Testimony of Lt. John Hallett (9/14/1792)

Lieutenant JOHN HALLETT of the Royal Navy, late Mid-shipman belonging to the" Bounty," called in and sworn.

Examined by the Court-

Q. Inform the Court of all the Circumstances within your knowledge respecting His Majesty's armed Vessel" Bounty" being run away with?

A. In the Morning a little after Day Break of the 28th. of April, 1789, having then the Watch upon Deck, I saw Mr. Christian, the Officer of the Watch, come up the Fore Hatchway armed and several armed Men following him who were, Thomas Burkitt, the Prisoner, Charles Churchill, John Sumner, and Isaac Martin; I do not remember any more coming up at first. I attempted to go down the Fore Hatchway, but was prevented by two fixed Bayonets being thrust up and being myself ordered to stay where I was-but who were the Men who had those Bayonets I cannot say. I was then going aft, but before I got upon the Quarter Deck I heard Captain Bligh sing out" Murder!" He was instantly brought upon Deck naked excepting his Shirt, with his Hands tied behind him and Christian holding the end of the Cord which tied them in one Hand and either a Bayonet or a Cutlass in the other, and he was kept in that situation with a Guard round him, those Men I mentioned before still remaining under Arms. The Cutter was hoisted out by Order of Christian, and Mr. Samuel, Mr. Hayward and myself ordered to go into her, but upon the Boatswain's and Carpenter's coming aft and telling Mr. Christian that they would prefer going in the Boat with the Captain to staying in the Ship and asking to have the Launch in Lieu of the Cutter, he granted it, and said that he did not wish to compel them or any other Person to stay against their Inclinations or to go. We then asked for various Articles which we thought might be of use, and having got what we could we went into the Boat and were veered astern, Christian saying that he would tow us in towards the Land, but there being very little Wind and thinking we could get in without it faster with our Oars, having procured a few more things from the Ship, we were cast loose.

Q. Did you ever hear any Conversation between Christian and any of the Officers for the Launch instead of the Cutter?
A. No more than I have related. 

Q. What Number of Men were in the Boat when you went into her by Christian's Order?
A. To the best of my recollection I was one of the first-I was early in the Boat; there might be five or six in. 

Q. How long did the Boat remain alongside after you was in her?
A. I think between ten Minutes or a Quarter of an Hour. 

Q. Were all the People that were in the Boat ordered in or did they go voluntarily?
A. I believe the Major Part came voluntarily. 

Q. What Number of Men do you believe Assisted in hoisting out the Launch?
A. I should suppose about twenty.

Q. Were all those unarmed?
A. I remember that one or two of the armed Men gave their Arms to others and assisted and as soon as she was out resumed their Arms.

Q. What Number of Men did you perceive under Arms during the Morning?
A. Thomas Ellison, one of the Prisoners, James Morrison, a Prisoner, Thomas Burkitt, a Prisoner, Henry Hilbrandt, John Sumner, Richard Skinner, Fletcher Christian, Edward Young, Charles Churchill, Matthew Thompson, Alexander Smith, John Mills, William McKoy, John Williams, William Brown, Isaac Martin, and Matthew Quintal. 

Q. At what time did you make the Memorandum from which you have named the Prisoners?
A. I made it lately. 

Q. Had you any Conversation with any of the Officers or Men on the morning of the 28th. respecting endeavouring to recover the Ship?
A. Being so many Armed men and not having a possibility of procuring any Arms ourselves, I believe it was deemed impracticable. 

Q. When the Mutineers gave their Arms to others whilst they hoisted the Boats out, did they give them to their own Party?
A. Entirely so.

Q. Did you see Joseph Coleman, one of the Prisoners, on the Day of the Mutiny?
A. I did.

Q. Relate to the Court the whole that you know of his Conduct on that Day?
A. He assisted in getting different things into the Boat and when she was astern called to the Gunner saying, "Remember, Mr. Peckover, if ever you do arrive in England, I had no hand in this." 

Q. Did you see Peter Heywood, one of the Prisoners, on the Day of the Mutiny?
A. I remember to have seen him once.

Q. Where was he when you saw him?
A.Upon the Platform on the Larboard Side, upon Deck.

Q. What was he doing at that time?
A. He was standing still, looking attentively towards Captain Bligh.

Q. Had he any Arms in his Hands when you saw him?
A. I did not see him under Arms at all.

Q. Had you any Conversation with him on that Day?
A. I do not remember to have Spoken to him.

Q. Do you know whether he was or not prevented coming into the Boat?
A. I do not know that he ever offered to go into the Boat.

Q. Did you hear any Person propose to him to go into the Boat?
A. No.

Q. Do you know any other particulars respecting him on that Day?
A. When he was standing as I have before related, Captain Bligh said something to him, but what I did not hear, upon which he laughed, turned round, and walked away. 

Q. Did he appear to be at Liberty or was he at any time confined?
A. He appeared to be at Liberty.

Q. Relate all you know respecting Michael Byrn?
A. I only remember to have seen him once, he was then keeping the Cutter alongside-I know nothing more respecting him at all. 

Q. Relate all you know of the Conduct of James Morrison on that Day?
A. When I first saw him he and Millward were talking together unarmed, but he shortly after appeared under Arms. 

Q. How was he Armed?
A. With a Musquet. 

Q. At what Part of the Ship was he when he was Armed with a Musquet?
A. I did not see him under Arms till the Boat was veered astern and he was then looking over the Taffrail and called out in a jeering Manner, “If my friends enquire after me, tell them I am somewhere in the South Seas." 

Q. Relate all the other Part of his Conduct from the beginning of the Mutiny until that time?
A. I have related the whole to the best of my recollection. 

Q. Relate all you know of the Conduct of Norman?
A. Norman was employed getting things out of the Carpenter's Store-room, and just before we came away he was crying and saying that he wished he could go with us to see his Wife and Family. 

Q. Did you consider him as one of the Mutineers at that time?
A. I considered him as an innocent Man detained against his Inclination. 

Q. Relate to the Court all you know respecting Thomas Ellison?
A. He appeared early under Arms, and he came up to me and insolently said, "Mr. Hallett, you need not mind this, we are only going to put the Captain on Shore and then you and the others may return on board," meaning Mr. Hayward and Mr. Samuel only, as no others at that time were ordered to quit the Ship. 

Q. Relate all you remember respecting the Conduct of Thomas McIntosh?
A. McIntosh was employed as Norman was, in getting things from the Storeroom, and appeared willing to procure those things for us which we had required.

Q. Did he shew any Inclination to come into the Boat?
A. I did not myself observe any.

Q. Relate all you know respecting the conduct of Muspratt?
A. I do not remember to have seen him.

Q. Relate any other Circumstances than what you have already related to the Court respecting Burkitt?
A. I have related the whole. 

Q. Relate all that you know respecting Millward?
A. As I before said, I saw him and Morrison talking together and saw him shortly afterwards armed.

Q. Do you know whether Coleman, Norman and McIntosh were detained in the Ship contrary to their Will?
A. I have great reasons to suppose they were. 

Q. Did you speak to Byrn?
A. No.

Q. Did you take particular Notice of him so as to form an Opinion of the situation of his Mind?
A. He appeared pensive and sorrowful. 

Q. Do you believe that to have proceeded from his disapprobation of the Event that had taken Place?
A. 0f the Cause I am wholly ignorant. 

Q. Describe to the Court the Situation of Mr. Bligh, Commander of the" Bounty," when Mr. Heywood the Prisoner laughed, turned round, and walked away as you have already related?
A. He was standing with his Arms tied behind his Back-Christian holding the Cord with one Hand and a Bayonet to his Breast with the other. 

Q. Did you go down the Main Hatchway with Mr. Hayward that Morning?
A. I was in the Main Hatchway with Mr. Hayward getting some things out of my Chest. 

Q. Do you remember to have seen Mr. Heywood at that time below?
A. I do not remember to have seen him during the Morning excepting the one time I have already related. 

Q. At the time the Boats were hoisting out can you recollect the Persons to whom the Mutineers gave their Arms to hold?
A. There were very few who gave them up at all, and those who did gave them to some of their own Party, but I can't recollect their Names. 

Q. When the Boat put off from the Ship did you see or hear any Person express any dissatisfaction at being left behind?
A. Coleman and Norman. 

Cross-examined by JAMES MORRISON-

Q. You say you saw me under Arms on the Tafrail and that I did sneeringly say, " Tell my friends if they enquire that I am somewhere in the South Seas "-can you positively declare before God and this Court that it was me and no other Person whom you saw under Arms and to whom I declared the said sneering Message?
A. I have declared it, but did not remark that the Message was said to any particular Individual. 

Q. Can you deny that I did lower down into the Boat from the Larboard Quarter two Cutlasses, two large Gourds of Water and five or six and twenty Pieces of Pork?
A. I remember that four Cutlasses were lowered, as also the other things (he mentions) into the Boat, but by whom I cannot say. 

Q. Do you remember that I did personally assist you to haul one of your Chests up the Main Hatchway and whether or not I was armed then?
A. The circumstance concerning the Chest I do not remember, and have before said that I did not see you under Arms till after the Boat was veered astern.

The Witness withdrew.