Junior Mutiny

On Boxing Day 1857 off the coast of New Zealand five of the crew of the New Bedford whaling ship Junior killed the captain and third mate and severely wounded the first and second mate. Led by Cyrus Plumer they took over the vessel and sailed to Cape Howe where the mutineers and five other crew escaped in two open whale boats. One boat landed at Ninety Mile Beach and the other at Merimbula where constables Adam Ballantine and John Martin of the Pambula Police joined forces with other local residents to secure the whaleboat & place the four suspects in cuffs. After a trial in Sydney the group were extradited to the United States. The Junior, fitted out as a floating gaol for the journey, departed Sydney in April 1858, by which time all but two of the crew members had been captured. All were found guilty with the ring leader Plumer sentenced to death, but this was eventually commuted to life.The Museum has a pamphlet, Death on the “Junior” for sale.