William Bligh Memorial
Sydney, NSW, Australia

This statue of William Bligh is located in the "Barney and Bligh Reserve" on the western side of Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia. This statue is found near the memorial to George Barney of the Royal Engineers. William Bligh (1754 - 1817) is best known for the 1789 mutiny that took place under his command of HMS Bounty during a voyage commencing in 1787 to Tahiti to obtain breadfruit plants. Although his Hollywood character is portrayed as cruel and heartless this, apparently, does not reflect the truth.  

Bligh did, however, possess a fiery temper and tended to follow his orders in the strictest sense and he had little time for incompetence amongst his subordinates. His personality therefore was prone to antagonise those with whom he served and associated. After being set a drift by the Bounty mutineers in a open boat open with loyal crew members, Bligh navigated to Timor - an unparallel feat to this day - from where he returned to England. In 1805 he was offered the 4th governorship of New South Wales, a position he held from 1806 to 1810 during which time his set about ridding the colony of corruption. This lead to the so-called Rum Rebellion where corrupt Red Coat officers placed him under house arrest then removed him from the colony. This statue is aimed at providing a more balanced perspective on the life and achievements of William Bligh.

Another view of the William Bligh Memorial.

Close-up view of the William Bligh Memorial.

The dedication plaque.

The nameplate on the memorial.
(All photos and text courtesy of Peter F. Williams)
© 2011 Peter F. Williams all rights reserved

Page published July 22, 2011