Francis Godolphin Bond (1765-1839)
Francis Godolphin Bond was born in Plymouth. He was just 11 years old when he joined the Royal Navy and was only 13 when he was badly injured in a battle. His most significant role came in 1791 when he served with the infamous Captain Bligh – who was his uncle.
Bond served as First Lieutenant on the Providence, which took breadfruit plants to the Caribbean to be cultivated for food for slaves. Bond enjoyed a better relationship with his captain than the mutinous Fletcher Christian did aboard the Bounty in 1789.
In 1797 Bond was promoted to Captain. A few years later he retired from active service after his marriage, settling in Exeter on half pay. In 1839, shortly after reaching the rank of Rear admiral, he died.
Bond was a founder member of the Devon & Exeter Institution and donated some of the wonderful treasures he gathered during his naval career to their collection. The most spectacular is the costume of a chief mourner worn during the funeral of a nobleman, given to Bond in Tahiti in 1791. This extremely rare piece was later added to RAMM’s collections.