently expressed a wish to be capable of building a ship. But this plan would have been attended with so much delay and labour, that the rest of the people were discouraged at the mere idea of it.

      Stewart was of opinion that their best way was to behave with candour and sincerity to the natives, and throw themselves entirely upon the protection of their Tyos, among whom were several chiefs of respectability, particularly Oedidy, Poeeno, &c. This was universally approved of, having, according to the laws of Tyoship, a just claim upon these people. One disadvantage, however, attended it, which was a consequent separation, on account of those chiefs being divided; but this being unavoidable they endeavoured to reconcile themselves to it.

      When the natives missed the vessel they hastened immediately to the tent, and inquired of Heywood and the rest where Christian was gone, Tinah was particularly curious, and the inferior chiefs who had joined in the plot equally inquisitive. To make a discovery all at once was apprehended dangerous, nor did Heywood imagine it good policy to own the whole truth. Having, therefore, taken an opportunity of speaking to Tinah, and some other of the chiefs in private, he observed, that Christian thought it necessary to return to Captain Bligh for further directions; and having suddenly entered into this resolution, he did not give even his own party any notice thereof, save by a letter which he received from the hands of one of the natives.

      Tinah shook his head, and hinted that Christian had taken his wives to England.

16 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Jan.

      Heywood endeavoured to remove that idea for fear it might be attended with fatal consequences; and that these people, after the example of Christian, might behave towards them with similar deceit and treachery. He therefore declared, that he took the ladies in order to demonstrate his intention of returning, which having also intended should be soon, he deemed it unnecessary to take leave of the king and chiefs.

      Stewart, who was anxious for an open confession, was exceedingly provoked with Heywood's dissimulation; for, looking upon these natives as susceptible of every nice feeling, he thought it the best way to court their pity at once, and perhaps secure their protection by a candid relation of the facts. Besides, though this dissimulation might gain them present favour, he knew that Christian's non-return would only incur them future uneasiness. Heywood, however, deemed it better to inform the natives by degrees.

      These unfortunate wretches had now no solace, no comfort whatever, but in the embraces of their wives, whose transcendent love and affection served in a great measure to alleviate their sufferings. These generous females endeavoured all in their power to dispel their fears, and defend them from the insults of their men, who being disappointed in their hopes of seizing the Bounty, were very much altered for the worse in respect to their conduct and behaviour. These women were indeed Yaricos in tenderness and love, and, to the honour of the mutineers be it added, that among all their crimes that of an Inkle's ingratitude could not be reckoned. They were sensible of their goodness, the kindness of their female protectors, and, in return, made both affectionate husbands and fond fathers.

      Some fire arms and ammunition had been left in the tent for their defence on shore; these Christian did not attempt to remove for fear of creating any suspicion among his own party previous to his departure; they were of infinite service to the unhappy party left behind, as they not only gained them respect, but were in some measure a security against any threatened attack.

      Fortunately for these men, the chiefs who had made them their Tyos were exceedingly good-natured and honourable. They were not only willing to assist them, but seemed proud of giving their protection.

      The mutineers, in order to secure the favour of the king, offered their services to him on every occasion. His majesty, thinking he was serving Captain Bligh, for whom he entertained a high respect, by serving these, ordered every kind of attention to be paid to them, and gratefully accepted the promise of their services, which he hourly expected he should have occasion to make use of, there being at this period preparations for hostilities, as another had laid claim to the sovereignty of Otaheite. Thus far the possession of fire-arms gave the mutineers a degree of consequence, and procured them not only the protection but likewise the good-will of the king, without which destruction must have followed.

      Still their situation was deplorable, for they had no security of retaining, that good will which they now experienced. These favours they apprehended were but temporary; for such are the vicissitudes of fortune in these islands, such the revolutions which frequent wars occasion, that their enjoyments are very precarious. But what still added to their fears, were the frequent attempts which were now made by those natives who had been disappointed in their previous designs upon the ship, upon those unhappy persons that remained on shore. Heywood, Stewart, and the rest, were determined to preserve what they had, even to the hazard of their lives, and having now no other alternative, austerity was their last resource. They declared that they would punish any native who attempted to plunder, with immediate death, and apprized the king of their determination in order that he might advertise his subjects of their danger.

      There is little doubt but that they owed much of their protection to the great care and vigilance of the women, whose partiality for the mutineers was the occasion of no small dissention among their own countrymen. Hap-

1795. Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 17

pily, however, the majority of their wives were of rank and distinction. This was productive of much consolation, as by such connections they experienced no small advantages.

      Owing to the frequent occasions of making presents, and bartering for different articles, the mutineers were now almost as naked as the natives of the island. They were sometimes, indeed, supplied with cloth by the women, which they appropriated to the use of covering. The immense heat of the sun had likewise burned their faces in such a manner that they had lost all signs of their original complexion. But this was the least of their concern; personal safety was their chief consideration.

      The mercies of Providence were still great towards these unhappy people, for notwithstanding the multiplicity of their distresses, attended with much labour, fatigue, anxiety, &c. they were blest with a most remarkable share of health, which was very little if at all impaired by all the sufferings they endured; sufferings sufficient, indeed, to break the constitution of even the most robust and strong. Though deprived of every wretch's comfort, hope, yet they kept up their spirits, and supported themselves in a most amazing manner through the cheering assistance of the women.

      The mutineers employed themselves in building a boat for the sake of visiting the adjoining islands whenever occasion required. They had also attained a competent knowledge of the Otaheitan language, so that they could not only understand the natives, but make themselves understood; the women likewise were capable of saying a few English words; in short, these unhappy men became at last so domesticated to the island, and attached to their wives, that they assumed the customs of the natives entirely.

      Unfortunately, however, they disagreed among themselves, nor were they always on good terms with the islanders; but each man being under the protection of a chief was happily defended from any attack or violence. Some of the mutineers still regretted their folly, while others, who were innocently forced into the party, bewailed their unfortunate destiny during their hours of solitude.

      About the latter end of March 1791 the Pandora frigate arrived: she was first seen by the natives, who were not a little surprized at discovering their old friend on board, Lieutenant Heyward, who had been with Captain Bligh. An explanation soon took place, and Tinah was speedily informed of the falsity of Christian's story.

      It was not long before the mutineers were apprized of the intent of Captain Edwards's voyage. Coleman felt a secret delight at the information, but several of the others took flight. Heywood and Coleman accordingly hastened to the beach, and perceiving the Pandora, immediately swam from the shore, and solicited to be taken on board. The Pandora's people at first took them for natives of the island, they were so disguised by the characteristic stains which they bore. In a little while Stewart and Skinner also swam off for the Pandora, and were taken on board.

      The king of Otaheite being now acquainted with the whole of the mutiny transaction, revoked the protection which he had promised them, and out of respect to Captain Bligh promised Lieutenant Heyward his assistance in taking them prisoners. The mutineers, therefore, who had taken to flight, hastened to Papera, and solicited the protection of Tamarrah, a chief there, who was at variance with the king of Otaheite. At this time they were closely pursued by officers appointed by Captain Edwards, who, having seized their boat, left them in a state of surrounding danger. In addition to their distress they were disappointed of Tamarrah's protection, for this chief soon became captain Edwards's friend on account of his very liberal presents, which were made for that purpose. The pursuit being renewed, the mutineers were beset on every side, for the officers were assisted by a great number of the natives; but several of the natives, who were relations of the mutineers, remained still true to their party. For a

18 Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. Jan.

while the mutineers made a bold resistance through the obstinacy of Ellison and Byrne, who were very unwilling to yield. Two of the natives fell in the scuffle, one who was for the officers, another who was for the mutineers; the former was shot by Ellison for throwing a stone at his wife while he was making for the river; and the latter by a centinel, who had suffered exceedingly by being pelted with stones.

      When night came on they concealed themselves in a hut with some natives of the wood, hoping to pass for natives themselves, and so elude all search; but having been discovered, they were attacked the next day, and finding ressistance now unavailing, they surrendered themselves to Lieutenant Heyward: their hands were immediately tied behind their backs, and being escorted by a strong guard to the boat, they were brought to a prison erected for that purpose on the quarter deck, where they were kept apart from the ship's company. Through the indulgence of Captain Edwards, they had the same allowance of meat, liquor, &c. as his own men, though, according to the established laws of the service, prisoners are entitled to only two-thirds allowance, as they do not undergo the same exercise and fatigue with the ship's company; the captain, however, upon considering the necessary length of their confinement, not only pitied their situation, but endeavoured all in his power to render it supportable.

      Heywood informed Captain Edwards of the most likely places for meeting with Christian, but though they frequently repeated their search, they could never find either him or any of the nine men who accompanied him. It was supposed by some that they had perished in their voyage, for the yard and spars of the Bounty were discovered at Palmerston's Islands; others imagined that they had fallen out with the natives and lost their lives in the conflict. It is, however, probable, that they are still alive in some unknown island.

      It is impossible to describe the grief and anxiety of the women who had lost their husbands; these poor wretches had used their utmost exertions in defending them from being seized, but when they were made prisoners they tore and cut themselves in such a horrid manner that the blood flowed all over their bodies. Captain Edwards gave the prisoners permission to see their wives whenever they wished it. This indulgence increased the sorrow of both parties. Every day the women were constant in their visits, and brought their children along with them. The wives were loud in their lamentations, but the poor captive husbands lamented in silence their distressing situation: they wept over their children! they wept in the arms of their wives! The women, apprehensive of their being put to death immediately (according to their own savage custom, as they always murder their prisoners,) could hardly he persuaded of the justice and lenity of English laws.

      To convince the reader of the fidelity and affection of these women, the following remarkable instance of their conjugal love, will, it is presumed, be sufficient. – Several of these women supplicated the captain to let their husbands free for a while, and keep them hostages till their return: upon being informed cf the impracticability cf this, they then implored his leave to accompany them, and expressed the most poignant grief on being refused.

      When Captain Edwards was preparing for his departure, the women renewed their lamentations, and began to cut themselves with shells as before; it was with the greatest difficulty that they could be removed from the vessel, and had it not been for some of the other natives, who were friends to the captain, they would certainly have been delayed for some time in their departure.

      It is unnecessary here to give a minute detail of the wreck of the Pandora, which has been already written; we must, however, remark, for the connection sake of this work, that on their return home the Pandora struck upon a reef of rocks in Endeavour's Straits, and had her bottom beat in. Her crew were happily saved, and es-

1795. Narrative of the Mutiny on board the Bounty. 19

caped from their perilous situation to an island in the Straits, except 32 men, and 3 of the prisoners (among whom was Martin, who was detained by Christian contrary to his inclination); these men unfortunately perished by the boat's oversetting. They were now obliged to proceed to Timor in open boats, wherein the prisoners were divided. Here having procured a vessel, they arrived safe at the Cape of Good Hope; the prisoners were thence conveyed by the Thames frigate to England.

      During, the prisoners' confinement a fortune of 30,000l fell to Mr. Heywood: this gentleman's connections were exceedingly genteel, and himself a youth of promising accomplishments.

      On the l2th of September 1792, a court-martial commenced on board the Duke, in Portsmouth harbour, on the charge of mutiny, &c. against

Joseph Coleman, |Charles Norman,
Thomas M'Intosh, |Peter Heywood,
James Morrison, |John Milward,
William Musprat, |Thomas Birkitt,
Thomas Ellison, |Michael Byrne*.

      Nothing material occurred during their trial, which only contained repetitions of the mutiny. It lasted two days, and the evidence for the prosecution then closed. The prisoners were indulged with two days longer, to consider their defence; after which, Heywood, Morrison, Milward, Musprat, Birkitt, and Ellison, were found guilty, and received sentence of death. The two first (Heywood and Morrison) were recommended by the court to mercy, as it was proved that they had occasionally testified strong marks of contrition and remorse; besides, Heywood being the first who voluntarily yielded, there was great room for intercession in his favour. The rest were acquitted and discharged.

      On the 25th of October, sir Andrew Hammond, the commander in chief at Portsmouth, sent an order to captain Montague of the Hector to release Mr. Heywood and James Morrison, who, at the earnest request of the court-martial that tried them, were pardoned by his majesty.

      The captain received the order up to the quarter-deck in the presence of his own officers and ship's company, after which, in a most elegant and officer-like manner, he pointed out to the prisoners the evil of their past conduct, and, in language that drew tears from all who heard him, recommended to them to make atonement by their future good behaviour. Heywood and Morrison were exceedingly affected, and endeavoured in vain to offer their acknowledgments for the tender treatment they had experienced on board the Hector. – Mr. Heywood, however, who seemed to have anticipated his inability to speak, addressed captain Montague in a paper which was received, to the following effect:


      "When the sentence of the law was passed upon me I received it, I trust, as became a man, and if it had been carried into execution I should have met my fate, I hope, in a manner becoming a christian. Your admonition cannot fail to make a lasting impression on my mind. I receive with gratitude my sovereign's mercy, for which my future life shall be faithfully devoted to his service."

      He was attended by Mr. Graham, who took him in one of the ship's boats, which captain Montague was so good as to order for the purpose, and immediately after landing, they set off for London.

      Ellison, Milward, Birkitt, and Musprat, were ordered for execution on board the Brunswick. They were perfectly resigned to their fate, and had a proper sense of the awful change they were about to experience. After the sentence of death had been passed upon them, the Rev. Mr. Howell and Mr. Cole continually attended them every day

N O T E.
*The number of prisoners who were tried 10
Lost in the wreck 3
Murdered in the island 2
Never found 10

20 A Journey through Part of the Province of Munster. Jan.

and bestowed upon them unremitted attention.

      On the 29th of October these unfortunate wretches (except Musprat, who was respited and afterwards pardoned) were executed on board the Brunswick man of war. They were all very penitent, and behaved themselves becoming their unhappy situation.

. . . .


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