December 7, 1817: Death of William Bligh. Bligh is best-known for the mutiny that occurred during his command of the HMS Bounty in 1789, but it was not his only brush with disaster. Earlier, he had been a member of Captain Cook's last, and fatal, voyage. In 1797, he was one of the captains subject to the Spithead Mutiny. And, in while Governor of New South Wales, a conflict between Bligh and the colonists resulted in the Rum Rebellion of 1808.