Sunday, June 11, 2017

What really happened to the BOUNTY Mutineers on Pitcairn

HMS Bounty - replica
While Bligh’s story has been well documented and, in some opinions whitewashed, so has the life of Fletcher Christian who, with his cohorts and a bunch of Tahitian men and a dozen revolutionary Ma'ohi women sailed with Christian on BOUNTY and settled on Pitcairn Island.

But after that, what really happened to the BOUNTY survivors? What really happened to the ship itself? Who set fire to it? 

Sinking of the Bounty replica

And how did the mutineers die for they did not magically disappear from Pitcairn Island?
What secrets were held by the women? 
What bloodthirsty brutal acts they were subjected to and, later what brutality were perpetrated by them?

‘Mrs Christian – BOUNTY Mutineer’ by Glynn Christian is an outstanding book for its disturbing revelations about the mystery surrounding the fate of HMS BOUNTY and for the truths and poignant story of the BOUNTY mutineers, which in so many cases has been glossed over.

The true story, penned by Glynn Christian (descendant of Fletcher and Mauatua, is a lengthy read and I found the first part, about the time on Tahiti and the islands, including the raw sex scenes, less engaging. But once the party landed on Pitcairn the story was totally engrossing.

Then, from the time an American ship called at Pitcairn (1808) and discovered this unusual group of mainly half-cast individuals along with one white man, the story takes an about face. Transported back to Tahiti by well-meaning missionaries, many of the Pitcairn islanders died of modern diseases and after less then half a year, the survivors begged to be shipped back to Pitcairn.

In 1856, the descendants of those people were transferred to Norfolk Island, where they settled and still live today. Names, like Christian, Quintall, Nobbs, Young and Adams are engraved on dozens of gravestones in the cemetery there.
Grave of wife of a descendant of Fletcher Christian

Graves on Norfolk Island - many bearing the names of the descendants of the mutineers
   Mauatua (Mrs Christian) was a tall, young and beautiful young south sea islander when the story began. She was also brave, intelligent and a born leader. She eventually died on Pitcairn aged in her 80s – bent and toothless. What she achieved for her people was remarkable.

'Mrs Christian' is a mind-blowing, eye-opener to truths that were held secret for decades. It is a long book, of almost 600 pages, but if you enjoy history and seek to unravel the truth, I thoroughly recommend it.
Bounty replica (from Wikipedia)
As a post script to this blog entry, I have recently acquired a copy of THE PITCAIRNERS by Robert B. Nicholson (1965).

I believe this will shed further light on the story and substantiate much of what I have written here.

Pics: courtesy of Wikipedia.

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