Captain Bligh

In this week’s SDSAB column, the exploits of Captain Bligh of HMS Bounty fame are detailed. I noted that, following the mutiny, Bligh made a second voyage to Polynesia which successfully brought breadfruit to Blighty.

What happened to the breadfruit? Will it even grow in the British Isles? Why not take it to British colonies in the Caribbean? Did King George just eat the breadfruit as a snack?

Original column by SDSAB staffer paperback writer:

Was Captain Bligh really the jerk he’s been made out to be?

Bligh could have dropped a few specimens off on his way to the Caribbean; one does not exclude the other. I have always read that breadfruit were introduced to the Caribbean in the late 1700s. This page and this seem to confirm it. How and why would you cultivate them in Britain outside a conservatory?

The Wiki article says that Bligh won the Royal Society medal for his efforts in transporting breadfruit plants to St. Helena, St. Vincent and Jamaica.

I seem to recall reading that cultivation in the Carfibbean was the goal. Basically to provide cheap food for the subjugated peoples working the plantations.

It was mentioned in passing, but it was interesting to find that Captain Bligh was not a captain when the mutiny took place:

The officer in charge of a ship is the Captain, no matter what his rank is.

The column says “The best biography of Bligh says that ‘next to nothing’ is known about Bligh’s childhood.”

Anyone know what biography this is referring to?

Very informative staff report, even though I knew much of the information. Thanks!