Image of William Bligh


Lifetime: 1754 - 1817 Passed: ≈ 206 years ago


Naval Officer, Colonial Administrator


United Kingdom

William Bligh

Vice-Admiral William Bligh was an officer of the Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. The Mutiny on the Bounty occurred during his command of HMS Bounty in 1789; after being set adrift in Bounty's launch by the mutineers, Bligh and his loyal men all reached Timor alive, after a journey of 3,618 nautical miles (6,700 km; 4,160 mi). Bligh's logbooks documenting the mutiny were inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World register on 26 February 2021.

Seventeen years after the Bounty mutiny, on 13 August 1806, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales in Australia, with orders to clean up the corrupt rum trade of the New South Wales Corps. His actions directed against the trade resulted in the so-called Rum Rebellion, during which Bligh was placed under arrest on 26 January 1808 by the New South Wales Corps and deposed from his command, an act which the British Foreign Office later declared to be illegal. He died in London on 7 December 1817.

Books by William Bligh

A Voyage to the South Sea Cover image

A Voyage to the South Sea

Memoir Non-Fiction
Exploration True Crime

A Voyage to the South Sea, undertaken by command of His Majesty, for the purpose of conveying the Bread-fruit tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty’s ship The Bounty, commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh. Including an account of the Mutiny on boar...

The Mutiny of the Bounty and Other Narratives  Cover image

The Mutiny of the Bounty and Other Narratives

Animal Ship Sailor Control Island Journey Nautical Christianity England Punishment

In 1787, Lieutenant William Bligh set sail from England on the HMS Bounty to Tahiti to procure breadfruit trees to transport to the West Indies, to be used as food for the African slaves there. The Bounty spent five months at Tahiti, where trees, ani...