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    Re: Recreating Bligh's voyage to Timor
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2010 May 30, 21:16 +1000
    Douglas Denny writes:

    There is plenty of evidence of the 'other side of the story'.

    DD, are you sure 'is', that is, the present tense, the correct tense to be using here?  There may be plenty of information available about the Bounty matter now, but what evidence was available in England to base an opinion on at the time of the court martial  ?

    According to your source:
    "When Bligh returned to England he published an account of the mutiny and the voyage in the launch, which made him a hero in the public's eye. This was followed two years later with a book recounting the complete voyage with a retelling of the mutiny and the voyage in the launch. He was still riding high, when, two years after the court-martial, Edward Christian, Fletcher Christian's brother and a Professor of Law, convinced Stephen Barney, William Muspratt's counsel at the court-martial, to publish his minutes, to which he, Edward, added an Appendix. This began the turn of public opinion against Bligh. "

    As Captain he had to "take the rap" after it had happened for what was a very unusual and spectacular event.

    The next time, as the Governor of a British colony, there was nobody else to blame when his armed forces in full uniform formed into ranks and, accompanied by a solemn drum-beat, marched on Government House. They then had some trouble locating the gentleman within the premises.  Eventually Bligh was found hiding under his bed.  He was placed under arrest and sent back to England.  If anything this second mutiny was an even more "unusual and spectacular event", although much less well known, it seems.

    His "retirement" was not necessarily retirement as we know it where someone is 'relived of their duty'.

    By the time he arrived back in London it was a bit late to relieve him of his duty.  That had already been effected, as described.  Nevertheless, he was retired.  As we know it.  They didn't need Oscar Wilde to point out the bleedin' obvious, which was just as well, as he hadn't yet been born.

    It was normal for captains to be 'retired'- in the sense there was no more work available after a voyage; and often there was considerable trouble finding a new post as there were many captains available and too few ship to captain. It was very much a case of knowing people and "influence" to get another post for a position on a ship and a further voyage.

    He did get another post, after the Bounty debacle.  An important one; to a place which was crying out for a good leader at the time.  And luckily enough for that place, a particularly good leader did replace Bligh, in the person of Lachlan Macquarie.  But that's another tale.

    4. Captain William Bligh, RN 13 Aug, 1806 to 26 Jan, 1808
    5. Major-General Lachlan Macquarie 1 Jan, 1810 to 1 Dec, 1821
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