Antquarians hear story of Mutiny on the Bounty

GUEST speaker at the meeting of Arbroath Antiquary and History Club in the public library on Friday was David Searle.

He talked on The Mutiny on the Bounty which occurred aboard the British Royal Navy ship HMS Bounty on April 28, 1789. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian against commanding officer William Bligh. Mr Searle gave an informative sketch of both men’s backgrounds and how William’s cruel ways led to the event.

He related that the ship had gone to collect breadfruit plants to grow and feed slaves cheaply. The crew lived idyllic life on Tahiti and when it was time to leave they were not happy. Bligh was jealous of Christian’s bond with the crew and was harsh and unpleasant. Captain Blight was set afloat in a small boat accompanied by eighteen of his loyal crew. He got back to Britain over two years later.

Mr Searle then talked about a man called Alexander Smith whose real name was John Adams. The mutineers settled in Pitcairn Island and burned the Bounty. They survived by farming and fishing. John Adams became a Christian and he had a very influential approach on how the island was run. When the people became Christians they settled into a very ordered and content life. John Adams died in 1829, at the age of 61 years. If you go to Pitcairn now you can still find Adams as he had four children to carry on his name.

George Laidlaw gave the vote of thanks.