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Title: Pirates
Author: Johnson, Charles, fl. 1724-1736
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Pirates" ***

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                   OF SUNDRY
               NOTORIOUS PIRATES



 _With a _Foreword_ and sundry _Decorations_ by_

                C. Lovat Fraser


                  _NEW YORK:_

_First American Edition_

_Printed in the United States of America_

_Printed in Great Britain by Billing and Sons, Ltd., Guildford and

[Illustration: CAPTAIN AVERY]



    Foreword                                             vii

    The Life of Captain Avery                              1

    Captain John Rackham, and his Crew                    17

    Captain Spriggs, and his Crew                         29

    Captain Edward Lowe, and his Crew                     37

    Captain George Lowther, and his Crew                  51

    Captain Anstis, and his Crew                          65

    Captain John Phillips, and his Crew                   77

    Captain Teach, _alias_ Blackbeard                     87

    Major Stede Bonnet and his Crew                      101

    Captain William Kid                                  117

    Captain Edward England, and his Crew                 135

    Captain John Gow, _alias_ Smith, and his Crew        145


    Captain Avery                             _frontispiece_

    Captain John Rackham                   _facing page_  19

    Captain Edward Lowe                          "        39

    Captain Teach                                "        89

    Major Stede Bonnet                           "       103

    Captain William Kid                          "       119

    Captain Edward England                       "       137

    Captain John Gow                             "       147



Time, though a good Collector, is not always a reliable Historian.
That is to say, that although nothing of interest or importance is
lost, yet an affair may be occasionally invested with a glamour that
is not wholly its own. I venture to think that Piracy has fortuned in
this particular. We are apt to base our ideas of Piracy on the
somewhat vague ambitions of our childhood; and I suppose, were such a
thing possible, the consensus of opinion in our nurseries as to a
future profession in life would place Piracy but little below the
glittering heights of the police force and engine-driving. Incapable
of forgetting this in more mature years, are we not inclined to deck
Her (the "H" capital, for I speak of an ideal), if not in purple and
fine linen, at least with a lavish display of tinsel and gilt? Nursery
lore remains with us, whether we would or not, for all our lives; and
generations of ourselves, as schoolboys and pre-schoolboys, have
tricked out Piracy in so resplendent a dress that she has fairly
ousted in our affections, not only her sister profession of "High Toby
and the Road," but every other splendid and villainous vocation. Yet
Teach, Kid, and Avery were as terrible or grim as Duval, Turpin, and
Sheppard were courtly or whimsical. And the terrible is a more vital
affair than the whimsical. Is it, then, unnatural that, after a lapse
of nigh on two centuries, we should shake our wise heads and allow
that which is still nursery within us to deplore the loss of those
days when we ran--before a favouring "Trade"--the very good chance of
being robbed, maimed, or murdered by Captain Howel Davis or Captain
Neil Gow? It is as well to remember that the "Captains" in this book
were seamen whose sole qualifications to the title were ready wit, a
clear head, and, maybe, that certain indefinable "power of the eye"
that is the birth-right of all true leaders. The piratical hero of our
childhood is traceable in a great extent to the "thrillers," toy
plays, and penny theatres of our grandfathers. Here our Pirate was, as
often as not, a noble, dignified, if gloomy gentleman, with a leaning
to Byronic soliloquy. Though stern in exterior, his heart could (and
would) melt at the distresses of the heroine. Elvira's eyes were
certain to awaken in his mind the recollection of "other eyes as
innocent as thine, child." In short, he was that most touching of all
beings, the Hero-cum-Villain. And it was with a sigh of relief that we
saw him at the eleventh hour, having successfully twitted the
"Government Men" and the Excise (should he have an additional penchant
for smuggling), safely restored to the arms of the long-suffering
possessor of the other eyes.

Alas! this little book mentions no Poll of Portsmouth, nor does it
favour us with a "Yeo, heave, oh!" nor is there so very much "cut and
thrust" about it. It was written in that uninspiring day when Pirates
were a very real nuisance to such law-abiding folk as you and I; but
it has the merit of being written, if not by a Pirate, at least by one
who came into actual contact with them. I am not at all sure that
"merit" is the right word to use in this instance, for to be a Pirate
does not necessarily ensure you making a good author. Indeed, it might
almost be considered as a ban to the fine literary technique of an
Addison or a Temple. It has, however, the virtue of being in close
touch with some of the happenings chronicled. Not that our author saw
above a tithe of what he records--had he done so he would have been
"set a-sun-drying" at Execution Dock long before he had had the
opportunity of putting pen to paper; but, as far as posterity was
concerned, he was lucky in his friend William Ingram--evidently a
fellow of good memory and a ready tongue--"who," as our author states
in his Preface, "was a Pirate under Anstis, Roberts, and many others,"
and who eventually was hanged in good piratical company on the 11th
of June, 1714.

The actual history of the little book, the major part of which is here
reprinted, is as follows:

Its full title is "The History and Lives of all the most Notorious
Pirates and their Crews," and the fifth edition, from which our text
is taken, was printed in 1735. A reproduction of the original
title-page is given overleaf.

As a matter of fact, the title is misleading. How could a book that
makes no mention of Morgan or Lollonois be a history of _all_ the most
notorious Pirates? It deals with the last few years of the seventeenth
century and the first quarter of the eighteenth, a period that might
with justice be called "The Decline and Fall of Piracy," for after
1730 Piracy became but a mean broken-backed affair that bordered
perilously on mere sea-pilfering.

[Illustration: THE


Of all the most Notorious




From Capt. AVERY, who first settled at _Madagascar_, to Captain _John
Gow_, and _James Williams_, his Lieutenant, _&c._ who were hang'd at
_Execution Dock_, _June_ 11, 1725, for Piracy and Murther; and
afterwards hang'd in Chains between _Blackwall_ and _Deptford_. And in
this Edition continued down to the present Year 1735.

Giving a more full and true Account than any yet Publish'd, of all
their Murthers, Piracies, Maroonings, Places of Refuge, and Ways of

The Fifth Edition.

Adorned with Twenty Beautiful CUTS, being the Representation of each

To which is prefixed, _An Abstract of the Laws against Piracy_.

LONDON: Printed for _A. Bettesworth_ and _C. Hitch_, at the _Red Lyon_
in _Pater-noster-Row_; _R. Ware_, at the _Sun_ and _Bible_ in
_Amen-Corner_; and _J. Hodges_, at the _Looking-glass_ on
_London-bridge_. 1735.]

A little research into the book's history shows us that it is
consistent throughout, and that it is a "piracy," in the publisher's
sense of the word, of a much larger and more pretentious work by
Captain Charles Johnson, entitled, "A General History of the Pyrates
from their first Rise and Settlement in the Island of Providence to
the Present Time; With the Remarkable Actions and Adventures of the
two Female Pyrates Mary Read and Anne Bonny."

This was published in London, in 8vo., by Charles Rivington in 1724. A
second edition, considerably augmented, was issued later in the same
year, a third edition in the year following, and a fourth edition--in
two volumes, as considerable additions in the form of extra "Lives,"
and an appendix necessitated a further volume--in 1725.

This two-volume edition contained the history of the following
Pirates: Avery, Martel, Teach, Bonnet, England, Vane, Rackham, Davis,
Roberts, Anstis, Morley, Lowther, Low, Evans, Phillips, Spriggs,
Smith, Misson, Bowen, Kid, Tew, Halsey, White, Condent, Bellamy, Fly,
Howard, Lewis, Cornelius, Williams, Burgess, and North, together with
a short abstract on the Statute and Civil Law in relation to
"Pyracy," and an appendix, completing the Lives in the first volume,
and correcting some mistakes.

The work evidently enjoyed a great vogue, for it was translated into
Dutch by Robert Hannebo, of Amsterdam, in 1727, and issued there, with
several "new illustrations," in 12mo. A German version by Joachim
Meyer was printed at Gosslar in the following year, while in France it
saw the light as an appendix to an edition of Esquemeling's "Histoire
des Avanturiers," 1726.

But little is known of the author, Captain Charles Johnson, excepting
that he flourished from 1724 to 1736, and it is more than probable
that the name by which we know him is an assumed one. It is possible
that his knowledge of Pirates and Piracy was of such a nature to have
justified awkward investigations on the part of His Majesty's

There is one thing that we do know for certain about him, and that is
that the worthy Captain's spelling, according to the pirated version
of his book, was indefinite even for his own day. He was one of those
inspired folk who would be quite capable of spelling "schooner" with
three variations in as many lines. In this edition the spelling has
been more or less modernized.

Lastly, it is to be remembered that the ships of this period,
according to our modern ideas, would be the veriest cockle-shells, and
so that we should know what manner of vessel he refers to in these
pages, I had recourse to a friend of mine whose knowledge of things
nautical is extensive enough to have gained for him the coveted "Extra
Master's Certificate," and who was kind enough to supply me with the
following definitions:

[Illustration: SLOOP.

A vessel rigged as a cutter, but with one head-sail only set on a very
short bowsprit.]


Two-masted vessels, fore and aft rigged, sometimes having square
topsails on the fore-mast.]

[Illustration: BRIGANTINE.

A two-masted vessel, square rigged on fore-mast.]


A large vessel rowed by oars and sometimes having auxiliary sail of
various rigs.


Probably a small, fast vessel used as a tender and despatch boat for
river work.

[Illustration: SNOW.

A two-masted vessel with a stay, known as a "Horse," from the
main-mast to the poop on which the trysail was set. Sometimes a spar
was fitted instead of a stay. The rig was most likely of a brig
(_i.e._, a two-masted ship, square sails on both masts), and the
triangular trysail set on the stay in bad weather or when hove to.]

    C. L. F.



He was the son of _John Avery_, a victualler near _Plymouth_, in
_Devonshire_, who in a few years was grown as opulent in his purse as
in his body, by scoring two for one; and when he had so done, drinking
the most of the liquor himself. By which means, and having a handsome
wife, who knew her business as well as if she had been brought up to
it from a child (which, indeed, she mostly was, her mother keeping the
House before she married _Mr. Avery_), they soon became very rich and
very able to give credit to a whole ship's crew upon their tickets,
which in those days were sold for less than half their value.

Having but one child (afterwards the Captain), they at first resolved
to bring him up a scholar, that he might advance the dignity of the
family. But instead of learning his book, he was taught by such
companions that he could soon swear to every point of his compass,
which was a very diverting scene for the Boatswain and his crew, who
were then drinking in the kitchen, having just received ten pounds
apiece short allowance money on board the _Revenge_, every farthing of
which they spent before leaving the house.

But as soon as their money was spent, they were all like to have been
imprisoned by their Landlady for a riot, as she called it, so they
were soon glad to sheer off, and he thought himself happiest that
could get first aboard. Indeed, it would have been happy for them if
they had, for the ship was unmoored and gone to sea; which put the
Boatswain and his crew swearing in earnest, and not knowing what to
do, they resolved to return to their Landlady, _Mrs. Avery_, at "the
Sign of the _Defiance_." But she shut them out of doors, calling them
a parcel of beggarly rascals, and swearing that if they would not go
from the door she would send for the Constable; and notwithstanding
all the entreaties and tears of her only son, who was then about six
years of age, she could not be prevailed upon to let them in, so they
were obliged to stroll about the street all night. In the morning,
spying the ship at anchor, being driven back by contrary winds, they
resolved to make the best of their way aboard; but on the way, whom
should they meet but young _Avery_, who had no sooner seen them, but
he cried after them. "Zounds," says the Boatswain, "let's take the
young dog aboard, and his mother shall soon be glad to adjust the
reckoning more to our satisfaction before she shall have her son."

This was agreed upon by all hands, and the boy was as willing as any
of them. So, stepping into the boat, in about an hour's time they
reached the ship, which they had no sooner boarded but they were
brought before the Captain, who, being in want of hands, contented
himself with bidding them all go to their business; for the wind
turned about, and there was occasion for all hands to be at work to
carry out the ship.

All this while young _Avery_ was at the heels of the Boatswain, and
was observed to swear two oaths to one of the Boatswain's; which being
soon observed by the Captain, he inquired who brought that young
rascal aboard.

To which the Boatswain replied that he did, that the boy's mother was
his Landlady on shore, and he had taken him up in jest, but was afraid
that they would now have to keep him in earnest.

When the hurry was a little over, the Captain commanded the boy to be
brought to him in his cabin. He had not talked long to him before he
took a fancy to him, telling him that if he would be a good boy, he
should live with him.

He, being a mighty lover of children, would often divert himself by
talking to the boy, till at length he took such a fancy to him, that
he ordered him a little hammock in his own cabin, and none were so
great as the Captain and his boy _Avery_, which had like to have
proved very fatal to him; for Avery one night, observing the Captain
to be very drunk with some passengers that were on board, got a
lighted match and had like to have blown up the ship, had not the
Gunner happened accidentally to follow him into the store-room. This
made the Captain ever after very shy of his new Acquaintance, and
_Avery_, after he had been well whipped, was ordered down into the
hold, where he remained until they arrived at _Carolina_, which
happened four or five days after.

The boy was given to a merchant, who, taking a fancy to him, put him
to school; but he made so little progress in learning, and committed
so many unlucky tricks, that the merchant, in about three years,
shipped him off to his friends at _Plymouth_ on board the _Nonesuch_,
where he was no sooner arrived but his mother was overjoyed with the
sight of her son, his father being dead about a month before his

And, indeed, it was thought the loss of their son broke his heart, for
it was observed the father never held up his head after, the
neighbours often reflecting upon him for his ill-usage of the seamen,
who had spent so much money at his house; saying he could never expect
that all his ill-gotten riches could prosper him, which so happened,
as you shall hear presently. For his mother, dying soon after, the boy
was left under the guardianship of one Mr. _Lightfoot_, a merchant,
who, having great losses at sea, became a bankrupt, and so young
_Avery_ was left to look out after himself; there he continued for
many years in pilfering and stealing till the country was too hot for
him, when he betook him to sea again, where in time he became as
famous for robbing as _Cromwell_ for rebellion.

He entered himself on board the _Duke_, Captain _Gibson_ Commander,
being one of the two ships of twenty-four guns and one hundred men
which were fitted out by the merchants of _Bristol_ for the service of
_Spain_, which they had no sooner done, but they were ordered by their
agents at _Bristol_ to sail for the _Groyne_ to receive their orders.

On board one of which ships _Avery_, being at this time above twenty
years old, entered himself, where he had not been long before he
observed the Captain was much addicted to drunkenness.

He endeavoured to spirit up not only his own ship's crew, but having
also given the word to part of the other ship's crew, the conspirators
gave the signal.

At which the _Duchess_, as the other ship was named, put off her
longboat; which the conspirators hailing were answered by the men in
the boat, "Is your drunken Boatswain on board?" This being the word
agreed upon, Avery answered, "All is safe;" upon which twenty lusty
fellows came aboard and joined them, which they had no sooner done but
they secured the hatches and went to work, putting to sea without any
disorder, although there were several ships in the bay, amongst whom
was a frigate of forty-four guns.

The Captain, by this time being awaked by the noise of the
conspirators working the ship, rung the bell, inquiring what was the
matter, to whom _Avery_ and some of the crew replied, "Nothing. Are
you mutinous in your cups? Can't you lie down, sleep, and be quiet?"

"No," saith the Captain. "I am sure something's the matter with the
ship. Does she drive? What weather is it? Is it a storm?"

Saith _Avery_: "Cannot you lie quiet while you are quiet? I tell you
all's well; we are at sea in a fair wind and good weather."

"At sea," saith the Captain; "that can't be."

"Be not frightened," saith Avery, "and I'll tell you. You must note, I
am now the Captain of the ship; nay, you must turn out, for this is my
cabin, and I am bound for _Madagascar_, to make my own fortune as well
as my companions."

The Captain, being more terrified than ever, did not know what to say,
which _Avery_ perceiving, bid him take heart. "For," saith he, "if you
will join me and these brave fellows, my companions, in time you may
get some post under me. If not, step into the longboat and get about
your business."

This the Captain was glad to hear, but yet began to expostulate with
them upon the injustice of such doings. Saith _Avery_: "What do I
care? Every man for himself. Come, come, Captain, if you will go, get
you gone; the longboat waits for you, and if there be any more cowards
in the ship, you may all go together." Which words so affrighted the
whole crew, that there was not above nine or ten of them that durst
venture, who made the best of their way to the shore as fast as they
could, and thought they were well off.

The Captain was no sooner gone, but they called a Council, which
agreed to own _Avery_ as their Captain; which he accepted of with all
humility imaginable, seeming to excuse himself on account of his
inexperience at sea. But he did it so artfully that it more confirmed
them in the good opinion of their choice. "Gentlemen," said he, "what
we have done we must live or die by; let us all be hearty and of one
mind, and I don't question but we shall make our fortune in a little
time. I propose that we sail first to _Madagascar_, where we may
settle a correspondence, in order to secure our retreats, whenever we
think fit to lie by."

To which they all agreed, "Nemine contradicente."

"But hold," saith _Avery_; "it is necessary that we make some order
among us, for the better governing of the ship's crew." Which were in
a few days drawn up by the clerk of the ship.

And _Avery_ promising them vast things, they all came into them at
last, although some things went very much against the grain of many of

It took up all their spare time till they arrived at _Madagascar_,
where they saw a Ship lying at the N.E. part of the Island, with which
the men had run away from _New England_; and seeing _Avery_, they
supposed that he had been sent after them to take them, but _Avery_
soon undeceived them, and promised them protection; therefore they
resolved to sail together. In the whole company, there was not above
ten that pretended to any skill in navigation; for _Avery_ himself
could neither write nor read very well, he being chosen Captain of the
_Duke_ purely for his courage and contrivance.

In the latitude of _Descada_, one of the Islands, they took two other
sloops, which supplied them with provisions, and then they agreed to
proceed to the _West Indies_; and coming to _Barbadoes_, they fell in
with a ship for _London_ with twelve guns, from which they took some
clothes and money, ten barrels of powder, ten casks of beef, and
several other goods, and five of her men, and then let her go. From
thence he went to the Island of _Dominico_, and watered; there he met
with six _Englishmen_, who willingly entered with _Avery_. They stayed
not long before they sailed for the _Granada_ Island to clean their
ships; which being known to the _French_ Colony, the Governor of
_Martenico_ sent four sloops well manned after them. But they stayed
there not long, but made the best of their way for _Newfoundland_,
entering the harbour of _Trepasse_ with black colours, drums beating,
and trumpets sounding.

It is impossible to relate the havoc they made there, burning all
before them. When they left _Newfoundland_ they sailed for the _West
Indies_, and from thence to the Island _Descada_, it being judged the
most convenient place, at that time of the year, to meet with a rich

From hence they steered towards the _Arabian_ Coast, near the River
_Indus_, where, spying a sail, they gave chase. At their near approach
she hoisted _Mogul_ colours and seemed as if she would stand upon her
defence, whilst _Avery_ contented himself by cannonading her at a
distance, which made many of his men begin to mutiny, thinking him a

But _Avery_ knew better, and commanding his sloops to attack her, one
in the Bow, and the rest on the Quarter, clapt her on board, upon
which she struck her colours and yielded. Aboard her was one of the
_Mogul's_ own daughters, with several persons of distinction, who
were carrying rich offerings of jewels and other valuable presents to
_Mecca_; which booty was the more considerable, because these people
always travel with great magnificence, having all their slaves and
attendants always with them, besides jewels and great sums of money to
defray the charges. But _Avery_, not content with this, seized the
young Princess, and taking her with him into his own ship, made the
best of his way to _Madagascar_, where she soon broke her heart and
died. Also her father, the _Great Mogul_, did no sooner hear of it but
he threatened all _Europe_ with revenge. And when he knew they were
_Englishmen_ who had captured his daughter and robbed him, he
threatened to send a mighty army, with fire and sword, to extirpate
all the _English_ from their settlements on the _Indian_ Coasts, which
gave no small uneasiness to the _Indian Company_ at _London_, when
they heard of it.





John Rackham was Quarter-Master to _Vane's_ Company, till _Vane_ was
turned out for not fighting the French Man-of-War, and _Rackham_ put
in Captain in his place, which happened about the 24th day of
_November_, 1718. His first cruise was among the _Caribbe_ Islands,
where he took and plundered several vessels. Afterwards, to the
windward of _Jamaica_, he fell in with a _Madeira_ Man, which he
detained till he had made his market out of her, and then restored her
to her Master, suffering _Hosea Tisdel_, a tavern-keeper at _Jamaica_,
whom he had taken among his Prizes, to go aboard her, she being bound
for that Island.

Afterwards he sailed towards the Island _Bermuda_, where he took a
Ship bound to _England_ from _Carolina_, and a small Ship from _New
England_, both which he carried to the _Bahama Islands_, and there
clean'd. But staying too long in that Neighbourhood, Captain _Rogers_
sent out a Sloop well mann'd, which retook both the Prizes, the Pirate
making his Escape.

From hence they proceeded to the Back of _Cuba_, where _Rackham_ staid
a long Time with his Delilahs, till their Provision was consumed, when
he concluded it Time to look out for more. As he was putting to Sea, a
_Garda del Costa_ came in with a small _English_ Sloop, which he had
taken as an interloper on that coast. The _Spaniards_ seeing the
Pirate, attacked her; but finding he could not come to her that night,
because she lay close behind a little island, he warps into the
channel, to make sure of her in the morning. Upon this _Rackham_ took
his Crew into the Boat, with their pistols and cutlasses, and falls
aboard the _Spaniards_ in the night, without being discovered, telling
them, if they spoke a word they were dead men: And so shipping their
cables, drove out to sea, commanding them to take the Boat, and go
aboard their Sloop immediately, or else they were all dead men.
Afterwards they waking the Captain and his men in the Hammocks, who
rose full of their expectation of the Prizes, they sent them aboard
their empty Sloop.

In the Beginning of _September_, they went off of the French part of
_Hispaniola_, where they took two or three _Frenchmen_ on board, that
were looking after some cattle grazing near the waterside. Then
plundered two Sloops, they returned to _Jamaica_, where they took a

_Rackham_ continuing about this Island longer than a Man of his
business ought to have done, gave time to a Canoe, which he had
surprised in _Ocho_ Bay, to inform the Governor of _Jamaica_ of his
civilities to all he met with going or coming from the Island.
Thereupon a Sloop was sent out in quest of him, well mann'd and arm'd,
under Captain _Barnet_, to repay him for all his good-natured
Actions, and, if possible, to bring him into the Island. In the mean
Time _Rackham_ met, near the _Negril_ Point, a small Pettiauger,
which, upon sight of him, ran ashore, and landed her Men; but
_Rackham_ hailing them, desired the Pettiauger's men to come aboard
him, and drink a bowel of punch; swearing, _They were all Friends and
would do no Harm_. Hereupon they agreed to his Request, and went
aboard him, though it proved fatal to every one of them, they being
nine in all. For, they were no sooner got aboard, and had laid down
their muskets and cutlasses, in order to take up their pipes, and make
themselves merry with their new acquaintance over a can of Flip, but
Captain _Barnet's_ Sloop was in sight, which soon put a damp to all
their merriment: Finding she stood directly towards them, they
immediately weighed their anchor and stood off. _Barnet_ gave them
chase, and having the advantage of the wind, soon came up with her,
gave her a broadside or two, and, after a very small dispute, took her
and his nine new guests, and brought them all together into
_Port-Royal_ in _Jamaica_, in about a fortnight's time.

_November_ the 10th, 1720, a Court of Admiralty was held at _St. Jago
de la Vega_, where the following Persons were tried and convicted of
Piracy, and accordingly Sentence of Death was passed upon them by the
Governor, viz.: _John Rackham_, Captain; _George Fetherstone_, Master;
_Richard Corner_, Quarter-Master; _John Davis_, _John Howel_, _Patrick
Carty_, _Thomas Earle_, _James Dobbin_, and _Noah Harwood_; Five of
whom was hang'd the next day at _Gallows-point_, and the rest the day
after. The three first were taken and hanged in Chains; _Rackham_ at
_Plumb-point_, _Fetherstone_ at _Bush-key_, and _Corner_ at _Gun-key_.

But what was yet more strange was the conviction of the nine guests,
that knew nothing of the matter, or at least they pretended so; but
the People would not believe them, because it was proved that they
came on board with pistols and cutlasses: However, they were so much
favoured as to have the Court adjourned to the 24th of January
following, to give a better Account of themselves than at the time
appeared to the Court: Beside, the Jury also then wanted sufficient
evidence to prove the piratical intention of going aboard the said
Sloops. The two _Frenchmen_ taken by _Rackham_ from the Island of
_Hispaniola_, deposed, That _John Eaton_, _Edward Warner_, _Thomas
Baker_, _Thomas Quick_, _John Cole_, _Benjamin Palmer_, _Walter
Rouse_, _John Hanson_, and _John Howard_, came on board the Pirate's
Sloop at _Negril Point_ in _Jamaica_. Indeed they owned, That at first
Sight of them, they run away from _Rackham's_ Sloop, but that he
hailing them, they returned, and _Rackham_ sent his canoe ashore to
fetch them aboard him, when they saw them all armed with guns and
cutlasses, which they brought with them; and that when they were
chased by Captain _Barnet_, they were frank and free, some drinking
and walking about the deck not at all dispirited; during which time
there was a great gun, and small arms, fired by the Pirate Sloop at
Captain _Barnet's_ Sloop; but that they could not say that the
Prisoners were any way concerned in it: However, they were certain
that when Captain _Barnet's_ Sloop fired at _Rackham's_, the Prisoners
at the Bar went under Deck, for cowardice, as they supposed; not so
much as once peeping up during the time of the whole action: But when
Captain _Barnet_ drew nigh to them to board them, all of them came up,
and helped to row the sloop, in order to escape from him: And that
_Rackham's_ Men and they seemed to agree very well together, and that
they did verily believe they were all of a Party, having heard them
say, when they came on board, _They liked them never the worse for
being Pirates, since they were all honest Boys, and loved their

To which the Prisoners answered, in their own Defence; That they were
a great way off from friends and acquaintance, and, therefore it was
impossible to have any one to give an account of them. That they were
very honest pains-taking men, and came out to go a-turtling to provide
for their families; accordingly going ashore at _Negril_ Point they
saw a Sloop, with a white pendant, making towards them, whereupon they
took up their arms, which were no other but what all people carry upon
such occasions, and ran into the woods, to hide themselves among the
bushes, not knowing what she might be. But when they hailed them and
told them they were _Englishmen_, they ventured out, and came aboard
them, as they desired, to drink a bowl of punch, they being poor men,
who get their livelihood very hardily, and such a thing was very
acceptable to them. But when they came on board the Sloop, to their
very great surprise, they found they were Pirates; upon which they
begged to be released; but _Rackham_ swore, That if they did not stay
and assist them against that Sloop that was coming down against them,
he would cut all their throats. So being compelled thereunto by
_Rackham_ and his men, to save their Lives, they did assist him, and
with no other design but to prevent their being cut in pieces, but as
soon as Captain _Barnet_ came up with them, they all very readily and
willingly submitted.

This being all they had to say in their own Defence, the Prisoners
were ordered from the Bar: The Court were divided in their Judgments;
but the majority were of opinion, that they were all guilty of the
Piracy and Felony they were charged with; thereupon they all received
Sentence of Death, as usual in such cases, the Judge making a very
pathetic Speech to them, exhorting them to bear their Sufferings
patiently, assuring them, that if they were innocent, which he very
much doubted, then their reward would be greater in the Other World:
But everybody must own their case was very hard in this.

February the 17th, _John Eaton_, _Thomas Quick_, and _Thomas Baker_,
were accordingly executed at _Gallows-Point_; and the next Day, _John
Cole_, _John Howard_, and _Benjamin Palmer_, underwent the same fate
at _Kingston_. The other three got a Reprieve, they being against
going aboard the Pirate's Sloop, and are now living.




_Spriggs_ sailed at first with _Lowe_, and came away with him from
_Lowther_. Afterwards _Lowe_ took a ship of twelve guns on the Coast
of _Guinea_, called the _Delight_, which _Spriggs_ went off on board
with twenty men, and leaving _Lowe_ in the night, came to the _West
Indies_. In their passage they made a Black Ensign, which they called
the _Jolly Roger_, with a skeleton in the middle holding a dart in one
hand, striking a bleeding heart; and in the other an hour-glass; and
being hoisted, they fired all their guns to salute _Spriggs_, whom
they chose Captain, and then went to look out for prey.

In their voyage they took a _Portugueze_ barque, wherein they had rich
plunder. Near _St. Lucia_, they took a Sloop belonging to
_Barbadoes_, which they first plundered, and then burnt, forcing some
of the men into their Service, and beating, in a barbarous manner,
those that refused to join with them, and afterwards sent them away in
the Boat, half dead with their wounds, the rest got to _Barbadoes_,
with much ado, though some of them died soon after of their cuts and
slashes. After this they took a _Martinico_ Man, which they used in
like manner, save that they did not burn the ship. Then running down
to the Leeward, they took one Captain _Hawkins_ coming from _Jamaica_,
laden with Logwood; out of which, they took her stores, arms, and
ammunition, and what they did not want they threw over-board; they cut
the cables to pieces, knocked down the cabins, broke the windows, and
did what mischief they could, taking _Burridge_ and _Stephens_, the
two Mates, and some other Hands, by force; and then after keeping her
a week, they let her go. On the 27th they took a _Rhode_ Island Sloop,
compelling the Captain, and all his men, to go on board the Pirate:
One of them not being willing to stay with them, they told him he
should have a discharge presently, which was to receive ten lashes
from every man on board.

The next day _Burridge_ signed their Articles; which pleased them so
much, that they fired all the Guns, and made him Master, spending that
day in rejoicings and drinking healths.

The First of _April_ they spied a sail, and gave her chase all night,
believing she had been a _Spaniard_; but when they came up to her, and
gave her a broadside, she cried out for Quarters, which made them
cease firing, and ordered the Captain to come aboard, which proved to
be Captain _Hawkins_, whom they had dismissed three days before, not
worth a groat. Two Days after, they anchored at _Ratran_, not far from
_Honduras_, and put ashore Captain _Hawkins_, and several others,
giving them powder and ball, and a musquet, and then left them to
shift as well as they could. Here they staid three weeks, when two men
came in a canoe, that had been left in another Maroon Island near
_Benecca_, and carried them thither. A fortnight after they espied a
Sloop at sea, which had lately escaped from the _Spaniards_ at the Bay
of _Honduras_, which, upon a signal stood in and took them all off.

At an Island to the westward, the Pirates cleaned their ship, and then
sailed towards _St. Christophers_ to meet Captain _Moor_.

_Spriggs_ next stood towards _Bermudas_, where he took a Schooner
belonging to _Boston_, from which he took all the Men, and sunk the

Instead of going to _Newfoundland_, they came back to the Islands, and
on the 8th of _June_, to windward of _St. Christophers_, they took a
Sloop, _Nicholas Trot_, Master, belonging to _St. Eustatia_, whose men
they hoisted as high as the main fore-tops, and so let them fall down
again; then whipping them about the deck, they gave _Trot_ his Sloop,
and let him go, keeping only two of his men, besides the plunder. Two
or three days after, they took a ship coming from _Rhode Island_ to
_St. Christophers_, laden with provisions and some horses, and burnt
ship, men, and horses: Since when _Spriggs_ has not been heard of:
though it is supposed he went to _Madagascar_, to spend, in rioting
and wantonness, his ill gotten plunder; till by a letter from
_Jamaica_, of the 2nd of _March_ last, we understood, That he had been
again at the Bay of _Honduras_, and taken sixteen Sail.





_Edward Lowe_, born at _Westminster_, very early began the Trade of
Plundering; for if any Child refused him what he had, he must fight
him. When he grew bigger, he took to Gaming among Blackshoe Boys upon
the _Parade_, with whom he used to play the _Whole Game_, as they call
it; that is, cheat every Body, and if they refused, they had to fight

_Ned_ went to Sea with his eldest Brother, and leaving him in
_New-England_, he worked in a Rigging House, at Boston, for some
Time, when not liking that, he returned to _England_ to see his
Mother, with whom he did not stay long before he took his Leave of
her, for the last Time, as he said, and returned to _Boston_, where he
shipped himself in a Sloop that was bound to the Bay of _Honduras_;
and when he arrived there, he was made Patron of the Boat, to bring
the logwood on board to lade the ship; where he differing with the
Captain about the hurry of taking the logwood on board, _Lowe_ takes
up a loaden Musquet, and fired at him; then putting off the Boat, he,
with twelve of his companions, goes to sea. Next day they met a small
vessel, which they took, made a Black Flag, and declared War against
all the world. From hence they proceed to the Island of the _Grand
Caimanes_, where they met with _George Lowther_, who took him under
his protection as an ally, without any formal Treaty; which _Lowe_
readily agreed to. But parting with _Lowther_ on the 28th of _May_, as
we have already given in an Account in _Lowther's_ Life, _Lowe_ took a
Vessel belonging to _Amboy_, which he plundered, and then stood away
to the South East, by which he avoided two Sloops which the Governor
had sent to take him from _Rhode_ Island.


_July_ the 12th, he sailed into the Harbour of Port _Rosemary_, where
he found 13 small vessels at anchor, whom he told they would have no
quarters if they resisted; which so frightened the Masters of the
vessels, that they all yielded. Out of them he took whatever he
wanted, keeping for his own Use a Schooner of 80 Tons, on board of
which he put 10 Carriage Guns, and 50 men, and named her the _Fancy_
making himself Captain, and appointing _Charles Harris_ Captain of the
Brigantine. Making up a complement of 80 men out of the vessels, some
by force, and others by their own inclinations, he sailed away from
_Mablehead_, and soon after he met two Sloops bound for _Boston_, with
provisions for the garrison; but there being an officer and soldiers
on board, he thought it the safest way, after some small resistance,
to let them go on about their business.

They then steered for the _Leeward_ Islands; but in their voyage met
with such a hurricane, as had not been known in the memory of man.
After the storm was over, they got safe to one of the small Islands of
the _Carribees_, and there refitted their vessels as well as they
could. As soon as the Brigantine was ready, they took a short cruise,
leaving the Schooner in the harbour till their return; which had not
been many days at sea, before she met a ship that had lost all her
masts, on board of which they went, and took, in money and goods, to
the value of 1000_l._ Upon this success, the Brigantine returned to the
Schooner, which being then ready to sail, they agreed to go to the
_Azores_, or Western Islands, where _Lowe_ took a _French_ Ship of 32
Guns, and in _St. Michael's_ Road, he took several sail that were
lying there, without firing a gun. Being in great want of water, he
sent to the Governor of _St. Michael's_ for a Supply, promising upon
that Condition, to release the Ships he had taken, otherwise to burn
them all; which the Governor, for the sake of the Ships, agreed to.
Thereupon he released six, keeping only the _Rose_ Pink, of which he
took the Command.

The Pirates took several of the Guns out of the ships, and mounted
them on board the _Rose_. _Lowe_ ordered the Schooner to lie in the
Fare between _St. Michael's_ and _St. Mary's_, where he met with
Captain _Carter_ in the _Wright_ Galley; who, defending himself, they
cut and mangled him and his Men in a barbarous manner; after which,
they were for burning the ship, but contented themselves with cutting
her cable, rigging, and sails to pieces, and so left her to the mercy
of the seas. From hence they sailed to the Island of _Maderas_, where
they took a fishing boat, with two old men and a boy in her, one of
whom they sent ashore, demanding a boat of water, otherwise they would
kill the old man, which being complied with, the old man was
discharged. From hence they sailed to the _Canaries_, and thence
continued their course for the _Cape de Verde_ Islands, where they
took a ship called the _Liverpool Merchant_, from which they took 300
gallons of brandy, two guns and carriages, besides six of the men, and
then obliged them to go to the Isle of _May_. They also took two
_Portugueze_ ships bound to _Brazil_, and three Sloops from _St.
Thomas's_ bound to _Curaso_: All of which they plundered, and let them
go, except one Sloop, by which they heard that two Gallies were
expected at the Western Islands. Her they manned, and sent in Quest of
these Ships whilst they careened the _Rose_ at _Cape de Verde_; but
the Sloop missing the prey, was reduced to great want of water and
provisions, so that they ventured to go ashore _St. Michael's_, and
pass for Traders; where, being suspected by the Governor, they were
conducted into the Castle, and provided for as long as they lived.

_Lowe's_ ship was overset a-careening, so that he was reduced to his
old Schooner, aboard of which there went about an hundred as bold
rogues as ever was hanged, and sailed to the _West-Indies_, where they
took a rich _Portugueze_ ship bound Home from _Bahia_, putting to the
torture several of the men, who confest the Captain flung into the sea
a bag of 11000 Moidores. This made _Lowe_ swear a thousand oaths; and
after cutting off his lips, he murdered him and all his Crew, being 36

After this, they cruised to the Northward, and took several Vessels
and then steered for the Bay of _Honduras_, where they took Five
_English_ Sloops, and a Pink, and a _Spaniard_ of 6 Guns and 70 men,
whom they killed every man; which being done they rummaged the
_Spanish_ Ship, bringing all the booty on board their own vessel.

In the next cruise, between the _Leeward Islands_ and the Main, they
took two Snows from Jamaica to Liverpool, and just after a Ship called
the _Amsterdam Merchant_, the Captain thereof he slit his Nose, cut
his Ears off, and then plundered the ship and let her go. Afterwards
he took a Sloop bound to _Amboy_, of whose Men he tied lighted
matches between the fingers, which burnt the flesh off the bones, and
afterwards set them ashore in an uninhabited part of the country, as
also other ships which fell a prey to those villains.

One of His Majesty's Men-of-War called the _Greyhound_, of 20 guns and
120 men, hearing of their barbarous actions, went in search of them
and, seeing the Pirates, allowed _Lowe_ to chase them at first, till
they were in readiness to engage him, and when he was within gunshot,
tacked about and stood towards him. The Pirates edged away under the
Man-of-War's stern, making a running fight for about two hours. But
little wind happening, the Pirates gained from her; thereupon the
_Greyhound_ left off firing, and turned all her hands to her oars, and
came up with them, when the fight was renewed with a brisk fire on
both sides, till the _Ranger's_ main-yard was shot down; upon which,
the _Greyhound_ pressing close, _Lowe_ bore away and left his consort,
who seeing the cowardice of his Commadore, and that there was no
possibility of escaping, called out for quarters.

_Lowe's_ conduct in this engagement shewed him to be a cowardly
villain; for had he fought half as briskly as _Harris_, the Man-of-War
could never have taken either of them. The _Greyhound_ carried her
Prize to _Rhode-Island_, which was looked upon to be of such signal
Service to the Colony, that in Council they resolved to compliment
_Peter Sulgard_ Captain, with the Freedom of their Corporation. They
secured the prisoners under a strong guard in Jail, till a Court of
Vice-Admiralty could be held for their Trials, which was on the 10th
of _July_ at _Newport_, lasting three Days. The Judges were _William
Dummer_, Esq; Lieutenant Governor of the _Massachusets_, President;
_Nathaniel Payne_, Esq; _John Lechmore_, Esq; Surveyor General; _John
Valentine_, Esq; Advocate General; _Samuel Cranston_, Governor of
_Rhode Island_; _John Menzies_, Esq; Judge of the Admiralty; _Richard
Ward_, Esq; Registrar; and Mr. _Jahleet Brinton_, Provost Marshal.
_Robert Auchmuta_, Esq, was appointed by the Court, Counsel for the
prisoners here under mentioned.

_Charles Harris_, Captain, _William Blads_, _Daniel Hyde_, _Thomas
Powel_, jun., _Stephen Munden_, _Thomas Hugget_, _William Read_,
_Peter Kneeves_, _James Brinkley_, _Joseph Sound_, _William
Shutfield_, _Edward Eaton_, _John Brown_, _Edward Lawson_, _Owen
Rice_, _John Tomkins_, _John Fitzgerald_, _Abraham Lacy_, _Thomas
Linester_, _Francis Leyton_, _John Walters_, Quarter-master, _William
Jones_, _Charles Church_, _Thomas Hazel_, and _John Bright_, who were
all executed the 19th of _July_, 1723, near _Newport_ in _Rhode
Island_; but _John Brown_ and _Patrick Cunningham_ were recommended to

The eight following were found Not Guilty; _John Wilson_, _Henry
Barnes_, _Thomas Jones_, _Joseph Switzer_, _Thomas Mumper_, Indian,
_John Hencher_, Doctor, _John Fletcher_, and _Thomas Child_.

Instead of working repentance in _Lowe_, this deliverance made him ten
times worse, vowing revenge upon all they should meet with for the
future, which they executed upon _Nathan Skiff_, Master of a
_Whale-fishing_ Sloop, whom they whipt naked about the deck, and then
cut off his ears, making his torture their sport. At length being
weary thereof, they shot him through the head, and sunk his vessel.
Some days after, he took a fishing boat off of _Black_ Island, and
only cut off the master's head; but next day taking two Whale Boats
near _Rhode_ Island, he brutally killed one of the masters and cut off
the ears of the other. From hence he went to _Newfoundland_, where he
took 23 _French_ Vessels, and mann'd one of them of 22 Guns with
pirates; after which, they took and plundered 18 ships, some of which
they destroyed.

The latter end of _July_, _Lowe_ took a large ship called the _Merry
Christmas_, and mounted her with 34 Guns, on which he goes aboard,
taking the title of Admiral, and sails to the Western Islands, where
he took a Brigantine manned with _English_ and _Portugueze_, the
Latter of whom he hanged.

Afterwards _Lowe_ went to the Coast of _Guinea_, but nothing happened
till he came to _Sierra Leon_, in _Africa_, when he met with the
_Delight_, which he took, mounting her with 16 Guns, and 60 men,
appointing _Spriggs_ Captain, and from whom two days after he

In _January_ after, he took a Ship called _Squirrel_, but what came of
him afterwards we cannot tell.




_George Lowther_ went second Mate on board the _Gambia Castle_,
belonging to the _Royal African_ Company, on board which was Captain
_Massey_, with soldiers that he was to command under Colonel
_Whitney_, whom were landed on _James_ Island; but the Fort and
Garrison not agreeing the Company soon after lost a Galley worth
10000_l._ by it.


_Massey_ finding he must be over-ruled by the merchants, soon began to
complain of their ill-treatment of his men in their allowance, saying
he did not come to be a _Guinea_ Slave; and that if they did not use
him and his men better, he should take other measures.

At the same time, there happened a dispute between the Captain of the
ship and _Lowther_, which very much contributing to Lowther's design:
For _Lowther_ finding himself neglected by the Captain, found means to
ingratiate himself into the favour of the sailors, who, upon the
Captain's going to punish him, swore, They would knock down the first
man that should offer to lay hands on him; which _Lowther_ improved to
a general disaffection of the ship's Crew. _Massey_ in the meantime,
having contracted an intimacy with _Lowther_, they agreed to curb
their enemies, and provide for themselves some other way; which the
Captain perceiving, he goes on shore to the Governor and Factor, to
consult what methods to take. But _Lowther_ apprehending it was
against him, he sent a letter in the same boat to _Massey_, advising
him to repair on board, to put their project in execution.

Upon which _Massey_ harangued the Soldiers, saying, _You that have a
Mind to return to England_, may now do it; which they all agreed to.
Then he went to the Governor's appartment, and took his bed, baggage,
plate and furniture, believing the Governor would go with him, which
he refused; however _Massey_ came aboard with the Governor's son.
After demolishing all the guns of the Fort, they weighed anchor, and
fell down, but soon ran the ship aground; upon which _Massey_ returns
to the Fort, remounts the guns, and keeps garrison till the ship got
clear. In the meantime Captain _Russell_ got off but was not suffered
to come on board, although he offered _Lowther_ what terms he pleased.
Next tide they got the ship afloat, having first nailed up and
dismounted all the cannon. Then putting the Governor's son ashore,
they put out to sea, when _Lowther_ called upon the men, and told
them, _It was Madness to think of returning to _England_; for what
they had done, would be judged a Capital Offence_; and therefore,
since they had a good ship under them, he proposed that they should
seek their fortunes upon the Seas, as others had done before them,
which they all agreed to, calling the ship _The Delivery_, and swore
to stand by one another.

_Lowther_ left the Fort the 13th of _June_, and on the 20th, near
_Barbadoes_, he came up with a Brigantine, belonging to _Boston_,
which he plundered, and then let go. After this he proceeded to
_Hispaniola_, where he met with a _French_ Sloop loaden with wine and
brandy, on board whom Captain _Massey_ went, pretending at first to be
a merchant; but finding her to be a Ship of value, he told Monsieur,
He must have it all without money. On board her, there was 30 casks of
brandy, 5 hogsheads of wine, several pieces of chintz, and 70_l._ in
money, all of which they took, only _Lowther_ return'd the French
Master five pounds again.

But this good harmony did not last long amongst them, _Massey_ was
uneasy, and resolved to leave them; which _Lowther_ agreed to, giving
him a Sloop he had just before taken, to go where he thought fit.
Accordingly _Massey_ goes aboard, with ten men, and comes in directly
for _Jamaica_, where, putting a bold face on the matter, he informs
Sir _Nicholas Laws_, the then Governor, how he had left _Lowther_ the
pirate, and of all that had been transacted before, adding, That he
assisted him at the River _Gambia_ only to save so many of His
Majesty's subjects, and return to _England_.

_Massey_ was well received, and, at his own report, he was sent on
board the _Happy Sloop_, to cruise off _Hispaniola_ for _Lowther_; but
not meeting with him, he returned to _Jamaica_, and getting a
Certificate, he came home to _England_, where, when he arrived, he
writes to the _African_ Company, relating the whole transaction of his
voyage, but excuses it as an inadvertency, by his being ill-used; for
which, if they would not forgive him, he begged to die like a soldier,
and not be hanged like a dog. This not producing so favourable an
answer as he expected, he went the next day to the Lord Chief Justice
Chambers, and enquired, If there had been ever a Warrant granted and
against one Captain _Massey_ for Piracy. But being told, There was
not, he said, He was the Man, and that the _African_ Company would
soon apply to my Lord for one, which if they did, he lodged in
_Aldersgate street_, where the Officer might at any time find him.
This the Clerk took down in writing, and a Warrant being soon granted,
the Tipstaff went accordingly, and took him without any trouble.

But still there was no person to charge him, neither could they prove
the letter to be his own hand-writing, till the Justice interrogated
him, _Whether he did write the letter or not_; which he readily
confessed, as also gave an ample account of the whole voyage,
thereupon he was committed to _Newgate_, though soon after he was
admitted out upon bail.

_July_ the 5th, 1723, he was tried at the _Old-Baily_ by a Court of
Admiralty, when Captain _Russell_ and others appeared against him: But
he would have saved them all that trouble, for he confessed more than
they knew, fixing the facts so firm upon himself, that he was found
Guilty, received Sentence of Death, and was executed three weeks
after at _Execution Dock_.


But to return to _Lowther_, whom _Massey_ left cruising off of
_Hispaniola_, who plying to the Windward near _Porto Rico_, took two
sail, one was a small _Bristol_ Ship, the other a _Spanish_ Pirate,
who had taken the _Bristol_ Ship; which so provoked _Lowther_, that he
threatened to put all the _Spaniards_ to Death, for daring to
intermeddle in his Affairs: But at last he contented himself with
burning both their ships; and the _Spaniards_ getting away in their
launch, they thought they were well off.

Afterwards he took a small Sloop from _St. Christophers_, which he
manned; and carried with him to an island where they cleaned, and then
going aboard, they sailed towards the Bay of _Honduras_, where they
met with a small vessel with 13 Hands, of the same employment, under
Captain _Lowe_, whom _Lowther_ received as friends, inviting them, as
they were few in number, to join their strength together; which being
accepted of, _Lowther_ continued Captain, and _Lowe_ was made
Lieutenant, burning his own ship. Then coming into the Bay, they fell
upon a ship of two hundred tons, called the _Greyhound_; against whom
_Lowther_ firing his guns, hoisted the piratical Colours, which
Captain _Edward_ bravely returned; but at length finding the Pirate
too strong for him he yielded, and the Pirate came on Board, and not
only rifling the ship, but beat and cut the men in a cruel manner. In
crusing about the Bay, they took several other vessels without any
resistance, particularly a Sloop of 100 Tons, which they mounted with
8 carriages and 10 swivel guns. With this fleet, _Lowther_ in the
_Happy Delivery_, _Lowe_ in the _Rhode Island_ Sloop, _Harris_ in
_Hamilton's_ Sloop, left the Bay, and came to _Port Mayo_, where they
made preparations to careen, carrying ashore all their sails, to lay
their plunder and stores in; but when they were busy at work, a body
of the natives came down and attacked the Pirates unprepared, who were
glad to fly to their Sloops, and leave them masters of the field,
leaving the _Happy Delivery_ behind them, contenting themselves with
the _Ranger_, which had only 20 guns, and 8 swivels, taking all the
men on board her, wherein they presently began to quarrel, laying the
blame upon one another. Being very much in want of provisions, they
got to the _West Indies_, _May_ 1722, and near the Island of _Descada_
took a Brigantine stored with provisions and necessaries, which put
them in better temper. Then they watered and stood to the Northward,
intending to visit the North Coast of _America_, and in Latitude 38,
they took the _Rebecca_ of _Boston_, at which Time the Crews divided,
_Lowe_ with 44 Hands went on board the Brigantine, and _Lowther_ with
the same number, staid in the Sloop, separating that very night, being
the 28th of May 1722.

_Lowther_ cruised a pretty while among the Islands to no purpose,
till at length he fell in with a _Martinico_ Man, which proved a
seasonable relief, he being reduced to great want of provisions, and
after that a _Guinea_ Man. After which they thought it time to clean,
in order to prepare for new adventures; for which purpose they sailed
to the Island of _Blanco_, which is a low Island 30 leagues from the
main of _Spanish America_, where he unrigged his Sloop, sending his
guns, rigging, and sails ashore, and putting his vessel upon the
careen. But the _Eagle_ Sloop of _Barbadoes_, coming near this Island,
and seeing her, supposing her to be a Pirate, took the advantage of
attacking her when unprepared, who immediately hoisted the _St.
George's_ Flag at her top-mast head to bid them defiance: But when
they found the _Eagle_ resolved to board them in good earnest, the
Pirates cut their cable, and hawled the stern on shore, which obliged
the _Eagle_ to come to an anchor athwart the hawse, where they engaged
them till they cried out for Quarters. At which time _Lowther_ and 12
men made their escape, but they took the rest, and brought them to
_Camena_, where the _Spanish_ Governor condemned the Sloop to the
captors, and sent 23 Hands to scour the Bushes of _Blanco_ for the
Pirates, when they took 40; but could not find _Lowther_, three men
and a little Boy. _John Churchill_, _Edward Mackonald_, _Nicholas
Lewis_, _Rich. West_, _Sam Lavercot_, _Rob. White_, _John Shaw_, _And.
Hunter_, _Jonathan Delve_, _Matthew Freeborn_, and _Henry Watson_,
were hanged, _Roger Granger_, _Ralph Candem_, and _Robert Willis_,
were acquitted. And Captain _Lowther_, it is said, afterwards shot
himself, being found dead, and a pistol burst by his side.




_Thomas Anstis_ shipped himself at _Providence_, in the Year 1718,
aboard the _Buck_ Sloop, and was one of the six that conspired
together to get off with the vessel, along with _Howel Davis_, _Dennis
Topping_, and _Walter Kennedy_, etc. I shall only observe, that this
combination was the beginning of Captain _Roberts's_ company, which
afterwards proved so formidable, from whom _Anstis_ separated the 18th
of _April_, 1721, leaving his Commodore to pursue his adventures upon
the Coasts of _Guinea_, whilst he returned to the _West Indies_, upon
the same design.

About the middle of _June_, he met with one Captain _Maiston_,
between _Hispaniola_ and _Jamaica_, bound to _New-York_, from which he
took all the wearing apparel, liquors and provisions, and six men.
Afterwards he met with the _Irwin_, Captain _Ross_ from _Cork_, on the
Coast of _Martinico_, which ship had Colonel _Doyly_ of _Montserrat_
on board, and his Family, and 600 barrels of beef.

Afterwards they went into one of the Islands to clean, and thence
proceeding towards _Bermudas_, they met with a stout ship called the
_Morning Star_, bound from _Guinea_ to _Carolina_, which they kept for
their own use. Just after, they took a ship from _Barbadoes_ bound to
_New England_, from whence taking her guns, they mounted the _Morning
Star_ with 32 pieces of cannon, and 100 men, appointing _John Fenn_
Captain: For _Anstis_ was so in love with his own vessel, she being a
good sailor, he made it his choice to stay in her, and let _Fenn_ have
the other ship. Though they were not sufficiently strong, yet being
most new men, they could not agree, but resolving to break up company,
sent a Petition to His Majesty by a Merchant Ship, expecting her
Return at _Cuba_.

Here they staid about nine months; but not having provisions for above
two, they were obliged to take what the Island afforded; which is many
sorts of fish, particularly turtle; though they eat not a bit of
bread, nor flesh meat, during their being on the Island.

They passed their time here in dancing, and other diversions,
agreeable to these sort of folks. Among the rest, they appointed a
mock Court of Judicature, to try one another for Piracy, and he that
was a Criminal one day, was made a Judge another. I shall never forget
one of their Trials, which for the curiosity of it, I shall relate.
The Judge got up into a tree, having a dirty tarpaulin over his
shoulders for a robe, and a Thrum Cap upon his head, with a large pair
of spectacles upon his nose, and a monkey bearing up his train, with
abundance of Officers attending him, with crows and hand-spikes
instead of wands and tip-staves in their hands. Before whom the
Criminals were brought out, making 1000 wry Faces; when the
Attorney-General moved the Court, and said, An't please your Lordship,
and you Gentlemen of the Jury, this fellow before you is a sad dog, a
sad, a sad dog, and I hope your Lordship will order him to be hanged
out of the way; he has committed Piracy upon the High Seas; nay, my
Lord, that's not all; this fellow, this sad dog before you, has
out-rid a hundred storms, and you know, my Lord, _He that's born to be
hanged, will never be drowned_. Nor is this all, he has been guilty of
worse villany than this, and that is of drinking of small beer; and
your Lordship knows, there was never a sober fellow but what was a
rogue--My Lord, I should have said more, but your Lordship knows our
rum is out, and how should a Man speak that has drunk a dram to-day.


    _Judge._ Harkee me, Sirrah--you ill-looked dog. What
    have you to say why you may not be tucked up, and set
    a-sun-drying like a scare-crow?--Are you Guilty, or not?

    _Prisoner._ Not Guilty, an't please your Worship.

    _Judge._ Not Guilty! say so again, and I will have you
    hanged without any Trial.

    _Prisoner._ An't please your Worship's Honour, my Lord,
    I am as honest a fellow as ever went between stem and
    stern of a ship, and can hand, reef, steer, and clap two
    ends of a rope together, as well as e'er a He that ever
    crossed Salt-water; but I was taken by one _George
    Bradley_ (the name of the Judge) a notorious Pirate, and
    a sad rogue as ever was hanged, and he forced me, an't
    please your Honour.

    _Judge._ Answer me, Sirrah--how will you be tried?

    _Prisoner._ By God and my country.

    _Judge._ The Devil you will.... Then, Gentlemen of the
    Jury, we have nothing to do but to proceed to Judgment.

    _Attorney-Gen._ Right, my Lord; for if the fellow should
    be suffered to speak, he might clear himself; and that,
    you know, is an affront to the Court.

    _Prisoner._ Pray, my Lord, I hope your Lordship will

    _Judge._ Consider!--How dare you talk of
    considering!--Sirrah, Sirrah, I have never considered in
    all my life.--I'll make it Treason to consider.

    _Pris._ But I hope your Lordship will hear reason.

    _Judge._ What have we to do with Reason?--I would have
    you to know, Sirrah, we do not sit here to hear
    Reason--we go according to Law.--Is our dinner ready?

    _Attorney-General._ Yes, my Lord.

    _Judge._ Then harkee you rascal at the Bar, hear me,
    Sirrah, hear me.--You must be hanged for three reasons:
    _First_, because it is not fit that I should sit as
    Judge, and no-body to be hang'd: _Secondly_, You must be
    hang'd because you have a damn'd hanging Look:
    _Thirdly_, You must be hanged, because I am hungry.
    There's Law for you, ye dog; take him away, Gaoler.


By this we may see how these fellows can jest upon things, the
thoughts of which should make them tremble.

_August_ 1722, they made ready the Brigantine, and came out to sea,
where meeting their correspondent returning, and finding nothing done,
they all agreed to ply their old trade. So they sailed with the ship
and Brigantine to the Southward, where they ran the _Morning Star_
upon the _Grand Carmanes_, and wrecked her; the next Day _Anstis_ went
ashore to fetch the men off, who were all safe. _Anstis_ had just time
to get Captain _Fenn_, and a few others on board, before the _Hector_
and _Adventure_ came down upon him; but he got to sea, and one of the
Men-of-War after him, keeping within gun-shot several hours, when the
wind dying away, the Pirates got to their oars, and rowed for their

The _Hector_ landed her men, and took 40 of the _Morning Star's_ Crew,
without any resistance, they pretending they were glad of this
opportunity; the rest hid themselves in the woods.

The Brigantine after her escape, sailed to an Island, near the Bay of
_Honduras_, to clean, and in her way took a Sloop, Captain _Durfey_
Commander, which they destroyed, but brought the men on board. While
she was cleaning, _Durfey_ conspired with some of the prisoners, to
carry off the Brigantine; but it being discovered, he and four or
five more got ashore, with arms and ammunition; and when the Pirates'
Canoe came in for Water, seized the boat and men; upon which, _Anstis_
sent another boat with 30 hand ashore; but _Durfey_ gave them such a
warm reception that they were glad to return back again.

In _December_ 1722, _Anstis_ left this place, taking in his cruise a
good ship. He mounted her with 24 Guns and made _Fenn_ Commander. From
hence they went to the _Bahama_ Islands, taking what they wanted.

As they were cleaning their ship the _Winchelsea_ came down upon them,
when most of them escaped to the woods; but _Anstis_ having a light
pair of heels, escaped in the Brigantine. Afterwards, some of the
Company, being tired of this trade, shot _Anstis_ in his Hammock, and
put the rest in irons, and then carried the Brigantine to _Curacco_, a
_Dutch_ Settlement, where they were hanged, and those that delivered
up the vessel acquitted. _Fenn_ was soon after taken by the
Man-of-War's Men, straggling in the woods, with a few more, and
carried to _Antegoa_ and hanged. But some escaped among the negroes,
and were never heard of since.




_John Phillips_ was bred a carpenter, but sailing in a West Country
ship to _Newfoundland_, was taken by _Anstis_, who soon persuaded him
to join with him, making him Carpenter of the Vessel, in which station
he continued till they broke up at _Tobago_, when he came Home in a
Sloop that was sunk in _Bristol_ Channel. But he did not stay long in
_England_; for hearing of some of his companions being taken in
_Bristol_ Gaol, he moved off to _Topsham_, and there shipped himself
with one Captain _Wadham_ for _Newfoundland_, where when the ship
came he ran away, and hired himself a splitter in the Fishery for the
season: but he soon combined with others in the Fishery, to go off
with one of the vessels that lay in the Harbour, and turn Pirate, and
accordingly fixed upon the 29th of _August_, 1713, at Night; but of 16
Men that promised five only were as good as their Word.
Notwithstanding, _Phillips_ was for pushing on, assuring them that
they should soon increase their company. Hereupon they seized a
vessel, and went out to sea, when they soon began to settle their
Officers to prevent dispute, appointing, _John Phillips_, Captain;
_John Nutt_, Navigator of the Vessel; _James Sparks_, Gunner; _Thomas
Fern_, Carpenter; and _William White_ was only a private man among

Before they left the Banks, they took several small fishing vessels,
out of which they took some more Hands, and then sailed to the
_West-Indies_: Among those that were taken, was one _John Rose Archer_
who having been a pirate under _Blackbeard_ was made Quarter-Master to
the company: They came off _Barbadoes_ in _October_, and cruised
about the Islands about three Months, without meeting with a vessel,
so that they were almost starved for want of provisions, when at
length they fell in with a _Martinico_ Man of 12 guns and 35 hands,
upon which they hoisted the Black Flag and ran up along side of the
Sloop, with piratical Colours flying, swearing, If they did not strike
immediately, they must expect no quarters; which so frightened the
_Frenchman_, that he never fired a gun. Having got this supply, they
took her provisions, and four of her men.

Having occasion to clean their vessel, _Phillips_ proposed _Tobago_;
and just as they had done, a Man-of-War's boat came into the Harbour,
the ship cruising to the Leeward of the Island; which was no sooner
gone, but they warped out, and plied to the Windward for safety.

In a few days they took a Snow with a few Hands in it, on board of
which they sent _Fern_ the Carpenter, _William Smith_, _Philips Wood_,
and _Taylor_; but _Fern_ being dissatisfied at _Archer's_ being
preferred before him to be Quarter-Master, persuaded the rest to go
off with the prize; but _Phillips_ gave them Chase, and coming up with
them, shot _Wood_, and wounded _Taylor_ in the leg; upon which the
other two surrendered.

From _Tobago_ they stood away to the Northward, and took a
_Portugueze_ bound for _Brazil_, and two or three Sloops for
_Jamaica_, in one of which _Fern_ endeavouring to go off, was killed
by _Phillips_, as was also another man for the like attempt, which
made all the others more fearful of discovering their Minds, dreading
the villany of a few hardened wretches, who feared neither God nor
Devil, as _Phillips_ was often used blasphemously to say.

On the 25th of March, they took two ships from _Virginia_, the
Master's name of one was _John Phillips_, the Pirate's Name-sake; of
the other, _Robert Mortimer_, a stout young man. _Phillips_ staid on
board _Mortimer's_ Ship, while they transported the crew to the Sloop,
when _Mortimer_ took up a hand-spike and struck _Phillips_ over the
Head; but not knocking him down, he recovered and wounded _Mortimer_
with his sword; and the other two Pirates who were on board, coming
to _Phillip's_ assistance they cut _Mortimer_ to pieces, while his own
two men stood and looked on. Out of the other _Virginia_ Man, they
took _Edward Cheesman_, a carpenter, to supply the Place of _Fern_,
who being averse to that way of life, proposed to _J. Philamore_, who
was ordered to row _Cheesman_ on board _Mortimer's_ ship, to overthrow
their Piratical government; which from time to time, as occasion
offered, they consulted how to do. The Pirates, in the mean time,
robbed and plundered several ships and vessels, bending their course
towards _Newfoundland_, where they designed to raise more men, and do
all the mischief they could on the Banks, and in the harbours. Towards
which country, _Phillips_ making his way, took one _Salter_ in a Sloop
on the Isle of _Sables_, which he kept, and gave _Mortimer's_ Ship to
the Mate and crew; also a Schooner, one _Chadwell_ Master, which they
scuttled in order to sink: But _Phillips_ understanding that she
belonged to Mr. _Menors_ of _Newfoundland_, with whose Vessel they
first went off a-Pirating, said, _We have done him injury enough
already_, and so ordering his Vessel to be repaired, returned her to
the Master.

In the Afternoon, they chased another vessel, whose Master was an
Inward Light Man, named _Dependence Ellery_, who told _Phillips_ he
took him for a Pirate as soon as he saw him, otherwise he would not
have given him the Trouble of chasing him so long. This so provoked
_Phillips_ and his Crew, that they made poor _Dependence_, for his
Integrity, dance about the Ship till he was weary. After which they
took 10 other ships and vessels; and on the 14th of _April_, they took
a Sloop belonging to Cape _Anne_, _Andrew Harradine_ Master; which
looking upon to be more fit for their purpose, they came on board,
keeping only the Master of her Prisoner, and sending the crew away in
_Salter's_ vessel. _Cheesman_ broke his mind to _Harradine_, to
destroy the crew. Upon this, it was concluded to be 12 a Clock at
Noon, when _Cheesman_ leaves his working-tools on the deck, as if he
had been going to use them, walks off. But perceiving some signs of
fear in _Harradine_, he fetches his brandy bottle, and gives him and
the rest a dram, saying, _Here's to our next Meeting_; then he talks
to _Nutt_, in the mean while _Philamore_ takes up an axe, while
_Cheesman_ and _Harradine_ seize _Nutt_ by the Collar, and toss him
over the Side of the Vessel.

By this Time the Boatswain was dead; for as soon as _Philamore_ saw
the Master laid hold on, he up with the axe, and cut off the
Boatswain's head, which Noise soon brought the Captain upon Deck, whom
_Cheesman_ saluted with the blow of a mallet, which broke his
jaw-bone, but did not knock him down; upon which _Harradine_ came to
the Carpenter's aid, when _Sparks_ the Gunner interposing, _Cheesman_
trips up his Heels, and flung him into the arms of _Charles Ivemay_,
who at that moment threw him into the Sea; and at the same Time
_Harradine_ throws Captain _Phillips_ after him, bidding the Devil
take them both. This done, _Cheesman_ jumps from the deck into the
Hold, to knock _Archer_ on the Head, when _Harry Gyles_ came down
after him, desired his Life might be spared; which being agreed to, he
was made a Prisoner, and secured.

All being over, they altered their course from _Newfoundland_ to
_Boston_, where they arrived the 3rd of _May_, to the great joy of the
Province, and on the 12th of _May_, a special Court of Admiralty was
held for the Trial of these Pirates, when _John Philamore_, _Edward
Cheesman_, _John Cobs_, _Henry Gyles_, _Charles Joymay_, _John
Bootman_, and _Henry Payne_, were honourably acquitted; as also three
_French_ Men, _John Baptis_, _Peter Taffery_, and _Isaac Lassen_, as
also three Negroes, _Pedro_, _Francisco_, and _Pierro_. _John Rose
Archer_, the Quarter-Master, _William White_, _William Taylor_, and
_William Phillips_ were condemned; altho' the two latter got a
Reprieve, and the two former, _Archer_ and _White_, were executed the
2nd of _June_ following.


[Illustration: CAPTAIN TEACH]



_Edward Teach_ was a _Bristol_ Man, and had served many years in the
late wars, in a Privateer fitted out from _Jamaica_, in which he had
often distinguished himself for his boldness. He was never thought fit
to be entrusted with any Command, till he went a-pirating in the Year
1716, when Captain _Benjamin Hornigold_ put him into a Prize Sloop,
with whom he kept company till _Hornigold_ surrendered.

In 1727, _Teach_ and _Hornigold_ sailed from _Providence_ for
_America_, where, in their way, they took a vessel with above 100
Barrels of Flour, as also a Sloop from _Bermudas_, and a Ship bound to
_Carolina_; from which they had a good plunder. After cleaning at
_Virginia_, they returned to the _West-Indies_, and made Prize of a
_French Guinea_ Man bound to _Martinico_, which _Teach_ was made
Captain of; but _Hornigold_ with his Sloop returned to _Providence_,
and surrendered to mercy. Aboard the _French Guinea_ Ship, _Teach_
mounted 46 guns, and called her _Queen Anne's Revenge_. Not long after
he fell in with the _Scarborough_ Man-of-War, who, after a long fight
finding she could do no good with _Teach_, left him, and returned to
_Barbadoes_, while _Teach_ sailed to _Spanish America_. In his way, he
met with Major _Bonnet_ a Gentleman, formerly of a good estate in
_Barbadoes_, in a small Sloop with which he had turned Pirate: But
_Teach_ finding _Bonnet_ knew nothing of the matter, took him into his
own Ship, and put one _Richards_ Captain in his room, telling the
Major, _That he had not been us'd to the Fatigues of the Sea, he had
better decline it, and take his pleasure aboard his Ship_. At
_Turnissi_ they took in fresh water; but seeing a Sloop coming in,
they ran to meet her, which struck her sail, upon the sight of the
Black Flag, to _Teach_, who took the Captain and his men aboard, and
put _Israel Hands_ to mann the Sloop: From thence they sailed to the
Bay, where they found a ship and four Sloops. _Teach_ hoisted his
Black Colours, at the Sight of which, the Captain and his men left the
Ship, and ran into the woods. _Teach's_ Quarter-Master, with some of
his Men, took possession of her, and _Richards_ secured the Sloops:
One of which they burnt, because she belonged to _Boston_, where some
of his Men had been hanged; but the others they let go after
plundering them.

From hence they sailed to the _Grand Canaries_, then to the _Bahama_
Wrecks, and then to _Carolina_, where they took a Brigantine and two
Sloops, lying off the Bar of _Charles Town_; as also a Ship bound for
_London_, with some passengers aboard. The next Day they took another
Vessel coming out, and two Pinks going in, and a Brigantine with
negroes, in the Face of the Town; which put the Inhabitants into a sad
fright, being in no condition to help themselves.


_Teach_, alias _Blackbeard_, sent _Richards_ along with Mr. _Mark_,
one of the Prisoners, to demand a chest of medicines of the Governor,
several of his Men being sick aboard; threatening otherwise to burn
the Ships, and destroy all the prisoners, among whom was Mr. _Samuel
Wrag_, one of his Council. Altho' this went very much against the
inhabitants, yet they were forced to comply with it to save the lives
of the many souls had in his custody. So sending him a chest worth
about 3 or 4 hundred Pounds, _Richards_ went back safe to the ships
with his booty; which as soon as _Blackbeard_ had received, (for so I
shall call him for the future) he let the ships and the prisoners go,
having first taken 1500_l._ Sterling, and some provisions out of her.
From thence they sailed to North _Carolina_, where he had thoughts of
breaking up the company, and securing the money and the best of the
effects for himself and friends. Accordingly he ran a-ground, as if it
had been by accident, and calling _Israel Hands_ to his assistance, he
ran the Sloop ashore near the other, and so they were both lost. This
done _Blackbeard_ goes into the _Revenge_ and maroons 17 men upon a
desert island; where they must inevitably have perished, if _Bonnet_
had not after taken them up.

_Blackbeard_ goes straight to the Governor of _North Carolina_, with
Twenty of his Men, and pleads his Majesty's Pardon, and receives
Certificates thereupon. He went to his Sloop which lay at _Okere-Cock_
Inlet, and set out for Sea upon another expedition, steering his Ship
towards _Bermudas_. Meeting with one or two _English Vessels_ in his
way, he robb'd them only of provisions for his present occasion; but
meeting with a _French_ Ship laden with sugar and cocoa, he brought
her home with her cargoe to _North Carolina_, where the Governor and
the Pirates shared the plunder. He had no sooner arrived there, but he
and four of his Men made affidavit, That they found the _French_ Ship
at Sea, without ever a Man on board; upon which she was condemned. The
Governor had sixty hogheads of sugar for his dividend, his Secretary
twenty, and the rest were shared amongst the other Pirates. And for
fear the ship might be discovered by some that might come into the
River, _Blackbeard_, under pretence that she was leaky, and might
sink, obtained an order from the Governor to bring her out into the
River, and burn her; which they did, and sunk her bottom.

The Sloops trading in the River, being so often pillaged by
_Blackbeard_, consulted with the traders what course to take, knowing
it was in vain to make any application to the Governor; therefore they
sent a deputation to the Governor of _Virginia_, to sollicit a force
from the Men-of-War to destroy this Pirate. Accordingly the Governor
consulted with the Captains of the _Pearl_ and _Lime_ Men-of-War,
which lay in _St. James's_ River; whereupon it was agreed, That the
Governor should have a couple of small Sloops, and they should be
mann'd out of the Men of War, the Command of which was given to Mr.
_Robert Maynard_, first Lieutenant of the _Pearl_. But before they
sailed, it was agreed in Council, to offer a reward of 100_l._ for _any
one that should take _Edward Teach_, commonly called _Blackbeard_;
_for every_ Lieutenant, Master, Quarter-Master, Boatswain, _or_
Carpenter Twenty Pounds; For every inferior Officer, Fifteen Pounds;
And for every Man taken on Board each Sloop, Ten Pounds_.

Upon this, the Lieutenant sailed from _James's_ River in _Virginia_,
the 17th of _November_, 1718, and the 21st in the evening came to
_Okere-cock_ Inlet, where he had fight of the Pirate: And altho' this
Expedition was made with all the Secrecy imaginable, yet _Blackbeard_
had notice of it from the Governor of North _Carolina_ and his
Secretary: But having heard several false reports before, he gave the
less credit to this, till he saw the Sloops; and then he put himself
in a Posture of defence, with his 25 Men.

Lieutenant _Maynard_ came to an anchor that night, because the Channel
was so intricate that there was no getting in, in the dark. In the
Morning, coming within gun-shot of the Pirate, he received his fire:
whereupon the _Maynard_ stood directly towards him, endeavouring to
make a running fight. _Maynard's_ men being most expos'd, he lost
twenty at one broadside; upon which he ordered his men under deck, and
bid them get ready for close fighting upon the first signal. Then
_Blackbeard's_ men pour'd in grenadoes; after which, seeing no Hands
aboard, he told his men they were all kill'd; _Let's jump in, and fall
to Plunder_: Which they had no sooner done, but the Lieutenant and his
men gave them as unwelcome a reception as ever they met with before.
The Lieutenant and _Blackbeard_ fired first at each other, and then
they went to it sword in hand, whilst the men on each side were as
warmly engaged as their Captains, until the vessel was all over
blood. _Blackbeard_ stood it till he had received above twenty wounds,
five of them being shots, before he fell down dead. Eight of his
fourteen men being kill'd, and the other six being much wounded, they
call'd for quarters; which was granted, and then the Lieutenant
attacked with equal bravery the men that remained in the Sloop and
took them.

The Lieutenant caused _Blackbeard's_ head to be cut off, and hung at
the bowsprit end; with which he sailed to _Bath Town_ to get his
wounded men cured, and then began to rummage the Pirate Sloop, aboard
which they found several Letters of Correspondence betwixt the
Governor of _North Carolina_, his Secretary, and some Traders of _New
York_ and _Blackbeard_. Thereupon going to _Bath Town_ in _North
Carolina_, he seized in the Governors Store-house, the Sixty Hogsheads
of Sugar, and Mr. _Knight_ his Secretary's 20, which was their
dividend of the plunder taken in the _French_ Ship before-mentioned.

After his Men were a little recovered, he returned to the Men-of-War
in _James's_ River in _Virginia_, with _Blackbeard's_ head hanging at
his bowsprit, and 15 prisoners, 13 of whom were hanged, one of them
being taken but the night before out of a trading Sloop: The other,
not being in the fight, was taken at _Bath Town_, being just before
disabled by _Blackbeard_ in one of his drunken humours.

The night before he was killed, being ask'd if he should chance to be
killed, whether his wife knew where his money was; he answered, _That
no-body but himself and the Devil, knew where it was, and the longest
Liver should take all_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Names of the Pirates killed in the engagement were _Edward
Blackbeard_, Commander; _Philip Morton_, Gunner; _Garnet Gibbons_,
Boatswain; _Owen Roberts_, Carpenter; _Thomas Miller_, Quarter-Master;
_John Husk_, _Joseph Curtice_, _Joseph Brooks_, _Nath. Jackson_.

The following, except the two last, were hanged, viz.: _John Carnes_,
_Jo. Brookes, jun._, _James Blake_, _John Gibbs_, _Thomas Gates_,
_James White_, _Richard Styles_, _Cesar_, _Joseph Philip_, _James
Robbins_, _John Martyn_, _Edward Salter_, _Stephen Daniel_, _Richard
Greensarl_, _Israel Hands_, and _Samuel Odel_.


[Illustration: MAJOR STEDE BONNET]



The Major was a Gentleman of Fortune and Distinction in the Island of
_Barbadoes_, who before his Piracy bore the character of a worthy
honest _man_, and no-body could ever account for this his undertaking,
for he wanted neither learning nor understanding. He fitted out a
Sloop with ten guns and sixty men, which he named the _Revenge_, at
his own expence, and sailed from _Barbadoes_ for the Cape of
_Virginia_, where he took the _Anne_ from _Glasgow_, the _Turbet_ from
_Barbadoes_, the _Endeavour_ from _Bristol_, the _Young_ from _Leith_,
and many others. From thence he went to _New York_, and there took a
Sloop, and then stood in at _Gardiner's_ Island where he bought
provisions, and went off. _August_, 1717, he came off at the Bar of
_South Carolina_, and took a Sloop and Brigantine, which they
plundered, and then he dismissed the Brigantine, but took the Sloop
with him to an Inlet in _North-Carolina_, where he careened, and set
her on fire.

Afterwards he put to sea, but could not agree with the men what course
to take; for the Major being no sailor, was obliged to submit to many
things his men imposed upon him, when falling in with _Edward Teach_,
alias _Blackbeard_, who was a good sailor, but a hardened villain,
_Bonnet's_ Crew joined with him, and put _Bonnet_ aboard
_Blackbeard's_ Ship.

But _Blackbeard_ losing his Ship at _Topsail_ Inlet, surrendered to
the King's Proclamation; when _Bonnet_ re-assumed the command of his
own Sloop, and sailed directly for _Bath_ Town in _North-Carolina_,
where he also surrenders himself, and receives a certificate. There
getting a clearance for his Sloop, he pretended to sail for the
Island of _St. Thomas_, to get the Emperor's Commission to go
a-Privateering upon the _Spaniards_. But returning to _Topsail_ Inlet,
he found that _Blackbeard_ and his gang were gone, with their effects;
and that they had set on shore, on a small sandy island about a league
from the continent, seventeen men, without any provisions, or vessel
to escape. There they had been two nights and one day without any
sustenance, when, to their inexpressible joy, they saw Major _Bonnet_,
who had been informed of their being there by two of _Blackbeard's_
crew, who had escaped to avoid his cruelty.

Then he steered his course towards _Virginia_, where meeting with a
Pink having Provisions on board, and they being in want, he took out
of her ten barrels of pork, and five hundredweight of bread, and gave
her, in exchange, ten casks of Rice, and an old cable.

Two days after they took a Sloop of sixty tons, from which they took
two hogsheads of rum, and two of molasses, and then put in her eight
men, to take care of the Prize; but they not liking her new
acquaintance took the first opportunity to get off with her.

After this the Major threw off all restraint, and became a downright
Pirate, by the name of Captain _Thomas_, taking and plundering all the
vessels he met with. He took off Cape _Henry_, two Ships from
_Virginia_, bound to _Glasgow_; the next day a small Sloop from
_Virginia_ bound to _Bermudas_; from which they took twenty barrels of
pork, and gave her in return, two barrels of rice, and as much
molasses. The next day they took another _Virginia_ man, bound to
_Glasgow_, out of which they took two men, and a few small things, and
gave her a barrel of pork, and another of bread. From thence they
sailed to _Philadelphia_, where they took a Schooner coming from
_North Carolina_ to _Boston_, from which they took two men, and two
dozen of calves skins, to make covers for guns. In the latitude of
32°, off of _Delaware_ River, near _Philadelphia_, they took two Snows
bound to _Bristol_, from which they took money and goods to the value
of two hundred pounds; as also a Sloop of sixty tons, from
_Philadelphia_ to _Barbadoes_, from which they took a few goods, and
let her go. The 29th of _July_, they took a Sloop of fifty tons, bound
from _Philadelphia_ to _Barbadoes_, laden with provisions, which they
kept; as also another of sixty tons, from _Antegoa_ to _Philadelphia_,
having on board, rum, molasses, sugar, cotton and indigo, to the value
of five hundred Pounds, all of which they kept. Then they left
_Delaware_ Bay, and sailed to Cape _Fear_ River, where they staid
almost two months to repair their Sloop, which proved very leaky, till
news came to _Carolina_ of a Pirate's Sloop, with her Prizes, being
there a-careening.

Whereupon Colonel _William Rhet_ offered to go with two Sloops to
attack them; which being by the Governor and Council approved of, he
was commissioned on board the _Henry_, with eight guns and seventy
men, commanded by Captain _John Masters_; and the _Sea Nymph_,
commanded by Captain Farier-Hall, with as many guns and men; both
under the Direction of the Colonel, who went on board the _Henry_ the
14th of _September_, and sailed from _Charles_ Town to _Swillivant's_
Island, in order to cruise: where he was informed, by a small ship
from _Antegoa_, which in sight of the Bar, was taken and plundered by
_Charles Vane_, in a Brigantine of sixteen guns, and a hundred men;
that he had taken two Sloops, one Captain _Dill_, Master, from
_Barbadoes_; the other Captain _Thompson_, from _Guinea_, with seventy
negroes, which they put on board one _Yeats_ his consort, being a
small Sloop with twenty-five men, who being weary of this course of
life, ran into _Edisto_ River, and surrender'd to his Majesty's
Pardon, by which the owners got their negroes again, and _Yeats_ and
his men had their certificates sign'd.

_Vane_ cruised for some time thereabouts, in hopes to take _Yeats_,
and be revenged on him; during which time, he took a ship bound to
London, to whom he gave out, that he designed to go to the southward;
which Colonel _Rhet_ hearing, sailed over the Bar the 15th with the
two Sloops, and went after the Pirate _Vane_; but not meeting with
him, tack'd and stood for Cape _Fear_, according to his first Design;
and on the 26th following he entered the River, where he saw _Bonnet_,
and the three Sloops his Prizes, at anchor; but the Pilot running the
Sloops a-ground, hindered their getting up that Night. The Pirates
seeing the Sloops, and not knowing who they were, mann'd three canoes,
and sent them down to take them; but finding their mistake, _Bonnet_
took all the men out of the Prizes to engage them. Colonel _Rhet's_
Sloops the next morning getting under sail, stood for the Pirates, who
designed only to make a running fight; but the Colonel getting upon
his quarters, he edged in upon the shore, and ran his Sloop a-ground.
The Colonel's Sloops were soon in the same condition: The _Henry_
grounded within pistol-shot of the Pirate, on his bow; the other,
right a-head of him, almost out of gun-shot, which made it of but very
little use to the Colonel. By this time the Pirate had a very great
advantage: For his Sloop lifted from Colonel _Rhet's_, which converted
them all over; and the Colonel's Sloop lifting the same way, was much
exposed for about five hours, whilst they lay a-ground. The Colonel's
Sloop being first a-float, he got into deeper water, and after mending
his rigging, he stood for the Pirate, to go directly on board him;
which they prevented, by hoisting a flag of truce, and surrendering
soon after. The Colonel lost in this action ten men, and had fourteen
wounded. The _Sea Nymph_ had two killed, and four wounded. Among the
Pirates were none killed, and three were wounded. The next day the
Colonel weighed from Cape _Fear_, and arrived at _Charles Town_ the 3d
of _October_, to the no small joy of the people of _Carolina_.

There being no publick prison, _Bonnet_ was committed into the custody
of the marshal, and his Men were kept at the Watch-house under a
strict guard; a little before the trial, _David Harriot_ the Master,
and _Ignatius Rathe_ Boatswain, the evidences, were removed from the
Crew, to the Marshal's house, from whence on the 24th _Bonnet_ and
_Harriott_ made their escape; which as soon as the Governor heard of,
he published a Proclamation, promising a reward of 700_l._ to any one
that would take him, and also sent several boats with armed men in
pursuit of him.

_Bonnet_ stood to the northward, in a small vessel; but through stress
of weather, and want of necessaries, he was forced to _Swillivant's_
Island. Of which information being given to the Governor, he sent for
Colonel _Rhet_, and desired him once more to go in pursuit of him;
which the Colonel readily accepted of; and having got all Things
ready, went that Night for _Swillivant's_ Island, where, after a long
search, he discovered them. After the Colonel's men had fired upon
them, and killed _Harriott_, _Bonnet_ immediately surrendered himself,
and was, next Morning, brought back to _Charles Town_, and confined
under a strong guard till his trial, which was hastened for fear he
should give them the slip again.

On the 28th of _October_, 1718, a Court of Vice-Admiralty was held at
_Charles Town_, and, by several adjournments continued to the 12th of
_November_ following, by _Nicholas Trot_, Esq; Judge of the
Vice-Admiralty, and Chief Judge of _Carolina_, and other Assistant
Judges; where, after the King's Commission was read, and a Grand Jury
sworn, _Judge Trot_ gave them a learned Charge: And then the _Grand
Jury_ went out, and found the Bills; upon which, a _Petit-Jury_ was
sworn, and the following Persons were arraingn'd and try'd.

    _Stede Bonnet_, alias _Edwards_, alias _Thomas_, late of
    _Barbadoes_, Merchant.

    _Robert Tucker_, late of _Jamaica_, Merchant.

    _Edward Robinson_, late of _Newcastle_-upon-_Tine_,

    _Neal Peterson_, late of _Aberdeen_, Mariner.

    _William Scot_, late of _Aberdeen_, Mariner.

    _William Eddy_, alias _Neddy_, late of _Aberdeen_,

    _Alexander Annand_, late of _Jamaica_, Mariner.

    _George Rose_, late of _Glasgow_, Mariner.

    _George Dubin_, late of _Glasgow_, Mariner.

    _John Ridge_, late of _London_, Mariner.

    _Matthew King_, late of _Jamaica_, Mariner.

    _Daniel Perry_, late of _Guernsey_, Mariner.

    _Henry Virgin_, late of _Bristol_, Mariner.

    _James Rattle_, alias _Robbins_, late of _London_,

    _James Mullet_, alias _Millet_, late of _London_,

    _Thomas Price_, late of _Bristol_, Mariner.

    _James Wilson_, late of _Dublin_, Mariner.

    _John Lopez_, late of _Oporto_, Mariner.

    _Zachariah Long_, late of the Province of _Holland_,

    _Job. Barley_, late of _London_, Mariner.

    _John William Smith_, late of _Charles_ Town in
    _Carolina_, Mariner.

    _Thomas Carman_, late of _Maidstone_ in _Kent_, Mariner.

    _John Thomas_, late of _Jamaica_, Mariner.

    _William Morrison_, late of _Jamaica_, Mariner.

    _Samuel Booth_, late of _Charles_ Town, Mariner.

    _William Howet_, late of _Jamaica_, Mariner.

    _John Kent_, late of _North Carolina_, Mariner.

    _William Livres_, alias _Evis_, late of _Carolina_,

    _John Brierly_, alias _Timberhead_, late of _Bath_ Town
    in _North Carolina_, Mariner.

    _Robert Boyd_, late of _Bath_ Town in North _Carolina_,

    _Thomas Nicholas_, late of _London_, Mariner.

    _Rowland Sharp_, late of _Bath_ Town, Mariner.

    _Jonathan Clark_, late of _Charles_ Town, Mariner.

    _Thomas Gerrard_, late of _Antegoa_, Mariner.

All of whom, except the four last, were found Guilty, and received
Sentence of Death, upon two Indictments, for Robbing upon the High Sea
the _Francis_, _Peter Manwaring_, Commander; and for seizing, in a
Piratical Manner, the Sloop _Fortune_, _Thomas Read_, Commander: To
which they all pleaded Not Guilty, except _James Wilson_ and _John
Levit_, who pleaded Guilty to both Indictments, and _Daniel Piercy_
to one only. _Bonnet_ moved to go through both the Indictments at
once; but the Court overruling it, he was found Guilty of one, and
retracted his Plea to the other. They made but little Defence,
pretending they were taken off a _Maroon_ Shore, and were shipped with
Major _Bonnet_ to go to _St. Thomas's_, but wanting provisions they
were obliged to do what they did; and the Major himself pretended it
was _Necessity_ and not _Inclination_ that compelled them to do it.
But that not appearing, they having all shared ten or eleven Pounds a
man, except the four last, they were all found Guilty. After which the
Judge set forth the enormity of their Crimes: And then pronounced
Sentence of Death upon the persons aforesaid, except Major _Bonnet_,
who not being brought back in time, was not tried till the 10th of
_November_; and being then also found Guilty, he received Sentence in
like manner as the others; before whom Judge _Trot_ made an excellent
speech, saying afterwards.

_And now, having discharged my Duty as a Christian, I must do my
Office as a Judge, which is_

_You the said _Stede Bonnet_ shall go from hence, to the Place from
whence you came, and from thence to the Place of Execution, where you
shall be hanged by the Neck till you are dead._





We are now going to give an account of one whose name is better known
in _England_, than most of those whose histories we have already
related; the person we mean is Captain _Kid_, whose public Trial and
Execution here, rendered him the subject of all conversation.

In the beginning of King _William's_ War, Captain _Kid_ commanded a
Privateer in the _West-Indies_, and by several adventurous actions
acquired the reputation of a brave man, as well as an experienced
seaman. About this time the Pirates were very troublesome in those
parts, wherefore Captain _Kid_ was recommended by the Lord
_Bellamont_, then Governor of _Barbadoes_, as well as by several other
persons, to the Government here, as a person very fit to be entrusted
with the command of a Government Ship, and to be employed in cruising
upon the Pirates, as knowing those Seas perfectly well, and being
acquainted with their lurking places; but what reasons governed the
politics of those times, I cannot tell, but this proposal met with no
encouragement here, though it is certain it would have been of great
consequence to the subject, our merchants suffering incredible damages
by those robbers.

Upon this neglect the Lord _Bellamont_, and some others who knew what
great captures had been made by the Pirates, and what a prodigious
wealth must be in their possession, were tempted to fit out a ship at
their own private charge, and to give the command of it to Captain
_Kid_; and to give the thing a greater reputation, as well as to keep
their seamen under the better command, they procured the King's
Commission for the said Captain _Kid_.

Captain _Kid_ had also another Commission, which was called a
Commission of Reprisals; for it being then War time, this Commission
was to justify him in the taking of _French_ Merchant Ships, in case
he should meet with any. He sail'd out of _Plymouth_ in _May_ 1696, in
the _Adventure_ Galley of thirty guns, and eighty men; the place he
first design'd for was _New York_; in his Voyage thither he took a
French _Banker_, but this was no Act of Piracy, he having a Commission
for that purpose, as we have just observed.

When he arrived at _New York_ he put up Articles for engaging more
Hands, it being necessary to his Ship's crew, since he proposed to
deal with a desperate enemy: The terms he offered were, that every man
should have a share of what was taken, reserving for himself and
Owners forty shares. Upon this encouragement he soon increas'd his
company to a hundred and fifty five men.

With this company he first sail'd for _Maderas_, where he took in wine
and some other necessaries; from thence he proceeded to _Bonavist_,
one of the _Cape de Verd Islands_, to furnish the ship with salt, and
from thence went immediately to _St. Jago_, another of the _Cape de
Verd Islands_, in order to stock himself with provisions. When all
this was done, he bent his course to _Madagascar_, the known
rendezvous of Pirates; in this way he fell in with Captain _Warren_,
Commodore of three Men-of-War; he acquainted them with his design,
kept them company two or three days, and then leaving them, made the
best way for _Madagascar_, where he arrived in _February_ 1696, just
nine months from his departure from _Plymouth_.


It does not appear all this while that he had the least design of
turning Pirate; for near _Mahala_ and _Joanna_ both he met with
several _Indian_ ships richly laden, to which he did not offer the
least violence, tho' he was strong enough to have done what he pleas'd
with them; and the first outrage or depredation I find he committed
upon mankind, was after his repairing his ship, and leaving _Joanna_;
he touch'd at a place call'd _Mabbee_, upon the _Red Sea_, where he
took some _Guinea_ Corn from the natives, by force.

After this he sail'd to _Bab's Key_, a Place upon a little Island at
the entrance of the _Red Sea_; here it was that he first began to open
himself to his ship's company, and let them understand that he
intended to change his measures; for, happening to talk of the _Moca_
Fleet, which was to sail that way, he said _We have been unsuccessful
hitherto, but courage, my Boys, we'll make our fortunes out of this
Fleet_: And finding that none of them appear'd averse to it, he
order'd a boat out, well mann'd, to go upon the coast to make
discoveries, commanding them to take a prisoner and bring to him, or
get intelligence any way they could. The boat return'd in a few days,
bringing him word, that they saw fourteen or fifteen ships ready to
sail, some with _English_, some with _Dutch_, and some with _Moorish_
Colours. He therefore order'd a man continually to watch at the
mast-head, least this Fleet should go by them; and about four days
after, towards evening, it appear'd in sight, being convoy'd by one
_English_ and one _Dutch_ Man-of-War. _Kid_ soon fell in with them,
and getting into the midst of them, fir'd at a _Moorish_ ship which
was next him; but the Men-of-War taking the Alarm, bore down upon
_Kid_, and firing upon him, obliged him to sheer off, he not being
strong enough to contend with them. Now he had begun hostilities, he
resolv'd to go on, and therefore he went and cruis'd along the coast
of _Malabar_; the first Prize he met was a small vessel belonging to
_Aden_, the vessel was _Moorish_, and the Owners were _Moorish_
Merchants, but the Master was an _Englishman_, his name was _Parker_.
_Kid_ forc'd him and a _Portugueze_ that was call'd _Don Antonio_,
which were all the _Europeans_ on Board, to take on with them; the
first he design'd as a pilot, and the last as an interpreter. He also
used the men very cruelly, causing them to be hoisted up by the arms,
and drubb'd with a naked cutlass, to force them to discover whether
they had money on board, and where it lay; but as they had neither
gold nor silver on board, he got nothing by his cruelty; however, he
took from them a bale of pepper, and a bale of coffee, and so let them

Soon after this he came up with a _Moorish_ Ship, the Master whereof
was a _Dutchman_, call'd _Schipper Mitchel_, and chased her under
_French_ Colours, which they observing, hoisted _French_ Colours too:
When he came up with her, he hail'd her in _French_, and they having a
_Frenchman_ on board, answer'd him in the same language; upon which he
order'd them to send their boat on board; they were oblig'd to do so,
and having examin'd who they were, and from whence they came; he ask'd
the _Frenchman_, who was a passenger, if he had a _French_ pass for
himself? The _Frenchman_ gave him to understand that he had. Then he
told the _Frenchman_ he must pass for Captain, _and by God_, says he,
_you are the Captain_: The _Frenchman_ durst not refuse doing as he
would have him: The meaning of this was, that he would seize the Ship
as fair Prize, and as if she belonged to _French_ Subjects, according
to a commission he had for that purpose; tho', one would think, after
what he had already done, that he need not have recourse to a quibble
to give his actions a colour.

In short, he took the cargoe and sold it some time after, yet still he
seem'd to have some fears upon him least these proceedings should have
a bad end; for, coming up with a _Dutch_ Ship some time, when his men
thought of nothing but attacking her, _Kid_ oppos'd it; upon which a
mutiny arose, and the majority being for taking the said ship, and
arming themselves to man the boat to go and seize her, he told them,
such as did, never should come on Board him again; which put an end to
the design, so that he kept company with the said ship some time,
without offering her any violence: However, this dispute was the
occasion of an accident, upon which an indictment was afterwards
grounded against _Kid_; for _Moor_, the Gunner, being one day upon
deck, and talking with _Kid_ about the said _Dutch_ Ship, some words
arose betwixt them, and _Moor_ told _Kid_, that he had ruin'd them
all; upon which, _Kid_, calling him _Dog_, took up a bucket and struck
him with it, which breaking his skull, he died the next day.

But _Kid's_ penitential fit did not last long, for coasting along
_Malabar_, he met with a great number of boats, all which he
plunder'd. Upon the same Coast he also lit upon a _Portugueze_ Ship,
which he kept possession of a week, and then having taking out of her
some chests of _Indian_ goods, thirty jars of butter, and some wax,
iron, and a hundred bags of rice, he let her go.

The _Adventure_ Galley was now so old and leaky, that they were forced
to keep two pumps continually going, wherefore _Kid_ shifted all the
guns and tackle out of her into the _Queda_ Merchant, intending her
for his Man-of-War; and as he had divided the Money before, he now
made a division of the remainder of the cargo: Soon after which, the
greatest part of the company left him, some going on board Captain
_Culliford_, and others absconding in the Country, so that he had not
above forty men left.

He put to sea and happened to touch at _Amboyna_, one of the _Dutch_
Spice Islands, where he was told, that the news of his Actions had
reach'd _England_, and that he was there declared a Pirate.

The truth on't is, his Piracies so alarmed our Merchants, that some
motions were made in Parliament, to enquire into the commission that
was given him, and the persons who fitted him out: These proceedings
seem'd to lean a little hard upon the Lord _Bellamont_, who thought
himself so much touch'd thereby, that he published a Justification of
himself in a pamphlet after _Kid's_ execution. In the mean time, it
was thought advisable, to publish a Proclamation, offering the King's
free Pardon to all such Pirates as should voluntarily surrender
themselves, whatever Piracies they had been guilty of at any time,
before the last day of _April_, 1699--That is to say, for all
Piracies committed Eastward of the _Cape of Good_ Hope, to the
Longitude and Meridian of _Socatora_, and _Cape Camorin_. In which
Proclamation, _Avery_ and _Kid_ were excepted by Name.

When _Kid_ left _Amboyna_ he knew nothing of this Proclamation, for
certainly had he had notice of his being excepted in it, he would not
have been so infatuated, to run himself into the very jaws of danger;
but relying upon his interest with the Lord _Bellamont_, and fancying,
that a _French_ Pass or two he found on board some of the ships he
took, would serve to countenance the matter, and that part of the booty
he got would gain him new friends--I say, all these things made him
flatter himself that all would be hushed, and that justice would but
wink at him. Wherefor he sail'd directly for _New York_, where he was
no sooner arrived, but by the Lord _Bellamont's_ orders, he was secured
with all his papers and effects. Many of his fellow-adventurers who had
forsook him at _Madagascar_, came over from thence passengers, some to
_New England_ and some to _Jersey_; where hearing of the King's
Proclamation for pardoning of Pirates, they surrendered themselves to
the Governor of those places: At first they were admitted to bail, but
soon after were laid in strict confinement, where they were kept for
some time, till an opportunity happened of sending them with their
Captain over to _England_ to be tried.

Accordingly a Sessions of Admiralty being held at the _Old Baily_, in
_May_, 1701, _Captain Kid_, _Nicholas Churchill_, _James How_, _Robert
Lumley_, _William Jenkins_, _Gabriel Loff_, _Hugh Parrot_, _Richard
Barlicorn_, _Abel Owens_, and _Darby Mullins_, were arraingn'd for
Piracy and Robbery on the High Seas, and all found guilty, except
three; these were _Robert Lumley_, _William Jenkins_, and _Richard
Barlicorn_, who proving themselves to be apprentices to some of the
officers of the ship, and producing their Indentures in Court, were

_Kid_ was tried upon an indictment of Murder also, _viz._ for killing
_Moor_ the Gunner, and found guilty of the same. _Nicholas Churchill_
and _James How_ pleaded the King's Pardon, as having surrendered
themselves within the time limited in the Proclamation, and Colonel
_Bass_, Governor of _West Jersey_, to whom they surrendered, being in
Court, and called upon, proved the same; however, this plea was
over-ruled by the Court, because there being four Commissioners named
in the Proclamation, it was adjudged no other person was qualified to
receive their surrender, and that they could not be intitled to the

As to Captain _Kid's_ Defence, he insisted much upon his own
innocence, and the villany of his men; he said he went out in a
laudable employment and had no occasion, being then in good
circumstances, to go a-Pirating; that the men often mutinied against
him, and did as they pleas'd; that he was threatened to be shot in his
cabin, and that ninety five left him at one time, and set fire to his
boat, so that he was disabled from bringing his ship home, or the
Prizes he took, to have them regularly condemn'd, which he said were
taken by virtue of a commission under the broad seal, they having
_French_ Passes--The Captain called one Col. _Hewson_ to his
Reputation, who gave him an extraordinary character, and declared to
the Court, that he had served under his command, and been in two
engagements with him against the _French_, in which he fought as well
as any man he ever saw; that there were only _Kid's_ Ship and his own
against Monsieur _du Cass_, who commanded a squadron of six sail, and
they got the better of him, but this being several years before the
facts mentioned in the Indictment were committed, prov'd of no manner
of service to the Prisoner on his Trial.

As to the friendship shown to _Culliford_, a notorious Pirate, _Kid_
denied, and said, he intended to have taken him, but his men being a
parcel of rogues and villains refused to stand by him, and several of
them ran away from his ship to the said Pirate.--But the evidence
being full and particular against him, he was found Guilty as before

When _Kid_ was asked what he had to say why Sentence should not pass
against him, he answered, That _he had nothing to say, but that he had
been sworn against by perjured wicked People_. And when Sentence was
pronounced, he said, _My Lord it is a very hard Sentence. For my part
I am the innocentest Person of them all, only I have been sworn
against by perjured Persons_.

Wherefore about a week after, Capt. _Kid_, _Nicholas Churchill_,
_James How_, _Gabriel Loff_, _Hugh Parrot_, _Abel Owen_, and _Darby
Mullins_, were executed at _Execution Dock_, and afterwards hung up in
Chains, at some distance from each other, down the river, where their
Bodies hung exposed for many years.





_Edward England_ went Mate of a Sloop that sailed out of _Jamaica_,
and was taken by _Winter_, a Pirate, from whom he had the Command of a
Sloop just before their Settlement at _Providence_. The man was brave
and good natured, and far from being cruel, as most of them are; and
would not have committed such barbarous actions as he did, had not his
comrades compelled him to it.

He sailed to the Coast of _Africa_, after the Island of _Providence_
was inhabited by the _English_. In his Passage he took several Ships,
particularly the _Cadogan_ Snow belonging to _Bristol_, one _Skinner_
Master, who was murdered by those very men who had formerly served
under him, upon a quarrel that happened between _Skinner_ and them,
about their wages: He shipped them on board a Man-of-War, from whence
they deserted, and went on board a ship in the _West-Indies_, where
they were taken by a pirate, and brought to _Providence_, and then
they sailed with Captain _England_ a-Pirating.

As soon as _Skinner_ came on board, he saw his old Boatswain, who
said, _Ah! Captain Skinner is it you, I am much in your Debt, and now
I shall pay you in your own Coin_. These words put the Captain in a
panic Fear: And indeed he had Reason enough to be afraid, for they
immediately seized him, bound him to the Windlass, pelted him with
Glass Bottles, afterwards whipt him about the Deck, and then said,
because he had been a good Master, he should have an easy Death, and
so shot him through the Head; the vessel and her Cargoe being given to
_Howel Davis_.

After this _England_ went into an _Harbour_ to clean his Ship, and
also fitted up the _Peterborough_, which he called the _Victory_.
Then putting out to sea, they sailed for the _East-Indies_, and took
_Madagascar_, by the Way. From thence, after taking in water and
provisions, they went for _Malabar_, in the Empire of the _Mogul_.
Here they took several _Indian_ Vessels, and one _European_, a _Dutch_
Ship, which they exchanged for one of their own, and then came back to
_Madagascar_, where they sent several Hands on shore to kill venison,
and then resolved to seek out for the remains of _Avery's_ Crew; but
returning without success, they being settled on the other side, they
stay'd no longer than till they had cleaned their ships, and then
sailed to _Juanna_.

In the Year 1720, the _Bombay_ Fleet, consisting of four _Grabs_, the
_London Chandois_, and some other ships, carried 1000 Men to bombard
and batter _Gapra_, a fort belonging to _Angria_, on the _Malabar_
Coast; which they not being able to do, fell in with the Pirates, in
their return to _Bombay_: But Captain _Upton_ the Commodore, having no
orders, would not engage them; which so provoked the Governor, for
missing so favourable an opportunity of cutting the Pirates all off,
that he gave the command to Captain _Mackra_, with orders to fight
them wherever he met with them.

But the Pirates proceeded to the southward, and took a small ship out
of _Orincro_ Road, with a _Dutch_ and two _Portugueze_ Men on board,
one of which they sent to the Captain, to inform him, that if he would
supply them with provisions and water he should have his ship again.
But the Master would not agree to it; thereupon they sent other
persons ashore, and swore he should be the last man they would give
quarter to, and so put directly for _Laccadeva_ Island, and arrived
there in three days. But being informed by a _Menchew_, there was no
anchor-ground there, they went to the next Island, called _Melincha_,
whence they were driven by a storm, leaving behind them a hundred
people, and all their water-casks: But in a week's time, they regained
the island, took their people on board, and filled the water-casks.
Provisions being scarce, they resolved to visit the _Dutch_ at
_Cochin_, and after three days sail, arrived off of _Tellechery_,
where they took a small Vessel belonging to Governor _Adams_; who
giving an account of Captain _Mackra's_ fitting out against them, put
them into a grievous passion.

Afterward they arrived at _Mauritius_, where they refitted the
_Victory_, and then sailed the 5th of April for _Madagascar_, but
called first at the Island _Mascarine_, at which they found a
_Portugueze_ ship of seventy guns at anchor, disabled by a violent
storm, so that they easily became a Prize to the Pirates. She had on
board the _Conde Ereceira_ Vice-Roy of _Goa_, also they found on board
her, in diamonds only, to the value of four millions of Dollars. They
made the Vice-Roy a prisoner; but in consideration of his losses,
accepted of a ransom of 2000 dollars and then set him and his
followers ashore. Learning that an _Ostender_ was on the leeward of
that Island, they sailed and took her, and sent her to _Madagascar_
with news of their success, where they followed themselves soon
after, with two hundred _Mozambique_ Negroes in the _Portugueze_ Ship.

When _Taylor_ came with the _Portugueze_ Prize to _Madagascar_, they
found that the _Ostender_ had made his men drunk, and seized his ship,
which they carried to the _Mozambique_; from thence the Governor
ordered her to _Goa_. But the Pirates staid and clean'd the
_Cassandra_, and divided very great plunder. Some, who thought they
had got enough, staid at _Madagascar_, and the rest, having no
occasion for two ships, burnt the _Victory_, she being leaky, and went
on board the _Cassandra_, under the Command of Captain _Taylor_,
designing to go for _Cochin_ to dispose of his diamonds, amongst his
old Friends the _Dutch_, and also to avoid the dangers of the
Men-of-War that were in pursuit of them. But as he was preparing to
sail, and heard of four Men-of-War coming after him; therefore he
altered his mind, and sailed for the Main of _Africa_, and put in at
_Delagoa_: But the Pirates were surprized in the evening with some
shot from the shore. They took it for a desert shore, but it proved
otherwise; for a few months before, the _Dutch East India Company_ had
settled one hundred men upon it, who, not being supplied with
necessaries, were reduced to about sixteen; whom _Taylor_, upon their
humble petition took aboard, and they all became Pirates with him.

Here they stayed about four months, careened their ships, and left
_Delagoa_ the latter end of _December_: But not agreeing among
themselves, they parted those who were weary of that sort of life,
went on board the _Portugueze_ Prize, and sailed for _Madagascar_; the
others went on board the _Cassandra_, and sailed for the _Spanish West
Indies_. The _Mermaid_ Man-of-War, which was a convoy to some
Merchant-men, about 30 leagues distance, would have gone to attack
them, had not the Merchants, whom he had the care of, declar'd their
protection was of more service than destroying the Pirates; and so he
was oblig'd to be content with only dispatching the news of it to
_Jamaica_. This brought down the _Lanceston_, though it was a day or
two too late, for they had just before surrendered, with all their
riches, to the Governor of _Porto-Bello_, where they now live upon
their Spoils, saying, others would have done as much, had they had the
same opportunity; swearing, _That whatever Robberies they had
committed they are not the only Rogues in the World; for that the
South-Sea[A] did more Mischief in one Year, than they were able to do
in their whole Lives_.



[A] The South-Sea Bubble.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN JOHN GOW]



_John Gow_, alias _Smith_, was born at a place called _Caristoun_, in
the _Orkney_ Islands, and was brought up a sailor from his youth,
having served on board several Men-of-War, and last of all on board
the _Suffolk_, along with _T. Swan_, who was engaged with him in the
conspiracy to murder Captain _Ferneau_, and seize the ship and cargoe,
as they went off the _Texel_, but they were prevented by _James
Belvin_, who was led into the secret and discovered it. Captain
_Ferneau_ taking little notice of it, contented himself with turning
off _Swan_, and preferred _Gow_ to be second Mate and Gunner.

They sailed on board the _George_ Galley, August the 1st, 1724, from
the _Texel_ to _Santa Cruz_, having 15000_l._ on board, when Gow
designed to have seized the Ship as they went out, but could not get a
party strong enough to join with him, till he worked up a
misunderstanding between the Captain and part of the crew, concerning
the provisions of the ship, particularly _Winter_, _Peterson_, _and
Mc.Cawley_, who came upon the Quarter-Deck, in presence of the Owners,
just before they sailed, and made a long complaint against the
Captain; who assured them that if there was any wrong done them, it
was not by his consent; and that he would enquire into it as soon as
they had unmoored the ship.

About eight a clock at night, Captain _Ferneau_, as usual, called them
up to prayers in the great Cabin, and then set the watch, and went to
sleep, little thinking his end was so near, when _Winter_,
_Rawlisson_, and _Melvin_, begun the scene of blood, _Gow_ lying snug
in his hammock, as if he knew nothing of the matter, till he saw
whether the villany would succeed, or not. _Winter_ cut the Doctor's
throat as he was asleep in his hammock, and then went up to _Melvin_
and _Rawlisson_, who in the mean time had seized the Captain and cut
his throat also, but not touching the windpipe, _Gow_ stept up and
shot him with a brace of bullets, and then threw him over-board.
_Mc.Cawley_ cut _Stephen Algiers_ the Clerk's throat, as he lay in the
hammock, and _Williams_ shot him dead afterwards. _Peterson_ cut the
throat of _Bonaventure Jelphs_, the Chief Mate; and _Michael Moor_, at
the Command of _Williams_, shot him.

After this _Williams_ came upon the Quarter-Deck, and saluted _Gow_
with Captain _Ferneau's_ sword, first striking it upon one of the
guns, and saying, _Welcome Captain_ Gow, _welcome to your new
Command_. After which, _Gow_ told the men, That if any of them durst
murmur or cabal together, they must expect to meet with the same Fate;
and then calling a Council, they agreed to go, _Upon the Account_, as
they called it.

They called the ship the _Revenge_, and mounted six more of her guns,
she being able to carry four and twenty in all. But instead of going
to _Genoa_ as intended, they sailed for the coasts of _Spain_ and
_Portugal_, in hopes of getting a ship laden with wine, to keep up
their spirits; but all was alike they met with; and instead of wine,
they contented themselves with fish, which they took out of a ship
called the _Delight_ of _Poole_, _Thomas Wise_, Master, bound from
_New-England_ to _Cadiz_, out of which they took the men, and what
they wanted, and then sunk the Ship, to prevent their being discovered
to the _English_ Men-of-War who lay in the _Straights_.

On the 18th of _December_, they took the _Snow-Galley_, out of which
Crew they kept _Rob_, and discharged the Captain and the rest of the
men, after having plundered the Ship of the arms, ammunition, cloth,
provisions, sails, anchors, cables, and then let her go.

By this time, they were got a great way to the southward; and being in
want of water as well as wind, they agreed to go to _Maderas_, which
Island they made in two days, cruising about it near a week, expecting
some vessel to come in or come out; but the Country discovering what
they were, they were disappointed in their attempts. Then they stood
away for _Porto Santa_, where they put up _British_ Colours, and sent
their Boat ashore with a compliment to the Governor, desiring leave to
Water, and buy some refreshments; which he readily agreed to, and went
with them to pay the _English_ Captain a Visit, who received him in a
very grand Manner. But the refreshments not coming as expected, he at
length told him he was his Prisoner, and must remain so till the
provisions were come on board, which was not till next day, when _Gow_
discharged him, giving him three Cerons of Bees-wax, and three Guns at
his going away.

Having now got provisions, they agreed to return to the Coasts of
_Spain_ and _Portugal_; where they had not been above two days, before
they met with the _Batchelor_, _Benjamin Cross_ Master, from
_New-England_ bound to _Cadiz_; out of which they took _Cross_ and
his Men, and gave the Ship to Captain _Wise_, as also 24 Cerons of
Bees-wax to him and his mate, and to his four men 8 Cerons. After this
they took a _French_ Ship from _Cadiz_, loaded with wine, oil, and
fruit, which was what they wanted, and manned her with their own men,
taking on board the _Revenge_ the _French_ Master, and his 12 Men, and
most Part of the cargoe, with five guns and their carriages,
ammunition, small arms, and sails, and gave the ship to _Somerville_,
Captain of the _Snow Galley_; and to Captain _Cross_ the _New-English_
Man, to who they gave half the ship and cargoe and _Somerville_ had
all his Men, but _Alexander Rob_, whom they detained, and who was
executed in 1725, for engaging along with them.

Soon after they saw a large ship to the windward bearing down upon
them, which at first they thought to have been a _Portugueze_
Man-of-War; but they found afterwards, it was a _French_ Merchant Ship
coming home from the _West-Indies_, which not fearing them, came on to
the windward. _Gow_ perceiving she was a Ship of great strength,
called all his men together, telling them they had a great many
prisoners on board, and that he could not trust many of his own men;
besides, six of his best Hands were on Board the other Ship, therefore
he advised them not to meddle with her, she being far superior in
Force. This so exasperated _Williams_, that he demanded of _Gow_ to
give his orders for fighting; but he, by the advice of the whole crew,
declined it; whereupon _Williams_ snapt his pistol at his Face; which
not going off, made him still madder. _Winter_ and _Peterson_ standing
by him fired each a Pistol at _Williams_, one shooting him through the
arm, and the other in the belly; at which he fell, and they believing
he was killed, were going to throw him overboard, when he leapt up,
and ran into the Powder-Room, with his pistol cocked in his hand,
swearing he would blow them all up; which he had certainly done, had
they not prevented him that very moment, he having opened the scuttle
to do it.

They immediately put him in irons, and hand-cuffed him, and then put
him between decks, in a place prepared for prisoners.

Two days after this, they took the _Triumvirate_, a _Bristol_ Sloop,
_Joel Davis_ Master, bound from _Newfoundland_ to _Oporto_, with fish;
from whence they took all her provisions, arms, sails, and two of her
men, and then let her go with the rest, and all her cargoe. Not
knowing what to do with _Williams_, they resolved to put him on board
them, and send him away, for fear of further danger, ordering the
Master to put him on board the first _English_ man of War he should
meet with, to hang him for Piracy; which when _Williams_ found they
were resolved to do, he made all the submission he was able to Captain
_Gow_, begging for pardon, knowing if he was carried to _Lisbon_ he
should meet with his deserts. But all his entreaties would not do, he
was brought up double fettered, when he begged they would throw him
into the sea, and drown him, rather than give him up to be hanged in
chains, which he knew he deserved from the _Portugueze_ as well as
_English_. This made many of them begin to relent and pity him; but
considering his savage disposition, they knew there was no safety to
keep him on board, and so resolved to let him go, and give him a
hearty curse at parting, wishing him a safe voyage to the gallows, not
dreaming that they themselves should accompany him.

The _Bristol_ Captain obeyed their orders, and as soon as he came to
_Lisbon_ put him on board the _Argyle_ man of War, Captain _Bowler_
Commander, who brought him home not above three days before Gow and
his Crew came to keep him company.

In the middle of last _January_, they arrived at _Caristoun_ in the
Isles of _Orkney_, when _Gow_ gave them instructions, what account
they should give of themselves to the people of the country, to avoid
suspicion. But now began their misfortunes, for several of their men
began to think of making their escape, the first was one _Read_, who
took an opportunity to get away when the boat went ashore, who went to
a farm-house which lay under a hill where he hired a horse and rode
to _Kirkwall_, a market town about twelve miles off, where he informed
them what they were; whereupon they raised the Country to defend
themselves. The Pirates soon hearing what was done, ten more of them
went away with the longboat, making the best of their way for
_Scotland_, who were some time after taken in the _Frith_ of
_Edinburgh_, and made Prisoners.

This so provoked _Gow_, that he resolved to plunder the Country, be
the consequence what it would, and in order thereto, he sent _Belvin_
his Boatswain, with _Rob_ and Four more, to Mr. _Honnyman's_ house,
the Sheriff, who not being at home, his Servants let them in, not
suspecting their design. They immediately fell to work, but Mr.
_Honnyman's_ Daughter had the presence of mind to hide the money in a
tub of feathers, till she found an opportunity to carry it away, by
the contrivance of _Alexander Rob_, who was placed centinel at the
door. But when the Boatswain found the treasure was gone, Gow having
before told them where it lay, he swore he would burn the house, and
all that was in it, which the young Lady hearing, she runs to the
Charter-room where the Treasure lay, and threw it out of the Window,
jumping herself after. However, they plundered the house of about
fifty pounds, and some plate, and then forced a servant who played on
the bag-pipes, to pipe before them to the ship, whom they also
detained, and was brought along with them to the _Marshalsea_, where
he was sick till his release.

The next day they weighed anchor, and came to _Calf-Sound_, where the
boatswain went ashore again with four armed Men, meeting with no
Plunder. From thence they went to the Island of _Eda_, to plunder the
house of Mr. _Fea_, whom _Gow_ had formerly been School-fellow with,
and knowing him to be a Man of Courage, believed that the Alarm at
_Caristoun_ had drawn him thither: But Mr. _Fea's_ wife at that Time
being very sick in Bed, kept him at home, and having notice of them he
sent a letter to _Gow_ by _James Laing_, to desire him to withdraw,
assuring him that most of the inhabitants were fled to the mountains
on the report of his being a Pirate, desiring him to send the
messenger safe back, at whose return the affrights of the people would
be over. _Gow_ sent him word back, that he would write to nobody, but
if Mr. _Fea_ would send his men with a Boat, he would reward them
handsomely, which Mr. _Fea_ hearing, he ordered his great Boat to be
staved, and sunk, and the sails to be carried out of sight. In the
mean time, perceiving _Gow's_ boat come on shore, with five men in it,
well armed, he met them, and said if they would go to a Publick House
in the neighbourhood, and take a cup of ale with him, he would see
what he could do to serve them, which they agreed to, seeing Mr. _Fea_
was all alone, not suspecting any danger. Mr. _Fea_ had before given
orders for half a dozen men, well armed, to lie in ambush to surprize
them, which being done, Mr. _Fea_ sent to Mr. _Gow_ to let him know,
that the country was alarmed, and that it would be his best way
peaceable to surrender, which _Gow_ did in a day or two, thinking
thereby to make himself an evidence; but it would not do, although he
complied so far as to delude all his men ashore one after another, who
would certainly have cut his throat, had they known of any ways
afterwards to have escaped.

They were put on board the _Greyhound_, which delivered them into the
_Marshalsea_, _March_ 30, 1714, where they continued till _June_
following, when eight of them were hanged at _Execution Dock_, viz.
_John Gow_, _James Williams_, _James Belvin_, _John Winter_, _Peter
Rawlisson_, _Daniel Mc.Cawley_, _William Ingram_, for another Piracy
under _Anstis_, and a month afterwards _Alexander Rob_ was hanged for
Piracy under _Gow_.



Transcriber's Note

Fraser notes in his foreword to this book that the original author's
spelling was "indefinite even for his own day", and adds that it has
"has been more or less modernized" in this edition; however, there are
still many inconsistencies in spelling, use of hyphenation and
italics, and capitalisation of words. These inconsistencies, along
with archaic spelling, have been retained throughout.

Minor typographic errors in punctuation have been corrected without
note. The word 'with' was printed as 'htiw' (page 138), and has been
corrected. The word 'were' has been amended to 'where' (page 139, "...
where they sent several Hands ..."), for the sentence to make sense.
Two instances of transposed letters have also been corrected--sieze
changed to seize, and Goaler changed to Gaoler. The original title
page illustration also contained an error, Jnae, which referred to a
month. This was cross-checked with the rest of the text, and has been
amended to read June in the transcription of the text.

The frontispiece illustration has been moved to follow the front matter.

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