London, Printed for George Nicol, Bookseller to his majesty, Pall-Mall, 1790. Large 4to. Early straight-grained blue morocco gilt. One large folding chart of the track by the Bounty´s launch from Tofoa to Timor by William Bligh 1789, a copy of the draught from which the Bounty´s launch was built, chart of the Bligh´s Islands, which includes also a chart of the northern part of the New-Hebrides and a chart of the north east coast of New Holland. IV, 88 pp.
The original story of the most famous mutiny.
Rare first edition of the English naval officer William Bligh’s (1754 – 1817) account on the Mutiny of the Bounty.
In 1787, at the instigation of Sir Joseph Banks (1743 -1820) the English naturalist and traveller and inspiration behind many of the British voyages and discoveries of the late eighteenth century and the famous Lord Sydney, Bligh was sent off to the Pacific for the purpose of introducing bread trees from the south sea islands to the West Indies as cheap food for the slaves. The bread trees were first seen by Captain James Cook at Tahiti. Lord Sydney was responsible for the first settlement in Australia. They first landed at Botany Bay but that area was not suitable as a settlement, so they moved north to Port Jackson, one of the best natural harbours in the world. That is where they settled and later named it Sydney after Lord Sydney, who was also responsible for sending the first ships of convicts to Australia.
After spending five months in Tahiti, Bligh sailed west to the Tonga group. It was there that on the morning of April 28th 1789, the famous mutiny and the capture of the Bounty took place. It was led by the masters mate Fletcher Christian and 12 crew members who captured Bligh and 18 of his supporters and set them adrift in the ship’s 23-foot launch. Bligh then made one of the most heroic voyages in history. They sailed to Tofoe were the natives were very hostile. Bligh and his men were lucky to get away with only the loss of one man. They then sailed in 48 day’s to Timor without loss of life; however, three men died after they arrived at Batavia. What is not so well known is that in the course of this dangerous and adventurous journey Bligh took the opportunity to chart and name parts of the unknown north-east coast of New Holland as he passed along it. The map Bligh made is also present in this printed narrative. In 1790 Bligh returned to England where he presented his report of the mutiny to the Admiralty. Captain Edward Edwards was sent on the Ship Pandora to search for the Bounty Mutineers. When the Pandora arrived in Tahiti they found 14 crew members, who gave themselves up immediately. Two other crew members had apparantly been murdered. All the captured men were put in a cage on the deck of the Pandora. The Pandora shipwrecked on a reef near Australia and ten of the fourteen Bounty crewmen escaped with the Pandora crew, four drowned in their chains. The surviving Bounty crewmen were tried in court in England in 1792. Three were found guilty of mutiny and were hanged. The others were declared innocent and released.
Howego B107; Sabin 5908a; Wantrup p. 128-29, 61; Ferguson, 70.