Printed from Catalogue on Sunday, Mar 28 2021

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1790 - The Track pursued by Capt. Bligh from the islands of Tofoa to Timor

Map makerSizeMap IDCondition
William Bligh 570 x 145 mmD1 / M328 / I295Excellent condition. Original folds. Narrow left margin

This map charts the voyage of William Bligh after he was set adrift during the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789 and sailed over 6000kms from Tofoa (Tonga) to Bativa (Indonesia). During his voyage he discovered and charted a number of points including Bligh's Island and parts of the east coast of Australia (QLD). This chart was included in one of the first reports of the mutiny, published in June of 1790 in 'The Literary Magazine and British Review' volume 4. The article and map detail the report Bligh gave to the admiralty in March 1790 about the mutiny and predate Bligh's own published journal published in July. It gives reference to Bligh as Captain, although he was not promoted to this rank until 1791 and was referred to as Lieutenant on his own published chart of the voyage in July 1790. This is because even though Bligh was not yet at the rank of Captain when this map was published the master of a ship would still be refered to as Captain.

William Bligh’s career was very interesting, and though it was embroiled in controversy, he went on to become an important figure in the history of Australasia. He originally accompanied Captain Cook during his third voyage where he chartered a large part of the Pacific and Australia and was present during the death of Cook in Hawaii in 1779. Some years later he became involved in the infamous mutiny on the Bounty in 1789, and was later assigned to the post of the fourth Governor of Australia in 1806. His post as Governor of 'New South Wales' (Australia) was subsequently cut short when he was arrested during the 'Rum Rebellion' in Sydney in 1808 and once again ridiculed for what some believed to be poor management of the colony with disenters comparing it with the loss of the Bounty.

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