Statement by John Millward (9/17/1792)
JOHN MILLWARD, being called on for his Defense, delivered to the Court a Paper Writing containing his Defense, which was read by the Judge Advocate and is hereto annexed.
About Six a Clock on the Morning of the 28th day of April, 1789, Mr. Cole and Mr. Purcell came to my Hammock and Waked me (as also J as. Morrison, Thos. McIntosh and Geo. Simpson, who all slept in the Same tier on the Larboard Side of the Fore Mast) telling us that Mr. Christian had taken the Ship and that Captain Bligh was then Prisoner on the Quarter Deck with his hands tied behind him, saying at the same time they hoped that none of us were Concerned in the Mutiny. I told them I had never heard of it before, and that they might depend on me not having any Intention to join the Mutineers. They then left me and I went up the Fore Scuttle on the Fore Castle where I was met by Chas. Churchill, who told me I might take my Choice to go in the Boat or Stay in the Ship, to which I answered, "No, Charles, you brought me into one Predicament already I and I'll take Care you don't bring me into another." He then left me saying" As you like it," and I went abaft the Windlass, where I met Mr. Cole, who asked me what I was doing. I told him, " Nothing." He then desired me to lend a hand to clear the Cutter, and I went immediately. The small Cutter was out, but very leaky, and as soon as the large Cutter was out the Small one was hoisted in, and the Launch ordered to be cleared. While I was about this, Mr. Fryer Came to Morrison and Me and asked if we were concerned in the Mutiny. I told him no. He then desired us to do our endeavor to form I party to retake the Ship and we answered that we would. I then shook hands with Morrison and we Swore to Stand by each other. I then went Aft on the Starboard side of the Quarter Deck and spoke to Burkett. Seeing him Without Arms I asked him if He had any hand in the Mutiny; he told me No. I then told him what Mr. Fryer had said and he promised to assist us, saying he would watch for an Opportunity. We could say No more on Account of the Sentinels Coming towards us and I left him. I then went forward on the Booms and saw Willm. Muspratt by the Fore hatchway. I made known Mr. Fryer's Intentions to him and went down to Mr. Cole who, together with Lawc. La Bogue, were packing up some things in the Fore Cockpit. I told him what Mr. Fryer had said, to which he said he was afraid it was too late. I then Came upon deck and went to assist in getting the boat out. While I was hauling the Main trusses taught, Alexr. Smith Came to me with a Cutlass in his hand, saying, "Take hold of this, Millward." I asked him, what I was to do with it, to which he replied, "Never you mind, lay hold of it." I took it and he left me; as soon as he was gone I went aft and stuck it in the lashing of the Dripstone and went to hook the tackle on the Boat and she was hoisted out; when she was out I Came aft to the Cabin hatchway to hand the things up that were to go into her. While I was here Mathw Quintrell came running up and desired me to take hold of the Musket and pistols, which he had then in his hands. I refused to take them, telling him I had other business in hand, When Mr. Christian, Stepping towards me with a Bayonet in his right hand (his left on Captain Bligh's Shoulder), told me to take them and go down and stand in the Cabin Passage. I was afraid to deny and accordingly Obeyed his orders. When I went below I found in. Sumner, the Sentry, at Mr. Fryer's Cabin door; when I found an Opportunity of Speaking to Mr. Fryer I asked him if the Pistols I had were what came out of his CatLin and if they were loaded with ball. He told me they were the same and that they only Contained loose powder. "Then, Sir," said I, " I won't trust to them." I was there about a quarter of an hour when Churchill carne to the Companion and Ordered the Officers up, telling them the boat was ready for them, upon which I came up Immediately, expecting this was the time, if ever, to make a push, when all the Officers were upon Deck, and was ready to assist if any Offer was made. When Mr. Fryer Came up He went to Mr. Christian and begged leave to stay in the Ship, but Mr. Christian answered, "No, Sir, We can do very well without you, go in the boat." Mr. Hallet and. Mr. Hayward then Came and begged leave to stay, but were denied and Ordered into the Boat, which they with much reluctance Obeyed; when they were in the Boat they begged that no more people should Come into her, for that she was then overloaded. Captain Bligh then said, "For God's sake, my lads, don't overload the Boat; 1 will do you Justice if ever I reach England." He then begged of Mr. Christian to desist and said, "Consider my Wife and family"; to Which He replied, "It is too late now, Captain Bligh, You should have thought of them before this time." Then Churchill said, "Come, come, Captain Bligh, your Officers are in the Boat and waiting for you and you must go." Captain Bligh then went into the Boat and she was worn astern. Mr. Christian then Called to me and giving me a Musket desired me to go Aft and keep the people from discoursing with the Captain, upon which I went Aft and gave them all the Assistance that I could and handed every thing that Mr. Christian would permit and when the Boat was Ordered to be Cast off I pulled my Jacket off and threw it in to George Simpson, who was my Messmate, and with it my prayers for their protection, being all that I was then Able to do or say as Christian's party were all around me watching every thing that was done.
Mr. WILLIAM COLE called.
Examined by JOHN MILLWARD
The Court adjourned till to-Morrow Morning at nine o’clock.
THE BOUNTY MUTINEERS TRIAL HOMEPAGE