Mutiny on the Bounty – Cornish Connections

Mutiny HMS BOUNTY Cornish
Channel 4 are recreating the journey made by the Mutiny on the Bounty sailors of 1789. A group of mostly keen amateurs, lead by Anthony Middleton (Ant Middleton), of SAS: Who Dares Wins,  are using Captain William Bligh’s detailed log and diary to sail the route taken by the Captain in April 1789 when they were forced off their ship and onto a 23′ long open rowing boat – they were expected to die out there in the middle of the ocean. You might be interested to know there are Cornish connections – indeed, Captain William Bligh was a Cornishman!

The first episode airs on Channel 4 at 9pm on Monday 6 March 2017.

Mutiny on the Bounty is a true story of a ship in 1789 – the mutiny saw Captain William Bligh and 18 of his loyal crew put into a tiny, 23′ long, rowing boat – against all the odds they rowed for 4,000 miles to reach safety – ships were then sent out to round up and arrest the mutineers.  This was turned into a film of the same name.

Captain William Bligh was born in St Tudy, Cornwall and at least one of the mutineers came from Cornwall.

Matthew Quintrell (sometimes spelt Quintrel, Quintal, or Quintril) was born and baptised at Padstow on 3 March 1766 – he was 23 when he became a mutineer on HMS Bounty.  Today we see still this surname in local places such as Quintrell Downs!

Matthew was the son of Arthur Quintrell and Sarah (nee Leverton) and had five siblings, four of whom survived infancy: Arthur Lee/b. 1758; Sallee/b. 1762; John/b. 1764; Susanna/b.1769, d.1769; Susannah/b.1770.

Some of the mutineers settled on the Pitcairn Islands, integrating with the locals, but things descended into chaos as they discovered how to create alcohol – and Matthew Quintrell turned to drinking far too much, when he’d become aggressive and threatening.  When there were just three survivors left he threatened to kill all the local inhabitants, which would have included his own children, so the remaining two survivors, Ned Young and John Adams, axed him to death in 1799 when he was aged 32.

There are still descendants of Matthew Quintrell on the Pitcairn Islands to this day.  He named his children after his grandmother, parents and siblings, so he never forgot “home”.

There is more information about the local connections to the Mutiny on the Bounty in Padstow Museum.

Padstow Museum Website: Padstow Museum.
Channel 4: Mutiny of the Bounty Voyage
HMS Bounty Image: Replica

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