Biography of William Bligh (1754-1817)

Admiral and British administrator, was born in Plymouth, England, 9 September 1754 and died London 7 December 1817. He/She stood out as the superior officer who commanded the HMS Bounty, a ship of modest dimensions owned by the British Royal Navy, during the mutiny of April 28, 1789, an event that inspired many authors who included Lord Byron.

William Bligh joined the Royal Navy in 1770 and from 1776 to 1793, made three trips to the South Seas aboard ships Resolution and Bounty. In the Resolution met the Captain Cook, to which accompanied on his second voyage in search of Terra Australis.

Subsequently, and commissioned by the Government of Jorge III, participated in an expedition that was intended to import from the West Indies of the breadfruit and other plants that grow in the Pacific Islands to transplant them in the British colonies of the Caribbean and get a cheap food for slaves. The HMS Bounty sailed in 1787, two years later, exactly on April 28, 1789, second officer, Christian Fletcher, mutinied and Bligh was abandoned in a boat with 18 of his men. In a spectacular feat, Bligh managed to get to the English coast while Fletcher sought refuge on an island in the Pacific.

View of the Pacific Ocean from the Baja California peninsula.

Bligh returned to the Pacific in just two years later on Board of HMS Providence, with the aim of completing the mission tasked with rey Jorge III. During this trip he/she met Matthew Flinders, the first sailor to perform a full recognition of the Australian coastline, who helped build various astronomical charts.

In 1797 he/she took part in the battle of Camperdown and was honored by the capture of a Dutch war ship, and in 1801 in Copenhagen, where he/she was under the command of Lord Nelson.

Bligh was appointed Governor of new South Wales in 1805. Shortly thereafter, in 1808, there was the "rum rebellion", a dispute triggered by the decision of Bligh to prohibit the traffic of alcoholic beverages in the colony. Bligh was arrested and did not return to England until 1810.

He died in London in 1817.