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I - The Arrest of Captain Bligh

The St. Tudy - born William Bligh (1754 – 1817), who died on this day in 1817, is most famous for the Mutiny on The Bounty when on a voyage to find sources of breadfruit for slave plantations he was set adrift with loyal crewmen (1789) by mutineers and managed to travel to Timor. He became known, sarcastically, as ‘Breadfruit Bligh’ not least because as well as the mutiny it was determined that the slaves would not eat the fruit.

Bligh had a reputation for arrogance, impatience, bad temper, confrontational attitude and strong discipline. This led to the Admiralty often struggling to find roles for him and many of those found appear to have been intended to keep him busy and away from London. This resulted in an eventful career including accompanying Captain Cook on Cook’s third and fatal voyage to the Pacific whilst in 1801 he served under Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen earning considerable praise for his navigational skills.

In 1806, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales with instructions to address corruption but this resulted in his imprisonment by the colonists for two years (1808 – 1810).

From a Cornish perspective, though, there is this amusing story of his capture and detention (1803) by locals who became observed him surveying the Helford River and assumed he was a Frenchman and a spy. He was confined in the shed of the Vicar of Manaccan, Rev. Richard Polwhele.

Series I                      Series II                     

I         The Arrest of Captain Bligh

II        The Roll Call of the Reef

III       The Last Siege in England

IV       Tales of The Looe Die-Hards I - The Short Stories

V        Tales of The Looe Die-Hards II - The Mayor of Troy

VI       Tales of Ardevora I - Prisoners of War in France

VII      Tales of Ardevora II - Smugglers and Elections

VIII     Tales of Ardevora III - Ia

IX       Christmas Tales

X        Highwaymen