Discussion: the men lost from the Pandora wrecking

Analysis of the historical accounts of the wrecking suggest none of the four Bounty mutineers lost with the Pandora are represented by the bones recovered.

Of the 31 crew members lost, several can be discounted from the probability of being confined within the ship's hull, and therefore excluded from being amongst the three individuals found. A summary of the 35 men lost with the Pandora, and their likelihood of being amongst the skeletal remains recovered is provided below. The two most likely candidates for the skeletal material recovered are the two unnamed individuals known to have been killed on the deck of the ship in the hours prior to the sinking.

Bounty mutineersLikelihood
Richard Skinnerlow
George Stewart low
John Sumner low
Henry Hildebrantlow
Pandora crewLikelihoodPandora CrewLikelihood
John Andrews low Jonathan Grimwoodlow
Alexander ArbuthnotpossibleSamuel Hammonduncertain
Joseph Bandy uncertainPatrick Henryuncertain
Robert Bowler possibleEvan Jonesuncertain
Thomas Brixley uncertainWilliam Lyonsuncertain
Robert Brown possibleRichard Mackieuncertain
Thomas Carroll uncertainMartin Maysoneruncertain
William Carter uncertainJames Miller uncertain
James CullemoreuncertainWilliam Perrymanuncertain
William Cray uncertainWilliam Reevesuncertain
William DedworthuncertainWilliam Rodricklow
Daniel Durling uncertainWilliam Skeltonuncertain
George ElingtonuncertainWilliam Swan uncertain
Robert Feauncertain William Thompsonuncertain
William FletcheruncertainRobert Webberuncertain
James Gordonuncertain  

From a historical point of view, this study has attempted to provide an interpretation of the fate of the 35 people who lost their lives when the Pandora sank in 1791. The authors have attempted to shed light on the physical characteristics and lifestyle of three of these men as well as possible, including a detailed historical analysis of the events surrounding the wrecking of the Pandora.

At the time of publication, the authors are attempting detailed DNA analysis of the three Pandora skeletons. The successful extraction of DNA would open up the possibility of positive identification of the Pandora dead and preliminary evidence suggests this might be possible.


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Last updated: Thu Mar 28 2002