Author(s): Stephen Dando-Collins
The rollicking story of two powerful and colourful men and the only military coup in Australian history.William Bligh is famous as captain of the Bounty, the ship he lost to mutineers led by Fletcher Christian. But few people know that Bligh was the centre of a later, much larger mutiny, when he lost not just a ship but the entire continent of Australia. On January 26, 1808, the British army corps stationed in Australia rose up and deposed the British governor. Locking him up, a cabal of military officers and colonists ran Australia as their private kingdom for the next two years. The deposed, imprisoned governor was none other than William Bligh, by this time famous for the Bounty affair and for fighting heroically under Admiral Nelson. The British Government had thought Bligh's reputation as a tough, no-nonsense man and war hero equipped him for the job in Australia. But it was Bligh's reputation as the 'Bounty Bastard' that preceded him to the colony. John Macarthur and his friends among the officers of the New South Wales Corps joked about it, and prepared to send yet another inept governor (number 4) home in disgrace. Captain Bligh's Other Mutinyshares the story of two powerful and colourful men - Captain Bligh and John Macarthur - bent on mutual destruction, a goal both achieved. Stephen Dando-Collins shares the story of Bligh's house arrest for a year on the site that is now the Museum of Sydney, his blockade on a ship off the coast of Tasmania for another twelve months, his rescue by Colonel Macquarie and Bligh's pursuit of justice through the London courts.