Statement by Michael Byrn (9/17/1792)

MICHAEL BYRN being called upon for his Defence, he delivered to the Court a Paper Writing containing his Defence, which was read by the Judge Advocate and is hereto annexed.

It has pleased the Almighty, amongst the Events of his unsearchable Providence, nearly to deprive me of Sight, which often puts it out of my Power to carry the Intentions of my Mind into Execution.

I make no Doubt but it appears to this Honorable Court that on the 28th. of April, 1789, my Intention was, to quit His Majesty's Ship the" Bounty" with the Officers and Men who went away, and that the Sorrow I expressed at being detained was real and unfeigned.

I do not know whether I may be able to ascertain the exact Words that were spoken on the Occasion; but some said, "We must not part with our Fiddler," and Charles Churchill threatened to send me to the Shades, if I attempted to quit the Cutter, into which I had gone, for the Purpose of attending Lieut. Bligh.

Without trespassing more on the Time of this Honorable Court I, with the most profound Humility, willingly submit my Fate to the Judgment and Mercy with which it may decide upon the Reward, which it may be induced to think. is merited by their unfortunate Prisoner