|The tomb of Captain Bligh (1754-1817)|
St. Mary-at-Lambeth, London, England.
Photo dated verso 12 August 1967.
Click on photo to enlarge.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
In an ancient churchyard, the descendants of Captain William Bligh and Mr. Fletcher Christian, who started the famous mutiny on the BOUNTY, in 1789, met and made up.
Before Bligh's restored tomb at St. Mary-at-Lambeth, London, they shook hands and agreed that old Bligh wasn't such a bad chap after all. Just difficult to get on with.
The occasion was a service to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Bligh's death  and the repair of his tomb, damaged by wartime bombing and vandals. Representing Captain Bligh was Mrs. Clifford Tetley (nee Bligh,) of Wendover, Bucks. She is Bligh's niece, immeasurably removed, and her family have cared for the famous man's grave for 30 years.
Appearing for Mr. Christian was his great-great-great-great grandson, Mr. Glyn Christian, a 25-year old actor-writer from New Zealand, now living in London.
The Rev. Oliver Fiennes, rector at the church, said a short prayer for those in peril at sea.
And Mr. Christopher Lloyd, a naval historian, complained that Bligh had become 'one of the most maligned figures in British history.'
Although he was a brilliant navigator and sailor, all this seemed to have been forgotten and his name was synonymous with brutality and tyranny. Afterward Mrs. Tetley and Mr. Glyn Christian agreed that this was a great pity and that something ought to be done about it. They also said it was silly to keep on with the quarrel over the mutiny that had split their families for generations.
For more 'bio' on Captain Bligh CLICK HERE