Innocent on the Bounty

The Court-Martial and Pardon of Midshipman Peter Heywood, in Letters


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About the Book

This is the first complete publication of a rare collection of letters and poems written from 1790 to 1792—many of which have never appeared in print—telling the true story of Peter Heywood, a young Royal Navy midshipman on H.M.S. Bounty accused of mutiny, and his devoted sister, Nessy, who worked tirelessly to save him from being condemned and executed for this crime. This edition is a faithful transcription of a manuscript held at the Newberry Library in Chicago—one of only five surviving manuscripts.

About the Author(s)

Public relations professional Donald A. Maxton is the director of communications for a major hospital network in New York City. He lives in Springfield, New Jersey.

Pacific historian Rolf E. Du Rietz, former director of the Center for Bibliographical Studies, Uppsala, Sweden, is the author of several books and articles about Captain Bligh and the Bounty. He lives in Uppsala, Sweden.

Bibliographic Details

Peter Heywood and Nessy Heywood

Edited by Donald A. Maxton and Rolf E. Du Rietz

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7266-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0169-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Introduction  1
Textual Postscript  15
Part One. The Letters  23
Part Two. The Poems  154
Appendix 1: Additional Correspondence  197
Appendix 2: Dramatis Personæ  208
Appendix 3: Peter Heywood’s Naval Career  210
Notes  213
Select Bibliography  215
Index  220

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “impressive…. Well worth a read for any fan of maritime history”—Nautical Research Journal
  • “invaluable”—The Mariner’s Mirror
  • “an impressive collection of primary documents recounting the infamous mutiny…. Well worth a read for any fan of maritime history, eighteenth-century primary documents or poetry, and, of course, anyone interested in the infamous events that inspired both a novel and an Academy Award winning movie”—Model Ship World
  • “valuable”—Log of the Pitcairn and Norfolk Island Study Group