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Bounty

Bounty, 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. 28, 1789, the ship's mate, Fletcher Christian, led a successful mutiny against Bligh. The captain and 18 of his crew were set adrift in the Bounty 's 23-ft (7-m) open launch. By remarkable seamanship they went 3,618 mi (5,822 km) in 48 days, reached Timor in June, and proceeded to England. Some of the mutineers were later captured and court-martialed in England; three were executed. Other mutineers under Christian, along with Tahitian women, landed at Pitcairn Island, burned the Bounty, and founded a colony where all but one were subsequently murdered by their servants. The mutineers' descendants continue to live on the island, where the Bounty 's remains were found in 1957.

See A. McKee, H.M.S. Bounty (1961); J. Barrow, The Mutiny of the Bounty (1989); S. McKinney, A True Account of Mutiny Aboard His Majesty's Ship Bounty (1989); C. Alexander, The Bounty (2003).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History


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