Bounty, HMS

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Bounty, HMS. A 215-ton armed vessel, originally the Bethia but renamed after extensive alterations and refitting at Deptford (1787) for a specific mission to transport bread-fruit trees from Tahiti in the South Seas to the West Indies. She was small, overcrowded, and undermanned, so fragile discipline contributed to mutiny by some of the crew under the leadership of master's mate Fletcher Christian, near Tonga (28 April 1789); Captain William Bligh and eighteen loyal crewmen were set adrift in the long boat. The mutineers sailed eastwards, to settle eventually on Pitcairn Island (1790), where the Bounty was stripped and then burned.

A. S. Hargreaves