HMS Bounty Mutiny

James Hill

Feb 20, 2002
i`ve been reasearching HMS Bounty for a while now but i havent found out anything on what happened on the day of the mutiny only that Bligh was confronted and taken prisoner in his cabin and midshipman Heywood was the first to be sent in the the 1935 film "Mutiny On The Bounty"
(with Charles Laughton & Clark Gable)it shows the mutineers kill loyal seaman in a barbaric fight (one scene even shows a seaman been thrown off a mast and topling onto the deck completly coverd in blood!)i just would like to know did a fight break out?one other thing i would like to know is
how did Flether Christian die i once heard he was murdered on Pitkirn Island.

Dave Moran

Apr 23, 2002
(1) No-one was killed during the mutiny - I am afraid that whilst the 1935 film is a classic pice of film it is far from historically accurate. There was a lot of shoving and shouting, but no bloodshed. If you want another side to the story seek out the 1982 film " The Bounty " with Anthony Hopkins as Bligh and Mel Gibson as Fletcher Christian. It is " more " accurate - though still not spot on - and a cracking good film to boot.

Besides which I thought Peter Heywood stayed on the ship, and was lucky not to have swung " from the hoighest yahd-ahm of the Brutish Navy " himself. ( I do this better in the flesh than in type )

(2) Fletcher Christian was shot by an ex-Tahitian native on Pitcairn Island, after he had arbitrated against the fellow in a battle over a woman with one of the ex-Bounty seamen. There are rumours that in fact he came back to England, may have met Coleridge, may have been the inspiration behind ' The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner " and may have had children...which is nice.

Mike Bull

Dec 23, 2000
To call yourself even half-heartedly interested in the mutiny, you HAVE to buy and read 'Captain Bligh & Mister Christian' by Richard Hough-the definitive work on the whole subject in most people's opinion. And I'll second the recommendation to see 'The Bounty', it's a cracker, even though Anthony Hopkin's accent is all over the place!!!

Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
Agreed it's a very interesting book, Mike - certainly had a tremendous influence on my understanding of the Mutiny. I particularly appreciated his very shaded interpretation of the cast of characters, and particularly the two main protagonists - no cut and dried heroes and villains in that book.

Out of curiousity, for those more versed in Bounty-Lore than I am, how have Hough's theories and interpretations of the root causes of the incident stood up to subsequent critical analysis? Is it still regarded as the definitive work? I understand that 'Captain Bligh's Portable Nightmare' is even more sympathetic to Bligh, but is there any consensus of opinion that Hough got to the heart of the whole affair with his theories? Or is there the usual set of armed camps that one finds on any fairly radical historical theory?

Jim Stein

May 1, 2003
I've been interested in the Bounty saga since my early teens.
My main resouces are "The Bounty Trilogy" Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall and "Mutiny Aboard H.M Armed Transport Bounty in 1789" R.M Bowker and Lt William Bligh R.N.
There is an excellent group on yahoo Friends of Pitcairn who have regular contact with the island and Herb Ford at the Pitcairn Study Centre.
I've already completed one model of the Bounty and I am into my second.

Dave Moran

Apr 23, 2002
There is a superb radio play on the ' Bounty' available from the BBC in which Captain Bligh is played by the late, great Oliver Reed which is worth searching out. Called " Mutiny on the Bounty " ( natch ) it runs about 2 and a half hours, is very atmospheric and well worth a listen.
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
From The Times OnLine:

Log book’s discovery reveals how Navy caught up with Bounty mutineer

It was the moment the Royal Navy finally caught up with the mutineers who had taken over HMS Bounty and set its captain William Bligh adrift in an open boat.

For 25 years warships had searched the South Pacific to bring the mutineers to justice but found no trace of them.

Now, a naval officer’s logbook containing a brief account of the rediscovery of Pitcairn Island, where the mutineers led by Fletcher Christian had taken refuge, has turned up in a house clearance in Cambridge.
More at

Similar threads

Similar threads