« FöregåendeFortsätt »
But to return to Mr. Heywood. When the king's full and free pardon had been read to this young offcer by Captain Montagu, with a suitable admonition and congratulation, he addressed that officer in the following terms,--so suitably characteristic of his noble and manly conduct throughout the whole of the distressing business in which he was innocently involved :
“Sir,-When the sentence of the law was passed upon me, I received it, I trust, as became a man ; and if it had been carried into execution, I should have met my fate, I hope, in a manner becoming a Christian. Your admonition cannot fail to make a lasting impression on my mind. I receive with gratitude my sovereign's mercy, for which my future life shall be faithfully devoted to his service."
In strains like thine, when beauteous Margaret's(a) fate
In endless spring around fair Nessy's tomb." (a) Alluding to some elegant lines, by the deceased, on the death of a female friend.
* The following appears to have been written by Mr. P. Heywood on the day that the sentence of condemnation was passed on him.
And well did his future conduct fulfil that promise. Notwithstanding the inauspicious manner in which the first five years of his servitude in the navy had been passed, two of which were spent among muti.. neers and savages, and eighteen months as a close prisoner in irons, in which condition he was shipwrecked and within an ace of perishing,-notwithstanding this unpromising commencement, he reentered the naval service under the auspices of his uncle, Commodore Pasley, and Lord Hood, who presided at his trial, and who earnestly recommended him to embark again as a midshipman without delay, offering to take him into the Victory, under his own immediate patronage. In the course of his service, to qualify for the commission of lieutenant, he was under the respective commands of three or four distinguished officers who had sat on his trial, from all of whom he received the most flattering proofs of esteem and approbation. To the application of Sir
Thomas Pasley to Lord Spencer, for his promotion, that nobleman, with that due regard he was always
Still stranger treatment, rude and harsh! so much
And lost in prison-lost to all below!" And the following appears to have been written on the day of the king's pardon being received.
Oh deem it not
The fatal blow precipitate, ordain'd
known to pay to the honour and interests of the navy, while individual claims were never overlooked, gave the following reply, which must have been highly gratifying to the feelings of Mr. Heywood and his family.
Admiralty, Jan. 13th, 1797. “Sir, “ I should have returned an earlier answer to your letter of the 6th instant, if I had not been desirous, before I answered it, to look over, with as much attention as was in my power, the proceedings on the court-martial held in the year 1792, by which court Mr. Peter Heywood was condemned for being concerned in the mutiny on board the Bounty. I felt this to be necessary, from having entertained a very strong opinion that it might be detrimental to the interests of his majesty's service, if a person under such a predicament should be afterward advanced to the higher and more conspicuous situations of the navy; but having, with great attention, perused the minutes of that court-martial, as far as they relate to Mr. Peter Heywood, I have now the satisfaction of being able to inform you, that I think his case was such a one as, under all its circumstances (though I do not mean to say that the court were not justified in their sentence), ought not to be considered as a bar to his further progress in his profession; more especially when the gallantry and propriety of his conduct in his subsequent service are taken into consideration. I shall therefore have no difficulty in mentioning him to the commander-in-chief on the station to which he belongs, as a person from whose promotion, on a proper opportunity, I shall derive much satisfaction, more particularly from his being so nearly connected with you.
• I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) 6 SPENCER."
It is not here intended to follow Mr. Heywood through his honourable career of service, during the long and arduous contest with France, and in the several commands with which he was intrusted. In a note of his own writing it is stated, that on paying off the Montagu, in July, 1816, he came on shore, after having been actively employed at sea twenty-seven years, six months, one week, and five days, out of a servitude in the navy of twenty-nine years, seven months, and one day. Having reached nearly the top of the list of captains, he died in the year 1831, leaving behind him a high and unblemished character in that service of which he was a most honourable, intelligent, and distinguished member.
THE LAST OF THE MUTINEERS.
Who by repentance is not satisfied,
TWENTY years had passed away, and the Bounty, and Fletcher Christian, and the piratical crew that he had carried off with him in that ship, had long ceased to occupy a thought in the public mind. Throughout the whole of that eventful period, the attention of all Europe had been absorbed in the contemplation of “ enterprises of great pith and moment,”-of the revolutions of empires--the bustle and business of warlike preparations—the move. ments of hostile armies--battles by sea and land, and of all “ the pomp and circumstance of glorious war.” If the subject of the Bounty was accidentally mentioned, it was merely to express an opinion that this vessel and those within her had gone down to the bottom, or that some savage islanders had inflicted on the mutineers that measure of retribution so justly due to their crime. It happened however, some years before the conclusion of this war of unexampled duration, that an accidental discovery, as interesting as it was wholly unexpected, was brought to light in consequence of an American trading vessel having, by mere chance, approached one of those numerous islands in the Pacific against whose steep and iron-bound shore the surf almost everlastingly rolls with such tremendous violence as to bid defiance to any attempt of boats to land, except at particular times and in very few places.
The first intimation of this extraordinary discovery was transmitted by Sir Sydney Smith from Rio de Janeiro, and received at the Admiralty 14th May, 1809. It was conveyed to him from Valparaiso by Lieutenant Fitzmaurice, and was as follows:
Captain Folger, of the American ship Topaz, of Boston, relates, that upon landing on Pitcairn's Island, in lat. 25° 2' S., long. 130° W., he found there an Englishman, of the name of Alexander Smith, the only person remaining of nine that escaped in his majesty's late ship Bounty, Captain W. Bligh. Smith relates that, after putting Captain Bligh in the boat, Christian, the leader of the mutiny, took command of the ship and went to Otaheite, where great part of the crew left her, except Christian, Smith, and seven others, who each took wives, and six Otaheitan men-servants, and shortly after arrived at the said island (Pitcairn), where they ran the ship on shore, and broke her up; this event took place in the
“ About four years after their arrival (a great jealousy existing), the Otaheitans secretly revolted, and killed every Englishman except himself, whom they severely wounded in the neck with a pistol ball. The same night, the widows of the de