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Title: Great Pirate Stories
Author: French, Joseph Lewis, 1858-1936 [Editor]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Great Pirate Stories" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                   GREAT PIRATE STORIES

                         EDITED BY

                    JOSEPH LEWIS FRENCH
 Editor of "Great Sea Stories," "Masterpieces of Mystery,"
                "Great Ghost Stories," etc.

                        TWO VOLUMES
                          IN ONE

                   TUDOR PUBLISHING CO.
                         NEW YORK

      First Printing, November, 1922
      Second Printing, January, 1923
      Third Printing, November, 1923
      Fourth Printing, November, 1929

 _Printed in the United States of America_

      Copyright, 1922, by Brentano's

Transcriber's Note:

    Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
    Archaic, dialect and quoted spellings (including inconsistent proper
    nouns), in addition to irregular hyphenation, remain as printed.

    Go tell your King, he is King of the Land;
    But I am the King of the Sea!

                      BARBAROSSA TO CHARLES V.


Piracy embodies the romance of the sea at its highest expression. It is
a sad but inevitable commentary on our civilization, that, so far as the
sea is concerned, it has developed from its infancy down to a century or
so ago, under one phase or another of piracy. If men were savages on
land they were doubly so at sea, and all the years of maritime
adventure--years that added to the map of the world till there was
little left to discover--could not wholly eradicate the piratical germ.
It went out gradually with the settlement and ordering of the far-flung
British colonies. Great Britain, foremost of sea powers, must be
credited with doing more both directly and indirectly for the abolition
of crime and disorder on the high seas than any other force. But the
conquest was not complete till the advent of steam which chased the
sea-rover into the farthest corners of his domain. It is said that he
survives even today in certain spots in the Chinese waters,--but he is
certainly an innocuous relic. A pirate of any sort would be as great a
curiosity today if he could be caught and exhibited as a fabulous

The fact remains and will always persist that in the lore of the sea he
is far and away the most picturesque figure,--and the more genuine and
gross his career, the higher degree of interest does he inspire.

There may be a certain human perversity in this, for the pirate was
unquestionably a bad man--at his best, or worst--considering his
surroundings and conditions,--undoubtedly the worst man that ever lived.
There is little to soften the dark yet glowing picture of his exploits.
But again, it must be remembered, that not only does the note of
distance subdue, and even lend a certain enchantment to the scene, but
the effect of contrast between our peaceful times and his own
contributes much to deepen our interest in him. Perhaps it is this
latter, added to that deathless spark in the human breast that glows at
the tale of adventure, which makes him the kind of hero of romance that
he is today.

He is undeniably a redoubtable historical figure. It is a curious fact
that the commerce of the seas was cradled in the lap of buccaneering.
The constant danger of the deeps in this form only made hardier mariners
out of the merchant-adventurers, actually stimulating and strengthening
maritime enterprise.

Buccaneering--which is only a politer term for piracy--thus became the
high romance of the seas during the great centuries of maritime
adventure. It went hand in hand with discovery,--they were in fact
almost inseparable. Most of the mighty mariners from the days of Leif
the Discoverer, through those of the redoubtable Sir Francis Drake down
to our own Paul Jones, answer to the roll-call.

It was a bold hardy world--this of ours--up to the advent of our
giant-servant, Steam,--every foot of which was won by fierce conquest of
one sort or another. Out of this past the pirate emerges as a romantic,
even at times heroic, figure. This final niche, despite his crimes,
cannot altogether be denied him. A hero he is and will remain so long as
tales of the sea are told. So, have at him, in these pages!

                                                  JOSEPH LEWIS FRENCH.



 The Piccaroon                                                         1
       From _Tom Cringle's Log_. By MICHAEL SCOTT.

 The Capture of Panama, 1671                                          23
       From _The Buccaneers of America_. By JOHN ESQUEMELING.

 The Malay Proas                                                      52
       From _Afloat and Ashore_. By JAMES FENIMORE COOPER.

 The Wonderful Fight of the _Exchange_ of Bristol with the
   Pirates of Algiers                                                 61
       From _Purchas, His Pilgrims_. By SAMUEL PURCHAS.

 The Daughter of the Great Mogul                                      89
       From _The King of the Pirates_. By DANIEL DEFOE.

 Barbarossa--King of the Corsairs                                     97
       From _Sea Wolves of the Mediterranean_. By E. HAMILTON
         CURREY, R.N.

 Morgan at Puerto Bello                                              115
       From _The Buccaneers of America_. By JOHN ESQUEMELING.

 The Ways of the Buccaneers                                          126
       From _Buccaneer Customs on the Spanish Main_. By JOHN

 A True Account of Three Notorious Pirates                           132
       From _The Buccaneers of America_. By HOWARD PYLE, ED.

 Narrative of the Capture of the Ship _Derby_, 1735                  196

 Francis Lolonois, the Slave Who Became a Pirate King                209
       From _The Buccaneers of America_. By JOHN ESQUEMELING.

 The Fight between the _Dorrill_ and the _Moca_                      232
       From _The Indian Antiquary_, Vol. 49.

 Jaddi the Malay Pirate                                              240
       From _The Indian Antiquary_, Vol. 49.

 The Terrible Ladrones                                               247
       From _The Ladrone Pirates_. By RICHARD GLASSPOOLE.

 The Female Captive                                                  276
       From an Old Pamphlet, published in 1825. By LUCRETIA

 The Passing of Mogul Mackenzie, the Last of the North Atlantic
   Pirates                                                           298
       From _Blackwood's Magazine_. By ARTHUR HUNT CHUTE.

 The Last of the Sea-Rovers: The Riff Coast Pirates                  312
       From the _Nautical Magazine_. By W. B. LORD.




"Ours the wild life in tumult still to range."--_The Corsair._

We returned to Carthagena, to be at hand should any opportunity occur
for Jamaica, and were lounging about one forenoon on the fortifications,
looking with sickening hearts out to seaward, when a voice struck up the
following negro ditty close to us:--

    "Fader was a Corramantee,
      Moder was a Mingo,
    Black picaniny buccra wantee,
      So dem sell a me, Peter, by jingo.
          Jiggery, jiggery, jiggery."

"Well sung, Massa Bungo!" exclaimed Mr. Splinter; "where do you hail
from, my hearty?"

"Hillo! Bungo, indeed! free and easy dat, anyhow. Who you yousef, eh?"

"Why, Peter," continued the lieutenant, "don't you know me?"

"Cannot say dat I do," rejoined the negro, very gravely, without lifting
his head, as he sat mending his jacket in one of the embrasures near the
water-gate of the arsenal--"Hab not de honour of your acquaintance,

He then resumed his scream, for song it could not be called:--

    "Mammy Sally's daughter
      Lose him shoe in an old canoe
    Dat lay half full of water,
      And den she knew not what to do.
          Jiggery, jig----"

"Confound your jiggery, jiggery, sir! But I know you well enough, my
man; and you can scarcely have forgotten Lieutenant Splinter of the
Torch, one would think?"

However, it was clear that the poor fellow really had not known us; for
the name so startled him, that, in his hurry to unlace his legs from
under him, as he sat tailor-fashion, he fairly capsized out of his
perch, and toppled down on his nose--a feature, fortunately, so
flattened by the hand of nature, that I question if it could have been
rendered more obtuse had he fallen out of the maintop on a timber-head,
or a marine officer's.

"Eh!--no--yes, him sure enough; and who is de picaniny hofficer--Oh! I
see, Massa Tom Cringle? Garamighty, gentlemen, where have you drop from?
Where is de old Torch? Many a time hab I, Peter Mangrove, pilot to Him
Britannic Majesty squadron, taken de old brig in and through amongst de
keys at Port Royal!"

"Ay, and how often did you scour her copper against the coral reefs,

His Majesty's pilot gave a knowing look, and laid his hand on his
breast--"No more of dat if you love me, massa."

"Well, well, it don't signify now, my boy; she will never give you that
trouble again--foundered--all hands lost, Peter, but the two you see
before you."

"Werry sorry, Massa Plinter, werry sorry--What! de black cook's-mate and
all?--But misfortune can't be help. Stop till I put up my needle, and I
will take a turn wid you." Here he drew himself up with a great deal of
absurd gravity. "Proper dat British hofficer in distress should assist
one anoder--we shall consult togeder.--How can I serve you?"

"Why, Peter, if you could help us to a passage to Port Royal, it would
be serving us most essentially. When we used to be lying there a week
seldom passed without one of the squadron arriving from this; but here
have we been for more than a month without a single pennant belonging to
the station having looked in: our money is running short, and if we are
to hold on in Carthagena for another six weeks, we shall not have a shot
left in the locker--not a copper to tinkle on a tombstone."

The negro looked steadfastly at us, then carefully around. There was no
one near.

"You see, Massa Plinter, I am desirable to serve you, for one little
reason of my own; but, beside dat, it is good for me at present to make
some friend wid de hofficer of de squadron, being as how dat I am absent
widout leave."

"Oh, I perceive--a large R against your name in the master-attendant's
books, eh?"

"You have hit it, sir, werry close; besides, I long mosh to return to my
poor wife, Nancy Cator, dat I leave, wagabone dat I is, just about to be

I could not resist putting in my oar.

"I saw Nancy just before we sailed, Peter--fine child that; not quite so
black as you, though."

"Oh, massa," said Snowball, grinning, and showing his white teeth, "you
know I am soch a terrible black fellow--But you are a leetle out at
present, massa--I meant, about to be confine in de work-house for
stealing de admiral's Muscovy ducks;" and he laughed loud and
long.--"However, if you will promise dat you will stand my friends, I
will put you in de way of getting a shove across to de east end of
Jamaica; and I will go wid you too, for company."

"Thank you," rejoined Mr. Splinter; "but how do you mean to manage this?
There is no Kingston trader here at present, and you don't mean to make
a start of it in an open boat, do you?"

"No, sir, I don't; but in de first place--as you are a gentleman, will
you try and get me off when we get to Jamaica? Secondly, will you
promise dat you will not seek to know more of de vessel you may go in,
nor of her crew, than dey are willing to tell you, provided you are
landed safe?"

"Why, Peter, I scarcely think you would deceive us, for you know I saved
your bacon in that awkward affair, when through drunkenness you plumped
the Torch ashore, so----"

"Forget dat, sir--forget dat! Never shall poor black pilot forget how
you saved him from being seized up, when de gratings, boatswain's mates,
and all, were ready at de gangway--never shall poor black rascal forget

"Indeed, I do not think you would wittingly betray us into trouble,
Peter; and as I guess you mean one of the forced traders, we will
venture in her, rather than kick about here any longer, and pay a
moderate sum for our passage."

"Den wait here five minute"--and so saying, he slipped down through the
embrasure into a canoe that lay beneath, and in a trice we saw him jump
on board of a long low nondescript kind of craft that lay moored within
pistol-shot of the walls.

She was a large shallow vessel, coppered to the bends, of great breadth
of beam, with bright sides, like an American, so painted as to give her
a clumsy mercantile sheen externally, but there were many things that
belied this to a nautical eye: her copper, for instance, was bright as
burnished gold on her very sharp bows and beautiful run; and we could
see, from the bastion where we stood, that her decks were flush and
level. She had no cannon mounted that were visible; but we distinguished
grooves on her well-scrubbed decks, as from the recent traversing of
carronade slides, while the bolts and rings in her high and solid
bulwarks shone clear and bright in the ardent noontide. There was a
tarpaulin stretched over a quantity of rubbish, old sails, old junk, and
hencoops, rather ostentatiously piled up forward, which we conjectured
might conceal a long gun.

She was a very taught-rigged hermaphrodite, or brig forward and schooner
aft. Her foremast and bowsprit were immensely strong and heavy, and her
mainmast was so long and tapering, that the wonder was how the few
shrouds and stays about it could support it; it was the handsomest stick
we had ever seen. Her upper spars were on the same scale, tapering away
through topmast, topgallant-mast, royal and skysail-masts, until they
fined away into slender wands. The sails, that were loose to dry, were
old, and patched, and evidently displayed to cloak the character of the
vessel by an ostentatious show of their unserviceable condition; but her
rigging was beautifully fitted, every rope lying in the chafe of another
being carefully served with hide. There were several large
bushy-whiskered fellows lounging about the deck, with their hair
gathered into dirty net-bags, like the fishermen of Barcelona; many had
red silk sashes round their waists, through which were stuck their long
knives, in shark-skin sheaths. Their numbers were not so great as to
excite suspicion: but a certain daring, reckless manner, would at once
have distinguished them, independently of anything else, from the quiet,
hard-worked, red-shirted, merchant seaman.

"That chap is not much to be trusted," said the lieutenant; "his bunting
would make a few jackets for Joseph, I take it." But we had little time
to be critical, before our friend Peter came paddling back with another
blackamoor in the stern, of as ungainly an exterior as could well be
imagined. He was a very large man, whose weight every now and then, as
they breasted the short sea, cocked up the snout of the canoe with Peter
Mangrove in it, as if he had been a cork, leaving him to flourish his
paddle in the air, like the weather-wheel of a steam-boat in a sea-way.
The new-comer was strong and broad-shouldered, with long muscular arms,
and a chest like Hercules; but his legs and thighs were, for his bulk,
remarkably puny and misshapen. A thick fell of black wool, in close
tufts, as if his face had been stuck full of cloves, covered his chin
and upper-lip; and his hair, if hair it could be called, was twisted
into a hundred short plaits, that bristled out, and gave his head, when
he took his hat off, the appearance of a porcupine. There was a large
saber-cut across his nose and down his cheek, and he wore two immense
gold earrings. His dress consisted of short cotton drawers, that did
not reach within two inches of his knee, leaving his thin cucumber
shanks (on which the small bullet-like calf appeared to have been stuck
before, through mistake, in place of abaft) naked to the shoe; a check
shirt, and an enormously large Panama hat, made of a sort of cane, split
small, and worn shovel-fashion. Notwithstanding, he made his bow by no
means ungracefully, and offered his services in choice Spanish, but
spoke English as soon as he heard who we were.

"Pray, sir, are you the master of that vessel?" said the lieutenant.

"No, sir, I am the mate, and I learn you are desirous of a passage to
Jamaica." This was spoken with a broad Scotch accent.

"Yes, we are," said I, in very great astonishment, "but we will not sail
with the devil; and who ever saw a negro Scotchman before, the spirit of
Nicol Jarvie conjured into a blackamoor's skin!"

The fellow laughed. "I am black, as you see; so were my father and
mother before me." And he looked at me, as much as to say, I have read
the book you quote from. "But I was born in the good town of
Port-Glasgow notwithstanding, and many a voyage I have made as cabin-boy
and cook in the good ship the Peggy Bogle, with worthy old Jock Hunter;
but that matters not. I was told you wanted to go to Jamaica; I dare-say
our captain will take you for a moderate passage-money. But here he
comes to speak for himself.--Captain Vanderbosh, here are two
shipwrecked British officers, who wish to be put on shore on the east
end of Jamaica; will you take them, and what will you charge for their

The man he spoke to was nearly as tall as himself; he was a sunburnt,
angular, raw-boned, iron-visaged veteran, with a nose in shape and color
like the bowl of his own pipe, but not at all, according to the received
idea, like a Dutchman. His dress was quizzical enough--white-trousers, a
long-flapped embroidered waistcoat that might have belonged to a Spanish
grandee, with an old-fashioned French-cut coat, showing the frayed marks
where the lace had been stripped off, voluminous in the skirts, but very
tight in the sleeves, which were so short as to leave his large bony
paws, and six inches of his arm above the wrist, exposed; altogether, it
fitted him like a purser's shirt on a hand-spike.

"Vy, for von hondred thaler I will land dem safe in Mancheoneal Bay; but
how shall ve manage, Villiamson? De cabin vas point yesterday."

The Scotch negro nodded. "Never mind; I dare-say the smell of the paint
won't signify to the gentlemen."

The bargain was ratified; we agreed to pay the stipulated sum, and that
same evening, having dropped down with the last of the sea-breeze, we
set sail from Bocca Chica, and began working up under the lee of the
headland of Punto Canoa. When off the San Domingo Gate, we burned a
blue-light, which was immediately answered by another in-shore of us. In
the glare we could perceive two boats, full of men. Any one who has ever
played at snapdragon, can imagine the unearthly appearance of objects
when seen by this species of firework. In the present instance it was
held aloft on a boat-hook, and cast a strong spectral light on the band
of lawless ruffians, who were so crowded together that they entirely
filled the boats, no part of which could be seen. It seemed as if two
clusters of fiends, suddenly vomited forth from hell, were floating on
the surface of the midnight sea, in the midst of brimstone flames. In a
few moments our crew was strengthened by about forty as ugly Christians
as I ever set eyes on. They were of all ages, countries, complexions,
and tongues, and looked as if they had been kidnapped by a pressgang as
they had knocked off from the Tower of Babel. From the moment they came
on board, Captain Vanderbosh was shorn of all his glory, and sank into
the petty officer while, to our amazement, the Scottish negro took the
command, evincing great coolness, energy, and skill. He ordered the
schooner to be wore as soon as we had shipped the men, and laid her head
off the land, then set all hands to shift the old suit of sails, and to
bend new ones.

"Why did you not shift your canvas before we started?" said I to the
Dutch captain, or mate, or whatever he might be.

"Vy vont you be content to take a quiet passage and hax no question?"
was the uncivil rejoinder, which I felt inclined to resent, until I
remembered that we were in the hands of the Philistines, where a quarrel
would have been worse than useless. I was gulping down the insult as
well as I could, when the black captain came aft, and, with the air of
an equal, invited us into the cabin to take a glass of grog. We had
scarcely sat down before we heard a noise like the swaying up of guns,
or some other heavy articles, from the hold.

I caught Mr. Splinter's eye--he nodded, but said nothing. In half an
hour afterwards, when we went on deck, we saw by the light of the moon
twelve eighteen-pound carronades mounted, six of a side, with their
accompaniments of rammers and sponges, water-buckets, boxes of round,
grape, and canister, and tubs of wadding, while the coamings of the
hatchways were thickly studded with round-shot. The tarpaulin and lumber
forward had disappeared, and there lay long Tom, ready levelled,
grinning on his pivot.

The ropes were all coiled away, and laid down in regular man-of-war
fashion; while an ugly gruff beast of a Spanish mulatto, apparently the
officer of the watch, walked the weatherside of the quarterdeck in the
true pendulum style. Look-outs were placed aft, and at the gangways and
bows, who every now and then passed the word to keep a bright look-out,
while the rest of the watch were stretched silent, but evidently broad
awake, under the lee of the boat. We noticed that each man had his
cutlass buckled round his waist--that the boarding-pikes had been cut
loose from the main boom, round which they had been stopped, and that
about thirty muskets were ranged along a fixed rack that ran athwart
ships near the main hatchway.

By the time we had reconnoitred thus far the night became overcast, and
a thick bank of clouds began to rise to windward; some heavy drops of
rain fell, and the thunder grumbled at a distance. The black veil crept
gradually on, until it shrouded the whole firmament, and left us in as
dark a night as ever poor devils were out in. By-and-by a narrow streak
of bright moonlight appeared under the lower-edge of the bank, defining
the dark outlines of the tumbling multitudinous billows on the horizon
as distinctly as if they had been pasteboard waves in a theater.

"Is that a sail to windward in the clear, think you?" said Mr. Splinter
to me in a whisper. At this moment it lightened vividly. "I am sure it
is," continued he--"I could see her white canvas glance just now."

I looked steadily, and at last caught the small dark speck against the
bright background, rising and falling on the swell of the sea like a

As we stood on, she was seen more distinctly, but, to all appearance,
nobody was aware of her proximity. We were mistaken in this, however,
for the captain suddenly jumped on a gun, and gave his orders with a
fiery energy that startled us.

"Leroux!" A small French boy was at his side in a moment. "Forward, and
call all hands to shorten sail; but, _doucement_, you land-crab!--Man
the fore clew-garnets.--Hands by the top-gallant clew-lines--jib
down-haul--rise tacks and sheets--peak and throat haulyards--let
go--clew up--settle away the main-gaff there!"

In almost as short a space as I have taken to write it, every inch of
canvas was close furled--every light, except the one in the binnacle,
and that was cautiously masked, carefully extinguished--a hundred and
twenty men at quarters, and the ship under bare poles. The head-yards
were then squared, and we bore up before the wind. The stratagem proved
successful; the strange sail could be seen through the night-glasses
cracking on close to the wind, evidently under the impression that we
had tacked.

"Dere she goes, chasing de Gobel," said the Dutchman.

She now burned a blue-light, by which we saw she was a heavy
cutter--without doubt our old fellow-cruiser the Spark. The Dutchman had
come to the same conclusion.

"My eye, captain, no use to dodge from her; it is only dat footy little
King's cutter on de Jamaica station."

"It is her, true enough," answered Williamson; "and she is from Santa
Martha with a freight of specie, I know. I will try a brush with her,

Splinter struck in before he could finish his irreverent exclamation.
"If your conjecture be true, I know the craft--a heavy vessel of her
class, and you may depend on hard knocks, and small profit if you do
take her; while if she takes you----"

"I'll be hanged if she does"--and he grinned at the conceit--then
setting his teeth hard, "or rather, I will blow the schooner up with my
own hand before I strike; better that than have one's bones bleached in
chains on a key at Port Royal. But you see you cannot control us,
gentlemen; so get down into the cable-tier, and take Peter Mangrove with
you. I would not willingly see those come to harm who have trusted me."

However, there was no shot flying as yet, we therefore stayed on deck.
All sail was once more made; the carronades were cast loose on both
sides, and double-shotted, the long-gun slewed round, the tack of the
fore-and-aft foresail hauled up, and we kept by the wind, and stood
after the cutter, whose white canvas we could still see through the
gloom like a snow-wreath.

As soon as she saw us, she tacked and stood towards us, and came bowling
along gallantly, with the water roaring and flashing at her bows. As the
vessels neared each other they both shortened sail, and finding that we
could not weather her, we steered close under her lee.

As we crossed on opposite tacks, her commander hailed, "Ho, the
brigantine, ahoy!"

"Hillo!" sung out Blackie, as he backed his main-top-sail.

"What schooner is that?"

"The Spanish schooner Caridad."

"Whence, and whither bound?"

"Carthagena to Porto Rico."

"Heave-to, and send your boat on board."

"We have none that will swim, sir."

"Very well, bring-to, and I will send mine."

"Call away the boarders," said our captain, in a low stern tone; "let
them crouch out of sight behind the boat."

The cutter wore, and hove-to under our lee quarter, within pistol-shot;
we heard the rattle of the ropes running through the davit-blocks, and
the splash of the jolly-boat touching the water, then the measured
stroke of the oars, as they glanced like silver in the sparkling sea,
and a voice calling out, "Give way, my lads."

The character of the vessel we were on board of was now evident; and the
bitter reflection that we were chained to the stake on board of a
pirate, on the eve of a fierce contest with one of our own cruisers, was
aggravated by the consideration, that the cutter had fallen into a snare
by which a whole boat's crew would be sacrificed before a shot was

I watched my opportunity as she pulled up alongside, and called out,
leaning well over the nettings, "Get back to your ship!--treachery! get
back to your ship!"

The little French serpent was at my side with the speed of thought, his
long clear knife glancing in one hand, while the fingers of the other
were laid on his lips. He could not have said more plainly, "Hold your
tongue, or I'll cut your throat;" but Sneezer now startled him by
rushing between us, and giving a short angry growl.

The officer in the boat had heard me imperfectly; he rose up--"I won't
go back, my good man, until I see what you are made of;" and as he spoke
he sprang on board, but the instant he got over the bulwarks, he was
caught by two strong hands, gagged, and thrown bodily down the

"Heave," cried a voice, "and with a will!" and four cold 32-pound shot
were hove at once into the boat alongside, which, crashing through her
bottom, swamped her in a moment, precipitating the miserable crew into
the boiling sea. Their shrieks still ring in my ears as they clung to
the oars and some loose planks of the boat.

"Bring up the officer, and take out the gag," said Williamson.

Poor Walcolm, who had been an old messmate of mine, was now dragged to
the gangway half-naked, his face bleeding, and heavily ironed, when the
blackamoor, clapping a pistol to his head, bid him, as he feared
instant death, hail "that the boat had swamped under the counter, and to
send another." The poor fellow, who appeared stunned and confused, did
so, but without seeming to know what he said.

"Good God," said Mr. Splinter, "don't you mean to pick up the boat's

The blood curdled to my heart, as the black savage answered in a voice
of thunder, "Let them drown and be d----d! Fill, and stand on!"

But the clouds by this time broke away, and the mild moon shone clear
and bright once more upon this scene of most atrocious villainy. By her
light the cutter's people could see that there was no one struggling in
the water now, and that the people must either have been saved, or were
past all earthly aid; but the infamous deception was not entirely at an

The captain of the cutter, seeing we were making sail, did the same, and
after having shot ahead of us, hailed once more.

"Mr. Walcolm, why don't you run to leeward, and heave-to, sir?"

"Answer him instantly, and hail again for another boat," said the sable
fiend, and cocked his pistol.

The click went to my heart. The young midship-man turned his pale mild
countenance, laced with his blood, upwards towards the moon and stars,
as one who had looked his last look on earth; the large tears were
flowing down his cheeks, and mingling with the crimson streaks, and a
flood of silver light fell on the fine features of the poor boy, as he
said firmly, "Never." The miscreant fired, and he fell dead.

"Up with the helm, and wear across her stern." The order was obeyed.
"Fire!" The whole broadside was poured in, and we could hear the shot
rattle and tear along the cutter's deck, and the shrieks and groans of
the wounded, while the white splinters glanced away in all directions.

We now ranged alongside, and close action commenced, and never do I
expect to see such an infernal scene again. Up to this moment there had
been neither confusion nor noise on board the pirate--all had been
coolness and order; but when the yards locked the crew broke loose from
all control--they ceased to be men--they were demons, for they threw
their own dead and wounded, as they were mown down like grass by the
cutter's grape, indiscriminately down the hatchways to get clear of
them. They had stripped themselves almost naked; and although they
fought with the most desperate courage, yelling and cursing, each in his
own tongue, most hideously, yet their very numbers, pent up in a small
vessel, were against them. At length, amidst the fire and smoke and
hellish uproar, we could see that the deck had become a very shambles;
and unless they soon carried the cutter by boarding, it was clear that
the coolness and discipline of my own glorious service must prevail,
even against such fearful odds; the superior size of the vessel,
greater number of guns, and heavier metal. The pirates seemed aware of
this themselves, for they now made a desperate attempt forward to carry
their antagonist by boarding, led on by the black captain. Just at this
moment the cutter's main-boom fell across the schooner's deck, close to
where we were sheltering ourselves from the shot the best way we could;
and while the rush forward was being made, by a sudden impulse Splinter
and I, followed by Peter and the dog (who with wonderful sagacity,
seeing the uselessness of resistance, had cowered quietly by my side
during the whole row), scrambled along it as the cutter's people were
repelling the attack on her bow, and all four of us, in our haste,
jumped down on the poor Irishman at the wheel.

"Murder, fire, rape, and robbery!--it is capsized, stove in, sunk,
burned, and destroyed I am! Captain, captain, we are carried aft
here--Och, hubbaboo for Patrick Donnally!"

There was no time to be lost; if any of the crew came aft we were dead
men, so we tumbled down through the cabin skylight, men and beast, the
hatch having been knocked off by a shot, and stowed ourselves away in
the side berths. The noise on deck soon ceased--the cannon were again
plied--gradually the fire slackened, and we could hear that the pirate
had scraped clear and escaped. Some time after this the lieutenant
commanding the cutter came down. Poor Mr. Douglas! both Mr. Splinter
and I knew him well. He sat down and covered his face with his hands,
while the blood oozed down between his fingers. He had received a
cutlass wound on the head in the attack. His right arm was bound up with
his neckcloth, and he was very pale.

"Steward, bring me a light.--Ask the doctor how many are killed and
wounded; and--do you hear?--tell him to come to me when he is done
forward, but not a moment sooner. To have been so mauled and duped by a
buccaneer; and my poor boat's crew----"

Splinter groaned. He started--but at this moment the man returned again.

"Thirteen killed, your honor, and fifteen wounded; scarcely one of us
untouched." The poor fellow's own skull was bound round with a bloody

"God help me! Gold help me! but they have died the death of men. Who
knows what death the poor fellows in the boat have died!"--Here he was
cut short by a tremendous scuffle on the ladder, down which an old
quartermaster was trundled neck and crop into the cabin. "How now,

"Please your honor," said the man, as soon as he had gathered himself
up, and had time to turn his quid and smooth down his hair; but again
the uproar was renewed, and Donnally was lugged in, scrambling and
struggling between two seamen--"this here Irish chap, your honor, has
lost his wits, if so be he ever had any, your honor. He has gone mad
through fright."

"Fright be d----d!" roared Donnally; "no man ever frightened me; but as
his honor was skewering them bloody thieves forward, I was boarded and
carried aft by the devil, your honor--pooped by Beelzebub, by ----," and
he rapped his fist on the table until everything on it danced again.
"There were four of them, yeer honor--a black one and two blue ones--and
a pie-bald one, with four legs and a bushy tail--each with two horns on
his head, for all the world like those on Father M'Cleary's red cow--no,
she was humbled--it is Father Clannachan's, I mane--no, not his neither,
for his was the parish bull; fait, I don't know what I mane, except that
they had all horns on their heads, and vomited fire, and had each of
them a tail at his stern, twisting and twining like a conger eel, with a
blue light at the end on't."

"And dat's a lie, if ever dere was one," exclaimed Peter Mangrove,
jumping from the berth. "Look at me, you Irish tief, and tell me if I
have a blue light or a conger eel at my stern!"

This was too much for poor Donnally. He yelled out, "You'll believe your
own eyes now, yeer honor, when you see one o' dem bodily before you! Let
me go--let me go!" and, rushing up the ladder, he would, in all
probability, have ended his earthly career in the salt sea, had his
bullet-head not encountered the broadest part of the purser, who was in
the act of descending, with such violence, that he shot him out of the
companion several feet above the deck, as if he had been discharged from
a culverin; but the recoil sent poor Donnally, stunned and senseless, to
the bottom of the ladder. There was no standing all this; we laughed
outright, and made ourselves known to Mr. Douglas, who received us
cordially, and in a week we were landed at Port Royal.


[1] From _Tom Cringle's Log_.



Captain Morgan set forth from the castle of Chagre, towards Panama,
August 18, 1670. He had with him twelve hundred men, five boats laden
with artillery, and thirty-two canoes. The first day they sailed only
six leagues, and came to a place called De los Bracos. Here a party of
his men went ashore, only to sleep and stretch their limbs, being almost
crippled with lying too much crowded in the boats. Having rested awhile,
they went abroad to seek victuals in the neighboring plantations; but
they could find none, the Spaniards being fled, and carrying with them
all they had. This day, being the first of their journey, they had such
scarcity of victuals, as the greatest part were forced to pass with only
a pipe of tobacco, without any other refreshment.

Next day, about evening, they came to a place called Cruz de Juan
Gallego. Here they were compelled to leave their boats and canoes, the
river being very dry for want of rain, and many trees having fallen into

The guides told them, that, about two leagues farther, the country
would be very good to continue the journey by land. Hereupon they left
one hundred and sixty men on board the boats, to defend them, that they
might serve for a refuge in necessity.

Next morning, being the third day, they all went ashore, except those
who were to keep the boats. To these Captain Morgan gave order, under
great penalties, that no man, on any pretext whatever, should dare to
leave the boats, and go ashore; fearing lest they should be surprised by
an ambuscade of Spaniards in the neighboring woods, which appeared so
thick as to seem almost impenetrable. This morning beginning their
march, the ways proved so bad, that Captain Morgan thought it more
convenient to transport some of the men in canoes (though with great
labor) to a place farther up the river, called Cedro Bueno. Thus they
reëmbarked, and the canoes returned for the rest; so that about night
they got altogether at the said place. The pirates much desired to meet
some Spaniards or Indians, hoping to fill their bellies with their
provisions, being reduced to extremity and hunger.

The fourth day the greatest part of the pirates marched by land, being
led by one of the guides; the rest went by water farther up, being
conducted by another guide, who always went before them, to discover, on
both sides of the river, the ambuscades. These had also spies, who were
very dextrous to give notice of all accidents, or of the arrival of the
pirates, six hours, at least, before they came. This day, about noon,
they came near a post called Torna Cavallos: here the guide of the
canoes cried out, that he perceived an ambuscade. His voice caused
infinite joy to all the pirates, hoping to find some provisions to
satiate their extreme hunger. Being come to the place, they found nobody
in it, the Spaniards being fled, and leaving nothing behind but a few
leathern bags, all empty, and a few crumbs of bread scattered on the
ground where they had eaten. Being angry at this, they pulled down a few
little huts which the Spaniards had made, and fell to eating the
leathern bags, to allay the ferment of their stomachs, which was now so
sharp as to gnaw their very bowels. Thus they made a huge banquet upon
these bags of leather, divers quarrels arising concerning the greatest
shares. By the bigness of the place, they conjectured about five hundred
Spaniards had been there, whom, finding no victuals, they were now
infinitely desirous to meet, intending to devour some of them rather
than perish.

Having feasted themselves with those pieces of leather, they marched on,
till they came about night to another post, called Torna Munni. Here
they found another ambuscade, but as barren as the former. They searched
the neighboring woods, but could not find anything to eat, the Spaniards
having been so provident, as not to leave anywhere the least crumb of
sustenance, whereby the pirates were now brought to this extremity.
Here again he was happy that he had reserved since noon any bit of
leather to make his supper of, drinking after it a good draught of water
for his comfort. Some, who never were out of their mothers' kitchens,
may ask, how these pirates could eat and digest those pieces of leather,
so hard and dry? Whom I answer, that, could they once experiment what
hunger, or rather famine, is, they would find the way as the pirates
did. For these first sliced it in pieces, then they beat it between two
stones, and rubbed it, often dipping it in water, to make it supple and
tender. Lastly, they scraped off the hair, and broiled it. Being thus
cooked, they cut it into small morsels, and ate it, helping it down with
frequent gulps of water, which, by good fortune, they had at hand.

The fifth day, about noon, they came to a place called Barbacoa. Here
they found traces of another ambuscade, but the place totally as
unprovided as the former. At a small distance were several plantations,
which they searched very narrowly, but could not find any person,
animal, or other thing, to relieve their extreme hunger. Finally, having
ranged about, and searched a long time, they found a grot, which seemed
to be but lately hewn out of a rock, where were two sacks of meal,
wheat, and like things, with two great jars of wine, and certain fruits
called platanoes. Captain Morgan, knowing some of his men were now
almost dead with hunger, and fearing the same of the rest, caused what
was found to be distributed among them who were in greatest necessity.
Having refreshed themselves with these victuals, they marched anew with
greater courage then ever. Such as were weak were put into the canoes,
and those commanded to land that were in them before. Thus they
prosecuted their journey till late at night; when coming to a
plantation, they took up their rest, but without eating anything; for
the Spaniards, as before, had swept away all manner of provisions.

The sixth day they continued their march, part by land and part by
water. Howbeit, they were constrained to rest very frequently, both for
the ruggedness of the way, and their extreme weakness, which they
endeavored to relieve by eating leaves of trees and green herbs, or
grass; such was their miserable condition. This day at noon they arrived
at a plantation, where was a barn full of maize. Immediately they beat
down the doors and ate it dry, as much as they could devour; then they
distributed a great quantity, giving every man a good allowance. Thus
provided, and prosecuting their journey for about an hour, they came to
another ambuscade. This they no sooner discovered, but they threw away
their maize, with the sudden hopes of finding all things in abundance.
But they were much deceived, meeting neither Indians nor victuals, nor
anything else: but they saw, on the other side of the river, about a
hundred Indians, who, all fleeing, escaped. Some few pirates leaped
into the river to cross it, and try to take any of the Indians, but in
vain: for, being much more nimble than the pirates, they not only
baffled them, but killed two or three with their arrows; hooting at
them, and crying, "Ha, perros! a la savana, a la savana."--"Ha, ye dogs!
go to the plain, go to the plain."

This day they could advance no farther, being necessitated to pass the
river, to continue their march on the other side. Hereupon they reposed
for that night, though their sleep was not profound; for great
murmurings were made at Captain Morgan, and his conduct; some being
desirous to return home, while others would rather die there than go
back a step from their undertaking: others, who had greater courage,
laughed and joked at their discourses. Meanwhile, they had a guide who
much comforted them, saying, "It would not now be long before they met
with people from whom they should reap some considerable advantage."

The seventh day, in the morning, they made clean their arms, and every
one discharged his pistol, or musket, without bullet, to try their
firelocks. This done, they crossed the river, leaving the post where
they had rested, called Santa Cruz, and at noon they arrived at a
village called Cruz. Being yet far from the place, they perceived much
smoke from the chimneys: the sight hereof gave them great joy, and hopes
of finding people and plenty of good cheer. Thus they went on as fast as
they could, encouraging one another, saying, "There is smoke comes out
of every house: they are making good fires, to roast and boil what we
are to eat;" and the like.

At length they arrived there, all sweating and panting, but found no
person in the town, nor anything eatable to refresh themselves, except
good fires, which they wanted not; for the Spaniards, before their
departure, had every one set fire to his own house, except the king's
storehouses and stables.

They had not left behind them any beast, alive or dead, which much
troubled their pursuers, not finding anything but a few cats and dogs,
which they immediately killed and devoured. At last, in the king's
stables, they found, by good fortune, fifteen or sixteen jars of Peru
wine, and a leathern sack full of bread. No sooner had they drank of
this wine, when they fell sick, almost every man: this made them think
the wine was poisoned, which caused a new consternation in the whole
camp, judging themselves now to be irrecoverably lost. But the true
reason was, their want of sustenance, and the manifold sorts of trash
they had eaten. Their sickness was so great, as caused them to remain
there till the next morning, without being able to prosecute their
journey in the afternoon. This village is seated in 9 deg. 2 min. north
latitude, distant from the river Chagre twenty-six Spanish leagues, and
eight from Panama. This is the last place to which boats or canoes can
come; for which reason they built here storehouses for all sorts of
merchandise, which to and from Panama are transported on the backs of

Here Captain Morgan was forced to leave his canoes, and land all his
men, though never so weak; but lest the canoes should be surprised, or
take up too many men for their defense, he sent them all back to the
place where the boats were, except one, which he hid, that it might
serve to carry intelligence. Many of the Spaniards and Indians of this
village having fled to the near plantations, Captain Morgan ordered that
none should go out of the village, except companies of one hundred
together, fearing lest the enemy should take an advantage upon his men.
Notwithstanding, one party contravened these orders, being tempted with
the desire of victuals: but they were soon glad to fly into the town
again, being assaulted with great fury by some Spaniards and Indians,
who carried one of them away prisoner. Thus the vigilancy and care of
Captain Morgan was not sufficient to prevent every accident.

The eighth day in the morning Captain Morgan sent two hundred men before
the body of his army, to discover the way to Panama, and any ambuscades
therein: the path being so narrow, that only ten or twelve persons could
march abreast, and often not so many. After ten hours' march they came
to a place called Quebrada Obscura: here, all on a sudden, three or four
thousand arrows were shot at them, they not perceiving whence they
came, or who shot them: though they presumed it was from a high rocky
mountain, from one side to the other, whereon was a grot, capable of but
one horse or other beast laded. This multitude of arrows much alarmed
the pirates, especially because they could not discover whence they were
discharged. At last, seeing no more arrows, they marched a little
farther, and entered a wood: here they perceived some Indians to fly as
fast as they could, to take the advantage of another post, thence to
observe their march; yet there remained one troop of Indians on the
place, resolved to fight and defend themselves, which they did with
great courage till their captain fell down wounded; who, though he
despaired of life, yet his valor being greater than his strength, would
ask no quarter, but, endeavoring to raise himself, with undaunted mind
laid hold of his azagayo, or javelin, and struck at one of the pirates;
but before he could second the blow, he was shot to death. This was also
the fate of many of his companions, who, like good soldiers, lost their
lives with their captain, for the defense of their country.

The pirates endeavored to take some of the Indians prisoners, but they
being swifter than the pirates, every one escaped, leaving eight pirates
dead, and ten wounded: yea, had the Indians been more dextrous in
military affairs, they might have defended the passage, and not let one
man pass. A little while after they came to a large champaign, open,
and full of fine meadows; hence they could perceive at a distance before
them some Indians, on the top of a mountain, near the way by which they
were to pass: they sent fifty men, the nimblest they had, to try to
catch any of them, and force them to discover their companions: but all
in vain; for they escaped by their nimbleness, and presently showed
themselves in another place, hallooing to the English and crying, "A la
savana, a la savana, perros Ingleses!" that is, "To the plain, to the
plain, ye English dogs!" Meanwhile the ten pirates that were wounded
were dressed, and plastered up.

Here was a wood, and on each side a mountain. The Indians possessed
themselves of one, and the pirates of the other. Captain Morgan was
persuaded the Spaniards had placed an ambuscade there, it lying so
conveniently; hereupon, he sent two hundred men to search it. The
Spaniards and Indians perceiving the pirates descended the mountain, did
so too, as if they designed to attack them; but being got into the wood,
out of sight of the pirates, they were seen no more, leaving the passage

About night fell a great rain, which caused the pirates to march the
faster, and seek for houses to preserve their arms from being wet; but
the Indians had set fire to every one, and driven away all their cattle,
that the pirates, finding neither houses nor victuals, might be
constrained to return: but, after diligent search, they found a few
shepherds' huts, but in them nothing to eat. These not holding many
men, they placed in them, out of every company, a small number, who kept
the arms of the rest: those who remained in the open field endured much
hardship that night, the rain not ceasing till morning.

Next morning, about the break of day, being the ninth of that tedious
journey, Captain Morgan marched on while the fresh air of the morning
lasted; for the clouds hanging yet over their heads, were much more
favorable than the scorching rays of the sun, the way being now more
difficult than before. After two hours' march, they discovered about
twenty Spaniards, who observed their motions: they endeavored to catch
some of them, but could not, they suddenly disappearing, and absconding
themselves in caves among the rocks unknown to the pirates. At last,
ascending a high mountain, they discovered the South Sea. This happy
sight, as if it were the end of their labors, caused infinite joy among
them: hence they could descry also one ship, and six boats, which were
set forth from Panama, and sailed towards the islands of Tavoga and
Tavogilla: then they came to a vale where they found much cattle,
whereof they killed good store: here, while some killed and flayed cows,
horses, bulls, and chiefly asses, of which there were most; others
kindled fires, and got wood to roast them: then cutting the flesh into
convenient pieces, or gobbets, they threw them into the fire, and, half
carbonadoed or roasted, they devoured them, with incredible haste and
appetite. Such was their hunger, that they more resembled cannibals than
Europeans; the blood many times running down from their beards to their

Having satisfied their hunger, Captain Morgan ordered them to continue
the march. Here, again, he sent before the main body fifty men to take
some prisoners, if they could; for he was much concerned, that in nine
days he could not meet one person to inform him of the condition and
forces of the Spaniards. About evening they discovered about two hundred
Spaniards, who hallooed to the pirates, but they understood not what
they said. A little while after they came in sight of the highest
steeple of Panama: this they no sooner discovered but they showed signs
of extreme joy, casting up their hats into the air, leaping and
shouting, just as if they had already obtained the victory, and
accomplished their designs. All their trumpets sounded, and drums beat,
in token of this alacrity of their minds. Thus they pitched their camp
for that night, with general content of the whole army, waiting with
impatience for the morning, when they intended to attack the city. This
evening appeared fifty horses, who came out of the city, on the noise of
the drums and trumpets, to observe, as it was thought, their motions:
they came almost within musket-shot of the army, with a trumpet that
sounded marvelously well. Those on horseback hallooed aloud to the
pirates, and threatened them, saying, "Perros! nos veremos," that is,
"Ye dogs! we shall meet ye." Having made this menace, they returned to
the city, except only seven or eight horsemen, who hovered thereabouts
to watch their motions. Immediately after the city fired, and ceased not
to play their biggest guns all night long against the camp, but with
little or no harm to the pirates, whom they could not easily reach. Now
also the two hundred Spaniards, whom the pirates had seen in the
afternoon, appeared again, making a show of blocking up the passages,
that no pirates might escape their hands: but the pirates, though in a
manner besieged, instead of fearing their blockades, as soon as they had
placed sentinels about their camp, opened their satchels, and, without
any napkins or plates, fell to eating, very heartily, the pieces of
bulls' and horses' flesh which they had reserved since noon. This done,
they laid themselves down to sleep on the grass, with great repose and
satisfaction, expecting only, with impatience, the dawning of the next

The tenth day, betimes in the morning, they put all their men in order,
and, with drums and trumpets sounding, marched directly towards the
city; but one of the guides desired Captain Morgan not to take the
common highway, lest they should find in it many ambuscades. He took his
advice, and chose another way through the wood, though very irksome and
difficult. The Spaniards perceiving the pirates had taken another way
they scarce had thought on, were compelled to leave their stops and
batteries, and come out to meet them. The governor of Panama put his
forces in order, consisting of two squadrons, four regiments of foot,
and a huge number of wild bulls, which were driven by a great number of
Indians, with some negroes, and others, to help them.

The pirates, now upon their march, came to the top of a little hill,
whence they had a large prospect of the city and champaign country
underneath. Here they discovered the forces of the people of Panama, in
battle array, to be so numerous, that they were surprised with fear,
much doubting the fortune of the day: yea, few or none there were but
wished themselves at home, or at least free from obligation of that
engagement, it so nearly concerning their lives. Having been some time
wavering in their minds, they at last reflected on the straits they had
brought themselves into, and that now they must either fight resolutely,
or die; for no quarter could be expected from an enemy on whom they had
committed so many cruelties. Hereupon they encouraged one another,
resolving to conquer, or spend the last drop of blood. Then they divided
themselves into three battalions, sending before two hundred buccaneers,
who were very dextrous at their guns. Then descending the hill, they
marched directly towards the Spaniards, who in a spacious field waited
for their coming. As soon as they drew nigh, the Spaniards began to
shout and cry, "Viva el rey!" "God save the king!" and immediately their
horse moved against the pirates: but the fields being full of quags, and
soft under-foot, they could not wheel about as they desired. The two
hundred buccaneers, who went before, each putting one knee to the
ground, began to battle briskly, with a full volley of shot: the
Spaniards defended themselves courageously, doing all they could to
disorder the pirates. Their foot endeavored to second the horse, but
were forced by the fire of the pirates to retreat. Finding themselves
baffled, they attempted to drive the bulls against them behind, to put
them into disorder; but the wild cattle ran away, frighted with the
noise of the battle. Only some few broke through the English companies,
and only tore the colors in pieces, while the buccaneers shot every one
of them dead.

The battle having continued two hours, the greatest part of the Spanish
horse was ruined, and almost all killed: the rest fled, which the foot
seeing, and that they could not possibly prevail, they discharged the
shot they had in their muskets, and throwing them down, fled away, every
one as he could. The pirates could not follow them, being too much
harassed and wearied with their long journey. Many, not being able to
fly whither they desired, hid themselves, for that present, among the
shrubs of the sea-side, but very unfortunately; for most of them being
found by the pirates, were instantly killed, without any quarter. Some
religious men were brought prisoners before Captain Morgan; but he,
being deaf to their cries, commanded them all to be pistoled, which was
done. Soon after they brought a captain to him, whom he examined very
strictly; particularly, wherein consisted the forces of those of Panama?
He answered, their whole strength consisted in four hundred horse,
twenty-four companies of foot, each one hundred men complete; sixty
Indians, and some negroes, who were to drive two thousand wild bulls
upon the English, and thus, by breaking their files, put them into a
total disorder: beside, that in the city they had made trenches, and
raised batteries in several places, in all which they had placed many
guns; and that at the entry of the highway, leading to the city, they
had built a fort mounted with eight great brass guns, defended by fifty

Captain Morgan having heard this, gave orders instantly to march another
way; but first he made a review of his men, whereof he found both killed
and wounded a considerable number, and much greater than had been
believed. Of the Spaniards were found six hundred dead on the place,
besides the wounded and prisoners. The pirates, nothing discouraged,
seeing their number so diminished, but rather filled with greater pride,
perceiving what huge advantage they had obtained against their enemies,
having rested some time, prepared to march courageously towards the
city, plighting their oaths to one another, that they would fight till
not a man was left alive. With this courage they recommenced their
march, either to conquer or be conquered; carrying with them all the

They found much difficulty in their approach to the city, for within the
town the Spaniards had placed many great guns, at several quarters, some
charged with small pieces of iron, and others with musket bullets. With
all these they saluted the pirates at their approaching, and gave them
full and frequent broadsides, firing at them incessantly; so that
unavoidably they lost at every step great numbers of men. But not these
manifest dangers of their lives, nor the sight of so many as dropped
continually at their sides, could deter them from advancing, and gaining
ground every moment on the enemy; and though the Spaniards never ceased
to fire, and act the best they could for their defense, yet they were
forced to yield, after three hours' combat. And the pirates having
possessed themselves at last of the city, killed all that attempted in
the least to oppose them. The inhabitants had transported the best of
their goods to more remote and secret places; howbeit, they found in the
city several warehouses well stocked with merchandise, as well silks and
cloths, as linen and other things of value. As soon as the first fury of
their entrance was over, Captain Morgan assembled his men, and commanded
them, under great penalties, not to drink or taste any wine; and the
reason he gave for it was, because he had intelligence that it was all
poisoned by the Spaniards. Howbeit, it was thought he gave these prudent
orders to prevent the debauchery of his people, which he foresaw would
be very great at the first, after so much hunger sustained by the way;
fearing, withal, lest the Spaniards, seeing them in wine, should rally,
and, falling on the city, use them as inhumanly as they had used the
inhabitants before.

Captain Morgan, as soon as he had placed necessary guards at several
quarters within and without the city, commanded twenty-five men to seize
a great boat, which had stuck in the mud of the port, for want of water,
at a low tide. The same day about noon, he caused fire privately to be
set to several great edifices of the city, nobody knowing who were the
authors thereof, much less on what motives Captain Morgan did it, which
are unknown to this day: the fire increased so, that before night the
greatest part of the city was in a flame. Captain Morgan pretended the
Spaniards had done it, perceiving that his own people reflected on him
for that action. Many of the Spaniards, and some of the pirates, did
what they could, either to quench the flames or by blowing up houses
with gunpowder, and pulling down others to stop it, but in vain: for in
less than half an hour it consumed a whole street. All the houses of the
city were built with cedar, very curious and magnificent, and richly
adorned, especially with hangings and paintings, whereof part were
before removed, but another great part were consumed by fire.

There were in this city (which is the see of a bishop) eight
monasteries, seven for men, and one for women; two stately churches, and
one hospital. The churches and monasteries were all richly adorned with
altar-pieces and paintings, much gold and silver, and other precious
things, all which the ecclesiastics had hidden. Besides which, here were
two thousand houses of magnificent building, the greatest part inhabited
by merchants vastly rich. For the rest of less quality, and tradesmen,
this city contained five thousand more. Here were also many stables for
the horses and mules that carry the plate of the king of Spain, as well
as private men, towards the North Sea. The neighboring fields were full
of fertile plantations and pleasant gardens, affording delicious
prospects to the inhabitants all the year.

The Genoese had in this city a stately house for their trade of negroes.
This likewise was by Captain Morgan burnt to the very ground. Besides
which building, there were consumed two hundred warehouses, and many
slaves, who had hid themselves therein, with innumerable sacks of meal;
the fire of which continued four weeks after it had begun. The greatest
part of the pirates still encamped without the city, fearing and
expecting the Spaniards would come and fight them anew, it being known
they much outnumbered the pirates. This made them keep the field, to
preserve their forces united, now much diminished by their losses. Their
wounded, which were many, they put into one church, which remained
standing, the rest being consumed by the fire. Besides these decreases
of his men, Captain Morgan had sent a convoy of one hundred and fifty
men to the castle of Chagre, to carry the news of his victory at Panama.

They saw often whole troops of Spaniards run to and fro in the fields,
which made them suspect their rallying, which they never had the courage
to do. In the afternoon Captain Morgan reëntered the city with his
troops, that every one might take up their lodgings, which now they
could hardly find, few houses having escaped the fire. Then they sought
very carefully among the ruins and ashes, for utensils of plate or gold,
that were not quite wasted by the flames: and of such they found no
small number, especially in wells and cisterns, where the Spaniards had
hid them.

Next day Captain Morgan dispatched away two troops, of one hundred and
fifty men each, stout and well armed, to seek for the inhabitants who
were escaped. These having made several excursions up and down the
fields, woods, and mountains adjacent, returned after two days, bringing
above two hundred prisoners, men, women, and slaves. The same day
returned also the boat which Captain Morgan had sent to the South Sea,
bringing three other boats which they had taken. But all these prizes
they could willingly have given, and greater labor into the bargain, for
one galleon, which miraculously escaped, richly laden with all the
king's plate, jewels, and other precious goods of the best and richest
merchants of Panama: on board which were also the religious women of the
nunnery, who had embarked with them all the ornaments of their church,
consisting in much gold, plate, and other things of great value.

The strength of this galleon was inconsiderable, having only seven guns,
and ten or twelve muskets, and very ill provided with victuals,
necessaries, and fresh water, having no more sails than the uppermost of
the mainmast. This account the pirates received from some one who had
spoken with seven mariners belonging to the galleon, who came ashore in
the cockboat for fresh water. Hence they concluded they might easily
have taken it, had they given her chase, as they should have done; but
they were impeded from following this vastly rich prize, by their
gluttony and drunkenness, having plentifully debauched themselves with
several rich wines they found ready, choosing rather to satiate their
appetites than to lay hold on such huge advantage; since this one prize
would have been of far greater value than all they got at Panama, and
the places thereabout. Next day, repenting of their negligence, being
weary of their vices and debaucheries, they set forth another boat, well
armed, to pursue with all speed the said galleon; but in vain, the
Spaniards who were on board having had intelligence of their own danger
one or two days before, while the pirates were cruising so near them;
whereupon they fled to places more remote and unknown.

The pirates found, in the ports of the island of Tavoga and Tavogilla,
several boats laden with very good merchandise; all which they took, and
brought to Panama, where they made an exact relation of all that had
passed to Captain Morgan. The prisoners confirmed what the pirates said,
adding, that they undoubtedly knew where the galleon might then be, but
that it was very probable they had been relieved before now from other
places. This stirred up Captain Morgan anew, to send forth all the boats
in the port of Panama to seek the said galleon till they could find her.
These boats, being in all four, after eight days' cruising to and fro,
and searching several ports and creeks, lost all hopes of finding her,
whereupon they returned to Tavoga and Tavogilla. Here they found a
reasonable good ship newly come from Payta, laden with cloth, soap,
sugar, and biscuit, with 20,000 pieces-of-eight. This they instantly
seized, without the least resistance; as also a boat which was not far
off, on which they laded great part of the merchandises from the ship,
with some slaves. With this spoil they returned to Panama, somewhat
better satisfied; yet, withal, much discontented that they could not
meet with the galleon.

The convoy which Captain Morgan had sent to the castle of Chagre
returned much about the same time, bringing with them very good news;
for while Captain Morgan was on his journey to Panama, those he had left
in the castle of Chagre had sent for two boats to cruise. These met with
a Spanish ship, which they chased within sight of the castle. This being
perceived by the pirates in the castle, they put forth Spanish colors,
to deceive the ship that fled before the boats; and the poor Spaniards,
thinking to take refuge under the castle, were caught in a snare, and
made prisoners. The cargo on board the said vessel consisted in victuals
and provisions, than which nothing could be more opportune for the
castle, where they began already to want things of this kind.

This good luck of those of Chagre caused Captain Morgan to stay longer
at Panama, ordering several new excursions into the country round about;
and while the pirates at Panama were upon these expeditions, those at
Chagre were busy in piracies on the North Sea. Captain Morgan sent
forth, daily, parties of two hundred men, to make inroads into all the
country round about; and when one party came back, another went forth,
who soon gathered much riches, and many prisoners. These being brought
into the city, were put to the most exquisite tortures, to make them
confess both other people's goods and their own. Here it happened that
one poor wretch was found in the house of a person of quality, who had
put on, amidst the confusion, a pair of taffety breeches of his
master's, with a little silver key hanging out; perceiving which, they
asked him for the cabinet of the said key. His answer was, he knew not
what was become of it, but that finding those breeches in his master's
house, he had made bold to wear them. Not being able to get any other
answer, they put him on the rack, and inhumanly disjointed his arms;
then they twisted a cord about his forehead, which they wrung so hard
that his eyes appeared as big as eggs, and were ready to fall out. But
with these torments not obtaining any positive answer, they hung him up
by the wrists, giving him many blows and stripes under that intolerable
pain and posture of body. Afterwards they cut off his nose and ears, and
singed his face with burning straw, till he could not speak, nor lament
his misery any longer: then, losing all hopes of any confession, they
bade a negro to run him through, which put an end to his life, and to
their inhuman tortures. Thus did many others of those miserable
prisoners finish their days, the common sport and recreation of these
pirates being such tragedies.

Captain Morgan having now been at Panama full three weeks, commanded all
things to be prepared for his departure. He ordered every company of men
to seek so many beasts of carriage as might convey the spoil to the
river where his canoes lay. About this time there was a great rumor,
that a considerable number of pirates intended to leave Captain Morgan;
and that, taking a ship then in port, they determined to go and rob on
the South Sea, till they had got as much as they thought fit, and then
return homewards, by way of the East Indies. For which purpose they had
gathered much provisions, which they had hid in private places, with
sufficient powder, bullets, and all other ammunition: likewise some
great guns belonging to the town, muskets, and other things, wherewith
they designed not only to equip their vessel, but to fortify themselves
in some island which might serve them for a place of refuge.

This design had certainly taken effect, had not Captain Morgan had
timely advice of it from one of their comrades; hereupon he commanded
the mainmast of the said ship to be cut down and burnt, with all the
other boats in the port: hereby the intentions of all or most of his
companions were totally frustrated. Then Captain Morgan sent many of the
Spaniards into the adjoining fields and country to seek for money, to
ransom not only themselves, but the rest of the prisoners, as likewise
the ecclesiastics. Moreover, he commanded all the artillery of the town
to be nailed and stopped up. At the same time he sent out a strong
company of men to seek for the governor of Panama, of whom intelligence
was brought, that he had laid several ambuscades in the way by which he
ought to return: but they returned soon after, saying they had not found
any sign of any such ambuscades. For confirmation whereof, they brought
some prisoners, who declared that the said governor had had an intention
of making some opposition by the way, but that the men designed to
effect it were unwilling to undertake it: so that for want of means he
could not put his design in execution.

February 24, 1671, Captain Morgan departed from Panama, or rather from
the place where the city of Panama stood; of the spoils whereof he
carried with him one hundred and seventy-five beasts of carriage, laden
with silver, gold, and other precious things, beside about six hundred
prisoners, men, women, children and slaves. That day they came to a
river that passes through a delicious plain, a league from Panama: here
Captain Morgan put all his forces into good order, so as that the
prisoners were in the middle, surrounded on all sides with pirates,
where nothing else was to be heard but lamentations, cries, shrieks, and
doleful sighs of so many women and children, who feared Captain Morgan
designed to transport them all into his own country for slaves. Besides,
all those miserable prisoners endured extreme hunger and thirst at that
time, which misery Captain Morgan designedly caused them to sustain, to
excite them to seek for money to ransom themselves, according to the tax
he had set upon every one. Many of the women begged Captain Morgan, on
their knees, with infinite sighs and tears, to let them return to
Panama, there to live with their dear husbands and children in little
huts of straw, which they would erect, seeing they had no houses till
the rebuilding of the city. But his answer was, "He came not thither to
hear lamentations and cries, but to seek money: therefore they ought
first to seek out that, wherever it was to be had, and bring it to him;
otherwise he would assuredly transport them all to such places whither
they cared not to go."

Next day, when the march began, those lamentable cries and shrieks were
renewed, so as it would have caused compassion in the hardest heart: but
Captain Morgan, as a man little given to mercy, was not moved in the
least. They marched in the same order as before, one party of the
pirates in the van, the prisoners in the middle, and the rest of the
pirates in the rear; by whom the miserable Spaniards were at every step
punched and thrust in their backs and sides, with the blunt ends of
their arms, to make them march faster.

A beautiful lady, wife to one of the richest merchants of Tavoga, was
led prisoner by herself, between two pirates. Her lamentations pierced
the skies, seeing herself carried away into captivity often crying to
the pirates, and telling them, "That she had given orders to two
religious persons, in whom she had relied, to go to a certain place, and
fetch so much money as her ransom did amount to; that they had promised
faithfully to do it, but having obtained the money, instead of bringing
it to her, they had employed it another way, to ransom some of their
own, and particular friends." This ill action of theirs was discovered
by a slave, who brought a letter to the said lady. Her complaints, and
the cause thereof, being brought to Captain Morgan, he thought fit to
inquire thereinto. Having found it to be true--especially hearing it
confirmed by the confession of the said religious men, though under some
frivolous excuses of having diverted the money but for a day or two, in
which time they expected more sums to repay it--he gave liberty to the
said lady, whom otherwise he designed to transport to Jamaica. But he
detained the said religious men as prisoners in her place, using them
according to their desserts.

Captain Morgan arriving at the town called Cruz, on the banks of the
river Chagre, he published an order among the prisoners, that within
three days every one should bring in their ransom, under the penalty of
being transported to Jamaica. Meanwhile he gave orders for so much rice
and maize to be collected thereabouts, as was necessary for victualing
his ships. Here some of the prisoners were ransomed, but many others
could not bring in their money. Hereupon he continued his voyage,
leaving the village on the 5th of March following, carrying with him all
the spoil he could. Hence he likewise led away some new prisoners,
inhabitants there, with those in Panama, who had not paid their ransoms.
But the two religious men, who had diverted the lady's money, were
ransomed three days after by other persons, who had more compassion for
them than they had showed for her.

About the middle of the way to Chagre, Captain Morgan commanded them to
be mustered, and caused every one to be sworn, that they had concealed
nothing, even not to the value of sixpence. This done, Captain Morgan
knowing those lewd fellows would not stick to swear falsely for
interest, he commanded every one to be searched very strictly, both in
their clothes and satchels, and elsewhere. Yea, that this order might
not be ill taken by his companions, he permitted himself to be searched,
even to his very shoes. To this effect, by common consent, one was
assigned out of every company to be searchers of the rest. The French
pirates that assisted on this expedition disliked this new practice of
searching; but, being outnumbered by the English, they were forced to
submit as well as the rest. The search being over, they reëmbarked, and
arrived at the castle of Chagre on the 9th of March.


[2] From _The Buccaneers of America_.



We had cleared the Straits of Sunda early in the morning, and had made a
pretty fair run in the course of the day, though most of the time in
thick weather. Just as the sun set, however, the horizon became clear,
and we got a sight of two small sail, seemingly heading in toward the
coast of Sumatra, proas by their rig and dimensions. They were so
distant, and were so evidently steering for the land, that no one gave
them much thought, or bestowed on them any particular attention. Proas
in that quarter were usually distrusted by ships, it is true; but the
sea is full of them, and far more are innocent than are guilty of any
acts of violence. Then it became dark soon after these craft were seen,
and night shut them in. An hour after the sun had set, the wind fell to
a light air, that just kept steerage-way on the ship. Fortunately, the
_John_ was not only fast, but she minded her helm, as a light-footed
girl turns in a lively dance. I never was in a better-steering ship,
most especially in moderate weather.

Mr. Marble had the middle watch that night, and, of course, I was on
deck from midnight until four in the morning. It proved misty most of
the watch, and for quite an hour we had a light drizzling rain. The ship
the whole time was close-hauled, carrying royals. As everybody seemed to
have made up his mind to a quiet night, one without any reefing or
furling, most of the watch were sleeping about the decks, or wherever
they could get good quarters, and be least in the way. I do not know
what kept me awake, for lads of my age are apt to get all the sleep they
can; but I believe I was thinking of Clawbonny, and Grace, and Lucy; for
the latter, excellent girl as she was, often crossed my mind in those
days of youth and comparative innocence. Awake I was, and walking in the
weather-gangway, in a sailor's trot. Mr. Marble, he I do believe was
fairly snoozing on the hen-coops, being, like the sails, as one might
say, barely "asleep." At that moment I heard a noise, one familiar to
seamen; that of an oar falling in a boat. So completely was my mind bent
on other and distant scenes, that at first I felt no surprise, as if we
were in a harbor surrounded by craft of various sizes, coming and going
at all hours. But a second thought destroyed this illusion, and I looked
eagerly about me. Directly on our weather-bow, distant, perhaps, a
cable's length, I saw a small sail, and I could distinguish it
sufficiently well to perceive it was a proa. I sang out "Sail ho! and
close aboard!"

Mr. Marble was on his feet in an instant. He afterward told me that when
he opened his eyes, for he admitted this much to me in confidence, they
fell directly on the stranger. He was too much of a seaman to require a
second look in order to ascertain what was to be done. "Keep the ship
away--keep her broad off!" he called out to the man at the wheel. "Lay
the yards square--call all hands, one of you. Captain Robbins, Mr. Kite,
bear a hand up; the bloody proas are aboard us!" The last part of this
call was uttered in a loud voice, with the speaker's head down the
companion-way. It was heard plainly enough below, but scarcely at all on

In the meantime everybody was in motion. It is amazing how soon sailors
are wide awake when there is really anything to do! It appeared to me
that all our people mustered on deck in less than a minute, most of them
with nothing on but their shirts and trousers. The ship was nearly
before the wind by the time I heard the captain's voice; and then Mr.
Kite came bustling in among us forward, ordering most of the men to lay
aft to the braces, remaining himself on the forecastle, and keeping me
with him to let go the sheets. On the forecastle, the strange sail was
no longer visible, being now abaft the beam; but I could hear Mr. Marble
swearing there were two of them, and that they must be the very chaps we
had seen to leeward, and standing in for the land at sunset. I also
heard the captain calling out to the steward to bring him a powder-horn.
Immediately after, orders were given to let fly all our sheets forward,
and then I perceived that they were wearing ship. Nothing saved us but
the prompt order of Mr. Marble to keep the ship away, by which means,
instead of moving toward the proas, we instantly began to move from
them. Although they went three feet to our two, this gave us a moment of
breathing time.

As our sheets were all flying forward, and remained so for a few
minutes, it gave me leisure to look about. I soon saw both proas, and
glad enough was I to perceive that they had not approached materially
nearer. Mr. Kite observed this also, and remarked that our movements had
been so prompt as to "take the rascals aback." He meant they did not
exactly know what we were at, and had not kept away with us.

At this instant, the captain and five or six of the oldest seamen began
to cast loose all our starboard, or weather guns, four in all, and
sixes. We had loaded these guns in the Straits of Banca, with grape and
canister, in readiness for just such pirates as were now coming down
upon us; and nothing was wanting but the priming and a hot loggerhead.
It seems two of the last had been ordered in the fire, when we saw the
proas at sunset; and they were now in excellent condition for service,
live coals being kept around them all night by command. I saw a cluster
of men busy with the second gun from forward, and could distinguish the
captain pointing to it.

"There cannot well be any mistake, Mr. Marble?" the captain observed,
hesitating whether to fire or not.

"Mistake, sir? Lord, Captain Robbins, you might cannonade any of the
islands astern for a week, and never hurt an honest man. Let 'em have
it, sir; I'll answer for it, you do good."

This settled the matter. The loggerhead was applied, and one of our
sixes spoke out in a smart report. A breathless stillness succeeded. The
proas did not alter their course, but neared us fast. The captain
levelled his night-glass, and I heard him tell Kite, in a low voice,
that they were full of men. The word was now passed to clear away all
the guns, and to open the arm-chest, to come at the muskets and pistols.
I heard the rattling of the boarding-pikes, too, as they were cut adrift
from the spanker-boom, and fell upon the decks. All this sounded very
ominous, and I began to think we should have a desperate engagement
first, and then have all our throats cut afterward.

I expected now to hear the guns discharged in quick succession, but they
were got ready only, not fired. Kite went aft, and returned with three
or four muskets, and as many pikes. He gave the latter to those of the
people who had nothing to do with the guns. By this time the ship was
on a wind, steering a good full, while the two proas were just abeam,
and closing fast. The stillness that reigned on both sides was like that
of death. The proas, however, fell a little more astern; the result of
their own manœuvering, out of all doubt, as they moved through the water
much faster than the ship, seeming desirous of dropping into our wake,
with a design of closing under our stern, and avoiding our broadside. As
this would never do, and the wind freshened so as to give us four or
five knot way, a most fortunate circumstance for us, the captain
determined to tack while he had room. The _John_ behaved beautifully,
and came round like a top. The proas saw there was no time to lose, and
attempted to close before we could fill again; and this they would have
done with ninety-nine ships in a hundred. The captain knew his vessel,
however, and did not let her lose her way, making everything draw again
as it might be by instinct. The proas tacked, too, and, laying up much
nearer to the wind than we did, appeared as if about to close on our
lee-bow. The question was, now, whether we could pass them or not before
they got near enough to grapple. If the pirates got on board us, we were
hopelessly gone; and everything depended on coolness and judgment. The
captain behaved perfectly well in this critical instant, commanding a
dead silence, and the closest attention to his orders.

I was too much interested at this moment to feel the concern that I
might otherwise have experienced. On the forecastle, it appeared to us
all that we should be boarded in a minute, for one of the proas was
actually within a hundred feet, though losing her advantage a little by
getting under the lee of our sails. Kite had ordered us to muster
forward of the rigging, to meet the expected leap with a discharge of
muskets, and then to present our pikes, when I felt an arm thrown around
my body, and was turned inboard, while another person assumed my place.
This was Neb, who had thus coolly thrust himself before me, in order to
meet the danger first. I felt vexed, even while touched with the
fellow's attachment and self-devotion, but had no time to betray either
feeling before the crews of the proas gave a yell, and discharged some
fifty or sixty matchlocks at us. The air was full of bullets, but they
all went over our heads. Not a soul on board the _John_ was hurt. On our
side, we gave the gentlemen the four sixes, two at the nearest and two
at the stern-most proa, which was still near a cable's length distant.
As often happens, the one seemingly farthest from danger, fared the
worst. Our grape and canister had room to scatter, and I can at this
distant day still hear the shrieks that arose from that craft! They were
like the yells of fiends in anguish. The effect on that proa was
instantaneous; instead of keeping on after her consort, she wore short
round on her heel, and stood away in our wake, on the other tack,
apparently to get out of the range of our fire.

I doubt if we touched a man in the nearest proa. At any rate, no noise
proceeded from her, and she came up under our bows fast. As every gun
was discharged, and there was not time to load them, all now depended on
repelling the boarders. Part of our people mustered in the waist, where
it was expected the proa would fall alongside, and part on the
forecastle. Just as this distribution was made, the pirates cast their
grapnel. It was admirably thrown, but caught only by a ratlin. I saw
this, and was about to jump into the rigging to try what I could do to
clear it, when Neb again went ahead of me, and cut the ratlin with his
knife. This was just as the pirates had abandoned sails and oars, and
had risen to haul up alongside. So sudden was the release, that twenty
of them fell over by their own efforts. In this state the ship passed
ahead, all her canvas being full, leaving the proa motionless in her
wake. In passing, however, the two vessels were so near, that those aft
in the _John_ distinctly saw the swarthy faces of their enemies.

We were no sooner clear of the proas than the order was given, "Ready
about!" The helm was put down, and the ship came into the wind in a
minute. As we came square with the two proas, all our larboard guns were
given to them, and this ended the affair. I think the nearest of the
rascals got it this time, for away she went, after her consort, both
running off toward the islands. We made a little show of chasing, but it
was only a feint; for we were too glad to get away from them, to be in
earnest. In ten minutes after we tacked the last time, we ceased firing,
having thrown some eight or ten round-shot after the proas, and were
close-hauled again, heading to the southwest.


[3] From _Afloat and Ashore_.



In the yeere 1621, the first of November, there was one _Iohn Rawlins_,
borne in _Rochester_, and dwelling three and twenty yeere in _Plimmoth_,
imployed to the Strait of _Gibraltar_, by Master _Richard_, and _Steven
Treviles_, Merchants of Plimmoth, and fraighted in a Barke, called the
_Nicholas_ of _Plimmoth_, of the burden of forty Tun, which had also in
her company another ship of _Plimmoth_, called the _George Benaventure_
of seventy Tun burthen, or thereabouts; which by reason of her
greatnesse beyond the other, I will name the _Admirall_; and _Iohn
Rawlins_ Barke shall, if you please, be the _Vice-admirall_. These two
according to the time of the yeere, had a faire passage, and by the
eighteenth of the same moneth came to a place at the entring of the
straits, named _Trafflegar_: but the next morning, being in the sight of
_Gibraltar_, at the very mouth of the straits, the watch descried five
saile of ships, who as it seemed, used all the means they could to come
neere us, and we as we had cause, used the same means to go as farre
from them: yet did their _Admirall_ take in both his top sailes, that
either we might not suspect them, or that his owne company might come up
the closer together. At last perceiving us _Christians_, they fell from
devices to apparent discovery of hostility, and making out against us:
we againe suspecting them Pirats, tooke our course to escape from them,
and made all the sailes we possibly could for _Tirriff_, or _Gibraltar_:
but all we could doe, could not prevent their approach. For suddenly one
of them came right over against us to wind-ward, and so fell upon our
quarter: another came upon our luffe, and so threatened us there, and at
last all five chased us, making great speed to surprise us.

Their _Admirall_ was called _Callfater_, having upon her maine
top-saile, two top-gallant sailes, one above another. But whereas we
thought them all five to be _Turkish_ ships of war, we afterwards
understood, that two of them were their prizes, the one a smal ship of
_London_, the other of the West-countrey, that came out of the
_Quactath_ laden with figges, and other Merchandise, but now subiect to
the fortune of the Sea, and the captivity of Pirats. But to our
businesse. Three of these ships got much upon us, and so much that ere
halfe the day was spent, the _Admirall_ who was the best sailer, fetcht
up the _George Bonaventure_, and made booty of it. The _Vice-Admirall_
againe being neerest unto the lesser Barke, whereof _Iohn Rawlins_ was
Master, shewed him the force of a stronger arme, and by his _Turkish_
name, called _Villa-Rise_, commanded him in like sort to strike his
sailes, and submit to his mercy, which not to be gaine-saied nor
prevented, was quickly done: and so _Rawlins_ with his Barke was quickly
taken, although the _Reare-Admirall_ being the worst sayler of the
three, called _Reggiprise_, came not in, till all was done.

The same day before night, the _Admirall_ either loth to pester himselfe
with too much company, or ignorant of the commodity that was to be made
by the sale of _English_ prisoners, or daring not to trust them in his
company, for feare of mutinies, and exciting others to rebellion; set
twelve persons who were in the _George Bonaventure_ on the land, and
divers other _English_, whom he had taken before, to trie their fortunes
in an unknowne Countrey. But _Villa-Rise_, the _Vice-Admirall_ that had
taken _Iohn Rawlins_, would not so dispence with his men, but commanded
him and five more of his company to be brought aboord his ship, leaving
in his Barke three men and his boy, with thirteene _Turkes_ and
_Moores_, who were questionlesse sufficient to over-master the other,
and direct the Barke to Harbour. Thus they sailed directly for _Algier_;
but the night following, followed them with great tempest and foule
weather, which ended not without some effect of a storme: for they lost
the sight of _Rawlins_ Barke, called the _Nicholas_, and in a manner
lost themselves, though they seemed safe a shipboord, by fearefull
coniecturing what should become of us: at last, by the two and twentieth
of the same moneth, they, or we (chuse you whether) arrived at _Algier_,
and came in safety within the Mould, but found not our other Barke
there; nay, though we earnestly inquired after the same, yet heard we
nothing to our satisfaction; but much matter was ministred to our
discomfort and amazement. For although the Captaine and our over-seers,
were loth we should have any conference with our Country-men; yet did we
adventure to informe ourselves of the present affaires, both of the
Towne, and the shipping: so that finding many _English_ at worke in
other ships, they spared not to tell us the danger we were in, and the
mischiefes we must needs incurre, as being sure if we were not used like
slaves, to be sold as slaves; for there had beene five hundred brought
into the market for the same purpose, and above a hundred hansome youths
compelled to turne _Turkes_, or made subiect to more viler prostitution,
and all _English_: yet like good _Christians_, they bade us be of good
cheere, and comfort ourselves in this, that Gods trials were gentle
purgations, and these crosses were but to cleanse the drosse from the
gold, and bring us out of the fire againe more cleare and lovely. Yet I
must needs confesse, that they afforded us reason for this cruelty, as
if they determined to be revenged of our last attempt to fire their
ships in the Mould, and therefore protested to spare none whom they
could surprise and take alive; but either to sell them for money, or
torment them to serve their owne turnes. Now their customes and usages
in both these was in this manner.

First, concerning the first. The _Bashaw_ had the over-seeing of all
prisoners, who were presented unto him at their first comming into the
harbour, and to choose one out of every eight for a present or fee to
himselfe: the rest were rated by the Captaines, and so sent to the
Market to be sold; whereat if either there were repining, or any drawing
backe, then certaine _Moores_ and Officers attended either to beate you
forward, or thrust you into the sides with Goades; and this was the
manner of the selling of Slaves.

Secondly, concerning their enforcing them, either to turne _Turke_, or
to attend their filthines and impieties, although it would make a
Christians heart bleed to heare of the same, yet must the truth not be
hid, nor the terror left untold. They commonly lay them on their naked
backs or bellies, beating them so long, till they bleed at the nose and
mouth; and if yet they continue constant, then they strike the teeth out
of their heads, pinch them by their tongues, and use many other sorts of
tortures to convert them; nay, many times they lay them their whole
length in the ground like a grave, and so cover them with boords,
threatening to starve them, if they will not turne; and so many even for
feare of torment and death, make their tongues betray their hearts to a
most fearefull wickednesse, and so are circumcised with new names, and
brought to confesse a new Religion. Others againe, I must confesse, who
never knew any God, but their own sensuall lusts and pleasures, thought
that any religion would serve their turnes, and so for preferment or
wealth very voluntarily renounced their faith, and became _Renegadoes_
in despight of any counsell which seemed to intercept them: and this was
the first newes wee encountred with at our comming first to _Algier_.

The 26. of the same moneth, _Iohn Rawlins_ his Barke, with his other
three men and a boy, came safe into the Mould, and so were put all
together to be carried before the _Bashaw_, but that they tooke the
Owners servant, and _Rawlins_ Boy, and by force and torment compelled
them to turne _Turkes_: then were they in all seven _English_, besides
_Iohn Rawlins_, of whom the _Bashaw_ tooke one, and sent the rest to
their Captaines, who set a valuation upon them, and so the Souldiers
hurried us like dogs into the Market, whereas men sell Hacknies in
_England_. We were tossed up and downe to see who would give most for
us; and although we had heavy hearts, and looked with sad countenances,
yet many came to behold us, sometimes taking us by the hand, sometimes
turning us round about, sometimes feeling our brawnes and naked armes,
and so beholding our prices written on our breasts, they bargained for
us accordingly, and at last we were all sold, and the Souldiers
returned with the money to their Captaines.

_Iohn Rawlins_ was the last who was sold, by reason of his lame hand,
and bought by the Captaine that tooke him, even that dog _Villa Rise_,
who better informing himselfe of his skill fit to be a Pilot, and his
experience to bee an over-seer, bought him and his Carpenter at very
easie rates. For as we afterwards understood by divers _English
Renegadoes_, he paid for _Rawlins_ but one hundred and fiftie Dooblets,
which make of _English_ money seven pound ten shilling. Thus was he and
his Carpenter with divers other slaves sent into his ship to worke, and
imployed about such affaires, as belonged to the well rigging and
preparing the same. But the villanous _Turkes_ perceiving his lame hand,
and that he could not performe so much as other Slaves, quickly
complained to their Patron, who as quickly apprehended the
inconvenience; whereupon hee sent for him the next day, and told him he
was unserviceable for his present purpose, and therefore unlesse he
could procure fifteene pound of the _English_ there for his ransome, he
would send him up into the Countrey, where he should never see
_Christendome_ againe, and endure the extremity of a miserable

But see how God worketh all for the best for his servants, and
confounded the presumption of Tyrants, frustrating their purposes, to
make his wonders knowne to the sonnes of men, and releeves his people,
when they least thinke of succour and releasement. Whilest _Iohn
Rawlins_ was thus terrified with the dogged answere of _Villa Rise_, the
_Exchange_ of _Bristow_,[5] a ship formerly surprised by the Pirats, lay
all unrigged in the Harbour, till at last one _Iohn Goodale_, an
_English Turke_, with his confederates, understanding shee was a good
sailer, and might be made a proper Man of Warre, bought her from the
_Turkes_ that tooke her, and prepared her for their owne purpose. Now
the _Captaine_ that set them at worke, was also an _English Renegado_,
by the name of _Rammetham Rise_, but by his Christian name _Henrie
Chandler_, who resolved to make _Goodale_ Master over her; and because
they were both _English Turkes_, having the command notwithstanding of
many _Turkes_ and _Moores_, they concluded to have all _English_ slaves
to goe in her, and for their Gunners, _English_ and _Dutch Renegadoes_,
and so they agreed with the Patrons of nine _English_ and one _French_
Slave for their ransoms, who were presently imployed to rig and furnish
the ship for a Man of Warre, and while they were thus busied, two of
_Iohn Rawlins_ men, who were taken with him, were also taken up to serve
in this Man of Warre, their names, _Iames Roe_, and _Iohn Davies_, the
one dwelling in _Plimmoth_, and the other in _Foy_, where the Commander
of this ship was also borne, by which occasion they came acquainted, so
that both the Captaine, and the Master promised them good usage, upon
the good service they should performe in the voyage, and withall
demanded of them, if they knew of any _Englishman_ to be bought, that
could serve as a Pilot, both to direct them out of Harbour, and conduct
them in their voyage. For in truth neither was the Captaine a Mariner,
nor any _Turke_ in her of sufficiency to dispose of her through the
Straites in securitie, nor oppose any enemie, that should hold it out
bravely against them. _Davies_ quickly replied, that as farre as he
understood, _Villa Rise_ would sell _Iohn Rawlins_ his Master, and
Commander of the Barke which was taken, a man every way sufficient for
Sea affaires, being of great resolution and good experience; and for all
he had a lame hand, yet had he a sound heart and noble courage for any
attempt or adventure.

When the Captaine understood thus much, he imployed _Davies_ to search
for Rawlins, who at last lighting upon him, asked him if the _Turke_
would sell him: _Rawlins_ suddenly answered, that by reason of his lame
hand he was willing to part with him; but because he had disbursed money
for him, he would gaine something by him, and so prized him at three
hundred Dooblets, which amounteth to fifteene pound _English_; which he
must procure, or incurre sorer indurances. When _Davies_ had certified
this much, the _Turkes_ a ship-boord conferred about the matter, and the
Master whose Christen name was _Iohn Goodale_ joyned with two _Turkes_,
who were consorted with him, and disbursed one hundred Dooblets a
piece, and so bought him of _Villa Rise_, sending him into the said
ship, called the _Exchange_ of _Bristow_, as well to supervise what had
been done, as to order what was left undone, but especially to fit the
sailes, and to accommodate the ship, all which _Rawlins_ was very
carefull and dilligent in, not yet thinking of any peculiar plot of
deliverance, more than a generall desire to be freed from this _Turkish_
slaverie, and inhumane abuses.

By the seventh of Januarie, the ship was prepared with twelve good cast
Pieces, and all manner of munition and provision, which belonged to such
a purpose, and the same day haled out of the Mould of _Algier_, with
this company, and in this manner.

There were in her sixtie three _Turkes_ and _Moores_, nine _English_
slaves, and one _French_, foure _Hollanders_ that were free men, to whom
the _Turkes_ promised one prise or other, and so to returne to Holland;
or if they were disposed to goe backe againe for _Algier_, they should
have great reward and no enforcement offered, but continue as they
would, both their religion and their customes: and for their Gunners
they had two of our Souldiers, one _English_ and one _Dutch_ Renegado;
and thus much for the companie. For the manner of setting out, it was as
usuall as in other ships, but that the _Turkes_ delighted in the
ostentous braverie of their Streamers, Banners, and Top-sayles; the ship
being a handsome ship, and well built for any purpose. The Slaves and
_English_ were imployed under Hatches about the Ordnance, and other
workes of order, and accommodating themselves: all which _Iohn Rawlins_
marked, as supposing it an intolerable slaverie to take such paines, and
be subiect to such dangers, and still to enrich other men and maintaine
their voluptuous filthinesse and lives, returning _themselves_ as
Slaves, and living worse than their Dogs amongst them. Whereupon hee
burst out into these, or the like abrupt speeches: "Oh Hellish slaverie
to be thus subiect to Dogs! Oh, God strengthen my heart and hand, that
something shall be done to ease us of these mischiefs, and deliver us
from these cruell _Mahumetan_ Dogs." The other Slaves pittying his
distraction (as they thought) bad him speake softly, lest they should
all fare the worse for his distemperature. "The worse (quoth _Rawlins_)
what can be worse? I will either attempt my deliverance at one time, or
another, or perish in the enterprise: but if you would be contented to
hearken after a release, and joyne with me in the action, I would not
doubt of facilitating the same, and shew you a way to make your credits
thrive by some worke of amazement, and augment your glorie in purchasing
your libertie." "I prethee be quiet (said they againe) and think not of
impossibilities: yet if you can but open such a doore of reason and
probabilitie, that we be not condemned for desperate and distracted
persons, in pulling the Sunne as it were out of the Firmament, wee can
but sacrifice our lives, and you may be sure of secrecie and

The fifteenth of Januarie, the morning water brought us neere _Cape de
Gatt_, hard by the shoare, we having in our companie a smal _Turkish_
ship of Warre, that followed us out of _Algier_ the next day, and now
ioyning with us, gave us notice of seven small vessels, sixe of them
being _Sallees_, and one _Pollack_, who very quickly appeared in sight,
and so we made toward them: but having more advantage of the _Pollack_,
then the rest, and loth to lose all, we both fetcht her up, and brought
her past hope of recoverie, which when she perceived, rather then she
would voluntarily come into the slaverie of these _Mahumetans_, she ran
her selfe a shoare, and so all the men forsooke her. We still followed
as neere as we durst, and for feare of splitting, let fall our anchors,
sending out both our boates, wherein were many Musketeers, and some
_English_ and _Dutch_ Renegadoes, who came aboord home at their _Conge_,
and found three pieces of Ordnance, and foure Murtherers: but they
straightway threw them all over-boord to lighten the ship, and so they
got her off, being laden with Hides, and Logwood for dying, and
presently sent her to _Algier_, taking nine _Turkes_, and one _English_
Slave, out of one ship, and six out of the lesse, which we thought
sufficient to man her.

In the rifling of this _Catelaynia_, our _Turkes_ fell at variance one
with another, and in such a manner, that we divided our selves, the
lesser ship returned to _Algier_, and our _Exchange_ tooke the
opportunitie of the wind, and plyed out of the Streights, which
reioyced _Iohn Rawlins_ very much, as resolving on some Stratageme, when
opportunities should serve. In the meane-while, the _Turkes_ began to
murmurre, and would not willingly goe into the _Marr Granada_, as the
phrase is amongst them: notwithstanding the _Moores_ being very
_superstitious_, were contented to be directed by their _Hoshea_, who
with us, signifieth a Witch, and is of great account and reputation
amongst them, as not going in any great Vessell to Sea without one, and
observing whatsoever he concludeth out of his Divination. The Ceremonies
they use are many, and when they come into the Ocean, every second or
third night they make their Conjuration; it beginneth and endeth with
Prayer, using many Characters, and calling upon God by divers names: yet
at this time, all that they did consisted in these particulars.

Upon the sight of two great ships, and as wee were afraid of their
chasing us, they beeing supposed to bee _Spanish_ men of Warre, a great
silence is commanded in the ship, and when all is done, the company
giveth as great a skreech; the Captaine comming to _John Rawlins_, and
sometimes making him take in all his sayles, and sometimes causing him
to hoyst them all out, as the Witch findeth by his Booke, and presages;
then have they two Arrowes, and a Curtleaxe, lying upon a Pillow naked;
the Arrowes are one for the Turkes, and the other for the Christians;
then the Witch readeth, and the Captaine or some other taketh the
Arrowes in their hand by the heads, and if the Arrow for the Christians
commeth over the head of the Arrow for the _Turkes_, then doe they
advance their sayles, and will not endure the fight, whatsoever they
see: but if the Arrow of the _Turkes_ is found in the opening of the
hand upon the Arrow of the Christians, then will they stay and encounter
with any shippe whatsoever. The Curtleaxe is taken up by some Childe,
that is innocent, or rather ignorant of the Ceremonie, and so layd downe
againe; then doe they observe, whether the same side is uppermost, which
lay before, and so proceed accordingly.

They also observe Lunatickes and Changelings, and the Coniurer writeth
downe their Sayings in a Booke, groveling on the ground, as if he
whispered to the Devil to tell him the truth, and so expoundeth the
Letter, as it were by inspiration. Many other foolish Rites they have,
whereupon they doe dote as foolishly.

Whilest he was busied, and made demonstration that all was finished, the
people in the ship gave a great shout, and cryed out, "a sayle, a
sayle," which at last was discovered to bee another man of Warre of
_Turkes_. For he made toward us, and sent his Boat aboord us, to whom
our Captain complained, that being becalmed by the Southerne Cape, and
having made no Voyage, the _Turkes_ denyed to goe any further Northward:
but the Captaine resolved not to returne to _Algier_, except he could
obtayne some Prize worthy his endurances, but rather to goe to _Salle_,
and tell his Christians to victuall his ship; which the other Captaine
apprehended for his honour, and so perswaded the _Turkes_ to be obedient
unto him; whereupon followed a pacification amongst us, and so that
_Turke_ tooke his course for the Streights, and wee put up Northward,
expecting the good houre of some beneficiall bootie.

All this while our slavery continued, and the _Turkes_ with insulting
tyrannie set us still on worke in all base and servile actions, adding
stripes and inhumane revilings, even in our greatest labour, whereupon
_Iohn Rawlins_ resolved to obtane his libertie, and surprize the ship;
providing Ropes with broad spikes of Iron, and all the Iron Crowes, with
which hee knew a way, upon consent of the rest, to ramme up or tye fast
their Scuttels, Gratings, and Cabbins, yea, to shut up the Captaine
himselfe with all his consorts, and so to handle the matter, that upon
the watch-word given, the _English_ being Masters of the Gunner roome,
Ordnance, and Powder, they would eyther blow them into the Ayre, or kill
them as they adventured to come downe one by one, if they should by any
chance open their Cabbins. But because hee would proceed the better in
his enterprise, as he had somewhat abruptly discovered himselfe to the
nine _English_ slaves, so he kept the same distance with the foure
_Hollanders_, that were free men, till finding them comming somewhat
toward them, he acquainted them with the whole Conspiracie, and they
affecting the Plot, offered the adventure of their lives in the
businesse. Then very warily he undermined the _English_ Renegado, which
was the Gunner, and three more his Associats, who at first seemed to
retract. Last of all were brought in the _Dutch_ Renegadoes, who were
also in the Gunner roome, for alwayes there lay twelve there, five
Christians, and seven _English_, and _Dutch Turkes_: so that when
another motion had settled their resolutions, and _Iohn Rawlins_ his
constancie had put new life as it were in the matter, the foure
_Hollanders_ very honestly, according to their promise, sounded the
_Dutch_ Renegadoes, who with easie perswasion gave their consent to so
brave an Enterprize; whereupon _Iohn Rawlins_, not caring whether the
_English_ Gunners would yeeld or no, resolved in the Captaines morning
watch, to make the attempt. But you must understand that where the
_English_ slaves lay, there hung up alwayes foure or five Crowes of
Iron, being still under the carriages of the Peeces, and when the time
approached being very darke, because _Iohn Rawlins_ would have his Crow
of Iron ready as other things were, and other men prepared in their
severall places, in taking it out of the carriage, by chance, it hit on
the side of the Peece, making such a noyse, that the Souldiers hearing
it awaked the _Turkes_, and bade them come downe: whereupon the Botesane
of the _Turkes_ descended with a Candle, and presently searched all the
slaves places, making much adoe of the matter, but finding neyther
Hatchet nor Hammer, nor any thing else to move suspicion of the
Enterprize, more then the Crow of Iron, which lay slipped downe under
the carriages of the Peeces, they went quietly up againe, and certified
the Captaine what had chanced, who satisfied himselfe, that it was a
common thing to have a Crow of Iron slip from its place. But by this
occasion wee made stay of our attempt, yet were resolved to take another
or a better oportunitie.

For we sayled still more North-ward, and _Rawlins_ had more time to
tamper with his Gunners, and the rest of the _English_ Renegadoes, who
very willingly, when they considered the matter, and perpended the
reasons, gave way unto the Proiect, and with a kind of joy seemed to
entertayne the motives: only they made a stop at the first on-set, who
should begin the enterprize, which was no way fit for them to doe,
because they were no slaves, but Renegadoes, and so had always
beneficiall entertaynment amongst them. But when it is once put in
practice, they would be sure not to faile them, but venture their lives
for God and their Countrey. But once againe he is disappointed, and a
suspitious accident brought him to recollect his spirits anew, and
studie on the danger of the enterprize, and thus it was. After the
Renegado Gunner, had protested secrecie by all that might induce a man
to bestow some beliefe upon him, he presently went up the Scottle, but
stayed not aloft a quarter of an houre; nay he came sooner down, & in
the Gunner roome sate by _Rawlins_, who tarryed for him where he left
him: he was no sooner placed, and entred into some conference, but there
entred into the place a furious _Turke_, with his Knife drawne, and
presented it to _Rawlins_ his body, who verily supposed, he intended to
kill him, as suspitious that the Gunner had discovered something,
whereat _Rawlins_ was much moved, and hastily asked what the matter
meant, and whether he would kill him, observing his companion's
countenance to change colour, whereby his suspitious heart, condemned
him for a Traytor: but at more leisure he sware the contrary, and
afterward proved faithfull and industrious in the enterprize. For the
present, he answered _Rawlins_ in this manner, "no Master, be not
afraid, I thinke hee doth but _iest_." With that _John Rawlins_ gave
backe a little and drew out his Knife, stepping also to the Gunners
sheath and taking out his, whereby he had two Knives to one, which when
the _Turke_ perceived, he threw downe his Knife, saying, hee did but
iest with him. But when the Gunner perceived, _Rawlins_ tooke it so ill,
hee whispered something in his eare, that at last satisfied him, calling
Heaven to witnesse, that he never spake word of the Enterprize, nor ever
would, either to the preiudice of the businesse, or danger of his
person. Notwithstanding, _Rawlins_ kept the Knives in his sleeve all
night, and was somewhat troubled, for that hee had made so many
acquainted with an action of such importance; but the next day, when hee
perceived the Coast cleere, and that there was no cause of further
feare, hee somewhat comforted himselfe.

All this while, _Rawlins_ drew the Captaine to lye for the Northerne
Cape, assuring him, that thereby he should not misse a prize, which
accordingly fell out, as a wish would have it: but his drift was in
truth to draw him from any supply, or help of _Turkes_, if God should
give way to their Enterprize, or successe to the victorie: yet for the
present the sixth of February, being twelve leagues from the Cape, wee
descryed a sayle, and presently took the advantage of the wind in
chasing her, and at last fetched her up, making her strike all her
sayles, whereby wee knew her to be a Barke belonging to _Tor Bay_, neere
_Dartmouth_, that came from _Auerure_ laden with Salt. Ere we had fully
dispatched, it chanced to be foule weather, so that we could not, or at
least _would not_ make out our Boat, but caused the Master of the Barke
to let downe his, and come aboord with his Company, being in the Barke
but nine men, and one Boy; and so the Master leaving his Mate with two
men in the ship, came himselfe with five men, and the boy unto us,
whereupon our _Turkish_ Captain sent ten _Turkes_ to man her, amongst
whom were two _Dutch_, and one English Renegado, who were of our
confederacie, and acquainted with the businesse.

But when _Rawlins_ saw this partition of his friends; before they could
hoyst out their Boat for the Barke, he made meanes to speake with them,
and told them plainly, that he would prosecute the matter eyther that
night, or the next and therefore whatsoever came of it they should
acquaint the _English_ with his resolution, and make toward _England_,
bearing up the helme, whiles the _Turkes_ slept, and suspected no such
matter: for by Gods grace in his first watch about mid-night, he would
shew them a light, by which they might understand, that the Enterprize
was begunne, or at least in a good forwardnesse for the execution: and
so the Boat was let downe, and they came to the Barke of _Tor Bay_,
where the Masters Mate beeing left (as before you have heard)
apprehended quickly the matter, and heard the Discourse with amazement.
But time was precious, and not to be spent in disputing, or casting of
doubts, whether the _Turkes_ that were with them were able to master
them, or no, beeing seven to sixe, considering they had the helme of the
ship, and the _Turkes_ being Souldiers, and ignorant of Sea Affaires,
could not discover, whether they went to _Algier_ or no; or if they did,
they resolved by _Rawlins_ example to cut their throats, or cast them
over-boord: and so I leave them to make use of the Renegadoes
instructions, and returne to _Rawlins_ againe.

The Master of the Barke of _Tor Bay_, and his Company were quickly
searched, and as quickly pillaged, and dismissed to the libertie of the
shippe, whereby _Rawlins_ had leisure to entertayne him with the
lamentable newes of their extremities, and in a word, of every
particular which was befitting to the purpose: yea, he told him, that
that night he should lose the sight of them, for they would make the
helme for _England_ and hee would that night and evermore pray for their
good successe, and safe deliverance.

When the Master of the Barke of _Tor Bay_ had heard him out, and that
his company were partakers of his Storie, they became all silent, not
eyther diffident of his Discourse, or afraid of the attempt, but
resolved to assist him. Yet to shew himselfe an understanding man, hee
demanded of _Rawlins_, what weapons he had, and in what manner he would
execute the businesse: to which he answered, that he had Ropes, and Iron
Hookes to make fast the Scottels, Gratings, and Cabbines, he had also in
the Gunner roome two Curtleaxes, and the slaves had five Crowes of Iron
before them: Besides, in the scuffling they made no question of some of
the Souldiers weapons. Then for the manner, hee told them, they were
sure of the Ordnance, the Gunner roome, and the Powder, and so blocking
them up, would eyther kill them as they came downe, or turne the
Ordnance against their Cabbins, or blow them into the Ayre by one
Strategeme or other; and thus were they contented on all sides, and
resolved to the Enterprize.

The next morning, being the seventh of February, the Prize of _Tor Bay_
was not to bee seene or found, whereat the Captaine began to storme and
sweare, commanding _Rawlins_ to search the Seas up and downe for her,
who bestowed all that day in the businesse, but to little purpose:
whereupon when the humour was spent, the Captaine pacified himselfe, as
conceiting he should sure find her at _Algier_: but by the permission of
the Ruler of all actions, that _Algier_ was England, and all his
wickednesse frustrated: for _Rawlins_ beeing now startled, lest hee
should returne in this humour for the Streights, on the eight of
February went downe into the hold, and finding a great deale of water
below, told the Captaine of the same, adding, that it did not come to
the Pumpe, which he said very politickly, that he might remove the
Ordnance. For when the Captaine askt him the reason, he told him the
ship was too farre after the head: then hee commanded to use the best
meanes he could to bring her in order: "sure then," quoth _Rawlins_,
"wee must quit our Cables, and bring foure Peeces of Ordnance after, and
that would bring the water to the Pumpe;" which was presently put in
practice, so the Peeces beeing usually made fast thwart the ship, we
brought two of them with their mouthes right before the Binnacle, and
because the Renegadoe _Flemmings_ would not begin, it was thus
concluded: that the ship having three Deckes, wee that did belong to the
Gunner roome should bee all there, and breake up the lower Decke. The
_English_ slaves, who always lay in the middle Decks, should doe the
like, and watch the Scuttels: _Rawlins_ himselfe prevayled with the
Gunner, for so much Powder, as should prime the Peeces, and so told them
all there was no better watch-word, nor meanes to begin, then upon the
report of the Peece to make a cry and shout, for God, and King _Iames_,
and Saint _George_ for _England_!

When all things were prepared, and every man resolved, as knowing what
hee had to doe, and the houre when it should happen, to be two in the
afternoone, _Rawlins_ advised the Master Gunner to speake to the
Captaine, that the Souldiers might attend on the Poope, which would
bring the ship after: to which the Captaine was very willing, and upon
the Gunners information, the Souldiers gat themselves to the Poope, to
the number of twentie, and five or sixe went into the Captaines Cabbin,
where always lay divers Curtleaxes, and some Targets, and so wee fell to
worke to pumpe the water, and carryed the matter fairely till the next
day, which was spent as the former, being the ninth of February, and as
God must have the prayse, the triumph of our victorie.

For by that time all things were prepared, and the Souldiers got upon
the Poope as the day before: to avoid suspition, all that did belong to
the Gunner-roome went downe, and the slaves in the middle decke attended
their business, so that we could cast up our account in this manner.
First, nine _English_ slaves, besides _Iohn Rawlins_: five of the _Tor
Bay_ men, and one boy, foure _English_ Renegadoes, and two _French_,
foure _Hollanders_: in all four and twenty and a boy: so that lifting up
our hearts and hands to God for the successe of the businesse, we were
wonderfully incouraged; and setled our selves, till the report of the
peece gave us warning of the enterprise. Now, you must consider, that in
this company were two of _Rawlins_ men, _Iames Roe_, and _Iohn Davies_,
whom he brought out of _England_, and whom the fortune of the Sea
brought into the same predicament with their Master. These were imployed
about noone (being as I said, the ninth of February) to prepare their
matches, while all the _Turkes_ or at least most of them stood on the
Poope, to weigh down the ship as it were, to bring the water forward to
the Pumpe: the one brought his match lighted betweene two spoons, the
other brought his in a little peece of a Can: and so in the name of God,
the _Turkes_ and _Moores_ being placed as you have heard, and five and
forty in number, and _Rawlins_ having proined the Tuch-holes, _Iames
Roe_ gave fire to one of the peeces, about two of the clocke in the
afternoone, and the confederates upon the warning, shouted most
cheerefully: the report of the peece did teare and breake down all the
Binnacle, and compasses, and the noise of the slaves made all the
Souldiers amased at the matter, till seeing the quarter of the ship
rent, and feeling the whole body to shake under them: understanding the
ship was surprised, and the attempt tended to their utter destruction,
never Beare robbed of her whelpes was so fell and mad: For they not
onely cald us dogs, and cried out, _Usance de Lamair_, which is as much
to say, the Fortune of the wars: but attempted to teare up the planckes,
setting a worke hammers, hatchets, knives, the oares of the Boate, the
Boat-hooke, their curtleaxes, and what else came to hand, besides stones
and brickes in the Cooke-roome, all which they threw amongst us,
attempting still and still to breake and rip up the hatches, and boords
of the steering, not desisting from their former execrations, and
horrible blasphemies and revilings.

When _Iohn Rawlins_ perceived them so violent, and understood how the
slaves had cleared the deckes of all the _Turkes_ and _Moores_ beneath,
he set a guard upon the Powder, and charged their owne Muskets against
them, killing them from divers scout-holes, both before and behind, and
so lessened their number, to the ioy of all our hearts, whereupon they
cried out, and called for the Pilot, and so _Rawlins_, with some to
guard him, went to them, and understood them by their kneeling, that
they cried for mercy, and to have their lives saved, and they would come
downe, which he bade them doe, and so they were taken one by one, and
bound, yea killed with their owne Curtleaxes; which when the rest
perceived, they called us _English_ dogs, and reviled us with many
opprobrious termes, some leaping over-boord, crying, it was the chance
of war; some were manacled, and so throwne over-boord, and some were
slaine and mangled with the Curtleaxes, till the ship was well cleared,
and our selves assured of the victory.

At the first report of our Peece, and hurliburly in the decks, the
Captaine was a writing in his Cabbin, and hearing the noyse, thought it
some strange accident, and so came out with his Curtleaxe in his hand,
presuming by his authority to pacifie the mischiefe: But when hee cast
his eyes upon us, and saw that we were like to surprise the ship, he
threw downe his Curtleaxe, and begged us to save his life, intimating
unto _Rawlins_, how he had redeemed him from _Villa-Rise_, and ever
since admitted him to place of command in the ship, besides honest usage
in the whole course of the Voyage. All which _Rawlins_ confessed, and at
last condescended to mercy, and brought the Captaine and five more into
_England_. The Captain was called _Ramtham-Rise_, but his Christen name,
_Henry Chandler_, and as they say, was a Chandler's sonne in Southwarke.
_Iohn Goodale_, was also an _English Turke_. _Richard Clarke_, in
_Turkish_, _Iafar_; _George Cooke_, _Ramdam_; _Iohn Browne_, _Mamme_;
_William Winter_, _Mustapha_; besides all the slaves and _Hollanders_,
with other Renegadoes, who were willing to be reconciled to their true
Saviour, as being formerly seduced with the hopes of riches, honour,
preferment, and such like devillish baits, to catch the soules of
mortall men, and entangle frailty in the fetters of horrible abuses, and
imposturing deceit.

When all was done, and the ship cleared of the dead bodies, _Iohn
Rawlins_ assembled his men together, and with one consent gave the
praise unto God, using the accustomed service on ship-boord, and for
want of bookes lifted up their voyces to God, as he put into their
hearts, or renewed their memories: then did they sing a Psalme, and last
of all, embraced one another for playing the men in such a Deliverance,
whereby our feare was turned into joy, and trembling hearts
exhillirated, that we had escaped such inevitable dangers, and
especially the slavery and terror of bondage, worse than death it selfe.
The same night we washed our ship, put every thing in as good order as
we could, repaired the broken quarter, set up the Binnacle, and bore up
the Helme for _England_, where by Gods grace and good guiding, we
arrived at _Plimmoth_, the thirteenth of February, and were welcommed
like the recovery of the lost sheepe, or as you read of a loving mother,
that runneth with embraces to entertaine her sonne from a long Voyage
and escape of many dangers.

Not long after we understood of our confederats, that returned home in
the Barke of _Torbay_, that they arrived in _Pensance_ in _Corne-wall_
the eleventh of February: and if any aske after their deliverance,
considering there were ten _Turkes_ sent to man her, I will tell you
that too: the next day after they lost us, as you have heard and that
the three Renegadoes had acquainted the Masters Mate, and the two
_English_ in her with _Rawlins_ determination, and that they themselves
would be true to them, and assist them in any enterprise: then if the
worst came, there were but seven to sixe: but as it fell out, they had a
more easie passage, then turmoile, or man-slaughter. For they made the
_Turkes_ beleeve, the wind was come faire, and that they were sayling to
_Algier_, till they came within sight of _England_, which one of them
amongst the rest discovered, saying plainely, that that land was not
like _Cape Vincent_; "yes faith," said he, that was at the Helme, "and
you will be contented, and goe downe into the hold, and trim the salt
over to wind-ward, whereby the ship may beare full saile, you shall know
and see more to morrow": Whereupon five of them went downe very orderly,
the Renegadoes faining themselves asleep, who presently start up, and
with the helpe of the two _English_, nailed downe the hatches, whereat
the principall amongst them much repined, and began to grow into choller
and rage, had it not quickly beene suppressed. For one of them stepped
to him, and dasht out his braines, and threw him over-boord: the rest
were brought to _Excester_, and either to be arraigned, according to the
punishment of delinquents in such a kind, or disposed of, as the King
and Counsell shall thinke meet and this is the story of this
deliverance, and end of _Iohn Rawlins_ Voyage. The Actors in this Comick
Tragedie are most of them alive; The _Turkes_ are in prison; the ship is
to be seene, and _Rawlins_ himselfe dare justifie the matter.


[4] From _Purchas, His Pilgrims_.

[5] Bristol.



In this time I pursued my voyage, coasted the whole Malabar shore, and
met with no purchase but a great Portugal East India ship, which I
chased into Goa, where she got out of my reach. I took several small
vessels and barks, but little of value in them, till I entered the great
Bay of Bengal, when I began to look about me with more expectation of
success, though without prospect of what happened.

I cruised here about two months, finding nothing worth while; so I stood
away to a port on the north point of the isle of Sumatra, where I made
no stay; for here I got news that two large ships belonging to the Great
Mogul were expected to cross the bay from Hoogly, in the Ganges, to the
country of the King of Pegu, being to carry the granddaughter of the
Great Mogul to Pegu, who was to be married to the king of that country,
with all her retinue, jewels, and wealth.

This was a booty worth watching for, though it had been some months
longer; so I resolved that we would go and cruise off Point Negaris, on
the east side of the bay, near Diamond Isle; and here we plied off and
on for three weeks, and began to despair of success; but the knowledge
of the booty we expected spurred us on, and we waited with great
patience, for we knew the prize would be immensely rich.

At length we spied three ships coming right up to us with the wind. We
could easily see they were not Europeans by their sails, and began to
prepare ourselves for a prize, not for a fight; but were a little
disappointed when we found the first ship full of guns and full of
soldiers, and in condition, had she been managed by English sailors, to
have fought two such ships as ours were. However, we resolved to attack
her if she had been full of devils as she was full of men.

Accordingly, when we came near them, we fired a gun with shot as a
challenge. They fired again immediately three or four guns, but fired
them so confusedly that we could easily see they did not understand
their business; when we considered how to lay them on board, and so to
come thwart them, if we could; but falling, for want of wind, open to
them, we gave them a fair broadside. We could easily see, by the
confusion that was on board, that they were frightened out of their
wits; they fired here a gun and there a gun, and some on that side that
was from us, as well as those that were next to us. The next thing we
did was to lay them on board, which we did presently, and then gave
them a volley of our small shot, which, as they stood so thick, killed a
great many of them, and made all the rest run down under their hatches,
crying out like creatures bewitched. In a word, we presently took the
ship, and having secured her men, we chased the other two. One was
chiefly filled with women, and the other with lumber. Upon the whole, as
the granddaughter of the Great Mogul was our prize in the first ship, so
in the second was her women, or, in a word, her household, her eunuchs,
all the necessaries of her wardrobe, of her stables, and of her kitchen;
and in the last, great quantities of household stuff, and things less
costly, though not less useful.

But the first was the main prize. When my men had entered and mastered
the ship, one of our lieutenants called for me, and accordingly I jumped
on board. He told me he thought nobody but I ought to go into the great
cabin, or, at least, nobody should go there before me; for that the lady
herself and all her attendance was there, and he feared the men were so
heated they would murder them all, or do worse.

I immediately went to the great cabin door, taking the lieutenant that
called me along with me, and caused the cabin door to be opened. But
such a sight of glory and misery was never seen by buccaneer before. The
queen (for such she was to have been) was all in gold and silver, but
frightened and crying, and, at the sight of me, she appeared trembling,
and just as if she was going to die. She sat on the side of a kind of a
bed like a couch, with no canopy over it, or any covering; only made to
lie down upon. She was, in a manner, covered with diamonds, and I, like
a true pirate, soon let her see that I had more mind to the jewels than
to the lady.

However, before I touched her, I ordered the lieutenant to place a guard
at the cabin door, and fastening the door, shut us both in, which he
did. The lady was young, and, I suppose, in their country esteem, very
handsome, but she was not very much so in my thoughts. At first, her
fright, and the danger she thought she was in of being killed, taught
her to do everything that she thought might interpose between her and
danger, and that was to take off her jewels as fast as she could, and
give them to me; and I, without any great compliment, took them as fast
as she gave them me, and put them into my pocket, taking no great notice
of them or of her, which frighted her worse than all the rest, and she
said something which I could not understand. However, two of the other
ladies came, all crying, and kneeled down to me with their hands lifted
up. What they meant, I knew not at first; but by their gestures and
pointings I found at last it was to beg the young queen's life, and that
I would not kill her.

When the three ladies kneeled down to me, and as soon as I understood
what it was for, I let them know I would not hurt the queen, nor let
any one else hurt her, but that she must give me all her jewels and
money. Upon this they acquainted her that I would save her life; and no
sooner had they assured her of that but she got up smiling, and went to
a fine Indian cabinet, and opened a private drawer, from whence she took
another little thing full of little square drawers and holes. This she
brings to me in her hand, and offered to kneel down to give it me. This
innocent usage began to rouse some good-nature in me (though I never had
much), and I would not let her kneel; but sitting down myself on the
side of her couch or bed, made a motion to her to sit down too. But here
she was frightened again, it seems, at what I had no thought of. But as
I did not offer anything of that kind, only made her sit down by me,
they began all to be easier after some time, and she gave me the little
box or casket, I know not what to call it, but it was full of invaluable
jewels. I have them still in my keeping, and wish they were safe in
England; for I doubt not but some of them are fit to be placed on the
king's crown.

Being master of this treasure, I was very willing to be good-humored to
the persons; so I went out of the cabin, and caused the women to be left
alone, causing the guard to be kept still, that they might receive no
more injury than I would do them myself.

After I had been out of the cabin some time, a slave of the women's came
to me, and made sign to me that the queen would speak with me again. I
made signs back that I would come and dine with her majesty; and
accordingly I ordered that her servants should prepare her dinner, and
carry it in, and then call me. They provided her repast after the usual
manner, and when she saw it brought in she appeared pleased, and more
when she saw me come in after it; for she was exceedingly pleased that I
had caused a guard to keep the rest of my men from her; and she had, it
seems, been told how rude they had been to some of the women that
belonged to her.

When I came in, she rose up, and paid me such respect as I did not well
know how to receive, and not in the least how to return. If she had
understood English, I could have said plainly, and in good rough words,
"Madam, be easy; we are rude, rough-hewn fellows, but none of our men
should hurt you, or touch you; I will be your guard and protection; we
are for money indeed, and we shall take what you have, but we will do
you no other harm." But as I could not talk thus to her, I scarce knew
what to say; but I sat down, and made signs to have her sit down and
eat, which she did, but with so much ceremony that I did not know well
what to do with it.

After we had eaten, she rose up again, and drinking some water out of a
china cup, sat her down on the side of the couch as before. When she saw
I had done eating, she went then to another cabinet, and pulling out a
drawer, she brought it to me; it was full of small pieces of gold coin
of Pegu, about as big as an English half-guinea, and I think there were
three thousand of them. She opened several other drawers, and showed me
the wealth that was in them, and then gave me the key of the whole.

We had revelled thus all day, and part of the next day, in a bottomless
sea of riches, when my lieutenant began to tell me, we must consider
what to do with our prisoners and the ships, for that there was no
subsisting in that manner. Upon this we called a short council, and
concluded to carry the great ship away with us, but to put all the
prisoners--queen, ladies, and all the rest--into the lesser vessels, and
let them go; and so far was I from ravishing this lady, as I hear is
reported of me, that though I might rifle her of everything else, yet, I
assure you, I let her go untouched for me, or, as I am satisfied, for
any one of my men; nay, when we dismissed them, we gave her leave to
take a great many things of value with her, which she would have been
plundered of if I had not been so careful of her.

We had now wealth enough not only to make us rich, but almost to have
made a nation rich; and to tell you the truth, considering the costly
things we took here, which we did not know the value of, and besides
gold and silver and jewels,--I say, we never knew how rich we were;
besides which we had a great quantity of bales of goods, as well
calicoes as wrought silks, which, being for sale, were perhaps as a
cargo of goods to answer the bills which might be drawn upon them for
the account of the bride's portion; all which fell into our hands, with
a great sum in silver coin, too big to talk of among Englishmen,
especially while I am living, for reasons which I may give you


[6] From _The King of the Pirates_.



At the coming of spring Barbarossa was at sea again with thirty-two
ships ready for any eventuality, his crews aflame with ardor for revenge
against those by whom they had been so roughly handled. He chose for the
scene of operations a place on the coast of Majorca some fifteen miles
from Palma; from here he commanded the route of the Spaniards from their
country to the African coast, and it was against this nation that he
felt a great bitterness owing to recent events. Eagerly did the corsair
and his men watch for the Spanish ships, the heavier vessels lying at
anchor, but the light, swift galleys ranging and questing afar so that
none might be missed. Very soon the vigilance of the Moslems was
rewarded by the capture of a number of vessels, sent by Bernard de
Mendoza laden with Turkish and Moorish slaves, destined to be utilized
as rowers in the Spanish galleys. These men were hailed as a welcome
reinforcement, and joyfully joined the forces of Kheyr-ed-Din when he
moved on Minorca, captured the castle by a surprise assault, raided the
surrounding country, and captured five thousand seven hundred
Christians, amongst whom were eight hundred men who had been wounded in
the attack on Tunis--all these unfortunates were sent to refill the
bagnio of Algiers.

This private war of revenge was, however, destined soon to come to an
end, as Soliman the Magnificent in this year became involved in disputes
with the Venetian Republic, and recalled "that veritable man of the
sea," as Barbarossa had been described by Ibrahim, to Constantinople.

In this city by the sea there had taken place a tragedy which, although
it only involved the death of a single man, was nevertheless
far-reaching in its consequences; for the man was none other than that
great statesman Ibrahim, Grand Vizier, and the only trusted counsellor
of the Padishah. He who had been originally a slave had risen step by
step in the favor of his master until he arrived at the giddy eminence
which he occupied at the time of his death. It is a somewhat curious
commentary on the essentially democratic status of an autocracy that a
man could thus rise to a position second only to that of the autocrat
himself; and, in all probability, wielding quite as much power.

Ibrahim had for years been treated by Soliman more as a brother than as
a dependent, which, in spite of his Grand Viziership, he was in fact.
They lived in the very closest communion, taking their meals together,
and even sleeping in the same room, Soliman, a man of high intelligence
himself, and a ruler who kept in touch with all the happenings which
arose in his immense dominions, desiring always to have at hand the man
whom he loved; from whom, with his amazing grip of political problems
and endless fertility of resource, he was certain of sympathy and sound
advice. But in an oriental despotism there are other forces at work
besides those of _la haute politique_, and Ibrahim had one deadly enemy
who was sworn to compass his destruction. The Sultana Roxalana was the
light of the harem of the Grand Turk. This supremely beautiful woman,
originally a Russian slave, was the object of the most passionate
devotion on the part of Soliman; but she was as ambitious as she was
lovely, and brooked no rival in the affections of Soliman, be that
person man, woman, or child. In her hands the master of millions, the
despot whose nod was death, became a submissive slave; the undisciplined
passions of this headstrong woman swept aside from her path all those
whom she suspected of sharing her influence, in no matter how remote a
fashion. At her dictation had Soliman caused to be murdered his son
Mustafa, a youth of the brightest promise, because, in his intelligence
and his winning ways he threatened to eclipse Selim, the son of Roxalana

This woman possessed a strong natural intelligence, albeit she was
totally uneducated; she saw and knew that Ibrahim was all-powerful with
her lover, and this roused her jealousy to fever-heat. She was not
possessed of a cool judgment, which would have told her that Ibrahim was
a statesman dealing with the external affairs of the Sublime Porte, and
that with her and with her affairs he neither desired, nor had he the
power, to interfere. What, however, the Sultana did know was that in
these same affairs of State her opinion was dust in the balance when
weighed against that of the Grand Vizier.

Soliman had that true attribute of supreme greatness, the unerring
aptitude for the choice of the right man. He had picked out Ibrahim from
among his immense entourage, and never once had he regretted his choice.
As time went on and the intellect and power of the man became more and
more revealed to his master, that sovereign left in his hands even such
matters as despots are apt to guard most jealously. We have seen how, in
spite of the murmurings of the whole of his capital, and the almost
insubordinate attitude of his navy, he had persevered in the appointment
of Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa, because the judgment of Ibrahim was in favor
of its being carried out. This, to Roxalana, was gall and wormwood; well
she knew that, as long as the Grand Vizier lived, her sovereignty was at
best but a divided one. There was a point at which her blandishments
stopped short; this was when she found that her opinion did not coincide
with that of the minister. She was, as we have seen in the instance of
her son, not a woman to stick at trifles, and she decided that Ibrahim
must die.

There could be no hole-and-corner business about this; he must die, and
when his murder had been accomplished she would boldly avow to her lover
what she had done and take the consequences, believing in her power over
him to come scatheless out of the adventure. In those days, when human
life was so cheap, she might have asked for the death of almost any one,
and her whim would have been gratified by a lover who had not hesitated
to put to death his own son at her dictation. But with Ibrahim it was
another matter; he was the familiar of the Sultan, his _alter ego_ in
fact. It says much for the nerve of the Sultana that she dared so
greatly on this memorable and lamentable occasion.

On March 5th, 1536, Ibrahim went to the royal seraglio, and, following
his ancient custom, was admitted to the table of his master, sleeping
after the meal at his side. At least so it was supposed, but none knew
save those engaged in the murder what passed on that fatal night; the
next day his dead body lay in the house of the Sultan.

Across the floor of jasper, in that palace which was a fitting residence
for one rightly known as "The Magnificent," the blood of Ibrahim flowed
to the feet of Roxalana. The disordered clothing, the terrible
expression of the face of the dead man, the gaping wounds which he had
received, bore witness that there had taken place a grim struggle
before that iron frame and splendid intellect had been leveled with the
dust. This much leaked out afterwards, as such things will leak out, and
then the Sultana took Soliman into her chamber and gazed up into his
eyes. The man was stunned by the immensity of the calamity which had
befallen him and his kingdom, but his manhood availed him not against
the wiles of this Circe. Ibrahim had been foully done to death in his
own palace, and this woman clinging so lovingly round his neck now was
the murderess. The heart's blood of his best friend was coagulating on
the threshold of his own apartment when he forgave her by whom his
murder had been accomplished. This was the vengeance of Roxalana, and
who shall say that it was not complete?

The Ottoman Empire was the poorer by the loss of its greatest man, the
jealousy of the Sultana was assuaged, the despot who had permitted this
unavenged murder was still on the throne, thrall to the woman who had
first murdered his son and then his friend and minister. But the deed
carried with it the evil consequences which were only too likely to
occur when so capable a head of the State was removed at so critical a
time. Renewed strife was in the air, and endless squabbles between
Venice and the Porte were taking place. With these we have no concern,
but, in addition to other complaints, there were loud and continuous
ones concerning the corsairs. Venice, "The Bride of the Sea," had
neither rest nor peace; the pirates swarmed in Corfu, in Zante, in
Candia, in Cephalonia, and the plunder and murder of the subjects of the
Republic was the theme of the perpetual representations to the Sultan.
The balance of advantage in this guerilla warfare was with the corsairs
until Girolame Canale, a Venetian captain, seized one of the Moslem
leaders known as "The Young Moor of Alexandria." The victory of Canale
was somewhat an important one as he captured the galley of "The Young
Moor" and four others; two more were sunk, and three hundred Janissaries
and one thousand slaves fell into the hands of the Venetian commander.
There being an absence of nice feeling on the part of the Venetians, the
Janissaries were at once beheaded to a man.

The whole story is an illustration of the extraordinary relations
existing among the Mediterranean States at this time. Soliman the
Magnificent, Sultan of Turkey, had lent three hundred of his
Janissaries, his own picked troops, to assist the corsairs in their
depredations on Venetian commerce. Having done this, and the Janissaries
having been caught and summarily and rightly put to death as pirates,
the Sultan, as soon as he heard of what had occurred, sent an
ambassador, one Yonis Bey, to Venice to demand satisfaction for the
insult passed upon him by the beheading of his own soldiers turned
pirates. The conclusion of the affair was that the Venetians released
"The Young Moor of Alexandria" as soon as he was cured of the eight
wounds which he had received in the conflict, and sent him back to
Africa with such of his galleys as were left. There was one rather
comical incident in connection with this affair, which was that when
Yonis Bey was on his way from Constantinople to Venice he was chased by
a Venetian fleet, under the command of the Count Grandenico, and driven
ashore. The Count was profuse in his apologies when he discovered that
he had been chasing a live ambassador; but the occurrence so exasperated
Soliman that he increased his demands in consequence.

Barbarossa, who had spent his time harrying the Spaniards at sea ever
since the fall of Tunis, was shortly to appear on the scene again. He
received orders from the Sultan, and came as fast as a favoring wind
would bring him. Kheyr-ed-Din had been doing well in the matter of
slaves and plunder, but he knew that, with the backing of the Grand
Turk, he would once again be in command of a fleet in which he might
repeat his triumph of past years, and prove himself once more the
indispensable "man of the sea."

Soon after his arrival his ambitions were gratified, and he found
himself with a fleet of one hundred ships. Since the death of Ibrahim,
and the incident which terminated with the dispatch of Yonis Bey to
Venice, the relations between the Grand Turk and the Venetian Republic
had become steadily worse, and at last the Sultan declared war. On May
17th, 1537, Soliman, accompanied by his two sons, Selim and Mohammed,
left Constantinople. With the campaign conducted by the Sultan we are
not concerned here; it was directed against the Ionian Islands, which
had been in the possession of Venice since 1401. On August 18th Soliman
laid siege to Corfu, and was disastrously beaten, re-embarking his men
on September 7th, after losing thousands in a fruitless attack on the
fortress. He returned to Constantinople utterly discomfited. It was the
seventh campaign which the Sultan had conducted in person, but the first
in which the ever-faithful Ibrahim had not been by his side.

This defeat at the hands of the Venetians was not, however, the only
humiliation which he was destined to experience in this disastrous year;
for once again Doria, that scourge of the Moslem, was loose upon the
seas, and was making his presence felt in the immediate neighborhood of
Corfu, where the Turks had been defeated. On July 17th Andrea had left
the port of Messina with twenty-five galleys, had captured ten richly
laden Turkish ships, gutted and burned them. Kheyr-ed-Din was at sea at
the time, but the great rivals were not destined to meet on this
occasion. Instead of Barbarossa, Andrea fell in with Ali-Chabelli, the
lieutenant of Sandjak Bey of Gallipoli. On July 22nd the Genoese admiral
and the Turkish commander from the Dardanelles met to the southward of
Corfu, off the small island of Paxo, and a smart action ensued. It
ended in the defeat of Ali-Chabelli, whose galleys were captured and
towed by Doria into Paxo. That veteran fighter was himself in the
thickest of the fray, and, conspicuous in his crimson doublet, had been
an object of attention to the marksmen of Chabelli during the entire
action. In spite of the receipt of a severe wound in the knee, the
admiral refused to go below until victory was assured. He was surrounded
at this time by a devoted band of nobles sworn to defend the person of
their admiral or to die in his defense. His portrait has been sketched
for us at this time by the Dominican Friar, Padre Alberto Guglielmotto,
author of "La guerra dei Pirati e la marina Pontifica dal 1500 al 1560."
The description runs thus: "Andrea Doria was of lofty stature, his face
oval in shape, forehead broad and commanding, his neck was powerful, his
hair short, his beard long and fan-shaped, his lips were thin, his eyes
bright and piercing."

Once again had he defeated an officer of the Grand Turk; and it may be
remarked that Ibrahim was probably quite right in the estimation, or
rather in the lack of estimation, in which he held the sea-officers of
his master, as they seem to have been deficient in every quality save
that of personal valor, and in their encounters with Doria and the
knights were almost invariably worsted. For the sake of Islam, for the
prestige of the Moslem arms at sea, it was time that Barbarossa should
take matters in hand once more.

The autumn of this year 1537 proved that the old Sea-wolf had lost none
of his cunning, that his followers were as terrible as ever. What did it
seem to matter that Venetian and Catalan, Genoese and Frenchman,
Andalusian and the dwellers in the Archipelago, were all banded together
in league against this common foe? Did not the redoubtable Andrea range
the seas in vain, and were not all the efforts of the Knights of Saint
John futile, when the son of the renegado from Mitylene and his
Christian wife put forth from the Golden Horn? What was the magic of
this man, it was asked despairingly, that none seemed able to prevail
against him? Had it not been currently reported that Carlos Quinto, the
great Emperor, had driven him forth from Tunis a hunted fugitive, broken
and penniless, with never a galley left, without one ducat in his
pocket? Was he so different, then, from all the rest of mankind that his
followers would stick to him in evil report as well as in the height of
his prosperity? Men swore and women crossed themselves at the mention of
his name.

"Terrible as an army with banners," indeed, was Kheyr-ed-Din in this
eventful summer: things had gone badly with the crescent flag, the
Padishah was unapproachable in his palace, brooding perchance on that
"might have been" had he not sold his honor and the life of his only
friend to gratify the malice of a she-devil; those in attendance on the
Sultan trembled, for the humor of the despot was black indeed.

But "the veritable man of the sea" was in some sort to console him for
that which he had lost; as never in his own history--and there was none
else with which it could be compared--had the Corsair King made so
fruitful a raid. He ravaged the coasts of the Adriatic and the islands
of the Archipelago, sweeping in slaves by the thousand, and by the end
of the year he had collected eighteen thousand in the arsenal at
Stamboul. Great was the jubilation in Constantinople when the
Admiralissimo himself returned from his last expedition against the
infidel; stilled were the voices which hinted disaffection--who among
them all could bring back four hundred thousand pieces of gold? What
mariner could offer to the Grand Turk such varied and magnificent

Upon his arrival Barbarossa asked permission to kiss the threshold of
the palace of the Sultan, which boon being graciously accorded to him,
he made his triumphal entry. Two hundred captives clad in scarlet robes
carried cups of gold and flasks of silver; behind them came thirty
others, each staggering under an enormous purse of sequins; yet another
two hundred brought collars of precious stones or bales of the choicest
goods; and a further two hundred were laden with sacks of small coin.
Certainly if Soliman the Magnificent had lost a Grand Vizier he had
succeeded in finding an admiral!

All through the earlier months of 1538 the dockyards of Constantinople
hummed with a furious activity, for Soliman had decreed that the
maritime campaign of this year was to begin with no less than one
hundred and fifty ships. His admiral, however, did not agree with this
decision; to the Viziers he raged and stormed. "Listen," he said, "O men
of the land who understand naught of the happenings of the sea. By this
time Saleh-Reis must have quitted Alexandria convoying to the Bosphorus
twenty sail filled with the richest merchandise; should he fall in with
the accursed Genoese, Doria, where then will be Saleh-Reis and his
galleys and his convoy? I will tell you: the ships in Genoa, the galleys
burned, Saleh-Reis and all his mariners chained to the rowers' bench."

The Viziers trembled as men did when Barbarossa stormed and turned upon
them those terrible eyes which knew neither fear nor pity. "We be but
men," they answered, "and our lord the Sultan has so ordained it."

"I have forty galleys," replied the corsair; "you have forty more. With
these I will take the sea; but, mark you," he continued, softening
somewhat, "you do right to fear the displeasure of the Sultan, and I
also have no wish to encounter it; but vessels raised and equipped in a
hurry will be of small use to me. In the name of Allah the compassionate
and his holy Prophet give me my eighty galleys and let me go."

In Kheyr-ed-Din Barbarossa sound strategical instinct went hand in hand
with the desperate valor of the corsair. To dally in the Golden Horn
while so rich a prey was at sea to be picked up by his Christian foes
was altogether opposed to his instincts: never to throw away a chance in
the game of life had ever been his guiding principle.

Soliman, great man as he undoubtedly was, had not the adamantine
hardness of character which enabled his admiral to risk all on the
hazards of the moment; or possibly the Grand Turk was deficient in that
clearness of strategical instinct which never in any circumstances
foregoes a present advantage for something which may turn out well in a
problematical future. Soliman, sore, sullen, and unapproachable, dwelt
in his palace brooding over the misfortunes which had been his lot since
the death of Ibrahim. Barbarossa, who so recently had lost practically
all that he possessed, and who had reached an age at which most men have
no hopes for the future, was as clear in intellect, as undaunted in
spirit, as if he had been half a century younger: to be even once more
with those by whom he had been defeated and dispossessed was the only
thing now in his mind. The capture of Saleh-Reis and his convoy would be
a triumph of which he could not bear to think. Further, it would add to
the demoralization of the sea forces of the Sultan, which were sadly in
need of some striking success after the defeats which had so recently
been their portion. The Sultan had decided that one hundred and fifty
ships were necessary; his admiral thought otherwise. There was too much
at stake for him to dally at Constantinople; his fiery energy swept all
before it, and in the end he had his way. On June 7th, 1538, he finally
triumphed over the hesitations of the Viziers and put to sea with eighty

The Sultan, from his kiosk, the windows of which opened on the
Bosphorus, counted the ships.

"Only eighty sail; is that all?" he asked.

The trembling Viziers prostrated themselves before him.

"O our Lord, the Padishah," they cried, "Saleh-Reis comes from
Alexandria with a rich convoy; somewhere lurking is Andrea Doria, the
accursed; it was necessary, O Magnificent, to send succor."

There was a pause, in which the hearts of men beat as do those who know
not but that the next moment may be their last on earth.

The Sultan stared from his window at the retreating ships in a silence
like the silence of the grave. At last he turned:

"So be it," he answered briefly; "but see to it that reinforcements do
not lag upon the road."

If there had been activity in the dockyards before it was as nothing to
the strenuous work that was to be done henceforward.

Before starting on this expedition Kheyr-ed-Din had made an innovation
in the manning of some of the most powerful of his galleys, which was
of the utmost importance, and which was to add enormously to the
success of his future maritime enterprises. The custom had always been
that the Ottoman galleys had been rowed by Christians, captured and
enslaved; of course the converse was true in the galleys of their foes.
There were, for the size of the vessels, an enormous number of men
carried in the galleys of the sixteenth century, and an average craft of
this description would have on board some four hundred men; of these,
however, the proportion would be two hundred and fifty slaves to one
hundred and fifty fighting men. That which Kheyr-ed-Din now insisted
upon was that a certain proportion of his most powerful units should be
rowed by Moslem fighting men, so that on the day of battle the oarsmen
could join in the fray instead of remaining chained to their benches, as
was the custom with the slaves. It is, however, an extraordinary
testimony to the influence which the corsair had attained in
Constantinople that he had been able to effect this change in the
composition of some of his crews; it must have been done with the active
coöperation of the Sultan, as no authority less potent than that of the
sovereign himself could have induced free men to undertake the terrible
toil of rower in a galley. This was reserved for the unfortunate slave
on either side owing to the intolerable hardship of the life, and
results, in the pace at which a galley proceeded through the water,
were usually obtained by an unsparing use of the lash on the naked
bodies of the rowers.

This human material was used up in the most prodigal manner possible, as
those in command had not the inducement of treating the rowers well,
from that economic standpoint which causes a man to so use his beast of
burden as to get the best work from him. In the galley, when a slave
would row no more he was flung overboard and another was put in his

The admiral, however, even when backed by the Padishah, could not man a
large fleet of galleys with Moslem rowers, and, as there was a shortage
in the matter of propelling power, his first business was to collect
slaves, and for this purpose he visited the islands of the Archipelago.
The lot of the unhappy inhabitants of these was indeed a hard one. They
were nearer to the seat of the Moslem power than any other Christians;
they were in those days totally unable to resist an attack in force, and
in consequence were swept off in their thousands.

Seven islands cover the entrance to the Gulf of Volo. The nearest to the
coast is Skiathos, which is also the most important; it was defended by
a castle built upon a rock. This castle was attacked by Barbarossa, who
bombarded it for six days, carried it by assault, and massacred the
garrison. He spared the lives of the inhabitants of the island, and by
this means secured three thousand four hundred rowers for his galleys.
He had to provide motor-power for the reinforcements which he expected.
In July he was reinforced from Constantinople by ninety galleys, while
from Egypt came Saleh-Reis, who had succeeded in avoiding the terrible
Doria, with twenty more; the fleet was thus complete.


[7] From _Sea Wolves of the Mediterranean_.



Some may think that the French having deserted Captain Morgan, the
English alone could not have sufficient courage to attempt such great
actions as before. But Captain Morgan, who always communicated vigor
with his words, infused such spirit into his men, as put them instantly
upon new designs. He inspired them with the belief that the sole
execution of his orders would be a certain means of obtaining great
riches, which so influenced their minds, that with inimitable courage
they all resolved to follow him, as did also a certain pirate of
Campechy, on this occasion joined with Captain Morgan, to seek new
fortunes under his conduct. Thus Captain Morgan in a few days gathered a
fleet of nine sail, either ships or great boats, wherein he had four
hundred and sixty military men.

All things being ready, they put forth to sea, Captain Morgan imparting
his design to nobody at present; he only told them on several occasions,
that he doubted not to make a good fortune by that voyage, if strange
occurrences happened not. They steered towards the continent, where
they arrived in a few days near Costa Rica, all their fleet safe. No
sooner had they discovered land but Captain Morgan declared his
intentions to the captains, and presently after to the company. He told
them he intended to plunder Puerto Bello by night, being resolved to put
the whole city to the sack: and to encourage them he added, this
enterprise could not fail, seeing he had kept it secret, without
revealing it to anybody, whereby they could not have notice of his
coming. To this proposition some answered, they had not a sufficient
number of men to assault so strong and great a city. But Captain Morgan
replied, "If our number is small, our hearts are great; and the fewer
persons we are, the more union and better shares we shall have in the
spoil." Hereupon, being stimulated with the hope of those vast riches
they promised themselves from their success, they unanimously agreed to
that design. Now, that my reader may better comprehend the boldness of
this exploit, it may be necessary to say something beforehand of the
city of Puerto Bello.

This city is in the province of Costa Rica, 10 deg. north latitude,
fourteen leagues from the gulf of Darien, and eight westwards from the
port called Nombre de Dios. It is judged the strongest place the king of
Spain possesses in all the West Indies, except Havanna and Carthagena.
Here are two castles almost impregnable, that defend the city, situate
at the entry of the port, so that no ship or boat can pass without
permission. The garrison consists of three hundred soldiers, and the
town is inhabited by four hundred families. The merchants dwell not
here, but only reside a while, when the galleons come from or go for
Spain, by reason of the unhealthiness of the air, occasioned by vapors
from the mountains; so that though their chief warehouses are at Puerto
Bello, their habitations are at Panama, whence they bring the plate upon
mules when the fair begins, and when the ships belonging to the company
of negroes arrive to sell slaves.

Captain Morgan, who knew very well all the avenues of this city and the
neighboring coasts, arrived in the evening with his men at Puerto de
Naos, ten leagues to the west of Puerto Bello. Being come hither, they
sailed up the river to another harbor called Puerto Pontin, where they
anchored: here they put themselves into boats and canoes, leaving in the
ships only a few men to bring them next day to the port. About midnight
they came to a place called Estera longa Lemos, where they all went on
shore and marched by land to the first posts of the city. They had in
their company an Englishman, formerly a prisoner in those parts, who now
served them for a guide. To him and three or four more they gave
commission to take the sentinel, if possible, or kill him on the place:
but they seized him so cunningly, as he had no time to give warning with
his musket, or make any noise, and brought him, with his hands bound,
to Captain Morgan, who asked him how things went in the city, and what
forces they had; with other circumstances he desired to know. After
every question they made him a thousand menaces to kill him, if he
declared not the truth. Then they advanced to the city, carrying the
said sentinel bound before them: having marched about a quarter of a
league, they came to the castle near the city, which presently they
closely surrounded, so that no person could get either in or out.

Being posted under the walls of the castle, Captain Morgan commanded the
sentinel, whom they had taken prisoner, to speak to those within,
charging them to surrender to his discretion; otherwise they should all
be cut in pieces, without quarter. But disregarding these threats, they
began instantly to fire, which alarmed the city; yet notwithstanding,
though the governor and soldiers of the said castle made as great
resistance as could be, they were forced to surrender. Having taken the
castle, Morgan resolved to be as good as his word, putting the Spaniards
to the sword, thereby to strike a terror into the rest of the city.
Whereupon, having shut up all the soldiers and officers as prisoners
into one room, they set fire to the powder (whereof they found great
quantity) and blew up the castle into the air, with all the Spaniards
that were within. This done, they pursued the course of their victory,
falling upon the city, which as yet was not ready to receive them. Many
of the inhabitants cast their precious jewels and money into wells and
cisterns, or hid them in places underground, to avoid as much as
possible, being totally robbed. One of the party of pirates, assigned to
this purpose, ran immediately to the cloisters, and took as many
religious men and women as they could find. The governor of the city,
not being able to rally the citizens, through their great confusion,
retired to one of the castles remaining, and thence fired incessantly at
the pirates: but these were not in the least negligent either to assault
him, or defend themselves, so that amidst the horror of the assault,
they made very few shots in vain; for aiming with great dexterity at the
mouths of the guns, the Spaniards were certain to lose one or two men
every time they charged each gun anew.

The fight continued very furious from break of day till noon; indeed,
about this time of the day the case was very dubious which party should
conquer, or be conquered. At last, the pirates perceiving they had lost
many men, and yet advanced but little towards gaining either this, or
the other castles, made use of fire-balls, which they threw with their
hands, designing to burn the doors of the castles. But the Spaniards
from the walls let fall great quantities of stones, and earthen pots
full of powder, and other combustible matter, which forced them to
desist. Captain Morgan seeing this desperate defence made by the
Spaniards, began to despair of success. Hereupon, many faint and calm
meditations came into his mind; neither could he determine which way to
turn himself in that strait. Being thus puzzled, he was suddenly
animated to continue the assault, by seeing the English colors put forth
at one of the lesser castles, then entered by his men; of whom he
presently after spied a troop coming to meet him, proclaiming victory
with loud shouts of joy. This instantly put him on new resolutions of
taking the rest of the castles, especially seeing the chiefest citizens
were fled to them, and had conveyed thither great part of their riches,
with all the plate belonging to the churches and divine service.

To this effect, he ordered ten or twelve ladders to be made in all
haste, so broad, that three or four men at once might ascend them: these
being finished, he commanded all the religious men and women, whom he
had taken prisoners, to fix them against the walls of the castle. This
he had before threatened the governor to do, if he delivered not the
castle: but his answer was, "he would never surrender himself alive."
Captain Morgan was persuaded the governor would not employ his utmost
force, on seeing the religious women and ecclesiastical persons exposed
in the front of the soldiers to the greatest danger. Thus the ladders,
as I have said, were at once put into the hands of religious persons of
both sexes, and these were forced, at the head of the companies, to
raise and apply them to the walls. But Captain Morgan was fully
deceived in his judgment of this design; for the governor, who acted
like a brave soldier in performance of his duty, used his utmost
endeavor to destroy whomsoever came near the walls. The religious men
and women ceased not to cry to him, and beg of him, by all the saints of
heaven, to deliver the castle, and spare both his and their own lives;
but nothing could prevail with his obstinacy and fierceness. Thus many
of the religious men and nuns were killed before they could fix the
ladders; which at last being done, though with great loss of their
number, the pirates mounted them in great numbers, and with reckless
valor, having fire-balls in their hands, and earthen pots full of
powder; which, being now at the top of the walls, they kindled and cast
down among the Spaniards.

This effort of the pirates was very great, insomuch that the Spaniards
could not longer resist nor defend the castle, which was now entered.
Hereupon they all threw down their arms, and craved quarter for their
lives; only the governor of the city would crave no mercy, but killed
many of the pirates with his own hands, and not a few of his own
soldiers; because they did not stand to their arms. And though the
pirates asked him if he would have quarter; yet he constantly answered,
"By no means, I had rather die as a valiant soldier, than be hanged as a
coward." They endeavored as much as they could to take him prisoner, but
he defended himself so obstinately, that they were forced to kill him,
notwithstanding all the cries and tears of his own wife and daughter,
who begged him, on their knees, to demand quarter, and save his life.
When the pirates had possessed themselves of the castle, which was about
nightfall, they enclosed therein all the prisoners, placing the women
and men by themselves, with some guards. The wounded were put in an
apartment by themselves, that their own complaints might be the cure of
their diseases; for no other was afforded them.

This done, they fell to eating and drinking, and as usual, to committing
all manner of debauchery and excess, so that fifty courageous men might
easily have retaken the city, and killed all the pirates. Next day,
having plundered all they could find, they examined some of the
prisoners (who had been persuaded by their companions to say they were
the richest of the town), charging them severely to discover where they
had hid their riches and goods. Not being able to extort anything from
them, they not being the right persons, it was resolved to torture them:
this they did so cruelly, that many of them died on the rack, or
presently after. Now the president of Panama being advertised of the
pillage and ruin of Puerto Bello, he employed all his care and industry
to raise forces to pursue and cast out the pirates thence; but these
cared little for his preparations, having their ships at hand, and
determining to fire the city, and retreat. They had now been at Puerto
Bello fifteen days, in which time they had lost many of their men, both
by the unhealthiness of the country, and their extravagant debaucheries.

Hereupon, they prepared to depart, carrying on board all the pillage
they had got, having first provided the fleet with sufficient victuals
for the voyage. While these things were doing Captain Morgan demanded of
the prisoners a ransom for the city, or else he would burn it down, and
blow up all the castles; withal, he commanded them to send speedily two
persons, to procure the sum, which was 100,000 pieces-of-eight. To this
effect two men were sent to the president of Panama, who gave him an
account of all. The president, having now a body of men ready, set forth
towards Puerto Bello, to encounter the pirates before their retreat;
but, they, hearing of his coming, instead of flying away, went out to
meet him at a narrow passage, which he must pass: here they placed a
hundred men, very well armed, which at the first encounter put to flight
a good party of those of Panama. This obliged the president to retire
for that time, not being yet in a posture of strength to proceed
farther. Presently after, he sent a message to Captain Morgan, to tell
him, "that if he departed not suddenly with all his forces from Puerto
Bello, he ought to expect no quarter for himself, nor his companions,
when he should take them, as he hoped soon to do." Captain Morgan, who
feared not his threats, knowing he had a secure retreat in his ships,
which were at hand, answered, "he would not deliver the castles, before
he had received the contribution-money he had demanded; which if it were
not paid down, he would certainly burn the whole city, and then leave
it, demolishing beforehand the castles, and killing the prisoners."

The governor of Panama perceived by this answer that no means would
serve to mollify the hearts of the pirates, nor reduce them to reason:
whereupon, he determined to leave the inhabitants of the city to make
the best agreement they could. In a few days more the miserable citizens
gathered the contributions required, and brought 100,000 pieces-of-eight
to the pirates for their ransom. The president of Panama was much amazed
that four hundred men could take such a great city, with so many strong
castles, especially having no ordnance, wherewith to raise batteries,
and, knowing the citizens of Puerto Bello had always great repute of
being good soldiers themselves, who never wanted courage in their own
defence. His astonishment was so great, that he sent to Captain Morgan,
desiring some small pattern of those arms wherewith he had taken with
such vigor so great a city. Captain Morgan received this messenger very
kindly, and with great civility; and gave him a pistol, and a few small
bullets, to carry back to the president his master; telling him, withal,
"he desired him to accept that slender pattern of the arms wherewith he
had taken Puerto Bello, and keep them for a twelvemonth; after which
time he promised to come to Panama, and fetch them away."[9] The
governor returned the present very soon to Captain Morgan, giving him
thanks for the favor of lending him such weapons as he needed not; and,
withal, sent him a ring of gold, with this message, "that he desired him
not to give himself the labor of coming to Panama, as he had done to
Puerto Bello: for he did assure him, he should not speed so well here,
as he had done there."

After this, Captain Morgan (having provided his fleet with all
necessaries, and taken with him the best guns of the castles, nailing up
the rest) set sail from Puerto Bello with all his ships, and arriving in
a few days at Cuba, he sought out a place wherein he might quickly make
the dividend of their spoil. They found in ready money 250,000
pieces-of-eight, besides other merchandise; as cloth, linen, silks, etc.
With this rich purchase they sailed thence to their common place of
rendezvous, Jamaica. Being arrived, they passed here some time in all
sorts of vices and debaucheries, according to their custom; spending
very prodigally what others had gained with no small labor and toil.


[8] From _The Buccaneers of America_.

[9] This promise was kept. See The Capture of Panama (footnote).



Throughout the years of buccaneering, the buccaneers often put to sea in
canoas and periaguas, just as Drake put to sea in his three pinnaces.
Life in an open boat is far from pleasant, but men who passed their
leisure cutting logwood at Campeachy, or hoeing tobacco in Jamaica, or
toiling over gramma grass under a hot sun after cattle, were not
disposed to make the worst of things. They would sit contentedly upon
the oar bench, rowing with a long, slow stroke for hours together
without showing signs of fatigue. Nearly all of them were men of more
than ordinary strength, and all of them were well accustomed to the
climate. When they had rowed their canoa to the Main they were able to
take it easy till a ship came by from one of the Spanish ports. If she
seemed a reasonable prey, without too many guns, and not too high
charged, or high built, the privateers would load their muskets, and row
down to engage her. The best shots were sent into the bows, and excused
from rowing, lest the exercise should cause their hands to tremble. A
clever man was put to the steering oar, and the musketeers were bidden
to sing out whenever the enemy yawed, so as to fire her guns. It was in
action, and in action only, that the captain had command over his men.
The steersman endeavored to keep the masts of the quarry in a line, and
to approach her from astern. The marksmen from the bows kept up a
continual fire at the vessel's helmsmen, if they could be seen, and at
any gun-ports which happened to be open. If the helmsmen could not be
seen from the sea, the canoas aimed to row in upon the vessel's
quarters, where they could wedge up the rudder with wooden chocks or
wedges. They then laid her aboard over the quarter, or by the after
chains, and carried her with their knives and pistols. The first man to
get aboard received some gift of money at the division of the spoil.

When the prize was taken, the prisoners were questioned, and despoiled.
Often, indeed, they were stripped stark naked, and granted the privilege
of seeing their finery on a pirate's back. Each buccaneer had the right
to take a shift of clothes out of each prize captured. The cargo was
then rummaged, and the state of the ship looked to, with an eye to using
her as a cruiser. As a rule, the prisoners were put ashore on the first
opportunity, but some buccaneers had a way of selling their captives
into slavery. If the ship were old, leaky, valueless, in ballast, or
with a cargo useless to the rovers, she was either robbed of her guns,
and turned adrift with her crew, or run ashore in some snug cove, where
she could be burnt for the sake of the iron-work. If the cargo were of
value, and, as a rule, the ships they took had some rich thing aboard
them, they sailed her to one of the Dutch, French or English
settlements, where they sold her freight for what they could get--some
tenth or twentieth of its value. If the ship were a good one, in good
condition, well found, swift, and not of too great draught (for they
preferred to sail in small ships), they took her for their cruiser as
soon as they had emptied out her freight. They sponged and loaded her
guns, brought their stores aboard her, laid their mats upon her deck,
secured the boats astern, and sailed away in search of other plunder.
They kept little discipline aboard their ships. What work had to be done
they did, but works of supererogation they despised and rejected as a
shade unholy. The night watches were partly orgies. While some slept,
the others fired guns and drank to the health of their fellows. By the
light of the binnacle, or by the light of the slush lamps in the cabin,
the rovers played a hand at cards, or diced each other at "seven and
eleven," using a pannikin as dice-box. While the gamblers cut and
shuffled, and the dice rattled in the tin, the musical sang songs, the
fiddlers set their music chuckling, and the seaboots stamped approval.
The cunning dancers showed their science in the moonlight, avoiding the
sleepers if they could. In this jolly fashion were the nights made
short. In the daytime, the gambling continued with little intermission;
nor had the captain any authority to stop it. One captain, in the
histories, was so bold as to throw the dice and cards overboard, but, as
a rule, the captain of a buccaneer cruiser was chosen as an artist, or
navigator, or as a lucky fighter. He was not expected to spoil sport.
The continual gambling nearly always led to fights and quarrels. The
lucky dicers often won so much that the unlucky had to part with all
their booty. Sometimes a few men would win all the plunder of the
cruise, much to the disgust of the majority, who clamored for a
redivision of the spoil. If two buccaneers got into a quarrel they
fought it out on shore at the first opportunity, using knives, swords,
or pistols, according to taste. The usual way of fighting was with
pistols, the combatants standing back to back, at a distance of ten or
twelve paces, and turning round to fire at the word of command. If both
shots missed, the question was decided with cutlasses, the man who drew
first blood being declared the winner. If a man were proved to be a
coward he was either tied to the mast, and shot, or mutilated, and sent
ashore. No cruise came to an end until the company declared themselves
satisfied with the amount of plunder taken. The question, like all other
important questions, was debated round the mast, and decided by vote.

At the conclusion of a successful cruise, they sailed for Port Royal,
with the ship full of treasure, such as vicuna wool, packets of pearls
from the Hatch, jars of civet or of ambergris, boxes of "marmalett" and
spices, casks of strong drink, bales of silk, sacks of chocolate and
vanilla, and rolls of green cloth and pale blue cotton which the Indians
had woven in Peru, in some sandy village near the sea, in sight of the
pelicans and the penguins. In addition to all these things, they usually
had a number of the personal possessions of those they had taken on the
seas. Lying in the chests for subsequent division were swords,
silver-mounted pistols, daggers chased and inlaid, watches from Spain,
necklaces of uncut jewels, rings and bangles, heavy carved furniture,
"cases of bottles" of delicately cut green glass, containing cordials
distilled of precious mints, with packets of emeralds from Brazil,
bezoar stones from Patagonia, paintings from Spain, and medicinal gums
from Nicaragua. All these things were divided by lot at the main-mast as
soon as the anchor held. As the ship, or ships, neared port, her men
hung colors out--any colors they could find--to make their vessel gay. A
cup of drink was taken as they sailed slowly home to moorings, and as
they drank they fired off the cannon, "bullets and all," again and yet
again, rejoicing as the bullets struck the water. Up in the bay, the
ships in the harbor answered with salutes of cannon; flags were dipped
and hoisted in salute; and so the anchor dropped in some safe reach, and
the division of the spoil began.

After the division of the spoil in the beautiful Port Royal harbor, in
sight of the palm-trees and the fort with the colors flying, the
buccaneers packed their gear, and dropped over the side into a boat.
They were pulled ashore by some grinning black man with a scarlet scarf
about his head and the brand of a hot iron on his shoulders. At the
jetty end, where the Indians lounged at their tobacco and the
fishermen's canoas rocked, the sunburnt pirates put ashore. Among the
noisy company which always gathers on a pier they met with their
companions. A sort of Roman triumph followed, as the "happily returned"
lounged swaggeringly towards the taverns. Eager hands helped them to
carry in their plunder. In a few minutes the gang was entering the
tavern, the long, cool room with barrels round the walls, where there
were benches and a table and an old blind fiddler jerking his elbow at a
jig. Noisily the party ranged about the table, and sat themselves upon
the benches, while the drawers, or potboys, in their shirts, drew near
to take the orders. I wonder if the reader has ever heard a sailor in
the like circumstance, five minutes after he has touched his pay,
address a company of parasites in an inn with the question: "What's it
going to be?"


[10] From _Buccaneer Customs on the Spanish Main_.





Edward Teach was a Bristol man born, but had sailed some time out of
Jamaica, in privateers, in the late French war; yet though he had often
distinguished himself for his uncommon boldness and personal courage, he
was never raised to any command, till he went a-pirating, which, I
think, was at the latter end of the year 1716, when Captain Benjamin
Hornygold put him into a sloop that he had made prize of, and with whom
he continued in consortship till a little while before Hornygold

In the spring of the year 1717 Teach and Hornygold sailed from
Providence, for the main of America, and took in their way a billop from
the Havana, with 120 barrels of flour, as also a sloop from Bermuda,
Thurbar master, from whom they took only some gallons of wine, and then
let him go; and a ship from Madeira to South Carolina, out of which they
got plunder to a considerable value.

After cleaning on the coast of Virginia, they returned to the West
Indies, and in the latitude of 24, made prize of a large French
Guineaman, bound to Martinico, which, by Hornygold's consent, Teach went
aboard of as captain, and took a cruise in her. Hornygold returned with
his sloop to Providence, where, at the arrival of Captain Rogers, the
governor, he surrendered to mercy, pursuant to the king's proclamation.

Aboard of this Guineaman Teach mounted forty guns, and named her the
_Queen Ann's Revenge_; and cruising near the island of St. Vincent, took
a large ship, called the _Great Allen_, Christopher Taylor, commander;
the pirates plundered her of what they thought fit, put all the men
ashore upon the island above mentioned, and set fire to the ship.

A few days after Teach fell in with the _Scarborough_, man-of-war, of
thirty guns, who engaged him for some hours; but she, finding the pirate
well-manned, and having tried her strength, gave over the engagement and
returned to Barbadoes, the place of her station, and Teach sailed
towards the Spanish America.

In this way he met with a pirate sloop of ten guns, commanded by one
Major Bonnet, lately a gentleman of good reputation and estate in the
island of Barbadoes, whom he joined; but in a few days after, Teach,
finding that Bonnet knew nothing of a maritime life, with the consent of
his own men, put in another captain, one Richards, to command Bonnet's
sloop, and took the Major on board his own ship, telling him, that as he
had not been used to the fatigues and care of such a post, it would be
better for him to decline it and live easy, at his pleasure, in such a
ship as his, where he would not be obliged to perform the necessary
duties of a sea-voyage.

At Turniff, ten leagues short of the Bay of Honduras, the pirates took
in fresh water, and while they were at anchor there, they saw a sloop
coming in, whereupon Richards, in the sloop called the _Revenge_,
slipped his cable and run out to meet her; who, upon seeing the black
flag hoisted, struck his sail and came to under the stern of Teach, the
commodore. She was called the _Adventure_, from Jamaica, David Harriot,
master. They took him and his men aboard the great ship, and sent a
number of other hands with Israel Hands, master of Teach's ship, to man
the sloop for the piratical account.

The 9th of April they weighed from Turniff, having lain there about a
week, and sailed to the bay, where they found a ship and four sloops;
three of the latter belonged to Jonathan Bernard, of Jamaica, and the
other to Captain James. The ship was of Boston, called the _Protestant
Cæsar_, Captain Wyar, commander. Teach hoisted his black colors and
fired a gun, upon which Captain Wyar and all his men left their ship and
got ashore in their boat. Teach's quartermaster and eight of his crew
took possession of Wyar's ship, and Richards secured all the sloops, one
of which they burnt out of spite to the owner. The _Protestant Cæsar_
they also burnt, after they had plundered her, because she belonged to
Boston, where some men had been hanged for piracy, and the three sloops
belonging to Bernard they let go.

From hence the rovers sailed to Turkill, and then to the Grand Caimanes,
a small island about thirty leagues to the westward of Jamaica, where
they took a small turtler, and so to the Havana, and from thence to the
Bahama Wrecks; and from the Bahama Wrecks they sailed to Carolina,
taking a brigantine and two sloops in their way, where they lay off the
bar of Charles Town for five or six days. They took here a ship as she
was coming out, bound for London, commanded by Robert Clark, with some
passengers on board for England. The next day they took another vessel
coming out of Charles Town, and also two pinks coming into Charles Town;
likewise a brigantine with fourteen negroes aboard; all of which, being
done in the face of the town, struck so great a terror to the whole
province of Carolina, having just before been visited by Vane, another
notorious pirate, that they abandoned themselves to despair, being in no
condition to resist their force. There were eight sail in the harbor,
ready for the sea, but none dared to venture out, it being almost
impossible to escape their hands. The inward bound vessels were under
the same unhappy dilemma, so that the trade of this place was totally
interrupted. What made these misfortunes heavier to them was a long,
expensive war the colony had had with the natives, which was but just
ended when these robbers infested them.

Teach detained all the ships and prisoners, and, being in want of
medicines, resolved to demand a chest from the government of the
province. Accordingly, Richards, the captain of the _Revenge_ sloop,
with two or three more pirates, were sent up along with Mr. Marks, one
of the prisoners whom they had taken in Clark's ship, and very
insolently made their demands, threatening that if they did not send
immediately the chest of medicines and let the pirate ambassadors
return, without offering any violence to their persons, they would
murder all their prisoners, send up their heads to the governor, and set
the ships they had taken on fire.

Whilst Mr. Marks was making application to the council, Richards and the
rest of the pirates walked the streets publicly in the sight of all
people, who were fired with the utmost indignation, looking upon them as
robbers and murderers, and particularly the authors of their wrongs and
oppressions, but durst not so much as think of executing their revenge
for fear of bringing more calamities upon themselves, and so they were
forced to let the villains pass with impunity. The government was not
long in deliberating upon the message, though it was the greatest
affront that could have been put upon them, yet, for the saving so many
men's lives (among them Mr. Samuel Wragg, one of the council), they
complied with the necessity and sent aboard a chest, valued at between
three and four hundred pounds, and the pirates went back safe to their

Black-beard (for so Teach was generally called, as we shall hereafter
show), as soon as he had received the medicines and his brother rogues,
let go the ships and the prisoners, having first taken out of them in
gold and silver about £1,500 sterling, besides provisions and other

From the bar of Charles Town they sailed to North Carolina, Captain
Teach in the ship, which they called the man-of-war, Captain Richards
and Captain Hands in the sloops, which they termed privateers, and
another sloop serving them as a tender. Teach began now to think of
breaking up the company and securing the money and the best of the
effects for himself and some others of his companions he had most
friendship for, and to cheat the rest. Accordingly, on pretense of
running into Topsail inlet to clean, he grounded his ship, and then, as
if it had been done undesignedly and by accident, he orders Hands' sloop
to come to his assistance and get him off again, which he, endeavoring
to do, ran the sloop on shore near the other, and so were both lost.
This done, Teach goes into the tender sloop, with forty hands, and
leaves the _Revenge_ there, then takes seventeen others and maroons them
upon a small sandy island, about a league from the main, where there was
neither bird, beast, or herb for their subsistence, and where they must
have perished if Major Bonnet had not, two days after, taken them off.

Teach goes up to the governor of North Carolina, with about twenty of
his men, and they surrender to his Majesty's proclamation, and receive
certificates thereof from his Excellency; but it did not appear that
their submitting to this pardon was from any reformation of manners, but
only to await a more favorable opportunity to play the same game over
again; which he soon after effected, with greater security to himself,
and with much better prospect of success, having in this time cultivated
a very good understanding with Charles Eden, Esq., the governor above

The first piece of service this kind governor did to Black-beard was to
give him a right to the vessel which he had taken when he was a-pirating
in the great ship called the _Queen Ann's Revenge_, for which purpose a
court of vice-admiralty was held at Bath Town, and, though Teach had
never any commission in his life, and the sloop belonging to the English
merchants, and taken in time of peace, yet was she condemned as a prize
taken from the Spaniards by the said Teach. These proceedings show that
governors are but men.

Before he sailed upon his adventures, he married a young creature of
about sixteen years of age, the governor performing the ceremony. As it
is a custom to marry here by a priest, so it is there by a magistrate;
and this, I have been informed, made Teach's fourteenth wife whereof
about a dozen might be still living.

In June, 1718, he went to sea upon another expedition, and steered his
course towards Bermudas. He met with two or three English vessels in his
way, but robbed them only of provisions, stores, and other necessaries,
for his present expense; but near the island before mentioned, he fell
in with two French ships, one of them was laden with sugar and cocoa,
and the other light, both bound to Martinico. The ship that had no
lading he let go, and putting all the men of the loaded ship aboard her,
he brought home the other with her cargo to North Carolina, where the
governor and the pirates shared the plunder.

When Teach and his prize arrived he and four of his crew went to his
Excellency and made affidavit that they found the French ship at sea
without a soul on board her; and then a court was called, and the ship
condemned. The governor had sixty hogsheads of sugar for his dividend,
and one Mr. Knight, who was his secretary and collector for the
province, twenty, and the rest was shared among the other pirates.

The business was not yet done; the ship remained, and it was possible
one or other might come into the river that might be acquainted with
her, and so discover the roguery. But Teach thought of a contrivance to
prevent this, for, upon a pretence that she was leaky, and that she
might sink, and so stop up the mouth of the inlet or cove where she lay,
he obtained an order from the governor to bring her out into the river
and set her on fire, which was accordingly executed, and she was burnt
down to the water's edge, her bottom sunk, and with it their fears of
her ever rising in judgment against them.

Captain Teach, alias Black-beard, passed three or four months in the
river, sometimes lying at anchor in the coves, at other times sailing
from one inlet to another, trading with such sloops as he met for the
plunder he had taken, and would often give them presents for stores and
provisions he took from them; that is, when he happened to be in a
giving humor; at other times he made bold with them, and took what he
liked, without saying "By your leave," knowing well they dared not send
him a bill for the payment. He often diverted himself with going ashore
among the planters, where he revelled night and day. By these he was
well received, but whether out of love or fear I cannot say. Sometimes
he used them courteously enough, and made them presents of rum and sugar
in recompense of what he took from them; but, as for liberties, which it
is said he and his companions often took with the wives and daughters of
the planters, I cannot take upon me to say whether he paid them _ad
valorem_ or no. At other times he carried it in a lordly manner towards
them, and would lay some of them under contribution; nay, he often
proceeded to bully the governor, not that I can discover the least
cause of quarrel between them, but it seemed only to be done to show he
dared do it.

The sloops trading up and down this river being so frequently pillaged
by Black-beard, consulted with the traders and some of the best planters
what course to take. They saw plainly it would be in vain to make an
application to the governor of North Carolina, to whom it properly
belonged to find some redress; so that if they could not be relieved
from some other quarter, Black-beard would be like to reign with
impunity; therefore, with as much secrecy as possible, they sent a
deputation to Virginia, to lay the affair before the governor of that
colony, and to solicit an armed force from the men-of-war lying there to
take or destroy this pirate.

This governor consulted with the captains of the two men-of-war, viz.,
the _Pearl_ and _Lime_, who had lain in St. James's river about ten
months. It was agreed that the governor should hire a couple of small
sloops, and the men-of-war should man them. This was accordingly done,
and the command of them given to Mr. Robert Maynard, first lieutenant of
the _Pearl_, an experienced officer, and a gentleman of great bravery
and resolution, as will appear by his gallant behavior in this
expedition. The sloops were well manned, and furnished with ammunition
and small arms, but had no guns mounted.

About the time of their going out the governor called an assembly, in
which it was resolved to publish a proclamation, offering certain
rewards to any person or persons who, within a year after that time,
should take or destroy any pirate. The original proclamation, being in
our hands, is as follows:--

     By his Majesty's Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the
                      Colony and Dominion of Virginia.

                              A PROCLAMATION,

     Publishing the Rewards given for apprehending or killing Pirates.

    WHEREAS, by an Act of Assembly, made at a Session of Assembly, begun
    at the capital in Williamsburg, the eleventh day of November, in the
    fifth year of his Majesty's reign, entitled, An Act to Encourage the
    Apprehending and Destroying of Pirates: It is, amongst other things,
    enacted, that all and every person, or persons, who, from and after
    the fourteenth day of November, in the Year of our Lord one thousand
    seven hundred and eighteen, and before the fourteenth day of
    November, which shall be in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven
    hundred and nineteen, shall take any pirate, or pirates, on the sea
    or land, or, in case of resistance, shall kill any such pirate, or
    pirates, between the degrees of thirty-four and thirty-nine of
    northern latitude, and within one hundred leagues of the continent
    of Virginia, or within the provinces of Virginia, or North Carolina,
    upon the conviction, or making due proof of the killing of all and
    every such pirate, and pirates, before the Governor and Council,
    shall be entitled to have, and receive out of the public money, in
    the hands of the Treasurer of this Colony, the several rewards
    following: that is to say, for Edward Teach, commonly called Captain
    Teach, or Black-beard, one hundred pounds; for every other
    commander of a pirate ship, sloop, or vessel, forty pounds; for
    every lieutenant, master, or quartermaster, boatswain, or carpenter,
    twenty pounds; for every other inferior officer, fifteen pounds; and
    for every private man taken on board such ship, sloop, or vessel,
    ten pounds; and that for every pirate which shall be taken by any
    ship, sloop, or vessel, belonging to this colony, or North Carolina,
    within the time aforesaid, in any place whatsoever, the like rewards
    shall be paid according to the quality and condition of such
    pirates. Wherefore, for the encouragement of all such persons as
    shall be willing to serve his Majesty, and their country, in so just
    and honourable an undertaking as the suppressing a sort of people
    who may be truly called enemies to mankind: I have thought fit, with
    the advice and consent of his Majesty's Council, to issue this
    Proclamation, hereby declaring the said rewards shall be punctually
    and justly paid, in current money of Virginia, according to the
    directions of the said Act. And I do order and appoint this
    proclamation to be published by the sheriffs at their respective
    country houses, and by all ministers and readers in the several
    churches and chapels throughout this colony.

       Given at our Council-Chamber at Williamsburgh, this
           24th day of November, 1718, in the fifth year of
           his Majesty's reign.
               GOD SAVE THE KING.
                                                         A. SPOTSWOOD.

The 17th of November, 1718, the lieutenant sailed from Kicquetan, in
James river in Virginia, and the 31st, in the evening, came to the mouth
of Okerecock inlet, where he got sight of the pirate. This expedition
was made with all imaginable secrecy, and the officer managed with all
the prudence that was necessary, stopping all boats and vessels he met
with in the river from going up, and thereby preventing any intelligence
from reaching Black-beard, and receiving at the same time an account
from them all of the place where the pirate was lurking. But
notwithstanding this caution, Black-beard had information of the design
from his Excellency of the province; and his secretary, Mr. Knight,
wrote him a letter particularly concerning it, intimating "that he had
sent him four of his men, which were all he could meet with in or about
town, and so bid him be upon his guard." These men belonged to
Black-beard, and were sent from Bath Town to Okerecock inlet, where the
sloop lay, which is about twenty leagues.

Black-beard had heard several reports, which happened not to be true,
and so gave the less credit to this advice; nor was he convinced till he
saw the sloops. Then it was time to put his vessel in a posture of
defense. He had no more than twenty-five men on board, though he gave
out to all the vessels he spoke with that he had forty. When he had
prepared for battle he sat down and spent the night in drinking with the
master of a trading sloop, who, it was thought, had more business with
Teach than he should have had.

Lieutenant Maynard came to an anchor, for the place being shoal, and the
channel intricate, there was no getting in where Teach lay that night;
but in the morning he weighed, and sent his boat ahead of the sloops to
sound, and coming within gun-shot of the pirate, received his fire;
whereupon Maynard hoisted the king's colors, and stood directly towards
him with the best way that his sails and oars could make. Black-beard
cut his cable, and endeavored to make a running fight, keeping a
continual fire at his enemies with his guns. Mr. Maynard, not having
any, kept a constant fire with small arms, while some of his men labored
at their oars. In a little time Teach's sloop ran aground, and Mr.
Maynard's, drawing more water than that of the pirate, he could not come
near him; so he anchored within half gun-shot of the enemy, and, in
order to lighten his vessel, that he might run him aboard, the
lieutenant ordered all his ballast to be thrown overboard, and all the
water to be staved, and then weighed and stood for him; upon which
Black-beard hailed him in this rude manner: "Damn you for villains, who
are you; and from whence came you?" The lieutenant made him answer, "You
may see by our colors we are no pirates." Black-beard bid him send his
boat on board that he might see who he was; but Mr. Maynard replied
thus: "I cannot spare my boat, but I will come aboard of you as soon as
I can with my sloop." Upon this Black-beard took a glass of liquor, and
drank to him with these words: "Damnation seize my soul if I give you
quarter, or take any from you." In answer to which Mr. Maynard told him
"that he expected no quarter from him, nor should he give him any."

By this time Black-beard's sloop fleeted as Mr. Maynard's sloops were
rowing towards him, which being not above a foot high in the waist, and
consequently the men all exposed, as they came near together (there
being hitherto little or no execution done on either side), the pirate
fired a broadside charged with all manner of small shot. A fatal stroke
to them!--the sloop the lieutenant was in having twenty men killed and
wounded, and the other sloop nine. This could not be helped, for there
being no wind, they were obliged to keep to their oars, otherwise the
pirate would have got away from him, which it seems, the lieutenant was
resolute to prevent.

After this unlucky blow Black-beard's sloop fell broadside to the shore;
Mr. Maynard's other sloop, which was called the _Ranger_, fell astern,
being for the present disabled. So the lieutenant, finding his own sloop
had way and would soon be on board of Teach, he ordered all his men
down, for fear of another broadside, which must have been their
destruction and the loss of their expedition. Mr. Maynard was the only
person that kept the deck, except the man at the helm, whom he directed
to lie down snug, and the men in the hold were ordered to get their
pistols and their swords ready for close fighting, and to come up at his
command; in order to which two ladders were placed in the hatchway for
the more expedition. When the lieutenant's sloop boarded the other
Captain Teach's men threw in several new-fashioned sort of grenades,
viz., case-bottles filled with powder and small shot, slugs, and pieces
of lead or iron, with a quick-match in the mouth of it, which, being
lighted without side, presently runs into the bottle to the powder, and,
as it is instantly thrown on board, generally does great execution
besides putting all the crew into a confusion. But, by good Providence,
they had not that effect here, the men being in the hold. Black-beard,
seeing few or no hands aboard, told his men "that they were all knocked
to head, except three or four; and therefore," says he, "let's jump on
board and cut them to pieces."

Whereupon, under the smoke of one of the bottles just mentioned,
Black-beard enters with fourteen men over the bows of Maynard's sloop,
and were not seen by him until the air cleared. However, he just then
gave a signal to his men, who all rose in an instant, and attacked the
pirates with as much bravery as ever was done upon such an occasion.
Black-beard and the lieutenant fired the first shots at each other, by
which the pirate received a wound, and then engaged with swords, till
the lieutenant's unluckily broke, and stepping back to cock a pistol,
Black-beard, with his cutlass, was striking at that instant that one of
Maynard's men gave him a terrible wound in the neck and throat, by which
the lieutenant came off with only a small cut over his fingers.

They were now closely and warmly engaged, the lieutenant and twelve men
against Black-beard and fourteen, till the sea was tinctured with blood
round the vessel. Black-beard received a shot into his body from the
pistol that Lieutenant Maynard discharged, yet he stood his ground, and
fought with great fury till he received five-and-twenty wounds, and five
of them by shot. At length, as he was cocking another pistol, having
fired several before, he fell down dead; by which time eight more out of
the fourteen dropped, and all the rest, much wounded, jumped overboard
and called out for quarter, which was granted, though it was only
prolonging their lives a few days. The sloop _Ranger_ came up and
attacked the men that remained in Black-beard's sloop with equal
bravery, till they likewise cried for quarter.

Here was an end of that courageous brute, who might have passed in the
world for a hero had he been employed in a good cause.

The lieutenant caused Black-beard's head to be severed from his body,
and hung up at the boltsprit end; then he sailed to Bath Town, to get
relief for his wounded men.

In rummaging the pirate's sloop, they found several letters and written
papers, which discovered the correspondence between Governor Eden, the
secretary and collector, and also some traders at New York, and
Black-beard. It is likely he had regard enough for his friends to have
destroyed these papers before action, in order to hinder them from
falling into such hands, where the discovery would be of no use either
to the interest or reputation of these fine gentlemen, if it had not
been his fixed resolution to have blown up together, when he found no
possibility of escaping.

When the lieutenant came to Bath Town, he made bold to seize from the
governor's storehouse the sixty hogsheads of sugar, and from honest Mr.
Knight, twenty; which it seems was their dividend of the plunder taken
in the French ship. The latter did not survive this shameful discovery,
for, being apprehensive that he might be called to an account for these
trifles, fell sick, it is thought, with the fright, and died in a few

After the wounded men were pretty well recovered, the lieutenant sailed
back to the men-of-war in James River, in Virginia, with Black-beard's
head still hanging at the boltsprit end, and fifteen prisoners, thirteen
of whom were hanged, it appearing, upon trial, that one of them, viz.,
Samuel Odell, was taken out of the trading sloop but the night before
the engagement. This poor fellow was a little unlucky at his first
entering upon his new trade, there appearing no less than seventy wounds
upon him after the action; notwithstanding which he lived and was cured
of them all. The other person that escaped the gallows was one Israel
Hands, the master of Black-beard's sloop, and formerly captain of the
same, before the _Queen Ann's Revenge_ was lost in Topsail inlet.

The aforesaid Hands happened not to be in the fight, but was taken
afterwards ashore at Bath Town, having been sometime before disabled by
Black-beard, in one of his savage humors, after the following manner:
One night, drinking in his cabin with Hands, the pilot, and another man,
Black-beard, without any provocation, privately draws out a small pair
of pistols, and cocks them under the table, which being perceived by the
man, he withdrew and went upon deck, leaving Hands, the pilot, and the
captain together. When the pistols were ready he blew out the candle,
and, crossing his hands, discharged them at his company; Hands, the
master, was shot through the knee and lamed for life, the other pistol
did no execution. Being asked the meaning of this, he only answered by
damning them, that "if he did not now and then kill one of them, they
would forget who he was."

Hands being taken, was tried and condemned, but just as he was about to
be executed a ship arrived at Virginia with a proclamation for
prolonging the time of his Majesty's pardon to such of the pirates as
should surrender by a limited time therein expressed. Notwithstanding
the sentence, Hands pleaded the pardon, and was allowed the benefit of
it, and was alive some time ago in London, begging his bread.

Now that we have given some account of Teach's life and actions, it
will not be amiss that we speak of his beard, since it did not a little
contribute towards making his name so terrible in those parts.

Plutarch and other grave historians have taken notice that several great
men amongst the Romans took their surnames from certain odd marks in
their countenances--as Cicero, from a mark, or vetch, on his nose--so
our hero, Captain Teach, assumed the cognomen of Black-beard, from that
large quantity of hair which, like a frightful meteor, covered his whole
face, and frightened America more than any comet that has appeared there
a long time.

This beard was black, which he suffered to grow of an extravagant
length; as to breadth, it came up to his eyes. He was accustomed to
twist it with ribbons, in small tails, after the manner of our Ramilie
wigs, and turn them about his ears. In time of action he wore a sling
over his shoulders, with three brace of pistols hanging in holsters like
bandoliers, and stuck lighted matches under his hat, which, appearing on
each side of his face, his eyes naturally looking fierce and wild, made
him altogether such a figure that imagination cannot form an idea of a
fury from hell to look more frightful.

If he had the look of a fury, his humors and passions were suitable to

In the commonwealth of pirates, he who goes the greatest length of
wickedness is looked upon with a kind of envy amongst them as a person
of a more extraordinary gallantry, and is thereby entitled to be
distinguished by some post, and if such a one has but courage, he must
certainly be a great man. The hero of whom we are writing was thoroughly
accomplished this way, and some of his frolics of wickedness were so
extravagant, as if he aimed at making his men believe he was a devil
incarnate; for being one day at sea, and a little flushed with drink,
"Come," says he, "let us make a hell of our own, and try how long we can
bear it." Accordingly he, with two or three others, went down into the
hold, and closing up all the hatches, filled several pots full of
brimstone and other combustible matter, and set it on fire, and so
continued till they were almost suffocated, when some of the men cried
out for air. At length he opened the hatches, not a little pleased that
he held out the longest.

The night before he was killed he sat up and drank till the morning with
some of his own men and the master of a merchantman; and having had
intelligence of the two sloops coming to attack him, as has been before
observed, one of his men asked him, in case anything should happen to
him in the engagement with the sloops, whether his wife knew where he
had buried his money? He answered, "That nobody but himself and the
devil knew where it was, and the longest liver should take all."

Those of his crew who were taken alive told a story which may appear a
little incredible; however, we think it will not be fair to omit it
since we had it from their own mouths. That once upon a cruise they
found out that they had a man on board more than their crew; such a one
was seen several days amongst them, sometimes below and sometimes upon
deck, yet no man in the ship could give an account who he was, or from
whence he came, but that he disappeared a little before they were cast
away in their great ship; but it seems they verily believed it was the

One would think these things should induce them to reform their lives,
but so many reprobates together, encouraged and spirited one another up
in their wickedness, to which a continual course of drinking did not a
little contribute, for in Black-beard's journal, which was taken, there
were several memorandums of the following nature found writ with his own
hand: Such a day rum all out; our company somewhat sober; a damned
confusion amongst us; rouges a-plotting; great talk of separation; so I
looked sharp for a prize; such a day took one with a great deal of
liquor on board, so kept the company hot, damned hot, then all things
went well again.

Thus it was these wretches passed their lives, with very little pleasure
or satisfaction in the possession of what they violently take away from
others, and sure to pay for it at last by an ignominious death.

The names of the pirates killed in the engagement, are as follows:--

Edward Teach, commander; Philip Morton, gunner; Garret Gibbens,
boatswain; Owen Roberts, carpenter; Thomas Miller, quartermaster; John
Husk, Joseph Curtice, Joseph Brooks (1), Nath. Jackson. All the rest,
except the two last, were wounded, and afterwards hanged in
Virginia:--John Carnes, Joseph Brooks (2), James Blake, John Gills,
Thomas Gates, James White, Richard Stiles, Cæsar, Joseph Philips, James
Robbins, John Martin, Edward Salter, Stephen Daniel, Richard Greensail,
Israel Hands, pardoned, Samuel Odel, acquitted.

There were in the pirate sloops, and ashore in a tent near where the
sloops lay, twenty-five hogsheads of sugar, eleven tierces, and one
hundred and forty-five bags of cocoa, a barrel of indigo, and a bale of
cotton; which, with what was taken from the governor and secretary, and
the sale of the sloop, came to £2,500, besides the rewards paid by the
governor of Virginia, pursuant to his proclamation; all which was
divided among the companies of the two ships, _Lime_ and _Pearl_, that
lay in James River; the brave fellows that took them coming in for no
more than their dividend amongst the rest, and were paid it not till
four years afterwards.



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, so that his actions have
been chanted about in ballads; however, it is now a considerable time
since these things passed, and though the people knew in general that
Captain Kid was hanged, and that his crime was piracy, yet there were
scarce any, even at that time, who were acquainted with his life or
actions, or could account for his turning pirate.

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 all
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 great reputation, as well as to keep their
seamen under the better command, they procured the King's Commission for
the said Captain Kid, of which the following is an exact copy:--

    "WILLIAM REX,--William the Third, by the grace of God, King of
    England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c.
    To our trusty and well-beloved Captain William Kid, Commander of the
    ship the _Adventure_ galley, or to any other the commander of the
    same for the time being, greeting; Whereas we are informed, that
    Captain Thomas Too, John Ireland, Captain Thomas Wake, and Captain
    William Maze, or Mace, and other subjects, natives or inhabitants of
    New York, and elsewhere, in our plantations in America, have
    associated themselves, with divers others, wicked and ill-disposed
    persons, and do, against the law of nations, commit many and great
    piracies, robberies, and depredations on the seas upon the parts of
    America, and in other parts, to the great hindrance and
    discouragement of trade and navigation, and to the great danger and
    hurt of our loving subjects, our allies, and all others, navigating
    the seas upon their lawful occasions. Now know ye, that we being
    desirous to prevent the aforesaid mischiefs, and, as much as in us
    lies, to bring the said pirates, freebooters and sea-rovers to
    justice, have thought fit, and do hereby give and grant to the said
    William Kid (to whom our Commissioners for exercising the office of
    Lord High Admiral of England, have granted a commission as a private
    man-of-war, bearing date December 11, 1695), and unto the commander
    of the said ship for the time being, and unto the officers,
    mariners, and others, which shall be under your command, full power
    and authority to apprehend, seize, and take into your custody as
    well the said Captain Thomas Too, John Ireland, Captain Thomas Wake,
    and Captain William Maze, or Mace, as all such pirates, freebooters
    and sea-rovers, being either our subjects, or of other nations
    associated with them, which you shall meet with upon the seas or
    coasts of America, or upon any other seas or coasts, with all their
    ships and vessels; and all such merchandises, money, goods, and
    wares as shall be found on board, or with them, in case they shall
    willingly yield themselves; but if they will not yield without
    fighting, then you are by force to compel them to yield. And we do
    also require you to bring, or cause to be brought, such pirates,
    freebooters, or sea-rovers, as you shall seize, to a legal trial, to
    the end they may be proceeded against according to the law in such
    cases. And we do hereby command all our officers, ministers, and
    other our loving subjects whatsoever, to be aiding and assisting to
    you in the premisses. And we do hereby enjoin you to keep an exact
    journal of your proceedings in the execution of the premisses, and
    set down the names of such pirates, and of their officers and
    company, and the names of such ships and vessels as you shall by
    virtue of these presents take and seize, and the quantities of arms,
    ammunition, provision, and lading of such ships, and the true value
    of the same, as near as you judge. And we do hereby strictly charge
    and command you as you will answer the contrary at your peril, that
    you do not, in any manner, offend or molest our friends or allies,
    their ships, or subjects, by colour or pretence of these presents,
    or the authority thereby granted. In witness whereof we have caused
    our Great Seal of England to be affixed to these presents. Given at
    our Court of Kensington, the 26th day of January, 1695, in the
    seventh year of our reign."

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

With these two commissions he sailed out of Plymouth in May, 1696, in
the _Adventure_ galley of thirty guns and eighty men. The place he first
designed 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 which encouragement he soon increased his company to a hundred and
fifty-five men.

With this company he sailed first for Madeira, where he took in wine
and some other necessaries; from thence he proceeded to Bonavist, one of
the Cape de Verde islands, to furnish the ship with salt, and from
thence went immediately to St. Jago, another of the Cape de Verde
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 his 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 happened that at this time the pirate ships were most of them out in
search of prey, so that, according to the best intelligence Captain Kid
could get, there was not one of them at this time about the island,
wherefore, having spent some time in watering his ship and taking in
more provisions, he thought of trying his fortune on the coast of
Malabar, where he arrived in the month of June following, four months
from his reaching Madagascar. Hereabouts he made an unsuccessful cruise,
touching sometimes at the island of Mahala, sometimes at that of Joanna,
between Malabar and Madagascar. His provisions were every day wasting,
and his ship began to want repair; wherefore, when he was at Joanna, he
found means of borrowing a sum of money from some Frenchmen who had lost
their ship, but saved their effects, and with this he purchased
materials for putting his ship in good repair.

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,
though he was strong enough to have done what he pleased with them; and
the first outrage or depredation I find he committed upon mankind was
after his repairing his ship and leaving Joanna. He touched at a place
called Mabbee, upon the Red Sea, where he took some Guinea corn from the
natives, by force.

After this he sailed 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 appeared averse to it he ordered a boat out,
well manned, 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 returned 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 colors.

We cannot account for this sudden change in his conduct, otherwise than
by supposing that he first meant well, while he had hopes of making his
fortune by taking of pirates; but now, weary of ill-success, and fearing
lest his owners, out of humor at their great expenses, should dismiss
him, and he should want employment, and be marked out for an unlucky
man--rather, I say, than run the hazard of poverty, he resolved to do
his business one way, since he could not do it another.

He therefore ordered a man continually to watch at the mast-head, lest
this fleet should go by them; and about four days after, towards evening
it appeared in sight, being convoyed by one English and one Dutch
man-of-war. Kid soon fell in with them, and, getting into the midst of
them, fired 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 resolved to go on, and therefore he went and
cruised 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 forced him and a Portuguese that was called Don Antonio,
which were all the Europeans on board, to take on with them; the first
he designed 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
drubbed 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 go.

A little time after he touched at Carawar, a place upon the same coast,
where, before he arrived, the news of what he had done to the Moorish
ship had reached them; for some of the English merchants there had
received an account of it from the owners, who corresponded with them;
wherefore, as soon as Kid came in, he was suspected to be the person who
committed this piracy, and one Mr. Harvey and Mr. Mason, two of the
English factory, came on board and asked for Parker and Antonio, the
Portuguese, but Kid denied that he knew any such persons, having secured
them both in a private place in the hold, where they were kept for seven
or eight days, that is till Kid sailed from thence.

However, the coast was alarmed, and a Portuguese man-of-war was sent out
to cruise. Kid met with her, and fought her about six hours, gallantly
enough; but finding her too strong to be taken, he quitted her, for he
was able to run away from her when he would. Then he went to a place
called Porco, where he watered the ship, and bought a number of hogs of
the natives to victual his company.

Soon after this he came up with a Moorish ship, the master whereof was a
Dutchman, called Schipper Mitchel, and chased her under French colors,
which, they observing, hoisted French colors too. When he came up with
her he hailed her in French, and they, having a Frenchman on board,
answered him in the same language; upon which he ordered them to send
their boat on board. They were obliged to do so, and having examined who
they were, and from whence they came, he asked 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 G--d," 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 had belonged
to French subjects, according to a commission he had for that purpose;
though, one would think, after what he had already done, that he need
not have recourse to a quibble to give his actions a color.

In short, he took the cargo and sold it some time after; yet still he
seemed to have some fears upon him lest 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 opposed 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 between
them, and Moor told Kid that he had ruined 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 plundered.
Upon the same coast he also lighted upon a Portuguese ship, which he
kept possession of a week, and then, having taken out of her some chests
of Indian goods, thirty jars of butter, with some wax, iron, and a
hundred bags of rice, he let her go.

Much about the same time he went to one of the Malabar islands for wood
and water, and his cooper, being ashore, was murdered by the natives;
upon which Kid himself landed, and burnt and pillaged several of their
houses, the people running away; but having taken one, he caused him to
be tied to a tree, and commanded one of his men to shoot him; then
putting to sea again he took the greatest prize which fell into his
hands while he followed his trade. This was a Moorish ship of four
hundred tons, richly laden, named the _Queda_, merchant, the master
whereof was an Englishman--he was called Wright, for the Indians often
make use of English or Dutch men to command their ships, their own
mariners not being so good artists in navigation. Kid chased her under
French colors, and, having come up with her, he ordered her to hoist out
her boat and to send on board of him, which, being done, he told Wright
he was his prisoner; and informing himself concerning the said ship, he
understood there were no Europeans on board except two Dutch, and one
Frenchman, all the rest being Indians or Armenians, and that the
Armenians were part owners of the cargo. Kid gave the Armenians to
understand that if they would offer anything that was worth his taking
for their ransom, he would hearken to it; upon which they proposed to
pay him twenty thousand rupees, not quite three thousand pounds
sterling; but Kid judged this would be making a bad bargain, wherefore
he rejected it, and setting the crew on shore at different places on the
coast, he soon sold as much of the cargo as came to near ten thousand
pounds. With part of it he also trafficked, receiving in exchange
provisions or such other goods as he wanted. By degrees he disposed of
the whole cargo, and when the division was made it came to about two
hundred pounds a man, and, having reserved forty shares to himself, his
dividend amounted to about eight thousand pounds sterling.

The Indians along the coast came on board and trafficked with all
freedom, and he punctually performed his bargains, till about the time
he was ready to sail; and then, thinking he should have no further
occasion for them, he made no scruple of taking their goods and setting
them on shore without any payment in money or goods, which they little
expected; for as they had been used to deal with pirates, they always
found them men of honor in the way of trade--a people, enemies to
deceit, and that scorned to rob but in their own way.

Kid put some of his men on board the _Queda_, merchant, and with this
ship and his own sailed for Madagascar. As soon as he was arrived and
had cast anchor there came on board of him a canoe, in which were
several Englishmen who had formerly been well acquainted with Kid. As
soon as they saw him they saluted him and told him they were informed he
was come to take them, and hang them, which would be a little unkind in
such an old acquaintance. Kid soon dissipated their doubts by swearing
he had no such design, and that he was now in every respect their
brother, and just as bad as they, and, calling for a cup of bomboo,
drank their captain's health.

These men belonged to a pirate ship, called the _Resolution_, formerly
the _Mocco_, merchant, whereof one Captain Culliford was commander, and
which lay at an anchor not far from them. Kid went on board with them,
promising them his friendship and assistance, and Culliford in his turn
came on board of Kid; and Kid, to testify his sincerity in iniquity,
finding Culliford in want of some necessaries, made him a present of an
anchor and some guns, to fit him out for the sea again.

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

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 reached
England, and that he was there declared a pirate.

The truth of it is, his piracies so alarmed our merchants that some
motions were made in Parliament, to inquire into the commission that was
given him, and the persons who fitted him out. These proceedings seemed
to lean a little hard upon the Lord Bellamont, who thought himself so
much touched thereby that he published a justification of himself in a
pamphlet after Kid's execution. In the meantime it was thought
advisable, in order to stop the course of these piracies, 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[12] 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.
Wherefore he sailed 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 Bailey, 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 arraigned 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 acquitted.

The three above mentioned, though they were proved to be concerned in
taking and sharing the ship and goods mentioned in the indictment, yet,
as the gentlemen of the long robe rightly distinguished, there was a
great difference between their circumstances and the rest; for there
must go an intention of the mind and a freedom of the will to the
committing an act of felony or piracy. A pirate is not to be understood
to be under constraint, but a free agent; for, in this case, the bare
act will not make a man guilty, unless the will make it so.

Kid was tried upon an indictment of murder also--viz., for killing Moor,
the gunner--and found guilty of the same.

As to Captain Kid's defense, he insisted much upon his own innocence,
and the villainy 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
pleased; 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 condemned, which he said were taken by virtue of a
commission under the broad seal, they having French passes. The captain
called one Colonel 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, proved 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 mentioned.

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, Captain 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.



Bartholomew Roberts sailed in an honest employ from London, aboard of
the _Princess_, Captain Plumb, commander, of which ship he was second
mate. He left England November, 1719, and arrived at Guinea about
February following and being at Anamaboe, taking in slaves for the West
Indies, was taken in the said ship by Captain Howel Davis. In the
beginning he was very averse to this sort of life, and would certainly
have escaped from them had a fair opportunity presented itself; yet
afterwards he changed his principles, as many besides him have done upon
another element, and perhaps for the same reason too, viz., preferment;
and what he did not like as a private man he could reconcile to his
conscience as a commander.

Davis having been killed in the Island of Princes whilst planning to
capture it with all its inhabitants, the company found themselves under
the necessity of filling up his post, for which there appeared two or
three candidates among the select part of them that were distinguished
by the title of Lords--such were Sympson, Ashplant, Anstis, &c.--and on
canvassing this matter, how shattered and weak a condition their
government must be without a head, since Davis had been removed in the
manner before mentioned, my Lord Dennis proposed, it is said, over a
bowl, to this purpose:

"That it was not of any great signification who was dignified with
title, for really and in good truth all good governments had, like
theirs, the supreme power lodged with the community, who might doubtless
depute and revoke as suited interest or humor. We are the original of
this claim," says he, "and should a captain be so saucy as to exceed
prescription at any time, why, down with him! It will be a caution after
he is dead to his successors of what fatal consequence any sort of
assuming may be. However, it is my advice that while we are sober we
pitch upon a man of courage and skilled in navigation, one who by his
council and bravery seems best able to defend this commonwealth, and
ward us from the dangers and tempests of an unstable element, and the
fatal consequences of anarchy; and such a one I take Roberts to be--a
fellow, I think, in all respects worthy your esteem and favor."

This speech was loudly applauded by all but Lord Sympson, who had secret
expectations himself, but on this disappointment grew sullen and left
them, swearing "he did not care who they chose captain so it was not a
papist, for against them he had conceived an irreconcilable hatred, for
that his father had been a sufferer in Monmouth's rebellion."

Roberts was accordingly elected, though he had not been above six weeks
among them. The choice was confirmed both by the Lords and Commoners,
and he accepted of the honor, saying that, since he had dipped his hands
in muddy water and must be a pirate, it was better being a commander
than a common man.

As soon as the government was settled, by promoting other officers in
the room of those that were killed by the Portuguese, the company
resolved to avenge Captain Davis's death, he being more than ordinarily
respected by the crew for his affability and good nature, as well as his
conduct and bravery upon all occasions; and, pursuant to this
resolution, about thirty men were landed, in order to make an attack
upon the fort, which must be ascended to by a steep hill against the
mouth of the cannon. These men were headed by one Kennedy, a bold,
daring fellow, but very wicked and profligate; they marched directly up
under the fire of their ship guns, and as soon as they were discovered,
the Portuguese quitted their post and fled to the town, and the pirates
marched in without opposition, set fire to the fort, and threw all the
guns off the hill into the sea, which after they had done they retreated
quietly to their ship.

But this was not looked upon as a sufficient satisfaction for the injury
they received, therefore most of the company were for burning the town,
which Roberts said he would yield to if any means could be proposed of
doing it without their own destruction, for the town had a securer
situation than the fort, a thick wood coming almost close to it,
affording cover to the defendants, who, under such an advantage, he told
them, it was to be feared, would fire and stand better to their arms;
beside, that bare houses would be but a slender reward for their trouble
and loss. This prudent advice prevailed; however, they mounted the
French ship they seized at this place with twelve guns, and lightened
her, in order to come up to the town, the water being shoal, and
battered down several houses; after which they all returned on board,
gave back the French ship to those that had most right to her, and
sailed out of the harbor by the light of two Portuguese ships, which
they were pleased to set on fire there.

Roberts stood away to the southward, and met with a Dutch Guineaman,
which he made prize of, but, after having plundered her, the skipper had
his ship again. Two days after he took an English ship, called the
_Experiment_, Captain Cornet, at Cape Lopez; the men went all into the
pirate service, and having no occasion for the ship they burnt her and
then steered for St. Thome, but meeting with nothing in their way, they
sailed for Annabona, and there watered, took in provisions, and put it
to a vote of the company whether their next voyage should be to the East
Indies or to Brazil. The latter being resolved on, they sailed
accordingly, and in twenty-eight days arrived at Ferdinando, an
uninhabited island on that coast. Here they watered, boot-topped their
ship, and made ready for the designed cruise.

Upon this coast our rovers cruised for about nine weeks, keeping
generally out of sight of land, but without seeing a sail, which
discouraged them so that they determined to leave the station and steer
for the West Indies; and, in order thereto, stood in to make the land
for the taking of their departure; and thereby they fell in unexpectedly
with a fleet of forty-two sail of Portuguese ships off the bay of Los
Todos Santos, with all their lading in, for Lisbon, several of them of
good force, who lay-to waiting for two men-of-war of seventy guns each,
their convoy. However, Roberts thought it should go hard with him, but
he would make up his market among them, and thereupon mixed with the
fleet, and kept his men hid till proper resolutions could be formed.
That done, they came close up to one of the deepest, and ordered her to
send the master on board quietly, threatening to give them no quarter
if any resistance or signal of distress was made. The Portuguese, being
surprised at these threats, and the sudden flourish of cutlasses from
the pirates, submitted without a word, and the captain came on board.
Roberts saluted him after a friendly manner telling him that they were
gentlemen of fortune, but that their business with him was only to be
informed which was the richest ship in that fleet; and if he directed
them right he should be restored to his ship without molestation,
otherwise he must expect immediate death.

Whereupon this Portuguese master pointed to one of forty guns and a
hundred and fifty men, a ship of greater force than the _Rover_; but
this no ways dismayed them; they were Portuguese, they said, and so
immediately steered away for him. When they came within hail, the master
whom they had prisoner was ordered to ask "how Seignior Captain did?"
and to invite him on board, "for that he had a matter of consequence to
impart to him;" which being done, he returned for answer that "he would
wait upon him presently," but by the bustle that immediately followed,
the pirates perceived that they were discovered, and that this was only
a deceitful answer to gain time to put their ship in a posture of
defense; so without further delay they poured in a broadside, boarded,
and grappled her. The dispute was short and warm, wherein many of the
Portuguese fell, and two only of the pirates. By this time the fleet was
alarmed: signals of top-gallant sheets flying and guns fired to give
notice to the men-of-war, who rid still at an anchor, and made but
scurvy haste out to their assistance; and if what the pirates themselves
related to be true, the commanders of those ships were blameable to the
highest degree, and unworthy the title, or so much as the name, of men.
For Roberts, finding the prize to sail heavy, and yet resolving not to
lose her, lay by for the headmost of them, which much outsailed the
other, and prepared for battle, which was ignominiously declined, though
of such superior force; for, not daring to venture on the pirate alone,
he tarried so long for his consort as gave them both time leisurely to
make off.

They found this ship exceedingly rich, being laden chiefly with sugar,
skins, and tobacco, and in gold forty thousand moidores, besides chains
and trinkets of considerable value; particularly a cross set with
diamonds designed for the king of Portugal, which they afterwards
presented to the governor of Caiana, by whom they were obliged.

Elated with this booty, they had nothing now to think of but some safe
retreat where they might give themselves up to all the pleasures that
luxury and wantonness could bestow; and for the present pitched upon a
place called the Devil's Islands in the river of Surinam, on the coast
of Caiana, where they arrived, and found the civilest reception
imaginable, not only from the governor and factory, but their wives,
who exchanged wares, and drove a considerable trade with them.

They seized in this river a sloop, and by her gained intelligence that a
brigantine had also sailed in company with her from Rhode Island, laden
with provisions for the coast--a welcome cargo! They growing short in
the sea store, and, as Sancho says, "No adventures to be made without
belly-timber." One evening, as they were rummaging their mine of
treasure, the Portuguese prize, this expected vessel was descried at the
masthead, and Roberts, imagining nobody could do the business so well as
himself, takes forty men in the sloop, and goes in pursuit of her; but a
fatal accident followed this rash, though inconsiderable adventure, for
Roberts, thinking of nothing less than bringing in the brigantine that
afternoon, never troubled his head about the sloop's provision, nor
inquired what there was on board to subsist such a number of men; but
out he sails after his expected prize, which he not only lost further
sight of, but after eight days' contending with contrary winds and
currents, found themselves thirty leagues to leeward. The current still
opposing their endeavors, and perceiving no hopes of beating up to their
ship, they came to an anchor, and inconsiderately sent away the boat to
give the rest of the company notice of their condition, and to order the
ship to them; but too soon--even the next day--their wants made them
sensible of their infatuation, for their water was all expended, and
they had taken no thought how they should be supplied till either the
ship came or the boat returned, which was not likely to be under five or
six days. Here, like Tantalus, they almost famished in sight of the
fresh streams and lakes, being drove to such extremity at last that they
were forced to tear up the floor of the cabin and patch up a sort of tub
or tray with rope-yarns to paddle ashore and fetch off immediate
supplies of water to preserve life.

After some days the long-wished-for boat came back, but with the most
unwelcome news in the world; for Kennedy, who was lieutenant, and left,
in absence of Roberts, to command the privateer and prize, was gone off
with both. This was mortification with a vengeance, and you may imagine
they did not depart without some hard speeches from those that were left
and had suffered by their treachery. And that there need be no further
mention of this Kennedy, I shall leave Captain Roberts to vent his wrath
in a few oaths and execrations, and follow the other, whom we may reckon
from that time as steering his course towards Execution Dock.

Kennedy was now chosen captain of the revolted crew, but could not bring
his company to any determined resolution. Some of them were for pursuing
the old game, but the greater part of them seemed to have inclinations
to turn from those evil courses, and get home privately, for there was
no act of pardon in force; therefore they agreed to break up, and every
man to shift for himself, as he should see occasion. The first thing
they did was to part with the great Portuguese prize, and having the
master of the sloop (whose name, I think, was Cane) aboard, who, they
said, was a very honest fellow--for he had humored them upon every
occasion--told them of the brigantine that Roberts went after; and when
the pirates first took him he complimented them at any odd rate, telling
them they were welcome to his sloop and cargo, and wished that the
vessel had been larger and the loading richer for their sakes. To this
good-natured man they gave the Portuguese ship, which was then above
half loaded, three or four negroes, and all his own men, who returned
thanks to his kind benefactors, and departed.

Captain Kennedy, in the _Rover_, sailed to Barbadoes, near which island
they took a very peaceable ship belonging to Virginia. The commander was
a Quaker, whose name was Knot; he had neither pistol, sword, nor cutlass
on board; and Mr. Knot appearing so very passive to all they said to
him, some of them thought this a good opportunity to go off; and
accordingly eight of the pirates went aboard, and he carried them safe
to Virginia. They made the Quaker a present of ten chests of sugar, ten
rolls of Brazil tobacco, thirty moidores, and some gold dust, in all to
the value of about £250. They also made presents to the sailors, some
more, some less, and lived a jovial life all the while they were upon
their voyage, Captain Knot giving them their way; nor, indeed, could he
help himself, unless he had taken an opportunity to surprise them when
they were either drunk or asleep, for awake they wore arms aboard the
ship and put him in a continual terror, it not being his principle (or
the sect's) to fight, unless with art and collusion. He managed these
weapons well till he arrived at the Capes; and afterwards four of the
pirates went off in a boat, which they had taken with them for the more
easily making their escapes, and made up the bay towards Maryland, but
were forced back by a storm into an obscure place of the country, where,
meeting with good entertainment among the planters, they continued
several days without being discovered to be pirates. In the meantime
Captain Knot, leaving four others on board his ship who intended to go
to North Carolina, made what haste he could to discover to Mr.
Spotswood, the governor, what sort of passengers he had been forced to
bring with him, who, by good fortune, got them seized; and search being
made after the others, who were revelling about the country, they were
also taken, and all tried, convicted, and hanged; two Portuguese Jews,
who were taken on the coast of Brazil and whom they brought with them to
Virginia, being the principal evidences. The latter had found means to
lodge part of their wealth with the planters, who never brought it to
account. But Captain Knot surrendered up everything that belonged to
them that were taken aboard, even what they presented to him, in lieu
of such things as they had plundered him of in their passage, and
obliged his men to do the like.

Some days after the taking of the Virginiaman last mentioned, in
cruising in the latitude of Jamaica, Kennedy took a sloop bound thither
from Boston, loaded with bread and flour; aboard of this sloop went all
the hands who were for breaking the gang, and left those behind that had
a mind to pursue further adventures. Among the former was Kennedy, their
captain, of whose honor they had such a despicable notion that they were
about to throw him overboard when they found him in the sloop, as
fearing he might betray them all at their return to England; he having
in his childhood been bred a pick-pocket, and before he became a pirate
a house-breaker; both professions that these gentlemen have a very mean
opinion of. However, Captain Kennedy, by taking solemn oaths of fidelity
to his companions, was suffered to proceed with them.

In this company there was but one that pretended to any skill in
navigation (for Kennedy could neither write nor read, he being preferred
to the command merely for his courage, which indeed he had often
signalized, particularly in taking the Portuguese ship), and he proved
to be a pretender only; for, shaping their course to Ireland, where they
agreed to land, they ran away to the north-west coast of Scotland, and
there were tossed about by hard storms of wind for several days without
knowing where they were, and in great danger of perishing. At length
they pushed the vessel into a little creek and went all ashore, leaving
the sloop at an anchor for the next comers.

The whole company refreshed themselves at a little village about five
miles from the place where they left the sloop, and passed there for
shipwrecked sailors, and no doubt might have travelled on without
suspicion, but the mad and riotous manner of their living on the road
occasioned their journey to be cut short, as we shall observe presently.

Kennedy and another left them here, and, travelling to one of the
seaports, shipped themselves for Ireland, and arrived there in safety.
Six or seven wisely withdrew from the rest, travelled at their leisure,
and got to their much-desired port of London without being disturbed or
suspected, but the main gang alarmed the country wherever they came,
drinking and roaring at such a rate that the people shut themselves up
in their houses, in some places not daring to venture out among so many
mad fellows. In other villages they treated the whole town, squandering
their money away as if, like Æsop, they wanted to lighten their
burthens. This expensive manner of living procured two of their drunken
stragglers to be knocked on the head, they being found murdered in the
road and their money taken from them. All the rest, to the number of
seventeen, as they drew nigh to Edinburgh, were arrested and thrown
into gaol upon suspicion of they knew not what; however, the magistrates
were not long at a loss for proper accusations, for two of the gang
offering themselves for evidences were accepted of, and the others were
brought to a speedy trial, whereof nine were convicted and executed.

Kennedy having spent all his money, came over from Ireland and kept a
public-house on Deptford Road, and now and then it was thought, made an
excursion abroad in the way of his former profession, till one of his
household gave information against him for a robbery, for which he was
committed to Bridewell; but because she would not do the business by
halves she found out a mate of a ship that Kennedy had committed piracy
upon, as he foolishly confessed to her. This mate, whose name was Grant,
paid Kennedy a visit in Bridewell, and knowing him to be the man,
procured a warrant, and had him committed to the Marshalsea prison.

The game that Kennedy had now to play was to turn evidence himself;
accordingly he gave a list of eight or ten of his comrades, but, not
being acquainted with their habitations, one only was taken, who, though
condemned, appeared to be a man of a fair character, was forced into
their service, and took the first opportunity to get from them, and
therefore received a pardon; but Walter Kennedy, being a notorious
offender, was executed July 19, 1721, at Execution Dock.

The rest of the pirates who were left in the ship _Rover_ stayed not
long behind, for they went ashore to one of the West India islands. What
became of them afterwards I cannot tell, but the ship was found at sea
by a sloop belonging to _St. Christophers_, and carried into that island
with only nine negroes aboard.

Thus we see what a disastrous fate ever attends the wicked, and how
rarely they escape the punishment due to their crimes, who, abandoned to
such a profligate life, rob, spoil, and prey upon mankind, contrary to
the light and law of nature, as well as the law of God. It might have
been hoped that the examples of these deaths would have been as marks to
the remainder of this gang, how to shun the rocks their companions had
split on; that they would have surrendered to mercy, or divided
themselves for ever from such pursuits, as in the end they might be sure
would subject them to the same law and punishment, which they must be
conscious they now equally deserved; impending law, which never let them
sleep well unless when drunk. But all the use that was made of it here,
was to commend the justice of the court that condemned Kennedy, for he
was a sad dog, they said, and deserved the fate he met with.

But to go back to Roberts, whom we left on the coast of Caiana, in a
grievous passion at what Kennedy and the crew had done, and who was now
projecting new adventures with his small company in the sloop; but
finding hitherto they had been but as a rope of sand, they formed a set
of articles to be signed and sworn to for the better conservation of
their society, and doing justice to one another, excluding all Irishmen
from the benefit of it, to whom they had an implacable aversion upon the
account of Kennedy. How, indeed, Roberts could think that an oath would
be obligatory where defiance had been given to the laws of God and man,
I cannot tell, but he thought their greatest security lay in this--"that
it was every one's interest to observe them, if they minded to keep up
so abominable a combination."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following is the substance of articles as taken from the pirates'
own informations:--


Every man has a vote in affairs of moment, has equal title to the fresh
provisions or strong liquors at any time seized, and may use them at
pleasure, unless a scarcity (no uncommon thing among them) make it
necessary for the good of all to vote a retrenchment.


Every man to be called fairly in turn by list, on board of prizes,
because, over and above their proper share, they were on these occasions
allowed a shift of clothes. But if they defrauded the company to the
value of a dollar, in plate, jewels, or money, marooning was their
punishment. (This was a barbarous custom of putting the offender on
shore, on some desolate or uninhabited cape or island, with a gun, a few
shot, a bottle of water, a bottle of powder, to subsist with or starve.)
If the robbery was only between one another, they contented themselves
with slitting the ears and nose of him that was guilty, and set him on
shore, not in an uninhabited place, but somewhere where he was sure to
encounter hardships.


No person to game at cards or dice for money.


The lights and candles to be put out at eight o'clock at night. If any
of the crew after that hour still remained inclined for drinking, they
were to do it on the open deck. (Which Roberts believed would give a
check to their debauches, for he was a sober man himself, but found at
length that all his endeavors to put an end to this debauch proved


To keep their piece, pistols, and cutlass clean, and fit for service.
(In this they were extravagantly nice, endeavoring to outdo one another
in the beauty and richness of their arms, giving sometimes at an
auction--at the mast--£30 or £40 a pair for pistols. These were slung in
time of service, with different colored ribbons, over their shoulders,
in a way peculiar to these fellows, in which they took great delight.)


No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man were found
seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea disguised, he was
to suffer death. (So that when any fell into their hands, as it chanced
in the _Onslow_, they put a sentinel immediately over her to prevent ill
consequences from so dangerous an instrument of division and quarrel;
but then here lies the roguery--they contend who shall be sentinel,
which happens generally to one of the greatest bullies.)


To desert the ship or their quarters in battle, was punished with death
or marooning.


No striking one another on board, but every man's quarrel to be ended on
shore, at sword and pistol. Thus the quartermaster of the ship, when the
parties will not come to any reconciliation, accompanies them on shore
with what assistance he thinks proper, and turns the disputants back to
back at so many paces distance. At the word of command they turn and
fire immediately, or else the piece is knocked out of their hands. If
both miss, they come to their cutlasses, and then he is declared victor
who draws the first blood.


No man to talk of breaking up their way of living till each had shared
£1,000. If, in order to this, any man should lose a limb, or become a
cripple in their service, he was to have 800 dollars out of the public
stock, and for lesser hurts proportionably.


The captain and quartermaster to receive two shares of a prize; the
master, boatswain, and gunner, one share and a half, the other officers
one and a quarter.


The musicians to have rest on the Sabbath-day, but the other six days
and nights none without special favor.

       *       *       *       *       *

These, we are assured, were some of Roberts's articles, but as they had
taken care to throw overboard the original they had signed and sworn to,
there is a great deal of room to suspect the remainder contained
something too horrid to be disclosed to any, except such as were willing
to be sharers in the iniquity of them. Let them be what they will, they
were together the test of all newcomers, who were initiated by an oath
taken on a Bible, reserved for that purpose only, and were subscribed to
in presence of the worshipful Mr. Roberts. And in case any doubt should
arise concerning the construction of these laws, and it should remain a
dispute whether the party had infringed them or no, a jury was appointed
to explain them, and bring in a verdict upon the case in doubt.

Since we are now speaking of the laws of this company, I shall go on,
and, in as brief a manner as I can, relate the principal customs and
government of this roguish commonwealth, which are pretty near the same
with all pirates.

For the punishment of small offences which are not provided for by the
articles, and which are not of consequence enough to be left to a jury,
there is a principal officer among the pirates, called the
quartermaster, of the men's own choosing, who claims all authority this
way, excepting in time of battle. If they disobey his command, are
quarrelsome and mutinous with one another, misuse prisoners, plunder
beyond his order, and in particular, if they be negligent of their arms,
which he musters at discretion, he punishes at his own arbitrament, with
drubbing or whipping, which no one else dare do without incurring the
lash from all the ship's company. In short, this officer is trustee for
the whole, is the first on board any prize, separating for the company's
use what he pleases, and returning what he thinks fit to the owners,
excepting gold and silver, which they have voted not returnable.

After a description of the quartermaster and his duty, who acts as a
sort of civil magistrate on board a pirate ship, I shall consider their
military officer, the captain; what privileges he exerts in such anarchy
and unruliness of the members. Why, truly very little--they only permit
him to be captain, on condition that they may be captain over him; they
separate to his use the great cabin, and sometimes vote him small
parcels of plate and china (for it may be noted that Roberts drank his
tea constantly), but then every man, as the humor takes him, will use
the plate and china, intrude into his apartment, swear at him, seize a
part of his victuals and drink, if they like it, without his offering to
find fault or contest it. Yet Roberts, by a better management than
usual, became the chief director in everything of moment; and it
happened thus:--The rank of captain being obtained by the suffrage of
the majority, it falls on one superior for knowledge and
boldness--pistol proof, as they call it--who can make those fear who do
not love him. Roberts is said to have exceeded his fellows in these
respects, and when advanced, enlarged the respect that followed it by
making a sort of privy council of half a dozen of the greatest bullies,
such as were his competitors, and had interest enough to make his
government easy; yet even those, in the latter part of his reign, he had
run counter to in every project that opposed his own opinion; for which,
and because he grew reserved and would not drink and roar at their rate,
a cabal was formed to take away his captainship, which death did more

The captain's power is uncontrollable in chase or in battle, drubbing,
cutting, or even shooting any one who dares deny his command. The same
privilege he takes over prisoners, who receive good or ill usage mostly
as he approves of their behavior, for though the meanest would take upon
them to misuse a master of a ship, yet he would control herein when he
sees it, and merrily over a bottle give his prisoners this double reason
for it: first, that it preserved his precedence; and secondly, that it
took the punishment out of the hands of a much more rash and mad set of
fellows than himself. When he found that rigor was not expected from his
people (for he often practiced it to appease them), then he would give
strangers to understand that it was pure inclination that induced him to
a good treatment of them, and not any love or partiality to their
persons; for, says he, "there is none of you but will hang me, I know,
whenever you can clinch me within your power."

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, seeing the disadvantages they were under for pursuing their
plans, viz., a small vessel ill repaired, and without provisions or
stores, they resolved, one and all, with the little supplies they could
get, to proceed for the West Indies, not doubting to find a remedy for
all these evils and to retrieve their loss.

In the latitude of Deseada, one of the islands, they took two sloops,
which supplied them with provisions and other necessaries, and a few
days afterwards took a brigantine belonging to Rhode Island, and then
proceeded to Barbadoes, off of which island they fell in with a Bristol
ship of ten guns, in her voyage out, from whom they took abundance of
clothes, some money, twenty-five bales of goods, five barrels of
powder, a cable, hawser, ten casks of oatmeal, six casks of beef, and
several other goods, besides five of their men; and after they had
detained her three days let her go, who, being bound for the aforesaid
island, she acquainted the governor with what had happened as soon as
she arrived.

Whereupon a Bristol galley that lay in the harbor was ordered to be
fitted out with all imaginable expedition, of 20 guns and 80 men, there
being then no man-of-war upon that station, and also a sloop with 10
guns and 40 men. The galley was commanded by one Captain Rogers, of
Bristol, and the sloop by Captain Graves, of that island, and Captain
Rogers, by a commission from the governor, was appointed commodore.

The second day after Rogers sailed out of the harbor he was discovered
by Roberts, who, knowing nothing of their design, gave them chase. The
Barbadoes ships kept an easy sail till the pirates came up with them,
and then Roberts gave them a gun, expecting they would have immediately
struck to his piratical flag; but instead thereof, he was forced to
receive the fire of a broadside, with three huzzas at the same time, so
that an engagement ensued; but Roberts, being hardly put to it, was
obliged to crowd all the sail the sloop would bear to get off. The
galley, sailing pretty well, kept company for a long while, keeping a
constant fire, which galled the pirate; however, at length, by throwing
over their guns and other heavy goods, and thereby lightening the
vessel, they, with much ado, got clear; but Roberts could never endure a
Barbadoes man afterwards, and when any ships belonging to that island
fell in his way, he was more particularly severe to them than others.

Captain Roberts sailed in the sloop to the island of Dominico, where he
watered and got provisions of the inhabitants, to whom he gave goods in
exchange. At this place he met with thirteen Englishmen, who had been
set ashore by a French Guard de la Coste, belonging to Martinico, taken
out of two New England ships that had been seized as prizes by the said
French sloop. The men willingly entered with the pirates, and it proved
a seasonable recruiting.

They stayed not long here, though they had immediate occasion for
cleaning their sloop, but did not think this a proper place; and herein
they judged right, for the touching at this island had like to have been
their destruction, because they, having resolved to go away to the
Granada Islands for the aforesaid purpose, by some accident it came to
be known to the French colony, who, sending word to the governor of
Martinico, he equipped and manned two sloops to go in quest of them. The
pirates sailed directly for the Granadilloes, and hall'd into a lagoon
at Corvocoo, where they cleaned with unusual dispatch, staying but a
little above a week, by which expedition they missed of the Martinico
sloops only a few hours, Roberts sailing overnight and the French
arriving the next morning. This was a fortunate escape, especially
considering that it was not from any fears of their being discovered
that they made so much haste from the island, but, as they had the
impudence themselves to own, for the want of wine and women.

Thus narrowly escaped, they sailed for Newfoundland, and arrived upon
the banks the latter end of June, 1720. They entered the harbor of
Trepassi with their black colors flying, drums beating, and trumpets
sounding. There were two-and-twenty vessels in the harbor, which the men
all quitted upon the sight of the pirate, and fled ashore. It is
impossible particularly to recount the destruction and havoc they made
here, burning and sinking all the shipping except a Bristol galley, and
destroying the fisheries and stages of the poor planters without remorse
or compunction; for nothing is so deplorable as power in mean and
ignorant hands--it makes men wanton and giddy, unconcerned at the
misfortunes they are imposing on their fellow-creatures, and keeps them
smiling at the mischiefs that bring themselves no advantage. They are
like madmen that cast fire-brands, arrows, and death, and say, Are not
we in sport?


[11] A contemporary narrative. From _The Buccaneers of America_.

[12] Avery was called "The King of the Pirates." See "The Daughter of
the Great Mogul."



I fell in with the Land of _Madagascar_, the Latitude of about 24
Degrees, 13 Minutes North: And some time before I had made it, I met
with nothing but light Airs of Winds, and Calms, and continued so long.
My People dropping down with the Scurvy, I took a small Still that I
had, and distill'd Salt Water into Fresh. I allow'd them as much Pease
and Flower as they could eat, that they might not eat any Salt
Provision, tho' I boil'd it in fresh Water. I had been very liberal with
my fresh Provision in my Passage, to my People, and the Passage so long,
that I had hardly any left, and that only a few Fowls; and myself and
Officers too had been much out of Order. At last, being got to the
Northward of _Augustin_ Bay, seeing my poor People fall down so very
fast, it gave me very great Concern for them, but still was willing, in
Hopes of Change of Wind, for _Johanna_. But the small Airs trifled with
me, and what there were Northerly, a Current setting to the Southward,
that what to do I could not well tell. To go into _Augustin_ Bay I was
very unwilling: I had two Boats came off to me, the People talking
tolerable good _English_. At last, my Doctor, _Sharp_, told me there
were above Thirty People down with the Scurvy, and all the rest, even
some of the Petty Officers, were touch'd with the same. If I did not
soon put into Port, I plainly found I should have been in a bad
Condition, for Men; I consulted with my Officers, to go into _Augustin_
Bay, and we agreed, and bore away for it. Soon after, the Wind came
Southerly, and I bore away for _Johanna_. A fine Passage I had, and
anchor'd the next Day about Four in the Afternoon, being _Sept._ 13. I
thank God I brought all my People in alive, and that is as much I can
say of a good many of them. I had a Tent made ashore for them, and
supplied them all that ever I could, and the Doctors assisting with
every thing in their Way for their speedy Recovery. After I had been
here a Fortnight, the Winds in the Day-time set in very fresh from the
N. N. W. to the N. N. E. Finding the People recover so very slowly, what
to do I could not tell. To go out with my People as bad as when they
came in, I was not willing, but resolv'd to have Patience one Week more.
I consulted with Mr. _Rogers_, my Chief-Mate, and told him that we must
consider the Condition of the People, and how we met the Winds and
Currents before we came in. The People of the Island told me, that this
was about the time of Year for the Northerly Winds and Southerly
Currents, and I told him I thought it better to trim all our Casks, and
fill what Water we could, fearing of a long Passage, if our Stay was a
little longer. Mr. _Rogers_ was of my Opinion. This I must say, I found
the Cask not so well used in the Hold, as they ought to have been, which
caus'd the Coopers more Work; neither did I make a little Noise about
it, because I had more Words with my Chief and Second Mate, about my
Third and Fourth Mate, than any thing else.

Having all my Water aboard, about 80 Tun, 25 Head of Oxen, _&c._, I
sail'd the 13th of _October_, with several of my Men not recover'd; some
I buried at _Johanna_, and some after, to the Number of Ten, or
thereabouts. Having a fine Gale, I made all the Sail I could, except
Studding-sails, which I thought needless. The Wind veer'd to the
Northward, and I was resolved to make the _Mallabar_ Course as soon as
possible, for the Advantage of the Land and Sea Winds. I had one
Passenger aboard, a sad troublesome wicked Fellow, whose Behaviour was
so bad, that I could hardly forbear using him ill. I forbid my Officers
keeping Company with him; but Mr. _B----s_ would do it at all Events. I
turn'd him once off the Quarter-Deck for being with him there, yet that
did not avail. I came out one Night about half an Hour past Ten, my
second Mate's Watch, and this _B----s's_ Turn to sleep; and seeing a
Light in his Cabin, I sent Mr. _Cuddon_, the second Mate, to him, to
know how he would be able to sit up one Watch, and keep his own. Upon
this _B----s_ came up half way the Steerage-Ladder, with his Pipe in his
Hand, and talk'd to me very pertly; and that was not the first time.
This put me into a Passion, to be so talk'd to by a Boy, that I did
dismiss him for two or three Days, and then re-stated him, which was
more than he deserv'd, for keeping Company with him for whom the worst
of Names is good enough, and those who recommended him to his
Commission. _B----s_ was told of this by Mr. _Rogers_, by my Orders, and
I told him of it on the Quarter-Deck, and told him at the same time I
was resolv'd to tell the Gentlemen at Home of ----; and ask'd him what
he imagin'd they would think of him for keeping such swearing drunken
Company. This was before I dismiss'd him.

Before I came in with the Land, hearing much talk of _Angria_,[13] by
Capt. _Scarlet_, and Mr. _Rogers_, and of his great Force (for I had
very little Notion of him before) I took care to put the Ship in a
proper Posture of Defence: Powder-Chests on the Quarter-Deck, Poop, and
Forecastle, a Puncheon fill'd with Water in the Main-top, a Hogshead in
the Fore-top, and a Barrel in the Mizen-top, all fill'd with Water:
Chests with good Coverings in the Tops for Grenado-Shells; all the small
Arms, with 50 new ones in Readiness. My Ship being too deep to get the
Gun-room Ports open, as the Gunner inform'd me, the Ship _sending_, and
the Sea washing above the Tops of the Ports; I got those Guns into the
Great Cabin; Quarter-Bills over the Guns; the Rewards and
Close-quarters, _&c._ at the Mizen-mast, Shot-lockers and Shot in their
proper Station; Pluggs for Shot-holes; and every thing that I could
think of: and gave particular Orders to my Gunner, Carpenter, and
Boatswain, to have every thing in their way, in Readiness, the two lower
Yards flung with the Top-chains. Not being easy in my Mind about these
Gun-room Stern-Ports, I sent Mr. _Rogers_, it being smooth Water, to
open one of the Gun-room Stern-Ports, to see, if we could, on Occasion,
get Guns out there, but he brought me Word it could not be done with
Safety, the Ship being so deep. A few Days before I made the Land, the
Winds used to vere and haul, that Offing in an Hour I could hardly up
from E. N. E. to S. E. but the Winds chiefly kept to the Northward. I
was very desirous to make the Land, not knowing how far the Southwest
Currents might set me to the Westward. At noon, being _Dec._ 12, I made
the Land of _Goa_, in the Latitude of 15 Degrees North. My Chief Mate
wanted me to go into _Goa_, but I was resolved not, but to make the best
of my Way for _Bombay_. The next Morning, having a fine Six-Knot-Gale,
about Nine o' Clock Mr. _Rogers_ told me, he saw _Gereah_, and desired
me to haul further off Shore, and said, if _Angria_ and his Grabbs
should see us in his River, he would send them out after us. I asked
him, if his Grabbs came out of Sight of Land. He told me they were
afraid to do that, fearing the _Bombay_ Vessels should get between them
and the Shore, and keep them out of their Ports. To prevent running into
Danger, I kept out of Sight of Land: I thought it better to do so, since
it would make but a few Days Difference in getting at _Bombay_; making
no Doubt I should get there the last of the Month, as doubtless we
should, if we had not met with our sad Misfortune.

When it was too late, I was acquainted by those taken in the _Severn_,
that Mr. _Rogers_ inform'd me wrong; for _Angria_ sometimes keeps the
Shore aboard, and sometimes goes directly out to Sea 60 Leagues off. It
was too late to reflect; neither could I blame myself, knowing I had
done every thing to the best of my Judgment: But had I been better
inform'd, it is my Opinion we might have escaped those cursed Dogs, by
keeping in Shore, and taken the Advantage of the Land and Sea Winds.

I have since repented that we did not go into _Goa_; but God knows
whether a Man goes too fast or too slow; for I had certainly a very
suitable Cargo for that Place; But my earnest Desire was to get to
_Bombay_, the Season of the Year being far advanc'd.

_December_ 26, being my second Mate's Morning Watch, about Five o' Clock
he came to me, and told me he saw Nine Sail of Gallivats. I got up, and
found them to be Five Top-mast Vessels, and Four Gallivats, not above
two Miles from us. I order'd all Hands to be call'd, and down with the
Cabins in the Steerage, which was done in an Instant, and every body to
their respective Quarters. They came up with us apace, having but light
Airs of Winds, and found them to be _Angria's_ Fleet. I had the Transome
in the great Cabin, and the Balcony in the Round-house cut away, for
traversing the Stern-Chase Guns. They came up with me very boldly within
Pistol-shot. Before Six, they began firing upon us, throwing their Shot
in at our Stern, raking us afore and aft. I order'd everything to be got
ready for going about, to give them my Broad-side, when my Chief-Mate
Mr. _Rogers_, and my Third Mate Mr. _Burroughs_ came to me, and begg'd
that I would not put about, for if I did, they would certainly board us.
As to my Part, being a Stranger to this Coast and _Angria_, knowing my
Chief Mate had been often this Way, and my Third Mate had sail'd in the
Gallies, I was over prevail'd upon not to tack about. As the Enemy kept
under my Stern, playing their Shot in very hot upon us, and destroying
my Rigging so fast, I soon after endeavour'd to wear the Ship upon the
Enemy; but the Wind dying away to a Calm, she would not regard her Helm,
but lay like a Log in the Water. By Eight o' Clock most of my Rigging
was destroy'd, and the Long-boat taking Fire a-stern, was forc'd to cut
her away. The Yaul being stove by their shot, we launch'd her overboard.
By Nine, the Top-chain that flung the Main-yard, was shot away, with
Geer and Geer-Blocks. The Main-yard came next down, with the Sails
almost torn to Pieces with the Shot. As fast as our People knotted and
spliced the Rigging, it was shot away in their Hands. The Water-Tubs in
the Tops were shot to pieces, and the Boatswain's Mate's Leg shot off in
the Main-top. One of the Foremast-Men's Leg was shot off in the
Fore-top, and one wounded. By Ten, the Mizen-mast was shot by the Board.
Wanting People to cut the Mast-Rigging, _&c._ from her Side, found them
appear very thin upon Deck, and desired my younger Mates to drive them
out of their Holes. Word was then brought me, that my Chief Mate's Leg
was shot off, but that he was in good Heart. All this time it was a
Calm, and our Guns of the Broad-side of no Service, not being able,
during the Engagement, to bring one Gun to bear upon them. They kept
throwing their shot so thick in at our Stern, with a continual Fire, and
we return'd it as fast as we could load and fire. About One, my
Main-mast was shot by the Board, and the Fall of that stove the Pinnace
on the Booms. The Loss of my Main-mast gave me a very great Concern, and
seeing the Condition of the Fore-mast, the Fore-yard half way down, and
the Top-sail Yard-arm sprung in several Places, the Head of the
Top-gallant-Mast shot away, render'd that Mast quite useless. I could
not see which way it was in the Power of Men to save us from these Dogs.
However, I made myself as easy as could be expected, and kept my
Thoughts to myself. Tho' the Shot were like Hail about my Ears, I thank
God I escaped them, neither did they give me much Uneasiness as to my
Person. The Grabbs perceiving their great Advantage by the Fall of our
Main-mast, _&c._ tho' all the time before within Musket-Shot, come up
boldly within Call, throwing in at our Stern Double-round and Partridge
as fast as they could load and fire; we doing the same with Bolts, _&c._
We saw a great many Holes in their Sails. Soon after this, they lodg'd
two Double-head-Shot, and a large Stone in the Fore-mast, the Shrowds of
which were mostly gone. I often sent Capt. _Scarlet_ to Mr. _Cudden_, to
encourage the People, and to take care to cool his Guns, and not fire in
Haste, but take good Aim. We received two Double-headed-Shot in the
Bread-room, which were soon plugg'd up, and one Shot under the Larboard
Chesstree, but so low in the Water, that could not get at it, and the
Ship prov'd leaky. I had a Pack of sad cowardly, ignorant Dogs as ever
came into a Ship. As to my common Sailors, who were not above Twelve
Seamen, with the Officers, they stood by me. It was all owing to my
Misfortune on the _Mouse_, that I was so poorly Mann'd. As to my Third
Mate, _B----s_, he did not seem to stomach what he was about; he was
sometimes on the Quarter-Deck (not being able to use any Guns but the
Stern-Chase) and every Shot the Enemy fir'd, he cowardly trembled, with
his Head almost down to the Deck. This Captain _Scarlet_ has often
declared to the Gentlemen at _Bombay_, and before those that are now
coming Home. I had six Men kill'd, and six their Legs shot off, with
several others wounded by their Partridge-Shot, _&c._ Had our People
kept the Deck like Men, there must have been several more kill'd and
wounded. About Three, I heard a great Call for Shot, and desired Capt.
_Scarlet_ to go to Mr. _Cuddon_, and tell him not to fire in Waste.

We lay now just like a Wreck in the Sea, and at our Wits Ends. Our Shot
being almost spent, we had a Hole cut in the Well to try to come at the
Company's. We continued on with Double-round and Partridge, and Bolts,
_&c._ with a Double Allowance of Powder to each Gun, doing the utmost we
could to save the Ship. The Tiller-rope was now shot away, tho' of no
Service before. The Carpenter told me the Ship made a great deal of
Water, and had above two Foot in her Hold. The Caulker afterwards told
me she had three Foot. I saw nothing we could do more than firing our
Stern-Chase. There was a sad Complaint for Shot; however we fir'd Bolts.
I call'd out to the People to have good Hearts, and went into the
Round-house to encourage them there. It was very hard we could stand no
Chance for a Mast of theirs, nor no lucky Shot to disable some of them,
in all the Number that we fir'd. As to our small Arms, they were of
little Service, they keeping their Men so close. The Rigging of the
Foremast being gone, and that fetching so much way, I expected it to go
every Minute; and about Seven in the Evening, the Ship falling off into
the Trough of the Sea, the Foremast came by the Board. It was now about
Four o' Clock, when Mr. _Thomas Rogers_, my Chief Mate, sent my Steward
to desire to speak with me. When I went to him, he spoke to me to this
Purpose. "Sir," says he, "I am inform'd what Condition the Ship is in;
as her Masts are gone, you had better not be obstinate, in standing out
longer; it will only be the Means of making more Objects, of murdering
more Men, and all to no Purpose, but to be used worse by the Enemy, for
it is impossible to get away. Therefore you had better surrender." To
the best of my Knowledge, I hardly made him any Answer; nor had I,
before he sent to me, the least Thoughts of surrendering, which I
declare before God and Man; tho' I was well convinc'd within myself,
that it was impossible to save the Ship. I went up to my old Station the
Quarter-Deck, and took several Turns, as usual, and proceeded in the
Engagement. I begun to consider what Mr. _Rogers_ told me, and the
Condition of the Ship, and argue within myself the Impossibility of
doing any more (for if a Gale had sprung up, it could be of no Service)
and all the time from the Fall of our Main-mast, the Enemy were got so
near, that I could hear them talk, and my Second Mate did the same. As
to our Masts, they had gain'd their Ends, and their only Business now
was to fire at the Hull. There was no Hopes of their leaving us,
considering the condition they had brought us to, and it could not be
long before we sunk: for as they lay so near us, and so low in Water,
our Shot must doubtless fly over them. At last I was of Mr. _Rogers's_
Opinion, that it was only sacrificing the Men to no Purpose; for they
had so large a Mark of us, they could not miss us; and during all the
Engagement, as they play'd their Shot so hot at our Stern, it is
surprizing there were not many more Men Kill'd. I then sent for my
Second and Third Mate, and told them Mr. _Rogers's_ Opinion and my own.
They both agreed to it, and consented to the surrendering of the Ship.
So we submitted to the Enemy, finding it in vain to proceed. By my Watch
it was Five o' Clock. My Second and Third Mate went in to the Steerage
to forbid firing, and myself in the Round-House, did the same. Every
Body seem'd to be very well satisfied as to the surrendering Part, and
no Objection was made. Colours we had none to strike; those and the
Ensign-Staff were shot to Pieces; and what was left of the Ensign being
made fast to the Main-Shrowds, went with the Mast. Capt. _Scarlet_ went
into the Round-House, and call'd the Enemy on board, and told them we
had no Boats. They sent their Dingey aboard with Four Men for me and my
chief Officers. They left Two of the Four aboard the _Derby_. Myself and
my Second Mate went in the Dingey aboard the Grabb. We were gone an Hour
and a half good, if not more; then we return'd in a Gallivat with 50 or
60 Men, but not a Soul went aboard the _Derby_, till we return'd. Then
came aboard more Gallivats and more Men, and secured the Arms, _&c._ and
drove our People up, some to the Pumps, and some to clear the Rigging
off the Ship's Side. They transkipt to their Grabbs what Treasure could
be got at, and the next Day turn'd out the Remainder, with myself,
_Scarlet_, _Cuddon_, the two Ladies, and my Servants, into one of the


[13] A noted pirate.




Francis Lolonois was a native of that territory in France which is
called Les Sables d'Olone, or The Sands of Olone. In his youth he was
transported to the Caribbee islands, in quality of servant, or slave,
according to custom. Having served his time, he came to Hispaniola; here
he joined for some time with the hunters, before he began his robberies
upon the Spaniards.

At first he made two or three voyages as a common mariner, wherein he
behaved himself so courageously as to gain the favor of the governor of
Tortuga, Monsieur de la Place; insomuch that he gave him a ship, in
which he might seek his fortune, which was very favorable to him at
first; for in a short time he got great riches. But his cruelties
against the Spaniards were such, that the fame of them made him so well
known through the Indies, that the Spaniards, in his time, would choose
rather to die, or sink fighting, than surrender, knowing they should
have no mercy at his hands. But Fortune, being seldom constant, after
some time turned her back; for in a huge storm he lost his ship on the
coast of Campechy. The men were all saved, but coming upon dry land, the
Spaniards pursued them, and killed the greatest part, wounding also
Lolonois. Not knowing how to escape, he saved his life by a stratagem;
mingling sand with the blood of his wounds, with which besmearing his
face, and other parts of his body, and hiding himself dextrously among
the dead, he continued there till the Spaniards quitted the field.

They being gone, he retired to the woods and bound up his wounds as well
as he could. These being pretty well healed, he took his way to
Campechy, having disguised himself in a Spanish habit; here he enticed
certain slaves, to whom he promised liberty if they would obey him and
trust to his conduct. They accepted his promises, and stealing a canoe,
they went to sea with him. Now the Spaniards, having made several of his
companions prisoners, kept them close in a dungeon, while Lolonois went
about the town and saw what passed. These were often asked, "What is
become of your captain?" To whom they constantly answered, "He is dead:"
which rejoiced the Spaniards, who made thanks to God for their
deliverance from such a cruel pirate. Lolonois, having seen these
rejoicings for his death, made haste to escape, with the slaves
above-mentioned, and came safe to Tortuga, the common refuge of all
sorts of wickedness, and the seminary, as it were, of pirates and
thieves. Though now his fortune was low, yet he got another ship with
craft and subtlety, and in it twenty-one men. Being well provided with
arms and necessaries, he set forth for Cuba, on the south whereof is a
small village, called De los Cayos. The inhabitants drive a great trade
in tobacco, sugar, and hides, and all in boats, not being able to use
ships, by reason of the little depth of that sea.

Lolonois was persuaded he should get here some considerable prey; but by
the good fortune of some fishermen who saw him, and the mercy of God,
they escaped him: for the inhabitants of the town dispatched immediately
a vessel overland to the Havannah, complaining that Lolonois was come to
destroy them with two canoes. The governor could hardly believe this,
having received letters from Campechy that he was dead: but, at their
importunity, he sent a ship for their relief, with ten guns and ninety
men, well armed; giving them this express command, "that they should not
return into his presence without having totally destroyed those
pirates." To this effect he gave them a negro to serve for a hangman,
and orders, "that they should immediately hang every one of the pirates,
excepting Lolonois, their captain, whom they should bring alive to the
Havannah." This ship arrived at Cayos, of whose coming the pirates were
advertised beforehand, and instead of flying, went to seek it in the
river Estera, where she rode at anchor. The pirates seized some
fishermen, and forced them by night to show them the entry of the port,
hoping soon to obtain a greater vessel than their two canoes, and
thereby to mend their fortune. They arrived, after two in the morning,
very nigh the ship; and the watch on board the ship asking them, whence
they came, and if they had seen any pirates abroad. They caused one of
the prisoners to answer, they had seen no pirates, nor anything else.
Which answer made them believe that they were fled upon hearing of their

But they soon found the contrary, for about break of day the pirates
assaulted the vessel on both sides, with their two canoes, with such
vigor, that though the Spaniards behaved themselves as they ought, and
made as good defense as they could, making some use of their great guns,
yet they were forced to surrender, being beaten by the pirates, with
sword in hand, down under the hatches. From hence Lolonois commanded
them to be brought up, one by one, and in this order caused their heads
to be struck off. Among the rest came up the negro, designed to be the
pirates' executioner; this fellow implored mercy at his hands very
dolefully, telling Lolonois he was constituted hangman of that ship, and
if he would spare him, he would tell him faithfully all that he should
desire. Lolonois, making him confess what he thought fit, commanded him
to be murdered with the rest. Thus he cruelly and barbarously put them
all to death, reserving only one alive, whom he sent back to the
governor of the Havannah, with this message in writing: "I shall never
henceforward give quarter to any Spaniard whatsoever; and I have great
hopes I shall execute on your own person the very same punishment I have
done upon them you sent against me. Thus I have retaliated the kindness
you designed to me and my companions." The governor, much troubled at
this bad news, swore, in the presence of many, that he would never grant
quarter to any pirate that should fall into his hands. But the citizens
of the Havannah desired him not to persist in the execution of that rash
and rigorous oath, seeing the pirates would certainly take occasion from
thence to do the same, and they had an hundred times more opportunity of
revenge than he; that being necessitated to get their livelihood by
fishery, they should hereafter always be in danger of their lives. By
these reasons he was persuaded to bridle his anger, and remit the
severity of his oath.

Now Lolonois had got a good ship, but very few provisions and people in
it; to purchase both which he resolved to cruise from one port to
another. Doing thus, for some time, without success, he determined to go
to the port of Maracaibo. Here he surprised a ship laden with plate, and
other merchandises, outward bound, to buy cocoa-nuts. With this prize he
returned to Tortuga, where he was received with joy by the inhabitants;
they congratulating his happy success, and their own private interest.
He stayed not long there, but designed to equip a fleet sufficient to
transport five hundred men, and necessaries. Thus provided, he resolved
to pillage both cities, towns, and villages, and finally, to take
Maracaibo itself. For this purpose he knew the island of Tortuga would
afford him many resolute and courageous men, fit for such enterprises:
besides, he had in his service several prisoners well acquainted with
the ways and places designed upon.

Of this design Lolonois giving notice to all the pirates, whether at
home or abroad, he got together, in a little while, above four hundred
men; beside which, there was then in Tortuga another pirate, named
Michael de Basco, who, by his piracy, had got riches sufficient to live
at ease, and go no more abroad; having, withal, the office of major of
the island. But seeing the great preparations that Lolonois made for
this expedition, he joined him, and offered him, that if he would make
him his chief captain by land (seeing he knew the country very well, and
all its avenues) he would share in his fortunes, and go with him. They
agreed upon articles to the great joy of Lolonois, knowing that Basco
had done great actions in Europe, and had the repute of a good soldier.
Thus they all embarked in eight vessels, that of Lolonois being the
greatest, having ten guns of indifferent carriage.

All things being ready, and the whole company on board, they set sail
together about the end of April, being, in all, six hundred and sixty
persons. They steered for that part called Bayala, north of Hispaniola:
here they took into their company some French hunters, who voluntarily
offered themselves, and here they provided themselves with victuals and
necessaries for their voyage.

From hence they sailed again the last of July, and steered directly to
the eastern cape of the isle called Punta d'Espada. Hereabouts espying a
ship from Puerto Rico, bound for New Spain, laden with cocoa-nuts,
Lolonois commanded the rest of the fleet to wait for him near Savona, on
the east of Cape Punta d'Espada, he alone intending to take the said
vessel. The Spaniards, though they had been in sight full two hours, and
knew them to be pirates, yet would not flee, but prepared to fight,
being well armed, and provided. The combat lasted three hours, and then
they surrendered. This ship had sixteen guns, and fifty fighting men
aboard: they found in her 120,000 weight of cocoa, 40,000
pieces-of-eight, and the value of 10,000 more, in jewels. Lolonois sent
the vessel presently to Tortuga to be unladed, with orders to return as
soon as possible to Savona, where he would wait for them: meanwhile, the
rest of the fleet being arrived at Savona, met another Spanish vessel
coming from Coman, with military provisions to Hispaniola, and money to
pay the garrisons there. This vessel they also took, without any
resistance, though mounted with eight guns. In it were 7,000 weight of
powder, a great number of muskets, and like things, with 12,000

These successes encouraged the pirates, they seeming very lucky
beginnings, especially finding their fleet pretty well recruited in a
little time: for the first ship arriving at Tortuga, the governor
ordered it to be instantly unladen, and soon after sent back, with fresh
provisions, and other necessaries, to Lolonois. This ship he chose for
himself, and gave that which he commanded to his comrade, Anthony du
Puis. Being thus recruited with men in lieu of them he had lost in
taking the prizes, and by sickness, he found himself in a good condition
to set sail for Maracaibo, in the province of Neuva Venezuela, in the
latitude of 12 deg. 10 min. north. This island is twenty leagues long,
and twelve broad. To this port also belong the islands of Onega and
Monges. The east side thereof is called Cape St. Roman, and the western
side Cape of Caquibacoa: the gulf is called, by some, the Gulf of
Venezuela, but the pirates usually call it the Bay of Maracaibo.

At the entrance of this gulf are two islands extending from east to
west; that towards the east is called Isla de las Vigilias, or the Watch
Isle; because in the middle is a high hill, on which stands a
watch-house. The other is called Isla de la Palomas, or the Isle of
Pigeons. Between these two islands runs a little sea, or rather lake of
fresh water, sixty leagues long, and thirty broad; which disgorging
itself into the ocean, dilates itself about the said two islands.
Between them is the best passage for ships, the channel being no broader
than the flight of a great gun, of about eight pounds. On the Isle of
Pigeons standeth a castle, to impede the entry of vessels, all being
necessitated to come very nigh the castle, by reason of two banks of
sand on the other side, with only fourteen feet water. Many other banks
of sand there are in this lake; as that called El Tablazo, or the Great
Table, no deeper than ten feet, forty leagues within the lake; others
there are, that have no more than six, seven, or eight feet in depth:
all are very dangerous, especially to mariners unacquainted with them.
West hereof is the city of Maracaibo, very pleasant to the view, its
houses being built along the shore, having delightful prospects all
round: the city may contain three or four thousand persons, slaves
included, all which make a town of reasonable bigness. There are judged
to be about eight hundred persons able to bear arms, all Spaniards. Here
are one parish church, well built and adorned, four monasteries, and one
hospital. The city is governed by a deputy governor, substituted by the
governor of the Caraccas. The trade here exercised is mostly in hides
and tobacco. The inhabitants possess great numbers of cattle, and many
plantations, which extend thirty leagues in the country, especially
towards the great town of Gibraltar, where are gathered great quantities
of cocoa-nuts, and all other garden fruits, which serve for the regale
and sustenance of the inhabitants of Maracaibo, whose territories are
much drier than those of Gibraltar. Hither those of Maracaibo send great
quantities of flesh, they making returns in oranges, lemons, and other
fruits; for the inhabitants of Gibraltar want flesh, their fields not
being capable of feeding cows or sheep.

Before Maracaibo is a very spacious and secure port, wherein may be
built all sorts of vessels, having great convenience of timber, which
may be transported thither at little charge. Nigh the town lies also a
small island called Borrica, where they feed great numbers of goats,
which cattle the inhabitants use more for their skins than their flesh
or milk; they slighting these two, unless while they are tender and
young kids. In the fields are fed some sheep, but of a very small size.
In some islands of the lake, and in other places hereabouts, are many
savage Indians, called by the Spaniards bravoes, or wild: these could
never be reduced by the Spaniards, being brutish, and untameable. They
dwell mostly towards the west side of the lake, in little huts built on
trees growing in the water; so to keep themselves from innumerable
mosquitoes, or gnats, which infest and torment them night and day. To
the east of the said lake are whole towns of fishermen, who likewise
live in huts built on trees, as the former. Another reason of this
dwelling, is the frequent inundations; for after great rains, the land
is often overflown for two or three leagues, there being no less than
twenty-five great rivers that feed this lake. The town of Gibraltar is
also frequently drowned by these, so that the inhabitants are
constrained to retire to their plantations.

Gibraltar, situate at the side of the lake about forty leagues within
it, receives its provisions of flesh, as has been said, from Maracaibo.
The town is inhabited by about 1,500 persons, whereof four hundred may
bear arms; the greatest part of them keep shops, wherein they exercise
one trade or another. In the adjacent fields are numerous plantations of
sugar and cocoa, in which are many tall and beautiful trees, of whose
timber houses may be built, and ships. Among these are many handsome and
proportionable cedars, seven or eight feet about, of which they can
build boats and ships, so as to bear only one great sail; such vessels
being called piraguas. The whole country is well furnished with rivers
and brooks, very useful in droughts, being then cut into many little
channels to water their fields and plantations. They plant also much
tobacco, well esteemed in Europe, and for its goodness is called there
_tobacco de sacerdotes_, or priest's tobacco. They enjoy nigh twenty
leagues of jurisdiction, which is bounded by very high mountains
perpetually covered with snow. On the other side of these mountains is
situate a great city called Merida, to which the town of Gibraltar is
subject. All merchandise is carried hence to the aforesaid city on
mules, and that but at one season of the year, by reason of the
excessive cold in those high mountains. On the said mules returns are
made in flour of meal, which comes from towards Peru, by the way of

Lolonois arriving at the gulf of Venezuela, cast anchor with his whole
fleet out of sight of the Vigilia or Watch Isle; next day very early he
set sail thence with all his ships for the lake of Maracaibo, where they
cast anchor again; then they landed their men, with design to attack
first the fortress that commanded the bar, therefore called _de la
barra_. This fort consisted only of several great baskets of earth
placed on a rising ground, planted with sixteen great guns, with several
other heaps of earth round about for covering their men: the pirates
having landed a league off this fort, advanced by degrees towards it;
but the governor having espied their landing, had placed an ambuscade to
cut them off behind, while he should attack them in front. This the
pirates discovered, and getting before, they defeated it so entirely,
that not a man could retreat to the castle: this done, Lolonois, with
his companions, advanced immediately to the fort, and after a fight of
almost three hours, with the usual desperation of this sort of people,
they became masters thereof, without any other arms than swords and
pistols: while they were fighting, those who were the routed ambuscade,
not being able to get into the castle, retired into Maracaibo in great
confusion and disorder, crying "The pirates will presently be here with
two thousand men and more." The city having formerly been taken by this
kind of people, and sacked to the uttermost, had still an idea of that
misery; so that upon these dismal news they endeavored to escape towards
Gibraltar in their boats and canoes, carrying with them all the goods
and money they could. Being come to Gibraltar, they told how the
fortress was taken, and nothing had been saved, nor any persons escaped.

The castle thus taken by the pirates, they presently signified to the
ships their victory, that they should come farther in without fear of
danger: the rest of that day was spent in ruining and demolishing the
said castle. They nailed the guns, and burnt as much as they could not
carry away, burying the dead, and sending on board the fleet the
wounded. Next day, very early, they weighed anchor, and steered directly
towards Maracaibo, about six leagues distant from the fort; but the wind
failing that day, they could advance little, being forced to await the
tide. Next morning they came in sight of the town, and prepared for
landing under the protection of their own guns, fearing the Spaniards
might have laid an ambuscade in the woods. They put their men into
canoes, brought for that purpose, and landed, shooting meanwhile
furiously with their great guns. Of those in the canoes, half only went
ashore, the other half remained aboard. They fired from the ships as
fast as possible, towards the woody part of the shore, but could
discover nobody; then they entered the town, whose inhabitants were
retired to the woods, and Gibraltar, with their wives children and
families. Their houses they left well provided with victuals, as flour,
bread, pork, brandy, wines, and poultry, and with these the pirates fell
to making good cheer, for in four weeks before they had no opportunity
of filling their stomachs with such plenty.

They instantly possessed themselves of the best houses in the town, and
placed sentinels wherever they thought necessary;--the great church
served them for their main guard. Next day they sent out an hundred and
sixty men to find out some of the inhabitants in the woods thereabouts.
These returned the same night, bringing with them 20,000
pieces-of-eight, several mules laden with household goods and
merchandise, and twenty prisoners, men, women, and children. Some of
these were put to the rack, to make them confess where they had hid the
rest of the goods; but they could extort very little from them.
Lolonois, who valued not murdering, though in cold blood, ten or twelve
Spaniards, drew his cutlass, and hacked one to pieces before the rest,
saying, "If you do not confess and declare where you have hid the rest
of your goods, I will do the like to all your companions." At last,
amongst these horrible cruelties and inhuman threats, one promised to
show the place where the rest of the Spaniards were hid. But those that
were fled, having intelligence of it, changed place, and buried the
remnant of their riches underground, so that the pirates could not find
them out, unless some of their own party should reveal them. Besides,
the Spaniards flying from one place to another every day, and often
changing woods, were jealous even of each other, so that the father
durst scarce trust his own son.

After the pirates had been fifteen days in Maracaibo, they resolved for
Gibraltar; but the inhabitants having received intelligence thereof, and
that they intended afterwards to go to Merida, gave notice of it to the
governor there, who was a valiant soldier, and had been an officer in
Flanders. His answer was, "he would have them take no care, for he hoped
in a little while to exterminate the said pirates." Whereupon he came to
Gibraltar with four hundred men well armed, ordering at the same time
the inhabitants to put themselves in arms, so that in all he made eight
hundred fighting men. With the same speed he raised a battery toward the
sea, mounted with twenty guns, covered with great baskets of earth:
another battery he placed in another place, mounted with eight guns.
This done, he barricaded a narrow passage to the town through which the
pirates must pass, opening at the same time another one through much
dirt and mud into a wood which was totally unknown to the pirates.

The pirates, ignorant of these preparations, having embarked all their
prisoners and booty, took their way towards Gibraltar. Being come in
sight of the place, they saw the royal standard hanging forth, and that
those of the town designed to defend their homes. Lolonois seeing this,
called a council of war what they ought to do, telling his officers and
mariners, "That the difficulty of the enterprise was very great, seeing
the Spaniards had had so much time to put themselves in a posture of
defense, and had got a good body of men together, with much ammunition;
but notwithstanding," said he, "have a good courage; we must either
defend ourselves like good soldiers, or lose our lives with all the
riches we have got. Do as I shall do who am your captain: at other times
we have fought with fewer men than we have in our company at present,
and yet we have overcome greater numbers than there possibly can be in
this town: the more they are, the more glory and the greater riches we
shall gain." The pirates supposed that all the riches of the inhabitants
of Maracaibo were transported to Gibraltar, or at least the greatest
part. After this speech, they all promised to follow, and obey him.
Lolonois made answer, "'Tis well; but know ye, withal, that the first
man who shall show any fear, or the least apprehension thereof, I will
pistol him with my own hands."

With this resolution they cast anchor nigh the shore, near
three-quarters of a league from the town: next day before sun-rising,
they landed three hundred and eighty men well provided, and armed every
one with a cutlass, and one or two pistols, and sufficient powder and
bullet for thirty charges. Here they all shook hands in testimony of
good courage, and began their march, Lolonois speaking thus, "Come, my
brethren, follow me, and have good courage." They followed their guide,
who, believing he led them well, brought them to the way which the
governor had barricaded. Not being able to pass that way, they went to
the other newly made in the wood among the mire, which the Spaniards
could shoot into at pleasure; but the pirates, full of courage, cut down
the branches of trees and threw them on the way, that they might not
stick in the dirt. Meanwhile, those of Gibraltar fired with their great
guns so furiously, they could scarce hear nor see for the noise and
smoke. Being passed the wood, they came on firm ground, where they met
with a battery of six guns, which immediately the Spaniards discharged
upon them, all loaded with small bullets and pieces of iron; and the
Spaniards sallying forth, set upon them with such fury, as caused the
pirates to give way, few of them caring to advance towards the fort,
many of them being already killed and wounded. This made them go back to
seek another way; but the Spaniards having cut down many trees to hinder
the passage, they could find none, but were forced to return to that
they had left. Here the Spaniards continued to fire as before, nor would
they sally out of their batteries to attack them any more. Lolonois and
his companions not being able to climb up the bastion of earth, were
compelled to use an old stratagem, wherewith at last they deceived and
overcame the Spaniards.

Lolonois retired suddenly with all his men, making show as if he fled;
hereupon the Spaniards crying out "They flee, they flee, let us follow
them," sallied forth with great disorder to the pursuit. Being drawn to
some distance from the batteries, which was the pirates only design,
they turned upon them unexpectedly with sword in hand, and killed above
two hundred men; and thus fighting their way through those who remained,
they possessed themselves of the batteries. The Spaniards that remained
abroad, giving themselves over for lost, fled to the woods: those in the
battery of eight guns surrendered themselves, obtaining quarter for
their lives. The pirates being now become masters of the town, pulled
down the Spanish colors and set up their own, taking prisoners as many
as they could find. These they carried to the great church, where they
raised a battery of several great guns, fearing lest the Spaniards that
were fled should rally, and come upon them again; but next day, being
all fortified, their fears were over. They gathered the dead to bury
them, being above five hundred Spaniards, besides the wounded in the
town, and those that died of their wounds in the woods. The pirates had
also above one hundred and fifty prisoners, and nigh five hundred
slaves, many women and children.

Of their own companions only forty were killed, and almost eighty
wounded, whereof the greatest part died through the bad air, which
brought fevers and other illness. They put the slain Spaniards into two
great boats, and carrying them a quarter of a league to sea, they sunk
the boats; this done, they gathered all the plate, household stuff, and
merchandise they could, or thought convenient to carry away. The
Spaniards who had anything left had hid it carefully; but the
unsatisfied pirates, not contented with the riches they had got, sought
for more goods and merchandise, not sparing those who lived in the
fields, such as hunters and planters. They had scarce been eighteen days
on the place, when the greatest part of the prisoners died for hunger.
For in the town were few provisions, especially of flesh, though they
had some, but no sufficient quantity of flour of meal, and this the
pirates had taken for themselves, as they also took the swine, cows,
sheep, and poultry, without allowing any share to the poor prisoners.
For these they only provided some small quantity of mules' and asses'
flesh; and many who could not eat of that loathsome provision died for
hunger, their stomachs not being accustomed to such sustenance. Of the
prisoners many also died under the torment they sustained to make them
discover their money or jewels; and of these, some had none, nor knew of
none, and others denying what they knew, endured such horrible deaths.

Finally, after having been in possession of the town four entire weeks,
they sent four of the prisoners to the Spaniards that were fled to the
woods, demanding of them a ransom for not burning the town. The sum
demanded was 10,000 pieces-of-eight, which if not sent, they threatened
to reduce it to ashes. For bringing in this money, they allowed them
only two days; but the Spaniards not having been able to gather so
punctually such a sum, the pirates fired many parts of the town;
whereupon the inhabitants begged them to help quench the fire, and the
ransom should be readily paid. The pirates condescended, helping as much
as they could to stop the fire; but, notwithstanding all their best
endeavors, one part of the town was ruined, especially the church
belonging to the monastery was burned down. After they had received the
said sum, they carried aboard all the riches they had got, with a great
number of slaves which had not paid the ransom; for all the prisoners
had sums of money set upon them, and the slaves were also commanded to
be redeemed. Thence they returned to Maracaibo, where being arrived,
they found a general consternation in the whole city, to which they sent
three or four prisoners to tell the governor and inhabitants, "they
should bring them 30,000 pieces-of-eight aboard their ships, for a
ransom of their houses, otherwise they should be sacked anew and

Among these debates a party of pirates came on shore, and carried away
the images, pictures, and bells of the great church, aboard the fleet.
The Spaniards who were sent to demand the sum aforesaid returned, with
orders to make some agreement; who concluded with the pirates to give
for their ransom and liberty 20,000 pieces-of-eight, and five hundred
cows, provided that they should commit no further hostilities, but
depart thence presently after payment of money and cattle. The one and
the other being delivered, the whole fleet set sail, causing great joy
to the inhabitants of Maracaibo, to see themselves quit of them: but
three days after they renewed their fears with admiration, seeing the
pirates appear again, and re-enter the port with all their ships: but
these apprehensions vanished, upon hearing one of the pirate's errand,
who came ashore from Lolonois, "to demand a skilful pilot to conduct one
of the greatest ships over the dangerous bank that lieth at the very
entry of the lake." Which petition, or rather command, was instantly

They had now been full two months in these towns, wherein they committed
those cruel and insolent actions we have related. Departing thence, they
took their course to Hispaniola, and arrived there in eight days,
casting anchor in a port called Isla de la Vacca, or Cow Island. This
island is inhabited by French buccaneers, who mostly sell the flesh they
hunt to pirates and others, who now and then put in there to victual, or
trade. Here they unladed their whole cargazon of riches, the usual
storehouse of the pirates being commonly under the shelter of the
buccaneers. Here they made a dividend of all their prizes and gains,
according to the orders and degree of every one, as has been mentioned
before. Having made an exact calculation of all their plunder, they
found in ready money 260,000 pieces-of-eight: this being divided, every
one received for his share in money, as also in silk, linen, and other
commodities, to the value of 100 pieces-of-eight. Those who had been
wounded received their first part, after the rate mentioned before, for
the loss of their limbs: then they weighed all the plate uncoined,
reckoning ten pieces-of-eight to a pound; the jewels were prized
indifferently, either too high or too low, by reason of their ignorance:
this done, every one was put to his oath again, that he had not smuggled
anything from the common stock. Hence they proceeded to the dividend of
the shares of such as were dead in battle, or otherwise: these shares
were given to their friends, to be kept entire for them, and to be
delivered in due time to their nearest relations, or their apparent
lawful heirs.

The whole dividend being finished, they set sail for Tortuga. Here they
arrived a month after, to the great joy of most of the island; for as to
the common pirates, in three weeks they had scarce any money left,
having spent it all in things of little value, or lost it at play. Here
had arrived, not long before them, two French ships, with wine and
brandy, and suchlike commodities; whereby these liquors, at the arrival
of the pirates, were indifferent cheap. But this lasted not long, for
soon after they were enhanced extremely, a gallon of brandy being sold
for four pieces-of-eight. The governor of the island bought of the
pirates the whole cargo of the ship laden with cocoa, giving for that
rich commodity scarce the twentieth part of its worth. Thus they made
shift to lose and spend the riches they had got, in much less time than
they were obtained. The taverns and stews, according to the custom of
pirates, got the greatest part; so that, soon after, they were forced to
seek more by the same unlawful means they had got the former.


[14] _The Buccaneers of America._


These truly representeth a scheem of what misfortune has befell us as we
were going through the streights of Malacca, in the persuance to our
pretended voyage, _vizt._, Wednesday the 7th July, 5 o'clock morning we
espied a ship to windward; as soon as was well light perceived her to
bare down upon us. Wee thought at first she had been a Dutchman bound
for Atcheen or Bengall, when perceived she had no Gallerys, did then
suppose her to be what after, to our dreadful sorrow, found her. Wee
gott our ship in the best posture of defence that suddain emergent
necessity would permitt. Wee kept good looking out, expecting to see an
Island called Pullo Verello [Pulo Barahla], but as then saw it not.

About 8 of the clock the ship came up fairely within shott. Saw in room
of our Gallerys there was large sally ports, in each of which was a
large gunn, seemed to be brass. Her tafferill was likewise taken downe.
Wee having done what possibly could to prepare ourselves, fearing might
be suddenly sett on, ordered our people to their respective stations for
action. Wee now hoisted our colours. The Captain commanded to naile our
Ensigne to the staff in sight of the enimie, which was immediately done.
As they perceived wee hoisted our colours they hoisted theirs, with the
Union Jack, and let fly a broad red Pendant at their maintopmast head.

The Pirate being now in little more than half Pistoll shott from us, wee
could discerne abundance of men who went aft to the Quarter Deck, which
as wee suppose was to consult. They stood as we stood, but wee spoke
neither to other. Att noone it fell calme, so that [wee] were affraid
should by the sea have been hove on one another. Att 1 a clock sprang up
a gale. The Pirate kept as wee kept. Att 3 a clock the villain backt her
sailes and they went from us. Wee kept close halled, having a contrary
wind for Mallacca. When the Pirate was about 7 miles distant tackt and
stood after us. Att 6 that evening saw the lookt for island, and the
Pirate came up with us on our starboard side within shott. Wee see he
kept a man at each topmast head, looking out till it was darke, then he
halled a little from us, but kept us company all night.

At 8 in the morning he drew near us, but wee had time to mount our other
four guns that were in hold, and now wee were in the best posture of
defence could desire. He drawing near us and seeing that if [wee] would,
[wee] could not gett from him, he far outsailing us by or large [in one
direction or another], the Captain resolved to see what the rogue would
doe, soe ordered to hand [furl] all our small sailes and furled our
mainesaile. He, seeing this, did the like, and as [he] drew near us beat
a drum and sounded trumpets, and then hailed us four times before we
answered him.

At last it was thought fitt to know what he would say, soe the
Boatswaine spoke to him as was ordered, which was that wee came from
London. Then he enquired whether peace or war with France. Our answer,
there was an universall peace through Europe, att which they paused and
then said, "That's well." He further enquired if had touched at
Attcheen. Wee said a boat came off to us, but [wee] came not near itt by
several leagues. Further he enquired our Captain's name and whither wee
were bound. Wee answered to Mallacca. They too and [would have] had the
Captain gone aboard to drink a glass of wine. Wee said that would see
one another at Mallacca. Then he called to lye by and he would come
aboard us. Our answer was as before, saying it was late. He said, true,
it was for China, and enquired whether should touch at the Water Islands
[Pulo Ondan, off Malacca]. Wee said should. Then said he, So shall wee.
After he had asked us all these questions wee desired to know from
whence he was. He said from London, their Captain name Collyford, the
ship named the _Resolution_, bound for China. This Collyford had been
Gunners Mate at Bombay, and after run away with the Ketch.

Thus past the 8th July. Friday the 9th do., he being some distance from
us, About ½ an hour after 10 came up with us. Then it grew calme. Wee
could discerne a fellow on the Quarter Deck wearing a sword. As he drew
near, this Hellish Imp cried, Strike you doggs, which [wee] perceived
was not by a general consent for he was called away. Our Boatswaine in a
fury run upon the poop, unknown to the Captain, and answered that wee
would strike to noe such doggs as he, telling him the rogue Every and
his accomplices were all hanged. The Captain was angry that he spake
without order, then ordered to haile him and askt what was his reason to
dogg us. One stept forward on the forecastle, beckoned with his hand and
said, Gentlemen, wee want not your ship nor men, but money. Wee told
them had none for them but bid them come up alongside and take it as
could gett it. Then a parcell of bloodhound rogues clasht their
cutlashes and said they would have itt or our hearts blood, saying,
"What doe you not know us to be the _Moca_?" Our answer was Yes, Yes.
Thereon they gave a great shout and so they all went out of sight and
wee to our quarters. They were going to hoist colours but the ensigne
halliards broke, which our people perceiving gave a great shout, so they
lett them alone.

As soon as they could bring their chase gunns to bear, fired upon us and
soe kept on our quarter. Our gunns would not bear in a small space, but
as soon as did hap, gave them better than [the pirates] did like. His
second shott carried away our spritt saile yard. About half on hour
after or more he came up alongside and soe wee powered in upon him and
continued, some time broadsides and sometimes three or four gunns as
opportunity presented and could bring them to doe best service. He was
going to lay us athwart the hawse, but by God's providence Captain Hide
frustrated his intent by pouring a broadside into him, which made him
give back and goe asterne, where he lay and paused without fireing, then
in a small space fired one gunn. The shott come in at our round house
window without damage to any person, after which he filled and bore
away, and when was about ¼ mile off fired a gunn to leeward, which wee
answered by another to windward. About an hour after he tackt and came
up with us againe. Wee made noe saile, but lay by to receive him, but he
kept aloof off. The distance att most in all our fireing was never more
than two ships length; the time of our engagement was from ½ an hour
after 11 till about 3 afternoon.

When [wee] came to see what damage [wee] had sustained, found our Cheife
Mate, Mr. Smith, wounded in the legg, close by the knee, with a splinter
or piece of chaine, which cannot well be told, our Barber had two of his
fingers shott off as was spunging one of our gunns, the Gunner's boy had
his legg shott off in the waste, John Amos, Quartermaster, had his leg
shott off [while] at the helme, the Boatswaine's boy (a lad of 13 years
old) was shott in the thigh, which went through and splintered his bone,
the Armorer Jos. Osborne in the round house wounded by a splinter just
in the temple, the Captain's boy on the Quarter Deck a small shott
raised his scull through his cap and was the first person wounded and
att the first onsett. Wm. Reynolds's boy had the brim of his hatt ½
shott off and his forefinger splintered very sorely. John Blake, turner,
the flesh of his legg and calfe a great part shott away.

Our ships damage is the Mizentopmast shott close by the cap and it was a
miracle stood soe long and did not fall in the rogues sight. Our rigging
shott that had but one running rope left clear, our mainshrouds three on
one side, two on the other cutt in two. Our mainyard ten feet from the
mast by a shott cutt 8 inches deep, our foretopmast backstays shott
away, a great shott in the roundhouse, one on the Quarter Deck and two
of the roundhouse shott came on the said deck, severall in the stearidge
betwixt decks and in the forecastle, two in the bread room which caused
us to make much water and damaged the greatest part of our bread. They
dismounted one of our gunns in the roundhouse, two in the stearidge, two
in the waste, one in the forecastle, with abundance more damage which
may seem tedious to rehearse.

Their small shott were most Tinn and Tuthenage [_tutenaga_, spelter].
They fired pieces of glass-bottles, do. teapots, chains, stones and what
not, which were found on our decks. We could observe abundance of great
shott to have passed through the rogues foresaile, and our hope is have
done that to him which [will] make him shunn having to do with any
Europe ship againe. Att night wee perceived kept close their lights. Wee
did the like and lay by. In the morning they were as far off as [wee]
could discerne upon deck. Wee sent up to see how they stood, which was
right with us. In the night wee knotted our rigging and in the morning
made all haist to repare our carriages.

Our men, seeing they stood after us, [wee] could perceive their
countinances to be dejected. Wee cheared them what wee could, and, for
their encouragement, the Captain and wee of our proper money did give
them, to every man and boy, three dollars each, which animated them, and
promised to give them as much more if engaged againe, and that if [wee]
took the ship, for every prisoner five pounds and besides a gratuity
from the Gentlemen Employers. Wee read the King's Proclamation about
Every, &c., and the Right Honble. Company's.

About 9 o'clock the 10th July wee perceived the rogue made from us, soe
wee gave the Almighty our most condigne thanks for his mercy that
delivered us not to the worst of our enimies, for truly he [the pirate]
was very strong, having at least an hundred Europeans on board, 34 gunns
mounted, besides 10 pattererers and 2 small mortars in the head; his
lower tier, some of them, as wee judged, sixteen and eighteen pounders.
We lay as near our course as could, and next day saw land on our
starboard side which was the Maine [Land]. Kept on our way.

The 12th July dyed the Boatswaine's boy, George Mopp, in the morning.
Friday the 16th do. in the evening dyed the Gunner's boy, Thomas
Matthews. Sunday the 18th at anchor two leagues from the Pillo Sumbelong
[Pulo Sembîlan] Islands dyed the Barber, Andrew Miller. Do. the 31st
dyed the Cheife Mate, Mr. John Smith. The other two are yet in a very
deplorable condition and wee are ashore here to refresh them.... The
Chinese further report ... the _Mocco_ was at the Maldives and creaned
[careened]; there they gave an end to the life of their commanding rogue
Stout, who they murdered for attempting to run away.


[15] From _The Indian Antiquary_, Vol. 49.


Long before that action with the English man-of-war which drove me to
Singapore, I sailed in a fine fleet of prahus belonging to the Rajah of
Johore [Sultân Mahmâd Shâh]. We were all then very rich--ah! such
numbers of beautiful wives and such feasting!--but, above all, we had a
great many most holy men in our force! When the proper monsoon came, we
proceeded to sea to fight the Bugismen [of Celebes] and Chinamen bound
from Borneo and the Celebes to Java; for you must remember our Rajah was
at war with them. (Jadee always maintained that the proceedings in which
he had been engaged partook of a purely warlike, and not of a piratical

Our thirteen prahus had all been fitted out in and about Singapore. I
wish you could have seen them, Touhan [_Tüan_, Sir]. These prahus we see
here are nothing to them, such brass guns, such long pendants, such
creeses [Malay _kris_, dagger]! Allah-il-Allah! Our Datoos [_datuk_, a
chief] were indeed great men!

Sailing along the coast as high as Patani, we then crossed over to
Borneo, two Illanoon prahus acting as pilots, and reached a place
called Sambas [West Borneo]: there we fought the Chinese and Dutchmen,
who ill-treat our countrymen, and are trying to drive the Malays out of
that country. Gold-dust and slaves in large quantities were here taken,
most of the latter being our countrymen of Sumatra and Java, who are
captured and sold to the planters and miners of the Dutch settlements.

"Do you mean to say," I asked, "that the Dutch countenance such

"The Hollanders," replied Jadee, "have been the bane of the Malay race;
no one knows the amount of villainy, the bloody cruelty of their system
towards us. They drive us into our prahus to escape their taxes and
laws, and then declare us pirates and put us to death. There are natives
in our crew, Touhan, of Sumatra and Java, of Bianca [Banka] and Borneo;
ask them why they hate the Dutchmen; why they would kill a Dutchman. It
is because the Dutchman is a false man, not like the white man
[English]. The Hollander stabs in the dark; he is a liar!"

However, from Borneo we sailed to Biliton [island between Banka and
Borneo] and Bianca, and there waited for some large junks that were
expected. Our cruise had been so far successful, and we feasted
away--fighting cocks, smoking opium and eating white rice. At last our
scouts told us that a junk was in sight. She came, a lofty-sided one of
Fokien [Fuhkien]. We knew these Amoy men would fight like tiger-cats
for their sugar and silks; and as the breeze was fresh, we only kept her
in sight by keeping close inshore and following her. Not to frighten the
Chinamen, we did not hoist sail but made our slaves pull. "Oh!" said
Jadee, warming up with the recollection of the event--"oh! it was fine
to feel what brave fellows we then were!"

Towards night we made sail and closed upon the junk, and at daylight it
fell a stark calm, and we went at our prize like sharks. All our
fighting men put on their war-dresses; the Illanoons danced their
war-dance, and all our gongs sounded as we opened out to attack her on
different sides.

But those Amoy men are pigs! They burnt joss-paper; sounded their gongs,
and received us with such showers of stones, hot-water, long pikes, and
one or two well-directed shots that we hauled off to try the effect of
our guns, sorry though we were to do it, for it was sure to bring the
Dutchmen upon us. Bang! bang! we fired at them, and they at us; three
hours did we persevere, and whenever we tried to board, the Chinese beat
us back every time, for her side was as smooth and as high as a wall,
with galleries overhanging.

We had several men killed and hurt; a council was called; a certain
charm was performed by one of our holy men, a famous chief, and twenty
of our best men devoted themselves to effecting a landing on the junk's
deck, when our look-out prahus made the signal that the Dutchmen were
coming; and sure enough some Dutch gun-boats came sweeping round a
headland. In a moment we were round and pulling like demons for the
shores of Biliton, the gun-boats in chase of us, and the Chinese howling
with delight. The sea-breeze freshened and brought up a schooner-rigged
boat very fast. We had been at work twenty-four hours and were heartily
tired; our slaves could work no longer, so we prepared for the
Hollanders; they were afraid to close upon us and commenced firing at a
distance. This was just what we wanted; we had guns as well as they, and
by keeping up the fight until dark, we felt sure of escape. The
Dutchmen, however, knew this too, and kept closing gradually upon us;
and when they saw our prahus bailing out water and blood, they knew we
were suffering and cheered like devils. We were desperate; surrender to
Dutchmen we never would; we closed together for mutual support, and
determined at last, if all hope of escape ceased, to run our prahus
ashore, burn them, and lie hid in the jungle until a future day. But a
brave Datoo with his shattered prahus saved us; he proposed to let the
Dutchmen board her, creese [stab with a _kris_] all that did so, and
then trust to Allah for his escape.

It was done immediately; we all pulled a short distance away and left
the brave Datoo's prahu like a wreck abandoned. How the Dutchmen yelled
and fired into her! The slaves and cowards jumped out of the prahu, but
our braves kept quiet; at last, as we expected, one gun-boat dashed
alongside of their prize and boarded her in a crowd. Then was the time
to see how the Malay man could fight; the creese was worth twenty
swords, and the Dutchmen went down like sheep. We fired to cover our
countrymen, who, as soon as their work was done, jumped overboard and
swam to us; but the brave Datoo, with many more died as brave Malays
should do, running a-muck against a host of enemies.

The gun-boats were quite scared by this punishment, and we lost no time
in getting away as rapidly as possible; but the accursed schooner, by
keeping more in the offing, held the wind and preserved her position,
signaling all the while for the gun-boats to follow her. We did not want
to fight any more; it was evidently an unlucky day. On the opposite side
of the channel to that we were on, the coral reefs and shoals would
prevent the Hollanders following us: it was determined at all risks to
get there in spite of the schooner. With the first of the land-wind in
the evening we set sail before it and steered across for Bianca. The
schooner placed herself in our way like a clever sailor, so as to turn
us back; but we were determined to push on, take her fire, and run all

It was a sight to see us meeting one another; but we were desperate: we
had killed plenty of Dutchmen; it was their turn now. I was in the
second prahu, and well it was so, for when the headmost one got close
to the schooner, the Dutchman fired all his guns into her, and knocked
her at once into a wrecked condition. We gave one cheer, fired our guns
and then pushed on for our lives. "Ah! sir, it was a dark night indeed
for us. Three prahus in all were sunk and the whole force dispersed."

To add to our misfortunes a strong gale sprang up. We were obliged to
carry canvas; our prahu leaked from shot-holes; the sea continually
broke into her; we dared not run into the coral reefs on such a night,
and bore up for the Straits of Malacca. The wounded writhed and shrieked
in their agony, and we had to pump, we fighting men, and bale like
_black fellows_ [Caffre or negro slaves]! By two in the morning we were
all worn out. I felt indifferent whether I was drowned or not, and many
threw down their buckets and sat down to die. The wind increased and, at
last, as if to put us out of our misery, just such a squall as this came
down upon us. I saw it was folly contending against our fate, and
followed the general example. "God is great!" we exclaimed, but the
Rajah of Johore came and reproved us. "Work until daylight," he said,
"and I will ensure your safety." We pointed at the black storm which was
approaching. "Is that what you fear?" he replied, and going below he
produced just such a wooden spoon and did what you have seen me do, and
I tell you, my captain, as I would if the "Company Sahib" stood before
me, that the storm was nothing, and that we had a dead calm one hour
afterwards and were saved. God is great and Mahomet is his prophet!--but
there is no charm like the Johore one for killing the wind!


[16] From _The Indian Antiquary_, Vol. 49.



On the 17th of September, 1809, the Honorable Company's ship _Marquis of
Ely_ anchored under the Island of _Sam Chow_, in China, about twelve
English miles from Macao, where I was ordered to proceed in one of our
cutters to procure a pilot, and also to land the purser with the packet.
I left the ship at 5 P.M. with seven men under my command, well armed.
It blew a fresh gale from the N. E. We arrived at Macao at 9 P.M., where
I delivered the packet to Mr. Roberts, and sent the men with the boat's
sails to sleep under the Company's Factory, and left the boat in charge
of one of the Compradore's men; during the night the gale increased. At
half-past three in the morning I went to the beach, and found the boat
on shore half-filled with water, in consequence of the man having left
her. I called the people, and baled her out; found she was considerably
damaged, and very leaky. At half-past 5 A.M., the ebb-tide making, we
left Macao with vegetables for the ship.

One of the Compradore's men who spoke English went with us for the
purpose of piloting the ship to Lintin, as the Mandarines, in
consequence of a late disturbance at Macao, would not grant permission
for regular pilots. I had every reason to expect the ship in the roads,
as she was preparing to get under weigh when we left her; but on our
rounding Cabaretta-Point, we saw her five or six miles to leeward, under
weigh, standing on the starboard tack: it was then blowing fresh at N.
E. Bore up, and stood towards her; when about a cable's length to
windward of her, she tacked; we hauled our wind and stood after her. A
hard squall then coming on, with a strong tide and heavy swell against
us, we drifted fast to leeward, and the weather being hazy, we soon lost
sight of the ship. Struck our masts, and endeavored to pull; finding our
efforts useless, set a reefed foresail and mizzen, and stood towards a
country-ship at anchor under the land to leeward of Cabaretta-Point.
When within a quarter of a mile of her she weighed and made sail,
leaving us in a very critical situation, having no anchor, and drifting
bodily on the rocks to leeward. Struck the masts: after four or five
hours hard pulling, succeeded in clearing them.

At this time not a ship in sight; the weather clearing up, we saw a ship
to leeward, hull down, shipped our masts, and made sail towards her; she
proved to be the Honourable Company's ship _Glatton_. We made signals to
her with our handkerchiefs at the mast-head, she unfortunately took no
notice of them, but tacked and stood from us. Our situation was now
truly distressing, night closing fast, with a threatening appearance,
blowing fresh, with hard rain and a heavy sea; our boat very leaky,
without a compass, anchor or provisions, and drifting fast on a
lee-shore, surrounded with dangerous rocks, and inhabited by the most
barbarous pirates. I close-reefed my sails, and kept tack and tack 'till
daylight, when we were happy to find we had drifted very little to
leeward of our situation in the evening. The night was very dark, with
constant hard squalls and heavy rain.

Tuesday, the 19th, no ships in sight. About ten o'clock in the morning
it fell calm, with very hard rain and a heavy swell;--struck our masts
and pulled, not being able to see the land, steered by the swell. When
the weather broke up, found we had drifted several miles to leeward.
During the calm a fresh breeze springing up, made sail, and endeavored
to reach the weather-shore, and anchor with six muskets we had lashed
together for that purpose. Finding the boat made no way against the
swell and tide, bore up for a bay to leeward, and anchored about one
A.M. close under the land in five or six fathoms water, blowing fresh,
with hard rain.

Wednesday, the 20th, at daylight, supposing the flood-tide making,
weighed and stood over to the weather-land, but found we were drifting
fast to leeward. About ten o'clock perceived two Chinese boats steering
for us. Bore up, and stood towards them, and made signals to induce
them to come within hail; on nearing them, they bore up, and passed to
leeward of the islands. The Chinese we had in the boat advised me to
follow them, and he would take us to Macao by the leeward passage. I
expressed my fears of being taken by the Ladrones. Our ammunition being
wet, and the muskets rendered useless, we had nothing to defend
ourselves with but cutlasses, and in too distressed a situation to make
much resistance with them, having been constantly wet, and eaten nothing
but a few green oranges for three days.

As our present situation was a hopeless one, and the man assured me
there was no fear of encountering any Ladrones, I complied with his
request, and stood in to leeward of the islands, where we found the
water much smoother, and apparently a direct passage to Macao. We
continued pulling and sailing all day. At six o'clock in the evening I
discovered three large boats at anchor in a bay to leeward. On seeing us
they weighed and made sail towards us. The Chinese said they were
Ladrones, and that if they captured us they would most certainly put us
all to death! Finding they gained fast on us, struck the masts, and
pulled head to wind for five or six hours. The tide turning against us,
anchored close under the land to avoid being seen. Soon after we saw the
boats pass us to leeward.

Thursday, the 21st, at daylight, the flood making, weighed and pulled
along shore in great spirits, expecting to be at Macao in two or three
hours, as by the Chinese account it was not above six or seven miles
distant. After pulling a mile or two perceived several people on shore,
standing close to the beach; they were armed with pikes and lances. I
ordered the interpreter to hail them, and ask the most direct passage to
Macao. They said if we came on shore they would inform us; not liking
their hostile appearance, I did not think proper to comply with the
request. Saw a large fleet of boats at anchor close under the opposite
shore. Our interpreter said they were fishing-boats, and that by going
there we should not only get provisions, but a pilot also to take us to

I bore up, and on nearing them perceived there were some large vessels,
very full of men, and mounted with several guns. I hesitated to approach
nearer; but the Chinese assuring me they were Mandarine junks[18] and
salt-boats, we stood close to one of them, and asked the way to Macao.
They gave no answer, but made some signs to us to go in shore. We passed
on, and a large rowboat pulled after us; she soon came alongside, when
about twenty savage-looking villains, who were stowed at the bottom of
the boat, leaped on board us. They were armed with a short sword in each
hand, one of which they laid on our necks, and the other pointed to our
breasts, keeping their eyes fixed on their officer, waiting his signal
to cut or desist. Seeing we were incapable of making any resistance, he
sheathed his sword, and the others immediately followed his example.
They then dragged us into their boat, and carried us on board one of
their junks, with the most savage demonstrations of joy, and as we
supposed, to torture and put us to a cruel death. When on board the
junk, they searched all our pockets, took the handkerchiefs from our
necks, and brought heavy chains to chain us to the guns.

At this time a boat came, and took me, with one of my men and the
interpreter, on board the chief's vessel. I was then taken before the
chief. He was seated on deck, in a large chair, dressed in purple silk,
with a black turban on. He appeared to be about thirty years of age, a
stout commanding-looking man. He took me by the coat, and drew me close
to him; then questioned the interpreter very strictly, asking who we
were, and what was our business in that part of the country. I told him
to say we were Englishmen in distress, having been four days at sea
without provisions. This he would not credit, but said we were bad men,
and that he would put us all to death; and then ordered some men to put
the interpreter to the torture until he confessed the truth.

Upon this occasion, a Ladrone, who had been once to England and spoke a
few words of English, came to the chief, and told him we were really
Englishmen, and that we had plenty of money, adding, that the buttons on
my coat were gold. The chief then ordered us some coarse brown rice, of
which we made a tolerable meal, having eat nothing for nearly four days,
except a few green oranges. During our repast, a number of Ladrones
crowded round us, examining our clothes and hair, and giving us every
possible annoyance. Several of them brought swords, and laid them on our
necks, making signs that they would soon take us on shore, and cut us in
pieces, which I am sorry to say was the fate of some hundreds during my

I was now summoned before the chief, who had been conversing with the
interpreter; he said I must write to my captain, and tell him, if he did
not send a hundred thousand dollars for our ransom, in ten days he would
put us all to death. In vain did I assure him it was useless writing
unless he would agree to take a much smaller sum; saying we were all
poor men, and the most we could possibly raise would not exceed two
thousand dollars. Finding that he was much exasperated at my
expostulations, I embraced the offer of writing to inform my commander
of our unfortunate situation, though there appeared not the least
probability of relieving us. They said the letter should be conveyed to
Macao in a fishing-boat, which would bring an answer in the morning. A
small boat accordingly came alongside, and took the letter.

About six o'clock in the evening they gave us some rice and a little
salt fish, which we ate, and they made signs for us to lay down on the
deck to sleep; but such numbers of Ladrones were constantly coming from
different vessels to see us, and examine our clothes and hair, they
would not allow us a moment's quiet. They were particularly anxious for
the buttons of my coat, which were new, and as they supposed gold. I
took it off, and laid it on the deck to avoid being disturbed by them;
it was taken away in the night, and I saw it on the next day stripped of
its buttons.

About nine o'clock a boat came and hailed the chief's vessel; he
immediately hoisted his mainsail, and the fleet weighed apparently in
great confusion. They worked to windward all night and part of the next
day, and anchored about one o'clock in a bay under the island of Lantow,
where the head admiral of Ladrones was lying at anchor, with about two
hundred vessels and a Portuguese brig they had captured a few days
before, and murdered the captain and part of the crew.

Saturday, the 23d, early in the morning, a fishing-boat came to the
fleet to inquire if they had captured an European boat; being answered
in the affirmative, they came to the vessel I was in. One of them spoke
a few words of English, and told me he had a Ladrone-pass, and was sent
by Captain Kay in search of us; I was rather surprised to find he had no
letter. He appeared to be well acquainted with the chief, and remained
in his cabin smoking opium, and playing cards all the day.[19]

In the evening I was summoned with the interpreter before the chief. He
questioned us in a much milder tone, saying, he now believed we were
Englishmen, a people he wished to be friendly with; and that if our
captain would lend him seventy thousand dollars 'till he returned from
his cruise up the river, he would repay him, and send us all to Macao. I
assured him it was useless writing on those terms, and unless our ransom
was speedily settled, the English fleet would sail, and render our
enlargement altogether ineffectual. He remained determined, and said if
it were not sent, he would keep us, and make us fight, or put us to
death. I accordingly wrote, and gave my letter to the man belonging to
the boat before mentioned. He said he could not return with an answer in
less than five days.

The chief now gave me the letter I wrote when first taken. I have never
been able to ascertain his reasons for detaining it, but suppose he dare
not negotiate for our ransom without orders from the head admiral, who I
understood was sorry at our being captured. He said the English ships
would join the mandarines and attack them.[20] He told the chief that
captured us, to dispose of us as he pleased.

Monday, the 24th, it blew a strong gale, with constant hard rain; we
suffered much from the cold and wet, being obliged to remain on deck
with no covering but an old mat, which was frequently taken from us in
the night by the Ladrones who were on watch. During the night the
Portuguese who were left in the brig murdered the Ladrones that were on
board of her, cut the cables, and fortunately escaped through the
darkness of the night. I have since been informed they ran her on shore
near Macao.

Tuesday, the 25th, at daylight in the morning, the fleet, amounting to
about five hundred sail of different sizes, weighed, to proceed on their
intended cruise up the rivers, to levy contributions on the towns and
villages. It is impossible to describe what were my feelings at this
critical time, having received no answers to my letters, and the fleet
under-way to sail,--hundreds of miles up a country never visited by
Europeans, there to remain probably for many months, which would render
all opportunities of negotiating for our enlargement totally
ineffectual; as the only method of communication is by boats, that have
a pass from the Ladrones, and they dare not venture above twenty miles
from Macao, being obliged to come and go in the night, to avoid the
Mandarines; and if these boats should be detected in having any
intercourse with the Ladrones, they are immediately put to death, and
all their relations, though they had not joined in the crime,[21] share
in the punishment, in order that not a single person of their families
should be left to imitate their crimes or revenge their death. This
severity renders communication both dangerous and expensive; no boat
would venture out for less than a hundred Spanish dollars.

Wednesday, the 26th, at daylight, we passed in sight of our ships at
anchor under the island of Chun Po. The chief then called me, pointed to
the ships, and told the interpreter to tell us to look at them, for we
should never see them again. About noon we entered a river to the
westward of the Bogue, three or four miles from the entrance. We passed
a large town situated on the side of a beautiful hill, which is
tributary to the Ladrones; the inhabitants saluted them with songs as
they passed.

The fleet now divided into two squadrons (the red and the black)[22] and
sailed up different branches of the river. At midnight the division we
were in anchored close to an immense hill, on the top of which a number
of fires were burning, which at daylight I perceived proceeded from a
Chinese camp. At the back of the hill was a most beautiful town,
surrounded by water, and embellished with groves of orange trees. The
chop-house (custom-house)[23] and a few cottages were immediately
plundered, and burned down; most of the inhabitants, however, escaped to
the camp.

The Ladrones now prepared to attack the town with a formidable force,
collected in rowboats from the different vessels. They sent a messenger
to the town, demanding a tribute of ten thousand dollars annually,
saying, if these terms were not complied with, they would land, destroy
the town, and murder all the inhabitants; which they would certainly
have done, had the town laid in a more advantageous situation for their
purpose; but being placed out of the reach of their shot, they allowed
them to come to terms. The inhabitants agreed to pay six thousand
dollars, which they were to collect by the time of our return down the
river. This finesse had the desired effect, for during our absence they
mounted a few guns on a hill, which commanded the passage, and gave us
in lieu of the dollars a warm salute on our return.

October the 1st, the fleet weighed in the night, dropped by the tide up
the river, and anchored very quietly before a town surrounded by a thick
wood. Early in the morning the Ladrones assembled in rowboats and
landed; then gave a shout, and rushed into the town, sword in hand. The
inhabitants fled to the adjacent hills, in numbers apparently superior
to the Ladrones. We may easily imagine to ourselves the horror with
which these miserable people must be seized, on being obliged to leave
their homes, and everything dear to them. It was a most melancholy sight
to see women in tears, clasping their infants in their arms, and
imploring mercy for them from those brutal robbers! The old and the
sick, who were unable to fly, or to make resistance, were either made
prisoners or most inhumanly butchered! The boats continued passing and
repassing from the junks to the shore, in quick succession, laden with
booty, and the men besmeared with blood! Two hundred and fifty women,
and several children, were made prisoners, and sent on board different
vessels. They were unable to escape with the men, owing to that
abominable practice of cramping their feet: several of them were not
able to move without assistance, in fact, they might all be said to
totter, rather than walk. Twenty of these poor women were sent on board
the vessel I was in; they were hauled on board by the hair, and treated
in a most savage manner.

When the chief came on board, he questioned them respecting the
circumstances of their friends, and demanded ransoms accordingly, from
six thousand to six hundred dollars each. He ordered them a berth on
deck, at the after part of the vessel, where they had nothing to shelter
them from the weather, which at this time was very variable,--the days
excessively hot, and the nights cold, with heavy rains. The town being
plundered of every thing valuable, it was set on fire, and reduced to
ashes by the morning. The fleet remained here three days, negotiating
for the ransom of the prisoners, and plundering the fish-tanks and
gardens. During all this time, the Chinese never ventured from the
hills, though there were frequently not more than a hundred Ladrones on
shore at a time, and I am sure the people on the hills exceeded ten
times that number.[24]

October 5th, the fleet proceeded up another branch of the river,
stopping at several small villages to receive tribute, which was
generally paid in dollars, sugar and rice, with a few large pigs roasted
whole, as presents for their joss (the idol they worship).[25] Every
person on being ransomed, is obliged to present him with a pig, or some
fowls, which the priest offers him with prayers; it remains before him a
few hours, and is then divided amongst the crew. Nothing particular
occurred 'till the 10th, except frequent skirmishes on shore between
small parties of Ladrones and Chinese soldiers. They frequently obliged
my men to go on shore, and fight with the muskets we had when taken,
which did great execution, the Chinese principally using bows and
arrows. They have match-locks, but use them very unskillfully.

On the 10th, we formed a junction with the black squadron, and proceeded
many miles up a wide and beautiful river, passing several ruins of
villages that had been destroyed by the black squadron. On the 17th, the
fleet anchored abreast four mud batteries, which defended a town, so
entirely surrounded with wood that it was impossible to form any idea of
its size. The weather was very hazy, with hard squalls of rain. The
Ladrones remained perfectly quiet for two days. On the third day the
forts commenced a brisk fire for several hours: the Ladrones did not
return a single shot, but weighed in the night and dropped down the

The reasons they gave for not attacking the town, or returning the fire,
were that Joss had not promised them success. They are very
superstitious, and consult their idol on all occasions. If his omens are
good, they will undertake the most daring enterprizes.

The fleet now anchored opposite the ruins of the town where the women
had been made prisoners. Here we remained five or six days, during
which time about a hundred of the women were ransomed; the remainder
were offered for sale amongst the Ladrones, for forty dollars each. The
woman is considered the lawful wife of the purchaser, who would be put
to death if he discarded her. Several of them leaped overboard and
drowned themselves, rather than submit to such infamous degradation.

The fleet then weighed and made sail down the river, to receive the
ransom from the town before mentioned. As we passed the hill, they fired
several shots at us, but without effect. The Ladrones were much
exasperated, and determined to revenge themselves; they dropped out of
reach of their shot, and anchored. Every junk sent about a hundred men
each on shore, to cut paddy, and destroy their orange-groves, which was
most effectually performed for several miles down the river. During our
stay here, they received information of nine boats lying up a creek,
laden with paddy; boats were immediately dispatched after them.

Next morning these boats were brought to the fleet; ten or twelve men
were taken in them. As these had made no resistance, the chief said he
would allow them to become Ladrones, if they agreed to take the usual
oaths before Joss. Three or four of them refused to comply, for which
they were punished in the following cruel manner: their hands were tied
behind their back, a rope from the mast-head rove through their arms,
and hoisted three or four feet from the deck, and five or six men
flogged them with three rattans twisted together 'till they were
apparently dead; then hoisted them up to the mast-head, and left them
hanging nearly an hour, then lowered them down, and repeated the
punishment, 'till they died or complied with the oath.

October the 20th, in the night, an express-boat came with the
information that a large mandarine fleet was proceeding up the river to
attack us. The chief immediately weighed, with fifty of the largest
vessels, and sailed down the river to meet them. About one in the
morning they commenced a heavy fire till daylight, when an express was
sent for the remainder of the fleet to join them: about an hour after a
counter-order to anchor came, the mandarine fleet having run. Two or
three hours afterwards the chief returned with three captured vessels in
tow, having sunk two, and eighty-three sail made their escape. The
admiral of the mandarines blew his vessel up, by throwing a lighted
match into the magazine as the Ladrones were boarding her; she ran on
shore, and they succeeded in getting twenty of her guns.

In this action very few prisoners were taken: the men belonging to the
captured vessels drowned themselves, as they were sure of suffering a
lingering and cruel death if taken after making resistance. The admiral
left the fleet in charge of his brother, the second in command, and
proceeded with his own vessel towards Lantow. The fleet remained in
this river, cutting paddy, and getting the necessary supplies.

On the 28th of October, I received a letter from Captain Kay, brought by
a fisherman, who had told him he would get us all back for three
thousand dollars. He advised me to offer three thousand, and if not
accepted, extend it to four; but not farther, as it was bad policy to
offer much at first: at the same time assuring me we should be
liberated, let the ransom be what it would. I offered the chief the
three thousand, which he disdainfully refused, saying he was not to be
played with; and unless they sent ten thousand dollars, and two large
guns, with several casks of gunpowder, he would soon put us all to
death. I wrote to Captain Kay, and informed him of the chief's
determination, requesting if an opportunity offered, to send us a shift
of clothes, for which it may be easily imagined we were much distressed,
having been seven weeks without a shift; although constantly exposed to
the weather, and of course frequently wet.

On the first of November, the fleet sailed up a narrow river, and
anchored at night within two miles of a town called Little Whampoa. In
front of it was a small fort, and several mandarine vessels lying in the
harbor. The chief sent the interpreter to me, saying I must order my men
to make cartridges and clean their muskets, ready to go on shore in the
morning. I assured the interpreter I should give the men no such
orders, that they must please themselves. Soon after the chief came on
board, threatening to put us all to a cruel death if we refused to obey
his orders. For my own part I remained determined, and advised the men
not to comply, as I thought by making ourselves useful we should be
accounted too valuable.

A few hours afterwards he sent to me again, saying, that if myself and
the quartermaster would assist them at the great guns, that if also the
rest of the men went on shore and succeeded in taking the place, he
would then take the money offered for our ransom, and give them twenty
dollars for every Chinaman's head they cut off. To these proposals we
cheerfully acceded, in hopes of facilitating our deliverance.

Early in the morning the forces intended for landing were assembled in
rowboats, amounting in the whole to three or four thousand men. The
largest vessels weighed, and hauled in shore, to cover the landing of
the forces, and attack the fort and mandarine vessels. About nine
o'clock the action commenced, and continued with great spirit for nearly
an hour, when the walls of the fort gave way, and the men retreated in
the greatest confusion.

The mandarine vessels still continued firing, having blocked up the
entrance of the harbor to prevent the Ladrone boats entering. At this
the Ladrones were much exasperated, and about three hundred of them
swam on shore, with a short sword lashed close under each arm; they then
ran along the banks of the river 'till they came abreast of the vessels,
and then swam off again and boarded them. The Chinese thus attacked,
leaped overboard, and endeavored to reach the opposite shore; the
Ladrones followed, and cut the greater number of them to pieces in the
water. They next towed the vessels out of the harbor, and attacked the
town with increased fury. The inhabitants fought about a quarter of an
hour, and then retreated to an adjacent hill, from which they were soon
driven with great slaughter.

After this the Ladrones returned, and plundered the town, every boat
leaving it when laden. The Chinese on the hills perceiving most of the
boats were off, rallied, and retook the town, after killing near two
hundred Ladrones. One of my men was unfortunately lost in this dreadful
massacre! The Ladrones landed a second time, drove the Chinese out of
the town, then reduced it to ashes, and put all their prisoners to
death, without regarding either age or sex!

I must not omit to mention a most horrid (though ludicrous) circumstance
which happened at this place. The Ladrones were paid by their chief ten
dollars for every Chinaman's head they produced. One of my men turning
the corner of a street was met by a Ladrone running furiously after a
Chinese; he had a drawn sword in his hand, and two Chinaman's heads
which he had cut off, tied by their tails, and slung round his neck. I
was witness myself to some of them producing five or six to obtain

On the 4th of November an order arrived from the admiral for the fleet
to proceed immediately to Lantow, where he was lying with only two
vessels, and three Portuguese ships and a brig constantly annoying him;
several sail of mandarine vessels were daily expected. The fleet weighed
and proceeded towards Lantow. On passing the island of Lintin, three
ships and a brig gave chase to us. The Ladrones prepared to board; but
night closing we lost sight of them: I am convinced they altered their
course and stood from us. These vessels were in the pay of the Chinese
government, and style themselves the Invincible Squadron, cruising in
the river Tigris to annihilate the Ladrones!

On the fifth, in the morning, the red squadron anchored in a bay under
Lantow; the black squadron stood to the eastward. In this bay they
hauled several of their vessels on shore to bream their bottoms and
repair them.

In the afternoon of the 8th of November, four ships, a brig and a
schooner came off the mouth of the bay. At first the pirates were much
alarmed, supposing them to be English vessels come to rescue us. Some of
them threatened to hang us to the mast-head for them to fire at; and
with much difficulty we persuaded them that they were Portuguese. The
Ladrones had only seven junks in a fit state for action; these they
hauled outside, and moored them head and stern across the bay; and
manned all the boats belonging to the repairing vessels ready for

The Portuguese observing these maneuvers hove to, and communicated by
boats. Soon afterwards they made sail, each ship firing her broadside as
she passed, but without effect, the shot falling far short. The Ladrones
did not return a single shot, but waved their colors, and threw up
rockets, to induce them to come further in, which they might easily have
done, the outside junks lying in four fathoms water which I sounded
myself: though the Portuguese in their letters to Macao lamented there
was not sufficient water for them to engage closer, but that they would
certainly prevent their escaping before the mandarine fleet arrived!

On the 20th of November, early in the morning, I perceived an immense
fleet of mandarine vessels standing for the bay. On nearing us, they
formed a line, and stood close in; each vessel as she discharged her
guns tacked to join the rear and reload. They kept up a constant fire
for about two hours, when one of their largest vessels was blown up by a
firebrand thrown from a Ladrone junk; after which they kept at a more
respectful distance, but continued firing without intermission 'till the
21st at night, when it fell calm.

The Ladrones towed out seven large vessels, with about two hundred
rowboats to board them; but a breeze springing up, they made sail and
escaped. The Ladrones returned into the bay, and anchored. The
Portuguese and mandarines followed, and continued a heavy cannonading
during that night and the next day. The vessel I was in had her foremast
shot away, which they supplied very expeditiously by taking a mainmast
from a smaller vessel.

On the 23d, in the evening, it again fell calm; the Ladrones towed out
fifteen junks in two divisions, with the intention of surrounding them,
which was nearly effected, having come up with and boarded one, when a
breeze suddenly sprung up. The captured vessel mounted twenty-two guns.
Most of her crew leaped overboard; sixty or seventy were taken
immediately, cut to pieces and thrown into the river. Early in the
morning the Ladrones returned into the bay, and anchored in the same
situation as before. The Portuguese and mandarines followed, keeping up
a constant fire. The Ladrones never returned a single shot, but always
kept in readiness to board, and the Portuguese were careful never to
allow them an opportunity.

On the 28th, at night, they sent in eight fire-vessels, which if
properly constructed must have done great execution, having every
advantage they could wish for to effect their purpose; a strong breeze
and tide directly into the bay, and the vessels lying so close together
that it was impossible to miss them. On their first appearance the
Ladrones gave a general shout, supposing them to be mandarine vessels on
fire, but were very soon convinced of their mistake. They came very
regularly into the center of the fleet, two and two, burning furiously;
one of them came alongside of the vessel I was in, but they succeeded in
booming her off. She appeared to be a vessel of about thirty tons; her
hold was filled with straw and wood, and there were a few small boxes of
combustibles on her deck, which exploded alongside of us without doing
any damage. The Ladrones, however, towed them all on shore, extinguished
the fire, and broke them up for fire-wood. The Portuguese claim the
credit of constructing these destructive machines, and actually sent a
dispatch to the Governor of Macao, saying they had destroyed at least
one-third of the Ladrones' fleet, and hoped soon to effect their purpose
by totally annihilating them!

On the 29th of November, the Ladrones being all ready for sea, they
weighed and stood boldly out, bidding defiance to the invincible
squadron and imperial fleet, consisting of ninety-three war-junks, six
Portuguese ships, a brig, and a schooner. Immediately the Ladrones
weighed, they made all sail. The Ladrones chased them two or three
hours, keeping up a constant fire; finding they did not come up with
them, they hauled their wind and stood to the eastward.

Thus terminated the boasted blockade, which lasted nine days, during
which time the Ladrones completed all their repairs. In this action not
a single Ladrone vessel was destroyed, and their loss about thirty or
forty men. An American was also killed, one of three that remained out
of eight taken in a schooner. I had two very narrow escapes: the first,
a twelve-pounder shot fell within three or four feet of me; another took
a piece out of a small brass-swivel on which I was standing. The chief's
wife frequently sprinkled me with garlic-water, which they consider an
effectual charm against shot. The fleet continued under sail all night,
steering towards the eastward. In the morning they anchored in a large
bay surrounded by lofty and barren mountains.

On the 2nd of December I received a letter from Lieutenant Maughn,
commander of the Honorable Company's cruiser _Antelope_, saying that he
had the ransom on board, and had been three days cruising after us, and
wished me to settle with the chief on the securest method of delivering
it. The chief agreed to send us in a small gunboat, 'till we came within
sight of the _Antelope_; then the Compradore's boat was to bring the
ransom and receive us.

I was so agitated at receiving this joyful news, that it was with
considerable difficulty I could scrawl about two or three lines to
inform Lieutenant Maughn of the arrangements I had made. We were all so
deeply affected by the gratifying tidings, that we seldom closed our
eyes, but continued watching day and night for the boat. On the 6th she
returned with Lieutenant Maughn's answer, saying he would respect any
single boat; but would not allow the fleet to approach him. The chief
then, according to his first proposal, ordered a gunboat to take us, and
with no small degree of pleasure we left the Ladrone fleet about four
o'clock in the morning.

At one P.M. saw the _Antelope_ under all sail, standing toward us. The
Ladrone boat immediately anchored, and dispatched the Compradore's boat
for the ransom, saying, that if she approached nearer, they would return
to the fleet; and they were just weighing when she shortened sail, and
anchored about two miles from us. The boat did not reach her 'till late
in the afternoon, owing to the tide's being strong against her. She
received the ransom and left the _Antelope_ just before dark. A
mandarine boat that had been lying concealed under the land, and
watching their maneuvers, gave chase to her, and was within a few
fathoms of taking her, when she saw a light, which the Ladrones
answered, and the Mandarine hauled off.

Our situation was now a most critical one; the ransom was in the hands
of the Ladrones, and the Compradore dare not return with us for fear of
a second attack from the mandarine boat. The Ladrones would not remain
'till morning, so we were obliged to return with them to the fleet.

In the morning the chief inspected the ransom, which consisted of the
following articles: two bales of superfine scarlet cloth; two chests of
opium; two casks of gunpowder; and a telescope; the rest in dollars. He
objected to the telescope not being new; and said he should detain one
of us 'till another was sent, or a hundred dollars in lieu of it. The
Compradore however agreed with him for the hundred dollars.

Every thing being at length settled, the chief ordered two gunboats to
convey us near the _Antelope_; we saw her just before dusk, when the
Ladrone boats left us. We had the inexpressible pleasure of arriving on
board the _Antelope_ at 7 P.M., where we were most cordially received,
and heartily congratulated on our safe and happy deliverance from a
miserable captivity, which we had endured for eleven weeks and three

_A few Remarks on the Origin, Progress, Manners, and Customs of the

The Ladrones are a disaffected race of Chinese, that revolted against
the oppressions of the mandarins. They first commenced their
depredations on the Western coast (Cochin-China), by attacking small
trading vessels in rowboats, carrying from thirty to forty men each.
They continued this system of piracy several years; at length their
successes, and the oppressive state of the Chinese, had the effect of
rapidly increasing their numbers. Hundreds of fishermen and others
flocked to their standard; and as their number increased they
consequently became more desperate. They blockaded all the principal
rivers, and captured several large junks, mounting from ten to fifteen
guns each.

With these junks they formed a very formidable fleet, and no small
vessels could trade on the coast with safety. They plundered several
small villages, and exercised such wanton barbarity as struck horror
into the breasts of the Chinese. To check these enormities the
government equipped a fleet of forty imperial war-junks, mounting from
eighteen to twenty guns each. On the very first rencontre, twenty-eight
of the imperial junks struck to the pirates; the rest saved themselves
by a precipitate retreat.

These junks, fully equipped for war, were a great acquisition to them.
Their numbers augmented so rapidly, that at the period of my captivity
they were supposed to amount to near seventy thousand men, eight hundred
large vessels, and nearly a thousand small ones, including rowboats.
They were divided into five squadrons, distinguished by different
colored flags: each squadron commanded by an admiral, or chief; but all
under the orders of A-juo-Chay (Ching yĭh saou), their premier chief, a
most daring and enterprising man, who went so far as to declare his
intention of displacing the present Tartar family from the throne of
China, and to restore the ancient Chinese dynasty.

This extraordinary character would have certainly shaken the foundation
of the government, had he not been thwarted by the jealousy of the
second in command, who declared his independence, and soon after
surrendered to the mandarines with five hundred vessels, on promise of a
pardon. Most of the inferior chiefs followed his example. A-juo-Chay
(Ching yĭh saou) held out a few months longer, and at length surrendered
with sixteen thousand men, on condition of a general pardon, and himself
to be made a mandarine of distinction.

The Ladrones have no settled residence on shore, but live constantly in
their vessels. The after-part is appropriated to the captain and his
wives; he generally has five or six. With respect to conjugal rights
they are religiously strict; no person is allowed to have a woman on
board, unless married to her according to their laws. Every man is
allowed a small berth, about four feet square, where he stows with his
wife and family.

From the number of souls crowded in so small a space, it must naturally
be supposed they are horridly dirty, which is evidently the case, and
their vessels swarm with all kinds of vermin. Rats in particular, which
they encourage to breed, and eat them as great delicacies; in fact,
there are very few creatures they will not eat. During our captivity we
lived three weeks on caterpillars boiled with rice. They are much
addicted to gambling, and spend all their leisure hours at cards and
smoking opium.


[17] From _The Ladrone Pirates_.

[18] _Junk_ is the Canton pronunciation of _chuen_, ship.

[19] The pirates had many other intimate acquaintances on shore, like
Doctor _Chow_ of Macao.

[20] The pirates were always afraid of this. We find the following
statement concerning the Chinese pirates, taken from the records in the
East-India House, and printed in Appendix C. to the _Report relative to
the trade with the East-Indies and China_, in the sessions 1820 and 1821
(reprinted 1829), p. 387.

"In the year 1808, 1809, and 1810, the Canton river was so infested with
pirates, who were also in such force, that the Chinese government made
an attempt to subdue them, but failed. The pirates totally destroyed the
Chinese force; ravaged the river in every direction; threatened to
attack the city of Canton, and destroyed many towns and villages on the
banks of the river; and killed or carried off, to serve as Ladrones,
several thousands of inhabitants.

"These events created an alarm extremely prejudicial to the commerce of
Canton, and compelled the Company's supercargoes to fit out a small
country ship to cruize for a short time against the pirates."

[21] That the whole family must suffer for the crime of one individual,
seems to be the most cruel and foolish law of the whole Chinese criminal

[22] We know by the "History of the Chinese Pirates," that these "wasps
of the ocean," to speak with _Yuen tsze yung lun_, were originally
divided into six squadrons.

[23] In the barbarous Chinese-English spoken at Canton, all things are
indiscriminately called _chop_. You hear of a chop-house, chop-boat,
tea-chop, Chaou-chaou-chop, etc. To give a bill or agreement on making a
bargain is in Chinese called _chă tan_; chă in the pronunciation of
Canton is _chop_, which is then applied to any writing whatever.

[24] The following is the _Character of the Chinese of Canton, as given
in ancient Chinese books_: "People of Canton are silly, light, weak in
body, and weak in mind, without any ability to fight on land."

[25] _Joss_ is a Chinese corruption of the Portuguese _Dios_, _God_. The
Joss, or idol, of which Mr. Glasspoole speaks is the _San po shin_,
which is spoken of in the work of Yuen tsze.



The event which is here related is the capture by the Pirates of the
English sloop _Eliza Ann_, bound from St. Johns to Antigua, and the
massacre of the whole crew (ten in number) with the exception of one
female passenger, whose life, by the interposition of Divine Providence,
was miraculously preserved. The particulars are copied from a letter
written by the unfortunate Miss Parker (the female passenger above
alluded to) to her brother in New York.

                                             St. Johns, April 3, 1825.

    Dear Brother,

    You have undoubtedly heard of my adverse fortune, and the shocking
    incident that has attended me since I had the pleasure of seeing you
    in November last. Anticipating your impatience to be made acquainted
    with a more circumstantial detail of my extraordinary adventures, I
    shall not on account of the interest which I know you must feel in
    my welfare, hesitate to oblige you; yet, I must declare to you that
    it is that consideration alone that prompts me to do it, as even
    the recollection of the scenes which I have witnessed you must be
    sensible must ever be attended with pain: and that I cannot reflect
    on what I have endured, and the scenes of horror that I have been
    witness to, without the severest shock. I shall now, brother,
    proceed to furnish you with a detail of my misfortunes as they
    occurred, without exaggeration, and if it should be your wish to
    communicate them to the public, through the medium of a public
    print, or in any other way, you are at liberty to do it, and I shall
    consider myself amply rewarded if in a single instance it proves
    beneficial in removing a doubt in the minds of such, who, although
    they dare not deny the existence of a Supreme Being, yet disbelieve
    that he ever in any way revealed Himself to his creatures. Let
    Philosophy (as it is termed) smile with pity or contempt on my
    weakness or credulity, yet the superintendence of a particular
    PROVIDENCE, interfering by second causes, is so apparent to me, and
    was so conspicuously displayed in the course of my afflictions, that
    I shall not banish it from my mind from the beginning to the end of
    my narration.

    On the 28th February I took passage on board the sloop _Eliza Ann_,
    captain Charles Smith, for Antigua, in compliance with the earnest
    request of brother Thomas and family, who had advised me that they
    had concluded to make that island the place of their permanent
    residence, having a few months previous purchased there a valuable
    Plantation. We set sail with a favorable wind, and with every
    appearance of a short and pleasant voyage, and met with no incident
    to destroy or diminish those flattering prospects, until about noon
    of the 14th day from that of our departure, when a small schooner
    was discovered standing toward us, with her deck full of men, and as
    she approached us from her suspicious appearance there was not a
    doubt in the minds of any on board, but that she was a Pirate. When
    within a few yards of us, they gave a shout and our decks were
    instantly crowded with the motley crew of desperadoes, armed with
    weapons of almost every description that can be mentioned, and with
    which they commenced their barbarous work by unmercifully beating
    and maiming all on board except myself. As a retreat was impossible,
    and finding myself surrounded by wretches, whose yells, oaths, and
    imprecations, made them more resemble demons than human-beings, I
    fell on my knees, and from one who appeared to have the command, I
    begged for mercy, and for permission to retire to the cabin, that I
    might not be either the subject or a witness of the murderous scene
    that I had but little doubt was about to ensue. The privilege was
    not refused me. The monster in human shape (for such was then his
    appearance) conducted me by the hand himself to the companionway,
    and pointing to the cabin said to me, "Descend and remain there and
    you will be perfectly safe, for although Pirates, we are not
    barbarians to destroy the lives of innocent females!" Saying this he
    closed the companion doors and left me alone, to reflect on my
    helpless and deplorable situation. It is indeed impossible for me,
    brother, to paint to your imagination what were my feelings at this
    moment; being the only female on board, my terror it cannot be
    expected was much less than that of the poor devoted mariners! I
    resigned my life to the Being who had lent it, and did not fail to
    improve the opportunity (which I thought it not improbable might be
    my last), to call on Him for that protection, which my situation so
    much at this moment required--and never shall I be persuaded but
    that my prayers were heard.

    While I remained in this situation, by the sound of the clashing of
    swords, attended by shrieks and dismal groans, I could easily
    imagine what was going on on deck, and anticipated nothing better
    than the total destruction by the Pirates of the lives of all on
    board. After I had remained about one hour and a half alone in the
    cabin, and all had become silent on deck, the cabin doors were
    suddenly thrown open, and eight or ten of the Piratical crew
    entered, preceded by him whom I had suspected to be their leader,
    and from whom I had received assurances that I should not be
    injured. By him I was again addressed and requested to banish all
    fears of personal injury--that they sought only for the money which
    they suspected to be secreted somewhere on board the vessel, and
    which they were determined to have, although unable to extort a
    disclosure of the place of its concealment by threats and violence
    from the crew. The Pirates now commenced a thorough search
    throughout the cabin, the trunks and chests belonging to the captain
    and mate were broken open, and rifled of their most valuable
    contents--nor did my baggage and stores meet with any better fate,
    indeed this was a loss which at this moment caused me but little
    uneasiness. I felt that my life was in too much jeopardy to lament
    in any degree the loss of my worldly goods, surrounded as I was by a
    gang of the most ferocious looking villains that my eyes ever before
    beheld, of different complexions, and each with a drawn weapon in
    his hand, some of them fresh crimsoned with the blood (as I then
    supposed) of my murdered countrymen and whose horrid imprecations
    and oaths were enough to appal the bravest heart!

    Their search for money proving unsuccessful (with the exception of a
    few dollars which they found in the captain's chest) they returned
    to the deck, and setting sail on the sloop, steered her for the
    place of their rendezvous, a small island or key not far distant I
    imagine from the island of Cuba, where we arrived the day after our
    capture. The island was nearly barren, producing nothing but a few
    scattered mangroves and shrubs, interspersed with the miserable huts
    of these outlaws of civilization, among whom power formed the only
    law, and every species of iniquity was here carried to an extent of
    which no person who had not witnessed a similar degree of pollution,
    could form the most distant idea.

    As soon as the sloop was brought to an anchor, the hatches were
    thrown off and the unfortunate crew ordered on deck--a command which
    to my surprise was instantly obeyed, as I had harboured strong
    suspicions that they had been all murdered by the Pirates the day
    previous. The poor devoted victims, although alive, exhibited
    shocking proofs of the barbarity with which they had been treated by
    the unmerciful Pirates; their bodies exhibiting deep wounds and
    bruises too horrible for me to attempt to describe! Yet, however
    great had been their sufferings, their lives had been spared only to
    endure still greater torments. Being strongly pinioned they were
    forced into a small leaky boat and rowed on shore, which we having
    reached and a division of the plunder having been made by the
    Pirates, a scene of the most bloody and wanton barbarity ensued, the
    bare recollection of which still chills my blood. Having first
    divested them of every article of clothing but their shirts and
    trousers, with swords, knives, axes, etc., they fell on the
    unfortunate crew of the _Eliza Ann_ with the ferocity of cannibals.
    In vain did they beg for mercy and intreat of their murderers to
    spare their lives. In vain did poor Capt. S. attempt to touch their
    feelings and to move them to pity by representing to them the
    situation of his innocent family; that he had a wife and three small
    children at home wholly dependent on him for support. But, alas, the
    poor man intreated in vain. His appeal was to monsters possessing
    hearts callous to the feelings of humanity. Having received a heavy
    blow from one with an ax, he snapped the cords with which he was
    bound, and attempted an escape by flight, but was met by another of
    the ruffians, who plunged a knife or dirk to his heart. I stood near
    him at this moment and was covered with his blood. On receiving the
    fatal wound he gave a single groan and fell lifeless at my feet. Nor
    were the remainder of the crew more fortunate. The mate while on his
    knees imploring mercy, and promising to accede to anything that the
    vile assassins should require of him, on condition of his life being
    spared, received a blow from a club, which instantaneously put a
    period to his existence! Dear brother, need I attempt to paint to
    your imagination my feelings at this awful moment? Will it not
    suffice for me to say that I have described to you a scene of horror
    which I was compelled to witness! and with the expectation too of
    being the next victim selected by these ferocious monsters, whose
    thirst for blood appeared to be insatiable. There appeared now but
    one alternative left me, which was to offer up a prayer to Heaven
    for the protection of that Being who has power to stay the
    assassin's hand, and "who is able to do exceeding abundantly above
    what we can ask or think,"--sincerely in the language of scripture I
    can say, "I found trouble and sorrow, then called I upon the name of
    the Lord."

    I remained on my knees until the inhuman wretches had completed
    their murderous work, and left none but myself to lament the fate of
    those who but twenty-four hours before, were animated with the
    pleasing prospects of a quick passage, and a speedy return to the
    bosoms of their families! The wretch by whom I had been thrice
    promised protection, and who seemed to reign chief among them, again
    approached me with hands crimsoned with the blood of my murdered
    countrymen, and, with a savage smile, once more repeated his
    assurances that if I would but become reconciled to my situation, I
    had nothing to fear. There was indeed something truly terrific in
    the appearance of this man, or rather monster as he ought to be
    termed. He was of a swarthy complexion, near six feet in height, his
    eyes were large, black and penetrating; his expression was
    remarkable, and when silent, his looks were sufficient to declare
    his meaning. He wore around his waist a leathern belt, to which was
    suspended a sword, a brace of pistols and a dirk. He was as I was
    afterward informed the acknowledged chief among the Pirates, all
    appeared to stand in awe of him, and no one dared to disobey his
    commands. Such, dear brother, was the character who had promised me
    protection if I would become reconciled to my situation, in other
    words, subservient to his will. But, whatever might have been his
    intentions, although now in his power, without a visible friend to
    protect me, yet such full reliance did I place in the Supreme Being,
    who sees and knows all things, and who has promised his protection
    to the faithful in the hour of tribulation, that I felt myself in a
    less degree of danger than you or any one would probably imagine.

    As the day drew near to a close, I was conducted to a small
    temporary hut or cabin, where I was informed I might repose
    peaceably for the night, which I did without being disturbed by any
    one. This was another opportunity that I did not suffer to pass
    unimproved to pour out my soul to that Being, who had already given
    me reasons to believe that he did not say to the house of Jacob,
    seek you me in vain. Oh! that all sincere Christians would in every
    difficulty make Him their refuge; He is a hopeful stay.

    Early in the morning ensuing I was visited by the wretch alone whom
    I had viewed as chief of the murderous band. As he entered and cast
    his eyes upon me, his countenance relaxed from its usual ferocity to
    a feigned smile. Without speaking a word, he seated himself on a
    bench that the cabin contained, and drawing a table toward him,
    leaned upon it resting his cheek upon his hand. His eyes for some
    moments were fixed in stedfast gaze upon the ground, while his
    whole soul appeared to be devoured by the most diabolical thoughts.
    In a few moments he arose from his seat and hastily traversed the
    hut, apparently in extreme agitation, and not unfrequently fixing
    his eyes stedfastly upon me. But, that Providence, which while it
    protects the innocent, never suffers the wicked to go unpunished,
    interposed to save me and to deliver me from the hands of this
    remorseless villain, at the very instant when in all probability he
    intended to have destroyed my happiness forever.

    On a sudden the Pirate's bugle was sounded, which (as I was
    afterward informed) was the usual signal of a sail in sight. The
    ruffian monster thereupon without uttering a word left my apartment,
    and hastened with all speed to the place of their general rendezvous
    on such occasions. Flattered by the pleasing hope that Providence
    might be about to complete her work of mercy, and was conducting to
    the dreary island some friendly aid, to rescue me from my perilous
    situation, I mustered courage to ascend to the roof of my hovel, to
    discover if possible the cause of the alarm, and what might be the

    A short distance from the island I espied a sail which appeared to
    be lying to, and a few miles therefrom to the windward, another,
    which appeared to be bearing down under a press of sail for the
    former--in a moment the whole gang of Pirates, with the exception of
    four, were in their boats, and with their oars, etc., were making
    every possible exertion to reach the vessel nearest to their island;
    but by the time they had effected their object the more distant
    vessel (which proved to be a British sloop of war disguised) had
    approached them within fair gunshot, and probably knowing or
    suspecting their characters, opened their ports and commenced a
    destructive fire upon them. The Pirates were now, as nearly as I
    could judge with the naked eye, thrown into great confusion. Every
    possible exertion appeared to have been made by them to reach the
    island, and escape from their pursuers. Some jumped from their boats
    and attempted to gain the shore by swimming, but these were shot in
    the water, and the remainder who remained in their boats were very
    soon after overtaken and captured by two well manned boats
    dispatched from the sloop of war for that purpose; and, soon had I
    the satisfaction to see them all on board of the sloop, and in the
    power of those from whom I was fully satisfied that they would meet
    with the punishment due to their crimes.

    In describing the characters of this Piratical band of robbers, I
    have, dear brother, represented them as wretches of the most
    frightful and ferocious appearance--blood-thirsty monsters, who, in
    acts of barbarity ought only to be ranked with cannibals, who
    delight to feast on human flesh. Rendered desperate by their crimes
    and aware that they should find no mercy if so unfortunate as to
    fall into the hands of those to whom they show no mercy, to prevent
    a possibility of detection, and the just execution of the laws
    wantonly destroy the lives of every one, however innocent, who may
    be so unfortunate as to fall into their power--such, indeed,
    brother, is the true character of the band of Pirates (to the number
    of 30 or 40) by whom it was my misfortune to be captured, with the
    exception of a single one, who possessed a countenance less savage,
    and had the appearance of possessing a heart less callous to the
    feelings of humanity. Fortunately for me, as Divine Providence
    ordered, this person was one of the four who remained on the island,
    and on whom the command involved after the unexpected disaster which
    had deprived them forever of so great a portion of their comrades.
    From this man (after the capture of the murderous tyrant to whose
    commands he had been compelled to yield) I received the kindest
    treatment, and assurances that I should be restored to liberty and
    to my friends when an opportunity should present, or when it could
    be consistently done with the safety of their lives and liberty.

    This unhappy man (for such he declared himself to be) took an
    opportunity to indulge me with a partial relation of a few of the
    most extraordinary incidents of his life. He declared himself an
    Englishman by birth, but his real name and place of nativity was he
    said a secret he would never disclose! "although I must (said he)
    acknowledge myself by profession a Pirate, yet I can boast of
    respectable parentage, and the time once was when I myself sustained
    an unimpeachable character. Loss of property, through the treachery
    of those whom I considered friends, and in whom I had placed
    implicit confidence, was what first led me to and induced me to
    prefer this mode of life, to any of a less criminal nature--but,
    although I voluntarily became the associate of a band of wretches
    the most wicked and unprincipled perhaps on earth, yet I solemnly
    declare that I have not in any one instance personally deprived an
    innocent fellow creature of life. It was an act of barbarity at
    which my heart ever recoiled, and against which I always protested.
    With the property I always insisted we ought to be satisfied,
    without the destruction of the lives of such who were probably the
    fathers of families, and who had never offended us. But our gang was
    as you may suppose chiefly composed of and governed by men without
    principle, who appeared to delight in the shedding of blood, and
    whose only excuse has been that by acting with too much humanity in
    sparing life, they might thereby be exposed and themselves arraigned
    to answer for their crimes at an earthly tribunal. You can have no
    conception, madam (continued he), of the immense property that has
    been piratically captured, and of the number of lives that have been
    destroyed by this gang alone, and all without the loss of a single
    one on our part until yesterday, when by an unexpected circumstance
    our number has been reduced as you see from thirty-five to four!
    This island has not been our constant abiding place, but the bodies
    of such as have suffered here have always been conveyed a
    considerable distance from the shore, and thrown into the sea, where
    they were probably devoured by the sharks, as not a single one has
    ever been known afterward to drift on our shores. The property
    captured has not been long retained on this island, but shipped to a
    neighboring port, where we have an agent to dispose of it.

    "Of the great number of vessels captured by us (continued he) you
    are the first and only female that has been so unfortunate as to
    fall into our hands--and from the moment that I first saw you in our
    power (well knowing the brutal disposition of him whom we
    acknowledged our chief) I trembled for your safety, and viewed you
    as one deprived perhaps of the protection of a husband or brother,
    to become the victim of an unpitying wretch, whose pretended regard
    for your sex, and his repeated promises of protection, were
    hypocritical--a mere mask to lull your fears until he could effect
    your ruin. His hellish designs, agreeable to his own declarations,
    would have been carried into effect the very morning that he last
    visited you, had not an all-wise Providence interfered to save
    you--and so sensible am I that the unexpected circumstance of his
    capture, as well as that of the most of our gang, as desperate and
    unprincipled as himself, must have been by order of Him, from whose
    all-seeing eye no evil transaction can be hidden, that were I so
    disposed I should be deterred from doing you any injury through fear
    of meeting with a similar fate. Nor do my three remaining companions
    differ with me in opinion, and we all now most solemnly pledge
    ourselves, that so long as you remain in our power, you shall have
    nothing to complain of but the deprivation of the society of those
    whose company no doubt would be more agreeable to you; and as soon
    as it can be done consistently with our own safety, you shall be
    conveyed to a place from which you may obtain a passage to your
    friends. We have now become too few in number to hazard a repetition
    of our Piratical robberies, and not only this, but some of our
    captured companions to save their own lives, may prove treacherous
    enough to betray us; we are therefore making preparation to leave
    this island for a place of more safety, when you, madam, shall be
    conveyed and set at liberty as I have promised you."

    Dear brother, if you before doubted, is not the declaration of this
    man (which I have recorded as correctly as my recollection will
    admit of) sufficient to satisfy you that I owe my life and safety to
    the interposition of a Divine Providence! Oh, yes! surely it is--and
    I feel my insufficiency to thank and praise my Heavenly Protector as
    I ought, for his loving kindness in preserving me from the evil
    designs of wicked men, and for finally restoring me to liberty and
    to my friends!

        I cannot praise Him as I would,
        But He is merciful and good.

    From this moment every preparation was made by the Pirates to remove
    from the island. The small quantity of stores and goods which
    remained on hand (principally of the _Ann Eliza's_ cargo) was either
    buried on the island, or conveyed away in their boats in the night
    to some place unknown to me. The last thing done was to demolish
    their temporary dwellings, which was done so effectually as not to
    suffer a vestige of any thing to remain that could have led to a
    discovery that the island had ever been inhabited by such a set of
    beings. Eleven days from that of the capture of the _Ann Eliza_ (the
    Pirates having previously put on board several bags of dollars,
    which from the appearance of the former, I judged had been concealed
    in the earth) I was ordered to embark with them, but for what place
    I then knew not.

    About midnight I was landed on the rocky shores of an island which
    they informed me was Cuba, they furnished me with a few hard biscuit
    and a bottle of water, and directed me to proceed early in the
    morning in a northeast direction, to a house about a mile distant,
    where I was told I would be well treated and be furnished with a
    guide that would conduct me to Mantansies. With these directions
    they left me, and I never saw them more.

    At daybreak I set out in search of the house to which I had been
    directed by the Pirates, and which I had the good fortune to reach
    in safety in about an hour and a half. It was a humble tenement
    thatched with canes, without any flooring but the ground, and was
    tenanted by a man and his wife only, from whom I met with a welcome
    reception, and by whom I was treated with much hospitality. Although
    Spaniards, the man could speak and understand enough English to
    converse with me, and to learn by what means I had been brought so
    unexpectedly alone and unprotected to his house. Though it was the
    same to which I had been directed by the Pirates, yet he declared
    that so far from being in any way connected with them in their
    Piratical robberies, or enjoying any portion of their ill-gotten
    gain, no one could hold them in greater abhorrence. Whether he was
    sincere in these declarations or not, is well known to Him whom the
    lying tongue cannot deceive--it is but justice to them to say that
    by both the man and his wife I was treated with kindness, and it was
    with apparent emotions of pity that they listened to the tale of my
    sufferings. By their earnest request I remained with them until the
    morning ensuing, when I set out on foot for Mantansies, accompanied
    by the Spaniard who had kindly offered to conduct me to that place,
    which we reached about seven in the evening of the same day.

    At Mantansies I found many Americans and Europeans, by whom I was
    kindly treated, and who proffered their services to restore me to my
    friends, but as there were no vessels bound direct from thence to
    Antigua or St. Johns, I was persuaded to take passage for Jamaica,
    where it was the opinion of my friends I might obtain a passage more
    speedily for one or the other place, and where I safely arrived
    after a pleasant passage of four days.

    The most remarkable and unexpected circumstance of my extraordinary
    adventures, I have yet, dear brother, to relate. Soon after my
    arrival at Jamaica, the Authority having been made acquainted with
    the circumstance of my recent capture by the Pirates, and the
    extraordinary circumstance which produced my liberation, requested
    that I might be conducted to the Prison, to see if I could among a
    number of Pirates recently committed, recognize any of those by whom
    I had been captured. I was accordingly attended by two or three
    gentlemen, and two young ladies (who had politely offered to
    accompany me) to the prison apartment, on entering which, I not only
    instantly recognized among a number therein confined, the identical
    savage monster of whom I have had so much occasion to speak (the
    Pirates' Chief) but the most of those who had composed his gang, and
    who were captured with him!

    The sudden and unexpected introduction into their apartment of one,
    whom they had probably in their minds numbered with the victims of
    their wanton barbarity, produced unquestionably on their minds not
    an inconsiderable degree of horror as well as surprise! and,
    considering their condemnation now certain, they no doubt heaped
    curses upon their more fortunate companions, for sparing the life
    and setting at liberty one whom an all-wise Providence had conducted
    to and placed in a situation to bear witness to their unprecedented

    Government having through me obtained the necessary proof of the
    guilt of these merciless wretches, after a fair and impartial trial
    they were all condemned to suffer the punishment due to their
    crimes, and seven ordered for immediate execution, one of whom was
    the barbarian their chief. After the conviction and condemnation of
    this wretch, in hopes of eluding the course of justice, he made (as
    I was informed) an attempt upon his own life, by inflicting upon
    himself deep wounds with a knife which he had concealed for that
    purpose; but in this he was disappointed, the wounds not proving so
    fatal as he probably anticipated.

    I never saw this hardened villain or any of his equally criminal
    companions after their condemnation, although strongly urged to
    witness their execution, and am therefore indebted to one who daily
    visited them, for the information of their behavior from that period
    until that of their execution; which, as regarded the former, I was
    informed was extremely impenitent--that while proceeding to the
    place of ignominy and death, he talked with shocking unconcern,
    hinting that by being instrumental in the destruction of so many
    lives, he had become too hardened and familiar with death to feel
    much intimidated at its approach! He was attended to the place of
    execution by a Roman Catholic Priest, who it was said labored to
    convince him of the atrociousness of his crimes, but he seemed deaf
    to all admonition or exhortation, and appeared insensible to the
    hope of happiness or fear of torment in a future state--and so far
    from exhibiting a single symptom of penitence, declared that he knew
    of but one thing for which he had cause to reproach himself, which
    was in sparing my life and not ordering me to be butchered as the
    others had been! How awful was the end of the life of this miserable
    criminal! He looked not with harmony, regard, or a single penitent
    feeling toward one human being in the last agonies of an ignominious

    After remaining nine days at Jamaica, I was so fortunate as to
    obtain a passage with Capt. Ellsmore, direct for St. Johns--the
    thoughts of once more returning home and of so soon joining my
    anxious friends, when I could have an opportunity to communicate to
    my aged parents, to a beloved sister and a large circle of
    acquaintances, the sad tale of the misfortunes which had attended me
    since I bid them adieu, would have been productive of the most
    pleasing sensations, had they not been interrupted by the melancholy
    reflection that I was the bearer of tidings of the most
    heart-rending nature, to the bereaved families of those unfortunate
    husbands and parents who had in my presence fallen victims to
    Piratical barbarity. Thankful should I have been had the distressing
    duty fell to the lot of some one of less sensibility--but, unerring
    Providence had ordered otherwise. We arrived safe at our port of
    destination after a somewhat boisterous passage of 18 days. I found
    my friends all well, but the effects produced on their minds by the
    relation of the distressing incidents and adverse fortune that had
    attended me since my departure, I shall not attempt to describe--and
    much less can you expect, brother, that I should attempt a
    description of the feelings of the afflicted widow and fatherless
    child, who first received from me the melancholy tidings that they
    were so!

    Thus, brother, have I furnished you with as minute a detail of the
    sad misfortunes that have attended me, in my intended passage to
    Antigua, in February and March last, as circumstances will admit
    of--and here permit me once more to repeat the enquiry--is it not
    sufficient to satisfy you and every reasonable person, that I owe my
    life and liberty to the interposition of a Divine Providence?--so
    fully persuaded am I of this, dear brother, and of my great
    obligations to that Supreme Being who turned not away my prayer nor
    his mercy from me, that I am determined to engage with my whole
    heart to serve Him the residue of my days on earth, by the aid of
    his heavenly grace--and invite all who profess to fear Him (should a
    single doubt remain on their minds) to come and hear what he hath
    done for me!

    I am, dear brother, affectionately yours,
                                                      LUCRETIA PARKER.


[26] From an Old Pamphlet, published in 1825.


The Last of the North Atlantic Pirates[27]


In the farther end of the Bay of Fundy, about a mile off from the Nova
Scotian coast, is the Isle of Haut. It is a strange rocky island that
rises several hundred feet sheer out of the sea, without any bay or
inlets. A landing can only be effected there in the calmest weather; and
on account of the tremendous ebb of the Fundy tides, which rise and fall
sixty feet every twelve hours, the venturesome explorer cannot long keep
his boat moored against the precipitous cliffs.

Because of this inaccessibility little is known of the solitary island.
Within its rampart walls of rock they say there is a green valley, and
in its center is a fathomless lake, where the Micmac Indians used to
bury their dead, and hence its dread appellation of the "Island of the
Dead." Beyond these bare facts nothing more is certain about the secret
valley and the haunted lake. Many wild and fabulous descriptions are
current, but they are merely the weavings of fancy.

Sometimes on a stormy night the unhappy navigators of the North Channel
miss the coast lights in the fog, and out from the Isle of Haut a
gentle undertow flirts with their bewildered craft. Then little by
little they are gathered into a mighty current against which all
striving is in vain, and in the white foam among the iron cliffs their
ship is pounded into splinters. The quarry which she gathers in so
softly at first and so fiercely at last, however, is soon snatched away
from the siren shore. The ebb-tide bears every sign of wreckage far out
into the deeps of the Atlantic, and not a trace remains of the
ill-starred vessel or her crew. But one of the boats in the fishing
fleet never comes home, and from lonely huts on the coast reproachful
eyes are cast upon the "Island of the Dead."

On the long winter nights, when the "boys" gather about the fire in Old
Steele's General Stores at Hall's Harbor, their hard gray life becomes
bright for a spell. When a keg of hard cider is flowing freely the grim
fishermen forget their taciturnity, the ice is melted from their speech,
and the floodgates of their souls pour forth. But ever in the background
of their talk, unforgotten, like a haunting shadow, is the "Island of
the Dead." Of their weirdest and most blood-curdling yarns it is always
the center; and when at last, with uncertain steps, they leave the empty
keg and the dying fire to turn homeward through the drifting snow,
fearful and furtive glances are cast to where the island looms up like a
ghostly sentinel from the sea. Across its high promontory the Northern
Lights scintillate and blaze, and out of its moving brightness the
terrified fishermen behold the war-canoes of dead Indians freighted with
their redskin braves; the forms of _cœur de bois_ and desperate
Frenchmen swinging down the sky-line in a ghastly snake-dance; the
shapes and spars of ships long since forgotten from the "Missing List";
and always, most dread-inspiring of them all, the distress signals from
the sinking ship of Mogul Mackenzie and his pirate crew.

Captain Mogul Mackenzie was the last of the pirates to scourge the North
Atlantic seaboard. He came from that school of freebooters that was let
loose by the American Civil War. With a letter of marque from the
Confederate States, he sailed the seas to prey on Yankee shipping. He
and his fellow-privateers were so thorough in their work of destruction,
that the Mercantile Marine of the United States was ruined for a
generation to come. When the war was over the defeated South called off
her few remaining bloodhounds on the sea. But Mackenzie, who was still
at large, had drunk too deeply of the wine of a wild, free life. He did
not return to lay down his arms, but began on a course of shameless
piracy. He lived only a few months under the black flag, until he went
down on the Isle of Haut. The events of that brief and thrilling period
are unfortunately obscure, with only a ray of light here and there. But
the story of his passing is the most weird of all the strange yarns
that are spun about the "Island of the Dead."

In May, 1865, a gruesome discovery was made off the coast of Maine,
which sent a chill of fear through all the seaport towns of New England.
A whaler bound for New Bedford was coming up Cape Cod one night long
after dark. There was no fog, and the lights of approaching vessels
could easily be discerned. The man on the lookout felt no uneasiness at
his post, when, without any warning of bells or lights, the sharp bow of
a brigantine suddenly loomed up, hardly a ship's length in front.

"What the blazes are you trying to do?" roared the mate from the bridge,
enraged at this unheard-of violation of the right of way. But no voice
answered his challenge, and the brigantine went swinging by, with all
her sails set to a spanking breeze. She bore directly across the bow of
the whaler, which just grazed her stern in passing.

"There's something rotten on board there," said the mate.

"Ay," said the captain, who had come on the bridge, "there's something
rotten there right enough. Swing your helm to port, and get after the
devils," he ordered.

"Ay, ay, sir!" came the ready response, and nothing loth the helmsman
changed his course to follow the eccentric craft. She was evidently
bound on some secret mission, for not otherwise would she thus tear
through the darkness before the wind without the flicker of a light.

The whaler was the swifter of the two ships, and she could soon have
overhauled the other; but fearing some treachery, the captain refrained
from running her down until daylight. All night long she seemed to be
veering her course, attempting to escape from her pursuer. In the
morning, off the coast of Maine, she turned her nose directly out to
sea. Then a boat was lowered from the whaler, and rowed out to intercept
the oncoming vessel. When they were directly in her course, they lay on
their oars and waited. The brigantine did not veer again, but came
steadily on, and soon the whalemen were alongside, and made themselves
fast to a dinghy which she had in tow. A few minutes of apprehensive
waiting followed, and as nothing happened, one of the boldest swung
himself up over the tow-rope on to the deck. He was followed by the
others, and they advanced cautiously with drawn knives and pistols.

Not a soul was to be seen, and the men, who were brave enough before a
charging whale, trembled with fear. The wheel and the lookout were alike
deserted, and no sign of life could be discovered anywhere below. In the
galley were the embers of a dead fire, and the table in the captain's
cabin was spread out ready for a meal which had never been eaten. On
deck everything was spick and span, and not the slightest evidence of a
storm or any other disturbance could be found. The theory of a derelict
was impossible. Apparently all had been well on board, and they had been
sailing with good weather, when, without any warning, her crew had been
suddenly snatched away by some dread power.

The sailors with one accord agreed that it was the work of a
sea-serpent. But the mate had no place for the ordinary superstitions of
the sea, and he still scoured the hold, expecting at any minute to
encounter a dead body or some other evil evidence of foul play. Nothing
more, however, was found, and the mate at length had to end his search
with the unsatisfactory conclusion that the _St. Clare_, a brigantine
registered from Hartpool, with cargo of lime, had been abandoned on the
high seas for no apparent reason. Her skipper had taken with him the
ship's papers, and had not left a single clue behind.

A crew was told off to stand by the _St. Clare_ to bring her into port,
and the others climbed into the long-boat to row back to the whaler.

"Just see if there is a name on that there dinghy, before we go," said
the mate.

An exclamation of horror broke from one of the men as he read on the bow
of the dinghy the name, _Kanawha_.

The faces of all went white with a dire alarm as the facts of the
mystery suddenly flashed before them. The _Kanawha_ was the ship in
which Captain Mogul Mackenzie had made himself notorious as a
privateersman. Every one had heard her awe-inspiring name, and every
Yankee seafaring man prayed that he might never meet her on the seas.
After the _Alabama_ was sunk, and the _Talahassee_ was withdrawn, the
_Kanawha_ still remained to threaten the shipping of the North. For a
long time her whereabouts had been unknown, and then she was discovered
by a Federal gunboat, which gave chase and fired upon her. Without
returning fire, she raced in for shelter amongst the dangerous islands
off Cape Sable, and was lost in the fog. Rumor had it that she ran on
the rocks off that perilous coast, and sank with all on board. As time
went by, and there was no more sign of the corsair, the rumor was
accepted as proven. Men began to spin yarns in the forecastle about
Mogul Mackenzie, with an interest that was tinged with its former fear.
Skippers were beginning to feel at ease again on the grim waters, when
suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, came the awful news of the
discovery of the _St. Clare_.

Gunboats put off to scour the coast-line; and again with fear and
trembling the look-out began to eye suspiciously every new sail coming
up on the horizon.

One afternoon, toward the end of May, a schooner came tearing into
Portland harbor, with all her canvas, crowded on, and flying distress
signals. Her skipper said that off the island of Campabello he had seen
a long gray sailing-ship with auxiliary power sweeping down upon him. As
the wind was blowing strong inshore, he had taken to his heels and made
for Portland. He was chased all the way, and his pursuer did not drop
him until he was just off the harbor bar.

Many doubted his story, however, saying that no one would dare to chase
a peaceful craft so near to a great port in broad daylight. And, again,
it was urged that an auxiliary vessel could easily have overhauled the
schooner between Campabello and Portland. The fact that the captain of
the schooner was as often drunk as sober, and that when he was under the
influence of drink he was given to seeing visions, was pointed to as
conclusive proof that his yarn was a lie. After the New Bedford whaler
came into port with the abandoned _St. Clare_, it was known beyond doubt
that the _Kanawha_ was still a real menace. But nobody cared to admit
that Mogul Mackenzie was as bold as the schooner's report would imply,
and hence countless arguments were put forward to allay such fears.

But a few days later the fact that the pirates were still haunting their
coast was absolutely corroborated. A coastal packet from Boston arrived
at Yarmouth with the news that she had not only sighted _Kanawha_ in the
distance, but they had crossed each other's paths so near that the name
could be discerned beyond question with a spyglass. She was heading up
the Bay of Fundy, and did not pause or pay any heed to the other ship.

This news brought with it consternation, and every town and village
along the Fundy was a-hum with stories and theories about the pirate
ship. The interest, instead of being abated, was augmented as the days
went by with no further report. In the public-houses and along the quays
it was almost the only topic of conversation. The excitement became
almost feverish when it was known that several captains, outward bound,
had taken with them a supply of rifles and ammunition. The prospect of a
fight seemed imminent.

About a week after the adventure of the Boston packet Her Majesty's ship
_Buzzard_ appeared off Yarmouth harbor. The news of the _Kanawha_ had
come to the Admiral at Halifax, and he had dispatched the warship to
cruise about the troubled coast.

"That'll be the end of old Mogul Mackenzie, now that he's got an English
ship on his trail," averred a Canadian as he sat drinking in the
"Yarmouth Light" with a group of seafaring men of various nationalities.
"It takes the British jack-tar to put the kibosh on this pirate game.
One of them is worth a shipload of Yankees at the business."

"Well, don't you crow too loud now," replied a Boston skipper. "I reckon
that that Nova Scotian booze-artist, who ran into Portland the other day
scared of his shadow, would not do you fellows much credit."

"Yes; but what about your gunboats that have had the job of fixing the
_Kanawha_ for the last three years, and haven't done it yet?" The
feelings between Canada and the United States were none too good just
after the Civil War, and the Canadian was bound not to lose this
opportunity for horse-play. "You're a fine crowd of sea-dogs, you are,
you fellows from the Boston Tea-Party. Three years after one little
half-drowned rat, and haven't got him yet. Wouldn't Sir Francis Drake or
Lord Nelson be proud of the record that you long-legged, slab-sided
Yankees have made on the sea!"

"Shut your mouth! you blue-nosed, down-East herring-choker!" roared the
Yankee skipper. "I reckon we've given you traitors that tried to stab us
in the back a good enough licking; and if any more of your dirty dogs
ever come nosing about down south of Mason and Dixon's Line, I bet
they'll soon find out what our record is."

"Well, you fools can waste your tongue and wind," said a third man,
raising his glass, "but for me here's good luck to the _Buzzard_."

"So say we all of us," chimed in the others, and the Yankee and the
Canadian drank together to the success of the British ship, forgetting
their petty jealousies before a common foe.

Everywhere the news of the arrival of the British warship was hailed
with delight. All seemed to agree that her presence assured the speedy
extermination of the pirate crew. But after several days of futile
cruising about the coast, her commander, to escape from a coming storm,
had to put into St. Mary's Bay, with the object of his search still
eluding his vigilance. He only arrived in time to hear the last chapter
of the _Kanawha's_ tale of horrors.

The night before, Dominic Lefountain, a farmer living alone at
Meteighan, a little village on the French shore, had been awakened from
his sleep by the moaning and wailing of a human voice. For days the
imminent peril of an assault from the pirates had filled the people of
the French coast with forebodings. And now, awakened thus in the dead of
night, the lonely Frenchman was wellnigh paralyzed with terror. With his
flesh creeping, and his eyes wide, he groped for his rifle, and waited
in the darkness, while ever and anon came those unearthly cries from the
beach. Nearly an hour passed before he could gather himself together
sufficiently to investigate the cause of the alarm. At last, when the
piteous wailing had grown weak and intermittent, the instinct of
humanity mastered his fears, and he went forth to give a possible succor
to the one in need.

On the beach, lying prostrate, with the water lapping about his feet, he
found a man in the last stage of exhaustion. The blood was flowing from
his mouth, and as Dominic turned him over to stanch its flow, he found
that his tongue had been cut out, and hence the unearthly wailing which
had roused him from his sleep. The beach was deserted by this time, and
it was too dark to see far out into the bay.

Dominic carried the unfortunate man to his house, and nursed him there
for many weeks. He survived his frightful experiences, and lived on for
twenty years, a pathetic and helpless figure, supported by the
big-hearted farmers and fishermen of the French shore. Evidently he had
known too much for his enemies, and they had sealed his mouth forever.
He became known as the "Mysterious Man of Meteighan," and his deplorable
condition was always pointed to as a mute witness of the last villainy
of Mogul Mackenzie.

On the night following the episode of the "Mysterious Man of Meteighan,"
a wild and untoward storm swept down the North Atlantic and over the
seaboard far and near. In the Bay of Fundy that night the elements met
in their grandest extremes. Tide-rips and mountain waves opposed each
other with titanic force. All along the bleak and rock-ribbed coast the
boiling waters lay churned into foam. Over the breakwaters the giant
combers crashed and soared far up into the troubled sky; while out under
the black clouds of the night the whirlpools and the tempests met. Was
ever a night like this before? Those on shore thanked God; and those
with fathers on the sea gazed out upon a darkness where no star of hope
could shine.

Now and again through the Stygian gloom a torrent of sheet-lightning
rolled down across the heavens, bringing in its wake a moment of
terrible light. It was in one of these brief moments of illumination
that the wan watchers at Hall's Harbor discerned a long gray ship being
swept like a specter before the winds towards the Isle of Haut. Until
the flash of lightning the doomed seamen appeared to have been
unconscious of their fast approaching fate; and then, as if suddenly
awakened, they sent a long thin trail of light, to wind itself far up
into the darkness. Again and again the rockets shot upward from her bow,
while above the noises of the tempest came the roar of a gun.

The people on the shore looked at each other with blanched faces,
speechless, helpless. A lifetime by that shore had taught them the utter
puniness of the sons of men. Others would have tried to do something
with what they thought was their strong arm. But the fishermen knew too
well that the Fundy's arm was stronger. In silence they waited with
bated breath while the awful moments passed. Imperturbable they stood
there, with their feet in the white foam and their faces in the salt
spray, and gazed at the curtain of the night, behind which a tragedy was
passing, as dark and dire as any in the annals of the sea.

Another flash of lightning, and there, dashing upon the iron rocks, was
a great ship, with all her sails set, and a cloud of lurid smoke
trailing from her funnel. She was gray-colored, with auxiliary power,
and as her lines dawned upon those who saw her in the moment of light,
they burst out with one accord, "It's the _Kanawha_! It's the
_Kanawha_!" As if an answer to their sudden cry another gun roared, and
another shower of rockets shot up into the sky; and then all was lost
again in the darkness and the voices of the tempest.

Next morning the winds had gone out with the tide, and when in the
afternoon the calm waters had risen, a boat put off from Hall's Harbor
and rowed to the Isle of Haut. For several hours the rocky shores were
searched for some traces of the wreck, but not a spar or splinter could
be found. All about the bright waters laughed, with naught but the
sunbeams on their bosom, and not a shadow remained from last night's
sorrow on the sea.

So Mogul Mackenzie, who had lived a life of stress, passed out on the
wings of storm. In his end, as always, he baffled pursuit, and was
sought but could not be found. His sailings on the sea were in secret,
and his last port in death was a mystery. But, as has been already
related, when the Northern Lights come down across the haunted island,
the distress signals of his pirate crew are still seen shooting up into
the night.


[27] From _Blackwood's Magazine_.


The Riff Coast Pirates[28]


    O nay, O nay, then said our King,
      O nay, this must not be,
    To yield to such a rover
      Myself will not agree;
    He hath deceived the Frenchman,
      Likewise the King of Spain,
    And how can he be true to me,
      That hath been false to twain?

                OLD SEA SONG OF THE YEAR 1620.

Probably by this time the greater part of the piratical craft along the
Riff coast has been destroyed, and the long-promised Moorish gunboat
stationed there to protect foreign shipping.[29] These steps have
doubtless been hastened by the fact that the pirates, unfortunately for
themselves, attacked a vessel some little time ago belonging to the
Sultan of Morocco. For years past the Governments of several European
Powers have sought to put friendly pressure upon the Sultan of Morocco
to effectually stop the depredations of the Riffian coast pirates. No
strong measures, however, were really taken until the above episode
occurred. It is said that in early days the Moors were some time in
accustoming themselves to the perils of the deep. At first they
marvelled greatly at "those that go down to the sea in ships, and have
their business in great waters," but they did not hasten to follow their
example. One eminent ruler of ancient times, in that region, when asked
what the sea was like, replied, "The sea is a huge beast which silly
folk ride like worms on logs." But it afterwards became clear that the
Moors had a strong fancy for the "worms" and "logs" too. They gave up
marvelling at those who went to sea, and went on it themselves in search
of plunder. The risk, the uncertainty, the danger, the sense of superior
skill and ingenuity, that attract the adventurous spirit, and the
passion for sport, are stated by some writers to have brought such a
state of things into existence. One fact seems to be pretty certain,
that when these depredations were first made, they took the form of
reprisals upon the Spaniards. No sooner was Granada fallen, than
thousands of desperate Moors left the land, disdaining to live under a
Spanish yoke. Settling along a portion of the northern coast of Africa,
they immediately proceeded to first attack all Spanish vessels that
could be found. Their quickness and knowledge of the coasts gave them
the opportunity of reprisals for which they longed. Probably this got
monotonous in course of time, for in their wild sea courses they took
to harrying the vessels belonging to other nations, and so laid the
foundation for a race of pirates, which has continued down to quite
recently. As nowadays, the Moors cruised in boats from the commencement
of their marauding expeditions. Each man pulled an oar, and knew how to
fight as well as row. Drawing little water, a small squadron of these
craft could be pushed up almost any creek, or lie hidden behind a rock,
till the enemy came in sight. Then oars out, and a quick stroke for a
few minutes. Next they were alongside their unsuspecting prey, and
pouring in a first volley. Ultimately the prize was usually taken, the
crew put in irons, and the pirates returned home with their capture, no
doubt being received with acclamation upon their arrival.

As far back as the sixteenth century the Spanish forts at Alhucemas--not
to mention other places--were established for the purpose of repressing
piracy in its vicinity. Considerable interest is attached to several of
the piracies committed during the past few years, as they culminated in
strong representations being made to the Sultan of Morocco by the
various Governments under whose flag the respective vessels sailed. Some
of them went so far as to send warships to cruise along the Riffian
coast. This step apparently had some moral effect upon the pirates, for
from that time onwards attacks upon foreign vessels practically ceased.
Something more than this, however, was needed, for no one could say how
soon the marauding expeditions might be renewed upon a larger scale than
ever, so as to make up for lost opportunities. On August 14, 1897, the
Italian three-masted schooner _Fiducia_ was off the coast of Morocco, in
the Mediterranean, homeward bound from Pensacola to Marseilles. Here she
got becalmed, and while in that condition two boats approached her from
the shore. At first the crew of the _Fiducia_ thought they were native
fishing boats. When, however, the latter got within a hundred yards or
so of the helpless vessel, the suspicions of the crew were aroused. The
captain warned the Moors not to approach any nearer; a volley of bullets
was returned by way of reply, followed by a regular fusillade as the
boats advanced. There were only three revolvers on board the schooner,
and with these the crew prepared to defend themselves. Soon, however,
their supply of ammunition became exhausted, and the pirates boarded the
schooner without further opposition. The vessel was at once ransacked,
even the clothes of the crew being taken. The ship's own boat was
lowered, and into this the marauders put their booty, and took it
ashore, also carrying the captain and one of the crew with them. About
an hour later another boat, containing about twenty pirates, came off
and fired on the ship. The crew, seeing that they could offer no
effective resistance, hid themselves away in the hold. The other pirates
had left very little for the new arrivals to take, and this seemed to
annoy them so much that they gave vent to their ill-feelings in several
ways, not the least wanton being the pollution of the ship's fresh
water. They also smashed the vessel's compass, and tore up the charts.
For the next two days the crew existed on a few biscuits, which the
pirates had left behind. The following day the British steamship
_Oanfa_, of London, hove in sight. The crew of the schooner hoisted a
shirt as a signal, which was fortunately seen, and a boat sent off in
response thereto. Assistance was promptly rendered, and the _Fiducia_
put in a position to resume her voyage. This was done until spoken by
the Italian cruiser _Ercole_, which assisted the schooner to her

In October, 1896, the French barque _Prosper Corue_ was lying becalmed
off Alhucemas, a place fortified by the Spaniards to keep the pirates in
check, when several boats full of armed Moors seized the vessel and made
the crew prisoners. They then completely pillaged the ship, removing
almost everything of any use or value. While the miscreants were thus
busily engaged a Spanish merchant steamship, named the _Sevilla_,
happened to come along, and was in time to capture one boat and rescue
several of the prisoners. The _Sevilla_ then made towards the barque,
but the pirates opened fire on the steamer, killing and wounding some of
the crew. The Spaniard was compelled to retire, leaving the captain of
the barque in the hands of the Moors. Subsequently the barque was
picked up in an abandoned condition by the British steamship _Oswin_,
and towed into Almeria. An arrangement was afterwards made with the
pirates to release the captains of the _Fiducia_ and the Portuguese
barque _Rosita Faro_--a much earlier capture--and some members of both
crews, in exchange for the Riffians captured by the Spanish steamer
_Sevilla_ and a ransom of 3,000 dollars. It was only after prolonged
negotiations and a large sum of money that a French warship succeeded in
obtaining the freedom of the captain of the _Prosper Corue_ and a few
other Frenchmen. For some reason or other, the pirates seemed very much
disinclined to part with these prisoners. Only a short time before the
attack on the French barque took place, a notice was issued by the
British Board of Trade, in which the attention of ship-owners and
masters of vessels was called to the dangers attending navigation off
the coast of Morocco. The document then proceeded to detail the case of
the British schooner _Mayer_, of Gibraltar, which was boarded about 10
miles from the Riff coast by twenty Moors armed with rifles and daggers.
As usual, the pirates ransacked the vessel, destroyed the ensign and
ship's papers, brutally assaulted the men on board, and then made off in
their boat. Scarcely had the foregoing notice been generally circulated
than another case of a similar character happened in connection with the
Italian schooner _Scatuola_. Again, there is the Spanish cutter
_Jacob_. She was running along the Moorish coast one fine summer's
evening a few years since, when a boat full of pirates suddenly came
alongside, and speedily upset the quietness which had previously reigned
on board the _Jacob_. Five of the crew managed to escape in the cutter's
boat and were picked up some days later by a passing vessel. Those who
remained on board the cutter fared very badly. After the vessel had been
pillaged, the rigging and sails destroyed, the men were all securely
bound and left to their fate. Fortunately the weather continued fine,
and the _Jacob_ drifted towards the Spanish coast, where she was seen
and assistance promptly rendered.

The captain of another Spanish vessel had quite a "thrilling" adventure
among these pirates in May, 1892. He left Gibraltar in command of the
barque _San Antonio_ for Alhucemas, and when about six miles from Peñon
de la Gomera a boat manned by thirteen Moors was observed to be
approaching the vessel. When near enough they opened fire, and ordered
the captain to lower his sails, which was done, as the Spaniards were,
practically speaking, without arms. The Moors then boarded the _San
Antonio_ and took her in tow. When close to the land the captain was
rowed ashore, and the pirates spent part of the night in unloading the
cargo. Next morning the _San Antonio_ was seen drifting out to sea, and
the captain, who was afraid of being put to death, suggested that he
should go on board and bring her back to the anchorage. Probably
thinking that some of their comrades were on the barque, but unable to
set the necessary canvas to return, only two Moors were sent off with
the captain, and these remained in the boat when the vessel was reached.
Upon gaining the deck of the barque the captain was surprised to find
himself alone. Without hesitating for a moment he released the crew, who
were confined below, hoisted sail and stood out to sea. The Moors who
had been left in the boat were speedily cut adrift, much to their
amazement, for it so happened that none of the pirates had stayed on
board. No doubt they were eager to find a safe hiding-place for their
plunder, and, thinking the barque quite secure till morning, took no
further heed of the matter. A few days later the _San Antonio_ arrived
at Gibraltar, where full particulars of the outrage were furnished to
the authorities. Space will not admit of details being given of the
attacks on the Spanish barque _Goleta_, the Portuguese barque _Rosita
Faro_, the British felucca _Joven Enrique_, and other vessels. It should
be mentioned, however, that several famous British and foreign sailing
yachts upon various occasions have had remarkably narrow escapes from
being captured by these sea ruffians.

It is sincerely to be hoped that the Sultan of Morocco is carrying out
his task in such a manner as will induce the inhabitants of the Riff
coast to follow some occupation in future which is more likely to be
appreciated by those who have to navigate vessels in the Mediterranean.
Previous to stern measures being taken by the Sultan, it was not at all
uncommon for his envoys to the native tribes--for the purpose of
obtaining the release of captives--to be received with derision. Often,
too, they were maltreated to such an extent that they were glad to
escape with their lives. Some of the neighboring tribes continually
endeavored to purchase captives for the pleasure of killing them, but it
is satisfactory to learn that no sales are recorded, as the anticipated
ransom was always largely in excess of the sums offered by the
bloodthirsty natives.


[28] From the _Nautical Magazine_.

[29] About twenty years ago.

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