If you guessed William Bligh (1754-1817) of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame, illustrated above, you’d be right.
He was appointed on the recommendation of Sir Joseph Banks in London as the fourth Governor of New South Wales, as the early colony of Australia was called.
In that role he was at the centre of the so-called Rum Rebellion and then an insurrection which resulted in him being unceremoniously escorted back to London to face court martial.
My hitherto untold aspect of the chain of events, as far as I know, is seen through the life of an unknown hero from over 200 years ago, again, as far as I can ascertain.
His name is Lieutenant James Simmons and he was appointed Acting Commander of HMS ‘Lady Nelson’ in 1803 at the age of 23 or 24.
He was there right through the events that had Bligh arrested and had even sailed with him in earlier times.
And it was this British sailor who was chosen to escort Bligh back to England to face court martial, with dire consequences for himself. For his trouble he was arrested at Gibraltar under strange circumstances and thrown in prison on the way home.
It’s a fascinating read from a whole new angle than most of us have heard before.
To read more about this gripping true story of drama in the early days of British settlement of the antipodes – and on the High Seas – read about this mystery of granny’s ghost in my non-fiction book.
Get the book, CLICK HERE.
Illustration by Jeff Bucchino, “The Wizard of Draws”