Letters Written by William Bligh
Concerning the Mutiny on the Bounty

Letter #1: Bligh to his wife, Betsy

Coupang in Timor
Aug 19th. 1789 

My Dear Dear Betsy

I am now in a part of the world that I never expected, it is however a place that has afforded me relief and saved my life, and I have the happiness to assure you I am now in perfect health. That the chance of this letter getting to you before others of a later date is so very small I shall only just give you a short account of the cause of my arrival here. What an emotion does my heart & soul feel that I have once more an opportunity of writing to you and my little Angels, and particularly as you have all been so near losing the best of Friends-when you would have had no person to have regarded you as I do, and you must have spent the remainder of your days without knowing what was become of me, or what would have been still worse, to have known I had been starved to Death at Sea or destroyed by Indians. All these dreadful circumstances I have combated with success and in the most extraordinary manner that ever happened, never dispairing from the first moment of my disaster but that I should overcome all my difficulties.

Know then my own Dear Betsy, I have lost the Bounty. I left Otaheite all well on the 4th. April 1789 with 1015 Bread Fruit Plants in Pots and many more in Tubs & Boxes in a most flourishing condition. On the 4th. April I anchored at the Friendly Islands & on the 26 Sailed with my expectations raised to the highest pitch, of the great success I was likely to meet with–The Ship in the most perfect order and every soul well.

On the 28th. April at day light in the morning Christian having the morning watch, He with several others came into my Cabbin while I was a Sleep, and seizing me, holding naked Bayonets at my Breast, tied my Hands behind my back, and threatened instant distruction if I uttered a word. I however call'd loudly for assistance, but the conspiracy was so well laid that the Officers Cabbin Doors were guarded by Centinels, so that Nelson, Peckover, Samuels [ie Samuel] or the Master could not come to me. I was now dragged on Deck in my Shirt & closely guarded-I demanded of Christian the cause of such a violent act, & severely degraded him for his Villainy but he could only answer-'not a word Sir or you are Dead.' I dared him to the act & endeavored to rally some one to a sense of their duty but to no effect. Besides this Villain see young Heywood one of the ringleaders, & besides him see Stewart joined with him. Christian I had assured of promotion when he came home, & with the other two I was every day rendering them some service-It is incredible! these very young Men I placed every confidence in, yet these great Villains joined with the most able Men in the Ship got possession of the Arms and took the Bounty from me, with huzza's for Otaheite. I have now reason to curse the day I ever knew a Christian or a Heywood or indeed a Manks man.

The Launch being hoisted out 18 People & Officers were put into her, while I was kept under a guard of armed men, & Christian holding me by the bandage round my wrist with a Bayonet at my Breast, (for all their fear was that I should get 100se)-He told me Sir your Officers & Men are now in the Boat & you must go with them. I therefore determined again to bring on some people to my assistance, but I was carried across the Deck, guarded & forced over the Gangway were [ie where] the Boat was waiting for me, and we were veered a stern. They had got water & a few trifling articles in the Boat, with abt. 150 lbs of Bread & Samuel saved cloaths  for me, but all my Valuables, Maps, drawings, & Instruments Were kept and a Time Keeper. I was now cast a drift in the Sea 10 leags. to leward of Tofoa the NWmost of the Friendly Islds. with the following People with me-John Fryer Thos. Ledward, Davd. Nelson, Wm. Cole, Wm. Purcell, Wm. Elphinston Thos. Hayward, Jno. Hallet, Jno. Norton, Peter Linkletter Wm. Peckover, Lawrence Lebogue, Jno. Smith, Robt. Lamb Thos. Hall, Jno. Samuels, George Simpson & Robt. Tinkler.

The Day proved favorable to us & most providentially we rowed to land and I remained at Tofoa looking for food & water untill 2d. May when the Natives discovering we had no fire arms they made an attack with Clubs & Stones in the course of which I had a very worthy Man (Jno. Norton) killed and most of us more or less hurt. Our getting into our Boat was no security for they followed us in Cannoes loaded with Stones, which they threw with much force and exactness. Happily Night saved the rest of us.

I was now earnestly sollicited by all hands to take them towards home & when I told them no hopes of relief remained but what I might find at New Holland untill I came to Timor a distance of 1200 leagues, they all agreed to live on one ounce of Bread a day & a Jill of Water. I therefore after recommending this promise for ever to their Memory, bore away for New Holland & Timor across a Sea but little known, & in a small Boat deep loaded with 18 Souls, without a single Map of any kind & nothing but my own recollection & general knowledge of the situation of Places to direct us.

Unfortunately We lost part our provisions, what we had was 20lbs of Pork 3 Bottles [of wine] 5 Quarts Rum 150lbs Bread & 28 Galls. of Water.

I steered to the WNW with Strong Gales and heavy Rains, suffering every calamity & distress I discovered many Islands & at last on the 28th. May the Coast of New Holland-On the 4th. June I past the north part of New Holland & steered for Timor and saw it on the 12th.-which was a happy sight to everyone, particularly several who perhaps could not have existed a Week or a day longer. I got into this place on the 14th. and was received with every kindness & civility. Perhaps a more miserable set of Beings were never seen.

Thus happily ended through the assistance of divine providence without accident a Voyage of the most extraordinary nature that ever happened in the world let it be taken either in its extent, duration, or so much want of the necessaries of life.

The Secrisy of this Mutiny is beyond all conception so that I cannot discover that any who are with me had the least knowledge of it. Even Mr. Tom Ellison took such a liking to Otaheite that he turned Pirate, so that I have been run down by my own Dogs. I however have every expectation to get the better of every thing. I have purchased a Vessel to Carry me to Batavia & being now ready for Sea I shall sail in the morning.

This is a very poor little Town I have nevertheless received great attention from its inhabitants particularly the Governor & Second. Poor Nelson died since here having caught a violent fever. The Doctor died at Otaheite of drunkenness.

The longest I expect to stay at Batavia is the 25th. October when the Dutch Fleet sails for Europe in [word here is indecipherable] I shall take my passage if no English Ship is in the Way. I give myself great hopes my Life, of hearing from you at Batavia, for I desired it in one of my letters. The next Summer will however I trust in God bring me to you and my Dear little Girls and that we shall find our affairs in a flourishing way. I shall certainly see you before this letter can get to England and as the uncertainty of its being sent is so great, it prevents me from saying as much as I otherwise should, and indeed I should not have wrote at all, if I had not considered it as putting it out of the power of chance that you should never hear from me again.

My misfortune I trust will be properly considered by all the World-It was a circumstance I could not forsee-I had not sufficient Officers & had they granted me Marines most likely the affair would never have happened-I had not a Spirited & brave fellow about me & the Mutineers treated them as such. My conduct has been free of blame, & I showed everyone, that tied as I was, I defied every Villain to hurt me. Hayward & Hallet were Mate & Midshipman of Christian's Watch, but they alarmed no one, & I found them on Deck seemingly uncerned untill they were ordered into the Boat- The latter has turned out a worthless impudent scoundrel, but I beg of you to relate nothing of them untill I come home.

I know how shocked you will be at this affair but I request of you My Dear Betsy to think nothing of it all is now past & we will again looked forward to future happyness. Nothing but true consciousness as an Officer that I have done well could support me. I cannot write to Your Uncle or anyone, but my publick letters, therefore tell them all that they will find my character respectable & honor untarnished. I have saved my pursing Books so that all my profits hitherto will take place and all will be well. Give my blessing to my Dear Harriet, my Dear Mary, my Dear Betsy & to my Dear little stranger & tell them I shall soon be home Remember to your Father & Annie Campbell & Mrs. C & give affectionate respects to your uncle & family. To You my Love I give all that an affectionate Husband can give-Love, Respect & all that is or ever will be in the power of your ever affectionate Friend and Husband Wm Bligh

Mrs. Bligh
to the Care of Duncan Campbell Esqr
Adelphi in the Strand


Letter #2: Letter to Duncan Campbell

Batavia Octr. 13th. 1789


Dear Sir

By the account that I enclose to you, you will see what hardships and difficulties I have undergone since I had the happyness to see you. What Mans situation could be so peculiarly flattering as mine twelve hours before the Revolt. I had a Ship in most perfect order and well stored with every necessary both for service and health-by early attention to those particulars I had acted against the power of chance in case I could not get through Endeavor Streights, as well as against any accident that might befall me in them, & to add to this I had most successfully got my Plants in a flourishing & fine order, so that upon the whole the Voyage was 3/1 completed & the remaining part no way doubtful. Every person was in the most perfect health, to establish which I had taken the greatest pains & bore a most anxious care through the whole course of the Voyage.

It will very naturally be asked what could be the reason for such a revolt, in answer to which I can only conjecture that they have Ideally assured themselves of a more happy life among the Otaheiteans than they could possibly have in England, which joined to female Connections, has most likely been the leading cause of the whole busyness.

My health has been much impaired but conscious of my honor and integrity with aself acquittal of every particle of disgrace It has buoyed my Spirits up in a most amazing degree-I have done more than ever Mandid-No Man shares with me in what honors I may receive, for I have none that merit it, they however shall never bear any part of my misfortune. I have saved their lives most miraculously & now to save my own I am obliged to fly from Batavia in the Packet which sails on the 15th. and leave all my people behind me except my Clerk & Servant. I have been since here almost dead with a fever, but it seems to be at present tolerably removed. I am still however in a precarious state & scarce can write to you my head is so distracted, the sea air I hope will again reestablish my health.

I leave this account to be transmitted to you by the next Ship that sails but I hope to arrive in England long before it. Should it please God not to give me' life to return let it be remembered there is no one here that is deserving of any attention from their country but my Clerk who has shewn much resolution & behaved well-also a Young Man a Mr. Hayward, but let this remain among ourselves until I return or not.

I think I see you feel for my situation but let it be in no other point than for my health-My Character & honor is spotless when examined, & I shall stand to be tried disspising mercy or forgiveness if it can be found I have been guilty even of an error in Judgement-Happy it is for me that my Clerk while I was bound, saved my Journals & every kind of Voucher, but every thing else was lost.

I write to my Dear Mrs. Bligh to your care also by this opportunity but she will require some information from you. My head is now distracted- I hope You & Mrs. Campbell enjoy perfect health & that I shall see you with all the family enjoying every felicity Give my kind respects & love to them all & believe me my Dear Sir Your most Affectionate Hrble Servt.

Wm Bligh


Duncan Campbell Esqr
Adel phi

Enclosure to Duncan Campbell

Batavia October 12th. 1789



I am now unfortunately to acquaint you that His Majesty's Armed Vessel Bounty under my Command was taken from me by the greatest part of the inferior Officers & Men, on the 28th. April 1789 in the following manner. At day light Fletcher Christian who was Mate of the Ship and Officer of the Watch, with the Ships Corporal came into my Cabbin while I was a Sleep, and seizing me tied my hands with a Cord, assisted by others who were also in the Cabbin all armed. I was now threatned with instant death if I spoke a word, I however called for Assistance and awakened everyone, but the Officers who were in their Cabbins were secured by armed Centinels at their doors, so that no one could come to me. The Arms were all secured, & I was forced on Deck in my shirt with my hands tied behind my back in so severe a manner that I suffered the severest torture. I was now putunder a Guard abaft the Mizen Mast, during which the mutineers expressed much joy that they would soon again see Otaheite.

I now demanded the cause of such a Violent Act, but no other answer could I get, but hold your tongue Sir or you are dead this instant, and holding me by the Cord which tied my hands he as often threatned to stab me in the breast with a Bayonet. I however did my utmost to rally the disaffected Villains to a sense of their duty but to no effect.

The Boatswain was Orderd to hoist the Launch out, and while I was kept under a Guard with Christian at their head abaft the Mizen Mast, the Officers and Men not concerned in the Mutiny were Ordered into the Boat.

This being done I was told by Christian "Sir your Officers and Men are now in the Boat and you must go with them", and with the Guard they carried me across the Deck with their Bayonets presented on every Side, when attempting to make another effort, I was saluted with "Blow his brains out"- I was at last forced into the Boat and we were then Veered Astern in all 19 Souls.

I was at this time 10 leagues to the SW of Tofoa the N Westmost of the Freindly Islands, having left Otaheite the 4th. April with 1015 fine Breadfruit Plants and many fruit kind in all 774 Pots 39 Tubs and 24 Boxes. These Plants were in a very flourishing condition. I anchored at Annamoka 24th. April and left it on the 26th.-

The Boatswain with some others while the Boat was alongside collected several necessary things and some Water. My Clerk secured to me my Journals and Commission and about 150lbs of Bread also a Compass and Quadrant, but no Arms could be got or any maps or Drawings of which I had many valuable ones besides which was lost a very valuable Time Keeper of Mr Kendals make.

The Boat was very deep and much lumbered, and in this condition we ere cast adrift with about 28 Galls. of Water 150lbs Bread 321bs Pork 6 Quarts of Rum and 6 Bottles of Wine.

The day was calm with light Breezes and I got to Tofoa by 7 O Clock in the Evening, but found no place to land, the Shore being so Steep and Rocky, On the 30th I found landing in a Cove in the NW part of the Island, & here I remained with boisterous Weather in search of supplies until the 2nd May, during which everyone Suffered great fatigue in searching for Water as I feared to touch our Original Stock. The Natives now discovered we had no fire Arms and made an Attack on us with Clubs and Stones, In the course of which I had the misfortune to lose a very worthy man John Norton Quarter Master and most of us severely bruized and wounded- Our getting into the Boat was no security for they followed us in their Cannoes loaded with Stones which they threw with much force and exactness. Happily Night saved the rest of us.

I had determined to go to Amsterdam in search of Paulehow the King, but taking this as a Sample of their Natural dispositions there were little hopes to expect much from them, for I considered their good behaviour hitherto owing to a dread of our Fire Arms, which now knowing us to have none would not be the Case, & that supposing our lives were in safety–Our Boat and every thing would be taken from us and thereby I should never be able to return. I was also earnestly sollicited by all hands to take them towards home, and when I told them no hopes of releif for us remained, but what I might find at New Holland. untill I came to Timor, a distance of 1200 leagues or more, they all agreed to live on one ounce of bread pr. day and a Jill of Water. I therefore after recommending this as a sacred promise forever to their Memory, bore away for New Holland and Timor across a Sea but little known and in a small Boat deep loaded with 18 Souls, without a Single Map of any kind, and nothing but my own recollection and general knowledge of the Situation of Places to direct us.

Unfortunatly we lost part of our Provisions, our whole Stock therefore only consisted of 20lbs of Pork 3 Bottles of Wine, 5 Quarts of Rum 150lbs Bread and 28 Galls. of Water, with a few Cocoa Nuts we had been able to throw into the Boat.

I steered to the WNW. with Strong Gales and bad Weather suffering every calamity and distress. I discovered many Islands and at last on the 28th May the Coast of New Holland Where I entered a break in the Reef in Latd. about 12°:50 So and Longd 145:00 East.

I kept on in the direction of the Coast to the Northward, touching at such places as I found safe and convenient to refresh my people by the best means in my Power. These refreshments consisted of a few Clams and Oysters which they had scarce Strength to gather, we were however benefited by them and a few good nights rest.

On the 4th June I past the north part of New Holland and steered for Timor, and made it on the 12th.- This was a happy sight to everyone particularly many who would not have exist_d a few days longer. I followed the direction of the South side of the Island, and on the 14th in the Afternoon I saw the Island Rotty and West side of Timor, round which I got that Night, and took a Malay on board to shew me Coupang where he described to me the Governor resided.

On the next morning I anchored under the Fort, and about II O clock I saw the Governor Wm. Adriaan Van Este, who received me with great humanity and Kindness. necessary directions were instantly given for our support-we exited the commiseration of every individual, for perhaps there never was so miserable a set of beings ever seen.

For three Weeks we had most severe Rains during the Nights particularly, which so benumbed our limbs, that at daylight we were half dead. At these times I issued a tea Spoonfull of Rum to each person, which triffling as it may appear did us a great deal of good. For the whole time we never had a dry rag about us, for if it did not Rain the Sea was always breakinginto the Boat, so that by turns there was forever One Man bailing. In the Rains when dry intervals came, I made everyone pull off their Cloaths and wring them out of the Salt Water, and to this I attribute that none of us were subject to Colds. Our allowance was 1/24 of a Lb of Bread for breakfast and the same for dinner, giving some times a morsel for Supper, with a Jill of Water at each time. The Pork I gave also in morsels at a time as I saw most fit, and the Wine I kept as a medicine when anyone was faint or ill, by these precautions, I had bread on my Arrival, at the same allowance for a fortnight which I meant to carry me to Java, and also about three pints of Wine.

Thus ended through divine providence without accident a Voyage of the most extraordinary nature in the World, let it be taken either for its extent, duration, or for such a length so much want of the Necessaries of life....Josh. Coleman Armr.,Chas.Norman Carpr Mate, Michl. Byrne-Ab,Thos McIntosh Carp.Crew....

In all 25 Hands, but the four last I believe were kept against their inclinations and are deserving of mercy.

Mr. Thomas Huggan the Surgeon died at Otaheite, and James Valentine died in my passage there, which together makes the whole Ships Complement 46 Men.

The Secresy of this Mutiny was beyond all conception, so that I cannot discover that any who are with me had the least knowledge of it. From the open declaration of the Mutineers we are to conclude they are gone to Otaheite, and it is only the alurements of that place and the Womin that has been the cause of all our troubles.

I found three Vessels here at Coupang bound to Batavia but as their sailing would be late, I considered it to the Advantage of His Majestys Service to purchase a Vessel to take my people to Java before the Sailing of the Fleet for Europe. in the last of October, as no one could be hired but at a price equal to a purchase, I therefore purchased a Vessel and called her the Resource.

I remained at Coupang untill the 20th. of August, in the course of which some of us became perfectly reestablished in our health, but others very weak and feeble. and I had the misfortune to lose Mr Nelson (Botanist) whose good conduct in the course of the whole Voyage, and manly fortitude in our late disasterous circumstances demands this tribute to his memory. He died of a Fever-.

I presented a summary account to Mr. Van Este and requested in His Majestys Name that necessary Orders & directions may be given to all their Settlements to detain the Ship wherever she may be found.

I Arrived at Batavia on the 1st. Instant with my health much impaired, and having gone through some fatigue in arranging my business and fixing on the most elligible mode to preserve the health of my people, I was seized with a Violent fever which has almost reduced me to death, and am now in a very precarious State--One of my Men Thomas Hall died this day of a Fever & Flux-

The Governor General. has rendered us every Service I asked, and has engaged to send us by the first Shipping that sails about the last of the Month for Europe. A Packet however sails on the 14th. Instant. but is so very small that she cannot carry more than her Complement-

The Physician General has however made such a report of my health to his Exellency, that it is found absolutely expedient to send me in her to save my life, & I have therefore, considering it not in the present instance inconsistent with the Rules of Service, presumed to seperate Myself from my people. altho with great concern; but to enable me to get my Journals in some order I have permission to take with me my Clerk and One Man, so that there will remain thirteen men who will join me at the Cape of Good Hope.

The Vessel I purchased to bring me here was sold at Publick Sale on the 10th. The Governor General is informed of all my proceedings and is in possession of a description List of the Ship and Pirates, and I have likewise requested in His Majestys Name that necessary orders and directions may be given to their different Settlements to detain them wherever they may be found.

Wm Bligh


A Copy
of one sent to the Admiralty
to be kept secret 

Letter #3:William Bligh to Sir Joseph Banks


Batavia October 13th. 1789


Dear Sir­

I am now so ill that it is with the utmost difficulty I can write to you, but as I hope to be in England before you can receive it, the necessary information which perhaps may be omitted in this letter, will be of no consequence.

I have however for your satisfaction enclosed to you a short account of my Voyage-it is nearly a Copy of what I have given to the Governor of Coupang, & the Governor General here, because my weak habit of body at present will not allow me to do more.

You will now Sir with all your generous endeavors for the Publick Good see an unfortunate end to the undertaking, and I feel very sensibly how you will receive the News of the failure of an expedition that promised so much. The anxious and miserable hours I have past is beyond my description, but while I have health, the strange vissccitude of human affairs can never affect me. Unhappily I have lost it at present, for on my arrival here I was seized with a Fever, which fixing in my head it made me almost distracted. but I am now better, and am to sail in the Packet on Thursy. next which will save my life.

You will find that the Ship was taken from me in a most extraordinary manner, and I presume to say it could not have been done in any other way. I can however Sir promise to you that my honor and character is without a blemish, & I shall appear as soon as I possibly can before the Admiralty that my conduct may enquired into, and where I shall convince the World I stand as an officer despising mercy & foregiveness if my conduct is at all blameable.

Had I been accidentally appointed to the Command, the loss of the Ship would give me no material concern, but when I reflect that it was through you Sir who undertook to assert I was fully capable, and the Eyes of every one regarding the progress of the Voyage, and perhaps more with Envy, than with delight, I cannot say but it affects me considerably. To those however who may be disposed to blame let them see I had in fact completed my undertaking. What Man's situation could be so peculiarly flattering as mine 12 Hours before the loss of the Ship. Every thing was in the most perfect order and we were well stored with every necessary both for service & health-by early attention to those particulars I acted against the power of chance in case I could not get through Endeavour Streights, as well as against any accident that might befall me in them, and to add to this, I had most successfully got my Plants in a most flourishing & fine order, so that upon the whole the Voyage was % over, and the remaining part no way doubtful!, Every person was in the most perfect health, to establish which I had taken the greatest pains, and bore a most anxious care through the whole course of the Voyage.

I even rejected carrying stock for my own use, & throwing away the Hencoops & every convenience I roofed a place over the Quarter Deck & filled it with Plants which I looked at with delight every day of my life.

I can only conjecture that the Pirates (among whom is poor Nelson's assistant) have Ideally assured themselves of a more happy life among the Otaheiteans than they could possibly have in England, which joined to some female connections, has most likely been the leading cause of the whole busyness.

If I Had been equipped with more Officers & Marines the piracy could never have happened.

I Arrived here on the 1st. Instant & sollicited the Governor General to be allowed a passage in the first Ship that sailed for Europe, but he has told me that he could not possibly send us all in one ship, & has consented, as granting me a favor, to be allowed to go in the Packet, for the Physician General has represented my life in danger if I remained here.

I am Dear Sir, with great respect
Your most obliged Hrble Servant
To Sir Josh. Banks Bart.

Wm Bligh


Enclosure to Sir Joseph Banks

On the 16th. August 1787 I received my Commission to Command His
Majestys Armed Vessel Bounty (for that was her establishment) and to fit
her out with the utmost despatch for remote parts. 

The Burthen of this Ship was nearly, Two Hundred & fifteen Tons, Her extreme length on Deck 90F:lOIn and Breadth from outside to outside of the Bends 24F:3In. A Flush Deck and a pretty Figure Head, of a Woman in a Riding Habit....

Out of the Number 45 is One Borne not actually on board, his Pay going to the support of Widows, so that the real Number on board were 44 Seamen & Officers, likewise One Botanist and an Assistant, the whole being 46.

On the 4th. October I was fully Victualled and Stored for 18 Months, and on the 20th. Novemr. 1787 I received my Final Orders to proceed on my Voyage, The purport of which was as follows.

The King upon a representation from His Subjects in the West Indies, that the introduction of the Bread Fruit Tree among them would be of Universal good to constitute an Article of food, and that such having been signified to be His Majestys Pleasure unto the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty by Lord Sydney; One of His Principal Secretaries of State. I was therefore directed to sail forthwith round Cape Horn. for the Society Islands in Latitude about 18°So. and Longitude 210 East of Green'Nich. And there, with the necessary Articles I was furnished with, to procure of the Natives as many Plants as I could stow on board the Ship.

Having completed this I was to proceed through Endeavor. Streights (which seperate New Guinea from New Holland.) and from thence to Princes Island in the Streights of Sunda. leaving to my discretion to touch at Java or any other Island for refreshment & water as I might think most proper.

From Princes Island I was to proceed discretionally to St. Vincents one of the Windward Islands, and depositing One Half of my Plants there, I was to go immediatly to Jamaica, and having given the remainder there to Persons appointed to receive them, I was then with such Plants as were directed by His Majesty to be put on board, to return to England.

This was the sole design of my Voyage, to complete which I sailed from Spithead on the 23d December 1787.

On the 23d March 1788 I doubled Staten Land and attempted to make my Passage round Cape Horn between the Latitude of 59'So. and 61'So, but I met with such dreadfull. tempestuous Weather and mountainous Seas, with Hail and Snow Storms, that altho I tryed it for 30 Days I could not accomplish it.

I therefore (as my people were getting ill, and I had the Honor to have the most discretionary Orders to do as I thought best for the good of the Voyage,) determined to bear away for the Cape of Good Hope on the 22d of April, and repassed Staten Land the next day.

On the 24th. May, Anchored at the Cape of Good Hope, and having refitted and completed my Stores and Provisions I sailed on the 1st. July 1788. Arrived at Van Diemens Land on the 20th. August, and having completed Wooding and Watering, I sailed from thence the 4th. September.

On the 19th. September after having past the South Part of New Zealand. .I discovered very dangerous Rocky Islets never known before, they extend 3 1/2 Miles East and West, and l 1/2 North and South. .They lie from the Traps Off the South End of New Zealand So. 89 East, distant 146 Leagues, Their Latitude is 47'.44'.30" So. Longitude 179°;09' East.

On the 26th. October I anchored in Matavai Bay Otaheite. sailed the 25 December and Anchored in Toahroah Harbour 3 Miles distance from the Bay. I remained here until the 4th. April, when I sailed with 1015 Bread Fruit Plants and many Fruit Kind, in all. 774 Pots, 39 Tubs, & 24 Boxes.

Latitude of this Harbour………………………………………………17';31':26" So Longitude pr. Observn. Sun & Moon and Stars

each side of the Moon…………………………………………………. 210;31:37 Et Variation Compass……………………………………………………….5;31:Et.

I left these happy Islanders in much distress, for the utmost affection, regard, and good fellowship remained among us during my Stay. The King and all the Royal Family were allways my Guests, and their good sense and Observations, joined with the most engaging dispositions in World, will ever make them beloved by all who become acquainted with them as Freinds.

On the 12th. April I discover'd an Island called by the Natives Whytootackee whose Cheif was named Comackaiah, as I was informed by People in a Cannoe that came off to me. Their language seemed to prove them nearly the same People as at Otaheite. This Island is about 10 Miles in Circuit in Latitude 18:52 So. It has Eight small Keys lying joined by a Reef. To the SSE of it, and One to the WSW. The Southermost Key lies in Latitude 18:58 So. the Longitude by Observation is 200': 19' East of Greenwich. Variation Compass 8':14' Et

On the 18th. of April I saw Savage Island. in 19':02' So.-and Longitude

by my Observation 190':18' Et of Greenwich.

On the 21st. of April I made the Freindly Islands and on the 23d. following I Anchored in Annamoca Road. (called by Tasman. Rotterdam,) on the 26th. having completed my Water and got on board some Wood. I sailed.

This Island lies in Latitude 20':16' So 185':30' Et.

On the 28th. of April in the Morning the NWr. most of the Freindly Islands called Tofoa bore NE 10 Leagues and I had directed my Course to the WNW. with a Ship in most perfect Order and all my Plants in a most flourishing condition All my Men and Officers in good health and in short every thing to flatter and insure my most sanguine expectations and Success.

But I am now to relate one of the most atrocious and consumate Acts of Piracy ever committed.

At Dawn of Day Fletcher Christian, Officer of the Watch, Charles Churchill, Ships Corporal, Thomas Burkitt, Seaman, and several others came into my Cabbin, and while I was asleep seized and tyed my hands behind my back with a Strong Cord, and with Cutlasses and a Bayonet fixed at my breast threatned instant death if I spoke or made the least noise.

I nevertheless called out so loud that everyone heard me and were flying to my Assistance, but all my Officers except those concerned were kept in their Cabbins by Armed Centinels and the Armed Chest was in their possession. I was now hauled upon Deck in my Shirt and Hands tyed behind me held by Fletcher Christian and Charles Churchill with a Bayonet at my breast, and two Men Alexr. Smith and Thomas Burkitt behind me with Loaded Musquets Cocked and Bayonets fixed., under this Guard I was kept abaft the Mizen Mast. The different Hatchways were all guarded by Armed Men in the same Manner, and those who were to be sent out of the ship and some of the Mutineers who could be spared hoisted the Boats out, Among these was the Boatswain who with some others got Sails, Twine, Rope, Grapnel and a small Cask of Water into the Boat. about which there were many Altercations among the Mutinous Crew, and exerting myself in speaking loud to try if I could rally any with a sense of duty in them, I was saluted with Damn his Eyes blow his brains out.

Being confined and kept apart from every One, Mr Samuel my Clerk secured to me a Quadrant & Compass, some Cloaths, my Journals, and a few material Ships Papers, but all my Valuable Instruments with a Time peice of Three hundred and fifty Guineas Value, a Valuable collection of Books, Maps, and Drawings, with all my remarks and observations for Fifteen years past, were kept from me, he also secured about One hundred & fifty pounds of Bread.

The Officers and Men being now drove into the Boat One by One, I was told by Christian, Sir, your Officers are now in the Boat and you must go with them. I was then taken hold of under a Guard. and forced over the Gangway into the Boat. which waited only for me, and untying my Hands I was veer'd astern by a Rope. A few Pounds of Pork were now thrown to us being Nineteen in Number and each began to sollicit some of their little Valuables that were left behind them. I desired only some Fire Arms and even at last sollicited two but we received insolence and were told I should have none, Four Cutlasses were however thrown into the Boat and we were cast adrift and Rowed with all our strength for the land.

The Size of the Boat was 23 feet from Stem to Stern and Rowed Six Oars, and was so deeply lumberd that they beleived we could never reach the Shore and some of them made their Jokes of it, However by 7 OClock in the Evening I got safe under Tofoa, but could find no landing, and therefore kept the Boat under the land all night. paddling with Two Oars to preserve our Station.

29th.-Endeavoring to find landing to increase our Stock of Water, and to get some Cocoa Nuts and Provisions.

30th.-Found landing at the NW part of the Island, in a Cove, Latitude 19°:41 So. as I observed it. Went in search of Water, but found only a few Quarts in holes of the Rocks, suffered much fatigue and distress. I should now have proceeded as I intended for some of the Islands where I had a Knowledge of the Cheifs, for I was well acquainted here, but the Wind and Sea was too Stormy to Venture out. Part of us slept in the Boat and others with myself on Shore and as we saw no Natives we felt our distress the more because we wanted not to use any of our own Stock.

1st May-Party out as Yesterday and found out the residence of the Natives, who brought Supplies of Cocoa Nuts and Bread Fruit, besides shells of Water, all of which I bought for Buttons, which we cut of our Cloaths. They all left us at Sun Down. Wr. [i.e., weather] so windy could not proceed to Sea.

2nd.-In the Morning Two Cheifs Eegyeefou, and the other Maccaaccabou, came down, also two Cannoes came in and another Cheif called Vageetee, and having enquired our Situation, and my determination to proceed to Paulehou their King. Eegyeefou agreed as soon as it moderated to go with me. This readiness gave me pleasure, but in a few hours I had as much uneasyness, The Natives began to be very troublesome and shewed signs of hostilities towards us, We however thought they would go off at Sun down as they had done before, and that then I could leave the place without any risk. but it proved to the contrary for three Cannoes were now come in, and places were fixed on for their residence during the night, and fires made.

I therefore determined to do our best while it was light and directed some provisions we had Bought to be put into the Boat. The Cheifs desired I would Stay notwithstanding they perceived that I sawall their people were Arming with Clubs & Stones. We were now all on the go, and taking One of the Cheifs by the Hand, with a Cutlass in the other, and my people with Sticks. we proceeded down to the Boat. when we were attacked by a Multitude of Indians in the course of which I lost a very worthy good man and the rest of us more or less bruized and Wounded.

As I hauled out to our Grapnel I hoped they could no longer annoy us, but here I was mistaken for they launched their Cannoes and gave Battle to us, or rather stoned us untill I got a League from the Land. I could not return their Salute but with such Stones as lodged in the Boat. I therefore as the only thing left for to save our lives, exhorted everyone to persevere in rowing. and throwing overboard some Cloaths which beguiled them, and they lost time in taking up, together with the Night coming on, We very miraculously escaped.

Taking this as a real sample of their natural dispositions, there were little hopes to expect much where I was going, for I considered their good behaviour hitherto owing to a dread of our Fire Arms which now knowing us to have none, would. not be the Case., and that supposing our lives were safe, Our Boat, Compass, and Quadrant, would all be taken from me, and thereby I should not be able to return to my King and Country, to give an Account of the transaction.

I was now sollicited by every Person to take them towards home, and when I told them no hopes of releif remained for us, but what I might find at New Holland, untill I came to Timor a distance of.l200.1eagues, where there was a Governor, but that I had no idea at what part of the Island the Settlement was. They all agreed to live on One Ounce of Bread per day and One Jill of Water.

I therefore after reccommending this promise forever to their memory, I bore away for New Holland and from thence to Timor a Distance of 1200 leagues accross a Sea Where the Navigation is dangerous and not known, and in a Small Boat deep loaded with 18 Souls. without a Single Map, and nothing but my own reccollection and general knowledge of the situation of Places, assisted by a Table in an Old Book of Latitude & Longitude to guide me.

Our Stock of Provisions at first consisted of 150 pounds of Bread (Part of which afterwards got damaged and lost) 28 Gallons of Water, 20 pounds of Pork 3 Bottles of Wine, and 5 Quarts of Rum.

It may be asked what could be the cause for such a Revolution. In Answer to which I have only to give a description of Otaheite, which has every allurement both to luxury and ease, and is the Paradise of the World.

The Women are handsome and mild in their manners and conversation, with sufficient delicacy to make them admired and beloved, and the Chiefs have acquired such a liking to our people, that they rather have encouraged their Stay among them than otherwise, and even made promises of large possessions to them.

Under these and many other attendant circumstance equally desireable, is it to be now wonder'd at, that a set of Sailors void of connections (or if they have any, not possessed of natural feelings sufficient to wish themselves never to be seperated from them;) should be led by such powerful tyes.

But equal to this, what a temptation is it to such Wretches when they find it in their power (however illegally it can be got at,) to fix themselves in the midst of Plenty in the finest. Island in the World, where they need not labour, And where the allurements of disipation are more than equal to any thing that can be conceived.

Desertions have happened more or less in every ship that has been at the Society Isles; but it has ever been in the Commanders power to make the Cheifs return their people. They therefore knew such a plan could never succeed; and perhaps suggested that never so small a Ship and so elligable an Opportunity would offer to them again.

Christian was the Officer on Deck, and the whole Watch being concerned except two Midshipmen who knew not what their Officer was about., it is not surprising that the business was speedily done, all the able men being concerned, and also the Greatest Number, as may be seen by the following List–

People who came in the Boat

John Fryer Master 

Willm. Cole. Boatsn

Willm. Peckover. Gunner

Willm. Purcell. Carpr.

Thos.Dr.Ledward. Actg Surgeon

Wm. Elphinstone Masters Mate

Thos. Hayward. Midn.

Jno. Hallett-Do.

Jno. Samuel-Clerk

Peter Linkletter. QMr

Jno. Norton-Do. Killed at Tofoa

Geo Simpson. Dos. Mate

Lawce. Lebogue. Sail maker

Robt. Tinkler. a Boy

Jno. Smith. Capts. Servt

Thos. Hall. Ships Cook

Robt. Lamb. Butcher

Davd. Nelson-Botanist

18 Total.

Michl. Byrn Seaman (20

Heny. Hilbrant Do.

Isaac Martin Do.

People who remained in the Ship

Fletcher Christian Masters Mate.

George. Stewart. Acting Do

Peter. Heywood. Midn

Edwd. Young-Do

Chas. Churchill-Corporal

James Morrison-Boats Mate

John Mills-Gunners Mate

Chas. Norman-Carprs. Mate

Thos McIntosh. Dos. Crew

Josh. Coleman. Armourer

Thos. Burkitt-Seaman

Jno. Sumner-Do.

]no. Williams-Do

Matw. Thompson-Do.

Thos. Ellison-Do

Wm. Mickoy-Do

Jno. Millward. Do.

Richd. Skinner-Do.

Matw. Quintal-Do.

Alexr. Smith Seaman.

Willm. Muspratt Do

Willm. Brown. Botanists Assist

25. Total Remaining in the Ship

To return now to my proceedings in the Boat. I steered to the WNW. as I formerly had heard from the Freindly Island. people that Land lay in that Quarter.

The Weather very boisterous and obliged to keep right before the Sea. which at times run into us and nearly filled the Boat, and were obliged to throw all spare Cloaths overboard, and every Article we could possibly do without.

On the 4th. May Latitude 18°:50' So Longd. 182°:16 Et I discover'd Land an Island. WSW. 4 or 5 Leagues. On the 6th. Discovered Ten other Islands, and that day at noon was in Latd. 17°:53 So. & Longd. 179:43 East. Many Shoals. On the 7th. discovered other Islands, At Noon Latitude 16°:33' So. 178°:34 Et. were chased by Two large Cannoes but got clear of them by Rowing. At Night torrents of Rain with Thunder & Lightning, Caught 6 Gallons Water.

On the 9th. Fair Wr Kept Steering to the WNW and West.

On the 10th. very heavy Rains, Hard Gales and'a high Sea unto the 14th. suffered much Cold in the Nights being constantly Wet.

On the 14th. discovered Land. Five Islands, and were at Noon in Latitude 13°:29' So. 169°:31' Et. Steered to WSW.

On the 15th. discovered an Island. Latitude at Noon 13°:4' So, Longd. 167°:35 Et. Very fresh Gale & high Sea with Rain, constantly wet, and constantly Bailing. distress'd for Want of Light to see to Steer by the Wr. being Stormy with Thunder, Lightning, Rain and a high Sea, Keeping the Boat before it to the 21st. when we had most dreadfull Weather and the Rain fell so heavy that we could scarce keep the Boat from filling.

To the 24th. The Weather and Sea continued very bad, and we now dreaded the Nights for we were all benumbed with Cold, and what added to our distress in the weak Situation we were in, One of us in turns was obliged to be constantly bailing the  Boat in all this dreadfull Weather, being continually wet and never having a Dry Rag about us. The resource I directed to be taken, was in the intervals when the Rain ceased, to Strip Naked and Wash and Wring all our Cloaths in the Sea, which was a great refreshment.

To the 28th the Weather better, when at midnight I fell in with most dreadful Breakers, but I was able to stand away clear of them. As I knew I was near the Coast of New Holland. I considered this to be the Reef Off
that Coast. and I therefore stood to the West again in the morning to search for a Passage within it. At 9 in the morning I saw the Reef again, and soon after standing along it to the Northward I discovered an Opening which I safely entered and got into Smooth Water. 

At Noon Latitude 12°:46' So 145°:02 Et. the entrance I came in at, SE about 2 leagues.

At 1/4 past 5 in the Afternoon I got into a Bay on an Island about 1/4 Mile from the Main and finding it uninhabited I determined on searching for Supplies, Night came on, we however got a few Oysters from the Rocks which gave us a tolerable good meal.

As our Boat was only large enough to admitt One half of us to rest at a time. I consented that one party should Sleep on shore, but unfortunately having no materials we could not light a Fire.

29th May-At Dawn of day we went in search of Water and what else we could get, and happily by digging found fine fresh Water and plenty of it. Oysters were the only supply besides, of which with our allowance of Bread we made very good Stews. When the Sun came out strong I was enabled to Kindle a fire by a small magnifying Glass.and we then made Tinder and Matches to supply our wants in future.

All hands were very weak which with dizziness in the Head. and a dreadfull Tenesemus, were the only complaints, At Night part of us slept on shore.  30th May-I now determined as the People were a little refreshed, to proceed on, I therefore by Noon got our small Water Casks filled, and having found some Fern Root. that I thought wholesome and very conducive to prevent thirst, I ordered a parcel into the Boat. Birds could have easily have been got here If I had, had Arms, on that account everyone we Saw recalled to us our miserable situation, but providence has been graciously kind to us, for we frequently caught by hand Sea Fowls, which made great additions to our Dinners of Bread. The frequent supply of Water was also a great Blessing but I had not Vessels to contain a Sufficient allowance, it therefore happen'd that nearly half a pint of water was what each person received in the course of the day. Issued at 8 in the morning, at Noon, and Sunset, with 1/24 of a pound of Bread at Breakfast, and the same at Dinner. 

I found the Latitude of this place 12°:39' So 144°:44' E the main appeared with a Variety of high and low land interspersed with wood, and the more interior parts mountainous.

31st-At 4 in the afternoon after having performed Divine Service I sailed. Saw Twenty Natives Armed with Spears, come down on the shore opposite to us.

They were Black and waved to us to come to them.

I steered along shore to the NNW and NWBN, in the direction of the Coast. Saw several Islands, and at 8 in the morning passed through a cluster and saw more Natives armed in the same manner, and made the same Signs, I however did not land.

The Appearance of the Country all changed being very low and mostly Sand Hills.

Landed on an Island and gathered Shell fish, Oysters, and Clams,-also Water in the hollow of a rock which enabled us to fill up our Sea Store.

From the heights of this Island, I saw a Small Key to the NWBN. As my present situation was therefore too near the main, having discovered at this place the Natives to have Cannoes. I again prepared to sail so as to reach the Key before Night. At Noon dined on Stewed Oysters and Clams. Found the Latitude of this Isld. 11°:58' So. 144:29 Et 1st. June-With a continuance of fine Wr. this Evening I landed and spent the Night at the Key abovementioned, could get no supplies of any Kind. some of my people were taken ill with Vomitings and dizziness besides a most dreadful Tenesemus afflicted many of them who had not been at Stool for Three Weeks and some more.

At Noon I found the Latitude of this Key Ir:47 So. Longd 144:24 Et

2nd. June-This Afternoon it came on Strong Gales and my people being still ill I prefered giving them a good Nights rest. to going to Sea. At Dawn of day I sailed, People much better, passed several Islands, The Coast Sandy and Barren. At Noon Latd. 11°:18' So 144°:20' Et I saw what I considered to be Cape York bearing WY2N3 Leagues

3d-At Night I again stopt on an Island whose Latitude is 10°:52 So. 141:05 Et. by corrected Longitude from Cape York whose true Situation is 141°:15' Et. my Account therefore Yesterday was 3°:05' Wrong

4th-At Dawn of day I again sailed and followed the direction of the Coast to the NW. saw many Islands and Breakers-At Noon I was in 10°:31' So. and 140:40 Et. I now found I had doubled the North part of New Holland.

At 5 OClock this Evening I left New Holland and Steered accordingly for Timor. the Latitude of which I was not very certain of, however I determined to make it in the Latitude of about 9°:30' So. On the 12th. June at 3 in the morning I saw the Island of Timor bearing WNW. At Day Light finding I was on the SE end of it, I went to the Southd. of the Island, laying too at Night lest I might pass any Settlement, for I was not certain where the Governor resided.

On the 14th in the Afternoon after having passed through a very heavy, breaking Sea. and Shoal Water, I discovered an Opening into which I entered And Anchored at 3 oClock, which I since find to be a Bay on Timor opposite to Pula Samou in the South Entrance, the Island Ratty being in sight to the SWBS.

Saw some Malays on the Shore sent two Men after them, and they brought several Men to me, One of them agreed to be my Pilot and I agreed to give Ten half Ducatoons to conduct me to the Governor.

This being settled we rowed along shore conducted by him, and on the Morning at Dawn of day. I Anchored off Coupang, and waited for leave to come on shore, At Sun rise I was desired by a Soldier to come on shore, and I was conducted to a Gentlemans House. (Captn. Spykerman) who upon my Application Orderd Breakfast and Victuals for all hands, The Governor from severe indispostion not being able to see me just at that time. The Surgeon a Mr. Max gave us every kind Assistance in dressing our sores, and all who saw us were ready to contribute to the comfort of such poor distress'd creatures, One half of whom could not have Survived a Week longer, and some perhaps not a few days.

The Governor with much goodness became anxious about us and although his illness was very Severe, I had it in my power to see him by 11 Oclock and was received in a most affectionate and peculiar manner of Kindness which will ever endear him to my memory.

Orders were instantly given for our accomodation and Supplies, and I had full power to see my people taken care of.

Thus happily ended through the blessing of divine providence, without Accident a Voyage of the most extraordinary Nature that ever happend in the World, let it be taken either in its extent, duration, or so much wantof the Necessaries of life.

I remained at Coupang untill the. 20th. August 1789 during which time I had the misfortune to lose. Mr David Nelson (Botanist) whose good conduct in the Course of the whole Voyage, and manly fortitude in our late disastrous Circumstances deserves this tribute to his memory. He died of a Fever on the 20th of July.

I have not given so full an account to the Admiralty you will please therefore to attend to it in that particular.