Vice-Admiral William Bligh FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society) (9th of September 1754 – 7th of December 1817) was an officer of the Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. The Mutiny on the Bounty occurred during his command of HMS 'Bounty' in 1789; after being set adrift in Bounty's launch by the mutineers, Bligh and his loyal men reached Timor, a journey of 3,618 nautical miles (6,700 km; 4,160 mi).

Seventeen years after the 'Bounty' mutiny, on 13 August 1806, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales in Australia, with orders to clean up the corrupt rum trade of the New South Wales Corps. He arrived in Sydney on 6 August 1806, to become the fourth governor. During his time in Sydney, his confrontational administrative style provoked the wrath of a number of influential settlers and officials.

The conflict between Bligh and the entrenched colonists culminated in another mutiny, the 'Rum Rebellion', when, on 26 January 1808, 400 soldiers of the New South Wales Corps under the command of Major George Johnston marched on Government House in Sydney to arrest Bligh. A petition was written the day of the arrest but most of the 151 signatures were gathered in the days after Bligh's overthrow. Bligh failed to gain support from the authorities in Hobart to retake control of New South Wales, and remained effectively imprisoned on the ship that took him from New South Wales, the HMS 'Porpoise', from 1808 until January 1810.

He died in Lambeth, London, on 7 December 1817.

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