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William McCoy (c.1763 – 20 April 1798) was a Scottish sailor and a mutineer on board HMS Bounty.

William McCoy
Bornc. 1763
Died20 April 1798
ChildrenDaniel, Catherine


Bounty mutinyEdit

Following the mutiny led by Fletcher Christian, the Bounty was taken to Tahiti for a few days before being compelled to set sail. McCoy joined Christian and seven other mutineers. They took eleven Tahitian women and six men with them. After months at sea, the mutineers discovered the uninhabited Pitcairn Island and settled there in January 1790.

Personal lifeEdit

McCoy had one consort, Teio, and fathered two children, Daniel and Catherine. After three years, a conflict broke out between the Tahitian men and the mutineers, resulting in the deaths of all the Tahitian men and five of the Englishmen (including Fletcher Christian). McCoy (Scottish) was one of the survivors.


McCoy discovered how to distill alcohol from the sweet syrup of the ti tree root.[1][2] He, Matthew Quintal, and some of the women would lie around all day in a drunken stupor. On 20 April 1798, while drunk, he killed himself by tying a stone to his neck and leaping off a cliff.[3][4]

Further readingEdit

  • Christiane Conway (2005) Letters from the Isle of Man - The Bounty-Correspondence of Nessy and Peter Heywood, The Manx Experience, ISBN 1-873120-77-X


  1. ^ "William McCoy". Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  2. ^ Oxbridge Reverend Schoolmasters (1884). The Boy's Own Annual, Volume 6. Boy's Own Paper. p. 684.
  3. ^ Dening, Greg (1998). Readings/writings. Melbourne University Publish. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-522-84841-0. Extract of page 181
  4. ^ Marks, Kathy (2009). Lost Paradise: From Mutiny on the Bounty to a Modern-Day Legacy of Sexual Mayhem, the Dark Secrets of Pitcairn Island Revealed. Simon and Schuster. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-4165-9784-1. Extract of page 17

External linksEdit