I beg leave to request of you to inform the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that I am under the Necessity to bring William Purcell Carpenter of His Majesty's Ship Bounty, lately under my Command, to a Court Martial, and there fore beseech Their Lordships that they will be pleased to direct the same to be held to try the said William Purcell for the following Charges which I shall be ready to maintain against him.
On the 23rd of August 1788 in Adventure Bay New Holland, He while on Shore a Wooding being found fault with by me, for having cut the Billets too long, told me with great contumacy and disrespect "I suppose you are come on shore on purpose to find fault" and uttered other impertinent expressions. That being ordered on board to do duty, another person was sent on shore in his place and every Man and Officer being obliged to work to get the Ships duty compleated. He refused the Master's orders to assist in hoisting Water out of the hold altho they were in want of assistance, himself, one of his Mates and a Quarter Master being the whole, who were at that duty.
The Master made this compalint to me when the said Carpenter refused also to obey my orders untill I directed, under pain of punishment, that no one should give him meat or drink untill he worked.
That on the 23rd of October 1788 at Sea, when it was thought adviseable for every Person to take a half pint of Beverage made of the Elixir of Vitriol to prevent the Scurvy he refused so to do which tended to create discontent and objections among the Crew, by saying "I am well enough, and therefore I do ot choose, nor won't take such stuff as this. I do not know what it is."
That on the 5 Dec'r 1788 in the afternoon on my ordering him to cut a Grinding stone for one of the Chiefs he directly disobey'd my orders and said "I will not cut the stone, for it will spoil my Chissel, and thro there is Law to take away my cloaths, there is none to take away my Tools." He repeated this in an insolent manner, and with a threatening aspect. I confined him to his Cabin but as I could not bear the loss of a single Man I released him the next day, and told him to consider himself a Prisoner at large.
That on the 31st May 1789 at Sunday Island on the Coast of New Holland, when under my Command in the Bounty's Launch he was insolent to a high degree and told me with a mutinous aspect that he was as good a Man as I was. I did not see where this would end, and therefore took hold of a Cutlass and told him to take hold of another and defend himself, when he began to make concessions.
That on the 19th of June at Timor, I ordered some Chalk that was in the Carpenter's Tool Chest to be given out for the use of our friendly Governor Mr Van Este, there being very little or none at this place. This he very saucily refused, and told me I had no right to it, and behaved very refractory before I could get it. I now ordered him on board the Commodore's Ship in the Road, with leave only to come on shore on Sunday.
That he has often besides the times already mentioned behaved with great impertienece, disresptctfull, and in such a general reprehensible manner, that early in the Voyage if it had been possible, I should have had him tryed by a Court Martial.
The whole of the foregoing Charges I have onsidered to fall under the 14, 19, 21st & 23rd Articles of War, and have by Letter dated the 4th Instant informed the defendant of it.
I hope their Lordships will please to observe altho this Man has behaved ill from the beginning of the Voyage, yet he has ever had my Care and Attention, which if I had had much resentment would not have been the Case, and he would have been a Prisoner closely confined, the consequence of which would most assuredly have been ill health and at last death.
If there is any thing irregular inthe mode of the Charges I have made, for I am uninformed reespeting Courts Martial, I trust their Lordships wil be pleased to direct me to be informed of it, that my Conduct may appear strictly conformale to the wish I have to proceed with fairness and honor.
I am, Sir
with great respect
Your most obedient
& very Hmble Servant
On His Majesty's Service
To Philip Stephens Esq.