Bounty Was a Packet Ship

This song tells the famous story of the mutiny on the Bounty, though Captain Bligh is evidently pronounced "blight" here. Captain Bligh lost control of the ship to mutineers in 1789 but survived the 6,500 km voyage back to England in a launch boat. He prompty set about bringing the crew to justice, but only half of the party was found on Tahiti in 1790. Others hid on Pitcairn Island before discovery in 1809 by Captain Folger, an American sealer. The final lines of this shanty suggest the date of authorship may therefore be prior to 1809.

The HMS Bounty began its career as the Bethia, a small merchant vessel in 1784. As a collier, it was to carry coal and not the mail and passengers of a packet ship. The British Navy purchased and renamed the ship for botanical missions in 1787.