Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

Bligh - Hero or Villain? Manipulated Portrait of Rea-Admiral William Bligh. Courtesy of National Library of Australia.

Bad Reputation: William Bligh in Popular Culture

17 Jul 2019

The mythology that surrounds the mutiny on the Bounty has painted William Bligh as an abusive tyrant who had a tendency for violence, whereas Fletcher Christian remains the virtuous hero who saved the day. How did Bligh get this bad reputation and why is it still so ingrained in society’s consciousness today?

Read more
Bligh hero

Bligh and the Rum Rebellion

26 Jan 2019

Now known as the Rum Rebellion, on 26 January 1808, the soldiers of the New South Wales Corps marched with fixed bayonets through the streets of Sydney under the command of Major George Johnston to Government House where they arrested Governor William Bligh. 

Read more

Governor Bligh, Loyalists and Usurpers

25 Oct 2018

When then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked his parliamentary colleagues to sign a petition over his leadership in August 2018, the connection may have been lost on many, but petitions have some long historical parallels in the Turnbull family, going back to the so-called ‘Usurpation’ of Governor Bligh in 1808.

Read more
Pitcairn Island

Life and death in paradise

29 Aug 2018

Pitcairn is a small volcanic island rising abruptly out of the deep waters of the eastern South Pacific Ocean. The nearest inhabited centres are Easter Island 1,770 km to the east, and the Gambier Islands 480 km to the northwest.

Read more

Object of the Week

28 Sep 2011

Sometime between 1839-1845 Frances (Fanny) Bligh, daughter of the renowned William Bligh, wrote this in a letter to a landholder in the colony of New South Wales named George Suttor. The ring Fanny was referring to was this intaglio bloodstone antique ring (00044369) which formerly belonged to her father.

Read more