Peter Heywood's Dirk

Contributed by Manx National Heritage

Peter Heywood's Dirk © Manx National Heritage

Captain Bligh said that he never wanted to see any Manx man again, after the mutiny on The Bounty!Peter Heywood was a participant in one of the most (in)famous naval events in history, the Mutiny on the Bounty.

Together with William Bligh and Fletcher Christian, the three protagonists first met on the Isle of Man, where Heywood and Christian were the sons of landed gentry and Bligh was a customs officer.

These connections had tragic consequences, when Bligh took command of the Bounty on a voyage to the South Pacific with Christian as his 2nd in command and Heywood as a midshipman.

The voyage ended in a mutiny led by Fletcher Christian and to his escape to Pitcairn, whilst Bligh and his loyal crew navigated an open boat through uncharted seas to eventual safety.

Heywood took no part in the Mutiny, but was accused by Bligh of complicity and put on trial, though he was saved from the death penalty.

This dirk or ceremonial sword probably dates from after the trial, when Heywood resumed his naval career with great success.

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1787 - Mutiny on the Bounty


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