Bligh Island

Feature Type:Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: In Nootka Sound, W side of Vancouver Island, Nootka Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°38'58''N, 126°31'22''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92E/10
Related Maps: 92E/10

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 6 November 1934 on C.3645, as labelled on early Admiralty Charts, and on BC map 2C, 1919.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Named in 1862 by Captain Richards after Vice-Admiral William Bligh, who was master of HMS Resolution on Captain Cook's third voyage. The ship was refitted in 1778 in a cove on this island, now known as Resolution Cove. Bligh was known later at "Bread Fruit Bligh" owing to the notoriety he gained in connection with that fruit and the mutiny of the Bounty. The fruit associated with Bligh's name was first discovered at Tahiti on Cook's voyages, and Cook's journal gives a full account of it. On returning home in the Resolution, Bligh received a commission as lieutenant, and made several important hydrographic surveys which acquired him a high reputation as a scientific seaman. The government being desirous to transport the bread fruit to the West Indies Islands... selected the Bounty, in 1787, to convey the fruit from Tahiti, and Lieut. Bligh placed in charge. She arrived safely, was filled with plants, and duly sailed for her destination, when owing to Bligh's irascible temper and overbearing conduct, combined with the demoralizing life the crew had led on the island, the mutiny occurred which made the name of the Bounty known the world over. Bligh, with eighteen companions, was turned adrift in a small open boat, and in this frail craft, with no chart, made one of the most noted boat voyages on record. They sailed a distance of 3618 miles and were finally rescued. Some of the mutineers were ultimately captured and several executed, but the majority and the ship were never seen again or heard of, until their descendants, with one survivor of the mutiny named Adams, were discovered years afterwards living on the lonely island of Pitcairn, in the South Pacific. In 1791, Captain Bligh made another and successful voyage for the bread fruit in HMS Providence, but there was no practical result from the voyage, as the West Indians preferred the plantain to the bread fruit. In 1805, Bligh was Captain General and Governor of New South Wales [Australia], but his harsh exercise of authority was strongly resented by his civil and military subordinates, and he was forcibly deposed, and kept a prisoner from 1808 to 1810. For this act Major Johnston, who deposed him, was cashiered in 1811. Bligh was appointed Rear admiral of the Blue, 1811; Vice admiral of the Blue, 1814; born 4 October 1754; died in Bond Street, London, 7 December 1817."

Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)