He is chiefly remembered for the mutiny (1789) on his ship, the Bounty, 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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