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.


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

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Bligh, William

(1754–1817) naval officer accused of practising unfair and illegal cruelties. [Br. Hist.: EB, II: 82; Am. Lit.: Mutiny on the Bounty]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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(5) See generally H V Evatt, Rum Rebellion: A Study of the Overthrow of Governor Bligh by John Maccarthur and the New South Wales Corps (1938) 192-212.
In 1807, this was a major issue in Johnston's pre-mutiny formal complaint to the office of the Commander-in-Chief, writing 'Governor Bligh seems ignorant of any instructions or rules whatever, but such as are dictated by the violent passion of the moment'.
The date of these landscapes places them after the deposition of Governor Bligh and the assumption of command by Lieutenant-Colonel Foveaux, and before Colonel Paterson's arrival in Sydney from Van Diemen's Land in January 1809.
The background introduces such historic events as the arrest of Governor Bligh, the rebellion at Vinegar Hill, the whaling and seal trade in Van Dieman's Land and Macquarie Island and the treatment of the Aboriginal population.

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