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Bounty's Crew Encyclopedia

[HMS Bounty]
[Crew List]

Adams - Christian

Churchill - Hayward

Heywood -

Millward - Quintal

Samuel -

--Text from Mutiny and Romance in the South Seas: A Companion to the Bounty Adventure by Sven Wahlroos. Used by permission. See Book Recommendations for more information about this book.

HEYWOOD, Peter Acting midshipman on the Bounty; kept on board against his will; survived the wreck of the Pandora; found guilty at court-martial but recommended for mercy and pardoned; went on to a distinguished career in the Navy.

Peter Heywood, by J. Simpson

Peter Heywood (Oil by John Simpson)

Heywood was born in Douglas on the Isle of Man on June 6, 1772, and was therefore fifteen years old when he was entered on the rolls of the Bounty. He was “of excellent lineage in the north of England” according to Lady Belcher (his later stepdaughter) and was recommended to Bligh by Dr. Richard Betham, Bligh’s father-in-law. On board the Bounty he ate in Christian’s mess together with George Stewart and Robert Tinkler. Heywood and Christian (whose family was Manx) soon became good friends.

On Tahiti, Heywood was assigned to Christian’s shore party and thus had an excellent opportunity to compile material for the Tahitian dictionary which would later prove so valuable to English missionaries. He adapted quickly to the Tahitian way of life, to the point of having himself heavily tattooed (the word tattoo, by the way, comes from the Tahitian tata’u).

During the mutiny he had run up on deck but had been ordered to go below and was there kept under guard together with George Stewart. From what we know today – which is more than the judges knew at the court-martial – it is clear that Heywood had nothing to do with the mutiny. Bligh, however, was always convinced that Heywood not only took an active part in the mutiny but had planned it together with Christian. Since this was a firm conviction, not just a suspicion, it is probable that it originated in Bligh’s feeling hurt and left out by Christian and Heywood during the stay at Tahiti.

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

[PETER HEYWOOD] Midshipman, 16 years, 5 feet 7 inches high, fair complexion, light-brown hair, well proportioned. Very much tattooed, and on the right leg is tattooed the Legs of Man, as the impression on that coin is. At this time he had not done growing. He speaks with the Isle of Man accent.

Heywood kept a journal which he submitted to Edwards who made some abstracts from it. The original was lost with the Pandora, but the abstracts have survived among Edwards papers and support the contents of Morrison’s narrative.

During his second stay on Tahiti, from Christian’s departure to the arrival of the Pandora, Heywood wisely refrained from taking an active part in the island’s wars. There is no doubt that he loved the Tahitians; in a letter to his mother he later wrote:

Whilst we remained there we were used by our Friends (the Natives) with a Friendship, Generosity, & Humanity almost unparalleled, being such as never was equalled by the People of any civilised Nations, to the Disgrace of all Christians.

When the Pandora arrived, he was one of the first to go on board and – like the other loyalists – was shocked to find himself treated as if he was a mutineer.

Heywood received strong support from his family on his return to England. His sister Nessy and his mother spared no effort in trying to see to it that he would be acquitted and – when he was found guilty and condemned to death – to obtain the King’s pardon for him.

Heywood’s mother had wanted to engage two of England’s most eminent attorneys for her son’s defense, but she was advised against it by Commodore Thomas Pasley, Peter’s uncle, who knew the prejudice captains sitting as judges at a court-martial had against lawyers. Pasley instead recommended a friend of his, Mr. Aaron Graham, who had extensive experience as a judge at naval courts-martial.

It may nevertheless have been a mistake, because Graham, instead of advising Heywood to concentrate on the hard fact that he had been kept below deck by force, suppressed Heywood’s own defense speech and, together with his associate Mr. Const, wrote a rambling speech which was mawkish and over-emotional and hardly likely to have a positive influence on the captains sitting as judges. Youth was a poor defense in any case, as shown by the fact that Ellison, who was about the same age as Heywood, also emphasized his tender age at the time of the mutiny and was hanged nevertheless.

It is possible, however, that a different defense would not have led to acquittal; the testimony of Hayward and Hallett – which both afterwards said they regretted – was highly damaging and could not be ignored by the judges.

After obtaining the King’s pardon, Heywood was highly instrumental in helping Edward Christian in his efforts to have the whole story of the mutiny told.

Although the judges at the court-martial could not ignore Hayward’s and Hallett’s testimony, it is clear that they had a favorable impression of Heywood. On the very day that the pardon was issued, the President of the court-martial, Admiral Lord Hood, wrote to Heywood’s uncle, Commodore Pasley, offering his nephew a berth as a midshipman on board his own flagship HMS Victory. Pasley, however, wanted Heywood on board his own ship, HMS Bellerophon.

Many years later, Heywood thought he saw Fletcher Christian on a street in Plymouth. The man had run away, however, which Christian would hardly have done. Nevertheless, the fact that Heywood talked about the incident with his friends has led to many fanciful speculations concerning Christian’s supposed departure from Pitcairn and later adventures.

Heywood had a highly distinguished career in the Navy. He became a post captain in 1803 and his rising to the rank of Admiral was prevented only by his death on February 10, 1831, at the age of fifty-eight (he had, however, retired from active service in 1816).

Sir John Barrow, First Secretary of the Admiralty, wrote about Heywood: “Having reached nearly the top of the list of captains, he died in this present year, leaving behind him a high and unblemished character in that service, of which he was a most honourable, intelligent, and distinguished member.”

HILLBRANT, Henry (HEILDBRANDT, Heinrich) Able-bodied seaman and cooper on the Bounty; mutineer; stayed on Tahiti; drowned when the Pandora foundered. Hillbrant was born in Hanover and spoke English poorly and with a heavy accent. He was twenty-four years old when he signed on the Bounty.

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

[HENRY HEILDBRANDT] 25 years, 5 feet 7 inches high. Fair complexion, sandy hair, very strong made. His left arm shorter than the right, having been broke. Is an Hanovarian and speaks bad English. He is tattooed in several places.

Hillbrant triggered Bligh’s first major temper tantrum when, during the famous cheese incident, he said that the ship’s clerk, John Samuel, had ordered the cheeses – which Bligh claimed had been stolen – to be taken to the captain’s residence before the Bounty sailed. Bligh screamed at Hillbrant that he would get “a damn’d good flogging” if he ever said anything like that again.

Hillbrant’s role in the mutiny could not have been very active, since his participation is not detailed in any of the accounts. He stayed on Tahiti, as did eight of the other mutineers, taking the chance of being discovered by a British warship. Being a skilled craftsman, he was of great help to Morrison in building the schooner Resolution. He also took an active part in the wars on the island.

When the Pandora arrived, Hillbrant was one of the Bounty men who took to the mountains. Like the other, he was soon captured and confined to “Pandora’s box,” chained to hands and feet.

On May 14, 1791, six days out of Tahiti, he asked if he could speak with Captain Edwards. What he told him was that, the evening before Christian had left Tahiti for good, he had told Hillbrant his destination: an uninhabited island to the west of Danger Island discovered by John Bryon. Edwards knew that must be Duke of York’s Island (Atafu), but he should have known it was a ruse designed by Christian. Nevertheless he sailed there, stopping at Aitutaki and Palmerston on the way, all the time getting farther away from Christian.

If Hillbrant had hoped he would get any advantage for divulging this “secret” to Edwards, he must have been bitterly disappointed. Not only did he remain shackled in “Pandora’s box,” but – due to Edwards’ inhuman orders to keep the prisoners chained while the Pandora foundered – Hillbrant went down with the ship without a chance to save himself. His fate is a testimony to the unspeakable callousness of the ship’s commander.

HUGGAN, Thomas Surgeon on the Bounty; died on Tahiti December 9, 1788. Bligh had noticed Huggan’s chronic drunkenness long before the Bounty sailed from Spithead and had tried to have him replaced, but the Admiralty had either refused or not been able to find a replacement. Bligh had therefore taken on board a surgeon’s mate, Thomas Ledward, an action which showed considerable foresight.

There is little doubt that it was Huggan’s fault that able-bodied seaman James Valentine died. Valentine had been suffering from asthma. Huggan bled him – a common enough procedure at the time – and the wound became infected. Evidently gangrene set in because of mismanagement and neglect. Huggan did not even notify Bligh of the severity of Valentine’s situation until the latter was already on the point of death.

Huggan was very much liked by the Tahitians during the six weeks they got to know him. As far as I can determine, he was the first Englishman to be buried on Tahiti (Domingo de Boenechea being the first European to be buried there, in 1775).

LAMB, Robert Able-bodied seaman and butcher on the Bounty; loyalist; went with Bligh; died on the passage from Batavia. Lamb was born in London and was twenty-one years old when he joined the Bounty. On December 29, 1788, he was given a dozen lashes for “suffering his Cleaver to be stolen” by Tahitians. He was the only man flogged during the voyage who did not end up as a mutineer.

“End up” is the correct expression here, because Lamb initially joined the mutineers, accepting a musket from Thompson and standing guard over the fore hatchway, but he changed his mind later and went into the launch.

On the open-boat voyage from Tofua to Timor, an incident took place on an island within the Great Barrier Reef which Bligh called Lagoon Key; he describes the event as follows:

. . . three men went to the East Key to endevour to take some birds, . . . About 12 o’clock the bird party returned with only 12 noddys . . . but if it had not been for the obstinacy of one of the party, who separated from the other two and putting the birds to flight, they might have caught a great number. Thus all my plans were totally defeated, for which on the return of the offender I gave him a good beating –

The offender was Robert Lamb, who, upon arrival in Java, confessed that he had alone eaten nine noddies and had frightened the others away.

Lamb died, probably from a tropical disease contracted in Batavia, on the passage from there to Capt Town.

LEBOGUE, Lawrence Sailmaker on the Bounty; loyalist; went with Bligh on the open-boat voyage; arrived safely in England; sailed again with Bligh in the Providence.

Lebogue was aged forty when mustering on the Bounty, one of the oldest men in the remarkably young crew. Glynn Christian in his book Fragile Paradise (1982) states that Lebogue was an American from Annapolis, but I do not know his source for the claim.

There is little mention of Lebogue in the literature on the mutiny. He seems to have been highly competent in his craft and a man who went about his work quietly.

On the open-boat voyage from Tofua to Timor, Lebogue and Ledward, the surgeon, came close to dying. On June 10, 1789, Bligh writes:

Lawrence Lebogue and the surgeon cannot live a week longer if I do not get relief . . . the surgeon and Lawrence Lebogue are indeed miserable objects – I issue them a few teaspoonfull of wine out of the little I have remaining, which may secure their existence as long as it lasts.

If the word “indomitable” has any real meaning, it would certainly be in reference to Lebogue, because he volunteered to sail with Bligh again, this time in the Providence on the second breadfruit expedition. Again, he is hardly mentioned in the accounts of the voyage, but Bligh, in a letter to Banks, writes that Lebogue had encountered Christian’s consort on this voyage and adds: “We were with Christian always until his last Departure, which was sudden and unknown.”

If this is true, it virtually proves that Christian did not have a permanent attachment among the women in Tahiti at the time of the mutiny. If the woman Lebogue met was Christian’s consort, why had she not gone with Christian to Tubuai and later to Pitcairn?

The likelihood is that Christian knew both her and Mauatua during his first stay in Tahiti, but that no permanent attachment was formed.

George Mackaness in The Life of Vice-Admiral William Bligh (1951), mentions that a friend of the Bligh family once looked up Lebogue and had some grog with him. “Lebogue,” said the friend, “this is better than being in the boat.” “Oh d----- me,” said the sailmaker, “I never think of the boat!”

LEDWARD, Thomas DenmanSurgeon’s mate on the Bounty; acting surgeon after Huggan’s death; loyalist; went with Bligh to Batavia; probably lost at sea during the passage from Batavia to Cape Town.

Bligh had become aware of the chronic drunkenness of his ship’s surgeon, Thomas Huggan, long before the Bounty sailed from Spithead.  He tried to get him replaced, but the Admiralty either refused or could not find a replacement.  Bligh then tried to procure an assistant surgeon from one of the ships anchored at Spithead and found Ledward who had just been paid off with a good character from HM frigate Nymph, commanded by Captain Albemarle Bertie, which had just been stood down while in process of refitting for sea.  (Captain Bertie, by the way, would later be one of the judges at the court-martial of the accused mutineers.)

Ledward was a man who went about his duty quietly and conscientiously.  His initial view of Bligh was that “though a passionate Man, [he] is I believe a good-hearted Man, and has behaved very handsomely to me.”  By the time the loyalists reached Batavia, however, he resented what he saw as his pettiness and self-interest in not being willing to advance him money save on very stringent terms (see Ledward’s letter in the November 1789 commentary).

Opposite the name Thomas Ledward the following note is written in the muster book of the Bounty: “17th Nov., 1789.  Embarked on board the Rotterdam Welfare. Q. What became of him?”

The likelihood is that Ledward was lost when the Welfare (or more properly Rotterdams Welvaren, Captain Willem Jakob Rudde) went down with all 101 crew and passengers on board en route to Cape Town.  His letter from Batavia suggests this since endorsed either by the recipient (his uncle) or another member of the family  “Poor, unfortunate Thos. Ledward.”  An erroneous belief (see Gavin Kennedy, Bligh, 1978) that he may have been surgeon on Vancouver’s Discovery from 1791 to 1795 is based on confusing him with Thomas Laithwood or Lathwood, a carpenter’s mate who fulfilled the role of surgeon’s mate later in that voyage.

Nordhoff and Hall use Ledward as the narrator for their epic story of the open-boat voyage, Men Against the Sea.  [Note: this entry has been updated based on information provided by Dr. Pieter van der Merwe at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK, March 2017].

LINKLETTER, (Lenkletter), Peter Quartermaster on the Bounty; loyalist; went with Bligh; died in Batavia. Linkletter was born in Shetland and was thirty years old when he joined the Bounty.

Linkletter is not mentioned much in the literature on the mutiny. We do know that he belonged to the “anti-Bligh group” among the men in the Bounty’s launch. According to Alexander McKee in HMS Bounty (1962), Linkletter and Purcell had both seen Bligh appropriate extra rations for himself during the voyage and told Bligh so to his face. Bligh retaliated by imprisoning them on a ship in the harbor of Coupang.

Linkletter died of a tropical disease (probably malaria) in Batavia within a fortnight after Bligh’s departure for England.

MARTIN, Isaac Able-bodied seaman on the Bounty; mutineer; went with Christian; died on Pitcairn. Martin was born in Philadelphia and was probably American. “Probably,” because there is also a small English community near Durham called Philadelphia. He was thirty years old when he signed on the Bounty. Bligh’s description of Martin, written after the mutiny, reads as follows:

[ISAAC MARTIN] 30 years, 5 feet, 11 inches high. Sallow complexion, short brown hair, raw-boned. Tattooed on his left breast, with a star.

Martin was flogged on Tahiti for striking a native. Bligh’s orders to the men were of the “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” variety. A man would be flogged if he let a native steal something, but would also be flogged if he struck one of the thieves. The latter was the case with Martin: he had struck a Tahitian in his effort to get back an iron hoop that the islander had stolen. Bligh sentenced him to twenty-four lashes but reduced them to nineteen after chief Teina and his wife Itia had interceded on Martin’s behalf.

A British sailor accepted even severe punishment if he considered it just and did not think less of his commander for it. But if the punishment was unfair, as in Martin’s case, it must have left a lingering resentment. During the subsequent mutiny Martin vacillated. He was in Christian’s watch and the first man that Christian approached with his plan to take over the ship. Martin refused cooperation. However, after Christian had succeeded in talking Quintal and Churchill into the idea, Martin changed his mind and joined the mutineers.

When Bligh was under guard on the quarterdeck, Martin fed him with a shaddock to relieve his parched mouth with its juice. Bligh later wrote:

Isaac Martin, one of the guard, I saw I had brought to a sense of his duty, and as he fed me with shaddock . . . we explained to each other by our eyes reciprocally our wishes. This was, however, observed, and Martin was instantly removed from me whose inclination then was to leave the ship, but for a threat of instant death if he did not return out of the boat.

It is possible, even probable, that Martin would not have vacillated, and would have remained a loyalist had it not been for the unfair punishment he had been subjected to in full view of the Tahitians (during an era when a white man’s prestige had to be preserved at all times). As it was, he would have remained in the boat if Churchill and Quintal had not threatened to shoot him unless the came back on board.

At Tubuai Martin voted with Christian and joined him on the quest which would finally lead to Pitcairn.

Martin’s consort was Teehuteatuaonoa; she had no children with him. On Massacre Day, September 20, 1793, he was the fourth mutineer to be killed by the Polynesians.

McCOY (Mickoy, McKoy), William Able-bodied seaman on the Bounty; mutineer; went with Christian; died on Pitcairn. The spelling McCoy has been used throughout this book, because that is how the descendants spell it. In the muster book of the Bounty, however, the name is spelled Mickoy.

McCoy was twenty-three years old when he joined the Bounty. Together with his buddy Matthew Quintal, he had transferred from HMS Triumph. He was a violent man and had been involved in many fights, as evidenced by several scars on his body and face. His physical description, given by Bligh after the mutiny, reads as follows:

[WILLIAM MICKOY] seaman, aged 25 years, 5 feet 6 inches high, fair complexion, light brown hair, strong made; a scar where he has been stabbed in the belly, and a small scar under his chin; is tatowed in different parts of his body.

The first significant mention we have of McCoy in the Bounty literatures is that Bligh, in one of his hysterical outbursts, threatened to shoot him if he did not pay attention (to Bligh’s incoherent tirade). This was right after the Bounty had left Nomuka, in other words, shortly before the mutiny.

McCoy was one of the first to join Christian and took an active part in the mutiny. On Tubuai he voted with Christian and went with him to Pitcairn.

McCoy was one of the three mutineers (the others were Brown and Williams) who, with three Polynesians, went ashore with Christian to explore the island. His consort was Teio whom he called Mary and with whom he had two children, Daniel and Kate. He and Quintal were notorious for the brutality with which they treated the Polynesians.

On Massacre Day, September 20, 1793, McCoy narrowly escaped being murdered and, together with Quintal, fled to the mountains. Together they killed Manarii after he had joined them (see the September 1793 commentary in Part I). Once they had received proof of the death of the remaining Polynesians, they rejoined the village.

McCoy had worked in a brewery in Glasgow and, after much experimentation, he succeeded in distilling a strong liquor from the ti-root. The first bottle was ready for consumption on April 20, 1797. This introduced an era of wild drunkenness on the island. McCoy, especially, became totally addicted to the “Demon’s Rum” and developed delirium tremens. Before the end of the year he was dead; during one of his attacks he tied a stone around his neck and jumped to his death from a precipice.

McINTOSH, Thomas Carpenter’s crew on board the Bounty; loyalist; kept on board against his will; survived the wreck of the Pandora; acquitted at court-martial.

McIntosh was born in North Shields and was twenty-six years old when he joined the Bounty. The description Bligh later gave of him reads as follows:

[THOMAS McINTOSH] Carpenter’s Crew. 28 years, 5 feet 6 inches high. Fair complexion, light-brown hair, slender made. Pitted by smallpox.

McIntosh and Norman were kept on board the Bounty by Christian who needed their skills as carpenters; he did not want to force the dour and strong-willed Purcell to remain. Neither one had taken part in the mutiny, and both called out to Bligh to remember that they were kept on board against their will.

McIntosh had a woman on Tahiti whom he called Mary. Mary followed him to Tubuai and back and bore him a daughter. When Christian left with the Bounty, McIntosh was the first one that Morrison approached with his plan to build a ship and he, together with Norman, were of invaluable help in carrying through with the project.

When the Pandora arrived, McIntosh was the only loyalist who ran up into the mountains to hide with the mutineers. We will never know why. Perhaps he had become attached to his wife and daughter and wanted to remain on Tahiti.

His attempted escape evidently did not count against him. He was one of the three prisoners on the Pandora who were released to work the pumps when the ship struck the reef and, once back in England, he did not experience any significant trouble in being acquitted at the court-martial.

When Bligh returned to Tahiti on the second breadfruit expedition, he was approached by “Mary,” McIntosh’s consort, who showed him a beautiful little girl, about eighteen months old, whose name was Elizabeth and who was McIntosh’s daughter. Whether Bligh ever tried to let his former crew-member know about this encounter when he returned to England, is unknown. It seems most unlikely; Bligh could be sentimental about himself but he had little understanding of the feelings of others.

I do not know what happened to McIntosh after the court-martial.

MILLS, John Gunner’s mate on the Bounty; mutineer; went with Christian; was killed on Pitcairn. Mills was born in Aberdeen. David Silverman in Pitcairn Island (1967) writes:

The few scraps of Mills’ pre-“Bounty” history gleaned from the record suggests a sadistic bully-boy. On the “Mediator,” under Collingwood, Mills was known to send midshipmen on fools’ errands in order to steal their food. Once he extracted tribute for retrieving a midshipman’s cap from the pump well where he had got the mess boy to hide it.

Captain Bligh described Mills’ physical appearance as follows:

[JOHN MILLS] gunner’s mate, aged 40 years, 5 feet 10 inches high, fair complexion, light brown hair, strong made, and raw boned; a scar on his right arm-pit, occasioned by an abscess.

Mills was one of the oldest men on board the Bounty. On October 19, 1788, he and William Brown, the gardener, had refused to dance (the daily exercise ordered by Bligh) and had had their grog ration stopped as a consequence. Apart from that incident, there is hardly any mention of Mills in the Bounty literature until the day of the mutiny.

Mills was in Christian’s watch on that fateful morning, conning the ship with Ellison at the helm. He was one of the men who went below with Christian to arrest Bligh.

On Tubuai, Mills was one of the eight mutineers who voted with Christian and who later sailed with him to Pitcairn. He could hardly have felt much loyalty to Christian, however, because while the latter was ashore exploring the island, he suggested that those aboard the Bounty make sail for Tahiti and leave Christian and those who had gone ashore with him to their fate.

Mills was one of the mutineers who treated the Polynesians brutally. His consort was Vahineatua whom he called Prudence and with whom he had two children, Elizabeth and John Jr.

On Massacre Day, September 20, 1793, Mills was the third of the mutineers to be killed.

John Mills Jr. fell from a steep precipice and died when he was twenty-one years old. He had not been married, so the name Mills died out on Pitcairn.

Elizabeth Young, daughter of John Mills, was born in 1792 and witnessed the murder of Quintal in 1799. She migrated to Tahiti in 1831 and to Norfolk in 1856, but she returned to, and died on, Pitcairn at the age of ninety-one on November 6, 1883. She was the last of the second generation descendants of the mutineers.

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--Text from Mutiny and Romance in the South Seas: A Companion to the Bounty Adventure by Sven Wahlroos. Used by permission. See Book Recommendations for more information about this book.
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Adams - Christian

Churchill - Hayward

Heywood -

Millward - Quintal

Samuel -

[HMS (HMAV) Bounty] [Crew List]