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The Bounty Burning

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					Burning of the Bounty
In January 1790 HMS Bounty with mutineers
Fletcher Christian, Edward Young, John Mills,
William Brown, John Williams, Alexander Smith,
Matthew Quintal, William Mickoy and Isaac Martin,
along with a small number of Tahitian men and
women, landed on Pitcairn Island. This place had
been incorrectly charted as two hundred miles east
of its actual location, and was therefore an ideal
hiding place for these Englishman who had set
Captain Bligh and the rest of the crew adrift months
before. So began a new people who migrated en
masse to Norfolk Island on June 8, 1856.

After landing on Pitcairn, one questioned remained; what to do with the ship? There was
common agreement that the ship should be destroyed, and Matthew Quintal took the matter into
his own hands, setting fire to the carpenter's storeroom on January 23, 1790.

We remembered this by a re-enactment of the 'Burning of the Bounty' this January 23 at Anson
Bay, and over 350 people came along to be part of this historic event, and to hear the following
description read out by event MC, Ken Christian, taken from 'The Pitcairners', by Robert Nicolson.
To add even more relevance to the re-enactment, the Bounty was set alight by Greg Quintal
senior, a descendant of Matthew Quintal.

"Flames burst through the ship's caulking seams, feeding on the boiling tar. Her ropework spread
spidery fingers of flame through the rigging. Fire flared through the open portholes. Those that
were closed blew open. Bulkheads first glowed red with heat and then burst into flames. Bit by
bit the blazing upper deck began to fall through to the mess decks below. The for'ard mast
exploded and dropping, crashed into Bligh's old "Cabbin". One by one, the other masts blew up.
The gilt scrolling on the ship's stern, fanciful but long-since weather-beaten, grew misshapen and
grotesque, twisting and charring before vanishing in flames."

Other burnings, of anything from miniature replicas of the Bounty to simple wooden or paper
devices, were held in Australia, Belgium, Tahiti, the UK, the Balearic isles of pain, Berlin, Huahine
in the Society Islands, the Netherlands, and Alaska, California, Florida, Maine and Wisconsin in
the US.

What did the people who were there on the night have to say? The general opinion of the
evening is best described by this comment from one visitor as he was leaving – “Awesome!”

				
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