Captain Bligh’s tomb is situated at the back of the Garden Museum in Lambeth which used to be called St Mary at Lambeth. When I went to film the Garden Museum there wasn’t anyone available but I my interest was mostly in Captain Bligh.
Captain Bligh was a remarkable man who witnessed the death of Captain Cook in Hawaii and was forever regretful that more of Cook’s men didn’t go to the aid of their captain. Bligh was a lower ranked officer in those days but when he was given command of The Bounty to collect breadfruit plants from Tahiti his obsession with discipline, which led to the mutiny, might have stemmed from his memories of Captain Cook.
It’s remarkable that Captain Bligh has a tomb in London at all considering he was set adrift in the Pacific Ocean with a handful of men and meagre food rations. Somehow he managed to navigate for 48 days to East Timor!
In fact, he only lost one man to hostile natives on the island of Tofoa (modern day Tonga). Whilst Captain Bligh was making his way home, Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutineers, had taken The Bounty to search for a hiding place as it was a hangable offence. He eventually found the uninhabited Pitcairn Island where their descendants remain today. I found this so fascinating that I even made a full length award winning documentary Take Me To Pitcairn about my attempt to reach Pitcairn. Still pretty tough today!
The Pedlars Window
Another reason I like this church is because I am a genuine pedlar who holds a pedlars certificate and my first ever documentary was called “My Evil Trade – A Pedlars Life“. At this church (now the Garden Museum) can be found the Pedlars Window. A pedlar who became quite wealthy donated an acre of land to the church on condition that they remember him and his dog here. The Pedlar’s Acre is where County Hall now stands but of course if you try peddling there you get checked off! Outrageous!
It’s a great place to start a Joolz Guides walk! Try this one! Joolz River Walk