William McCoy

William McCoy

Death 1799 (aged 35–36)
Burial Body lost or destroyed, Specifically: Unmarked grave on Pitcairn Island
Memorial ID 9263764 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Mutineer. An Able-bodied Seaman on the HMS Bounty, he had an active role in the mutiny on April 28, 1789. He later voted to sail with Fletcher Christian to Pitcairn and was one of the first three men (along with Christian and mutineer John Williams) to explore the uninhabited island. On "Massacre Day", September 20, 1793, McCoy narrowly escaped being killed by furious Tahitians, fleeing into the mountains with Matthew Quintal. McCoy's demise is one of the more mysterious among the Bounty crew. He had worked in a brewery before joining the navy, and in 1797 he succeeded in distilling a potent liquor from the ti-root. This ushered in a period of wild drunkeness on Pitcairn. According to mutineer John Adams, McCoy became addicted to his home brew and as a consequence suffered delirium tremens. In mid-1799, during a bout of the DT's, McCoy allegedly tied a stone around his neck and threw himself into the sea from a high cliff. Years later, however, a Tahitian woman on Pitcairn claimed that when McCoy's body washed ashore, he was discovered with his hands and feet bound with rope, suggesting that his "suicide" was really the work of Adams and fellow mutineer Ned Young.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

Family Members



See more McCoy memorials in:


How famous was William McCoy?

Current rating:

24 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 3 Aug 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9263764
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William McCoy (1763–1799), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9263764, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Body lost or destroyed, who reports a Unmarked grave on Pitcairn Island.