Almost universally portrayed as a villain in movies and books, does this view of William Bligh stand scrutiny today?
Bligh - Hero or Villain challenges this popular narrative, looking beyond the Bounty mutiny to explore the many sides of this most infamous of maritime figures. Come and judge for yourself, but be prepared for some surprises!
Image: William Bligh, By John Smart, 1803, Pencil and watercolour, © National Portrait Gallery, London
Read up on Bligh with our collection of fascinating blogs:
13 Jun 2019
Who was Captain William Bligh? Perhaps you know him as a sailor and the infamous mutiny on board the HMS Bounty. Or maybe you know him as the governor of New South Wales who was deposed in the only successful military coup in Australian history? Or perhaps you have never heard of William Bligh and don’t understand all the fuss?Read more
13 Jun 2019
William Bligh is remembered as a naval officer, expert navigator, cartographer, explorer and the governor of New South Wales – just to name a few. But what about a serial swearer?
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
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
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