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Mutiny on the Bounty

Everybody knows the intriguing story about the ill-fated 1797 voyage of the HMS Bounty that ended in the famous mutiny. I therefore found it of great interest that our family has a very slight connection to this significant event in history through a very early part of our family in the 1600’s.
John Leverton, who married our Elizabeth Trevethuan, had an elder brother Thomas Leverton who turns out to be the great great grand daughter of Sarah Leverton. Sarah was the mother of Seaman Matthew Quintal (Quintrell), mutineer and ancestor of at least 1,000 persons in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. Sarah and her husband Arthur Quintrell lived in Padstow so would have been well known to the rest of our Trevethan family of that time.

Not a real connection to our family but still an interesting little snippet of family history.

                                 |                                                   |
                  LEVERTON Thomas                               LEVERTON John
                                 |                                         M:Elizabeth TREVETHUAN
                  LEVERTON ........                                  W:St Merryn
                                 |                                         23 Jly 1631
                  LEVERTON ........
                  LEVERTON ........
                  LEVERTON Sarah
                  Bapt:17 Feb 1733
                  W:St Eval
                  M:Arthur QUINTRELL
                  W:25 Apr 1758
                  Seaman Mathew QUINTAL (Quintrell)
                  Mutineer and ancestor of at least 1,000 persons
                  in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

The Battle of Trafalgar

The Battle of Trafalgar was fort on the 21st of October 1805 of the southern coast of Spain at the western entrance to the strait of Gibratar. It turned out to be one of the greatest navel battles in history giving England the undisputed control over the high seas. Admiral Nelson was in command of the 27 British fleet of ship up against the 33 ships from France and Spain. The British did not lose a ship in the battle but captured or destroyed over half on the French and Spanish ships.
You might ask what this has to do with the Trevethan family? An article from an English newspaper tells of eighteen-year-old midshipman John Pollard who killed the person who shot Admiral Nelson from the fighting platform high on the mast of one of the operstions ships. The below article makes interesting reading and as you will see John Pollard went on to marry Matilda Trevethan and thus the connection with the Trevethan family.

Man Who Avenged Nelson.

Mrs Edna Haller, Barnes Court, Burnley, Lancs, writes:

Being an avid reader of your page and noting that you seem to be able to answer so many questions, I am wondering if my one may fox you.

My mother always told me that her great-grandfather, or perhaps it was her great-great, was “the man who shot Lord Nelson” at the battle of Trafalgar, for which he received the King’s Bounty.
Now, whenever I relate this story to my family and friends, they hoot me down. But my mother was adamant about this and I would love to find out if it really is true and has been recorded.
My mother’s maiden name was Pollard and she said this great-grandfather was on her father’s side of the family, which came from Devonshire.

Can you help me stop my disbeliveers laughing?

Clear the decks for action, Edna! As you may know, Lord Nelson was shot by a sniper perched in one of the fighting tops – platforms attached to the mast – of the French ship Redoubtable with which the Victory was locked.

After the fatal shot an English midshipman cleared the French fighting tops of every one of the enemy “until not one was to be seen.”

And the midshipman was thus credited with avenging Nelson was eighteen-year-old John Polland, of Cawsand, Cornwall.

Though also wounded, he doesn’t appear to have received any special award for his action but every member of the fleet was rewarded, his share, as midshipman, being £26 6s Government grant and £10 14s prize money.

Pollard remained in the Royal Navy, being promoted Lieutenant the year after Trafalgar, retiring in 1864 with the rank of Commander.

In the meantime, in August 1828 he married Matilda Trevethan, who bore him six children. John Pollard died in 1868, aged eighty-one.

And if that doesn’t convince your disbelievers, Edna, we suggest they make a trip to the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth, where it is all recorded. And well worth the trip.

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This site was last updated 31-May-2007