Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Letter from Sir Charles Oakeley to Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, 19 Jan. 1792, enclosing an account entitled 'Narrative of the loss of HM Frigate Pandora' which was sent to him from Batavia
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From Catalogue No.505 "Australasia"
12 FRANCIS EDWARDS, Ltd.,Booksellers,
The first Intimation of the Discovery of the "Bounty" Mutineers.
184 "Bounty " (H.M.S.) .- OAKELEY (Sir Charles, Governor of Madras)
AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, Madras, 19 January, 1792, 1 page,4to.,to the Right Hon. Dundas ( Viscount Melville), enclosing an account, just received, entitled, Narrative of the Loss of His Majesty's Frigate 'Pandora'
(with Account of the Mutineers of the "Bounty"), on 71/2 pages 4to., sent to him from Batavia by Capt. Edward Edwards, saying it May Arrive Before Any other Accounts,
"I have the honour to transmit enclosed, a narrative which has just been sent me relative to the crew of the 'Bounty,'wtc. It came from Batavia and may possibly reach you before other accounts. The copy is rough and incorrect [There Are A Few Mistakes And Alterations, but I have not time to mend it…"
In Capt. Edwards 'first published report, dated Cape of Good Hope, 219 March, 1792 (Voyage of Pandora, 1915 edition, p.83) he says he sent a letter home from Batavia by a Dutch Packet, the above may be the letter in question, and the first news received from the Pandora's crew after an absence of two years.
The narrative commences with account of its sailing from England to Rio Janeiro, on march 23rd, arrived at Taheiti, where, after some difficulty, secured fourteen out of sixteen of the pirates, together with a schooner they had built with the intention of carrying them to India, and had really sailed, but meeting with bad weather returned.
Details of every-day life after the abandonment of Capt. Bligh.
Told the natives Capt. Cook had appointed Christian Commander of the Bounty. Account of the shipwreck and loss of thirty-four lives, including four pirates, rebuilt their boat and sailed for Timor, food restricted, arrived between 16th and 18th Sept. Found women and children that had escaped from Botany Bay. Decided to send 20 of his people home on each of the Company's ships. Capt. Hunter of H.M.S.Sirus sailed from Batavia about the middle of October for England, etc.
Copy of a note by H.Wright, Mitchell librarian, Au. 1928, on the description of this Narrative given in Edwards' catalogue, with additional notes by M.Flower, Oct.1943.
" The letter herewith is not the one referred to by Capt. Edwards [on 19th March, 1792] . On Nov. 25 1792, he wrote from Batavia, giving a fuller account than the narrative herewith. It is printed in "Voyage of H.M.S. Pandora…being the narratives of Captain Edward Edwards and George Hamilton". Lond. 1915.
The manuscript Narrative was probably the second account of the loss of the Pandora to be sent to England, and the information was probably supplied by an officer other than Edwards." (signed) H.W. Aug/28.
[N.B. On p.7 of this Narrative "Captn. Edwards" occurs twice, and on the same page is stated "the beginning of last December Capt. Edwards had agreed to send… his people home in the Company's ships…to go with the last division himself."
This appears to place the date of the Narrative as in January 1792} M.F.Oct.43
170 '"Bounty " (H.M.S) - BLIGH ( Lieut.William) A VOYAGE TO THE SOUTH SEA in H.M.S. The Bounty……Mutiny… and subsequent Voyage of Part of the Crew from Tofoa to Timor, portrait, charts, and plan of the "Bounty", 1792
- MINUTES [taken by Stephen Barney], of the PROCEEDINGS of the COURT MARTIAL held at PORTSMOUTH,AUGUST 12, 1792,on TEN PERSONS CHARGED with MUTINY on board H.M.S. the "BOUNTY," with an Appendix, containing a Full Account of the Real Causes and Circumstances of that Unhappy Transaction, the most material of which have hitherto been withheld from the Public(79pp),1794 - together in one vol,4to.,calf 60pounds
This pamphlet of the mutineers trial is so rare that its existence, published in separate form, is almost unknown.
171---- Barrow (J) The Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S. "Bounty" illusts.,or.8vo., cl.,1883 1pound
172---- Becke (Louis) and Walter Jeffrey.- The Mutineer: a Romance of Pitcairn Island, First Edition, cr,8vo.,cl., 1898 1 pound 1 s
173---- Belcher (Lady) and her Friends, portrait, 8vo., cl.,1891 6 s With a chapter on the mutiny of the Bounty.
174---- Clark (Capt.C.) My Yarns of sea-Foam and Gold-Dust, cr.8vo.,cl. With a chapter on Pitcairn island.
177----Edwards (Capt.Edward,R.N., the Commander) and George Hamilton, the Surgeon. -
Voyage of the "Pandora"despatched to Arrest the Mutineers of the "Bounty" in the S.Reas,1790-91,with Intro. By Sir Basil Thomson, folding map,8vo.,cl.,1915 6s With an account of the loss of the Pandora.
178---- Herbert (David ) Great Historical Mutineer, front.,thk. cr. 8vo. Cl.,1876 7s Mutiny of the Bounty at Spithead.etc.
M Madras19January 1792.Sir Charles Oakelay M.19 enclosing Narrative relative to Capt.n Bligh's Crew, and loss of the Pandora.(Signature indecipherable) 2.d 1792
Madras 19 January 1792-
I have the honour to transmit enclosed a narrative which has just been sent to me relative to the Crew of the Bounty [indecipherable] I am from Batavia and as I may possibly reach you before any other accounts I take the chance of the present opportunity. The Copy is rough and incorrect but I have not time to mend it as the Packet is to be closed this evening. I have the honer to be
Dear Sir Your faithful humble servant Cha.s Oakeley' Right Hon.ble Henry Dundas &c.&c.&c.
Narrative of the loss of His Majestys Frigate Pandora On the 7.th November 1790 his Majestys Frigate Pandora Sailed from England in quest of the Pirates who had forcibly Seised his Majestys Shore Ship the Bounty Commanded by Lieut.Bligh - after Refreshing at Teneriff and
Reguneris Rio Janeiro they proceeded towards the Pacific Ocean. On March the 23rd they arrived at Otaheitoe where after Some Dificulty they Secured Fourteen out of Sixteen of the Privates that had been left there by the Bounty, the other two being Murdered either amongst themselves or by the Natives also a Small Schooner they had built, with assistance of the natives, with an Intention to carry them to India, and had Nearly Sailed but meeting with bad weather and disagreeing amongst themselves, concerning the Abilities of the Parson they had appointed to Command her, had returned to Otaheitie Sometime before
before the Pandora's arrival - The Bounty left Otaheitei with Christian the Chief and Eight others of the Pirates, Sometime in Sept.r 1789.after dividing the Arms ammunition, and other Small Stores equally with the abovementioned Pirates and alth'o the Pandora Cruised three or four Months in those seas and Examined a great Number of Islands Several of which were Discoveries, they could not get the least Intelligence either of the Bounty or the Remaining Pirates-. From the Journals kept by the Pirates on B.d of the Bounty it appears that after forcing Leiut. Bligh his officers, and men out of the ship they went to Toobauai, an Island in those Seas discovered by Capt. Cook where they proposed to Settle but having destroyed the Bread fruit and other Plants that were on the b.d of the Bounty and finding themselves greatly in want of many other Necessaries to Compleat their Scheme they retur.d to
to Oatayheitie to get Such articles as they were in want of - on their arrival they told the natives that they had met with Capt. Cook at an Island where he intended to make a settlement,& had left the Bread fruit and other plants with him also Lieut. Bligh and the other absentees to assist him in the business he had in hand and that Capt.n Cook had appointed Christian Comm.r of the Bounty and had sent him to Otahietii for more bread fruit plants Hoys Fowler f.d the natives overjoyed to hear that Capt.n Cook had Sailed so near them, in a short time Supplied them with 300 Hogs a Bull a Cow and a great quantity of Poultry and other Articles also some of the Natives of both Sexes with which they Returned to Toobourai on their arrival they landed their Stock on Small Islands near the Mouth of the Harbor lightned the Ship and hauled her opposite to the place which they Proposed to Fortify after making Some progress with their fortification they disagreed amongst themselves and having
having frequent Skirmishes with the Natives which were generally occasioned by their Depredations and other Violences, the Work on the Fort ceased and Christian finding he had Intirely lost his authority amongst them proposed that they Should consult together and Consider what was best to be done and that he would put into Execution the Resolution that was Supported by the greatestNumber of Votes after long consultations amongst themselves it was at last agreed to Relinquish their plan of Settling in Toobourai and to Return to Oitathaitie and those that chose to stay thiere might, and those that chose to Stay by the Ship might go where they thought proper, they accordingly proceeded to Otahietie and Seperated as before mentioned Capt.n Edwards having given up all hopes of finding the Remaining Pirates, was returning home by Endeavour Streights, where the Pandora was unfortunately lost on the Reef off near South Wales on the 29th:of August 1879. In Latt..d N.23 deg South after having discovered a good Channel a few
few miles to the Southward of the place where the Ship was lost Ninety nine of the people were Saved by the Boats, and Thirty four were lost with the Ship amongst whom were four of the pirates They went with Boats to a small Island about three Miles from the Wreck where they landed the few articles of Provisions [indecipherable] they had saved, and Immediately Returned in Search of the People that were Missing but Returned without having found any of them Everybody was now busily Employed fitting the Boats for their Intended Passage to Timor which Occupied them two days during which time they Sent a Boat to the Wreck, the only article they got was the head of the Main Top Gallet mast It being nearly even with the Watres Edge and the Lightning Conductor which proved very useful in fitting the Boats, on Account of the Scarcity of Nails.On the Month of the 31:st of August having Completed the Boats Launch.d them and Embarked having been on the following allowances of Provisions and Water Since the loss of the Ship till their arrival at Timor. To each man two ounces of Bread two small
Small glasses of Water, and one of Wine, the three being nearly equealto half a Pint, half an ounce of Essence of malt and half an ounce of Portable Soup. After a Passage of three days they touched at Prince of wales Islands, in three Streights and filled every Vessel they had that would hold Water which barely amounted to a Gallon for each Man. After which they proceeded thro' Endeavours Streights towards Timor, where all the Boats arrived between the 16.th and 18.th of Sept..r without having lost a man altho the allowance of water, and Provisions was so very small,andCrowdedin foul boats Viz. two small Cutters, the Long Boat and Pinnace, They had unfortunately parted Company with the Schooner they took from the the Pirates (Which Capt.n Edwards had arm.d and fitted as a Tender) off the Navigators Islands They arrived with the Schooner at Samaran, on the Island of Java nearly at the Same Time captain Edwards did at Timor after enduring great hardships for want of Provisions and waters - On their Arrival at Copang the Capital of the Dutch Settlements at Timor they were treated
treated with the greatest humanity and attention by Gov.r Wanjon, and the other Gentlemen of the place. Here they found Eight men, a woman and two Children that had made their escape from Botany bay in an open Six qur.d Cutter - these Villains imposed on Gov.r Wanjon by pretending to have been cast away on the Coast of new Holland in a Transport, bound to Botany bay but in a Short time having given the Settlement Some Specimens of their former proffifrient and in a Dispute amongst themselves called each other Convicts Gov.r Wanjon Examined them and finding that their being cast away was a falsehood Confined them until the 6.th of Oct.r when he Delivered them to Capt.n Edwards who had taken a Passage with his Ships Company on Board of a Dutch Ship bound to Batavia Where they are now waiting for a Passage to England- the beginning of last December Capt.n Edwards had agreed to send 20. of his People home in each of the Company's Ships that sailed first for Europe and an Officer with them to go with the last Division
Division himself and to take the Prisoners with him - Capt.n Hunter of His Majistys Ship Sirius lately lost on Norfolk Island Sailed from Batavia about the middle of last Oct.r for England with his Ships Company on board of a Dutch Ship that had been in Botany bay with provisions and purchased by Gov.r Philip on Government's for that Purpose-
Narrative relative to Capt Blyth's Crew & loss of the Pandora
[Transcribed by Betty Smith for the State Library of New South Wales]