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Find My Past: Mutiny on the Bounty – 17th November 2011

Published on 18 Nov 2011 15:14 : find my past tv : 1 comment : 2906 views

This week's episode of Find My Past focused on the Mutiny that occurred on board HMS Bounty on 28th April 1789.

HMS Bounty set sail to the Caribbean from England in 1789 under the commandment of Captain William Bligh. Shortly into their voyage they encountered severe storms and Bligh decided to take the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope, it was the toughest voyage of Bligh's career. On board were around 40 men, with second in command, Fletcher Christian who Bligh promoted during the voyage. They had a close relationship however this relationship was soon to turn sour. After 10 months at sea HMS Bounty finally arrived in Tahiti and Bligh allowed his men complete freedom on the island for the next 6 months.

When they set sail on the 4th April 1789 and discipline became a huge issue. They left with over 1,000 bread fruit trees which took priority of fresh water, leaving the men on board with water rations of two cups a day. Bligh became increasingly isolated on board and resented by many of the men. It all came to a head 28th April when Christian Fetcher threatened Captain Bligh and threw the bread plants over board. Bligh and around 20 men who did not want to be part of the mutiny spent 41 days in a small open boat crossing a raging ocean until they reached mainland and returned to England.

During the programme we meet Penelope, Ken and Marysia who discovered that they are each related to someone who had a key role in the Mutiny on the Bounty.

Penelope finds out that she is related to Captain William Bligh, she is very shocked, emotional and keen to understand more about her ancestor. She is able to read from Bligh's personal accounts of what happened in the lead up to the mutiny.

Maryisa is aware of her Maritime background with a grandfather who served in the Royal Navy and on Find My Past last night she discovered that she is linked to Christian Fletcher.

Finally Ken goes 5 generations back to uncover his ancestor, John Fryer, who was the Master of the Bounty and sole charge of navigation on the ship. He had a troubled relationship with Bligh who was also a good navigator.

All three descendants come together at the end of the programme to talk about their ancestors and give their opinions on who was at fault for sparking the Mutiny in the Bounty. It is a very interesting and emotional journey for all the participants and made for very good viewing.

Remember to tune in next week...

Find My Past - It's on every Thursday at 9pm on the YeSTERDAY channel - 12 on freeview, 537 on Sky and 203 on Virgin. You can also see it here too -


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by Valerie on 4 Jan 2012 07:47 :

I was very interested in this article about the descendants of Captain William Bligh. I would like to add another descendant being the Premier of Queensland Australia.
Anna Maria Bligh - she is the 4x great Granddaughter of Captain Bligh.
The reason I know about this is I also live in Australia and thought perhaps she should be mentioned as well
regards Valerie Miles (nee Beard)