Royal Naval Biography/Heywood, Peter
PETER HEYWOOD, Esq
[Post-Captain of 1803.]
This officer is a son of the late Peter John Heywood, Esq. a Deemster of the Isle of Man, and Seneschal to his Grace the Duke of Athol, by Elizabeth, daughter of James Spedding, of Whitehaven, co. Cumberland, Esq.; and was born at his father’s residence, the Nunnery, near Douglas, June 6, 1773.
He entered the naval service as a Midshipman, Oct. 11, 1786; and made his first voyage in the Bounty, a ship of about two hundred and fifteen tons, which had been purchased by government and fitted up for the purpose of conveying the bread-fruit and other plants from Otaheite to the West India islands, in consequence of the merchants and planters having represented that essential benefit would be derived from the introduction of the former as an article of food for the inhabitants of those colonies.
The deplorable result of this undertaking is well-known to the public, though the extraordinary circumstances that occurred on board the Bounty, previous to the fatal morning of April 28, 1789, have either escaped the notice, or not been deemed worthy the attention of other writers on naval subjects. To her commander’s “Narrative of the Mutiny” which broke out on that day, it would be folly to look for any statement having a tendency to implicate his own conduct: Captain Schomberg, when compiling his “Naval Chronology,” appears to have placed implicit reliance on Lieutenant Bligh’s assertions; and in fact we have met with only one publication intended for professional use, in which the least hint is given of the unjust and harsh proceedings which gave rise to that unhappy transaction. A private journal, long in our possession, the publication of which was only prevented by the death of its original owner, the late Mr. James Morrison, Gunner of H.M.S. Blenheim, who had the misfortune to witness all that he has related, enables us at length to withdraw the veil by which the world has been so long blinded.
On the 23d Dec. 1787, the Bounty sailed from Spithead under the command of Lieutenant William Bligh, in whose person were united the offices of Commander and Purser, as had hitherto been the custom in all our voyages of discovery. This was done with a view to the more economical management of the provisions and victualling stores; but it proved on this, as on all former expeditions to the Southern hemisphere, the cause of very serious discontent among the officers and crew.
A few days after her departure from Santa Cruz, at which place she had anchored for the purpose of completing her water, and procuring such scanty refreshments as the island of Teneriffe at that season afforded, Lieutenant Bligh ordered the cheese to be hoisted up and exposed to the air; which was no sooner done than he pretended to miss a certain quantity, and declared that it had been stolen. The cooper, Henry Hillbrant, informed him that the cask in question had been opened by the orders of Mr. Samuel, his clerk, who acted also as steward, and the cheese sent on shore to his own house, previous to the Bounty leaving the river on her way to Portsmouth. Lieutenant Bligh, without making any further enquiry, immediately ordered the allowance of that article to be stopped, both from officers and men, until the deficiency should be made good, and told the cooper he would give him a d___d good flogging, if he said another word on the subject.
The next day, in conformity to his order, butter only was issued, which the crew refused, alleging that their acceptance of it, without cheese, would be a tacit acknowledgment of the supposed theft: John Williams, a seaman, at the same time asserting that he had been employed to carry the cheese to Lieutenant Bligh’s house, together with a cask of vinegar, and several other articles of provisions, which had been sent up the river in a boat from Long Reach. The ship’s company persisting in their refusal to take the butter singly, it was also kept back for two banyan days, and no more notice taken of the affair.
On approaching the equator, some pumpkins, purchased at Teneriffe, began to decay, and as they were in general too large for the use of Lieutenant Bligh and his messmates (the Master and Surgeon), the clerk received directions to issue them in lieu of bread. The crew, on enquiring at what rate the exchange was to be made, were told that one pound of pumpkin was to be considered as an equivalent for two pounds of biscuit, of which latter article they had been on two-third’s allowance ever since their departure from Santa Cruz. Their evident reluctance to accept the proposed substitute, on such terms, being reported to Lieutenant Bligh, he flew upon deck in a violent rage, turned the hands up, and ordered the first man on the list of each mess to be called by name; at the same time saying, “I’ll see who will dare to refuse the pumpkin, or any thing else I may order to be served out;” to which he added, “You d___d infernal scoundrels, I’ll make you eat grass, or any thing you can catch, before I have done with you.” This speech had the desired effect, every one receiving the pumpkin, even the officers; but they having still a good private stock of potatoes, did not feel the want of bread so sensibly as the men.
To this grievance another quickly succeeded. As the commander’s private stock decreased, the beef and pork issued to the ship’s company began to appear very light; but as the contents of the casks had never been weighed, it was supposed that those recently opened did not contain the quantity marked on them, and a representation to that effect was accordingly made in the quiet and orderly manner prescribed by the 21st article of war; but Lieutenant Bligh, instead of directing the meat to be cut up and issued in the regular manner, called the crew aft, told them that every thing relative to the provisions was transacted by his orders, that it was therefore needless for them to. complain, as they would get no redress,, he being the fittest judge of what was right or wrong, and that he would flog the first man who should dare attempt to make any complaint in future. To this imperious menace they bowed in silence, and not another murmur was heard from them during the remainder of the voyage to Otaheite, it being their determination to seek legal redress on the Bounty’s return to England. The officers, on the contrary, did not refrain from talking among themselves of Lieutenant Bligh’s unjustifiable conduct in causing the prime pieces to be constantly appropriated to his own use, whilst they were obliged to take their chance of what remained, in common with the men, and that without having the satisfaction of even knowing the weight of those very inferior pieces which often fell to their share.
On the 23d March, 1788, the coast of Terra del Fuego was discovered, and a sheep which had died that morning was served out instead of the day’s allowance of pork and pease, Lieutenant Bligh observing that it weighed upwards of 50lbs. and would make a delicious meal. The men however, not coinciding with him in that opinion, took the first opportunity of throwing their respective shares overboard, and some dried shark supplied its place for a Sunday’s dinner.
Lieutenant Bligh, in his “History of the Bounty’s Voyage to the South Seas,” at p. 31, says,– “Sunday, 13 April, 1788; This morning, owing to the violent motion of the ship, the cook fell and broke one of his ribs;” our journalist informs us, that at that period“ wheat and barley were boiled every morning for breakfast, instead of burgoo; but the quantity was so small, that the division of it caused frequent broils in the galley, and was sometimes attended with bad consequences. In one of those disputes the cook had two of his ribs broken; and at another time, Charles Churchill, the master at arms, was badly scalded in the hand, The proportion of pease and oatmeal had previously been reduced to so low a scale that the officers, ‘unable to stand the brunt with the men,’ frequently went without their share; but the cabin inmates always took care to have theirs.”
Proceeding to p. 33, we find Lieutenant Bligh describing the tempestuous weather he experienced in his attempt to reach the Society Islands by the way of Cape Horn, but without bestowing the least commendation upon his officers and crew for the cheerfulness with which they had invariably performed their duty. His intentions throughout the volume are apparent he studiously conceals every circumstance calculated to reflect credit upon them, or lead to an inference that any cause of discontent existed previous to their meeting with the fair inhabitants of Otaheite, to whose fascinating endearments he so ingeniously ascribes his subsequent mis-fortunes. In the MS. before us appear the following passages:
“The hard duty and continued fatigue which the rigorous season required, together with their constant exposure to wet; the intense cold, and the unwholesome state of the lower-deck, the hatches being continually battened down, caused several of the crew to fall sick, and the duty of course fell heavier on those who were able to work, but it was still carried on with alacrity and spirit. On the 22d April, Lieutenant Bligh ordered the healthy part of the crew aft, returned them his thanks for their unremitted good behaviour in such a trying situation, and informed them of his intention to bear away for the Cape of Good Hope. This intimation was received with universal joy, and returned with three hearty cheers.”
The Bounty anchored in Simon’s Bay May 24; sailed from thence July 1; and arrived in Adventure Bay Van Dieman’s Land, Aug. 20, 1788.
“Whilst there the seeds of eternal discord were sown between Lieutenant Bligh and some of his officers. He confined the carpenter, and found so much fault with the others as to cause continual disputes among them, each endeavouring to thwart the others in their duty. The men, on observing this, redoubled their exertions in order to avoid the impending Storm, and rejoiced in private at their good success.
“During the passage from Van Dieman’s Land to Otaheite, Lieutenant Bligh and his messmates quarrelled and divided their private stock, from which time they seldom spoke to each other, except on duty, and even then with, much reserve. Previous to their arrival in Matavie Bay, a dispute took place between Mr. Bligh and the Master, who, for reasons best known to himself, refused to sign some books connected with the ship’s accounts. Upon this the crew were called aft, and the Articles of War, with part of the General Printed Instructions read to them; after which the books in question were produced, and the commander said, ‘now, sir, sign these books;’ to which the other, taking up a pen, replied, ‘I sign in obedience to your orders, but this may be cancelled hereafter.’ The books were then handed to the clerk, and the people returned to their duty.
“Immediately on anchoring in Matavie Bay, (Oct. 26,) an order was stuck upon the mizen-mast, prohibiting the purchase of curiosities, or any thing except provisions:– there were very few, if any, instances of this injunction being disobeyed, for no curiosity struck the crew so forcibly as a roasted pig and some bread-fruit. Those invitiug objects came in abundance, and the articles of trade possessed by the men were freely parted with in exchange. The King’s allowance of every species, except spirits, was from that moment stopped, but some time elapsed before the means .of barter were issued from the public store.
“The ship being moored, a tent was pitched on Point Venus for the use of the botanist, and the gunner sent to trade for hogs. Mr. Fletcher Christian, Mr. Peter Heywood, and 4 men, were also sent as a guard, in case the natives should behave amiss.
“As long as the salting continued provisions were in great plenty, each man being allowed two pounds of the bones and such other parts as were not fit for that purpose, per diem, which added to their own purchases enabled them to live extremely well; but the supply of hogs at length becoming slack, Lieutenant Bligh seized on all that came to the ship, whether large or small, dead or alive, claiming them as his property, and serving them out as the ship’s allowance, in the proportion of one pound per diem. He also seized on those belonging to the Master, and slaughtered them for the use of the crew, although he had more than forty of his own on board at the time, and others were to be bought in the market at very little more than the price first paid. When the Master remonstrated with him on the subject, he replied, that ‘he would convince him that every thing became his as soon as it was brought on board; that he would take nine-tenths of any man’s property, and let him see who dared to say any thing to the contrary.’ The sailors’ pigs were seized without ceremony, and it became a favor for a man to obtain an extra pound of his jown meat.
“The natives being aware of this proceeding, and not knowing but that their hogs would be taken from them also, became very shy of bringing any into Lieutenant Bligh’s sight, either on board or a-shore, but availed themselves of every opportunity, whilst he was out of the ship, to supply the officers and crew. He, however, observed their movements, and finding that his diligence was likely to be evaded, ordered a book to be kept in the binnacle drawer, and the officer of the watch to enter therein the number of hogs brought on board, with the weight of each. To obviate this difficulty, the natives cut them, and wrapping the different joints in leaves, covered them with bread-fruit, &c. by which means they eluded his vigilance, and full bellies were still the order of the day.
“We removed from Matavie to Oparre, the latter affording a more secure anchorage, on the 25th Dec. 1788; and kept our Christmas on the 28th, each man having double allowance of spirits, for which a provision had already been made by stopping the allowance of all those who had not crossed the equator previous to this voyage. On new-year’s day a similar indulgence was granted, after which all hands were put on half allowance; but as we had plenty of cocoa-nut milk, the grog was not missed. Our friendly islanders kept us well supplied with cocoa-nuts, notwithstanding the frequent seizures made by Lieutenant Bligh.
“The object of our visit to the Society Islands being at length accomplished, we weighed at 6h 30' A.M. on the 4th April, 1789; but for want of wind was obliged to tow and sweep the ship out of the harbour. Every one seemed in high spirits, and began to talk of home as though they had just left Jamaica instead of Otaheite; so far onward did their flattering fancies waft them. On the 23d we anchored off Annamooka, the inhabitants of which island were very rude, and attempted to take the casks and axes from the parties sent to fill water and cut wood. A musket pointed at them produced no other effect than a return of the compliment by poising their clubs or spears with menacing looks; and as it was Lieutenant Bligh’s orders that no person should affront them on any occasion, they were emboldened by meeting with no check to their insolence They at length became so troublesome that Mr. Christian, who commanded the watering party, found it difficult to carry on his duty; but on acquainting Lieutenant Bligh with their behaviour, he received a volley of abuse; was d___d as a cowardly rascal, and asked if he were afraid of naked savages whilst he had weapons in his hand? To this he replied in a respectful manner, ‘the arms are of no effect, sir, while your orders prohibit their use.’
“Having completed the water, and taken on board large quantities of yams, cocoa-nuts, plantains, &c. we weighed with a light air about noon on the 26th. The ship’s company were then drawn up under arms, and three native chiefs, who had not yet taken their leave, were made prisoners, in consequence of a boat’s grapnel, stolen on the preceding day, not being restored. Expressing great displeasure at such treatment, they were soon, after forced below and compelled to peel cocoa-nuts for Lieutenant Bligh’s dinner. The officers and crew were subsequently dismissed, but not without being told that they were a parcel of lubberly rascals, and that their commander would undertake to be one of five men with broomsticks who would disarm the whole of them. He even went so far as to present a pistol at William M‘Koy, and threaten to shoot him for not paying sufficient attention to his very flattering compliment.
“About 4 P.M., seeing no appearance of the grapnel, the chiefs were allowed to depart in the only canoe that had ventured to remain near the ship. In her were several females weeping bitterly, and giving further proofs of their anguish by inflicting terrible wounds on their own persons. The eldest of the chiefs also acted in a similar manner; and the whole, when going away, appeared like men who only smothered their resentment, seeing they had not the power of revenging the insult which had been offered to them. It was the opinion of most on board, that if a weak manned ship were to come in their way, her crew would have cause to deplore this day’s transaction.”
“Thus far,” says Lieutenant Bligh, “the voyage had advanced in a course of uninterrupted prosperity, and had been attended with many circumstances equally pleasing and satisfactory. A very different scene was now to be experienced. A conspiracy had been formed, which was to render all our past labour productive only of extreme misery and distress. The means had been concerted and prepared with so much secrecy and circumspection, that no one circumstance appeared to occasion the smallest suspicion of the impending calamity.“It is now our business to shew, that so far from a conspiracy having existed prior to the Bounty’s departure from the Society Islands, the plot was conceived and carried into execution between the hours of 4 and 8 A.M. on the 28th April, the second day after she quitted Annamooka.
“In the afternoon of the 27th,” adds the writer of the MS. “Lieutenant Bligh came upon deck, and missing some of the cocoa-nuts, which had been piled up between the guns, said they had been stolen, and could not have been taken away without the knowledge of the officers, all of whom were sent for and questioned on the subject. On their declaring that they had not seen any of the people touch them, he exclaimed, ‘Then you must have taken them yourselves;’ and proceeded to enquire of them, separately, how many they had purchased. In the mean time, Mr. Elphinstone, Master’s Mate, was ordered to see every nut in the ship brought aft. On coming to Mr. Christian, that gentleman answered, ‘I do not know, sir, but I hope you don’t think me so mean as to be guilty of stealing yours.’ Mr. Bligh replied, ‘Yes, you d___d hound, I do – You must have stolen them from me, or you would be able to give a better account of them:’ then, turning to the other officers, he said, ‘God d___n you, you scoundrels, you are all thieves alike, and combine with the men to rob me: I suppose you’ll steal my yams next; but I’ll sweat you for it you rascals – I’ll make half of you jump overboard before you get through Endeavour’s Straits.’ This threat was followed by an order to the clerk to ‘stop the villains’ grog, and give them but half a pound of yams tomorrow; if they steal then, I’ll reduce them to a quarter.’ He then went below, and the officers were heard to murmur very much at such foul aspersions being cast upon their characters; whilst the men, fearing that their yams would soon meet with the same fate as the cocoa-nuts, immediately set about concealing as many of them as possible, the circumstance of their having purchased a large quantity being well-known to Lieutenant Bligh.
“In the morning of the 28th the boatswain came to my hammock, and after awaking, told me, to my great surprise, that Mr. Christian had taken possession of the ship. I hurried on deck, and saw Lieutenant Bligh in his shirt, with his hands tied behind him, and Mr. Christian, with a drawn bayonet, standing by his side. Several of the men were under arms, the small cutter was already hoisted out, and the large cutter getting ready. I applied to the Boatswain to know how I should proceed, but he was as much at a loss as myself, and therefore told me to lend a hand in clearing the boat, which I did. When she was out, and the small cutter hoisted again, Mr. Christian desired Messrs. Hayward and Hallet, the Midshipmen who had been in the habit of keeping watch with him, to go into the boat alongside, and ordered Churchill to send the Master and Clerk out of the ship also. Lieutenant Bligh now began to reason with Mr. Christian, but he only replied ‘Mă mōō’, sir, not a word, or death is your portion: Messrs. Hayward and Hallet begged, with tears in their eyes, to be allowed to remain in the ship; but they were likewise ordered to be silent. The boatswain and carpenter came aft and asked for the launch, which after much hesitation was granted. While I was clearing her, the Master came up and spoke to Lieutenant Bligh: he afterwards came to me, and asked if I had any hand in the mutiny. I said No! and was then desired by him to try and raise a party for the purpose of rescuing the ship, which I promised him I would do. John Millward, who was near at the time, swore he would stand by me, and went to Muspratt, Burkitt, and the boatswain, in order to procure their assistance. Churchill, having observed the Master speaking to me, came and demanded what he had said. I told him that he was asking about the launch; but a mutineer, who stood on the other side of the booms, told him to look sharp after me, saying, ‘tis a d___d lie, Charles, for I saw him and Millward shake hands when the Master spoke to them.’ He then called to the other mutineers to stand to their arms, which put them on the alert; and as I saw no one near me inclined to make a push, but on the contrary, the officers and all of those who had not taken a part in the mutiny, busily employed in getting the launch out, I was induced to follow their example. That business over, every one hastened to get what he could into her, as the officers were immediately hurried over the side.
“Lieutenant Bligh, finding that he must go, again implored Mr. Christian to relent, saying ‘I’ll pawn my honor, I’ll give my bond, Mr. Christian, never to think of this if you will desist: consider my wife and family:’ to which the other replied, ‘No, Captain Bligh, if you had had any honor, things would not have come to this extremity; and if you have any regard for your wife and family, you should have thought of them before, and not behaved so much like a villain as you have done.’ Lieutenant Bligh attempted again to speak, but was ordered to be silent; the boatswain then tried to pacify Mr. Christian; but he said, ‘tis too late, I’ve been in hell this fortnight past, and am determined to bear it no longer – you know, Mr. Cole, that I have been treated like a dog all the voyage.’
“Mr. Fryer, the Master, solicited permission to remain, but without success; and Churchill was told to see that no arms were taken away. A dispute took place between him and. Mr. Purcell about the tool-chest, which Churchill wished to keep in the ship, but Mr. Christian desired him to let it go. The carpenter’s mates and the armourer were ordered to be detained on board.
“The boat being very deep in the water, Lieutenant Bligh requested that the Master and some of the people might be suffered to remain. – ‘The men,’ said Mr. Christian, ‘may stay, sir, but the Master must go with you.’ The Lieutenant then called out ‘Never mind, my lads, you can’t all go with me, but I’ll do you justice if ever I reach England.’ He was then taken to the gangway, where his hands were cast loose previous to his descending into the launch.
“While the boatswain was getting his cloathes, &c. over the side, I told him my intention was to stay and take my chance in the ship, reminding him of Lieutenant Bligh’s promise, and observing that I had no occasion to point out the danger to which he was about to expose himself, as he could see that the boat swam scarcely seven inches free of the water. Mr. Cole repeated Lieutenant Bligh’s promise, and added ‘God bless you my boy; were it not for my wife and family I would stay myself.’
“After Lieutenant Bligh was in the boat, he asked for his commission and a sextant, which were given to him, together with his pocket-book, private journal, and a book of nautical tables: the latter and the sextant were handed to him by Mr. Christian, who said ‘there Captain Bligh, that book is sufficient for every purpose, and you know my sextant to be a good one.’
“The launch was now veered a-stern, and when put to rights Lieutenant Bligh requested that a musket might be given to him; but this was refused by Mr. Christian, who, however, allowed him to have four cutlasses. I handed in twenty-five or twenty-six double pieces of pork (four pounds each) and two gourds of water. Several other articles were given to him previous to his being turned adrift, which took place about 8 A.M.
“Messrs Heywood and Stewart, both of whom had been confined below, by Churchill’s directions, were now allowed to come upon deck, and Mr. Christian related the cause of this sad affair in terms to the following effect.
“Finding himself much hurt by the treatment he had received from Lieutenant Bligh, he had determined to quit the ship the preceding evening, and informed the boatswain, carpenter, and two midshipmen (Messrs, Stewart and Hayward), of his intention to do so. By them he was supplied with part of a roasted pig, some nails, beads, and other articles of trade, which he put into a bag that was given him by the last named gentleman, (the bag was produced, and I recognized it to be one which I had made for Mr. Hayward some time before.) This bag he put into the clue of Robert Tinkler’s hammock, where it was discovered by that young gentleman when going to bed at night, but the business was smothered, and passed off without any further notice. He also fastened some staves to a stout plank, with which he intended to make his escape; but finding he could not effect it during the first and middle watches, as the ship had no way through the water, and the people were all moving about, he laid down to rest about half-past three in the morning. When Mr. Stewart called him to relieve the deck at four o’clock, he had but just fallen asleep, and was much out of order; upon observing which Mr. Stewart strenuously advised him to abandon his intention. Soon after he had taken charge of the deck, he saw Mr. Hayward, the mate of his watch, He down on the arm-chest to take a nap; and finding that Mr. Hallet, the other Midshipman, did not make his appearance, he suddenly formed the resolution of seizing the ship. Disclosing his intention to Matthew Quintal and Isaac Martin, both of whom had been previously flogged by Lieutenant Bligh, they called up Charles Churchill, who had also tasted the cat, and Matthew Thompson, both of whom readily joined in the plot. Alexander Smith, John Williams, and William M‘Koy, evinced equal willingness, and went with Churchill to the armourer, of whom they obtained the keys of the arm-chests, under pretence of wanting a musket to fire at a shark then alongside. Finding Mr. Hallet asleep on an arm-chest in the main-hatchway, they roused and sent him on deck. Charles Norman, unconscious of their proceedings, had in the mean time awaked Mr. Hayward and directed his attention to the shark, whose movements he was watching at the moment that Mr. Christian and his confederates came up the fore-hatchway, after having placed arms in the hands of several men who were not aware of their design. One man, Matthew Thompson, was left in charge of the chest, and he served out arms to Thomas Burkitt and Robert Lamb. Mr. Christian then proceeded to secure Lieutenant Bligh, the Master, Gunner, and Botanist. The former was brought upon deck in the state I have already described, and the latter were strictly guarded by two centinels, one posted at the Master’s cabin door, and the other at the top of the after-cockpit ladder.
“When Mr. Christian related the above circumstances, I recollected having seen him fasten some staves to a plank lying on the larboard gangway, as also having heard the Boatswain say to the Carpenter, ‘It will not do to night,’ I likewise remembered that Mr. Christian had visited the fore-cockpit several times that evening, although he had very seldom, if ever, frequented the warrant officers’ cabins before.
“The conduct of the officers on this melancholy occasion was dastardly beyond description; none of them ever making the least attempt to counteract Mr. Christian’s intentions, which might easily have been effected, as several of the men who were armed had no idea of what was about to take place. Robert Lamb, whom I found standing sentry at the fore hatchway, when I first came upon deck, was one of those who went away in the launch with Lieutenant Bligh; and Isaac Martin, who was one of the ftrst persons Mr. Christian invited to assist him, threw his arms aside and jumped into the boat, but was compelled to return on board again. The officers’ passive obedience to Mr. Christian’s orders even surprised himself, as he said, immediately after the launch had quitted the ship, tha something more than fear had possessed them, or they would not have suffered themselves to be sent away in such a manner, without offering to make resistance.”
Lieutenant Bligh landed in a cove on the N.W. side of Tofoa, hoping to obtain an immediate supply of bread-fruit and water, but on climbing the heights could only find a few cocoa-nuts and plantains. The weather becoming boisterous he was obliged to take shelter in an adjacent cave. On the 1st May, several of the inhabitants brought them a small supply, and retired peaceably in the evening. The next day, their number greatly increased; some of the principal persons arrived in canoes, and amongst them was one of the identical chiefs whom he had treated so shamefully at Annamooka. They offered to accompany him to Tongataboo, when the weather should be moderate; but some symptoms appearing of a design to obtain by force the articles which he could not afford to spare them, he resolved to depart that evening, as they did not seem inclined to retire. They had previously sold him some spears; and now allowed his people to carry their property into the boat, but endeavoured to prevent him from embarking. A contest ensued, in which one Englishman was killed, and every one of the others more or less wounded by stones. The launch arrived at Coupang, in the island of Timor, without any further accident, on the 14th June; and Lieutenant Bligh proceeded from thence in a small schooner to Batavia, where he embarked with his clerk and one man in a packet bound to Europe, leaving the remainder of his companions to be provided with a passage in a fleet of merchant vessels then preparing to sail for Holland. A list of those who were turned adrift with him will be found at p. 762.
The Bounty returned to Matavia Bay on the 6th June, having in the meantime touched at Toobouai, a small island situated several degrees to the southward of Otaheite, and which Mr. Christian had selected for his future residence; preferring it to the latter, as being less exposed to visits from Europeans.
On their arrival, the mutineers availed themselves of the fiction which had been hitherto supported respecting Captain Cook; asserting that they had fallen in with him, and that he had sent the ship back for all the live stock that could be spared, in order to form a settlement at a place called Wytootacke, which they pretended Lieutenant Bligh had discovered in his course towards the Friendly Islands. The inhabitants gave credit to this story, and vied with each other who should furnish most for the service of a man whom they all adored; so that about 460 hogs, 50 goats, and a great number of fowls, were collected in the course of ten days. A bull and cow, which had been left behind by Captain Cook, were also delivered to Christian, in exchange for a few red feathers; and a number of dogs and cats were likewise taken on board, to clear Toobouai of the rats by which that island was infested. Seventeen male natives, ten women, and a young girl, emigrated with the mutineers – 13 of the former having concealed themselves below until the Bounty had cleared the land. Among them was Heete-heete, a very intelligent person, who had formerly sailed with Captain Cook, and now hoped to meet him again; but who expressed no dissatisfaction when informed of the ship’s real destination; and that, in all probability, he would never be able to return from thence.
Notwithstanding Mr. Christian had received considerable opposition from the Toobouaites, on his first visit to their island, he caused the Bounty to be warped about four miles to the eastward of the opening in the reef, described by Captain Cook, and moored (head and stern) in three fathoms water, within a cable’s length of the shore. He then prevailed on his companions to undertake the labour of constructing a fort for their security against surprise, working himself with a pick-axe, as an example, in laying the foundation, and alluring them to exertion by an extra allowance of grog. The ground being at length cleared, the British colours were displayed, and the work was laid out in a quadrangular form, measuring eighty-eight yards on each square, surrounded by a ditch eighteen feet wide, and twenty feet deep, from the top of the parapet. Over the ditch it was intended to have a draw-bridge facing the beach; and the Bounty’s guns were to have been mounted on the fort in such a manner, that two 4-pounders and four swivels might be brought to bear in any direction, without the least delay.
During the progress of this work, Mr. Christian allowed two men to sleep on shore each night, and the whole of them to spend their Sundays in any manner they pleased; but in every other respect he maintained the strictest discipline, and enforced his orders with an uncommon degree of firmness. He resolutely opposed those who wished to bring the Toobouaite females on board by force; and when two of the mutineers behaved insolently to him, after absenting themselves a whole night without his permission, he clapped a pistol to the head of one of them, and placed both in irons till they expressed contrition for their conduct, and promised future obedience. It was his intention, when the fort should be completed, to remove every thing thither, and take the Bounty to pieces; but the evident reluctance of many, who had not been active in the mutiny, to end their days in exile; and the hostility of the neighbouring chiefs, who took every opportunity of annoying his men, when they were sent in quest of provisions, compelled him to abandon his design of settling for life at Toobouai, and to seek some other place of refuge for himself, and those who were still inclined to follow his fortunes. He accordingly summoned all the Bounty’s people together on the llth Sept., when it was decided by a shew of hands, 16 against 9, that the former number should be landed at Otaheite, with a fair proportion of the arms, ammunition, and every description of property on board; and that the Bounty should then be resigned, with her sails, tackle, and furniture complete, to Mr. Christian and his adherents, for their conveyance to any other island that they might think proper to fix upon.
This decision being made known to the ruler of the district in which they resided, he requested to be taken on board, saying that their departure would be the signal for his destruction by the other chiefs, whose jealousy had been excited by the alliance formed between him and the English. The Otaheitean men, whom the mutineers ha<l usually employed as servants, were then sent to collect the stock which had been dispersed about the island; but in this they were opposed by the hostile natives, and several severe conflicts took place before the animals could be recovered. On one of those occasions, Mr. Christian was severely wounded in the right hand, and Thomas Burkitt received a spear in his body; which were the only casualties sustained by the British during their stay at Toobouai. The natives on the contrary appear to have had eighty-four killed, and a great number wounded, in the different battles that were fought, from the time of the Bounty’s first arrival, till that of her final departure, in Sept. 1789.
The Bounty anchored a third time in Matavia Bay, on the 22d of the same month, and those who had voted for that measure were then landed, together with the Toobouaite chief, Heete-heete, and most of the Otaheitean men; but the servants of the chief, 3 other males, 12 women, and an infant girl, remained with Christian, who sailed suddenly in the night, and proceeded to Pitcairn’s Island, where the only surviving mutineer was discovered by an American ship, in Feb. 1808, as will be more fully noticed in a subsequent part of his work.
Having thus taken leave of the Bounty for the present, we shall now exhibit a correct list of the officers and men who were on board when the mutiny took place, shewing as far as lies in our power, the manner in which each individual was afterwards disposed of. The sufferings endured by Mr. Peter Heywood will next occupy our attention.
Turned adrift in the Launch.
|1.||William Bligh, Lieutenant and Commander;– Died a Vice-Admiral, in Dec. 1817; aged 63 years.|
|2.||John Fryer, Master; Deceased.|
|3.||William Elphinstone, Master’s Mate;– Died at Batavia, in Oct. 1789.|
|4.||John Hallet, Midshipman;– Died a Lieutenant, on board the Penelope frigate, in 1793.|
|5.||Thomas Hayward, Ditto;– Perished in the China Seas, when commanding the Swift sloop of war, in 1797.|
|6.||Robert Tinkler, Ditto;– Nephew to the Master, died a Commander R.N..|
|7.||William Peckover, Gunner.|
|8.||William Cole, Boatswain.|
|9.||William Purcell, Carpenter;– Resides at Greenwich.|
|10.||Thomas Denman Ledward, Surgeon’s Mate;– Remained at Batavia.|
|11.||John Samuel, Clerk and Steward;– Returned to England with Lieut. Bligh. Died a Purser, R.N.|
|12.||David Nelson, Botanist;– Died at Coupang, July 20, 1789.|
|13.||Lawrence Labogue, Sailmaker;– Deceased.|
|14.||Peter Linkletter, Quarter-Master;– Died at Batavia, in Oct. 1789.|
|15.||John Norton, Ditto;– Killed by the natives at Tofoa. See p. 758.|
|16.||George Simpson, Quarter-Master’s-Mate;– Deceased.|
|17.||Thomas Hall, Ship’s Cook;– Died at Batavia, in Oct. 1789.|
|18.||John Smith, Commander’s Cook;– Deceased.|
|19.||Robert Lamb, Butcher;– Died on the passage from Batavia to England.|
Settled at Pitcairn’s Island.
|1.||Fletcher Christian, Acting Lieutenant;– Brother of the present Chief Justice of the Isle of Ely Murdered by a Toobouaite.|
|2.||Edward Young, Midshipman;– Nephew to Sir George Young, Bart. Died of asthma.|
|3.||William M‘Koy, Seaman;– Became insane, and threw himself from a rock into the sea.|
|4.||Matthew Quintal, Ditto;– Killed in a drunken quarrel.|
|5.||John Williams, Ditto;–||Murdered by the islanders.|
|6.||Isaac Martin, Ditto;–|
|7.||John Mills, Gunner’s Mate;–|
|8.||William Brown, Botanist’s Asssistant;– Murdered by the islanders.|
|9.||Alexander Smith alias John Adams, Seaman;– Was still living in 1822. See Memoir of Sir Thomas Staines, K.C.B.|
Left the Bounty at Otaheite.
|1.||Peter Heywood, Midshipman;– The subject of this memoir.|
|2.||George Stewart, Ditto;– Drowned in irons on board H.M.S. Pandora. See p. 770.|
|3.||James Morrison, Boatswain’s-Mate;– Perished in the Blenheim 74, about Mar. 1807.|
|4.||Charles Churchill, Master at Arms;– Murdered by Matthew Thompson.|
|5.||Matthew Thompson, Seaman;– Put to death by the friends of Charles Churchill.|
|6.||John Sumner, Ditto;–||Drowned in irons|
on board H.M.S. Pandora.
See p. 770.
|7.||Richard Skinner, Ditto;–|
|8.||Henry Hillbrant, Cooper;–|
|9.||Thomas Burkitt, Seaman;–||Executed at Spithead, Oct. 29, 1792.|
|10.||John Millward, Ditto;–|
|11.||Thomas Ellison, Ditto;–|
|12.||William Muspratt, Commander’s Steward;– Sentenced to death, but respited.|
|13.||Joseph Coleman, Armourer;–||Tried by Court Martial, and acquitted.|
|14.||Charles Norman, Carpenter’s Mate;–|
|15.||Thomas M‘Intosh, Carpenter’s Crew;–|
|16.||Michael Byrne, Seaman;–|
Total, 44 persons.
We now return to Mr. Peter Heywood, who had not completed his 16th year, at the time when the fatal mutiny took place; previous to which, says Lieutenant Bligh, when writing to Colonel Holwell, an uncle of the unfortunate youth, “his conduct had always given me much pleasure and satisfaction”
Compelled by circumstances over which he had no controul, to associate for a time with the misguided men who had so grossly offended against the laws of their country, Mr. Heywood felt great pleasure at the prospect which their return from Toobouai, to procure stock at Matavia, afforded him, of being able to make his escape, and secrete himself until their final departure. Mr. Christian, however, suspecting that such a course would be adopted, if possible, by some of those who had taken no part in the mutiny, directed an oath to be administered, by which the others were bound to demand from the natives the restoration of any person who might run away, and then to shoot the deserter as an example to the rest. Independent of this precaution, he caused so good a look out to be kept by those upon whom he could rely, as to render the attempt almost impracticable.
His design being thus frustrated, Mr. Heywood saw no other alternative but to return with the mutineers, and remain as contented as possible at Toobouai till the masts should be taken out, according to Christian’s intention; and then, by seizing the largest boat, and privately destroying the purchase blocks, at once effect his purpose, and render it impossible for the ship ever to come in quest of him. In this enterprise he was to have been joined by Mr. Stewart, James Morrison, and John Millward; but, providentially, the hostility of the natives, and the want of unanimity amongst his own countrymen, rendered it unnecessary for him to try his fortune at such a hazard.
Released at length from the authority of Christian, Messrs. Heywood and Stewart claimed the protection of an old chief, possessing considerable landed property at Matavia, whose friendship they had previously enjoyed, and under whose roof they now resolved to live as quietly as possible, until a ship should arrive from Europe in search of the Bounty, and thereby afford them an opportunity of returning to their native land. The other 14 persons whose names appear in the third part of the foregoing list, also went to reside with their former tayos in the northern districts, and the whole were treated with the same hospitality as during their first visit to the island.
About seven weeks after their return, the construction of a schooner was undertaken by the two carpenters, armourer, cooper, and others, at the suggestion of James Morrison, who being conscious of his innocence, and extremely desirous of returning to civilized society, entertained hopes of reaching Batavia time enough to secure a passage home in the next fleet hound to Holland. To this measure Messrs. Heywood and Stewart offered no opposition, although it was their own fixed determination not to leave Otaheite before the arrival of a King’s ship, as they very naturally concluded that one would be sent out to search for them, whatever might have been the fate of Lieutenant Bligh and his companions.
In pursuance of their plan, Morrison and his assistants built houses at Point Venus, where land and bread-fruit trees were assigned for their support; the natives being led to believe that nothing more was intended than to construct a vessel for the purpose of cruising about the island. To this little band of architects, Morrison, who was himself a tolerable mechanic, acted both as director and chaplain, distinguishing the sabbath-day by reading to them the Church Liturgy, and hoisting the British colours on a flagstaff erected near the scene of their operations. To be brief, the schooner’s keel was laid Nov. 12, 1789; and after encountering numerous obstacles, occasioned by the want of proper materials, and submitting with patience to the failure of several experiments, they at length succeeded in completing a vessel fully adequate to the intended purpose, which was launched amidst the acclamations of the islanders, and the benedictions of their priests, on the 6th July, 1790.
Unfortunately for those persevering men, serious discords respecting the sovereignty of Otaheite then prevailed among the most powerful chiefs; and those of Oparre being unwilling to lose the military services of their English friends, took care to prevent them from obtaining a sufficient quantity of matting to serve as sails for so long a voyage; supplying them only with enough to equip their vessel for cruising about the island. Their object was consequently defeated; but they nevertheless, felt obliged from motives of policy, as well as of gratitude for former hospitality, to take part against the hostile districts, which, by means of their fire-arms, were speedily reduced to submission.
On the 23d Mar. 1791, just eighteen months after the Bounty’s last departure from Mataviu Bay, the Pandora arrived there in search of that ill-fated ship. Scarcely had she anchored, when Messrs. Heywood and Stewart paddled off in a canoe, and made themselves known to her commander, the late Admiral Edward Edwards, who instantly ordered them to be put both legs in irons, and ever afterwards treated them as though they had been “piratical villains” as he then thought proper to designate them a convincing proof that Lieutenant Bligh, when reporting the loss of his ship, had made no discrimination between the innocent and the guilty.
The other survivors of the Bounty, twelve in number, who were then at Otaheite, being shortly after collected from different parts of the island, handcuffs were made and fitted to the wrists of the whole party; and a sort of prison, appropriately stiled Pandora’s box, being only eleven feet in length, was built upon the after part of the quarter-deck, in order that they might be kept separate from the crew, and the more effectually prevented from having any communication with the natives. Such of those friendly creatures as ventured to look pitifully towards them were instantly turned out of the ship, and never again allowed to come on board. Two centinels were kept constantly upon the roof of the prison, with orders to shoot the first of its inmates who should attempt to address another in the Otaheitean dialect. A Midshipman was stationed in front of the bulk-head, through which the only air admitted, found its way by means of two iron gratings, each about nine inches square. The master at arms received directions not to converse with the prisoners on any other subject than that of their provisions. Spare hammocks supplied the place of beds until they became crowded with vermin, after which the sufferers were obliged to sleep on the bare deck. The heat of the prison, during calm weather, was so intense, that the perspiration ran in streams from their bodies; and to add to their misery, they were incessantly assailed by the effluvia proceeding from two tubs placed near them for necessary purposes. In short, nothing was wanting to render their situation truly pitiable.
From Otaheite the Pandora proceeded to the westward, cruising amongst the different islands in her route, but without gaining any intelligence of the Bounty. During this search she lost a Midshipman and several men, who were blown out to sea when returning from Palmerston’s Isles, in the jolly-boat, and thereby exposed to a lingering death through hunger. The schooner which had been built by the Bounty’s people, and commissioned as a tender by Captain Edwards, also parted company in a gale of wind 3 but after encountering many dangers, succeeded in reaching the island of Java, from whence she was sent as a present to the Governor of Timor, as a return for his hospitality towards the Pandora’s officers when they arrived with their prisoners at Coupang, after being shipwrecked on the reef between New Holland and New Guinea, a disaster which we feel the more pain in relating, as it is impossible to do so without again reflecting upon their commander’s inhuman conduct.
The Pandora got sight of the reef in question on the 28th Aug. 1791, and her second Lieutenant was immediately sent to ascertain if any opening existed through which she could pass. At 5 P.M. he made a signal in the affirmative; but Captain Edwards, wishing to be well informed on the subject, continued lying-to until seven o’clock, by which time the current had set the ship so near to the reef that soundings were obtained with fifty fathoms of line, although no bottom could be previously found with more than double that quantity. The main-yard was then braced up, in order to stand off; but, before the courses could be set, she truck with great violence upon a patch of coral, and almost instantly bilged. The sails were scarcely furled, and boats hoisted out, when the carpenter reported that she had nine feet water in the hold.
Three of the Bounty’s people (Coleman, Norman, and M‘Intosh) were now let out of irons, and sent to work at the pumps. The others offered their assistance, and begged to be allowed a chance of saving their lives; instead of which two additional centinels were placed over them, with orders to shoot any who should attempt to get rid of their fetters. Seeing no prospect of escape, they betook themselves to prayer, and prepared to meet their fate, every one expecting that the ship would soon go to pieces, her rudder, and part of the stern-post being already beat away. About ten o’clock, however, she beat over the reef, and was brought to an anchor in fifteen fathoms water.
At this dreadful crisis, the wind blowing very strong, and the ship being surrounded by rocks and shoals, all the people who could be spared from the pumps were employed thrumbing a sail to fodder her bottom; but this scheme was soon abandoned, in consequence of one of the chain-pumps giving way, and the water gaining rapidly upon the other, which rendered it necessary for every person to bale at the hatchways, in order that she might be kept afloat till daylight. Whilst thus engaged, one man was crushed to death by a gun breaking loose, and another killed by a spar falling from the skids into the waist. All the boats, excepting one, were in the mean time kept at a distance from the ship, on account of the broken water, and the high surf that was running near her.
About half an hour before day-break a consultation was held amongst the officers, who were unanimously of opinion that nothing more could be done to save the ship, and that every effort should be directed towards the preservation of the crew. Spars, hen-coops, and every thing buoyant, were accordingly thrown overboard to afford them support until the boats could come to their aid; but no notice was taken of the prisoners, as is falsely stated by the author of the “Pandora’s Voyage,” although Captain Edwards was entreated by Mr. Heywood to have mercy upon them, when he passed over their prison to make his own escape, the ship then lying on her broadside, with the larboard bow completely under water. Fortunately the master-at-arms, either by accident or design, when slipping from the roof of Pandora’s Box into the sea, let the keys of the irons fall through the scuttle, or entrance, which he had just before opened, and thus enaabled them to commence their own liberation, in which they were generously assisted, at the imminent risk of his own life, by William Moulter, a boatswain’s mate, who clung to the coamings, and pulled the long bars through the shackles, saying he would set them free, or go to the bottom with them.
Scarcely was this effected, when the ship went down, leaving nothing visible below the top-mast cross-trees. The master at arms, and all the centinels, sunk to rise no more. The cries of them, and the other drowning men, were awful in the extreme; and more than half an hour had elapsed before the survivors could be taken up by the boats. Among the former were Mr. Stewart, John Sumner, Richard Skinner, and Henry Hillbrant, the whole of whom perished with their hands still in manacles.
On this melancholy occasion, Mr. He wood was the last person but three who escaped from the prison, into which the water had already found its way through the bulk-head scuttles. Jumping overboard, he seized a plank, and was swimming towards a small sandy quay, about three miles distant, when a boat picked him up, and conveyed him thither in a state of nudity. It is worthy of remark, that James Morrison, whose name we have so frequently had occasion to mention, endeavoured to follow his young companion’s example, and, although handcuffed, managed to keep afloat until a boat also came to his assistance.
The survivors being all assembled on a quay, only ninety yards long and sixty wide, it was found that thirty-nine men, including the above, had met with a watery grave. The only articles of provisions saved from the wreck were three bags of biscuit, a small keg of wine, and several barracoes of water: the number of persons to subsist thereon was ninety-nine; and the distance they had to proceed in four open boats, before a fresh supply could be hoped for, at least 1100 miles. Thus circumstanced, the strictest economy became necessary; and orders were accordingly given, that only two ounces of bread, and one gill of wine, or the same quantity of water, should be served to each man once in twenty-four hours.
The boats’ sails were now converted into tents for the Pandora’s crew, most of whom had landed in a very exhausted state, and required a little rest previous to their departure. The prisoners, however, were kept at a distance from them, without the least covering to protect their naked bodies from the scorching rays of a vertical sun by day, and the chilling effect of heavy dews at night. A spare sail, which was lying useless on the quay, being refused them by Captain Edwards, they tried the experiment of burying themselves neck-deep in the sand, which caused the skin to blister and peel off from head to foot, as though they had been immersed in scalding water. The excruciating torture which they suffered from thirst, aggravated as it had been by involuntarily swallowing salt water, whilst swimming from the wreck, was, if possible, increased by the sight of rain, and their total inability to catch any of it. Exposed in this manner to alternate heat and cold, in the latitude of 11 S. some conception may be formed of their sufferings, but words will be found wanting to describe them.
The damages sustained by one of the boats having been repaired, and such other preparations made for their voyage as circumstances would admit, the whole party embarked at noon on the 31st Aug. and proceeded towards Coupang, where they arrived in a miserable condition at 5 P.M. on the 16th of the following month. Whilst there, Mr. Heywood and the other prisoners were closely confined in the castle; but, although for several days treated with great rigour by their Dutch gaolers, they do not at any time appear to have suffered so many privations at once, as when in the sole custody of a British Captain!
The mutability of human greatness was excellently pourtrayed whilst the Pandora’s officers remained at Coupang, a captive King in chains being compelled to blow the bellows for the English armourer, whilst he was employed forging bolts and fetters for his own countrymen. See Hamilton’s Account of the Pandora’s Voyage, p. 146.
From Coupang they were conveyed in the Rembang, a badly found and worse managed Dutch Indiaman, to Samarang, and Batavia, at which latter place they anchored on the 7th Nov., after a very dangerous passage of 33 days, the ship being twice nearly driven on shore, and proving so leaky as to render it necessary for every person on board to work at the pumps – a species of liberty which the prisoners were allowed to enjoy until their strength entirely failed them, when they were again placed in irons and suffered to rest their weary limbs on an old sail, alternately soaked with rain, salt water, and the drainings of a pig-stye under which it was spread.
At Batavia Captain Edwards distributed the purchase money of the schooner among his people, in order that they might furnish themselves with nankeen apparel; and the prisoners, having their hands at liberty, availed themselves of this opportunity to obtain some articles of clothing, by making straw hats for sale, and acting as tailors to those who had thus become comparatively rich by the produce of their labour as shipwrights. It was in a suit thus purchased that Mr. Heywood arrived at Spithead, after an absence of four years and a half all but four days. The patience, fortitude, and manly resignation evinced by him at that early period of life, were such as excited the admiration of his family and friends; and may be inferred from the following passages contained in letters written by him at a period when charged by his persecutor, Lieutenant Bligh, with the crimes of ingratitude, mutiny, and desertion – charges sufficient to shake the strongest nerves.
“Batavia, Nov. 20, 1791.
“I am afraid to say a hundredth part of what I have got in store, for this is written by stealth, as the use of pens, ink, and paper, is denied me. * * * * My sufferings I have not power to describe; but though they are great, yet I thank God for enabling me to bear them without repining! I endeavour to qualify my affliction with these three considerations, first, my innocence, not deserving them; secondly, that they cannot last long; and third, that the change may be for the better. The first improves my hopes; the second, my patience; and the third, my courage. I am young in years, but old in what the world calls adversity: and it has had such an effect as to make me consider it the most beneficial incident that could have occurred at my age. It has made me acquainted with three things which are little known, and as little believed, by any but those who have felt their effects. 1st, the villainy and censoriousness of mankind; 2d, the futility of all human hopes; and, third, the happiness of being content in whatever station it may please Providence to place me. In short it has made me more of a philosopher than many years of a life spent in ease and pleasure could have done.
“As they will no doubt proceed to the greatest lengths against me, I being the only surviving officer, and they most inclined to believe a prior story j all that can be said to confute it will probably be looked upon as mere falsity and invention. Should that be my unhappy case, and they resolved upon my destruction as an example to futurity, may God enable me to bear my fate with the fortitude of a man, conscious that misfortune, not any misconduct, is the cause, and that the Almighty can attest my innocence. Yet why should I despond? I have, I hope, still a friend in that Providence which hath preserved me amidst many greater dangers, and upon whom alone I now depend for safety. God will always protect those who deserve it. These are the sole considerations which have enabled me to make myself easy and content under my past misfortunes.
“Though I have been nearly eight months in close confinement, in a hot climate, I have preserved my health in a most surprising manner, without the least indisposition, and am still perfectly well, in head as well as body; but without any cloathing except one shirt and a pair of trowsers. I have, thank God, a contented mind, and am entirely resigned to his divine will, which enables me to soar above the reach of unhappiness. You will, most probably, hear of my arrival in England before I can again write to you, which I most earnestly long for an opportunity of doing at length, that I may explain things which it is not now in my power to mention. Yet, I hope this will be sufficient to undeceive those who have been so ungenerous as to declare me criminal, as well as those who have been credulous enough to believe their undeserved aspersions. I send this by one of the Pandora’s men, who is to sail from hence shortly in the first ship; we shall follow in about a week after, and I expect to see England in about seven months.”
The Pandora and Bounty’s people were conveyed from Batavia to the Cape of Good Hope in three Dutch ships, each division under the charge of a Lieutenant. During that voyage the prisoners slept on bare planks, and were ordered to be victualled in the following manner, viz. three pounds of execrable meat; one pound and a half of stock fish; the same weight of tamarinds and sugar; gee, and rancid oil, of each half a pint; and one pint of vinegar, per man, every fortnight:– two drams of arrack, equal to one-third of a pint, per day:– and an equally scanty proportion of the very worst rice, instead of bread. Miserable as this allowance was, the Dutch pursers contrived to distribute it in such a manner as to make fourteen rations last for sixteen days!
Mr. Heywood was removed into the Gorgon, of 44 guns, lying in Table Bay, March 19, 1792; and from that period till his arrival in England he appears to have been allowed the inestimable indulgence of walking upon deck for six or eight hours every day, whilst at other times he was only confined with one leg in irons. On the 21st of June, two days after his return to Spithead, he was transferred to the Hector 74, commanded by Captain (now Sir George) Montagu, who treated him with the greatest humanity both before and after his trial, which took place in September following, when we find him delivering the following address in vindication of his character:
“I call that God to witness, before whose awful tribunal I must one day appear, that I was entirely ignorant of the mutiny, which happened oa board his Majesty’s ship Bounty, previous to its perpetration on the morning of the 28th of April, 1789, or any circumstances relative to it.
“On the preceding evening, Monday, at eight o’clock, I went upon deck, and kept the first watch, with Mr. John Fryer, the master, who ordered me to keep the look-out upon the forecastle; and I remained there till past twelve o’clock, when I was relieved by Mr. Edward Young, a Midshipman, upon which I went down below into my berth, situated on the larboard side of the main hatchway, and slept in my hammock till about an hour after day-light, (perhaps it might have been earlier, I cannot positively tell) when I awoke, and laying my cheek upon the side of my hammock, chanced to look into the hatchway, where I saw Matthew Thompson, seaman, sitting upon an arm-chest, which was there secured, with a drawn cutlass in his hand; and as I knew him to be a man who had kept the middle watch, with Mr. William Peckover, the gunner, I was struck with surprise at a sight so unusual. Unable to conjecture the reason of his being there at so early an hour, I immediately got out of bed, went to the side of the berth, and asked him what he was doing there? Upon which he replied, ‘that Mr. Fletcher Christian had taken the ship from the Captain, whom he had confined upon deck, and was going to carry him home as a prisoner; and that they should have more provisions and better usage than before.’ Mr. Elphinstone, one of the Master’s . Mates, who was lying awake in his hammock, which hung at the outside of the opposite berth, likewise heard what this man said to me. I immediately dressed myself, and went up the fore hatchway: having got upon the booms on the larboard side, I walked aft as far as the quarter of the boat, and saw the Captain standing on the larboard side of the quarter-deck, a little before the binnacle, in his shirt, with his hands tied behind him, and Mr. Christian standing on the right hand side of him, with a drawn bayonet in his hand, and a small pistol in his pocket. He (Mr. Christian) was. giving orders to Mr. Cole, the boatswain, to hoist the large cutter out, the small one having been got out some time before. Upon this, I came a little farther forward, and crossing over to the other side, saw Mr. Christian beckon to Mr. Thomas Hayward, who, with Mr. John Hallet, was standing on the quarter-deck, between the two 4-pounders; he said to him, ‘Get yourself ready to go in the boat, Sir.’ Mr. Hayward made answer, ‘Why? Mr. Christian, what harm did I ever do you that you should be so hard upon me? I hope you won’t insist upon it.’ Mr. Christian repeated the same order to him, and to Mr. Hallet, who seemed to be in tears, and answered, ‘I hope not, Sir.’ Hearing this, and being afraid that if I came in his sight he might give me similar orders, which I feared very much, because I had just before asked one of the men, whom I saw with a musket in his hand, why they were getting the boats out? and he answered, ‘that the Captain, with some individuals, were to be sent on shore at Tofoa, in the launch; and he believed that all the rest who were not of Mr. Christian’s party, might either accompany them, or remain on board and be carried to Otaheite, where they would be left among the natives, as the ship was going there, to procure refreshments and stock, to take to some unknown island, in order to form a settlement.’ Hearing this, I was so perplexed and astonished, that I knew not what to do or think; but sat down on the gunwale of the ship, on the starboard side, just under the fore shrouds, and weighed the difference of those two dreadful alternatives in my mind. I considered that the Indians at Tofoa, being of the same stock as those at Annamooka, appeared to me to be a very savage sort of people when unawed by the sight of fire-arms, and from whom nought but death could be expected, in order to facilitate their obtaining possession of the boat, and whatever she might contain of most value to them; thinking also, that their natural ferocity might be sharpened and increased to revenge by the treatment some of the chiefs of Annamooka had received on board the ship, two days before, when we left that island, as they had been confined on board, in order to make them produce a grapnel which had been stolen; the news of which, I made no doubt, had by this time reached Tofoa; and besides, I considered that a small boat, deeply laden with a number of men, and provisions for their sustenance, would be a very precarious and forlorn hope to trust life to, in sailing across so vast an expanse of ocean as lay between that island and the nearest civilized port: that in pursuing this plan, death appeared to me inevitable in the most horrid and dreadful form of starvation. On the other hand, I knew the natives of Otaheite, from the experience I had had of them during a stay of twenty-three weeks on shore there, to be markably friendly and hospitable to strangers; and by their kind assistance and benevolence, I had some hopes, if I could get there, that my life might be preserved till a ship arrived from England, which I doubted not would be the case if the Bounty’s absence greatly exceeded the limited time for her return to Europe. This appeared to me the only course by which I could ever expect to revisit my native country, or even to preserve my life. Thus, self-preservation, that first law of nature, was the sole motive that induced me to resolve upon the latter alternative. Having sat on the gunwale till the large cutter was over the side, I saw some of the people clearing the launch of the yams which had been stowed in her, among whom was Mr. Thomas Hayward; I went into her to assist, at the desire of Mr. Cole, the boatswain; and after being there a short time, Mr. Hayward asked me what I intended to do in the present situation of affairs? I answered, ‘To remain in the ship;’ and said, ‘do you imagine I would voluntarily throw my life away?’ Upon which he replied, ‘Aye, I wish I might have that liberty granted me, but Christian has ordered me to get into the boat.’ I then told him my reasons for wishing to remain in the ship, which I have just now fully explained: I likewise told the same to George Simpson, who was a man that I regarded, as he had washed for me, and had taken great pains to instruct me in several parts of practical seamanship: he was present in the launch at the time when I was talking with Mr. Hayward, and must have heard all that passed betwixt us.
“I next saw Mr. Fryer, the Master, who I understood had been confined in his cabin, but was recently permitted to come on the quarter-deck, step towards Mr. Christian on the larboard side: I was then sitting upon the fore part of the booms, on the starboard side of ‘no man’s land,’ and though I could not hear what he said to Mr. Christian upon his first coming up, yet a little while after I could distinctly hear him say these words: ‘Why, Mr. Christian, you had better let me stay in the ship, for you certainly will not know what to do with her.’ I did not hear what answer Christian made, but Mr. Fryer was soon after forced down into his cabin again. The Master being now the third officer, besides Mr. Samuel, the Captain’s Clerk, who had asked permission to remain in the ship, or at least upon receiving orders to go in the boat had shewn such reluctance as made it appear they secretly wished it might be otherwise; and knowing them all to have had long experience in the naval service, I assured myself that their desire to remain was not improper; and it served to convince me, that in our present situation, my intentions to do so were likewise blameless. I was confirmed in this opinion by Mr. Bligh’s telling several of the men who were endeavouring to follow him into the launch, ‘For God’s sake, my lads, don’t any more of you come into the boat; I’ll do you justice if ever I should get home.’ Thus he prevented them, and they remained in the ship.
“Perhaps it may be asked, why I did not go to Captain Bligh, and tell him that I intended to remain in the ship, and my reasons for it, as some others did? – To which, with the utmost integrity of heart, the true dictates of which I now express, I can answer, that being but young, not then sixteen years of age, and sent out under the immediate care and protection of Captain Bligh, it being my first voyage to sea, it occurred to me he would have thought me too inexperienced to judge for myself in an affair of such moment, and have ordered me to accompany him, which I certainly would have done if he had sent to me to do so, notwithstanding the idea I was so strongly impressed with, that a miserable and untimely end would have been the consequence, which I firmly believed, at that time, must inevitably have been the fate of all those who went in the launch. Thus circumstanced, therefore, and being convinced that it was only compulsion, which caused some of the officers to go in the boat, and not any wish of their own that had influenced them; I thought it would be something like an act of suicide on my part to go in her voluntarily, by being in some measure accessary and consenting to my own death, which I supposed must have taken place if I had gone, either from the savage fury of the natives on shore, or from the dangers that awaited the launch from so long a voyage as she must have made to arrive at the nearest civilized settlement.
“Though I did not request any of the persons to whom I communicated my intentions of remaining in the ship to inform Captain Bligh of my determination, yet it is natural to suppose,, that some one or other of them, if asked by him concerning me, when in the boat, would have told him my reasons for remaining behind.
“I do most solemnly declare, that, during the whole time I was upon deck, I was in nowise accessary to, or aiding in any respect whatever in the most trivial act tending to mutiny, or mutinous proceedings, either in word or deed, nor in any shape advise or encourage any other person whatsoever so to do – but, on the contrary, it was my most ardent wish that some of those officers who were upon deck would make some endeavour to retake the ship, which if any of them had attempted, I certainly would with the greatest satisfaction, and all the alacrity in my power, have followed their example; yet, I must candidly confess, that as I saw persons so much older and more experienced than myself, quite backward in taking such measures, it made me entertain too mean an opinion of my own abilities, being a mere boy in comparison with them, to have had the presumption to think that any step I could take singly, young as I was, could have had the least shadow of success; although, at the same time, I did hope that my feeble endeavours to assist, when added to their knowledge and experience, if put in force, would have had some effect. I therefore waited in hope and silent expectation, that through their means affairs might have taken a different turn, without shewing any outward appearance of what I so ardently wished; but the boat quitted the ship without any such exertions being made.
“When nearly all the officers and men who went away had got into the launch along-side, and as I was standing upon the booms on the starboard side, abreast of the main hatchway, Charles Churchhill, the master-atarms, came up to me, with a bayonet and cartouch-box buckled round his waist, and a small pistol, (the same which I had before seen sticking out of Christian’s pocket) in his hand, and said to me, ‘What are you going to do ?’ I answered what I thought leaned to the side of rectitude, and added, ‘I think I shall remain in the ship.’ Just then Mr. George Stewart came towards me, and asking the same question, I gave him a similar answer. But he said, ‘Don’t think of it; for, if you stay, you’ll incur an equal portion of guilt with the mutineers, though you’ve no hand in the mutiny – come down to the berth with me; let us get two or three necessaries, and go in the launch with the Captain.’ Churchill then turned to him, and said, ‘Why; Mr. Stewart, I thought you had been a man of more spirit:’ to whom he replied, ‘yes, Churchill, but I won’t bite off my nose to be revenged upon my face.’ I knowing Mr. Stewart to be an experienced naval officer, was at once persuaded by him; yet I had some doubts of his knowledge when I called to mind the wishes of the other officers, (so similar to my own, to remain in the ship) who ought likewise to know as well; I was, therefore, in the most painful dilemma. However, taking his advice, I jumped down the hatchway with him, but no sooner had we got into our berth, than Churchill called down to Matthew Thompson, the sentry over the armchest, saying, ‘Don’t let either of them come out of the berth till I give you orders.’ Mr. Stewart having taken his pocket book out of his chest, attempted to leave the berth; but Thompson pointed a pistol towards his breast, saying, ‘Don’t you hear the orders I have just received, you had better stay where you are.’ Mr. Stewart then hailed Churchill, and said, ‘If you won’t let us go, I desire you’ll inform the Captain that we are detained by force.’ To which he replied, ‘Aye, aye, I’ll take care of that.’ I remained in the berth till Churchill told Thompson to let me come upon deck, but the launch was then far astern.”
Mr. Heywood, in the succeeding portion of his defence, gives a brief account of his sufferings in consequence of the rash and unjustifiable conduct of Mr. Christian; after which, and describing in the most pathetic manner his anxiety for the safety of those who had been so inhumanly turned adrift, he proceeds as follows:
“Immediately on the arrival of the Pandora, I voluntarily, and without any reluctance or hesitation, resigned myself to Captain Edwards, who confined me as a prisoner in irons, until the ship was lost in Endeavour Straits, on the 29th Aug. 1791, when I had a very narrow escape of going down with her in fetters. We were upwards of a fortnight in the boats before we reached Coupang, during which time we suffered much from hunger and thirst, and encountered innumerable perils and dangers. We sailed from thence on the 5th of October, and arrived at Batavia about a month afterwards. It is well known by what means we have arrived since in England.
“I have now concluded my most melancholy narrative, the truth of which I do most solemnly attest; and after hearing the relation of the distressed situation I was placed in, and all the motives which induced me to remain in the ship, if a candid and impartial hearer should be able to distinguish the least criminality, I can then advance nothing further in my own defence, but must, with the most profound respect and humility, throw myself upon the mercy of the honourable Gentlemen of which this tribunal of earthly justice is composed; trusting, that in pity and commiseration to my youth, the short period I have been in the service, and the many hardships and dangers I have undergone, during a grievous confinement of nearly eighteen months, they will impute the whole to my ignorance and inexperience, and will be inclined to shew an instance of merciful clemency to their most submissive, and truly unfortunate Prisoner.”
In the naval service it is a well understood axiom, “that those who are not for us, are against us;” and according to the tenor of martial law, however severe it may appear to civilians, the man who stands neuter, in cases of mutiny, is equally culpable with him who lifts his arm against his superior. In short, a military tribunal must either fully acquit, or sentence the prisoner to death; there is no medium between perfect innocence and absolute guilt. The strong points of Mr. Heywood’s defence were his extreme youth and consequent inexperience, and his voluntary surrender to the Pandora’s Captain immediately on that ship’s arrival at Otaheite; but these proved insufficient, as will be seen by the following extract from a letter written by him to the Rev. Dr. Patrick Scott, a friend of his afflicted family, dated on board the Hector, Sept. 20, 1792:
“Honoured and dear Sir,– On Wednesday, the 12th instant, the awful trial commenced, and I now communicate to you the melancholy issue of it, which, as I desired my friend Mr. Graham to inform you of immediately, will be no dreadful news to you. The morning lours, and all my hope of worldly joy is fled far from me! On Tuesday, the 18th inst. the dreadful sentence of death was pronounced upon me! to which (being the decree of that Divine Providence who first gave me breath) I bow my devoted head, with that fortitude, ehearfulness, and resignation, which is the duty of every member of the church of our blessed Saviour and Redeemer Christ Jesus! To him alone I now look up for succour, in full hope, that perhaps a few days more will open to the view of my astonished and fearful soul his kingdom of eternal and incomprehensible bliss, prepared only for the righteous of heart. I have not been found guilty of the slightest act of the detestable crime of mutiny, but am doomed to die for not being active in my endeavours to suppress it. Could the witnesses who appear, ed on the court-martial be tried, they would also suffer for the same and only crime of which I have been guilty – but I am to be the victim! * * * * * * As this is too tender a subject for me to inform my unhappy and distressed mother and sisters of, I trust, dear Sir, you will either shew them this letter, or make known to them the truly dreadful intelligence, in such a manner as, assisted by your wholesome and paternal advice, may enable them to bear it with Christian fortitude. The only worldly feelings I am now possessed of are for their happiness and welfare; but even these, in my present situation, I must endeavour, with God’s assistance, to eradicate from my heart. How hard soever the task! I must strive against cherishing any temporal affections. Endeavour, dear Sir, to mitigate my afflicted mother’s sorrow; give my everlasting duty to her, and unabated love to my disconsolate brothers and sisters, and all the other relatives I have; encourage them, by my example, to bear up with fortitude, and resignation to the divine will, under their load of misfortunes, almost too great for female nature to support; and teach them to be fully persuaded that all hopes of happiness on earth are vain! As to myself, I still enjoy the most easy serenity of mind, and am, dearest Sir, your greatly indebted and most dutiful, but ill-fated.
The gentleman alluded to above was the late Aaron Graham Esq. formerly a Purser, R.N. and afterwards well known and deservedly respected for his vigilance and integrity as a police magistrate in London. His communication fortunately reached Dr. Scott by the same packet that conveyed Mr. Peter Heywood’s letter; and the worthy divine was thereby enabled to assure his distressed friend that her beloved son was not only considered innocent by all who had attended his trial, but that his enlargement and speedy restoration to her arms might confidently be expected. The following is an exact copy thereof:
“Portsmouth, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 1792.
“Sir,– Although a stranger, I make no apology for writing to you. I have attended and given my assistance at Mr. Heywood’s trial, which was finished, and the sentence passed, about half an hour since. Before I tell you what is the sentence, I must inform you that his life is safe, notwithstanding it is at present at the mercy of the King, to which he is in the strongest terms recommended by the Court. That any unnecessary fears may not be productive of misery to the family, I must add, that the King’s Attorney General, who with Judge Ashurst attended the trial, desired me to make myself perfectly easy, for that my friend was as safe as if he had, not been condemned! I would have avoided making use of this dreadful word – but it must have come to your knowlege, and, perhaps, unaccompanied by others of a pleasing kind. The mode of communication to his mother and sisters I must leave to your discretion; and shall only add, that, although from a combination of circumstances, ill-nature, and mistaken friendship, the sentence is in itself terrible, yet it is incumbent on me to assure you, that from the same combination of circumstances, every body who attended the trial is perfectly satisfied in his own mind, that he was hardly guilty in appearance – in intention he was perfectly innocent. I shall of course write to Commodore Pasley, whose mind, from my letter to him of yesterday, must be dreadfully agitated, and take his advice about what is to be done, when Mr. Heywood is released. I shall stay here till then; and my intention is afterwards to take him to my house in town, where I think he had better stay till one of the family calls for him, as he will require a great deal of tender management after all his sufferings; and it would perhaps be a necessary preparation for seeing Mrs. Heywood, that one or both of his sisters should be previously prepared to support her upon so trying an occasion. I can only say that they would make me very happy in taking the charge out of my hands j and if to spend a few days in London will not be disagreeable to them, I have a daughter, who, though young, will feel herself bound to make their stay, however short it may be, as agreeable as possible. I have the honor to be, &c.
In a subsequent letter from the same gentleman to Dr. Scott, we find the following passage:
“It will be a great satisfaction to his family to learn that the declarations of some of the other prisoners, since the trial, put it past all doubt that the evidence upon which he was convicted must have been, to say nothing worse of it, an unfortunate belief on the part of the witness, of circumstances, which either never had existence, or were applicable to another gentleman who remained in the ship, and not to Mr. Heywood.”
The points of evidence alluded to by Mr. Graham were as follow:– 1st. That Mr. Peter Heywood assisted in hoisting out the launch. 2d. That he was seen by the Carpenter resting his hand upon a cutlass. 3d. That upon being called to by Lieutenant Bligh, he laughed. And, 4th, That he remained on board the Bounty, instead of accompanying Lieutenant Bligh in the launch. Mr. Heywood’s comments on this evidence are here submitted to the reader’s consideration, in the exact form in which they were transmitted by him to Lord Chatham, then presiding at the Admiralty.
“Peter Heywood’s Remarks upon material parts of the Evidence which was given at his Trial on board the Duke, in Portsmouth Harbour.
“First, That I assisted in hoisting out the Launch. – This boat was asked for by the Captain and his officers, and whoever assisted in hoisting her out were their friends; for if the Captain had been sent away in the cutter (which was Christian’s first intention), he could not have taken with him more than nine or ten men, whereas the launch carried nineteen. The Boatswain, the Master, the Gunner, and the Carpenter say, in their evidence, that they considered me as helping the Captain on this occasion.
“Second, That I was seen by the Carpenter resting my hand upon a cutlass – I was seen in this position by no other person than the Carpenter no other person therefore could have been intimidated by my appearance. Was the Carpenter intimidated by it? No. So far from being afraid of me, he did not even look upon me in the light of a person armed, but pointed out to me the danger there was of my being thought so, and I immediately took away my hand from the cutlass, upon which I had very innocently put it when I was in a state of stupor. The Court was particularly pointed in its enquiries into this circumstance, and the Carpenter was pressed to declare, upon the oath he had taken, and after maturely considering the matter, whether he did at the time he saw me so situated, or had since been inclined to believe, that, under all the circumstances of the case, I could be considered as an armed man – to which he unequivocally answered – No; and he gave some good reasons (which will be found in his evidence) for thinking that I had not a wish to be armed during the mutiny. The Master, the Boatswain, the Gunner, Mr. Hayward, Mr. Hallet, and John Smith, (who with the Carpenter were all the witnesses belonging to the Bounty) say, in their evidence, that they did not, any of them, see me armed; and the Boatswain and Carpenter further say, in the most pointed terms, that they considered me to be one of the Captain’s party, and by no means as belonging to the mutineers: and the Master, the Boatswain, the Carpenter, the Gunner all declare that, from what they observed on my conduct during the mutiny, and from a recollection of my behaviour previous thereto, they were convinced I would have afforded them all the assistance in my power if an opportunity had offered to retake the ship.
“Third, That upon being called to by the Captain, I laughed. – If this was believed by the Court it must have had, I am afraid, a very great effect upon its judgment; for if viewed in too serious a light, it would seem to bring together and combine a number of trifling circumstances, which by themselves could only be treated merely as matters of suspicion. It was no doubt, therefore, received with caution, and considered with the utmost candour. The countenance I grant, on some other occasions, may warrant an opinion of good or evil existing in the mind; but on the momentous events of life or death, it is surely by much too indefinite and hazardous even to listen to for a moment. The different ways of expressing our various passions are, with many, as variable as the features they wear. Tears have often been, nay generally are, the relief of excessive joy, while misery and dejection have many a time disguised themselves in a smile; and convulsive laughs have betrayed the anguish of an almost broken heart. To judge therefore the principles of the heart by the barometer of the face, is as erroneous as it would be absurd and unjust; This matter may likewise be considered in another point of view. Mr. Hallet says I laughed in consequence of being called to by the Captain, who was abaft the mizen-mast, while I was upon the platform near the fore hatchway – a distance of more than 30 feet. If the Captain intended I should hear him, and there can be no doubt that he wished it, if he really called to me, he must have exerted his voice, and very considerably too, upon such an occasion, and in such a situation, and yet Mr. Hallet himself, who, by being upon the quarter-deck could not have been half the distance from the Captain that I was – even he, I say, could not hear what was said to me: how then, in the name of God, was it possible that I should have heard the Captain at all, situated as I must have been, in the midst of noisy confusion? And if I did not hear him, which I most solemnly aver to be the truth, even granted that I laughed (which, however, in my present awful situation, I declare I believe I did not), it could not have been at what the Captain said. Upon this ground, then, I hope I shall stand acquitted of this charge; for if the crime derives its guilt from the knowlege I had of the Captain’s speaking to me, it follows of course, that if I did not hear him speak there could be no crime in my laughing. It may, however, very fairly be asked, why Mr. Hallet did not make known that the Captain was calling to me? His duty to the Captain, if not his friendship for me, should have prompted him to it; and the peculiarity of our situation required this act of kindness at his hands. I shall only observe further upon this head, that the Boatswain, the Carpenter, and Mr. Hayward, who saw more of me than any other of the witnesses, did say in their evidence that I had rather a sorrowful countenance on the day of the mutiny.
“Fourth, That I remained on board the ship, instead of going in the boat with the Captain. – That I was at first alarmed, and afraid of going into the boat, I will not pretend to deny; but that afterwards I wished to accompany the Captain, and should have done it, if I had not been prevented by Thompson, who confined me below, by the order of Churchill, is clearly proved by the evidence of several of the witnesses. The Boatswain says, that just before he left the ship I went below, and in passing him said something about a bag, (it was that I would put a few things into a bag and follow him); the Carpenter says he saw me go below at this time; and both those witnesses say, that they heard the master-at-arms call to Thompson ‘to keep them below’ The point, therefore, will be to prove to whom this order, ‘keep them below,’ would apply. The Boatswain and Carpenter say they have no doubt of its meaning me as one; and that it must have been so I shall have very little difficulty in shewing, by the following statement:
“There remained on board the ship after the boat put off, 25 men. Messrs Hayward and Hallet have proved that the following men were under arms: Christian, Hillbrant, Millward, Burkitt, Muspratt, Ellison, Sumner, Smith, Young, Skinner, Churchill, M‘Koy, Quintal, Morrison, Williams, Thompson, Mills, and Brown – in all 18. The Master, and upon this occasion I may be allowed to quote from the Captain’s printed narrative, mentions Martin as one; which makes the number of armed men 19, none of whom, we may reasonably suppose, were ordered to be kept below. Indeed Mr. Hayward says that there were at the least 18 of them upon deck when he went into the boat; and if Thompson, the centinel over the arm-chest, be added to them, it exactly agrees with the number above named: there remains then 6, to whom Churchill’s order, ‘Keep them below,’ might apply, viz. Heywood, Stewart, Coleman, Norman, M‘Intosh, and Byrne.
“Could Byrne have been one of them? No, for he was in the cutter alongside. Could Coleman have been one of them? No, for he was at the gangway when the Captain and officers went into the launch, and aft upon the taffrail when the boat was veered astern. Could Norman have been one of them? No, for he was with Coleman, speaking to the Captain and the officers. Could M‘Intosh have been one of them? No, for he was with Coleman and Norman, desiring the Captain and the officers to take notice that they were not concerned in the mutiny. It could then have applied to nobody but Mr. Stewart and myself: and by this order of Churchill’s, therefore, was I prevented from going with the Captain in the boat.
“The foregoing appear to me the most material points of evidence on the part of the prosecution. My defence being very full, and the body of evidence in my favour too great to admit of observation in this concise manner, I shall refer for an opinion thereon to the minutes of the court-martial.
We have reason to believe that these comments produced as great an effect upon the mind of Lord Chatham, as even the recommendation to royal mercy, which had been forwarded by Mr. Hey wood’s judges. Certain it is, that they greatly accelerated his restoration to liberty, which took place Oct. 27, 1792.
The King’s free and unconditional pardon having been read to Mr. Heywood by Captain Montagu, he addressed that officer in the following terms, the sincerity of which has been amply proved by his subsequent conduct:
“Sir,– When the sentence of the law was passed upon me, I received it, I trust, as became a Man; and if it had been carried into execution, I should have met my fate, I hope, in a manner becoming a Christian. Your admonition cannot fail to make a lasting impression on my mind. – I receive with gratitude my Sovereign’s mercy, for which my future life shall be faithfully devoted to his service.”
Digressing for a moment from our “straight forward” course, we shall here introduce an extract from a letter written by one of Mr. Peter Heywood’s brothers, describing his serenity of mind during the awful period of five weeks and four days, that elapsed between his trial and liberation.
“While I write this, Peter is sitting by me, making an Otaheitean vocabulary, and so happy and intent upon it that I have no opportunity of saying a word to him. I assure you he is at present in excellent spirits, and I am perfectly convinced they get better and better every day.”
It will be seen by the foregoing statement of undeniable facts, that Mr. Peter Heywood’s professional debut was a most unpromising one; yet, ultimately, the misfortunes of his youth proved highly beneficial to him. The greater part of those distinguished officers who had sat as members of the court-martial, justly considering him much more unfortunate than criminal, extended their patronage to him immediately after his release, and through their good offices and his own meritorious behaviour, he was subsequently advanced, step by step, to the rank he at present holds. The duties which have fallen to his share he has ever performed with a zeal not inferior to that of any other officer in the service, and entirely to the satisfaction of his superiors. The young men who have had the honor of serving under him, many of whom now enjoy commissions, will readily and gratefully acknowlege that, both by precept and his own example, he invariably endeavoured to form their characters, as men and officers, on the solid principles of religion and virtue. In short, we do not hesitate to say, that his King and Country never had a more faithful servant, nor the naval service a more worthy and respectable member.
It is very natural to suppose that Mr. Heywood, after his release, would lose no time in hastening to the arms of his family, whose emotions on seeing him again at liberty, and that with an unblemished reputation, may readily be conceived. By their affectionate treatment, his health, which had been greatly impaired through long confinement and unmerited sufferings, was at length completely re-established; and on the 17th May, 1793, we find him joining the Bellerophon, a third rate, bearing the broad pendant of his uncle Commodore Pasley, who, previous to the court-martial, had taken great pains to investigate the circumstances attending the Bounty’s mutiny, and in letters written by him to Mrs. Heywood, expressed his perfect conviction of the innocence of her son.
We should here state that Lord Hood, who presided at Mr. Heywood’s trial, had earnestly recommended him to embark again as a Midshipman without delay, and offered to take him under his own immediate patronage, in the Victory of 100 guns. This proposal, however, was declined by Commodore Pasley, who soon after placed him under the protection of the Hon. Captain Legge, then commanding the Niger frigate, with whom he served as Master’s Mate till the 23d Sept. following, when he was received on board the Queen Charlotte, a first rate, bearing the union flag hoisted by Earl Howe, as commander-in-chief of the Channel or grand fleet.
In that ship Mr. Heywood served as Signal Midshipman and Master’s Mate, under his Lordship’s own eye, and the respective commands of Sir Hugh C. Christian and Sir Andrew Snape Douglas, who together with Sir Roger Curtis, the Captain of the Fleet, were members of his court-martial, and who all gave him the most flattering proofs of their esteem and approbation, not only whilst he served with them, but as long as they severally continued in existence.
In the actions with the French fleet, May 28 and 29, and June 1, 1794, Mr. Heywood did his duty on the quarter-deck as an aid-du-camp to Sir Andrew S. Douglas; and after the return of the victorious fleet to Spithead, he had the honor to be selected as one of the two Midshipmen appointed to attend the side whenever his late Majesty visited the Queen Charlotte, or went to and fro in her barge.
Some doubts having arisen about this period as to the propriety of giving naval rank to a person who had been placed in Mr. Heywood’s late critical situation, his friend Sir Roger Curtis was kind enough to consult an eminent lawyer, whose opinion on that subject we now lay before our readers.
“July 27, 1794.
“The warrant for the execution of some of the offenders, and the pardon of Mr. Heywood, states the charge to have been ‘for mutinously running away with the armed vessel the Bounty, and deserting from his Majesty’s service.’ This you will find to be the 15th in the catalogue of offences enumerated in the act of 22 Geo. II. c. 33; and it is thereby enacted that the offender shall suffer death. Nothing is said of any incapacities whatever, and indeed it would have been strange to have superadded incapacities to a capital punishment.
“The judgments which a court-martial is empowered by that act to pronounce are of three distinct kinds: the one discretionary; another capital; and a third, incapacity ever to serve in the navy. The last (except so far as it is included in discretionary sentences) is enacted in one instance only, namely the 18th, which respects the taking on board any other goods than gold, silver, jewels, &c. Upon this state of things it should seem clear, that Mr. Heywood having received judgment of death, the only judgment which the act empowers the court-martial to pronounce, and his Majesty having been pleased to dispense with the execution of that sentence, the plain principle of the Common Law ought to take place, by which Mr. Heywood is in point of capacity to hold any station, civil or military, no way now distinguished from any other subject. You will moreover observe, that the directions of this act must be literally observed, being in a matter highly penal, and that no disabilities or incapacities can be introduced by inference. I should myself Clearly conceive, that an offence attended with judgment of death, having been pardoned by his Majesty, the supposed offender is in this case, in the same situation as if no such judgment had ever been passed.”
In Aug. 1794, Earl Howe gave Mr. Heywood an order to act as a Lieutenant on board the Robust 74, then in Torbay; but another officer having been appointed to her by the Admiralty, previous to the receipt of his Lordship’s promotion lists, he was superseded on his return to that anchorage in October following, and with several other gentlemen, similarly situated, obliged to rejoin the Queen Charlotte. He, however, received a commission from the Board, appointing him to the Incendiary fire-ship, on the 9th of March, 1795.
Lieutenant Heywood’s next appointment was April 7, in the same year, to la Nymphe of 40 guns, commanded by Captain George Murray; and on the 23d of June following we find him present at the capture of three French line-of-battle ships, by Lord Bridport’s fleet, near l’Orient. Subsequent to this event, la Nymphe was stationed in the North Sea, under the command of Captain George Losack, with whom he remained until paid off at Plymouth, towards the close of 1795. On the 13th Jan. 1796, Lieutenant Hey wood was appointed to the Fox, of 32 guns, in which frigate he served on the North Sea station till the ensuing summer, when she sailed for India as convoy to the outward bound trade. On her arrival at the Cape of Good Hope, he became the senior Lieutenant, and in that capacity he continued till June 18, 1798, when he removed with his Captain, the present Sir Pulteney Malcolm, into the Suffolk, a third rate, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Rainier, to whom he had been previously recommended for promotion by Earl Spencer, the same nobleman who had signed his first commission, and whose good opinion of him will be seen by the following copy of a letter dated at the Admiralty, Jan. 13, 1797:
“Sir,– I should have returned an earlier answer to your letter of the 15th inst., if I had not been desirous, before I answered it, to look over with as much attention as was in my power, the proceedings on the Court-martia], held in the year 1792, by which Court Mr. Peter Heywood was condemned for being concerned in the mutiny on board the Bounty. I felt this to be necessary, from having entertained a very strong opinion that it might be detrimental to the interests of his Majesty’s service if a person under such a predicament should be afterwards advanced to the higher and more conspicuous situations of the navy: but having, with great attention, perused the minutes of that Court-martial, as far as they relate to Mr. Peter Heywood, I have now the satisfaction of being able to inform you, that I think his case was such an one, as, under all its circumstances (though I do not mean to say that the Court were not justified in their sentence) ought not to be considered as a bar to his further progress in his profession; more especially when the gallantry and propriety of his conduct, in his subsequent service, is taken into consideration. I shall, therefore, have no difficulty in mentioning him to the Commander-in-Chief on the station to which he belongs, as a person from whose promotion, on a proper opportunity, I shall derive much satisfaction, more particularly from his being so nearly connected with you. I have the honor to be, Sir, with great truth, &c. &c.
“To Sir Thomas Pasley, Bart.”
On the 17th May, 1799, Vice-Admiral Rainier being in daily expectation of a despatch announcing the fall of Seringapatam, and the Earl of Mornington, contemplating that event, having previously applied to him for an armed vessel to carry home the important intelligence, was pleased to select the subject of this memoir for that service; and accordingly appointed him Lieutenant and Commander of the Amboyna brig, then cruising with the squadron off Mangalore. To Mr. Heywood’s great mortification, however, he found on his arrival at Madras, after a passage of only nine days, that the Governor-General’s despatches had been sent away in a merchant vessel before he left the Suffolk; Tippoo Sultan having been slain, and the Mysore capital carried by storm, thirteen day’s prior to the date of Admiral Rainier’s order. In consequence of this disappointment he rejoined the Suffolk, and continued in her till Aug. 1800, when he was promoted to the command of the Vulcan bomb, and sent in an armed transport to join her at the island of Amboyna.
Captain Heywood subsequently commanded the Trincomalee of 18 guns, Trident 64, Leopard 50, and Dedaigneuse frigate. His post commission was confirmed by the Admiralty April 5, 1803; and he remained on the East India station, chiefly employed on confidential detached services, till Jan. 1805, when he was obliged to resign his ship on account of a debilitated state of health, and the recent demise of his eldest brother rendering it necessary for him to attend the settlement of some important family affairs. His application for permission to do so was thus answered by the officer under whose command he had then served for an uninterrupted period of more than eight years:
“Trident, Port Cornwallis, Prince of Wales’s Island,
Jan. 23, 1805.
“Sir,– In answer to your letter of yesterday’s date, requesting permission to resign the command of H.M.S. la Dedaigneuse, in order to attend to some very pressing and important family concerns, the management whereof indispensably demands your presence in London, I have to acquaint you, that I think it but justice due to your very meritorious and faithful services, to grant you that permission; and in farther gratification of your request, I shall, with much pleasure, assure my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty of my firm persuasion that your application has originated from no other motive than that you have stated, which I have no doubt will appear perfectly satisfactory to their Lordships, and, when the state of your private affairs will admit, induce them to attend to your solicitation to be again appointed to the command of one of H.M. ships.
“I cannot help testifying my sincere regret on parting with so able and active an officer as yourself from the squadron I have the honor to command; and I request your acceptance of my best wishes for the successful accomplishment of the business that has been the occasion of it. I remain with much respect, Sir, your very faithful humble servant.
“To Peter Heywood, Esq.
Captain H.M.S. Dedaigneuse.”
Captain Heywood, while commanding the Leopard, was ordered to survey the east coast of Ceylon, more especially the shoals off the N.E. part of that island, and the whole extent between them and Point Calymere, then utterly unknown. In addition to the performance of this valuable service, he ascertained the exact position of almost every place on the Indian coast, and of the different islands to the eastward, which enabled him to render material assistance to James Horsburgh, Esq. (the present hydrographer to the East India Company), as will be seen by the following extract from a memoir of that scientific gentleman, published in 1812:
“Mr. Horsburgh had the good fortune to sail for England in the Cirencester (East Indiaman), Captain Thomas Robertson. * * * * * Captain Peter Heywood, of the navy, was his fellow passenger; and from that experienced and intelligent officer, while arranging his works for publication, he derived great assistance. Since that period too, he has frequently benefited byfrom the same friendly source.”
The .work published by Mr. Horsburgh, at that period, is entitled “Directions for sailing to and from the East Indies, China, New Holland, the Cape of Good Hope, and interjacent Ports.” Exclusive of sailing directions, and local descriptions of winds, weather, currents, coasts, &c.; the geographical situations of particular head-lands, islands, ports, and dangers, are stated from actual observations of sun, moon, and stars; or by good time-keepers. The utility and necessity of a work of this kind had long been evident to navigators, all former directories having been compiled from a mass of heterogeneous materials, obtained when ships were navigated by dead reckoning, prior to the invaluable application of chronometers and lunar observations to nautical science, consequently fraught with error, and of very little use in the present improved state of
On the 20th Oct. 1806, Rear-Admiral George Murray being appointed to the command of a secret and important expedition, was pleased to select his former Lieutenant, the subject of this memoir, to be his Flag-Captain, in the Polyphemus, of 64 guns; which ship, attended by a small squadron, arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, and was there joined by a fleet of transports, having on board upwards of 4,000 troops, towards the latter end of March, 1807.
The military commander, Brigadier-General Craufurd, had just before received a despatch from Rear-Admiral Murray, acquainting him that the destination of the armament had been changed in consequence of the reverses sustained by the British army in South America, and that instead of going by the eastern route to Lima, as was originally intended, they were now to proceed to the Rio de la Plata, and act in conjunction with the forces to be there assembled for the recovery of Buenos Ayres. The unsuccessful termination of the campaign in that quarter has been already described in our memoir of Vice-Admiral Stirling.
Captain Heywood continued to command the Polyphemus until she was ordered to receive the flag of Vice-Admiral B. S. Rowley, in May, 1808. He was subsequently appointed to act in the Donegal, a third rate, during the absence of her proper commander, Captain Pulteney Malcolm; and on the 18th March, 1809, we find him receiving the thanks of the Admiralty (conveyed through Rear-Admiral Stopford) for his conduct in the presence of a French squadron which had escaped from Brest, and for his gallantry in the attack made upon three frigates belonging to the said squadron, which had anchored in the Sable d’Olonne, and were there destroyed on the 23d of the preceding month.
In May following, Captain Heywood was appointed to the Nereus, a new 36-gun frigate, in which he served for some time on the Channel and Mediterranean stations. He returned to England with the remains of that great and good officer, Vice-Admiral Lord Collingwood, in the month of April, 1810.
Captain Heywood was next placed under the orders of Vice-Admiral De Courcy, who employed him on various confidential services in the Rio de la Plata, where his zeal and ability proved of great benefit to British commerce, as is fully acknowledged by a numerous body of merchants then residing at Buenos Ayres, from whom he received the following letters of thanks, dated July 27 and Dec. 8, 1811.
“Sir,– We have received the two letters dated the 21st inst. (July) which you did us the honor of writing to us, accompanied with copies of those you had the goodness to address to his Excellency Don Francisco Xavier Elio, at Monte Video, respecting the British vessels illegally and forcibly detained in that port, and subjected in consequence of the siege to great distress for want of provisions.
“We beg leave to express to you our high sense of gratitude for these prompt and energetic exertions, and for the frequent proofs you have been pleased to give us of your constant attention to protect and advance our interests since you came to this station. It is highly satisfactory to us to observe, and truly gratifying to our minds to confess, that such dispositions are guided by judgment, temper, and conciliating manners; calculated to overcome difficulties, and to fix our entire confidence in you. Being unanimously impressed with these sentiments, we request you will accept our sincere thanks for all the kind attentions and good offices you have been pleased to shew to his Majesty’s subjects, individually and collectively, in the Rio de la Plata, since we have had the happiness of your presence amongst us, and our assurance of the personal esteem and high respect with which we have the honour to be, Sir,– &c.
(Signed by “Alex. Mackinnon,” Chairman, and the
principals of 43 mercantile houses.)
&c. &c. &c.
“Sir,– Being now (Dec. 8, 1811) on the point of leaving this station, we cannot in justice to our own feelings refrain from repeating to you our sincere thanks for the constant and uniform protection you have been pleased on every occasion to shew towards our general and individual interests. The respectable manner, governed by good sense and temper, in which you have supported the dignity and honour of the British flag, under circumstances of much difficulty, cannot be sufficiently appreciated by private persons, but we trust the discernment of our government, and the liberality of our country, will recognize and reward such meritorious conduct. Allow us to assure you, that as we sincerely regret your departure, we have only to express to you the sentiments of our high respect and esteem; and that we shall ever remember you with the warmest gratitude.
“We sincerely wish you a speedy and happy return to England, and uninterrupted success in rising to the summit of your honorable profession. With these unanimous sentiments we have the honor to subscribe ourselves, Sir, your much obliged and faithful humble servants."
(Signed as before.)
“To P. Heywood, Esq. Captain H.M.S. Nereus,
and Senior Officer in the Rio de la Plata.”
Captain Heywood received the latter testimonial when about to rejoin his commander-in-chief at Rio Janeiro, from whence he sailed for England, in Jan. 1812.
Circumstances subsequently occurred which induced government to send the Nereus back to South America; a determination which must have been very mortifying to her officers and crew, who were thereby prevented from bearing a part in the war then about to take place between Great Britain and the United States; but Captain Heywood’s local knowledge, and the manner in which he had acquitted himself in his intercourse with the Spanish authorities, were too highly appreciated to admit of any other arrangement being made.
After escorting the outward bound East India fleet to a certain latitude, and communicating with Lord Strangford, the British Ambassador at Rio Janeiro, Captain Heywood resumed his station as senior officer in la Plata; and continued to afford the most effectual protection to the merchants residing on its banks till July 1813, when he returned to the Brazilian capital, and was appointed by Rear-Admiral Dixon, then commander-in-Chief on that station, to the Montagu of 74 guns, in which ship he soon after took his final departure for England.
On his arrival at Portsmouth, (early in Oct. 1813), Captain Heywood had the satisfaction of finding that the merchants concerned in the trade which he had so long and ably supported, were equally grateful for the benefits they derived from his great exertions in their favor, as those who, from being on the spot, had had constant opportunities of witnessing them. Their letter to the Board of Admiralty will serve as a corroboration of what we have stated:
“London, 9th Oct. 1813.
“To the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
“May it please your Lordships,– The account which we have some time past received from our agents in the Rio de la Plata, stalingthe advantages derived to our commerce in that quarter, from the judicious and impartial conduct of Captain Peter Heywood, late commander of H.M.S. Nereus, imposes on us the pleasing duty to express to your Lordships our gratitude for the selection of so meritorious an officer for that station, in the difficult situation of preserving a strict neutrality between contending and exasperated parties, and at the same time effectually protecting the British trade. Captain Heywood has not only attained these objects, but at the same time conciliated the respect and confidence of the Spanish authorities at Monte Video, the Government of Buenos Ayres, and of the British residents in those countries. The government of Buenos Ayres has on this occasion addressed Lord Strangford, H.M. Ambassador at Rio Janeiro, for the purpose of acknowledging their high sense of Captain Heywood’s conduct during his command in the Rio de la Plata. We also are persuaded that the permission lately given by that government for the exportation of specie, was in a great measure owing to the influence of Captain Heywood, who has most probably insured to us the permanent facility of receiving remittances in specie without risk.
“We trust that, under these circumstances, your Lordships will excuse us for this public declaration of our sentiments, and allow us to express a hope that, provided the public service admits it, Captain Heywood may again be employed on that station, for which his abilities and local knowledge so eminently qualify him. We have the honor to be, &c.
|“J. & R. M‘Kerrell.||“John Hodgson.||“Jacob Wood.|
|“Samuel Winter.||“William Hayne,
|“T. Hayne & Co.||“Fulton’s & Co.|
A line-of-battle ship being considered unfit for the service on which the Nereus had been so successfully employed, the Montagu, after refitting, was ordered to the North Sea station, where Captain Heywood continued, under the orders of Admiral William Young and H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence, until the restoration of Louis XVIII. in April 1814.
After accompanying the French monarch to his native shores, the Montagu hoisted the flag of Rear-Admiral Foote, and sailed for Bourdeaux in company with a squadron sent to convey part of the British army from thence to England. At the ensuing grand naval review, she bore the flag of Sir T. Byam Martin, who led the fleet through the different manoeuvres exhibited before his present Majesty and the allied sovereigns on that triumphal occasion.
In the following year, when Napoleon Buonaparte returned from Elba, Captain Heywood was ordered to the Mediterranean, where he joined the squadron under Lord Exmouth, who nominated him to the command of a detachment employed in co-operation with the Austrians during the war with Joachim Murat. Owing to the sudden turn of affairs, however, he did not arrive in the Adriatic until the deposition of that usurper, and the re-establishment of the ancient dynasty, in the person of Ferdinand IV., which was effected by a military convention, at Capua, on the 20th May, 1815. Captain Heywood subsequently conducted a large body of British and Imperial troops from Naples to Genoa and Marseilles. During the remainder of the same year we find him carrying on the port duties at Gibraltar, where he remained as senior officer until Feb. 1816, when he was recalled from thence for the purpose of accompanying Lord Exmouth on his first mission to the Barbary States, which terminated, as our readers are well aware, in the release of nearly 1800 poor wretches who had been dragged into the most miserable and revolting state of slavery, whilst innocently following their commercial pursuits.
The sentiments contained in the following lines are so highly honorable to the character of Captain Heywood, that we cannot refrain from giving them a place in this work; particularly as they were sent to him at a moment when his ship’s company were about to be freed from the restraints of naval discipline, and consequently not liable to the imputation of seeking his favor by undue adulation. We have already had occasion to notice the presentation of numerous swords, snuff-boxes, rings, &c. but we have never yet met with an instance of a naval commander receiving a tribute of “respect and esteem” from his crew, better calculated to gratify a benevolent and humane mind than “The Seamen’s Farewell To H.M.S. Montagu, when put out of commission at Chatham, on the 16th July, 1816.”
“Farewell to thee, Montagu! yet ere we quit thee
“We’ll give thee the blessing so justly thy due;
“For many a-seaman will fondly regret thee,
“And wish to rejoin thee, thou gem of true blue.
“For stout were thy timbers, and stoutly commanded
“In the record of Glory untarnished thy name;
“Still ready for battle when Glory demanded,
“And ready to conquer or die in thy fame.
“Farewell to thee, Heywood! a truer one never
“Exercis’d rule o’er the sons of the wave;
“The seamen who served thee, would serve thee for ever,
“Who sway’d, but ne’er fetter’d, the hearts of the brave.
“Haste home to thy rest, and may comforts enshrine it,
“Such comforts as shadow the peace of the bless’d;
“And the wreath thou deserv’st, may Gratitude twine it,
“The band of true seamen thou ne’er hast oppress’d,
“Farewell to ye, shipmates, now home is our haven,
“Let our hardships all fade as a dream that is past
“And be this true toast to Old Montagu giv’n
“She was our best ship, and she was our last."
Captain Heywood married, July 31, 1816, Frances, only daughter of Francis Simpson, Esq. of Plean House, Stirlingshire. His only surviving brother, Edwin Holwell Heywood, Esq. is a solicitor at Whitehaven, in Cumberland. Another brother, formerly a Lieutenant, R.M. died in the Hon. East India Company’s service, at Madras.
- Mr. P. J. Heywood was the son of Thomas Heywood, Esq. Chief Justice of the Isle of Man. His sister married the late Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley, Bart.
- See Brenton’s Naval History, vol. I. p. 83, et seq.
- See the list of the Bounty’s officers and crew, at p. 762.
- Silence, according to the Otaheiteau dialect.
- It is worth while to compare the above passage with the correspond, ing one in “Bligh’s Narrative.”
- Mr. Christian received a written order to do duty as a Lieutenant shortly after the Bounty sailed from Teneriffe, and from that period he had had charge of a watch.
- We are inclined to attribute the conduct of the officers to lukewarmness, rather than to fear. Lieutenant Bligh made no effort himself, except by words, even when his hands were at liberty.
- On looking over Mr. Morrison’s MS. we find that one of the Midshipmen who was sent away with Lieutenant Bligh had been confined in, irons, by his order, from Jan. 5 till March 23, 1789, for sleeping on his watch, and thereby affording three men an opportunity of running away with the small cutter. The desertion of these men, and their subsequent recovery, are mentioned at pp. 113 and 118 of “Bligh’s Voyage,” but not a word of the Midshipman’s misconduct. The latter was in England, and had friends whose hostility might have proved detrimental to the object of that work. It is well known that the tide of public opinion long ran in favor of the author.
- Lieutenant Watts, in the Lady Penrhyn transport, touched at Otaheite after landing convicts in New Holland, and thought proper to conceal the death of Captain Cook, in whose name he made several presents to the chiefs. Lieutenant Bligh, on his arrival, passed himself off for the son of their benefactor, whose death he likewise kept them in ignorance of.
- The Bounty mounted four 4-pounders and ten swivels. Mr. Christian’s plan was to place one gun at each angle, and two swivels on each side of the fort; the remaining swivels to be shifted about as occasion might require.
- For farther particulars of Lieutenant Bligh, see Wentworth’s Description of New South Wales, p. 166 et seq.
- Mr. Thomas Huggan, the Surgeon, died at Matavia, previous to the mutiny.
- James Morrison was sentenced to death because the testimony of the other prisoners could not be received as evidence in his favor. The court-martial were compelled to find him guilty, but the King’s free pardon, and his immediate promotion, are sufficient proofs that he was not in reality thought so. He ever afterwards enjoyed the patronage of Sir Thomas Troubridge, Bart, whose fate he shared when serving as Gunner of his unfortunate flag-ship, the Blenheim. See Captain Sir Edward Thomas Troubridge, Bart.
- Charles Churchill, after residing a short time at Matavia, accepted an invitation to live with Waheadooa, who was sovereign of Teiarraboo when Captain Cook last visited that peninsula. Thompson accompanied him thither, but they very soon disagreed. Waheadooa dying without children, Churchill, who had been his tayo or sworn friend, succeeded to his property arid dignity, according to the established custom of the country. Thompson, envious of Churchill’s preferment, and in revenge for some fancied insult, took an opportunity of shooting him. The natives rose to punish the murderer of their new sovereign, and stoned Thompson to death. This wretch had previously slain a man and a child through mere wantonness, but escaped punishment for that crime in consequence of a mistake as to his person, Mr. Heywood being taken for him, and about to be sacrificed, when making a tour of the island in company with an old chief, whose timely interposition alone saved him from destruction.
- John Millward and William Muspratt* took up arms for no other purpose but to assist in rescuing the ship. This, however, they had no means of proving; and as the circumstance of their having been armed was sworn to by the witnesses against them, the Court, as in Morrison’s case, could do no otherwise than find them guilty. Ellison, although rated an A.B. was only a mere youth.
* Errata: For William Muspratt read Thomas Burkitt.
- Michael Byrne’s sight was so extremely defective that he could have been of no service to either party.
- Lieutenant Bligh, although he thought proper to brand Mr. Peter Heywood with the vile appellation of mutineer, did not dare to charge him with any specific act that would have justified the use of such an epithet. On the contrary, he declared in writing that he had had the highest esteem for him till the moment of the mutiny, and that his conduct during the whole course of the voyage was truly commendable. He even went so far as to say to Mr. Wilson, the Deputy Receiver General of the Isle of Man, that his greatest hopes of assistance in suppressing the mutiny were from his dependence on Mr. Heywood, whom he expected would form a party in his favor. We must here observe, that his confidence in the other officers could not have been very great, or he would have made some effort more powerful than mere words, when his hands were at liberty, instead of confiding in the exertions and ability of a boy, and looking to him for the recovery of his authority. This reflection, if he ever had any feeling, must have distressed him in the subsequent part of his life but tyrants are generally as insensible of remorse, as they are deficient in true courage. His conduct when deposed at New South Wales, is sufficient to convince us that he did not possess too great a share of personal intrepidity.
- The schooner’s dimensions were as follows:– length of the keel, 30 feet; length on deck, 35 feet; extreme breadth, 9 feet 6 inches; depth of the hold, 5 feet. She sailed remarkably well; and, being afterwards employed in the sea-otter trade, made the quickest passage ever known from China to the Sandwich Islands. This memorable little vessel, also, being purchased at Canton by the late Captain Broughton, to assist him in surveying the coast of Tartary, became the means of preserving the crew of H.M.S. Providence, 112 in number, when wrecked to the eastward of Formosa, on the 17th May, 1797. See Memoir of Lord George Stuart.
- Mr. Robert Corner, late Superintendent of the Marine Police at Malta.
- The entrance to the prison was through a scuttle in the roof, about eighteen inches square, secured by an iron bolt passed through the coamings. William Moulter was subsequently made a warrant-officer through Captain Heywood’s influence.
- Mr. Stewart was a native of the Orkneys; and Lieutenant Bligh acknowledges having received so many civilities from his family, when he touched at those islands on his return from the South Seas, with Captain Gore, in 1780, that he would gladly have received him on board the Bounty on that account only, “but independent of this recommendation, he was a seaman, and had always borne a good character.” See “Bounty’s Voyage,” p. 161.
An affecting account of the young female with whom Mr. Stewart cohabited whilst at Otaheite, will be found in the Appendix to “The Duff’s Missionary Voyage,” at p. 346.
- Those were furnished him by two generous young sailors belonging to the ship, previous to his obtaining any by the means above mentioned.
- This, the reader will observe, was a repetition of the promise he had made previous to his being forced into the launch. See p. 756.
- It is probable that some of those persons informed Lieutenant Bligh of Mr. Heywood’s determination, without stating the reasons he had assigned.
- Mr. Stewart was no sooner released than he demanded of Christian the reason of his detention; upon which the latter denied having given any directions to that effect, and his assertion was corroborated by Churchill, who declared that he had kept both him and Mr. Heywood below, knowing it was their intention to go away with Bligh; “in which case,” added he, “what would become of us if any thing should happen to you; who is there but yourself and them to depend upon in navigating the ship?”
- Mr. Heywood, senior, paid the debt of nature on the 6th of Feb. 1790, and was thereby spared the heart-rending affliction to which his unhappy widow was doomed.
- On the 4th July, 1792, Mr. Heywood received a letter from Mr. Fryer, the master, containing these words: “Keep your spirits up, for I am of opinion no one can say you had an active part in the mutiny, and be assured of my doing you justice when called upon.”
- See the Bounty’s Voyage, p. 157.
- The vocabulary alluded to by Mr. James Heywood, proved highly useful to the missionaries who were afterwards sent to Otaheite, and is thus spoken of at p. 13 of the “Duff’s Voyage.”
“An ingenious clergyman of Portsmouth kindly furnished Dr. Haweis and Mr. Greatheed with a manuscript vocabulary of the Otaheitean language, and an account of the country, which providentially he preserved from the mutineers who were seized by the Pandora, and brought to Portsmouth for their trial, which was of unspeakable service to the missionaries, both for the help which it afforded them to learn before their arrival much of this unknown tongue, and also as giving the most inviting and encouraging description of the natives, and the cordial reception which they might expect.”
- See Vol. II. Part I. note at p. 54.
- See Vol. I. p. 246. N.B. Captain Murray on that occasion commanded the advanced squadron of frigates.
- The manner in which the Fox was employed whilst under the command of Captain Malcolm, has been described in our first volume, at p. 584, et seq.
- See Naval Chronicle, v. 28, p. 441, et seq.
- Many of Captain Heywood’s charts have been published by the Admiralty, to whom he presented his whole collection, when he returned from India in 1805. His name is affixed to all those now in use.
- See Vol. I, p. 407, et seq.
- See Vol. I., p. 617; and note * at p. 596.
- We need not remind the reader that a civil war then raged in the Provinces of la Plata; it is, however, necessary to state, that the decree of the Spanish Regency at Cadiz, conceding to Great Britain the power of carrying on commerce with the insurgents of Buenos Ayres and other districts had not yet been made known to the Royalist commander, Elio.
- See Vol. I, pp. 11 and 132.
- The above lines were written by one of the Montagu’s crew, and sent to Captain Heywood by desire of the whole ship’s company.