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Tuesday, 28 April 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #11 – 28 April 1789 

In the early hours of 28 April 1789, in the south Pacific Ocean, there was a mutiny on the Royal Navy Vessel, HMS Bounty.  Disaffected crew members, led by Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, seized control of the ship from their captain, William Bligh, and set him and eighteen loyalists adrift.

The following is an extract from a letter to Bligh's wife, written from Timor, a couple of years later: 

My Dear Betsy,
I am now in a part of the world I never expected, it is however a place that has afforded me relief and saved my life, and I have the happiness to assure you that I am now in perfect health.
I have lost the Bounty. On the 28 April at daylight in the morning, Christian with several others came into my cabin while I was asleep, and seizing me, holding naked bayonets at my breast, tied my hands behind my back, and threatened instant destruction if I uttered a word. I however called loudly for assistance, but the conspiracy was so well laid that the officers' cabin doors were guarded by sentinels, so Nelson, Peckover, Samuels or the Master could not come to me. I was now dragged on deck in my shirt and closely guarded. I demanded of Christian the case for such a violent act but he could only answer – "Not a word sir or you are dead”. I dared him to the act and endeavoured to rally someone to a sense of their duty but to no effect.
Captain William Bligh

Fletcher Christian

Sources: Wikipedia and others

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