COLONIAL

William Bligh
Australia Crest

Born in Cornwall on 9th September, 1754.

He first went to sea as a cabin boy at the age of seven.

The crew of his ship Bounty mutinied in 1789 with the set adrift Bligh and loyal crew showing amazing navigational skills in steering and rowing a small boat some 3,000 miles to Batavia.

In 1806 Governor King of NSW, through poor health, handed power to Bligh and Bligh's orders were to break the military power within the colony.

By this time the population of the colony was 8,500 persons.

On January 26th (now Australia Day), 1808, Bligh was arrested by the NSW Corps led by Major Johnston on the pretext of preventing a coup against Bligh. This revolt was named the Rum Rebellion.

Bligh was held in custody for over 12 months and the colony was run by Johnston and John Macarthur of Merino sheep fame.

Bligh was replaced by Colonel Lachlan Macquarie in January, 1810. Macquarie arrived with his own regiment and so a convict emancipation system was established under the encouragement of Macquarie and to the dislike of the landowners who had enjoyed the fruits of free convict labour up to now.

William Bligh died in London in 1817.

A replica of Bounty sails Sydney Harbour at this very moment. She was made for the remake of the film ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’, starring Mel Gibson as Fletcher Christian. This part was played by Marlon Brando in the original film with Trevor Howard as Bligh.


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