The Bounty

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

A 1789 mutiny which led to a modern-day colony on Pitcairn Island

The Bounty was the British naval vessel commanded by William Bligh. She set sail for the Pacific in Dec., 1787, to transport breadfruit trees from the Society Islands to the West Indies.

In April, 1789, the ship's mate, Fletcher Christian, led a successful mutiny against Bligh. The captain and 18 of his crew were set adrift in a small open boat. By remarkable seamanship they went 3,618 mi (5,822 km), reached Timor in June, and proceeded to England. Some of the mutineers were later captured and court-martialed in England; three were executed. Other mutineers under Christian landed at Pitcairn Island, burned the Bounty, and founded a colony where their descendants continue to live.

in 1960, MGM studios commissioned construction of a replica of the ship for Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando. The Tall Ship Bounty Foundation acquired the ship as a donation from its previous owner, Ted Turner, in 1993. In February of 2001 the ship was purchased from the Foundation by the HMS Bounty Organization LLC for teaching the nearly lost arts of square rigged sailing and seamanship.

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