[From Nessy Heywood, 1913]


Peter Heywood

Peter Heywood joined the Navy in October, 1786, when he was fourteen years old. Nothing is known of his early life, except that he was educated by a clergyman at Nantwich, in Cheshire. He made his first voyage as a midshipman in the "Bounty," a vessel of 215 tons burthen, which had been fitted up for the purpose of conveying tlie bread-fruit and other plants from Otaheite to the West Indies.

‘The "Bounty" , under the command of Lieutenant William Bligh, sailed from Spithead in December, 1787, and arrived at Otaheite in the following October. After staying there for six months, she was on her way home, when, on the 20th of April, 1789, the mutiny broke out. Bligh was a martinet, and was, therefore, unpopular.

But the immediate cause of the mutiny was some insulting words which he had spoken to Fletcher Christian, the master’s mate, who, owing to his superior knowledge of navigation, had been acting as lieutenant. Christian, a Manxman, and a member of the family of that name then seated at Milntown, in the Isle of Man, was a man of violent temper, and he determined on revenge.

Our object being to give an account of Peter Heywood, we will not enter into the details of the mutiny,1 in which he took no part, being aroused from sleep to find the vessel in the possession of the mutineers.

We will give his statement as to what occurred on board the "Bounty," and of his adventures till his arrival in Batavia. But let us first follow the fortunes of Lieutenant Bligh. He, with eighteen companions and a meagre supply of provisions, was thrust into the "Bounty’s" launch, and, finally, after undergoing terrible hardships , arrived in England on the 14th of March, 1790. He, of course, at once informed the Admiralty of the mutiny, and the "Pandora" frigate was consequently sent to search for the "Bounty" and the mutineers.

Jt was not till June, 1792, two years and three months later, that the survivors of them were to arrive in England, so that during all this long period their relatives had to wait in an agony of suspense, not knowing whether they would ever see them again or not, and, if they did, what their fate would be. in the meantime, their only information was obtainable through Bligh, who, exasperated by the treatment he had received, did not discriminate between the ringleaders and their unwilling followers, and declared that all were mutineers, and, therefore, worthy of death.

Such was the terrible position of the Heywood family. Their beloved eldest son and brother was branded as a mutineer, and, until they heard from him, two days only before he landed in England, the only consolation they received was in learning of some circumstances which appeared to mitigate his offence from some of Bligh’s companions.

The first report of the mutiny reached them before the end of March, 1790, when Peter’s uncle, Colonel Holwell, wrote to Bligh for particulars, receiving the following reply : —

"With much concern I inform you that your nephew, Peter Heywood, is among the mutineers. His ingratitude to me is of the blackest dye, for I was a father to him in every respect, and he never once had an angry word from me through the whole course of the voyage, as his conduct gave me much pleasure and satisfaction. I very much regret that so much baseness formed the character of a young man I had a real regard for, and it will give me much pleasure to hear that his friends can bear the loss of him without much concern."

Colonel Holwell communicated the sad news to Mrs. Heywood. She at once wrote to Bligh, who replied:— "I received your letter this day, and feel for you very much, being perfectly sensible of the extreme distress you must suffer from the conduct of your son Peter. His base-ness is beyond all description

This brutal letter was fortunately intercepted by the family, as they knew that it might prove a death blow to their mother, who was already prostrate with grief at the loss of her husband two months before.

It was at this time that Nessy wrote to Mr. J. W. Heywood, a distant connexion, and to T. Hallet, with a view to ascertaining further particulars. She, no doubt, hoped that she would, at the same time, obtain some comforting assurances, but, in this respect, she had but scant success. The former correspondent, after an interview with Lieutenant Bligh, reported that Peter’s "general good conduct and character, previous to this unhappy business, may, with some allowance for the unbridled passions of youth, plead for his pardon ;" while the latter stated his belief that Peter had deliberately sided with the mutineers.

But a letter from another quarter displayed a more kindly and hopeful spirit. Its writer suggested "the possibility that young Heywood may have had little to do with the mutiny, but had been kept on hoard on account of his youth." This suggestion, as we shall see, came very near to being a correct anticipation of the facts.

And now there followed a long and dreary period of waiting for the arrival of the mutineers. This, by May, 1792, appeared to he imminent, and there had, therefore, evidently been some correspondence during that month in relation to it, as, on the 3rd of June, Nessy replied to a letter from Mr. J. M. Heywood :

"I will not attempt, my dear sir, to express the gratitude at this moment felt by myself and every one of our family for your most friendly letter, and the generous promise it contains of support and protection to my most dear and unfortunate brother. The occasion of my again troubling you on the subject is a letter I yesterday received from the father of Mr. Thomas Hayward (one of the midshipmen who came with Mr Bligh in the boat after the fatal mutiny). He informs me that on his arrival at Batavia, after great sufferings, Captain Edwards agreed for three Dutch ships to convey the crew of the "Pandora" to Europe, giving a lieutenant to each division, the first of which had arrived at the Cape of Good Hope before the "Thomas" frigate sailed thence on the 18th of February. The "Crown" man-of-war has since arrived in England, and, as far as I can learn, without bringing any account of the "Pandora’s" people, though she must have remained some time at the Cape, where she arrived only two days before the "Thomas" sailed. It is certainly a little surprising that the two other divisions of the "Pandora’s" people, which were then hourly expected, had not arrived at the Cape before the "Crown" sailed.

‘A paragraph in the ‘Gazeteer’ of 24th last month, says Several of the crew of the "Pandora" are brought to Dover by the "Swan," a Dutch ship, from Batavia, but I have not seen the account confirmed. I fear it is a premature report.

We have, therefore, in addition to our former anxiety, ten thousand distracting apprehensions for my dear brother’s safety. Permit me, dear sir, to trespass a little longer on your patience by transcribing a paragraph from Mr. Hay-ward’s letter : —‘I will, therefore, take the liberty, my dear young lady, of requesting you to make all possible interest with your friends, that application be made to his Majesty, so as to be prepared against the most fearful consequences of the impending trial, as I well know that Mr. Bligh’s representations to the Admiralty are by no means favourable.’

‘ This paragraph, my dear sir, you will readily believe, has alarmed me beyond expression, as we find that, notwith standing my brother’s extreme youth and perfect innocence (which no one who knows him will for a moment doubt) must when the trial takes place be in the most imminent danger. Forgive me, my dear sir, for troubling you with this long letter, as it is the subject in which of all others my heart is most deeply interested."


It was shortly after this that Nessy had a letter from her uncle, Thomas Pasley. He seems to have thought it judicious to discourage the poor girl’s hopes in every way, evidently with a view of making what he regarded as her certain disappointment in the future less crushing : —

"Sheerness, June 8, 1792.

"Would to God, my dearest Nessy, that I could rejoice with you on the early prospect of your brother’s arrival in England I One division of the "Pandora’s" people are arrived, and now on board the "Vengeance" (my ships. Captain Edwards, with the remainder, and all the prisoners late of the "Bounty" . . . . are daily expected. Your intelligence of his Swimming off on the "Pandora’s" arrival is not founded. A man of the name of Coleman came off ere she anchored ; your brother and Mr. Stewart next day.2 I Cannot conceal it from you, my dearest Nessy, neither is is it proper I should, your brother appears by all accounts to be the greatest culprit of all, Christian alone excepted. Every exertion , you may rest a saurod, I hall use to save h is life ; but, on trial, I have no hope of his not being condemned. believe me always, with the warmest affection, your uncle,


Fortunately, for Nessy’s peace of mind, it was only a few days after this dismal, and, as it turned out, mistaken epistle had been received, that her brother’s letter from Batavia arrived.

It enabled her to write to her uncle in a much more cheerful strain than would otherwise have been the case:

"Isle of Man, 22nd June, 1792.

"Harassed by the most torturing suspense, and miserably wretched as I have been, my dearest uncle, since your last, conceive, if it is possible, the heartfelt joy and satisfa~ tion we experienced yesterday morning, when, on the arrival of the Packet, the dear, delightful letter from our beloved Peter (a copy of which I send you enclosed) was brought to us. Surely, my excellent friend, you will agree with me in thinking there could not be a stronger proof of his innocence and worth, and that it must prejudice every person who reads it most powerfully in his favour.

‘Such a letter, in less distressful circumstances than those in which he writes, would, I am persuaded, reflect honour on the pen of a person much older than my poor brother. But when we consider his extreme youth (only sixteen at the time of the mutiny, and now but nineteen) his fortitude, patience, and manly resignation, under the pressure of sufferings and misfortunes almost unheard of, and scarcely to be supported at any age, without the assistance of that which seems to be my dear brother’s greatest comfort—a quiet conscience, and a thorough conviction of his own innocence.

"When I add, at the same time, with real pleasure and satisfaction,. that his relation corresponds in many particulars with the accounts we have hitherto heard of the fatal mutiny, and, when I also add, that my beloved Peter never was known to breathe a syllable inconsistent with truth and honour; when these circumstances, my dear uncle, are all united. what man on earth can doubt of the innocence which could dictate such a letter P In short, let it speak for him : the perusal of his artless and pathetic story will, I am persuaded, be a stronger recommendation in his favour than anything I can do.

‘ ‘I need not tire your patience, my ever-loved uncle, by. dwelling longer on this subject ; let me conjure you only, my kind friend, to read it, and consider the innocence and defenceless station of its unfortunate author, which calls for, and I am sure deserves, all the pity and assistance his friends can afford him, and which, I am sure also, the goodness and benevolence of your heart will prompt you to exert on his behalf. It is perfectly unnecessary for me to add, after the anxiety I feel, and cannot but express, that no benefit conferred upon myself will be acknowledged with half the gratitude I must ever feel for the smallest instance of kindness shown to my loved Peter

Some time before this she had written to her brother a letter to await his arrival :

"Isle of Man, 3rd June, 1792.

‘ ‘In a situation of mind only rendered supportable by the long and painful state of misery and suspense we have suffered on his account, how shall I address my dear, my fondly-beloved brother !—how describe the anguish we have felt at the idea of this long and painful separation, rendered still more distressing by the terrible circumstances attending it. ! Oh ! my ever-dearest boy ! When I look back to the dreadful moment which brought us the fatal intelligence that you had remained in the "Bounty" after Mr. Bligh had quitted her, and were looked upon by him as a mutineer! When I contrast that day of horror with my present hopes of again beholding you, such as my most sanguine wishes could expect, I know not which is the most predominant sensation—pity, compassion, and sorrow for your sufferings, or joy and satisfaction at the prospect of there being near a termination, and of once more embracing the dearest object of our affections.

"I will not ask you, my beloved brother, whether you are innocent of the dreadful crime of mutiny ; if the trains-actions of that day were as Mr. Bligh has represented them, such is my conviction of your worth and honour, that I will, without hesitation, stake my life on your innocence. If, on the contrary, you were concerned in such a conspiracy against your commander, I shall be as firmly persuaded his conduct was the occasion of it~. But, alas ! could any occasion justify so atrocious an attempt to destroy a number of our fellow-creatures ? No, my ever dearest brother, nothing but conviction from your own mouth can possibly persuade me that you would commit an action in the smallest degree inconsistent with honour and duty ; and the circumstance of your having swam* off to the "Pandora," on her arrival at Otaheite (which filled us with joy to which no words can do justice), is sufficient to convince all who know you that you certainly stayed behind either by force or from views of preservation.

"How strange does it seem to me that I am now engaged in the delightful task of writing to you ! Alas ! my beloved brother, two years ago I never expected again to enjoy such a felicity, and even yet I am in the most painful uncertainty whether you are alive. Gracious God, grant that we may be at length blessed by your return ! But, alas ! the "Pandora’s" people have been long expected, and are not even yet arrived. Should any accident have happened, after all the miseries you have already suffered, the poor gleam of hope with which we have been lately indulged will render our situation ten thousand times more insupportable than if time had inured us to your loss.

* * * * * * *

"Let me conjure you, my dearest Peter, to write to us the very first moment ; do not lose a post ; ‘tis of no consequence how short your letter may be, if it only informs us you are well. I need not tell you that you are the first and dearest object of our affections. Think, then, my adored boy, of the anxiety we must feel on your account ; for roy own part, I know no real joy or happiness independent. of you, and if any misfortune should now deprive us of you, my hopes of felicity are fled for ever.

"We are at present making all possible interest with every friend and connection we have, to insure you a sufficient support and protection at your approaching trial ; for a trial you must unavoidably undergo, in order to convince the world of that innocence which those who know you will not for a moment doubt. But, alas ! While circumstanees are against you, the generality of mankind will judge severely. Bligh’s representations to the Admiralty are, I am told, very unfavourable, and hitherto the tide of public opinion hqs been greatly in his favour.

It is now time,dear Peter, to give you some account of our family. if you have not already heard it, be not too much shocked wheni I tell you that we have no longer the blessing of a father. Alas ! my beloved Peter, he did not live to hear (and, fortunately for himself he did not, for it would have broken his heart) the fatal account of that horrid mutiny which has deprived us of you so long. His severe fits of the gout, and distress of mind from the repeated disappointments he met with, put an end to his existence on the 6th of February, 1790. He died blessing you, and incessantly talked of the pleasure he should feel if he lived till your return.

"My mamma is at present well, considering the distress she has suffered since you left us ; for, my dearest brother, we have experienced a complicated scene of misery from a variety of causes, which, however, when compared with the sorrow we felt on your account was trifling and insignificant; that misfortune made all others light, and to see you once more returned and safely restored to us will be the summit of all earthly happiness.

‘ ‘Farewell, my most beloved brother ! God grant that this maysoon be put into your hands ! Perhaps at this moment you are arrived in England, and I may soon have the dear delight of again beholding you. My mamma, brothers, and sisters join with roe in every sentiment of love and tender-ness. Write us immediately, my ever-loved Peter, and may the Almighty preserve you until you bless with your presence your fondly affectionate family, and particularly your unalterably faithful friend and sister,

"Nessy Heywood."

This charming letter must have afforded the unfortunate prisoner much consolation. We left him at the moment when he was aroused from sleep in his berth on board the "Bounty," by the noise of the mutiny. From this time till his arrival in Batavia we will let him tell his own tale, as, not only is it most graphic, but the result of the evidence at the trial showed that it was substantially correct : —

"Batavia, November 20th, 1791.

"My Ever Honoured and Dearest Mother,— "At length the time has arrived when you are once more to hear from your ill-fated son, whose conduct, at the oapture of that ship in which it was my ill fortune to embark. has, I fear, from what has since happened to me, been grossly misrepresented to you by Lieutenant Bligh, who, by not knowing the real cause of my remaining on board, naturally suspected me, unhappily for me, to be a coadjutor in the mutiny ; but I never, to my knowledge, whilst under his command, behaved myself in a manner unbecoming the station I occupied, nor so much as even entertained a thought derogatory to his honour, so as to give him the least grounds for entertaining an opinion of me so ungenerous and undeserved ; for I flatter myself he cannot give a character of my conduct, whilst I was under his tuition, that could merit the slightest scrutiny.

"Oh ! my dearest mother, I hope you have not so easily credited such an account of me ; do but let me vindicate my conduct, and declare to you the true cause of my remaining in the ship, and you will then see how little I deserve censure, and how I have been injured by so gross an aspersion. I shall then give you a short and cursory account. of what has happened to me since

"How I came to remain on board was thus : The morning the ship was taken, it being my watch below, happening to awake just after day-light, and looking out of my hammock, I saw a man sitting upon the arm-chest in the main hatch-way, with a drawn sword in his hand, the reason of which I could not divine ; so I got out of bed and inquired of him what was the cause of it. He told me that Mr. Christian, assisted by some of the ship’s company, had seized the captain and put him in confinement ; had taken the command of the ship, and meant to carry Bligh home a. prisoner, in order to try him by court-martial for his long tyrannical and oppreseive conduct to his people. I was quite thunder-struck ; and, hurrying into my berth again, told one of my mess-mates, whom I awakened out of his sleep, what had happened. rhen dressing myself I went up the fore hatchway, and saw what he told me was but too true ; and again I asked some of the people, who were under arms, what was going to be done with the captain, who was then on the larboard side of the quarter-deck, with his hands tied behind his hack, and Mr. Christian alongside of him with a pistol and drawn sword.

"I now heard a very different story, that the captain was to be sent ashore to Tofoa in the launch, and that those who would not join Mr. Christian might either accompany the captain, or would be taken in irons to Otaheite, and left. there.

"The relation of two stories so different left me unable to judge which could be the true one ; but, seeing them hoisting the boats out, it seemed to prove the latter. In this trying situation, young and inexperienced as I was, and with-out an adviser (every person being as it were infatuated, and not knowing what to do), I remained for a while a silent spectator of what is going on ; and after revolving the matter in my mind, I determined to choose, what I thought, the lesser of two evils, and stay by the ship ; for I knew that those who went ashore inn the launch would be. put to death by the savage natives ; whereas the Otaheitans, being a. humane and generous race, one might have a hope of being kindly received, and remain there until the arrival of some ship, which seemed, to silly me, the most consistent with reason and rectitude.

"While this resolution possessed my mind, st the same time lending my assistance to hoist out the boats, the hurry and confusion affairs were in, and thinking my intention just, I never thought of going to Mr. Hugh for advice; besides, what confirmed me in it was my seeing two experienced officers, when ordered into the boat by Mr. Christian. desire his permission to remain in the ship (one of whom my own mess-mate, Mr. Hayward), and I being assisting to clear the launch, he asked me what I intended to do I told him, to remain in the ship. Now, this answer, I imagine, he has told Mr. Bligh I made to him ; from which, together with my not speaking to him that morning, his suspicions of me have arisen, construing my conduct into what is foreign to my nature.

"Thus, my dearest mother, it was all owing to my youth and unadvised inexperience, but it has been interpreted into villainy and disregard for my country’s laws, the ill effects of. which I am at present, and still am to labour under for some months longer However, to continue my relation— ‘ ‘ I was not undeceived in my erroneous decision till too late, tvhicli was after the Captain was in the launch ; for, while I was talking to the Master-at-Arms, one of the ring-leaders in the affair, my other mess-mate (Mr. Stewart) whom I had left in his hammock in the berth, came up to me and asked me if I was going in the launch ? I replied, ‘No,’ upon which he told me not to think of such a thing as remaining behind, but take his advice and go down below with him to get a few necessary things, and make haste to go with him into the launch ; adding, that by remaining in the ship, I should incur an equal share of guilt with the mutineers them-selves ; upon which he and the Master-at-Arms had some altercation about my mess-mate’s intention of going into the boat.

"I reluctantly followed his advice—I say reluctantly, because I knew no better, and was foolish ; and the boat swimming very deep in the water—the land being far distant —the thoughts of being sacrificed by the natives—and the self-consciousness of my first intentions being just—all these considerations almost staggered my resolution ; however, I preferred my companion’s judgment to my own, and we both jumped down the main hatchway to prepare ourselves for the boat, but no sooner were we in the berth than the Master-at-Arms ordered the sentry to keep us both in the berth till he should receive ordens to release us. We desired the Master-at-Anus to acquaint Mr. Bligh of our detention, which We had reason to think he never did, nor weree we permitted to come on deck until the launch was a long way astern. I now, when too late, saw my error.

" At the latter end of May we got. to an island to the southward of,Taheite, called Toobocai, where they intended to make a settlenient ;but, finding no stock there of any kind, they agreed to go to Taheite, and, after procuring hogs and fowle, to return to Toobocai and remain. So, on the 6th of June, we arrived at Taheite, where I was in hopes I might find an opportunity of running away, and remaining on shore but I could not effect it, as there was always too good a look-out kept to prevent any such steps being taken ; and, besides, they had all sworn that, should any one make his escape, they would force the natives to restore him, and would then shoot him as an example to the rest, well-knowing that any one by remaininig there might be the means (should a ship arrive) of discovering their place of abode. Finding it therefore impracticable, I saw no other alternative but to rest as content as possible, and return to Toobocai, and there wait till the masts of the "Bounty" should be taken out, and then take the boat, which might take me* to Taheite, and disable those rernaining from pursuit. But Providence so ordered that we had no occasion to try our fortune at such a hazard, for, upon returning there and remaining till the latter end of August, in which time a fort was almost built, but nothing could be effected ; and, as the natives could not be brought to friendly terms, and with whom we had many skirmishes and narrow escapes from being cut off by them, and what was still worse, internal broils and cliscontent—4hese things determined part of the people to leave the island and go to Ta.heite, which was carried by a majority of votes, this being carried into execution on the 22nd of September, and, having anchored in Matawai Bay, the next morning my mess-mate (Mr. Stewart) and I went on shore, to the house of an old landed proprietor, our former friend ; and, being now set free from a lawless crew, determined to remain as much apart from them as possible, and wait patiently for the arrival of a ship.

"Fourteen more of the "Bounty’s" people came likewise on shore, and Mr. Christian and eight men went away with the ship, but God knows whither.* Whilst we remained here we were treated by our kind and friendly natives with a generosity and humanity almost unparalleled, and such as we could hardly have expected from the most civilized people."

We learn what Peter Heywood was like at this time from an official description drawn up by Bligh:

"Midshipman, 5 feet 7 in. height, fair complexion, light brown hair, very much tattooed; on his right leg tattooed the three legs of the Isle of Man, as upon the coin. At this time he has not done growing"; and it concludes with the interesting remark that "he speaks with the Manks, or Isle of Man, accent." It is evident that his English education had not obliterated it. All that we know of his life in Otaheite is derived from another letter to his mother. After telling her that the "Pandora’s" people thought that he was a native because he was dressed in their manner, tanned as brown as themselves and tattooed like them, he continued : "I was tattooed, not at my own desire, but at theirs; for it was my constant endeavour to acquiesce in any little~ custom which I thought would be agreeable to them, though painful in the process, provided I gained by it their friendship and esteem The more a man or woman there is tattooed the more respect is paid them; and a person who has none of these marks is looked upon as . . . a mere outcast of society. . .

By this means I was the greatest favourite of any Englishman on shore." To resume his letter : —

"To be brief—having remained here till the latter end of March, 1791, on the 26th of that month his Majesty’s ship ‘ ‘Pandora’ ‘ arrived, and had scarcely anchored when my mess-mate (Stewart) and I went on board, and made ourselves known ; and, having learnt from one of the natives, who had been off in a canoe, that our former mess-mate, Mr. Hayward, now promoted to the rank of lieutenant, was on board, we asked for him, supposing he might prove the assertions of our innocence. But lie received us very coolly, and pretended ignorance of our affairs ; yet formerly he and I were bound in brotherly love and friendship. Appearances being so much against us, we were ordered to be put in irons Had ray confinement been my only misfortune, I would patiently have resigned myself to it. But one evil seldom comes unaccompanied. Alas I I was informed of the death of the most indulgent of fathers.

‘ ‘Twelve more of the people who were at Otaheite, having delivered themselves up, there was a sort of prison built on the after-part of the quarter-deck into which we were all put in close confinement, with both legs and both hands in irons, and were treated with great rigour, not being allowed to get out of this den ; and, being obliged to eat, drink, sleep, and obey the calls of Nature here, you may form some idea of the disagreeable situation I must have been in . . .

"On the 9th of May we left Otaheite, and proceeded to the neighbourhood of the Friendly Islands, where we cruised

about six weeks in search of the ‘Bounty,’ but without

success About the beginning of August we got

in among the reefs of New Holland, to endeavour to discover a passage through them, but it was not effected ; for the


0 Pandora,’ ever unlucky, and as if devoted by heaven to destruction, wa.s driven by a current upon ~he patch of a reef, and on which, there being a heavy surf, she was soon almost bulged to pieces ; but, having thrown all the guns on one side overboard, the tide flowing at. the same time. she beat over the reef into a. basin and brought up in fourteen or fifteen fathoms ; but she was so much damaged while on the reef, that, imagining she would go to pieces every moment, we had contrived to wrench ourselves out of the irons, and applied to the Captain ‘to have mercy on us, and suffer us to take our chaiiee for the preservation of our lives. But it was all in vain—he was even so inhuman as to order us to he put in irons again, though the ship was expected to go down every moment, being scarcely able to keep hen’ imdei’ with all tin" pumps at work.

‘‘In this miserable condition, with ant expected death before our eyes, without the least hope of relief, and in the most trying state of suspense, we spent the night . . .

The boats by this time had all been prepared ; and as the Captain and officers were coining on the poop or roof of our prison, to abandoni the ship, the water being up to the combing of the hatohways, we again implored his mercy ; upon which he sent a corporal and an arinourer down to let some of us out. of irons, but three only were suffered to go up, and the scuttle being then clapped on, and the Master-at-Arms upon it, the armonrer had only time to let two persons out of irons, the rest, except three. letting themselves out ; two of these three went down with them on their hands, and the third was picked up.

‘She now began to heel over to port so very much that the Master-at-Arms, sliding overboard, and leaving the scuttle vacant, we all tried to get up, and I was the last out but three. The water was then pouring in at the bulk-head scuttles, yet I succeeded in getting out, and was scarcely in the sea when I could see nothing above it but the cross trees, and nothing around me but a scene of the greatest distress. I took a plank (being stark naked) and swam towards an island about three miles off, hut was picked up on

my passage by one of the boats. When we got ashore to the small sandy key, we found there were thirty-four men drowned, four of whom were prisoners, anid among these was nAy unfortunate mess-mate (Mr. Stewart) ; ten of us, and eighty-nine of the ‘Pandora’s’ crew were saved.

‘When a survey was made of what provisions had been saved, they were found to consist of two or three bags of

bread, two or three breakers of water, and a little wine ; so we subsisted three days upon two wine-glasses of water, ~nd two ounces of bread per day.

‘SOn the 1st of September we left the island, and on the 16th arrived at Coupang, in the Island of ‘Fimoi~, having beeni on short allowance eighteen days. We were put in confine-mont in the Castle, where we remained till October, and on the 5th of that month were sent on board a Dutch ship bound for Batavia. After a very tedious and dangerous passage, the ship being twice near drove ashore, and so very leaky as to be scarce kept above water with both pumps constantly going, on the 30th we anchored at Samasang, in the Isle of Java, and on Monday, the 7th of November, anchored here at Batavia. I send this by the first ship, which is to sail in abut a week, by one of the ‘Pandora’s’ men. We are to follow in a week after, and expect to be in England in about seven months.

‘Though I have been eight months on close confinement in a hot climate, I have kept my health in a most surprising manner, without the least indisposition, and am still perfectly well in every respect, in mind as weIl as in body ; but without a friend, and only a shirt and pair of trousers to put on, and carry me home. Yet with all this I have a contented mind, entirely resigned to the will of Providence, which conduct alone enables me to soar above the reach of unhappiness. You will most probably hear of ny arrival in England before I can write to you, which I most earnestly long for, that I may explain things which I cannot now mention ; yet I hope this will he sufficient to undeceive those who have been so ungenerous as to express, and those who have been so credulous as to believe. all that is laid to my charge. . . ."

We insert here some "lines" composed by Peter Heywood, while a prisoner and suffering the most cruel hardships and treatment on board His Majesty’s ship "Pandora" :—

Lest I shou’d bend beneath this weighty load,
And ne’er enjoy thy promis’d blest abode,
Attend thou, Hope, on me, and be my guide
Through all my sorrows, walking by nay side.
Keep in my eye that distant, happy spot,
Where sweet content shall be my future lot;
Free from ambition or desire of gain,
Living in peace, exempt from mental pain;
My food the fruits with my own culture grown,
The world forgetting, by the world unknown;
There tasting pleasure VOi(l of care’s alloy,
Crowning afflictions past with present joy !

His letter was forwarded by the first of the two Dutch ships which left Batavia for the Cape. It went from thence by H.M.S. "Vengeance," arriving in England on the 8th of June, and in the Isle of Man on the 21st. Peter himself followed in the second ship, which got to Capetown in March. He was then transferred to H.M.S. "Gorgon," which reached Spithead on the iqth of June.


1 See "Pitcairn," S.P.C.K. ; or, "Memoirs of Peter Heywood," by Edward Taggart.

2 This is not correct. See p. 47.

3 See Peter Heywood’s own account of this.

4 with Stewart and Morrison.

5 Nothing was heard of their fate till 1808, when the sole survivor, John Adams, was discovered at Pitcairn’s Island. For a very interesting account of this see ‘Pitcairn," published by the S.P.C.K.


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