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Former home of Captain William Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty goes on sale for £2.5million

The former home of Captain William Bligh, the English naval commander in charge of the HMS Bounty at the time of its infamous mutiny, has gone on sale for £2.5million. 

The property on Lambeth Road in south London, built in 1794, features an English Heritage blue plaque – unveiled by Prince Philip in 1952 – to recognise its first ever owner.

Captain Bligh lived there for 10 years with his wife Elizabeth and their children after the 1789 mutiny, before he was made Governor of New South Wales in 1805. 

Its quirky interiors are currently designed to capitalise on its connection to the seaman, with shipdeck-style timber flooring and themed principal rooms.

The former home of Captain William Bligh, the English naval commander in charge of the HMS Bounty at the time of its infamous mutiny, has gone on sale for £2.5million

Captain Bligh lived at the home for 10 years after the 1789 mutiny with his wife Elizabeth and their children, before he was made Governor of New South Wales in 1805. Pictured: the rear garden

Captain Bligh lived at the home for 10 years after the 1789 mutiny with his wife Elizabeth and their children, before he was made Governor of New South Wales in 1805. Pictured: the rear garden

The property on Lambeth Road in South London, built in 1794, features an English Heritage blue plaque - unveiled by Prince Philip in 1952 - to recognise its first ever owner Captain William Bligh (pictured)

The property on Lambeth Road in South London, built in 1794, features an English Heritage blue plaque - unveiled by Prince Philip in 1952 - to recognise its first ever owner Captain William Bligh

The property on Lambeth Road in South London, built in 1794, features an English Heritage blue plaque (right) – unveiled by Prince Philip in 1952 – to recognise its first ever owner Captain William Bligh (left)

Once a single home, William Bligh House – which boasts a 35 foot rear garden and a 141 sq ft terrace on its first floor – has been turned into a £130-a-night bed and breakfast.

It’s split into five self-contained apartment suites – four of which have their own kitchen and living room, while the fifth consists of a bedroom and bathroom. 

A savvy buyer could chose to keep it in its current arrangement to benefit from rental income, or could turn it back into a family residence with the appropriate planning permission.

As a single 3,332 sq ft house, the ground and first floors offer three reception rooms, a family kitchen and breakfast room and a study, while the upper floors are equipped with six bedrooms.

Its quirky interiors are also currently themed to capitalise on its connection to the seaman. This garden room on the ground floor features a mural of an 18th century circus on the wall

Its quirky interiors are also currently themed to capitalise on its connection to the seaman. This garden room on the ground floor features a mural of an 18th century circus on the wall

This sitting room, which doubles up as an office, features a chimney breast adorned with the entire history of the famous Mutiny on the Bounty as well as a copy of the English Heritage blue plaque

This sitting room, which doubles up as an office, features a chimney breast adorned with the entire history of the famous Mutiny on the Bounty as well as a copy of the English Heritage blue plaque

The main reception room has a distinctly regal theme, with an elaborate chandelier and the plush curtains, velvet arm chairs and ceiling all painted purple

The main reception room has a distinctly regal theme, with an elaborate chandelier and the plush curtains, velvet arm chairs and ceiling all painted purple

To denote the history of the property and its nautical ties, this large bathroom suite features wallpaper designed to look like the shelves of a library, antique wood furniture that wouldn't look out of place on a ship, and an enormous fish tank

To denote the history of the property and its nautical ties, this large bathroom suite features wallpaper designed to look like the shelves of a library, antique wood furniture that wouldn’t look out of place on a ship, and an enormous fish tank

The 'music room', which features a sign reading 'Bligh Empire', appears to carry a Gilbert and Sullivan theme, with a large grand piano and photographs of theatrical productions

The ‘music room’, which features a sign reading ‘Bligh Empire’, appears to carry a Gilbert and Sullivan theme, with a large grand piano and photographs of theatrical productions

There is also a home cinema, gymnasium and staff studio on the lower ground floor.

The elaborate decor is intended to reflect the home’s history, with a garden room featuring an 18th century circus mural and an office where the chimney breast is adorned with the entire history of the famous Mutiny on the Bounty. 

The ‘music room’, which features a sign reading ‘Bligh Empire’, appears to carry a Gilbert and Sullivan theme, with a large grand piano and photographs of theatrical productions.

Another office, which offers an entire wall of storage units and can double up as a dressing or sitting room, features quirky artwork on the walls

Another office, which offers an entire wall of storage units and can double up as a dressing or sitting room, features quirky artwork on the walls

The home is currently split into five self-contained apartment suits - four of which have their own kitchen (pictured) and living room, while the fifth consists of a bedroom and bathroom

The home is currently split into five self-contained apartment suits – four of which have their own kitchen (pictured) and living room, while the fifth consists of a bedroom and bathroom

A savvy buyer could chose to keep it in its current arrangement to benefit from rental income, or could turn it back into a family residence with the appropriate planning permission. Pictured: a dining room

A savvy buyer could chose to keep it in its current arrangement to benefit from rental income, or could turn it back into a family residence with the appropriate planning permission. Pictured: a dining room

As a single 3,332 sq ft house, the ground and first floors offer three reception rooms, a family kitchen and breakfast room and a study, while the upper floors are equipped with six bedrooms. Pictured: the hallway on the first floor that leads to the terrace

As a single 3,332 sq ft house, the ground and first floors offer three reception rooms, a family kitchen and breakfast room and a study, while the upper floors are equipped with six bedrooms. Pictured: the hallway on the first floor that leads to the terrace

Lambeth Road runs down to the River Thames and in Georgian times boats would ferry passengers downstream to the Docks - making the address popular with naval families. Pictured: one of the guest bedrooms

Lambeth Road runs down to the River Thames and in Georgian times boats would ferry passengers downstream to the Docks – making the address popular with naval families. Pictured: one of the guest bedrooms

One of the large bedroom suites which features relatively neutral decor compared to the rest of the house - though its timber-clad back wall is a nod to the nautical theme

One of the large bedroom suites which features relatively neutral decor compared to the rest of the house – though its timber-clad back wall is a nod to the nautical theme

Another living room has a London vibe, with Union Jack furnishings and scenes from the capital hanging on the walls.

The main reception room has a distinctly regal theme, with an elaborate chandelier and its plush curtains, velvet arm chairs and ceiling all painted purple.

Lambeth Road runs down to the River Thames and in Georgian times boats would ferry passengers downstream to the docks – making the address popular with naval families. 

Bligh’s neighbours included William Singleton, a ship’s draughtsman, James Knowles, a naval lexicographer, and Sir Hildebrand Oakes, a vice-admiral who served in Malta. 

Who was Captain William Bligh? 

Born in 1754, at 16 years old William Bligh joined the Navy aboard HMS Hunter as a junior seaman. 

In 1776 Bligh was selected by Captain James Cook as sailing master on HMS Resolution, sailing on Cook’s voyage to the Pacific Ocean. In 1781 he married Elizabeth Betham, the daughter of a customs officer, moving into a house in Battersea where they raised seven children. 

Following the wedding the Admiralty promoted Bligh to serve as senior warrant officer on HMS Belle Poule. 

He and fellow sailor Fletcher Christian (1764-1793) started as friends, serving on three ships together, with Christian and his wife Anne even renting a home in Battersea close to the Bligh family.

In 1787, Bligh was appointed as Captain of HMS Bounty, with Christian selected as master’s mate, for a voyage to transport breadfruit from Tahiti to the West Indies. 

Bligh allegedly bullied his crew, leading to upsets with Christian. HMS Bounty arrived in Tahiti on 26th October 1788 and spent the next five months there. The crew – apart from a furious Bligh – befriended the native women, including Christian who romanced Maimiti, the daughter of the local chief.

On 28th April 1789 mutiny broke out about the HMS Bounty, led by Fletcher Christian, with the mutineers setting Captain Bligh afloat in a small boat with a few crew who had remained loyal to the captain

On 28th April 1789 mutiny broke out about the HMS Bounty, led by Fletcher Christian, with the mutineers setting Captain Bligh afloat in a small boat with a few crew who had remained loyal to the captain

On 4th April 1789, HMS Bounty set sail with its cargo of breadfruit. On 28th April 1789 mutiny broke out, led by Christian, with the mutineers setting Bligh afloat in a small boat with a few crew who had remained loyal to the captain. 

Bligh then undertook a 3,618 nautical mile journey reaching Timor on 14th June 1789. In October 1790, despite allegations that he bullied the crew, Bligh was acquitted at the court martial inquiry into the loss of HMS Bounty.

Following the mutiny, Christian married Maimiti and they sailed to Pitcairn Island, where they planned to build a colony, setting fire to HMS Bounty when they reached the island. 

In 1793 the mutineers got into conflict with local Tahitian men, resulting in violence which killed most of the mutineers, including Christian.

After his exoneration, Bligh served between 1791 to 1793 as captain of HMS Providence. As his family grew, Elizabeth wanted to move to a larger property so in 1794 the newly promoted vice-admiral and family moved into their new house at 100 Lambeth Road. 

In 1805 Bligh was appointed Governor of New South Wales, but Elizabeth was unwilling to undertake the voyage so Bligh was accompanied by his eldest daughter Mary and his son-in-law John Putland, arriving in Australia in February 1806. 

Once again, Bligh’s bullying generated violent feelings against him and in January 1808 he was at the centre of a second mutiny, led by Major George Johnson. Bligh was imprisoned by the mutineers and not freed until 1810. Bligh never again received an important Naval command.

The scandal unleashed in London by the second mutiny led to Elizabeth’s early death in 1812. Bligh died in 1817 and both he and Elizabeth are buried in the nearby Lambeth Churchyard of St Mary-at-Lambeth.  

Captain Bligh’s story is immortalised in five films; he was portrayed by Trevor Howard in the 1962 movie – with Marlon Brandon starring as mutineer Fletcher Christian – and by Anthony Hopkins in 1984, alongside Mel Gibson as Christian. 

Captain Bligh's story is immortalised in five films; he was portrayed by Trevor Howard in the 1962 movie - with Marlon Brandon starring as mutineer Fletcher Christian (pictured) - and by Anthony Hopkins in 1984, alongside Mel Gibson as Christian

Captain Bligh’s story is immortalised in five films; he was portrayed by Trevor Howard in the 1962 movie – with Marlon Brandon starring as mutineer Fletcher Christian (pictured) – and by Anthony Hopkins in 1984, alongside Mel Gibson as Christian

 

Emma Lyall, sales manager at sole agent Frank Harris & Co., said: ‘With its quirky interiors and rich history, this magnificent property is located opposite the grounds of the Imperial War Museum. 

‘William Bligh House is arguably one of London’s most historic houses, a stunning Georgian home where Captain William Bligh, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame, lived after his return from that ill-fated voyage to Tahiti. 

‘The house is also where his wife Elizabeth and family learned of the second, less famous, mutiny that Bligh generated during his time as Governor of New South Wales. 

‘The property could be used as a rental investment or returned into a single family home as it was when Captain Bligh, Elizabeth and their seven children lived at the house.’

Another living room has a distinctly London theme, with Union Jack furnishings and scenes from the capital hanging on the walls

Another living room has a distinctly London theme, with Union Jack furnishings and scenes from the capital hanging on the walls

This guest bedroom continues the British theme, with Union Jack throws on the bed and a cityscape image showing the River Thames on the wall

This guest bedroom continues the British theme, with Union Jack throws on the bed and a cityscape image showing the River Thames on the wall

Once a single home, William Bligh House, which boasts a 35 foot rear garden (pictured) and a 141 sq ft terrace on its first floor, has been turned into a £130-a-night bed and breakfast

Once a single home, William Bligh House, which boasts a 35 foot rear garden (pictured) and a 141 sq ft terrace on its first floor, has been turned into a £130-a-night bed and breakfast

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