William Bligh

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Bligh, William

(blī), 1754–1817, British admiral. He is chiefly remembered for the mutiny (1789) on his ship, the BountyBounty,
British naval vessel, a 220-ton (200-metric-ton), 85-ft (26-m) cutter, commanded by William Bligh. She set sail for the Pacific in Dec., 1787, to transport breadfruit trees from the Society Islands to the West Indies. On Apr.
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, but he had a long and notable career. He was sailing master on Capt. James Cook's last voyage (1776–79). Later he was a commander in the French wars, then (1805–8) governor of New South Wales, where he was briefly imprisoned (1808) by army mutineers in the so-called Rum Rebellion. Bligh was made a rear admiral in 1811 and a vice admiral in 1814. A brave and able officer, he was handicapped in dealing with men by his difficult temper.

Bibliography

See J. Barrow, The Mutiny of the Bounty (1989); S. McKinney, A True Account of Mutiny Aboard His Majesty's Ship Bounty (1989).

Bligh, William

(1754–1817) naval officer accused of practising unfair and illegal cruelties. [Br. Hist.: EB, II: 82; Am. Lit.: Mutiny on the Bounty]