The Court met according to adjournment.
Mr. PETER HEYWOOD, being called upon for his Defence, said that owing to the long and severe Confinement he had suffered he was afraid he was not capable of delivering it with that force of Expression which it required, and therefore desired one of his Friends might be permitted to read his defence, which being granted
My Lords and Gentlemen of this Honorable Court,
Your attention has already been sufficiently exercised in the painful Narrative of this Trial; it is therefore my Duty to trespass on it as little as possible.
The Crime of Mutiny for which I am now arraigned is so seriously pregnant with every dan2010-03-31ischief that it makes the Person so accused, in the Eyes not only of military Men but Men of every description and of every Nation, appear at once the object of unpardonable guilt and exemplary vengeance.
In such a Character it is my misfortune to appear before this Tribunal—and no doubt I must have been gazed at with all that horror and indignation which the conspirators of such a Mutiny as that in Captain Bligh's Ship so immediately provoke—hard then indeed is my fate, that circumstances should so occur to point me out as one.
Appearances probably are against me but they are appearances only, for unless I may be deemed guilty for feeling a repugnance at embracing Death unnecessarily I declare before this Court and the Tribunal of Almighty God I am innocent of the Charge.
I chose rather to defer asking any questions of the Witnesses until I heard the whole of the Evidence, as the Charge itself, altho' I knew it generally, was not in its full Extent nor in particular points made known to me before I heard it read by the Judge Advocate at the beginning of the Trial, and I feel myself relieved by having adopted such a Mode as it enables me to set right a few particulars of a narrative which I had the honour to transmit to the Earl of Chatham, containing an account of all that passed on the Fatal morning of the 28th. of April, 1789, but which from the Confusion the Ship was in during the Mutiny I might have mistaken or from the errors of an imperfect recollection I might have mis-stated. The difference however will now be open to correction; and I have great satisfaction in observing that the mistakes but very slightly respect my part of the transaction and I shall consequently escape the imputation of endeavouring to save myself by imposing on my Judges.
When first this sad Event took place I was sleeping in my Hammock nor, till the very Moment of being awakened from it, had I the least intimation of what was going on. The Spectacle was as sudden to my Eyes as it was unknown to my Heart—and both were Convulsed at the Scene.
Matthew Thompson was the first that claimed my attention upon waking. He was sitting as a Centinel over the Arm Chest and my Birth, and informed me that the Captain was a Prisoner and Christian had taken Command of the Ship. I intreated for permission to go upon Deck and soon after the Boatswain and Carpenter had seen me in my Birth as they were going up the fore Hatchway I followed them as is stated in their Evidence. It is not in my power to describe my feelings upon seeing the Captain as I did, who, with his hands tied behind him, was standing on the Quarter deck a little abaft the Mizen Mast and Christian by his side— My faculties were benumbed and I did not recover the power of recollection until called to by somebody to take hold of the tackle fall and assist to get out the Launch, which I found was to be given to the Captain instead of the large Cutter already in the Water alongside the Ship. It were in vain to say what things I put into the boat, but many were handed in by me, and in doing this it was that my hand touched the Cutlass (for I will not attempt to deny what the Carpenter has deposed) tho' He should have known what the charge was and, in general, how it was to be supported. on my Conscience I am persuaded it was of momentary duration, and innocent as to intention. The former is evident, from its being unobserved by every Witness who saw me upon Deck—some of whom must have noticed it had it continued a single Minute and the latter is proved by the only Person who took Notice of the Circumstance and has also deposed that at the moment he beheld me I was apparently in a state of absolute stupor—the Poison therefore carries with it its antidote and it seems needless to make any further comment on the Subject. For no Man can be weak enough to suppose that if I had been Armed for the purpose of assisting in the Mutiny that I should have resigned a weapon in the Moment of triumph and when the Ship was so completely in the possession of the Party that (as more than one Witness has emphatically expressed it) all attempts at recovering her would have been impracticable.
The Boat and Ship, 'tis true, presented themselves to me without its once occurring that I was at liberty to choose, much less that the choice I should make would be afterwards deemed Criminal; and I bitterly deplore that my extreme youth and inexperience concurred in torturing me with Apprehensions and prevented me from preferring the former; for, as things have turned out, it would have saved me from the disgrace of appearing before you, as I do at this day—it would have spared the Sharp conflicts of my own Mind ever since, and the agonising tears of a tender Mother and my much-beloved Sisters.
Add to my Youth and inexperience that I was influenced in my Conduct by the Example of my Messmates, Mr. Hallet and Mr. Hayward, the former of whom was very much agitated and the latter, tho' he had been many years at Sea, yet, when Christian ordered him into the Boat he was evidently alarmed at the perilous situation, and so much overcome by the harsh Command, that he actually shed tears.
My own Apprehensions were far from being lessened at such a Circumstance as this and I fearfully beheld the preparations for the Captain's departure as the preliminaries of inevitable destruction, which, although I did not think could be more certain, yet I feared would be more speedy, by the least addition to their Number.
To show that I have no disposition to impose upon this Court, by endeavouring to paint the situation of the Boat to be worse than it really was, I need only refer to the Captain's own narrative, wherein he says that she would have sunk with them on the evening of the 3rd. May, had it not been for his timely caution of throwing out some of the Stores, and all the Cloaths belonging to the People excepting two suits for each.
Now what Cloaths or Stores could they have Spared which in Weight would have been equal to that of two Men (for if I had been in her and the poor fellow Norton had not been Murdered at Tofoa, she would have been encumbered with our additional weight), and if it be true that she was saved by those means which the Captain says she was it must follow that if Norton and myself had been in her (to say nothing of Coleman, McIntosh, Norman, and Burn, who 'tis confessed were desirous of leaving the Ship) she must either have gone down with us or to prevent it we must have lightened her of the Provisions and other necessary articles and thereby have perished for Want—dreadful alternative!
A Choice of Deaths to those who are certain of dying may be a matter of indifference, but where, on one hand, death appears inevitable and the means of salvation present themselves on the other, however imprudent it might be to resort to those means in any other less trying situation, I think (and hope even at my present time of life) that I shall not be suspected of a want of courage for saying few would hesitate to embrace the latter.
Such then was exactly my situation on board the "Bounty" —To be starved to Death, or drown'd, appeared to be inevitable if I went in the Boat and surely it is not to be wondered at if at the age of sixteen Years, with no one to advise with and so ignorant of the discipline of the Service (having never been at Sea before) as not to know or even suppose that it was possible that what I should determine upon might afterwards be alledged against me as a Crime—:I say under such circumstances, in so trying a situation, can it be wondered at if I suffered the preservation of my Life to be the first, and to supersede every other, consideration?
Besides, through the Medium of the Master, the Captain had directed the rest of the Officers to remain on board in hopes of retaking the Ship—such is the Master's assertion and such the report on board, and, as it accorded with my own wishes for the preservation of my life I felt myself doubly justified in staying on board, not only as it appeared to be safer than going in the Boat, but from a consideration also of being in the way to be useful in assisting to accomplish so desirable a wish of the Captain.
Let it not—for God's sake—let it not be argued that my fears were groundless, and that the arrival of the Boat at Timor is a proof that my Conduct was wrong. This would be judging from the event and I think I have plainly shown that but for the death of Norton at Tofoa and the prudent order of the Captain not to overload the Boat neither himself nor any of the people who were saved with him would at this moment have been alive to have preferred any Charge against me, or given Evidence at this Trial.
If deliberate guilt be necessarily affixed to all who continued on board the Ship, and that of consequence they must be numbered with Christian's Party— in such a strict view of matters, it must irrevocably impeach the Armourer and two Carpenter's Mates, as well as Martin and Burn, who certainly wished to quit the Ship. And if Christian's first intention of sending away the Captain with a few persons only in the small Cutter had not been given up, or if even the large Cutter had not been exchanged for the Launch, more than half of those who did go with him would have been obliged to stay with me. Forgetful for a moment of my own misfortunes I cannot help being agitated at the bare thought of their narrow escape.
Everybody must, and I am sure that this Court will, allow that my case is a peculiarly hard one inasmuch as the running away with the Ship is a proof of the Mutiny having been committed. The Innocent and the Guilty are upon exactly the same footing—had the former been confined by Sickness without a leg to stand on or an arm to assist them in opposing the Mutineers they must have been put upon their Trial and instead of the Captain being obliged to prove their guilt, it would have been incumbent upon them to have proved themselves innocent. How can this be done but negatively? If all who wished it could not accompany the Captain they were necessarily compelled to stay with Christian— and being with him, were dependent on him subject to his Orders, however disinclined to obey them, for force in such a state is paramount to every thing. But when, on the contrary, instead of being in arms or obeying any orders of the Mutineers, I did every thing in my power to assist the Captain and those who went with him, and by all my Actions (except in neglecting to do what if I had done must have endangered the lives of those who were so fortunate as to quit the Ship) I showed myself faithful to the last moment of the Captain's stay, what is there to leave a doubt in the minds of impartial and dispassionate Men of my being perfectly innocent? Happy indeed should I have been if the Master had stayed on board, which he probably would have done if his reasons for wishing—to do so had not been overheard by the Man who was in the Bread room.
Captain Bligh in his narrative acknowledges that he left some friends on board the "Bounty," and no part of my Conduct could have induced him to believe that I ought not to be reckoned of the Number. Indeed, from his attention to and very kind treatment of me personally, I should have been a Monster of depravity to have betray'd him—The Idea alone is sufficient to disturb a mind where humanity and gratitude have, I hope, ever been noticed as its Characteristic features; and yet Mr. Hallet has said that he saw me laugh at a time when Heaven knows the Conflict in my own Mind, independent of the Captain's situation, rendered such a want of decency impossible. The Charge in its nature is dreadful—but I boldly declare, notwithstanding an internal conviction of my innocence has enabled me to endure my sufferings for the last sixteen Months, could I have laid to my heart so heavy an accusation I should not have lived to defend myself from it. And this brings to my recollection another part of Captain Bligh's narrative, in which he says—"I was kept apart from everyone and all I could do was by speaking to them in general but my endeavours were of no avail, for I was kept securely bound and no one but the Guard was suffered to come near me."
If the Captain, whose Narrative we may suppose to have been a detail of every thing which happened, could only recollect that he had spoken generally to the people I trust it will hardly be believed that Mr. Hallet, without notes at so distant a period as this, should be capable of recollecting that he heard him speak to anyone in particular; and here it may not be improper to observe that, at the time to which I allude, Mr. Hallet (if I am rightly informed) could not have been more than fifteen years of age. I mean not to impeach his Courage, but I think if circumstances be considered and an adequate Idea of the confused state of the Ship can be formed by this Court it will not appear probable that this young Gentleman should have been so perfectly unembarrassed as to have been able to particularise the Muscles of a man's Countenance even at a considerable distance from him, and what is still more extraordinary is that he heard the Captain call to me from abaft the Mizen to the Platform where I was standing, which required an exertion of Voice and must have been heard and noticed by all who were present, as the Captain and Christian were at that awful Moment the object of every one's particular attention; yet he who was standing between us and noticing the transactions of us both, could not hear what was said.
To me it has ever occurred that diffidence is very becoming, and of all human attainments a knowledge of ourselves is the most difficult—and if in the ordinary course of life it is not an easy matter precisely to account for our own Actions, how much more difficult and hazardous must it be, in new and momentous scenes when the Mind is hurried and distressed by conflicting passions, to judge of another's Conduct; and yet here are two young Men who after a lapse of near four Years (in which period one of them, like myself, has grown from a Boy to be a Man) without hesitation in a Matter on which my life is depending, undertake to account for some of my Actions at a time, too, when some of the most experienced Officers in the Ship are not ashamed to acknowledge they were overcome by the confusion which the Mutiny occasioned and are incapable of recollecting a number of their own transactions on that day.
I can only oppose to such open boldness the calm suggestions of reason, and would willingly be persuaded that the impression under which this Evidence has been given is not in any degree open to suspicion. I would be understood at the same time not to mean anything injurious to the Character of Mr. Hallet— and for Mr. Hayward I ever loved him and must do him the justice to declare that whatever cause I may have to deplore the effect of his Evidence or rather his Opinion, for he has deposed no fact against me, yet I am convinced it was given conscientiously, and with a tenderness and feeling becoming a Man of honor.
But may they not both be mistaken? Let it be considered that their long intimacy with Captain Bligh, in whose distresses they were partakers and whose sufferings were severely felt by them, naturally begot an abhorrence towards those whom they thought the Authors of their Misery; might they not forget that the Story had been told to them and by first of all believing, then constantly thinking of it, be persuaded at last it was a fact within the compass of their own knowledge?
It is the more natural to believe it so from Mr. Hallet's forgetting what the Captain said upon the occasion, which, had he been so collected as he pretends to have been, he certainly must have heard. Mr. Hayward also, it is evident, has made a Mistake in point of time as to seeing me with Morrison and Millward upon the booms for the Boatswain and Carpenter in their Evidence have said, and the concurring testimony of everyone supports the fact, that the Mutiny had taken place and the Captain was on Deck before they came up, and it was not till after that time that the Boatswain called Morrison and Millward out of their Hammocks therefore to have seen me at all upon the Booms with those two Men it must have been long after the time that Mr. Hayward had said it was. Again Mr. Hayward has said that he could not recollect the day or even the Month when the "Pandora" arrived at Otaheite. Neither did Captain Edwards recollect, when on his return he wrote to the Admiralty, that Michael Byrn had surrendered himself as one of the "Bounty's" people, but in that letter he reported him as having been Apprehended—Which plainly shows that the Memory is fallible to a very great degree and it is a failed conclusion to draw that if when the mind is at rest, which must have been the Case with Mr. Hayward in the "Pandora," and things of a few Months' date are difficult to be remembered, it is next to impossible, in the state which every body was on board the "Bounty," to remember their particular actions at a distance of three Years and a half after they were observed.
As to the Advice he says he gave me to go into the Boat, I can only say I have a feint recollection of a Conversation with somebody—I thought it was Mr. Stuart, but be that as it may, I think I may take it upon me to say it was on Deck and not below, for, on hearing it suggested that I should be deem'd Guilty if I staid in the Ship, I went down directly, and in passing Mr. Cole told him in a low tone of voice that I would fetch a few necessaries in a Bag and follow him into the Boat, which at that time I meant to do but was afterwards prevented.
Surely I shall not be deem'd Criminal that I hesitated at getting into a Boat whose Gunnel when she left the Ship was not quite eight inches above the surface of the Water. And if, in the moment of unexpected Trial, fear and confusion assailed my untaught Judgment and that by remaining in the Ship I appeared to deny my Commander, it was in appearance only—it was the sin of my head, for I solemnly assure you before God that it was not the vileness of my Heart.
I was surprised into my error by a mixture of ignorance, Apprehension and the prevalence of Example, and, alarmed as I was from my Sleep, there was little opportunity and less time for better recollection. The Captain, I am persuaded, did not see me during the Mutiny, for I retired as it were in sorrowful suspense, alternately agitated between hope and fear not knowing what to do. The dread of being asked by him, or of being ordered by Christian to go into the Boat or—which Appeared to me worse than either—of being desired by the latter to join his Party, induced me to keep out of the sight of both until I was a second time confined in my Birth by Thompson, when the determination I had made was too late to be useful.
One instance of my Conduct I had nearly forgot which, with much anxiety and great astonishment, I have heard observed upon and considered as a fault, tho' I had imagined it blameless if not laudable—I mean the Assistance I gave in hoisting out the Launch, which, by a mode of expression of the Boatswain's, who says I did it voluntarily (meaning that I did not refuse my assistance when he asked me to give it) the Court I am afraid has considered it as giving assistance to the Mutineers and not done with a view to help the Captain of which, however, I have no doubt of being able to give a satisfactory explanation in Evidence.
Observations on matters of opinion I will endeavour to forbear where they appear to have been formed from the impulse of the Moment but I shall be pardoned for remembering Mr. Hayward's (given I will allow, with great deliberation and after long weighing the question which called for it) which cannot be reckoned of that description, for altho' he says he rather considered me as a friend to Christian's Party, he states that his last Words to me were, "Peter, go into the Boat"— which words could not have been addressed to one who was of the Party of the Mutineers. And I am sure, if the Countenance is at all an Index to the Heart, mine must have betrayed the sorrow and distress he has so accurately described,
It were trespassing unnecessarily upon the patience of the Court to be giving a tedious history of what happened in consequence of the Mutiny and how thro' one very imprudent step I was unavoidably led into others.
But amidst all this pilgrimage of distress I had a conscience, thank heaven, which lull'd away the pain of personal difficulties, dangers and distress. It was this conscious principle which determined me not to hide myself as if guilty. No—I welcomed the arrival of the "Pandora" at Otaheite and embraced the earliest opportunity of freely surrendering myself to the Captain of that Ship.
By his order I was chained and punished with incredible severity—tho' the Ship was threatened with instant destruction, when fear and trembling came on every Man on board; in vain for a long time were my earnest repeated Cries that the galling Irons might not in that moment of affrighting consternation prevent my hands from being lifted up to Heaven for Mercy.
But tho' it cannot fail deeply to interest the humanity of this Court and kindle in the breast of every Member of it compassion for my sufferings, yet as it is not relative to the point and as I cannot for a moment believe that it proceeded from any improper motive on the part of Captain Edwards, whose Character in the Navy stands high in estimation both as an Officer and a Man of humanity, but rather that he was actuated in his Conduct towards me by the imperious dictates of the Laws of the Service, I shall therefore waive it and say no more upon the Subject.
Believe me, again, I intreat you will believe me, when, in the name of the tremendous Judge of Heaven and Earth (before whose vindictive Majesty I may be destined soon to appear) I now assert my innocence of plotting, abetting or assisting either by word or deed the Mutiny for which I am tried. For, young as I am, I am still younger in the school of art and such matured infamy.
My Parents (but I have only one left, a solitary and Mournful Mother who is at home weeping and trembling for the Event of this day) thanks to their fostering care taught me betimes to reverence God, to honour the King and be obedient to his Laws and at no time have I resolutely or designedly been an Apostate to either.
To this honorable Court then I now Commit myself. My Character and my Life are at your disposal, and as the former is as sacred to me as the latter is precious, the consolation or settled misery of a dear Mother and two Sisters who mingle their tears together and are all but frantic for my situation—pause for your Verdict I If I am found worthy of life, it shall be improved by past experience and especially taught from the serious lesson of what has lately happened.
But if nothing but Death itself can atone my pitiable indiscretion I bow with submission and all due respect to your impartial decision.
Not with sullen indifference shall I then meditate on my doom as not deserving it—No, such behaviour would be an insult to God and an affront to man—and the attentive and candid deportment of my Judges in this place requires more becoming Manners in me.
Yet if I am found Guilty this day they will not construe it, I trust, as the least disrespect offered to their discernment and opinion if I solemnly declare that my Heart will rely with confidence in its own innocence until that awful period when my Spirit shall be about to be separated from my body to take its everlasting flight and be ushered into the presence of that unerring Judge, before whom all Hearts are open, and from whom no Secrets are hid.
I will now call my witnesses and establish the facts I have assumed.
A. In my Watch and in the first Watch the preceding Evening.
Q. If you had been permitted would you have staid in the Ship in preference to going into the Boat?
Q. Had you staid in the Ship in expectation of retaking her, was my Conduct such from the first moment you knew me to this, in which you are now to answer the question, such as would have induced you to intrust me with your Design, and do you believe I would have favoured it and given you all the assistance in my power?
A. I believe he would. I should not have hesitated a Moment in asking of him when I had had an opportunity of opening my Mind to him.
Q. Was it the general impression, at the Moment when Christian gave permission for the Launch to be hoisted out, that if it were not done immediately he might alter his mind and turn the Captain adrift in the Cutter.
Q. If he had done so, what Number of Men would she have carried?
A. Nine or Ten.
Q. Did you consider those People who assisted in hoisting out the Launch as helping the Captain or the Mutineers?
A. Those who were without Arms, assisting the Captain.
Q. What height was the Gunwale of the Boat from the Water when she put off from the Ship?
A. About 8 Inches; between 8 and 9 Inches, to the best of my Knowledge, or remembrance.
Q. Did you ever hear any Person besides the Boatswain and the Carpenter in the Boat mention my being in my Hammock at the time the Mutiny began?
Q. At the time of the Mutiny, was I of an Age, or do you think I was then sufficiently experienced, to judge of the probable safety of the Boat when she left the Ship?
Q. What was my general Temper and Disposition on board the Ship?
A. Beloved by every body, to the best of my Recollection.
The Court did not ask the Witness any Questions and he withdrew.
A. I do not know.
Q. Did you hear him speak to me?
Q. Do you recollect asking me to assist you in hoisting out the Launch?
Q. Did you consider me when helping to hoist out the Launch as assisting the Captain or the Mutineers?
A. By no means helping the Mutineers; I thought him to be on the Captain's side.
Q. Did you at any time during the Mutiny see me Armed?
Q. If you had remained in the Ship in hopes of retaking her, would you, from your knowledge of my past behaviour and from every Observation you made of my Conduct on the Day of the Mutiny, have intrusted me with your design, and do you think I should have afforded you all the assistance in my power?
Q. From anything you observed in my Conduct during the Morning of the Mutiny, did you then, or do you now, believe that I was of the Mutineers' Party?
Q. Was I in any instance that Morning guilty of Levity or apparent Merriment?
Q. As you have said that when I left the Deck to go below, I said something to you but you cannot now recollect what I would ask you whether it was not that I would go below and put some things into a Bag and join you in the Boat?
A. I know it was something about a Bag, but what I could not tell; I supposed he was going to get some things to come into the Boat.
Q. After I went below accompanied by Stewart, and while we were there, did you hear any Orders, given to Thompson the Centinel upon the Arm Chest, not to let them come up again, and by whom were such Orders given?
Q. Do you think he meant me as one of them, whoever they were?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Altho' you cannot positively say it was me he meant to have confined, have you any doubt in your mind but that it was me?
A. None at all.
Q. Was it not the general Impression at the Moment when Christian gave permission for the Launch to be hoisted out, that if it were not done immediately he might alter his mind and turn the Captain adrift in the cutter?
Q. If he had done so, what Number of Men would the Cutter have carried?
A. I suppose she might carry 8 or 10; I mean the large Cutter.
A. No, he was forward at the fore Hatchway, and I was about there, getting the Boat out.
Q. In what state. did he appear to be—was he cool and collected, or did he seem agitated and alarmed?
A. More alarmed.
Q. In what state did he appear to be, was he cool and collected or did he seem agitated and alarmed?
A. He said, "Stay."
Q. What was my general Conduct, Temper, and behaviour on board the Ship?
A. Always, a very good Character.
By the COURT—
A. I saw him on the Booms; he may go a little farther aside the Boat; I did not see him on the Quarter Deck or any where there.
A. I don't suppose I could be there a Minute.
Q. Except that Time, was you upon Deck from the beginning of the Mutiny until the Boat put off?
A. I went down below once to my Cabin.
Q. Was that the Time you staid below a Minute?
Q. How many Times was you below?
A. I do not know that I was down above thrice After I went down to turn the People out of their Beds.
A. It may be 10 Minutes, or a Quarter of an Hour, that he was there assisting.
Q. In the different times you went below how long do you think you was below in the whole?
A. I don't suppose I was below more than 10 Minutes in all the three times—I think it would not be so long—I was down and up again directly, almost.
The Witness withdrew.
Q. If you had remained in the Ship in hopes of retaking her, should you, from your knowledge of my Conduct from the first Moment you knew me to the Moment in which you are now to answer the question, have entrusted me with your design and do you believe I would have given you all the assistance in my power?
A. He should have been one of the first that I would have endeavoured to have opened my Design to.
Q. What was my Temper, disposition, and general Conduct on board the Ship?
A. 0f the most amiable, and deserving of everyone's Esteem.
Q. As you have said in a former part of your Evidence that all who remained on board you considered to be of the Mutineers' Party—did you mean to include me as a Mutineer?
By the Court—
Q. As you did not see Mr. Heywood on that Day nor observe any part of his Conduct, what are your Reasons for saying that he would have been one of the first that you would have opened your Mind to, in Case you had endeavoured to retake the Ship?
A. From the Universal Character that he bore in the Ship, and the five Months that he was ashore with me at Otaheite.
The Witness withdrew.
Q. Did you see me upon Deck during the time of the Mutiny?
A. I did.
Q. Did you see me assist in hoisting out the Launch?
A. I did.
Q. Was it the general impression at the moment when Christian gave permission for the Launch to be hoisted out that if it were not done immediately he might alter His mind and turn the Captain adrift in the Cutter?
Q. If he had done so, what Number of People could have accompanied the Captain?
A. I think not more than 8 or 10.
Q. Did you consider me when assisting to hoist out the Launch as helping the Captain or the Mutineers?
A. The Captain.
Q. After what you have said respecting the Cutlass on which you say my hand rested, just as the Launch was going to be hoisted out, I would ask you whether, on the most mature consideration of the matter, you did then, or you do now, believe that I could be considered as an Armed Man?
Q. Did my Conduct when you spoke to me indicate that I wished to be Armed, or could you, from what you saw me do, or heard me say at any particular time or during the whole time you saw me on the day of the Mutiny, give you cause to believe then, or do you now upon recollection think, that I was of the Mutineers' Party?
Q. If you had remained in the Ship in hopes of retaking her, would you, from your knowledge of my past behaviour and from Every Observation you have made of my conduct, as well on the Day of the Mutiny as at other times, have entrusted me with your design, and do you think I should have afforded you all the Assistance in my Power?
A. I should have entrusted him and do think that he would have afforded me every assistance in his Power.
A. I don't know that he did—I did not hear him.
A. I think not.
Q. Was I in any Instance during that Morning guilty of Levity or apparent Merriment?
A. By no Means.
A. "To keep them below."
Q. What height was the Gunwale of the Boat from the Water when she put off from the Ship?
A. About seven Inches and a half.
A. I did.
Q. In what State did he appear to be? Was he cool and collected or did he seem agitated and alarmed?
A. He appeared to me to be very much confused.
A. I did.
Q. In what state did he appear to be? Was he cool and collected or did he seem to be agitated and alarmed?
A. He likewise appeared to be very much confused.
Q. What was my general Conduct and Temper on board the Ship?
A. In every respect becoming the Character of a Gentleman, and such as merited the Esteem of every body.
By the Court—
Q. Was you upon Deck from the Commencement of the Mutiny until the Time the Boat was turned adrift?
A. I did not come up till after the small Cutter was hoisted out; I occasionally went below to the Cockpit and my Cabin.
Q. How long was you below altogether?
A. I can't answer to the time exactly; a few Minutes each time.
A. No, I was too much employed to take Notice of any singular Person, the whole of the time.
Q. How then do you know that he was not of the Mutineers' Party?
A. I judge from his former Behaviour and his Behaviour at that Time in giving every Assistance in Power.
A. I never see Mr. Heywood Abaft the Bow of the Boat and I think the Captain must have spoken very loud for him to have heard, and I know Mr. Christian would not permit that, when I was upon Deck, and my stay being so short at each time below, that I still think I must have heard it.
A. Upon the Booms upon the Starboard side by the Bow of the Boat.
Q. Where about does the Bow of the Boat rest upon the Deck?
A. He might.
Q. As you say you did not look upon the Prisoner as a Person Armed, to what did you allude when you exclaimed, "Good God, Peter, what do you do with that" upon seeing his Hand leaning upon a Cutlass?
A. I looked upon it to be an Accidental Thing.
A. Yes, and the Officers and People that were going in the Boat.
Q. Describe that Assistance?
A. He assisted me in getting my Chest into the Boat and hauling it out from between Decks, and several other Necessaries which were the Preservation of all our Lives. It was the Cloaths Chest he assisted at; the Tool Chest was on the Quarter Deck.
A. I don't know whether there was any other Person below.
Q. Do you know that there were not other Persons below?
A. He seemed very much confused; he did not say anything.
The Witness withdrew.
Q. Did I surrender myself to you upon the Arrival of the "Pandora" at Otaheite?
A. Not to me, to the Lieutenant. I apprehend he put himself in my power—I always understood he came voluntarily; our Boats were not in the Water.
A. He gave me some Information respecting the People in the Island, that corroborated with Coleman's. I do not recollect the particular Conversation, but in general it agreed with the Account given by Coleman.
By the Court—
Q. Did Peter Heywood give you any Account of the Transactions of the "Bounty" after the Boat was turned adrift to her return to Mativy Bay, Otaheite?
A. I know he gave me some Account; I had recourse to his Journals, and he was ready to Answer any Questions that I asked him.
Q. Did the Information you received from Peter Heywood enable you in any Manner to give the Account you transmitted to the Admiralty respecting the Return of the "Bounty" to Mativy Bay, and her Stay there each Time she did return?
A. I have observed before that it corroborated with the Information I got from Joseph Coleman, Relative to the People at Otaheite, telling me who were at Mativy Bay and who at the other Parts of the Island; from the Information that I had from Coleman and what I collected from the Journals and sometimes from Peter Heywood I was enabled to form my Letter to the Admiralty; sometimes I had Heywood to explain Parts of the Journal.
Q. Did the Information you received from Peter Heywood enable you to state the Time between the Boats leaving the "Bounty" and her return to Mativy Bay and how long was it and how long she remained at Mativy Bay?
A. It was I believe more than a Month before her return, and her stay I believe did not exceed a Week, but I can't positively say.
Q. How long did she remain after her return the Second Time?
A. I understood a very short time, for, after the People were landed, she went away in the Night.
Q. Can you inform the Court of the Number that remained?
A. I believe they were sixteen.
Q. Did Peter Heywood inform you, whether he continued at Otaheite the first time, or went away in the "Bounty" with the Pirates?
Q. Was you ever Informed whether any of the "Bounty's" People remained at Otaheite the first time?
A. I understood there were none.
Q. Do you know that Mr. Peter Heywood, the Prisoner, was informed by any Person on board the "Pandora," that any Part of the "Bounty's" Crew had arrived in England, prior to your interrogating him upon that Subject?
A. I can't say positively.
Q. Did he, upon his coming on board, tell you that the "Bounty" had been run away with and was the Information he gave you, relative to the other Prisoners, of any Service to you in apprehending them?
Q. From the Conversation you had with Mr. Heywood did it appear to you that he then considered himself as partaking of the Guilt of the Mutineers, or did he seem conscious of Innocence and desirous of assisting you in apprehending them?
A. I have declared before that he hoped to vindicate his Conduct on board the "Bounty." He gave me Information that was useful in apprehending them; in Consequence of the Information from him and Coleman, I sent the Boats in search of them.
Q. Did you ever receive any Information from any of the Inhabitants of Otaheite that was of Use to you in apprehending the Prisoners?
Q. Did the Information you received from the Island come from any Person of Consequence there?
Q. Did you receive assistance from any of the People of Otaheite in apprehending them?
A. Yes, several.
Q. You have related in your Letter to the Admiralty that at your Arrival at Otaheite you were informed that the Pirates, upon their Arrival there, had told the People that they had met with Captain Cook who had taken the other Officers from them; from whom did you get that Information?
A. I believe it was generally allowed by the Natives and some of the People.
A. I can't particularly call to my recollection whether he did or not, but he might have mentioned it with the others.
Q. When I told you that I went away the first time from Otaheite with the Pirates did I not at the same time inform you that it was not possible to separate myself from Christian, who would not permit any Man of the Party to leave him at that time, lest, by giving Intelligence, they might have been discovered, whenever a Ship should arrive?
A. Yes, but I do not recollect the latter Part of it respecting giving Intelligence.
The Witness withdrew.
By the Court—
Q. Mention the Words he made use of?
A.He said, "I suppose you know My Story." I made no Answer to that Question; he immediately said, "I belong to the Bounty." I went down and acquainted Captain Edwards that he was on board, and then took him down to the Cabin, and left him there with Captain Edwards.
A. It could not be above two or three Minutes.
A. As nearly as I can recollect, about 7 or 8 Minutes after he was in the Cabin Captain Edwards came out to me and desired I would bring the Master at Arms and a Couple of Men to take him in Charge and put him in Irons.
Q. Did any Person on board the "Pandora" to your knowledge inform the Prisoner that any of the "Bounty's" Crew had arrived in England or did he know that Lieutenant Hayward was on board before you took the Prisoner down to Captain Edwards?
A. Not to my Knowledge.
The Witness withdrew.
The Court having heard those Witnesses I have been enabled to call, it will be unnecessary to add anything to their testimony in point of fact, or to observe upon it by way of illustration. It is, I trust, sufficient to do away any suspicion which may have fallen upon me, and to remove every implication of Guilt which, while unexplained, might by possibility have attached to me. It is true I have by the absence of Captain Bligh, Simpson, and Tinkler been deprived of an Opportunity of laying before the Court much, that would at least have been grateful to my feelings, tho' I hope not necessary to my defence; as the former must have exculpated me from the least disrespect, and the two last would have proved past all contradiction that I was unjustly accused: I might regret that in their Absence I have been arraigned, but thank Heaven I have been enabled, by the very witnesses who were called to criminate me, to oppose facts to opinions and give explanation to circumstances of suspicion. It has been proved that I was asleep at the time of the Mutiny and waked only to confusion and dismay. It has been proved, 'tis true, that I continued on board the Ship, but it has also been proved I was detained by force—and to this I must Add I left the Society of those with whom I was for a time obliged to associate, as soon as possible, and with unbounded satisfaction resigned myself to the Captain of the "Pandora," to whom I gave myself up, to whom I also delivered my Journal (faithfully brought up to the preceding day) and to whom I also gave every information in my Power. I could do no more, for at the first time we were at Otaheite it was impossible for me, watched and suspected as I was, to separate from the Ship. My information to Captain Edwards was open, sincere and unqualified, and I had many opportunities given me at different times of repeating it. Had a track been open to my native country I should have followed it. Had a Vessel arrived earlier, I should earlier, with the same eagerness, have embraced the opportunity, for I dreaded not an inquiry in which I foresaw no discredit; but Providence ordained it otherwise. I have been the victim of suspicion and had nearly fallen a Sacrifice to misapprehension. I have, however, hitherto surmounted it, and it only remains with this Court to say if my sufferings have not been equal to my indiscretion.
The decision will be the voice of Honor and to that I must implicitly resign myself.