Pitcairn Facts

Pitcairn Facts and History


Pitcairn – Island of the mutineers of the Bounty

The Pitcairn Islands are a very small group of islands in the eastern South Pacific. In addition to Pitcairn, Oeno, Ducie and Henderson belong to the group of islands. Of these, however, only Pitcairn is inhabited. Pitcairn was probably only known to many people through the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789.

Some efforts are now being made by the British government to promote economic and cultural life on the island. B. through a recently opened, many millions expensive museum. Every year more than 10 cruise ships call at the island, and many of their passengers are brought ashore for an excursion. (Credit: Countryaah: Pitcairn Islands Facts)

Visitors have been able to purchase the island’s very valuable postage stamps here since 1940. But the carvings created here are also a great feature. You can also buy T-shirts with island motifs or the honey produced here.

Pitcairn: history

Until around the year 1000

There is no evidence of human life on the islands at this time.

From the year 1000 to the 17th century

According to Abbreviationfinder website, during this time the islands may have been inhabited. However, it is discussed that Polynesians sailing past may have landed here to take a rest before continuing. However, that would mean only temporary settlement during this time.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, mutiny on the Bounty

The islands were first discovered in 1767 by the English navigator Carteret (1733-1796). The island got its name after Carteret named it after Robert Pitcairn, a 15-year-old sea cadet and member of his crew who first sighted the islands on the ship. Due to the navigationally limited possibilities at the time, the island was drawn on the nautical charts with incorrect data, with a deviation of approx. 170 nautical miles.

On April 28, 1789 part of the crew of the “Bounty” mutinied under the leadership of the 2nd officer Fletcher Christian (1764-1793) against their captain William Bligh (1754-1817). Incidentally, Captain Bligh was previously chief officer with James Cook (1728-1779).

The “Bounty” was on its way back from Tahiti, where the men had stayed for more than five months to wait for the breadfruit tree to rest before bringing it to Europe as ordered. The mutineers put Bligh and the remaining loyal part of the crew (31 sailors) in an open dinghy. Bligh sailed around 5,800 km in the open boat in 41 days to Kugang on Timor, a maritime masterpiece that has hardly been repeated since then.

The mutineers then first sailed to the island of Tabuat, but returned after about three months to Tahiti, where 16 sailors remained. With the remaining eight and six Tahitian men and eleven women, Christian set sail again to avoid persecution and punishment by the English. By unbelievable coincidence they landed on Pitcairn, which was marked on the nautical chart with an error of around 170 nautical miles. Although they were searched intensively for years by the entire English fleet, they were never found. But the mutineers under Fletcher Christian and their Polynesian companions mostly murdered each other or killed each other – like William McCoy himself.

Ten years after their arrival on the island, only John Adams of the mutineers survived. He organized the other residents with the help of the Bible and created a Christian community that is now a Seventh-day Adventist. Remains of the ship that burned down on Pitcairn in early 1790 can still be found today in the so-called Bounty Bay. It was not until 1808 that the island was “rediscovered” by an American whaler.

In 1831 and 1856, residents had to be evacuated to Tahiti and the Norfork Islands due to food shortages or natural disasters – but most returned to the island later.

In modern times

The Pitcairn Islands have been a British Crown Colony since 1887 and are administered on behalf of the Crown of New Zealand. In 2004, a lawsuit against seven descendants of the mutineers of the “Bounty” for sexual abuse caused a sensation in a court that was specially brought to the island. Six of the defendants were found guilty. Among them was the mayor of the island, Steve Christian.

In October 2004, the mayor’s son was sentenced to six years, the mayor to three years, and two other men to five and four years in prison. The other two defendants got away with community service.

Pitcairn Facts