Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fletcher Christian (September 25 1764 - October 3 1793) was a Master's Mate on board the Bounty during William Bligh's fateful voyage to Tahiti for breadfruit plants. It was Christian who seized command of the Bounty from Bligh in 1789.
Christian was born at the Moorland Close farmstead in Cumberland, England, into a prosperous family originally from the Isle of Man. When Christian's father died at the age of 18, however, he went to sea in order to support his family.
He sailed for Jamaica twice with Bligh. After the mutiny, he visited Tahiti where he married Maimiti , the daughter of the chief; the mutineers and a number of Tahitians then settled on Pitcairn Island where the Bounty was broken up for firewood construction timber. British sailors visiting the island in 1814 found only one mutineer, John Adams, still alive. The mutineers who had perished had, however, already had children with their Tahitian wives. Most of these were still living.
Adams and Maimiti claimed Christian had been murdered during a conflict between the Tahitian men and the mutineers. Along with Christian, four other mutineers and all four of the Tatitian men who had come to the island were killed. He was survived by Maimiti and his son, Thursday October Christian, who is the ancestor of almost everybody surnamed Christian on Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands, as well as the many descendants who have moved to Australia and New Zealand. Besides Thursday October, Fletcher Christian also had a younger son named Charles Christian , as well as a daughter.
Rumours have persisted for more than two hundred years that Fletcher's murder may have been faked, that he had left the island and made it back to England.
See Mutiny on the Bounty for a more detailed account of this famous incident.
Christian also made an appearance in the "Night's Dawn Trilogy " by Peter F. Hamilton.
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