Friday October Christian
named Thursday October, he was the eldest child of Fletcher and
Maimiti, born October 29, 1790, the first baby born after the
settlement of Pitcairn Island.
It was Thursday October, with two others who, in February 1808, ventured out in a canoe to greet 'Topaz',
an American sealing vessel commanded by Captain Mayhew Folger, the
first ship to call at Pitcairn since the mutineers sought sanctuary
there in 1790. The captain reported being highly surprised to be
greeted in the English language by these young men.
changed his name to Friday October in 1814 when the time on Pitcairn
was amended; it had been incorrect since 1790 when the mutineers failed
to allow for crossing the international date line. This coincided with
the visit of two ships, HMS 'Briton' and HMS 'Tagus' (definitive 15 cent stamp). The likeness of Friday October is based on the drawing made by Lieut. J. Shilliber of the 'Briton'.
In March 1831 the little Pitcairn community was transported to Tahiti (on the 'Lucy Anne'
- see definitive 30 cent stamp), and kindly received by the Tahitians,
but they did not feel at home. They had no immunity to infectious
diseases and many fell ill. "Friday October was the first to die, and
during the next two months there were to be ten more deaths, before the
disheartened and homesick community were returned to their island
home," - on the 'Charles Doggett' (see definitive 35 cent stamp).
left a son, also named Thursday October, who lived to a ripe old age,
thus causing a measure of confusion to students of Pitcairn lore.
Sept. 30, 1829, to Polly, daughter of Friday October and Edward, son of
Edward Young of the Bounty, Moses was a young man of 27 when in 1856
the Pitcairners, now numbering 194, were again removed from their home,
this time to Norfolk Island.
Most were well satisfied with "the
greater household conveniences, the larger educational privileges,
[and] the easier access to and communication with the outside world"
but a few remained homesick for Pitcairn.
In 1859 "two families
comprising Moses and Mayhew Young with their wives and twelve children
(10 of whom were girls) reoccupied the abandoned settlement of Pitcairn
Island" - just in time to stop it being annexed by the French. The
returning settlers found their houses in poor repair and their gardens
overgrown - "it was a Robinson Crusoe existence for the little group
and especially for the children." Under the leadership of Moses and
Maynew they prospered and five years later were joined by a second
group of returning settlers. Moses died of old age in 1909.
stamp design is based on an engraving which appeared in 'The Graphic'
of 22 November 1879, made to commemorate the visit to Pitcairn by
James Russell McCoy
Born Sept. 4, 1845, son of Matthew and Margaret McCoy, and great-grandson of both Fletcher Christian and William McCoy.
on Pitcairn and transported to Norfolk with the rest of the
community he returned to Pitcairn in 1859 with his mother, by then Mrs
Mayhew Young, and his 5 sisters. As a lad of 14 he and his sister Sarah
started a school for the younger children and he shouldered adult
responsibilities at a very early age. It is no surprise that he was
"first elected Magistrate in 1870 at the age of 25, and for the next 37
years was executive head on no less that 22 occasions."
captain described him as "able and energetic and as having much more of
the Englishman in his features, colour, manner and tone of thought than
any of the other men now on this island of the original stock." He had
lived for some time in London and Liverpool, and had revisited Norfolk
in 1872 where he was confirmed in the newly built St Barnabas' Chapel.
"Autocratic though he often was, he provided the firm rule that
Pitcairn needed", and he was respected for his personal courage and
In 1900 when a captain was about to run his ship and
slowly smouldering cargo on the rocks of Pitcairn, McCoy is said to
have piloted her three hundred miles to Mangareva where he successfully
beached her, still burning. Exploits such as this are still remembered.
He died in 1924.
The stamp design is again taken from a likeness made at the time of the 'Opal's' visit.
Rosalind Amelia Young
Described in the 'Graphic' article as "Miss Young, organist of the Island," Rosalind was a gentle, talented person.
in 1853, she was only three when her family sailed to Norfolk, and she
returned to Pitcairn as a ten year old when her father Simon Young led
a further four families back home in 1864. Rosalind had a lively
intelligence and always regretted leaving behind the educational
opportunities of Norfolk.
This did not stop her helping her
father teach the younger children in the school, and in 1894 her
celebrated book "Mutiny of the Bounty and Story of Pitcairn Island 1790
- 1894" was published. This, now rare work, is an invaluable
contribution to our knowledge of the Island's history. To quote its
"The present work is written by a native of the
island, and one who has practically spent her whole life on the island,
a few years of her childhood only having been spent on Norfolk Island.
While her lifetime does not cover quite one-half the time covered by
the history of the island, she had access for many years to one at
least who remembered events that occurred before the beginning of the
present century. The author's father was the second oldest man of the
community at the time of his death, in September 1893, and was a
grandson of John Adams, one of the mutineers of the Bounty, whose death
took place in 1829. She has thus had the best of
advantages for obtaining a correct knowledge of the island history."
In later years she married David Neild, a New Zealander, and died in 1924.
and information have been taken from :- Mutiny of the Bounty and Story
of Pitcairn Island by Rosalind Amelia Young, The Pitcairnese Language
by A.S.C. Ross and Guide to Pitcairn Island - 5th edition.)
07 March 1994 5c, 20c, $1.80,
Mint and CTO $5.05
07 March 1994
5c, 20c, $1.80, $3.00
House of Questa Ltd
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14 per 2 cm
50 (2 x 25)
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