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mutineers, until he was among the rest ordered to leave the ship, for it appeared to me to be a doubt with Christian, at first, whether he should keep the carpenter or his mate (Norman), but knowing the former to be a troublesome fellow, he determined on the latter."
The following paragraph also appears in his ori. ginal journal, on the day of the mutiny, but is not alluded to in his printed narrative. “The master's cabin was opposite to mine; he saw them (the mutineers) in my cabin, for our eyes met each other through his door-window. He had a pair of ship's pistols loaded, and ammunition in his cabin—a firm resolution might have made a good use of them. After he had sent twice or thrice to Christian to be allowed to come on deck, he was at last permitted, and his question then was, “Will you let me remain in the ship ??— No.'- Have you any objection, Captain Bligh?' I whispered to him to knock him down-Martin is good (this is the man who gave the shaddock), for this was just before Martin was removed from me. Christian, however, pulled me back, and sent away the master, with orders to go again to his cabin, and I saw no more of him until he was put into the boat. He afterward told me that he could find nobody to act with him; that by staying in the ship he hoped to have retaken her, and that, as to the pistols, he was so flurried and surprised, that he did not recollect he had them.” * This master tells a very different story respecting the pistols, in his evidence before the court-martial.
Whatever, therefore, on the whole, may have been the conduct of Bligh towards his officers, that of some of the latter appears to have been on several occasions provoking enough, and well calculated to stir up the irascible temper of a man active and zealous in the extreme, as Bligh always was, in the xecution of his duty. Some excuse may be found
for hasty expressions uttered in a moment of irri: tation, when passion gets the better of reason; but no excuse can be found for one who deeply and unfeelingly, without provocation, and in cold blood, inflicts a wound on the heart of a widowed mother, already torn with anguish and tortured with suspense for a beloved son whose life was in imminent jeopardy: such a man was William Bligh. This charge is not loosely asserted; it is founded on documentary evidence under his own hand. Since the death of the late Captain Heywood, some papers have been brought to light that throw a still more unfavourable stigma on the character of the two commanders, Bligh and Edwards, than any censure that has hitherto appeared in print, though the conduct of neither of them has been spared, whenever an occasion has presented itself for bringing their names before the public.
Bligh, it may be recollected, mentions young Hey. wood only as one of those left in the ship; he does not charge him with taking any active part in the mutiny; there is every reason, indeed, to believe that Bligh did not, and indeed could not, see him on the deck on that occasion: in point of fact, he never was within thirty feet of Captain Bligh, and the booms were between them. About the end of March, 1770, two months subsequent to the death of a most beloved and lamented husband, Mrs. Hey. wood received the afflicting information, but by report only, of a mutiny having taken place on board the Bounty. In that ship Mrs. Heywood's son had been serving as midshipman, who, when he left his home, in August, 1787, was under fifteen years of age, a boy deservedly admired and beloved by all who knew him, and to his own family almost an. ohject of adoration, for his superior understanding and the amiable qualities of his disposition. In a state of mind little short of distraction, on hearing this fatal intelligence, which was at the same time
aggravated by every circumstance of guilt that calumny or malice could invent with respect to this unfortunate youth, who was said to be one of the ringleaders, and to have gone armed into the
captain's cabin, his mother addressed a letter to Captain Bligh, dictated by a mother's tenderness, and strongly expressive of the misery she must necessarily feel on such an occasion. The following is Bligh's reply:
London, April 2d, 1790. “Madam, “ I received your letter this day, and feel for you very much, being perfectly sensible of the extreme distress you must suffer from the conduct of your son Peter. His baseness is beyond all description; but I hope you will endeavour to prevent the loss of him, heavy as the misfortune is, from afflicting you too severely. I imagine he is, with the rest of the mutineers, returned to Otaheite. I am, madam, (Signed)
6 WM. BLIGH." Colonel Holwell, the uncle of young Heywood, had previously addressed Bligh on the same melancholy subject, to whom he returned the following
“ 28th March, 1790.
“I have just this instant received your letter. With much concern I inform you that your nephew, Peter Heywood, is among the mutineers. His in. gratitude to me is of the blackest die, for I was a father to him in every respect, and he never once had an angry word from me through the whole course of the voyage, as his conduct always gave me much pleasure and satisfaction. I very much regret that sa much baseness
formed the character of a young man I had a real regard for, and it will give me much pleasure
to hear that his friends can bear the loss of him with out much concern. I am, sir, &c. iSigned)
“ WM. BLIGA." The only way of accounting for this ferocity of sentiment towards a youth who had in point of fact no concern in the mutiny, is by a reference to certain points of evidence given by Hayward, Hallet, and Purcell on the court-martial, each point wholly unsupported. Those in the boat would no doubt during their long passage, often discuss the conduct of their messmates left in the Bounty, and the unsupported evidence given by these three was well cal. culated to create in Bligh's mind a prejudice against young Heywood; yet, if so, it affords but a poor excuse for harrowing up the feelings of near and dear relatives.
As a contrast to these ungracious letters, it is a great relief to peruse the correspondence that took place, on this melancholy occasion, between this unfortunate young officer and his amiable but dread. fully afflicted family. The letters of his sister Nessy Heywood (of which a few will be inserted in the course of this narrative) exhibit so lively and ardent an affection for her beloved brother, are couched in so high a tone of feeling for his honour and confidence in his innocence, and are so nobly answered by the suffering youth, that no apology seems to be required for their introduction, more especially as their contents are strictly connected with the story of the ill-fated crew of the Bounty. After a state of long suspense, this amiable and accomplished young lady thus addresses her brother:
“ Isle of Man, 2d June, 1792. “In a situation of mind only rendered supportable by the long and painful state of misery and suspense we have suffered on his account, how shall I address my dear, my fondly beloved brother!-how describe
the anguish we have felt at the idea of this long and painful separation, rendered still more distressing by the terrible circumstances attending it! Oh! my ever dearest boy, when I look back to that dread. ful moment which brought us the fatal intelligence that you had remained in the Bounty after Mr. Bligh had quitted her, and were looked upon by him as a mutineer !-when I contrast that day of horror with my present hopes of again beholding you, such as my most sanguine wishes could expect, I know not which is the most predominant sensation,-pity, compassion, and terror for your sufferings, or joy and satisfaction at the prospect of their being near a termination, and of once more embracing the dearest object of our affections.
“I will not ask you, my beloved brother, whether you are innocent of the dreadful crime of mutiny; if the transactions of that day were as Mr. Bligh has represented them, such is my conviction of your worth and honour that I will, without hesitation, stake my life on your innocence. If, on the contrary, you were concerned in such a conspiracy against your commander, I shall be as firmly persuaded his conduct was the occasion of it; but, alas ! could any occasion justify so atrocious an attempt to destroy a number of our fellow-creatures? No, my ever dearest brother, nothing but conviction from your own mouth can possibly persuade me that you would commit an action in the smallest degree inconsistent with honour and duty; and the circumstance of your having swam off to the Pandora on her arrival at Otaheite (which filled us with joy to which no words can do justice), is sufficient to convince all who know you, that you certainly staid behind either by force or from views of preservation.
" How strange does it seem to me that I am now engaged in the delightful task of writing to you. Alas! my beloved brother, two years ago I never