Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bligh, William, who was born about 1753, entered the Royal Navy and served under Captain Cook in 1772-74. As a lieutenant he was present in 1781 at Hyde Parker's action with the Dutch on the Dogger Bank, and in 1782 at Howe's relief of Gibraltar. He was appointed in 1787 to the command of the Bounty and directed to endeavour to introduce the bread fruit tree from the Pacific to the West Indies. In April, 1789, when the ship was not far from Otaheite, the greater part of the crew, led by Mr. Christian, mate, mutinied, and putting the officers and the rest of the hands into an open boat, set it adrift, with but little provisions and water and no fire-arms. Captain Bligh and his 17 companions made their way, after terrible sufferings, to Timor, which they reached on June 14th, and where they were hospitably received by the Dutch governor. Promoted in 1790 to be post-captain, Bligh commanded the Director, 64, at Duncan's victory off Camperdown, and the Glatton, 54, at Nelson's destruction of the Danish fleet at Copenhagen in 1801. In 1805 he was sent out as captain-general and governor of New South Wales, but he was so unpopular and arbitrary that after a stormy rule of about eighteen months he was forcibly deposed and sent home. He became a rear-admiral in 1811, and a vice-admiral in 1814, and died in 1817. He was an officer not devoid of merit, and certainly possessed both courage and resource, yet he betrayed a singular capacity for making himself disliked by his subordinates.