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1-263 (Text)

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addressee author,male,Broadside*,un
Newspaper Article
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Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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The day on which the brig Wellington was to have made Norfolk Island, was the time fixed by the prisoners she was carrying, for putting into effect the plan for mutiny, contrived, by their ringleader, Walton. At noon, the Captain (Harwood) was employed in taking "sights". Two soldiers were parading the deck; Walton was sitting either on, or contiguous to, the bowsprit; the troops were in the forescuttle; six prisoners were on deck; the sergeant went below. No sooner did Walton observe all things were so far favourable, than the signal was given - the sentinels on deck were secured, and deprived of their arms; the Captain was made prisoner; the hatch of the fore-scuttle, in which the military were all pent up, was closed, in the act of doing which one of the prisoners was wounded in the shoulder, as the soldiers immediately commenced firing; the sailors were in a like manner secured, by being forced into the prison hold, at the same time that Walton and his party liberated their fellow-prisoners from confinement. The vessel was immediately in a state of confusion and in less than a minute the pirates had complete possession of the vessel.
Walton took upon himself the command - another of the name of Douglas was appointed chief mate - Edwards alias Flash Jack, became second mate, and Clay contented himself with mere stewardship. No violence was offered to any one on board after the capture. We had nearly forgotten to mention that the soldiers kept firing away through the bulk-head into the hold, until they understood that the crew were in danger of being shot. The military were divested of their accoutrements and red coats, in which the pirates became dressed, and, in less than a quarter of an hour, the sergeant had the mortification to behold all his stripes decorating one of the pirates who lorded it away at a great rate.
Being short of water, and in want of a nautical almanack, and a chart, they resolved on making for New Zealand with the view of obtaining, by fair or foul means, those requisites from any whaler that might be in the way, as their ultimate destination was South America.
It is worthy to remark, that, so divided was this motley group, there were, at one time, no less than three different parties - among the prisoners there was the neutral party, there was a Roman Catholic party, there was a Protestant party, who had command; and the Catholic brethren had formed the plan among themselves of taking the vessel from their Protestant brethren, and forcing them to walk the plank. But the call at New Zealand upset all this policy.
At 9 A.M. of Friday, 3rd of January, the brig Wellington entered the Bay of Islands, where she found at anchor, the Sisters, Captain Duke and the Harriet, Captain Clark, and these captains boarded her. Captain Duke enquired of Walton, whence he came? Walton replied from New South Wales, bound to the River Thames with troops and provisions. The two captains had no suspicion whatever that the Wellington was in the hands of the pirates, although they thought the manner in which they managed the vessel very strange.
In the course of the day, Mr. Fairburn of the Mission Station, having some business with Captain Duke, boarded the Sisters and enquired the name of the new arrival. Captain Duke replied, he could not tell, but supposed her to be the brig Wellington, from Port Jackson. Mr. Fairburn and Captain Duke then went on board, to see if there were any letters for the Missionaries; when Mr. Fairburn recognised a person who had formerly been a painter at Sydney, named Clay, and Captain Duke also recognised another, who had formerly been condemned in England, and was to have been sent to Norfolk Island. This excited their suspicions, that the vessel had been run away with from Port Jackson; for the people on deck, in soldiers' jackets, had no appearance, whatever of regular troops.
After leaving the brig they consulted together on what they had observed, and Captain Duke sent a polite note to the Commander to come on board to dine, as they wanted to learn who he was, and what he was about. Walton, however, declined the invitation, but said he would come for an hour in the afternoon. He did not come according to promise, and Captain Duke and the others went on board the Wellington.
They found everything in great confusion, what with watering the vessel and trading with the natives. They thought it very strange, that as she was only proceeding to the Thames, the brig should be taking in such a quantity of water to supply them on so short a passage. During the time Captains Duke and Clark were in the cabin, they observed a number of counter-signs passing amongst the company, which consisted of about 10 persons and a guard. Mr. Williams came on board whilst they were there, and put a few questions to the Commander, which he answered in a very unsatisfactory manner.
As the visitors were leaving, a gentleman, who proved to be Captain Harwood, found an opportunity of whispering to Captain Clark, and also to the Surgeon of the Harriet, telling them who he was, and that the vessel had been taken from him. Mr. Fairburn also had a note slipped into his hand, acquainting him that the brig was from Port Jackson, bound to Norfolk Island with prisoners and provisions; that, on the 21st of December, they rose upon the guard.
Walton was invited to visit the Sisters, and when he came on board, Mr. Williams put some close questions concerning the brig, and also their intentions. He prevaricated a good deal, and when Mr. Fairburn produced the note which he had been privately given him by Captain Harwood, he was struck with astonishment, but did not attempt to deny the truth of the statement. He confessed the whole of the transaction as to the taking of the vessel. A few, he said were wounded, but none were murdered. He observed also, that he little thought of being so trepanned