Edward Tagart.

A memoir of the late Captain Peter Heywood, R. N.; with extracts from his diaries and correspondence online

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Online LibraryEdward TagartA memoir of the late Captain Peter Heywood, R. N.; with extracts from his diaries and correspondence → online text (page 1 of 21)
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Who is the happy Warrior ? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be ?
'Tis he whose law is reason ; who depends

Upon that law as on the best of friends ;

Who, if he rise to station of command,
Rises by open means ; and there will stand

On honourable terms,

And therefore does not stoop, nor lip in wait
For wealth or honours, or for worldly state ;
A soul whose master- bias leans
To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes.








THE word c Memoir' is prefixed to this Volume
only because the work appeared too long for a hum-
bler title. Notices of Captain Heywood's life have
already been laid before the public in Marshall's
Naval Biography, in the United Service Journal for
April 1831, and in the History of the Mutiny of
the Bounty. Of these sources of information the
author of this volume has freely availed himself;
he trusts not in a manner for which this general
acknowledgment will not be considered satisfactory.
Having been favoured with the perusal of the family
volume containing the transactions and correspon-
dence which took place at the time of the trial,
he had formed the design of drawing up a sketch of
Captain Hey wood's character and eventful history
before the two last-mentioned writings appeared.
That correspondence is of itself quite worthy of
appearing in a detached form. Had there been no
important additions to make to what was already
before the public, two inducements to attempt this
presented themselves to his mind ; one, to afford to
many of his own friends a portion of the pleasure
which he had himself experienced in his acquaint-




ance with the subject of this Memoir, combined with
'some -particulars respecting him which they would
probably never gain from any other source; the
other, to avail himself of the interest attached to
Captain Heywood's life, and the respect very wide-
ly felt for his character, to draw attention to those
religious views which certainly were a marked
feature in that character, were mainly connected
with his vigorous intellect and right feelings, and,
in the author's opinion, are the only true founda-
tion of that love to God and love to man which
constitute the essence of the gospel.

Yet the author is sensible that he owes some
apology to Captain Hey wood's family, and to many
respected friends, for venturing to set forth a work
to which he cannot be qualified to do justice.
With regard to Captain Heywood's merits as an
officer, as a scientific, intelligent, and honourable
member of the naval profession, he can merely re-
peat what has been already said of him, or gather a
little from some very imperfect memoranda. His
contemporaries in the service are probably aware
that he manifested talents of a very superior order
on various occasions, which do not appear in any
writings respecting him, and which, if they did ap-
pear, the author of this volume, from his wholly
different sphere of pursuit, would be incapable of
properly appreciating.


THE following list of Charts, constructed by the late
Captain P. Hey wood, of the Royal Navy, has been kindly
furnished to the Author by Mr. Horsburgh. It appears
to be a proper accompaniment to this volume.

1. A Chart of Rio de la Plata, with complete Sailing
Directions for that river. The latter were published by
the Committee of Lloyd's ; and are also inserted in
Horsburgh's India Directory. The Chart has not been

2. A large Chart, in two sheets, of South Africa and
the Madagascar Seas from the Cape of Good Hope to the
Equator. Published by James Horsburgh.

3. A Chart of the Malabar Coast from Goa to Cape
Comorin. Published by the late Mr. Dalrymple, Hydro-
grapher to the Admiralty.

4. A Plan of Mergee River, on the Malabar Coast.
Published by the late Mr. Dalrymple, Hydrographer to
the Admiralty.

5. A Chart of the South and East Coast of Ceylon
from Colombo, round to Point Pedro, the N.E. point
Published at the Hydrographical Office, Admiralty.

6. A Survey made by himself, under the authority of
Admiral Rainier, of Point Pedro Shoal, at the N.E. ex-
tremity of Ceylon, and from thence along the Coast of
Coromandel to Karical. Published by Mr. Dalrymple.

7. A Chart of the Bay of Bengal. Not engraved.


8. A Chart of the Coasts embracing the Gulf of Mar-

taban. Not engraved.

9. A Survey of the Typa of Macao (Canton River).

Published in 1826, by R. Laurie.

10. Track Chart among the Philippine Islands and
Bashees. Not published.

11. A Chart of the Straits of Basseelan. Published
by Mr. Dalrymple.

12. A Plan of Pollock Bay, Mindanao. Published by
Mr. Dalrymple.

13. A Chart of the Straits and Islands near the West
end of Timor. Not engraved.

14. A Chart of the Banda Sea, and dangers between
Timor and New Holland, the latter explored by Captain
Hey wood. Not published.

15. A Chart of Sangir and Togalando Passages, North
of Celebes. Published by Mr. Dalrymple.

Exclusive of the above, Captain Heywood delineated
some other plans of shoals, and anchoring places, of which
no copy is in my possession. But the positions or geo-
graphical situations of many places and dangers, through-
out the Eastern seas, were furnished to me by my late
much-esteemed friend Captain Heywood, which, together
with his valuable observations made in navigating those
seas, have essentially contributed to render my Sailing
Directory for the Indian navigation much more perfect
than it would otherwise have been.




Captain Hey wood was among the first who paid
particular attention to the use of Chronometers at
sea, and aided in bringing that art to perfection.
The arrangement of the signals at present in use in
the English Navy is understood to have been in-
debted to him for some very beneficial suggestions.
He constructed many valuable Charts of seas whose
navigation was wholly unknown before he register-
ed his observations. But perhaps his chief excel-
lence as an officer was the activity and singleness
of his attention to the duties of his station -his
conscientiousness in their discharge together with
an entire freedom from ordinary weaknesses of cha-
racter, from selfish ends and aims, which gave him
an easy superiority in command, and invariably at-
tached all around him to his person.

It was the author's chief wish to exhibit his cha-
racter as a man. But for this also, his qualifica-
tions are feeble. Acquainted with him only a short
time before his death, and that when his health was
declining, how many traits of character must have
escaped his knowledge ! A great and good charac-
ter, like one of nature's varied landscapes, may be
admired at the first glance, but it requires to be seen
in every variety of light and shade, to be again and
again contemplated from one advantageous position
and another, before all its value can be appreciated.
How many scenes are there, that can never appear
at first to the eye of the most ardent and tasteful


lover of the beautiful works of God with that deep
and peculiar feeling of fond admiration, that com-
prehension of all their latent sources of interest and
value, which time and familiarity have wrought for
them in the heart of one who has been their com-
panion from the rising to the going down of the
sun, who has watched their varying aspect in
stillness and in storm ! Captain Heywood's was
no ordinary mind. With that reserve which is al-
ways more or less the accompaniment of self-respect,
never obtruding himself on the attention, he had
4 that within which passeth show/ He was one of
those richly-endowed beings, with respect to whose
minds every succeeding interview impresses upon
you the conviction, that there is still many an un-
discovered vein of valuable ore to become the prize
of some further acquaintance.

While the author confesses these disqualifica-
tions, he will be happy to see his omissions sup-
plied, his errors corrected, by others who have en-
joyed superior opportunities. Aware that many of
Captain Heyw r ood*s letters are in the possession of
his friends, and that a large collection of them has
been made, he has of course been often tempted to
wish that he could have enriched his volume with
more of Captain Hey wood's correspondence. The
author owns he has no reason to make the observa-
tion from experience ; but it is a difficult and deli-
cate thing to apply as a stranger to strangers more


especially when the purpose of the applicant might
be viewed with a very doubtful eye. He has been
checked, too, by the remembrance of Captain Hey-
wood's peculiar modesty and reserve, his disincli-
nation to have his name and sentiments paraded
before the public eye a disinclination sufficiently
manifested by the fact that he destroyed a consider-
able number of manuscripts before his death, per-
haps the only materials for a faithful representation
of his whole mind.

To the Mutiny of the Bounty the author owes
more than general acknowledgment. With a few
verbal alterations, the general arrangement and con-
necting links of the correspondence which took
place previous to the trial have been adopted from
that volume. It appeared unnecessary to attempt an
improvement. But in the course of transcription
for the press, some passages have escaped that refer-
ence to their source which ought to have been ob-
served, particularly the introduction of the quota-
tion from Lord Byron, with the preceding remarks
in the narration of the shipwreck of the Pandora,
which appeared too apt to be torn from their asso-
ciation ; and the observations on Christian's motives
for detaining Hey wood, with the note, pp. 150
152. Yet in this part of the Memoir some addi-
tions have been made to the correspondence from
that family volume to which the historian of the
Mutiny of the Bounty acknowledges his obligations.


The author has only to add, that for the appear-
ance of this volume and its contents he alone is re-
sponsible. The diaries, from which some extracts
are given, were entrusted to his hands by Mrs.
Hey wood out of regard to the interest which that
lady knew the author to feel in Captain Heywood's
memory, and to enable him to see better what Cap-
tain Heywood was, but without any view to publi-
cation. Upon himself, therefore, must entirely rest
the blame, if there be any, arising from their ap-
pearance. He has endeavoured to avoid every
thing w r hich could apply otherwise than pleasantly
to any living individual. To have done otherwise
would have been injustice to Captain Heywood's
memory as well as to the parties concerned.

He hopes that, although he may not have been
successful in giving a perfect picture of this beloved
and respected man, there may yet be found in this
volume a sufficiently rude outline of his life and cha-
racter to render it not unworthy the occasional con-
templation of those who knew and loved him best.
4 Passing sweet are the domains of tender memory ;'
and in these domains no spots are sweeter than
the haunts of departed worth the spots where we
can meet and converse again with the honoured and
virtuous dead.

( vii )




Birth and parentage of Peter Hey wood makes his first voyage
in the Bounty Mutiny unfavourable sentiments of Lieu-
tenant Bligh Pandora sent in search of the Mutineers
Heywood hastens on board the Pandora, and is confined in
irons wreck of that vessel, and Heywood's sufferings
Heywood's letter to his Mother from Batavia Miss N. Hey-
wood's letters to Mr. Heywood, of Maristow, and Commo-
dore Pasley Heywood's arrival at Portsmouth after great
sufferings - - .. - - - - - 1 52


Correspondence of Peter Heywood with his Mother and Sisters
during his confinement on board the Hector awaiting his
trial letters from Commodore Pasley to Miss N. Heywood
and Peter Miss N. Heywood anxious to visit her brother,
but is dissuaded lines composed by Peter Heywood at Ota-
heite Peter Heywood's letter to his Mother, correcting the
story of his swimming off to the Pandora, and describing his
conduct on the island letters from Colonel Holwell, Dr.
Scott, and Commodore Pasley ..-. 53 95


The trial evidence of the witnesses Mr. Heywood's defence
Heywood found guilty, and is sentenced to death, but re-
commended to mercy remarks Nessy Heywood's impa-
tience to join her brother Mr. Graham's consolatory letter
to Dr. Scott Heywood's letter to the same, expressing his
resignation touching letter to his mother Nessy Heywood
visits Mr. Graham in London Peter Heywood's remarks on
material points of the evidence transmitted to the Earl of
Chatham Nessy Heywood's letter accompanying them
despatch of the warrant granting a full and free pardon to
Heywood consequent correspondence Heywood's restora-
tion to his family lines written by Mr. Heywood on the
days of his condemnation and pardon 96 163




Heywood re-enters the navy -his gradual promotion takes
the command of the Vulcan at Amboyna surveys the island
of Ceylon Admiral Rainier's honourable testimony to his
services returns to England in company with James Hors-
burgh, Esq. becomes Captain of the Polyphemus in 1806
proceeds to the Rio de la Plata description of Port Praya
and Cape Town of the climate and country of Monte Video
returns to England assists Mr. Horsburgh in constructing
charts engaged for a short time on the French coast, and
receives the thanks of the Admiralty for his conduct in the
presence of a French squadron receives a commission for
the Nereus, and joins Lord Collingwood in the Mediterra-
nean procures the admission of British forces into the for-
tress of Ceuta returns to England with the remains of Lord
Collingwood employed in the Rio de la Plata on various
confidential services account of Tristrian D'Acunha, Gough's
Island, and Benguela observations on the contest between
the Junta of Buenos Ayres and the Government at Monte
Video various transactions on that station honourable tes-
timonies of the British merchants to Captain Heywood's ser-
vices returns home paper on the commerce to the Rio de
la Plata is again employed on the South American station
observations on the government and inhabitants of Buenos
Ayres letters to Lord Melville on the state of Chili Capt.
Heywood prevails on the Government of Buenos Ayres to
permit the exportation of specie he returns to England,
and again receives the thanks of the merchants for his re-
marks on the Rio de la Plata is appointed to the command
of the Montagu, and ordered to the Mediterranean letter
describing his meeting with two unfortunate Taheitians
opinions on American naval officers the Montagu paid off
at Chatham seaman's farewell to H. M. S. Montagu Capt.
Heywood retires from professional duty 164303


Captain Hey wood's marriage letter to Lord Melville declining
the rank of Commodore letter on the state of Greece and
its subjection to the priesthood his moral excellence and
religious views his last illness and death 304333


P. 94, Hue 12, for " sed tout," read set taut.

P. 288, line 3 of note, for " meeting," read mutiny



PETER HEY WOOD, the fourth son of Peter John
Heywood, Esq., was born at the Nunnery, near
Douglas, on the 6th of June, 1773. His father
was a Deemster of the Isle of Man, and Seneschal
to his Grace the Duke of Athol.

No particulars of his early years have reached us,
except that he was educated by the Rev. Mr.
Hunter, at Nantwich. Were it possible to trace
the history of his boyish days, there is every thing
in his subsequent life to inspire the belief, that he
would be found honourably distinguished among his
compeers by various traits of superior talent and
generous disposition.

At the early age of fifteen, he entered the Naval
Service, on the llth of October, 1786. Even at
that age he was the object, not only of the warmest
affection, but of the entire confidence and unquali-
fied esteem of his family. In the words of a be-
loved sister, who will shortly be introduced to the
reader's acquaintance, " Nothing but conviction
from his own mouth could possibly persuade her,


that he would commit an action inconsistent with
honour and duty." It is certain that his behaviour
and letters, under the extraordinary and awful
scenes of suffering which awaited him on his very
entrance into life, display a strength and nobleness
of soul to which no epitaph can do justice ; which
must reflect great credit upon his domestic training,
and, without other evidence, attract our respect
towards that family of which he was a member.
Indeed, his conduct and sentiments, whilst he was
yet a boy, exhibit a spirit so rare and extraordinary,
as almost to justify the conviction, that the natures
of some human beings are of a superior quality,
setting them at once above the common level of
their species that, in the language of the great
poet of human nature, "they are born great," and
that circumstances are but the occasions of develop-
ing this native greatness this inherent dignity,
which attaches to them from the cradle to the


Peter Heywood made his first voyage as a Mid-
shipman in the Bounty, a ship of about two hundred
and fifty tons' burthen, which had been fitted up by
government, under the care of Sir Joseph Bankes,
for the purpose of conveying the Bread Fruit and
other plants from Otaheite to the West Indies.
This was done in consequence of the representations
of the merchants and planters, that essential benefit
would be derived from their introduction into the
West-Indian colonies.

On the 23d of December, 1787, the Bounty
sailed from Spithead, under the command of Lieu-
tenant William Bligh. The melancholy issue of
the voyage is very generally known. For the
details of its history, the character of Bligh, and the
circumstances which sowed the seeds of discord
between the crew and their commander, the reader
may be referred to the twenty-fifth number of the
Family Library, and Marshall's Naval Biography.
It suffices here to mention, that, after a hazardous
and unsuccessful attempt to sail round Cape Horn,
the Bounty turned away towards the Cape of Good
Hope, touched in Adventure Bay, Van Diemen's
Land, August the 20th, 1788, and anchored in
Matavia Bay, October 26th, where she remained
six months. The vessel was on her way home,
laden with bread fruit and other plants, in flourish-
ing condition, having so far fulfilled the object of
her voyage, when between the hours of 4 and 8,
A. M., on the 28th of April, 1789, the unhappy
catastrophe, fraught with so many terrible conse-
quences, took place.

Mr. Christian, the master's mate, who, in conse-
quence of his skill as a seaman, had been doing
lieutenant's duty the greater part of the voyage, was
called at the appointed hour to relieve the watch.
His mind had been deeply wounded by some angry
and insulting words that had fallen from his com-
mander in a dispute two days before ; and it ap-
pears that he had formed the design of quitting the

B 2

ship the first opportunity, having prepared with
that view a stout plank and staves for a raft, deter-
mined at all risks to commit himself to the waves.
When he came on deck to take the command of the
watch, he found the two midshipmen, who were
mates of the watch, Hay ward and Hallet, asleep.
Relying on the disaffection of many of the crew, he
instantly changed his purpose of quitting, into the
far more daring one of seizing the shi"p. Under
pretence of wanting to shoot a shark, he obtained
the keys of the arm chest from the gunner, and,
placing arms in the hands of those whom he could
trust, he effected his purpose without resistance
and without delay. Lieutenant Bligh and eighteen
innocent companions were cast adrift in the launch,
a boat scarcely large enough to sustain the burthen ;
with such scanty provisions as the compassion of
the more tender-hearted part of the crew supplied,
and opportunity enabled them to throw into the
boat. To the astonishment of all concerned, and
of those, too, who read the interesting account of
their sufferings in one of the most extraordinary
voyages eyer made, twelve out of the nineteen lived
to reach their country and their homes.

Young Heywood, now in his sixteenth year,
awoke from his sleep in the midst of these transac-
tions. To his surprise, his eye was caught by the un-
usual sight of a seaman sitting on an arm-chest, with
a drawn cutlass in his hand. In reply to his in-
quiries respecting the cause of it, he heard that the

ship had been taken from the captain, who was
already confined, and was to be sent home a pri-
soner. Heywood then ran on deck, and in a
stupor of amazement beheld the proceedings. For
some minutes he stood uncertain whether to com-
mit himself to what appeared to be certain death,
by going with his lieutenant in the boat, or to
remain in the ship ; but, as was natural, he inclined
to the latter. Upon the representation of a com-
panion of the probable danger of remaining, he ran
down to his berth to fetch some clothes, with a final
resolution of accompanying the launch, when his
companion, Mr. Stewart, and himself were forcibly
kept below by one of the crew named Churchill,
who presented a pistol at the breast of the first that
attempted to mount. Thus Mr. P. Heywood, who
had not yet completed his sixteenth year, and of
whom Lieutenant Bligh declares, that previous to
this time, " his conduct had always given him
much pleasure and satisfaction," arid upon whom
it really appears, that his greatest hopes of sup-
pressing the mutiny rested, was numbered with the
guilty mutineers, " compelled, by circumstances
over which he had no controul, to associate for
a time with the misguided men who so grossly
offended against the laws of their country."

Lieutenant Bligh, singularly preserved from a
complication of dangers, landed at the Isle of Wight
on the 14th of March, 1790. Soon after his arrival
he published a Narrative of the Voyage and Mutiny,

in which every thing is naturally represented in the
light most favourable to himself; and great allow-
ance must surely be made for the colouring of a
mind exasperated, by the remembrance of suffering,
against the authors of his losses and disappoint-
ments, and of all the miseries which he and his com-
panions endured. But, as the author of the History
of the Mutiny justly observes, no excuse can be
found for one who deeply and unfeelingly, without
provocation and in cold blood, inflicts a wound on
the heart of a widowed mother, already torn with
anguish and tortured by suspense for a beloved
son, whose life w r as in imminent jeopardy.

About the end of March, 1790, two months
subsequent to the death of a most beloved and
lamented husband, Mrs. Heywood received the af-
flicting information, but by report only, of a mutiny
having taken place on board the Bounty. In that
ship Mrs. Heywood's son had been serving as mid-
shipman, who, when he left his home in August,
1787, was under fifteen years of age, a boy de-
servedly admired and beloved by all who knew him,
and to his own family almost an object of adoration,
for his superior understanding and the amiable
qualities of his disposition. In a state of mind
little short of distraction, on hearing this fatal in-
telligence, which was at the same time aggravated
by every circumstance of guilt that calumny or
malice could invent with respect to this unfortunate
youth, who was said to be one of the ringleaders, and

to have gone armed into the captain's cabin, his
mother addressed a letter to Captain Bligh, dictated
by a mother's tenderness, and strongly expressive of
the miseries she must necessarily feel on such an

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Online LibraryEdward TagartA memoir of the late Captain Peter Heywood, R. N.; with extracts from his diaries and correspondence → online text (page 1 of 21)