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Pitcairn Island lies in the South Pacific about half way between Australia and South America. It consists of the island of Pitcairn and the three uninhabited islands named Henderson, Duicie, and Oeno. It was discovered by a seaman aboard HMS Swallow who named it for his father, Major Pitcairn.

Pitcairn was settled in 1790 by British mutineers from the ship Bounty, commanded by Capt. William Bligh. It was annexed as a British colony in 1838. Overpopulation forced removal of the settlement to Norfolk Island in 1856, but about 40 persons soon returned.

The descendants of First Mate Fletcher Christian, the 8 other mutineers, and the dozen or so Tahitians who accompanied them still inhabit the island, and, in addition to English, they speak a dialect that is a mixture of Tahitian and 18th-century English.