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Thomas Ellison Mutiny on the Bounty

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ArgyllGran Report 4 Nov 2013 13:29

Jane -

Going by Maddie's post above, and assuming Deptford means Deptford, Kent, this baptism might be a possibility, but it's impossible to know for sure:

London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 about Thomas Bristy Ellison
Name: Thomas Bristy Ellison
Baptism Date: 1 Dec 1771
Parish: St Nicholas, Deptford
County: Kent
Borough: Greenwich
Parent(s): Robert Ellison
Record Type: Baptism
Register Type: Parish Register


Reggie Report 4 Nov 2013 09:19

I don't expect that D will see your post........if you wish to make contact, send a PM


Jane Report 3 Nov 2013 14:42


I suspect that this Ellison is not connected to me BUT a second cousin of my husband, lives in Australia, also claims ancestral connections to William Bligh! What a complicated world it is! She is rightly proud of her connections.


D Report 16 Jan 2013 03:57

Duncan Campbell is my 5th great grandfather, and the Blighs are some other way blood cousins. It's always good to read about crew, even mutineers and their descendants. Bounty was one Duncan's many small ships...he called it the Bethia at the time. :-)


SylviaInCanada Report 3 Apr 2011 23:54


that's all that Barbara and Maddie have done! And all that any of the rest of can do

or try the beta.familysearch site to see if you can trace his birth



Jane Report 3 Apr 2011 23:51

Thanks for this - does anyone know where he came from and his possible family line?


Barbara Report 24 Mar 2011 10:53

Found by googling - probably loads more information out there

Mutineer. An Able-bodied Seaman on the HMS Bounty. As the ship's youngest crew member (he was 15 when the Bounty sailed for Tahiti), he was treated comparatively well, and Commander William Bligh noted that he was "a good boy". Ellison's role in the mutiny on April 28, 1789 was that of a teenager caught up in the excitement: he waved a bayonet in front of Bligh's face and called him a few names. He later chose to stay in Tahiti rather than sail to Pitcairn Island with Fletcher Christian, and voluntarily turned himself in to the command of the HMS Pandora in 1791. At his court-martial in England Ellison pleaded for leniency because of his youth, but was found guilty and condemned. On October 29, 1792, Ellison and fellow mutineers Thomas Burkett and John Millward were hanged aboard the HMS Brunswick at Spithead, England. As was usually the case with mutineers, their bodies were left to rot on gibbets as a warning to other sailors, and never given a proper burial. (bio by: Robert Edwards)

Search Amazon for Thomas Ellison

Body lost or destroyed
Specifically: Left on a gibbet in Spithead, England, not buried


Maddie Report 24 Mar 2011 10:51

for info
ELLISON, Thomas Able-bodied seaman on the Bounty, mutineer; stayed on Tahiti; survived the wreck of the Pandora; found guilty at court-martial and hanged.

Ellison was born in Deptford and was only fifteen years old when he was entered on the rolls of the Bounty. Yet he had already sailed with Bligh on the Britannia. He was a protege of Duncan Campbell, Mrs. Bligh’s uncle, so it would have been difficult for the captain not to take him along.

Bligh’s description of Ellison, written after the mutiny, reads as follows:

[THOMAS ELLISON] 17 years, 5 feet 3 inches high. Fair complexion, dark hair, strong made. Has his name tattooed under his right arm, and dated “October 25, 1788.”

In a letter to Campbell, written at the beginning of the voyage, Bligh stated: “Tom Ellison is a very good Boy and will do very well.” He must often have regretted those words later.

Ellison was in Christian’s watch and on the morning of the mutiny he was at the wheel. When the mutiny broke out, he was at first “Terrifyde,” as he later testified during the court-martial, but – like several others among the crew – he soon became elated at the turn of events, in fact he lashed the wheel, took a bayonet and waved it in Bligh’s face and shouted: “Damn him, I will be sentinel over him!”

Ellison remained on Tahiti when Christian sailed away and took part in the war against Teina’s (Mate’s) enemies. When the Pandora arrived, he gave himself up voluntarily together with Morrison and Norman. He survived the wreck of the Pandora and was in the same boat as Morrison on the voyage to Timor. He was treated as cruelly as Morrison being “pinnioned with a cord and lash’d down in the boat’s bottom.”

At the court-martial Ellison tried to plead his youth at the time of the mutiny, but that did not impress the court: youth was no excuse for mutiny, there were thousands of young boys in the Navy. Ellison did have the satisfaction, however, of corroborating Burkett’s testimony concerning Hayward and Hallett having begged to be allowed to stay on board the Bounty, and he added that they had “weep’t bitterly’ when they were ordered into the launch.

Together with Millward and Burkett, Ellison was hanged by slow strangulation on board HMS Brunswick on October 29, 1792.

ELPHINSTONE (Elphinston), William Master’s mate on the Bounty; lo - United States


Jane Report 24 Mar 2011 10:33

Does anyone know about the ancestry for the above who was hanged as a result of his action?

Thanks Jane