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Title: Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period
       Illustrative Documents

Author: Various

Editor: John Franklin Jameson

Release Date: March 20, 2008 [EBook #24882]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Suzanne Shell, Linda Cantoni, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at This
e-book was created from a 1970 reprint published by Augustus
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Transcriber's Notes: This book contains documents written in 17th-and 18th-Century English, Dutch, French, and other languages. Inconsistencies of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and hyphenation have been preserved as they appear in the original. (See the last paragraph of the Preface for the editor's note on this.) A few obvious printer errors in the editor's footnotes have been corrected.

The original contains a number of blank spaces to represent missing matter. These are represented here as long dashes.

The arrangement of "Captain Kid's Farewel to the Seas" is from Helen Kendrick Johnson, Our Familiar Songs and Those Who Made Them, pp. 171-72 (New York: H. Holt, 1909).

Some full-page tables have been moved so as not to interrupt the flow of the text. Some page numbers are skipped as a result.






New York

To the Honored Memory of








The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America have formed the laudable habit of illustrating the colonial period of United States history, in which they are especially interested, by published volumes of original historical material, previously unprinted, and relating to that period. Thus in the course of years they have made a large addition to the number of documentary sources available to the student of that period. First they published, in 1906, in two handsome volumes, the Correspondence of William Pitt, when Secretary of State, with Colonial Governors and Military and Naval Commanders in America, edited by the late Miss Gertrude Selwyn Kimball, containing material of great importance to the history of the colonies as a whole, and of the management of the French and Indian War. Next, in 1911 and 1914, they published the two volumes of Professor James C. Ballagh's valuable edition of the Letters of Richard Henry Lee. Then, in 1912, they brought out, again in two volumes, the Correspondence of Governor William Shirley, edited by Dr. Charles H. Lincoln, and illustrating the history of several colonies, particularly those of New England, during the period of what in our colonial history is called King George's War. More recently, in 1916, the Society published an entertaining volume of hitherto unprinted Travels in the American Colonies, edited by Dr. Newton D. Mereness.

It was resolved that the next volume after these should be devoted to documents relating to maritime history. In proportion to its importance, that aspect of our colonial history has in general received too little attention. In time of peace the colonists, nearly all of whom dwelt within a hundred miles of ocean or tidewater, maintained constantly a maritime commerce that had a large importance to their economic life and gave employment to no small part of theirviii population. In time of war, their naval problems and dangers and achievements were hardly less important than those of land warfare, but have been far less exploited, whether in narrative histories or in volumes of documentary materials. Accordingly the Society's Committee on Publication readily acceded to the suggestion that a volume should be made up of documents illustrating the history of privateering and piracy as these stand related to the life of America during the colonial period—for it is agreed that few aspects of our maritime history in that period have greater importance and interest than these two. In some of our colonial wars, as later in those of the Revolution and of 1812, American privateering assumed such proportions as to make it, for brief periods, one of the leading American industries. We cannot quite say the same concerning American piracy, and indeed it might be thought disrespectful to our ancestors—or predecessors, for pirates mostly died young and left few descendants—but at least it will be conceded that piracy at times flourished in American waters, that not a few of the pirates and of those on shore who received their goods and otherwise aided them were Americans, that their activities had an important influence on the development of American commerce, and that documents relative to piracy make interesting reading.

It is a matter for regret and on the editor's part for apology, that the book should have been so long in preparation. Work on it was begun prosperously before our country was engaged in war, but the "spare time" which the editor can command, always slight in amount, was much reduced during the period of warfare. Moreover, the Society, very properly, determined that, so long as war continued, the publication of their volumes and the expenditures now attendant upon printing ought to be postponed in favor of those patriotic undertakings, especially for the relief of suffering, which have made their name grateful to all lovers of the Navy and in all places where the Comfort and the Mercy have sailed.

It may be objected against the plan of this book, that privateering and piracy should not be conjoined in one volixume, with documents intermingled in one chronological order, lest the impression be created that piracy and privateering were much the same. It is true that, in theory and in legal definition, they are widely different things and stand on totally different bases. Legally, a privateer is an armed vessel (or its commander) which, in time of war, though owners and officers and crew are private persons, has a commission from a belligerent government to commit acts of warfare on vessels of its enemy. Legally, a pirate is one who commits robbery or other acts of violence on the sea (or on the land through descent from the sea) without having any authority from, and independently of, any organized government or political society. (Fighting and bloodshed and murder, it may be remarked by the way, though natural concomitants of the pirate's trade, are not, as is often supposed, essentials of the crime of piracy.) But wide as is the legal distinction between the authorized warfare of the privateer and the unauthorized violence of the pirate, in practice it was very difficult to keep the privateer and his crew, far from the eye of authority, within the bounds of legal conduct, or to prevent him from broadening out his operations into piracy, especially if a merely privateering cruise was proving unprofitable. Privateering was open to many abuses, and it was not without good reason that the leading powers of Europe, in 1856, by the Declaration of Paris, agreed to its abandonment.

The object of the following collection of documents is not to give the whole history of any episode of piracy or of the career of any privateer, but rather, by appropriate selection, to illustrate, as well as is possible in one volume, all the different aspects of both employments, and to present specimens of all the different sorts of papers to which they gave rise. Nearly all the pieces are documents hitherto unprinted, but a few that have already been printed, mostly in books not easy of access, have been included in order to round out a story or a series. The collection ends with the termination of the last colonial war in 1763. Presented in chronological order, it may have a casual, as it certainly has a miscellaneous, appearance. But variety was intended,x and on closer inspection and comparison the selection will be seen to have a more methodical character than at first appears, corresponding to the systematic procedure followed in privateering, in prize cases, and in trials for piracy.

On the outbreak of war in which Great Britain was involved, it was customary for the King to issue a commission to the Lord High Admiral (or to the Lords of the Admiralty appointed to execute that office) authorizing him (or them) to empower proper officials, such as colonial governors, to grant letters of marque, or privateering commissions, to suitable persons under adequate safeguards.[1] The Lords of the Admiralty then issued warrants to the colonial governors (see doc. no. 127), authorizing them to issue such commissions or letters of marque. A specimen American privateering commission may be seen in doc. no. 144; a Portuguese letter of marque, and a paper by which its recipient purported to assign it to another, in docs. no. 14 and no. 15. Royal instructions were issued to all commanders of privateers (doc. no. 126), and each was required to furnish, or bondsmen were required to furnish on his behalf, caution or security[2] for the proper observance of these instructions and the payment of all dues to the crown or Admiralty. Relations between the commander and the crew, except as regulated by the superior authority of these instructions and of the prize acts or other statutes, were governed by the articles of agreement (doc. no. 202) signed when enlisting.

These were the essential documents of a privateering voyage. There would probably be also accounts for supplies, like John Tweedy's very curious bill for medicines (doc. no. 158), and accounts between crew and owners (doc. no. 146), and general accounts of the voyage (doc. no. 159). There might be an agreement of two privateers to cruise together and divide the spoil (doc. no. 160). There might even be a journal of the whole voyage, like the extraordinarily interesting journal kept on the privateerxi Revenge by the captain's quartermaster in 1741 (doc. no. 145), one of the very few such narratives preserved. Other documents of various kinds, illustrating miscellaneous incidents of privateering, will be found elsewhere in the volume.

Both privateers and naval vessels belonging to the government made prize of ships and goods belonging to the enemy, but many questions were certain to arise concerning the legality of captures and concerning the proper ownership and disposal of ships and goods. Hence the necessity for prize courts, acting under admiralty law and the law of nations. The instructions to privateers required them (see doc. no. 126, section III.) to bring captured ships or goods into some port of Great Britain or her colonial dominions, for adjudication by such a court. In England, it was the High Court of Admiralty that tried such cases. At the beginning of a war, a commission under the Great Seal,[3] addressed to the Lords of the Admiralty, instructed them to issue a warrant to the judge of that court, authorizing him during the duration of the war to take cognizance of prize causes. After 1689, it was customary to provide for trial of admiralty causes in colonial ports by giving to each colonial governor, in addition to his commission as governor, a commission as vice-admiral. Before 1689, this was done in a few instances, chiefly of proprietary colonies, the earliest such instance being that exhibited in our doc. no. 1; but in the case of colonies having no royal governor (corporation colonies) we find various courts in that earlier period exercising admiralty jurisdiction (docs. no. 8, no. 25, no. 48, and no. 105, note 1). From Queen Anne's reign on (doc. no. 102), jurisdiction in prize causes was conferred, as in the case of the judge of the High Court of Admiralty in London, by warrant (doc. no. 182) from the Lord High Admiral or Lords of the Admiralty pursuant to the commission issued to them, as stated above, at the beginning of the war. In doc. no. 116 we see the judge of the High Court of Admiralty expressing the belief that itxii would be better if all prizes were brought to his court in London for adjudication, but the inconvenience would have been too great.

The governor's commission as vice-admiral, issued (after 1689, at any rate) under the great seal of the High Court of Admiralty, gave him authority to hold an admiralty court in person. Often the governor was not well fitted for such work, though not often so frank as Sir Henry Morgan (doc. no. 46, note 1) in admitting his deficiencies. As admiralty business increased, it became customary to appoint admiralty judges to hold vice-admiralty courts in individual colonies, or in groups of colonies. Sometimes, especially in the earlier period, they were commissioned by the governor of the colony acting under a warrant from the Lords of the Admiralty (doc. no. 69) empowering him so to do; more often they were commissioned directly by those lords, under the great seal of the Admiralty. Doc. no. 180 is a commission of the former sort, doc. no. 181 of the latter. When war broke out, authority to try prize cases was conveyed, as above, to the vice-admiral, the vice-admiralty judge, and their deputies.

In the trial of a prize case, the first essential document was the libel (docs. no. 99, no. 128, no. 165, no. 184, and no. 188), by which claim was laid to ship or goods. Witnesses were examined, chiefly by means of the systematic series of questions called standing interrogatories (doc. no. 183). Their testimony, taken down in written depositions, constitutes much the largest class of documents in this volume. Most narratives of privateering or of piracy are found in the form of depositions. Reports of trials, embracing proceedings and documents and testimony, are found in docs. no. 128, no. 143, and no. 165; sentences or decrees of the judge in docs. no. 143, no. 150, and no. 155; inventories of prizes in docs. no. 33 and no. 161; an account of sales in doc. no. 186.

If a party to a prize appealed from the sentence of the vice-admiralty court (docs. no. 151 and no. 196), he was required to give bond (doc. no. 152) for due prosecution of the appeal in England. From 1628 to 1708 suchxiii appeals were heard by the High Court of Admiralty; after 1708 they went to a body of privy councillors specially commissioned for the purpose, called the Lords Commissioners of Appeal in Prize Causes (see doc. no. 151, note 1). A specimen of a decree of that tribunal reversing the sentence of a colonial vice-admiralty court is in doc. no. 195.[4]

Piracy being from its very nature a less formal proceeding than privateering, there are fewer formal documents to present as essential to its history. In the seventeenth century, there are instances of trials for piracy by various courts: e.g., the Court of Assistants in Massachusetts in 1675 (doc. no. 41, note 1) and the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1694 (doc. no. 56, note 2). But the regular method, which came to prevail, was trial by special commissions appointed for the purpose, similar to those which were appointed for the trial of pirates in England by virtue of the statute 28 Henry VIII. c. 15 (1536). We have such a colonial commission, appointed by the governor, in doc. no. 51 (1683). In 1700 the statute 11 and 12 William III. c. 7 extended to the plantations the crown's authority to appoint such commissions (see docs. no. 104, note 1, no. 106, note 1, and no. 201). A curious signed agreement to commit piracy will be found in doc. no. 50; indictments for that crime in docs. no. 56, no. 119, and no. 120; partial records of trials in docs. no. 112, no. 113, and nos. 119-122. A full account of an execution, explicit enough to satisfy the most morbid curiosity, is presented in doc. no. 104. Nos. 123 and 124 are formal bills for the execution, the digging of the graves, and the cheering drams which the executioners found needful after their grisly work.

But if American colonial piracy presents a smaller array of legal documents than American colonial privateering, it makes up for it by its rich abundance of picturesque narrative and detail. The pieces here brought together show us piracy off Lisbon and in the East Indies and at Madagascar, at Portobello and Panama and in the South Sea, in the West Indies, and all along the Atlantic coast from Newfoundlandxiv to the coast of Guiana. They exhibit to us every relation from that of the most innocent victim to that of the most hardened pirate chief. They make it clear how narrow was sometimes the line that divided piracy and privateering, and how difficult it must have been to learn the truth from witnesses so conflicting and of such dubious characters, testifying concerning actions of lawless men in remote seas or on lonely shores.

Most of the pirates famed in story, who had anything to do with colonial America, appear in one way or another in these papers. On the history of Henry Every, for instance, and even on the oft-told tale of William Kidd, not a little new light is cast. Kidd's letters from prison, the letter and petitions of his wife, the depositions of companions, the additional letters of Bellomont, make the story live again, even though no new evidence appears that is perfectly conclusive as to the still-debated question of his degree of guilt. The wonderful buccaneering adventures of Bartholomew Sharp and his companions, 1680-1682, at the Isthmus of Panama and all along the west coast of South America, are newly illustrated by long anonymous narratives, artless but effective. And indeed, to speak more generally, it is hoped that there are few aspects of the pirate's trade that are not somehow represented in these pages.

At least it will not be denied that the documents, whether for piracy or for privateering, show a considerable variety of origins. Their authors range from a Signer of the Declaration of Independence to an Irishwoman keeping a boarding-house in Havana, from a minister of Louis XIV. or a judge of the High Court of Admiralty to the most illiterate sailor, from Governor John Endicott, most rigid of Puritans, to the keeper of a rendezvous for pirates and receiver of their ill-gotten goods. Witnesses or writers of many nationalities appear: American, Englishmen, Scots, Irishmen, Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Spaniards, a Portuguese, a Dane or Sleswicker, a Bohemian, a Greek, a Jew. The languages of the documents are English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin. Though none of them are in German or by Germans, not the least interesting piecesxv in the volume are those (docs. no. 43, no. 48, and no. 49) which show a curious connection of American colonial history with the very first (and characteristically illegal and unscrupulous) exploits of the Brandenburg-Prussian navy.

The range of repositories from which the documents have been procured is also considerable. Many were found in the state archives of Massachusetts, many in the files of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, many in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, others in the archives of Rhode Island and New York, in the office of the surrogate of New York City, and in the New York Public Library. A very important source of material, indispensable indeed for certain classes of document, was the records and papers of the vice-admiralty courts of the colonial period. Extensive portions still remain in the case of four of these courts, at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston (see the first foot-notes to docs. no. 126, no. 184, no. 165, and no. 106, respectively). A large number of the documents, larger indeed than from any other repository but one, were drawn from the inexhaustible stores of the Public Record Office in London, namely, from the Admiralty and Colonial Office Papers. Others came from the Privy Council Office; a few, but among them two of the longest and most interesting, from among the Sloane and Harleian manuscripts in the British Museum; one whole group from the Rawlinson manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Three of the Kidd documents were obtained from among the manuscripts of the Duke of Portland at Welbeck Abbey. Several of the pieces, and a number of lesser extracts used in annotations, were taken from colonial newspapers, and two from printed books not often seen.

Archivists and librarians have assisted the editor with their customary and never-failing kindness. It is a pleasure to express his gratitude to Mr. J.J. Tracy and Mr. John H. Edmonds, former and present archivists of Massachusetts, Mr. Herbert O. Brigham of the Rhode Island archives, Mr. A.J.F. van Laer and Mr. Peter Nelson of those of New York; to Mr. Worthington C. Ford and Mr. Julius H. Tutxvitle of the Massachusetts Historical Society; to Hon. Charles M. Hough, judge of the United States Circuit Court in New York; to Miss C.C. Helm of his office; to the late Miss Josephine Murphy, custodian of the Suffolk Files; to Miss Mabel L. Webber, secretary and librarian of the South Carolina Historical Society; to Mr. Victor H. Paltsits of the New York Public Library; to Rev. Richard W. Goulding, librarian to the Duke of Portland; and to the authorities of the Public Record Office, the Privy Council Office, the British Museum, and the Bodleian Library. Special thanks are due to the officials of three libraries in which the work of annotation was mostly done—the Library of Congress, that of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and that of Bowdoin College. On a few nautical points the editor had the advice of his old friend the late Captain Charles Cate of North Edgecomb, Maine. And especially he has to thank the chairman of the Committee on Publication, Mrs. Charles E. Rieman, for her interest in the work and for the exemplary patience with which she has borne the delays in its completion.

It is perhaps needless to say that the spelling of the originals has been carefully preserved; it is hoped that it would not be thought to be that of the editor. The punctuation of the originals has not been deemed equally sacred. In general, it has been reproduced, but where small alterations would make the sense clear to the modern reader but could not change it, or where that same effect would be produced by introducing punctuation-marks, which writers nearly illiterate often omitted entirely, it has seemed the part of good sense to make reading-matter readable. Also, names of vessels have been uniformly italicized even when not underscored in the original manuscripts. Dates previous to 1752 are old-style dates unless, as in the case of Dutch or French documents, new style is indicated.

J. Franklin Jameson.

Washington, October 19, 1923.

[1] See R.G. Marsden in English Historical Review, XXI. 251-257, and a commission in Rymer's Foedera, XVIII. 12.

[2] Specimen (1762) in Anthony Stokes, A View of the Constitution of the British Colonies (London, 1783), pp. 315-317.

[3] Such a commission (1748) is printed in R.G. Marsden, Law and Custom of the Sea (Navy Records Society), II. 279, and another (1756) in Stokes, p. 278.

[4] For a report of these commissioners approving the sentence of the court below, see Stokes, pp. 325-326.



Providence Island
  1. Commission from the Providence Island Company to Governor Nathaniel Butler as Vice-Admiral.
Apr. 23, 1638
  2. Governor Nathaniel Butler, "Diary of My Present Employment". Feb.-Mar., 1639 3
La Garce
  3. Articles of Copartnership in New Netherland Privateering. Dec. 4 (N.S.), 1646 9
  4. Articles of Copartnership between Augustin Herrman and Wyllem Blawfelt. Dec. 4 (N.S.), 1646 11
  5. Affidavit: the Capture of the Tabasco. July 25 (N.S.), 1649 13
  6. Affidavit of Antonio Leon and Fyck Herry. Sept. 27 (N.S.), 1649 14
The Holy Ghost
  7. Declaration of the Massachusetts Council. July 20, 1653 17
  8. Declaration of Governor Endicott. Aug. (?), 1653 18
  9. Deposition of Matthew Hill. Oct. (?), 1653 20
  10. Deposition of Francis Blackman and John Dukley. Oct. (?), 1653 20
  11. Letter of Governor Searle of Barbados. Nov. 4, 1653 21
  12. Order of the Massachusetts Council. Jan. 25, 1654 24
  13. Vote of the Massachusetts House of Deputies. June 10, 1654 25
The Blue Dove
  14. Portuguese Commission (Letter of Marque) to Charles de Bils. Feb. 10 (N.S.), 1658, Sept. 10, 1662 27xviii
  15. Commission from de Bils to John Douglas. Sept. 20 (N.S.), 1662 29
  16. Deposition of William Browne. June 24, 1664 30
  17. Deposition of Marcus Claesz. June 24, 1664 30
  18. Deposition of Bartholomew Martin. June 24, 1664 31
  19. Commission to James Oliver and Others. July 16, 1664 32
  20. Deposition of Daniel Sprague. July (?), 1664 33
  21. Deposition of William Browne. July 25, 1664 35
  22. Deposition of Robert Lord. July 26, 1664 36
  23. Deposition of John Hunter. July 26, 1664 37
  24. Deposition of Charles Hadsall. July 27, 1664 39
  25. Petition of John Douglas. Aug., 1664 41
  26. Plea of John Douglas. (Aug. 8?), 1664 42
  27. Power of Attorney from Sir William Davidson. Sept. 13, 1664 44
The Providence
  28. Certificate of Cornelius de Lincourt. Apr. 12/22, 1673 46
  29. Deposition of John Johnson and Henry Harris. Apr. 26, 1673 48
  30. Petition of Edward Bant. About Apr. 28, 1673 48
  31. Order of the Suffolk County Court. Apr. 29, 1673 50
  32. Petition of Henry King. Apr. 30, 1673 50
  33. Inventory of the Providence. May 5, 1673 51
  34. Examination of John Johnson. May 5, 1673 61
  35. Declaration of Edward Bant and Others. May 8, 1673 62
  36. Declaration of Henry King and John Champion. May 8, 1673 64
  37. Petition of Thomas Raddon. June 10, 1673 67
The St. Anthony
  38. Examination of John Tooly. June 17, 1673 68
  39. Examination of William Forrest. Oct. 20, 1673 71
  40. Petition of Allwin Child. Oct. 24, 1673 72xix
Case of Rodriguez and Rhodes
  41. Declaration of Thomas Mitchell. May 24, 1675 74
  42. Declaration of Edward Youreing. May 24, 1675 76
Brandenburg Privateers
  43. Seignelay to Colbert. May 8 (N.S.), 1679 82
Bartholomew Sharp and Others
  44. The Buccaneers at Portobello. 1680 84
  45. The Buccaneers on the Isthmus and in the South Sea. 1680-1682 92
  46. Sir Henry Morgan to Sir Leoline Jenkins. Mar. 8, 1682 133
  47. Deposition of Simon Calderon. 1682 135
The Salamander
  48. Petition of Paul Sherrett and Claes Pietersen. Aug. 2, 1681 138
  49. Deposition of Samuel Button. Aug. 11, 1681 140
The Camelion
  50. Agreement to Commit Piracy. June 30, 1683 141
  51. Court for the Trial of Piracy: Commission. Sept. 15, 20, 1683 143
Case of William Coward
  52. William Coward's Plea. 1690 145
Case of Benjamin Blackledge
  53. Declaration of Jeremiah Tay and Others. Mar., 1691 (?) 147
  54. Deposition of Epaphras Shrimpton. July, 1694 (?) 149
  55. Deposition of Jeremiah Tay. July 6, 1694 150
  56. Indictment of Benjamin Blackledge. Oct. 30, 1694 151
  57. Deposition of Thomas Larimore. Oct. 28, 1695 152xx
Case of Henry Every
  58. Petition of the East India Company. July, 1696 153
  59. Extract, E.I. Co. Letter from Bombay. May 28, 1695 155
  60. Abstract, E.I. Co. Letters from Bombay. Oct. 12, 1695 156
  61. Letter from Venice. May 25, 1696 159
  62. Abstract, Letters from Ireland. June 16-July 7, 1696 160
  63. Examination of John Dann. Aug. 3, 1696 165
  64. Affidavit of Philip Middleton. Nov. 11, 1696 171
  65. Deposition of Samuel Perkins. Aug. 25, 1698 175
  66. Certificate for John Devin (Bahamas). Sept. (?) 20, 1698 178
  67. Certificate for John Devin (Massachusetts). Oct. 25, 1698 179
  68. Deposition of Adam Baldridge. May 5, 1699 180
  69. Warrant for Commissioning of Admiralty Judge. Apr. 29, 1697 187
  70. Proclamation of Lieut.-Gov. Stoughton. June 4, 1698 188
Case of William Kidd
  71. Deposition of Benjamin Franks. Oct. 20, 1697 190
  72. The President and Council of the Leeward Islands to Secretary Vernon. May 18, 1699 195
  73. Examination of Edward Buckmaster. June 6, 1699 197
  74. Deposition of Theophilus Turner. June 8, 1699 200
  75. Memorial of Duncan Campbell. June 19, 1699 202
  76. Narrative of William Kidd. July 7, 1699 205
  77. Lord Bellomont to the Board of Trade. July 8, 1699 213
  78. Petition of Sarah Kidd. July 16 (?), 1699 218
  79. Narrative of John Gardiner. July (17), 1699 220
  80. Sarah Kidd to Thomas Payne. July 18, 1699 223
  81. Petition of Sarah Kidd. July 25, 1699 224
  82. Lord Bellomont to the Board of Trade. July 26, 1699 224
  83. The Danish Governor of St. Thomas to Lord Bellomont. Sept. 1, 1699 232xxi
  84. Declaration of William Kidd. Sept. 4, 1699 236
  85. Lord Bellomont to the Board of Trade. Nov. 29, 1699 237
  86. Information of Henry Bolton. Feb. 4, 1701 245
  87. William Kidd to the Speaker of the House of Commons (Robert Harley). Apr. (?), 1701 250
  88. William Kidd to Robert Harley (?). May 12, 1701 252
  89. Captain Kid's Farewel to the Seas; or, The Famous Pirate's Lament. 1701 253
The Fidelia
  90. Examination of William Sims. Oct. 22, 1699 257
La Paix
  91. Orders of Governor Nicholson to County Officers. Apr. 28, 1700 259
  92. Deposition of William Fletcher. May 2, 1700 262
  93. Charles Scarburgh to Governor Nicholson. May 3, 1700 264
  94. John and Adam Thorowgood to Captain Passenger. May 3, 1700 266
  95. Benjamin Harrison, jr., to Governor Nicholson. May 4, 1700 267
  96. Governor Nicholson to Captain Passenger. May 4, 1700 268
  97. William Wilson to Governor Nicholson. May 5, 1700 269
  98. Captain Michael Cole to William Wilson. May 5, 1700 270
  99. Libel by Captain William Passenger. May 11, 1700 271
  100. Deposition of William Woolgar and Others. (June 11, 1700) 272
  101. Deposition of Joseph Man. (June 11, 1700) 273
  102. Report of Dr. George Bramston. Nov. 27, 1702 275
Privateers at Martinique
  103. Letter to Boston News Letter. May 8, 1704 276xxii
Case of John Quelch and His Fellow Pirates
  104. Account of their Execution. June 30, 1704 278
  105. Deposition of Paul Dudley. Aug. 15, 1705 285
  106. Commission for Trial of Piracy. Nov. 1, 1716 286
The Pirates of the Whidah
  107. Cyprian Southack to Governor Samuel Shute. May 5 (?), 1717 290
  108. Examination of John Brown. May 6, 1717 293
  109. Deposition of Thomas FitzGerald and Alexander Mackonochie. May 6, 1717 296
  110. Cyprian Southack to Governor Samuel Shute. May 8, 1717 299
  111. Deposition of Ralph Merry and Samuel Roberts. May 11, 16, 1717 301
  112. Trial of Simon van Vorst and Others. (Oct.), 1717 303
  113. Trial of Thomas Davis. Oct. 28, 1717 307
  114. Memorial of Thomas Davis. 1717 309
  115. Petition of William Davis. 1717 311
Prize Courts
  116. Sir Henry Penrice to the Secretary of the Admiralty. Nov. 29, 1718 312
Piracy of Bartholomew Roberts
  117. Extract from the Boston News-Letter. Aug. 22, 1720 313
Admiralty Courts
  118. John Menzies to the Secretary of the Admiralty. July 20, 1721 318
Cases of John Rose Archer and Others
  119. Trial of John Fillmore and Edward Cheesman. May 12, 1724 323
  120. Trial of William Phillips and Others. May 12, 1724 330
  121. Trial of William White, John Rose Archer, and William Taylor. May 13, 1724 338
  122. Trial of John Baptis and Peter Taffery. May 13, 1724 342xxiii
  123. Bill of Robert Dobney. June 2, 1724 344
  124. Bill of Edward Stanbridge. June 2, 1724 345
  125. Petition of Nicholas Simons. May, 1725 346
  126. Instructions of George II. to Captains of Privateers. Nov. 30, 1739 347
  127. (Draft of) Warrant to Governors to issue Letters of Marque. Apr. 26, 1740 355
Dumaresq vs. The Amsterdam Post
  128. Record of the Admiralty Court, and Libel. July 23, Aug. 30, 1740 356
  129. Sea-letter of the Amsterdam Post. Sept. 22, 1739 (N.S.) 364
  130. Let-pass of the Amsterdam Post. Sept. 23, 1739 (N.S.) 365
  131. Tonnage Certificate of the Amsterdam Post. Sept. 24, 1739 (N.S.) 365
  132. Aeneas Mackay's Oath as a Burgher of Amsterdam. Sept. 16, 1739 (N.S.) 366
  133. Lease to Aeneas Mackay. Oct. 2, 1739 (N.S.) 366
  134. Certificates of Master and Mate and Register. Oct. 8, 1739 (N.S.) 367
  135. Extract from Capt. Mackay's Journal. Nov. 14, 1739 368
  136. Protest of Capt. Mackay. Nov. 15, 1739 369
  137. Extract from Capt. Mackay's Journal. Nov. 16, 1739 370
  138. Certificate of Clearance. Dec. 4, 1739 370
  139. Declarations of Sailors. 1740 371
  140. Certificate of British Consul in Madeira. Mar. 9, 1740 (N.S.) 372
  141. Receipt for Mediterranean Pass. May 29, 1740 (N.S.) 373
  142. Certificate of British-Dutch Vice-Consul in Teneriffe. Apr. 26, 1740 (N.S.) 373
  143. Sentence of Admiralty Judge. Sept. 1, 1740 375
The Revenge
  144. Commission of Capt. Benjamin Norton as a Privateer. June 2, 1741 378xxiv
  145. Journal of the Sloop Revenge. June 5-Oct. 5, 1741 381
  146. Account of the Crew with the Owners. Oct. 30, 1741 429
  147. Petition and Complaint of John Freebody. Nov. 5, 1741 431
  148. Deposition of Jeremiah Harriman. Nov. 25, 1741 434
  149. Deposition of Thomas Smith. Nov. 30, 1741 436
  150. Decree of Vice-Admiralty Judge. Dec. 7, 1741 439
  151. Appeal in Prize Case. Dec. 8, 1741 442
  152. Bond for Appeal in Prize Case. Dec. 19, 1741 443
  153. Case (Freebody c. Sarah) and Opinions of Civilians, May 17, July 10, 1742 444
  154. Letters to Owner from London Agents. June 10, July 17, 1742 448
  155. Decree of Vice-Admiralty Judge. July 7, 1742 450
  156. Letters to Owner from London Agents. July 27, Aug. 13, 1742, Feb. 16, 1743 451
  157. Account rendered by a Proctor in London. Feb. 10, 1744 453
  158. John Tweedy's Bill for Medicines. Nov. 8, 1743 456
  159. Account for the Revenge. June, 1744 461
  160. Agreement: The Revenge and the Success. Nov. 10, 1744 463
  161. Inventory and Appraisement of the Prize Willem. June 8, 1745 465
  162. A Proctor's Account. 1745 468
  163. A List of Gunner's Stores 470
  164. Suggestions as to plundering Hispaniola 471
The Princess of Orange
  165. Record of Trial (Libel, Bill of Sale, Owner's Letter, Bills of Lading, Declaration, Affidavit, Portledge
Bill, Depositions). June 11, 1741
The Young Eagle
  166. Petition of John Jones. Dec. 30, 1741 492xxv
The Hawk
  167. Vote of Privateering Crew. June 29, 1744 494
  168. Petition of William Ward. 1744 495
  169. Deposition of John Flood and Zechariah Foss. Aug. 3, 1744 496
  170. Testimony concerning William Ward. Aug. 4, 1744 498
  171. Protest of Sailors. Aug. 13, 1744 499
  172. Petition of Henry Johnson. Aug. 27, 1744 501
The Lewis Joseph and the St. Anne
  173. Deposition of Jacques Piegnon. Jan. 24, 1745 502
The Apollo
  174. Deposition of John Brown. Aug. 2, 1745 506
  175. Deposition of Diego de Prada y Nieto. Aug. 2, 1745 508
The Prince Charles of Lorraine
  176. Deposition of Benjamin Munro and William Kipp. Apr. 23, 1746 510
  177. Deposition of Daniel Vaughan. Sept. 1, 1746 513
The Elizabeth
  178. Deposition of William Dunbar. May 7, 1747 514
  179. Petition of Edward Winter. May, 1749 516
  180. Commission of a Vice-Admiralty Judge. Sept. 23, 1752 517
  181. Commission of a Vice-Admiralty Judge. June 16, 1753 519
  182. Warrant to try Prizes. June 5, 1756 524
  183. Standing Interrogatories. 1756 525
La Virgen del Rosario y el Santo Cristo de Buen Viage
  184. Libel of Richard Haddon. Mar. 9, 1757 529
  185. Deposition of Francisco Raphe. Mar. 31, 1757 533
  186. Account of Sales. July 26, 1757 534xxvi
  187. Deposition of Don Felipe Ybañez. Sept. 2, 1758 535
  188. Libel of Felipe Ybañez. Sept. 27, 1758 542
  189. Certificate of Captain-General Cagigal. Nov. 4, 1758 554
  190. Deposition of William Haddon. Nov. 16, 1759 556
  191. Declaration of Don Gerónimo de Medrano. Nov. 19, 1759 560
  192. Declaration of Don Joseph de la Vega. Nov. 19, 1759 561
  193. Declaration of Domingo de Armas. Nov. 20, 1759 563
  194. Declaration of Elizabeth Berrow. Nov. 22, 1759 564
  195. Reversal of Sentence by Appellate Court. Dec. 19, 1760 567
  196. Appeal of Miller and Simpson. July 7, 1761 569
The Dageroed
  197. Bill of Health. Nov. 9, 1757 570
  198. News of Privateers. May 19, 1757 571
  199. Letter of William Smith, jr. Apr. 8, 1757 573
  200. Letter of Stephen Hopkins. Jan. 15, 1759 575
  201. Notes on Commissions for Trying Pirates. Mar. 10, 1762, Aug. 26, 1772 577
  202. Articles of Agreement; the Mars. June 23, 1762 581
  203. Certificate of a Negro's Freedom. June 26, 1762 586





1. Commission from the Providence Island Company to Governor Nathaniel Butler as Vice Admiral. April 23, 1638.[1]

Commission to Captain Butler[2] for the Admiraltie of the Island.

To all to whome theis presents shall come, we the Governor and Company etc. send greetinge. Wheras our gracious Soveraigne Lord King Charles hath by his Letters patent bearing date the 4th day of December in the 6th2 yeare of his Raigne,[3] for himselfe, his heires and successors, given and graunted to us and our successors, assignes and deputies for ever All Admirall rights, benefits and jurisdiccions and likewise all priviledges and Comodityes to the said Admirall jurisdiccion in any wise appertayneinge or belonging, in and upon the seas rivers and Coastes of the Island of Providence, Henrietta[4] and all other Islands within the Limits of his Majestys grant to us made and everie or any of them within 40 Leagues of any the said Islands and in and upon all other Rivers and Creekes within the said Limits, And likewise power to hold and determine all manner of Causes and pleas for and Concerning the same,[5] Now know ye that we the said Governor and Company confiding in the Fidelitie and Judgment of Captain Nathaniel Butler, now bound in a voyage to the Island of Providence, have elected, Constituted and deputed and doe hereby elect, constitute and depute the said Captain Nathaniel Butler, to be Admirall of the said Island of Providence, Hereby giveing and graunting to the said Captain Nathaniel Butler full power and authority to doe and execute (with the advise of the Counsell of warre which shall from time to time be established by us in the said Island) all matters and things concerning the said place of Admirall according to the Instruccions that we or our successors shall from time to time give and direct for and Concerning the execucion thereof, Nevertheless reserving to our selves all such Admirall duties as shall be payable and accomptable for or in respect of the same, other then[6] such priviledges and benefits as shall upon agreement betweene us and the said Captain Butler be assigned and appropriated to him, To have, hould and exercise the said place of Admirall of the said Island untill we shall otherwise dispose of the same. And we do require all persons whatsoever3 from time to time resideing in the said Island that shall at any tyme abide or be in the harbours, ports or Creeks of the same, to yeild and give all due obedience and respect to the lawfull Commands of the said Captain Butler as Admirall of the said Island, as they will answer the Contrary at their perills. Given under our Common Seale this 23th day of Aprill In the XIIII yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles, by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defendor of the Faith, etc. And in the yeare of our Lord God 1638.

H. Darley, Deputy.[7] Ro. Warwick.
W. Say and Seale. E. Mandeville.
Ro. Brook.Jo. Pym.Jo. Gourden.

[1] Public Record Office of Great Britain, C.O. 124:1, p. 118. This document and the next take us back to an almost-forgotten colonial experiment of the English Puritans, contemporary with their undertakings in New England but far removed from them in locality. Old Providence Island—to be distinguished from New Providence (Nassau) in the Bahamas—is an isolated little island in the western Caribbean lying off the coast of Nicaragua. It now belongs to Colombia, and is often called Santa Catalina. In 1630 a company of English investors, desiring to found a Puritan colony, and also to oppose Spain in the Caribbean, obtained from Charles I. a patent for a large area including Providence and other islands. John Pym was their leading member. The history of their colony is interestingly recounted in Professor A.P. Newton's The Colonizing Activities of the English Puritans (New Haven, 1914). The colony became merely a base for privateering against the Spaniards, who conquered and suppressed it in 1641. Thomas Gage, who passed by the island in a Spanish ship in 1637, says, "The greatest feare that I perceived possessed the Spaniards in this Voyage, was about the Island of Providence, called by them Sta. Catarina or St. Catharine, from whence they feared lest some English Ships should come out against them with great strength. They cursed the English in it, and called the Island the den of theeves and Pirates." The English American, or A New Survey of the West-India's (London, 1648), p. 199. For the whole matter of West Indian buccaneering, see Miss Violet Barbour's article, "Privateers and Pirates of the West Indies", in the American Historical Review, XVI. 529-566.

[2] Nathaniel Butler, third governor of Providence Island, sent out with a considerable expedition in April, 1638, had earlier been governor of Bermuda and then a member of the royal council for Virginia.

[3] December 4, 1630. The patent is summarized by Newton, pp. 86-90, and the part conferring admiralty rights is printed in R.G. Marsden, Law and Custom of the Sea (Navy Records Society), I. 470-472.

[4] Henrietta lay some sixty miles southwest of Providence.

[5] A very exceptional grant of power, including the right to grant letters of marque. R.G. Marsden, "Early Prize Jurisdiction and Prize Law in England," in English Historical Review, XXV. 257.

[6] Than.

[7] The signers are as follows. Henry Darley, deputy treasurer, a Yorkshire squire, was a conspicuous Puritan and an intimate friend of Pym. Robert Rich (1587-1658), second earl of Warwick, afterward a chief leader of the Puritans in the Civil War, and lord high admiral under Parliament, had before this been conspicuous in privateering and colonial ventures, and president of the Council for New England. Viscount Saye and Sele (1582-1662) and Lord Brooke (1608-1643), eminent Puritan and Parliamentarian lords, are best known in American history as patentees of the Saybrook colony, but were much more deeply interested in the Providence Island venture. Edward viscount Mandeville (courtesy title borne until his father's death in 1642) is better known as the second earl of Manchester (1602-1671), the celebrated Parliamentarian general. John Pym needs no identification. John Gourdon or Gurdon was an East Anglian squire, neighbor of John Winthrop of Groton.

2. Governor Nathaniel Butler, “Diary of my Present Employment”. February-March, 1639.[1]

[February] 13. Wee hadd an alarme this morneinge, and in regard that the sayle that wee made came to an4 Anchor close without our Rocks called the Breakers, wee sone found that she was a stranger and in perill: wherupon I sent out two shalopes well manned and followed myself in the thirde: and by the waye wee mett with her bote being only a Canow in which all of her men wer come off from her and left her alone; But wee tooke two of her men backe with us to the shypp; and sent two of my Botes to bring her into the Harbour;[2] the which was done: Wee founde her to be a Spanish Frigate, taken by a man of Warre of Flushinge off of Cuba. she was laden with mantega de Porco,[3] Hides and tallowe; their resolution was to have carried her to St. Christophers,[4] and ther to have sold her Goods, but being not able to fetch itt, she was forced to beare up for our Iland; and but for us had wracked upon our rocks; shee was manned with eight men; and the man of warre that tooke her haveinge dispatched her as he thought for St. Christophers, remained upon the Coast of Hispaniola to looke out for more purchase:[5] and in the meantime, little knows what is become of his Prize.

14. I dined at Captain Morgan's. After dinner the Councell of Warre wer assembled at my house; wher some propositions wer considered off touchinge the new come Dutche; as alsoe about some redresses in respect of wronngs pretended to be offred by our Pillageinge seamen.

15. I was att Warwicke Fort[6] this morneinge, wher I called a Counsell of warre; and the new come in Dutche presented a coppy of their Commission signed by the Prince of Orange and the Dutche West India Company. After dinner being newly returned home, wee hadd an alarme, upon the discovery of a sayle; and I went presently out in my shalope and sent Captaine Axe out in his shalope to make a discoverye upon her; she proved to be another smale5 man of warre of Holland which had bin long upon the coast of the terra firma;[7] and hadd gotten nothinge; towards the eveninge she came to an Anchor in our Harbour. This vessell comeinge to the Ronchadores (it being only a desolate barren rocky sande twentie leagues to the eastwards of Providence, which is the nearest land unto itt)[8] found ther an Englishman the which with some others being in a smale frigate wer shypwracked upon itt, some of them gott awaye upon two rafts of which the one of them was never hearde off; Thoes upon the other raft wer driven upon the maine-land of the West-Indies, and soe att last gott home. This man with some others remained upon the sande and rocks; wher att last all of them died save this man only; who after he hadd remained ther two yeares and a halfe of which for ten monethes space, after the deathe of all the rest, he lived solitarily and all alone, being only fedd with such sea foules as resorted to the place, and sometimes some fish, he was thus taken and brought home unto us in good healthe and very lusty.

16. I went very early this mornenige to the greate Baye, wher my worcks went forwards well and almost to my wish. In the afternoone being returned home, I spent some houres in the hearinge of divers controversies amongst the Inhabitants. Towards night the Commander of the Dutche Vessel that came into our Harbour the daye before presented himself unto me and shewed me his Commission signed by the Prince of Aurenge:[9] His errand hither was to find and stoppe a leake; haveinge bin foure or five monethes upon the coast, and gotten noethinge. This morneing also, another of the new Companyes was in their Armes, upon the great Baye; and exercised by Captain Carter[10] in my presence, and did well.

17. Upon this Lorde's daye I was in the morneinge and6 eveninge at Mr. Sherrard's Churche,[11] who preached unto us, at both times. After the afternoone's sermon, the poore man that was soe hapely recovered from the Ronchadores, was introduced by Mr. Sherrarde to make a publicke thanksgiveinge to God for his deliverance with a confession in generall tearmes of his former vicious life, and a promise of future amendment. An act very commendable in itselfe, and a Course fully approvable: Though itt now brought to every man's minde and observation, that whereas the apparent evidence of God's mercye in as highe or higher a nature hadd been manifested towards Captain Axe and his company in his escape from the enemie, to thoes five persons that came safe unto us, in an extreme leakinge bote, from St. Christophers; And towards the fortie nine persons that arrived safely with us from the Barbadoes;[12] And all this done within the space of foure monethes; that none of all this should have bin remembered by Mr. Sherrard, in the same kinde; as if the safe-being of this one only man, had either bin of more remarkableness in itselfe, or of more acceptableness with him than all the others putt togither....

21. Early this morneinge I went out in my shalope to Darlies Fort[13] to looke out for the vessells that wer made the eveninge before and by sunne riseinge wee againe made them five leagues out to sea standeinge in with our Harbour; and by ten of the clocke they came ther to an Anchor: and one of them proved to be the Pinnace called the Queene of Bohemia[14] that I had sent out about five weekes before to looke out for Purchase upon the coasts of the maine; the other was a Spanish Frigate which she hadd made her Prize. I dined this daye at a weddinge.

22. The Captaine of our last arrived Pinnace came unto me and certified me concerneinge his voiage, and the take7inge of his Prize; and I gave him some Advices about the orderinge of every man's shares: And upon this daye all the montega de Porco, and the Tallow that came in the first Dutche was sold to the people att reasonable rates....

25. One of our new Companys was exercised upon this daye, by Captaine Hunt;[15] I went aborde our new prize, to sett downe orders, upon the Breakeinge of Bulke; And the Prize Goods began this morneinge to be unshypped, into our Store House. I hadd many Bussinesses brought afore me this daye, and found trouble ynough in decideinge of them.

26. Our new erected Company of Voluntiers exercised this morneinge, att our new exerciseinge place, and all the Captaines dined with me: In the afternoone, I called a Counsell of warre, where orders wer sett downe and given to the Captaines of the Fortes about makeing of all shotts att the comeinge in of shypps: Witnesses wer also examined in the Court of Admiraltie[16] about the new come in Prize, and a preparation made to an Adjudication. I hearde, determined and appeased divers differences, which might have produced ill bloud.

27. Very early this morneinge, I found worcke ready for me to heare and decide divers complaincts between the Inhabitants. Some of the Counsell of Warre dined with me; presently after dinner I caused a Proclamation pro forma to be made by sound of the Drumme, concerninge the Bussinesse of our new gotten prize: viz, That if anyone could make a claime to any of the said Prize goods or saye anything why adjudication of her being lawfull Prize should not be granted; they should come in by such a daye and should be heard accordinge to Justice. This afternoone all our Prize Goodes being landed, I went to the Store-house to see equall divisions made; And the Lordes fiftes[17] wer first layde aside; and then my dues as Admirall, and Captaine Axe's as Vice Admirall; and then some shares wer delivered accordinge to every man's part, to the common marriner[s];8 and all the Tobacco belonginge to them, was shared and delivered.

28. We wer all this daye busied att the Store-House in the shareinge of the dues to the Shyp-Company, out of the Prize Goods; and in proportioninge the Honorable Companye's Fiftes; and mine owne Admirall duties, and the Vice Admirall's, Captain Axe....

[March] 2. The Commanders and merchants of the Dutch men of warre dined with me this daye: our new prize Frigate by the presumption of her master in takeinge awaye without leave an Anchor and a Cable from her, which he claimed to be his due, and which she rode by in the Harbour, was driven ashore; for which fact he was cited to an Admirall Court....

4. I called a Court of Admiraltie this morneinge; and empannelled twelve seamen, to deliver their verdict, concerninge a misdeameanour committed by a master of a shyp, in takeinge awaye a Cable and an Anchor from a vessell rideinge in the Harbour; wherby the said vessell was driven on grounds and in perill to be lost: but thes Jurors proved themselves soe absurde and ignorant as sone made me finde the miserie of trialls in these dayes by such kinde of men: And it now produced an Order in a session of the Counsell of Warre in the afternoone, whereby all future crimes and commissions of this nature wer made punishable another waye. A new officer in the nature of a fiscall or Advocate[18] in our Court of Admiraltie was elected and sworne this daye.

5. The Prize Vessell that was driven aground was gotten off safe this morneinge, wherby the penalties inclifted[19] by the verdict in the Admiraltie Court in case it hadd perished, wer taken off.

[1] British Museum, Sloane MSS., 758; pp. 143-173 contain Gov. Nathaniel Butler's "Diary of my Present Employment", extracts from the earlier part of which are given here, exhibiting the dealings of a minor colonial governor with problems of privateering, and incidentally somewhat of his daily life. The whole journal runs from February 10, 1639, to May 3, 1640, and is largely occupied with an unsuccessful privateering voyage in the Caribbean which the governor undertook on his own account. England was not at war in February, 1639, but war had long existed between Spain and the Netherlands, and the depredations carried out from Providence were sure ultimately to provoke Spanish reprisals. It was moreover almost an accepted maxim that there was "No peace beyond the Line", i.e., west of the prime meridian and south of the Tropic of Cancer.

[2] The harbor, and the town of New Westminster, were on the northwest side of the island. There is a map in Newton, opp. p. 12.

[3] Lard.

[4] St. Christopher's was at this time occupied jointly by the English and the French.

[5] In the old sense of prey or plunder.

[6] Warwick Fort overlooked the harbor from its north side. Capt. Samuel Axe, mentioned below, a soldier of the Dutch wars, had made the fortifications of the island.

[7] Tierra Firma, the Spanish Main, or north coast of South America.

[8] Roncador means snorer; the cay is still called by that name. The story of this man's shipwreck and preservation figures in Increase Mather's Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences (London, 1684), ch. II. The famous U.S.S. Kearsarge was wrecked on the Roncadores in 1894.

[9] Orange.

[10] Capt. Andrew Carter succeeded Butler, as deputy governor, and lost the island to the Spaniards.

[11] Rev. Hope Sherrard, one of the two ministers of the island, and a rigid Puritan, which Governor Butler was not.

[12] Apparently the party led, through remarkable adventures, by the other minister, Rev. Nicholas Leverton. See Calamy, Nonconformists' Memorial, I. 371.

[13] At the extreme north point of the island.

[14] The queen of Bohemia for whom the pinnace had been named was the princess Elizabeth, the ill-fated daughter of James I.

[15] Capt. Robert Hunt, governor 1636-1638, and an experienced soldier.

[16] The preceding document associates the council of war in the governor's exercise of admiralty jurisdiction.

[17] Dues to the proprietors, under their patent.

[18] Representative of the crown or proprietors.

[19] Inflicted.



3. Articles of Copartnership in New Netherland Privateering. December 4 (N.S.), 1646.[1]

Compareerde voor my Cornelis van Tienhoven Secretarius van wegen de Generale Geoctroyeerde Westindise Comp'e in nieu nederlandt geadmitteert den E. Heer Willem Kieft Directeur General van nieu nederlandt, synde inde voorschreven qualite voor Rekeninge van de welgedachte Comp'e een meedereder in de fregadt de la Garce, Dewelcke nevens alle de naergenoemde persoonen bekende te Hirrideeren in dito Fregat een recht achste part, Jan Damen Ingelycx een recht achste part, Jacob Wolphersen de somma van vyftien hondert gulden, Marten Crigier een gerecht sestiende part, Jacob Stoffelsen elft hondert gulden, Hendrick Jacobsen pater vaer een achste part, Hendrick Arentsen de somme van dertien hondert gulden, Capitain Willem Albertsen blauvelt een Recht achste part, Cristiaen Pitersen Rams veertien hondert gulden, Willem de key een Recht sestiende part, Adriaen dircksen een Recht twee ende dertichste part, Welcke voornoemde Somme ende parten de voornoemde Persoonen als gemeene Reders yder voor haer Particulier hebben gedaen ende Hirrideeren op Winst ende Verlies, ende is desen gemaeckt ende getekent omme in toecomende hunl[ieden] daer van te connen dienen ende Weten Wat yder Reder voor syn Winst vande uytgeleyde pen[ningen] te vorderen mocht hebben. T'Oirconde ende teken der waerheyt is desen by de voornoemde Reeders getekent, den 4e desember 1646. In Nieu Nederlandt.10

Christiaen Pietersz. Jan Jansz Damen.
Wyllem Blaufelt. Martin Cregier.
  Jacob van Couwenhoven.
dit ist X merck Adriaen Dircksen Coen.
van Hendric Arentsen Willem de Key.
dit ist merck signature mark van  
Hendric Jacobsz p. vaer.  
signature mark  
dit ist merck van  
Jacob Stoffelsen.  
In kennisse van my  
C. v. Tienh. Secret.  


Appeared before me, Cornelis van Tienhoven,[2] authorized secretary for the Chartered West India Company in New Netherland, the Honorable Willem Kieft, Director General of New Netherland,[3] being in that capacity partner in the frigate La Garce on account of the aforesaid Company, who together with all the persons named hereafter acknowledged that he was taking a share of one just eighth part in the said frigate, Jan Damen likewise a just eighth part, Jacob Wolphersen the sum of 1500 gulden, Marten Crigier a just sixteenth part, Jacob Stoffelsen 1100 gulden, Hendrick Jacobsen Pater Vaer an eighth part, Hendrick Arentsen the sum of 1300 gulden, Captain Willem Albertsen Blauvelt[4] a just eighth part, Christiaen Pitersen Rams 1400 gulden, William de Key a just sixteenth part, Adriaen Dircksen a just thirty-second part,11 which aforesaid sums and parts the aforesaid persons, as owners in common, each on his own account, have invested and ventured, for profit or loss, and this [declaration] is made and signed in order to serve them in the future and to know exactly what each owner may have a right to demand for his profit on the monies invested. In witness and token of the truth this is signed by the aforesaid owners, December 4, 1646, in New Netherland.

Christiaen Pietersz. Jan Jansz Damen.
Wyllem Blawfelt. Martin Cregier.
  Jacob van Couwenhoven.
this is the X mark Adriaen Dircksen Coen.
of Hendric Arentsen Willem de Key.
this is the signature mark mark  
of Hendric Jacobsz P. Vaer.  
signature mark  
this is the mark of  
Jacob Stoffelsen.  
Acknowledged before me,  
C. v. Tienh. Secret.  

[1] New York State Archives, Albany; Dutch Manuscripts, vol. II., p. 153. The dates in the four New Netherland documents which follow are new style dates. The privateer La Garce, of French origin, began its connection with New Netherland as early as 1642, from 1644 was chiefly owned there, and from these dates to 1649, or even 1656, was an object of pecuniary interest and investment to a considerable number of New Amsterdam men. Many documents among the Dutch papers at Albany relate to her; they show Dutchmen, Frenchmen, and Spaniards as sharing in her captures.

[2] Book-keeper under Director van Twiller (from 1633), provincial secretary under Kieft, schout fiscaal under Stuyvesant till 1656.

[3] Director-general 1637-1646. Of the other partners, Jan Jansen Damen, Jacob Wolfertsz van Couwenhoven, and Martin Cregier were among the leading citizens of New Amsterdam. The total venture seems to have been about 14,000 gulden, say $5600 (worth much more then).

[4] Two Blauvelts or Blawfelts, Albertus and Wyllem, apparently father and son, appear in the records of the Providence Island Company (document 1, note 1). The former discovered the inlet on the Mosquito Shore, excellent for buccaneers, which is still called by his name, Blewfields Bay, in Nicaragua. After the Spanish conquest of Providence in 1641, Wyllem Blawfelt took to privateering, and, as will be seen, pursued it too long.

4. Articles of Copartnership between Augustin Herrman and Wyllem Blawfelt. December 4 (N.S.), 1646.[1]

Wy ondergeschreven bekennen geaccordeert ende verdragen te wesen inde fregat de la Garce op Winst ende verlies te hirrideeren, de somma van seventien hondert drie ende t'seventich gulden waer van Sr Augustyn een rechte seste [substituted for sestiende, erased] part Hirrideert onder den naem van Willem Aelbertsen Blauvelt, die bekent de voornoemde Somma uyt handen van Augustyn Heerman ontfangen te hebben ende belooft, soo Godt de heere hem Capitain Willem Albertsen een ofte meer prysen t'sy groot ofte cleen verleent van dese reyse, aende voornoemde Sr. Augustyn off syn Ordre uyt te keeren een gerechte seste12 [clerk wrote first sestiende] part vande veroverde Goederen uyt syn een achtste part. Ende soo t gebeurde, dat Godt verhoede, dat de barcque verlooren wiert, sal den voornoemden Sr. Augustyn niets op Capitain Blauvelt te pretenderen hebben. Aldus gedaen ende getekent de 4e desember a'o 1646. In nieu Amst.

Augustin Herrman.
Wyllem Blawfelt.
In kennise van my
Cornelis van Tienhoven, Secret's.


We the undersigned acknowledge that we have consented and agreed to invest in the frigate La Garce, for profit or loss, the sum of 1773 gulden, of which the Sieur Augustyn[2] ventures the sixth [substituted for sixteenth, erased] part in the name of Willem Aelbertsen Blauvelt, who acknowledges that he has received the aforesaid sum from the hands of Augustyn Heerman and promises, if God the Lord grants to him, Captain Willem Albertsen, on this voyage one or more prizes, whether great or small, to turn over to the aforesaid Sieur Augustyn or his order a sixth [the clerk wrote first sixteenth] part of the captured goods out of his own eighth part. And if it shall happen, which God forbid, that the bark should be lost, the aforesaid Sieur Augustyn shall have nothing to claim from Captain Blauvelt. Done and signed December 4, 1646, in New Amsterdam.

Augustin Herrman.
Wyllem Blawfelt.
Acknowledged before me,
Cornelis van Tienhoven, Secretary.

[1] New York State Archives, Dutch Manuscripts, vol. II., p. 153.

[2] Augustin Herrman was a Bohemian of Prague, who had served in Wallenstein's army, had come out to New Netherland in 1633 as agent of a mercantile house of Amsterdam, and had become an influential merchant. A man of varied accomplishments, he made for Lord Baltimore a fine map of Maryland, and received as his reward the grant of Bohemia Manor.


5. Affidavit: the Capture of the Tabasco. July 25 (N.S.), 1649.[1]

Wy ondergeschreven (alle t'samen gevaren hebbende met d'fregat de la garce daer Capetain op is Willem Albertsz Blaeuvelt, gecruyst hebbende inde West Indisch) attesteeren, getuigen ende verclaren in plaets ende belofte van Solemneelen Eede, des noots synde, hoe dat waer ende waerachtich is, dat wy verovert hebben inde reviere van Tabasko een bercke genaemt Tabasko vande Spanjaerde, welcke spanjaerden ons niet vermaende van eenige vreede noch treves die tusschen den Coninck van Spanje ende haere H. Mo. gemaeckt soude syn geweest, noch dat wy van geene vreede geweeten noch gehoort hebben. Alle t'welcke wy ondergeschreven verclaren alsoo waer ende waerachtich te weesen, presenteerende t'selve, des noots synde, altoos met Eede te verifieeren. Ady desen 25en July a'o 1649. N. Amst.

dit ist X marck van
Hendrick Arentsz, Luytenant.
Kempo Sybada.
Raiph Clarck.
dit merc eeſe is gestelt by
Antony de Moedes, Spaenjaert.


We the undersigned, having all voyaged together in the frigate La Garce, of which Willem Albertsz Blaeuvelt is captain, having cruised in the West Indies, testify, witness, and declare, in place and under promise of solemn oath if need be, that it is true and certain, that we captured from the Spaniard, in the river of Tabasko,[2] the bark named Tabasko, which Spaniard did not notify us of any peace or truce concluded between the King of Spain and their High Mightinesses, nor had we known or heard of any14 peace.[3] All which we the undersigned declare to be true and certain, offering also if need be to verify it under oath. This 25th of July, 1649, in New Amsterdam.

This is the X mark of
Hendrick Arentsz, Lieutenant.
Kempo Sybada.[4]
Raiph Clarck.
This mark eeſe is made by
Antony de Moedes, Spaniard.

[1] New York State Archives, Dutch Manuscripts, vol. III., p. 44.

[2] A river of southern Mexico, flowing into the Gulf of Campeche; in all but its lower portion it is now called the Grijalva.

[3] The deposition of William Nobel, surgeon of the La Garce (N.Y. Col. Docs., I. 398), shows that the Tabasco, "laden with grains of paradise", was captured on April 22, 1649, and that another prize was taken on July 5, and confirms the narrative given in the next document. Yet peace had been concluded January 30 (N.S.), 1648. Roger Williams writes to John Winthrop, jr., October 25, 1649, referring no doubt to the prize mentioned in the next document, "Blufield is come to Newport and is carrying the ship (his prize) to Munnadoes [Manhattan], having promised the Governor to answer it to the Spaniard if demaunded, because she is taken against the Treves" (truce, peace); Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., fourth ser., VI. 272, 274.

[4] The pilot of the privateer. The Records of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, I. 314-319, show Captain Kempo Sybada as dwelling in the next ensuing years at New London and on Block Island, and as suffering in his turn from the depredations of privateers. He died in London in 1659.

6. Affidavit of Antonio Leon and Fyck Herry. September 27 (N.S.),


Compareerde voor my Jacob Hendricksz Kip Clercq by den E. Hr. Dr. Generael ende E. Raaden van Nieu neederlant geadmiteert, Antony Leon geboortich inde Mayorke out 26 Jaaren Spanjaert ende Fyck Herry geboortich van Ierlant in Castilhaven out ontrent 21 Jaaren, passagiers overgecomen uyt Capetain Flip drest syn Barcque inde barcque van Willem Albertsz Blaeuvelt, attesteeren, getuygen ende verclaren, in plaets ende presentatie van Eeden ten versoecke vande Gemeene Reders van d'Fregat de La Garce, daer Capetain op was Willem Blaeuvelt voornoemt: hoe dat waer ende waerachtich is, dat sy attestanten weesende op des selfs Capetain Blaeuvelts barcque, gesien hebben ende hun noch wel bekent is, als dat op den achtienden July 1649 in de Bocht van Compechie alwaer quaem des15 avonts een Schip, welcke sy dochten dat het de barcque ofte prys van Blaeuvelt was, waer over Blaeuvelt datelyck seyl maeckte, ende draeyde hem op de Laey, om dat sy haer best soude kennen: welcken blaeuvelt de prinse vlagge van booven ende achteren liet wayen: Hy haer niet verwachtende maer syn best doende om van haer te koomen: des s'nachts ongeveer ten Elf uyren syn sy by hem gekoomen, doen riep blaeuvelts Cartiermeester genaemt Gerrit Hendricksz: Flip, Flip, Maet Flip, welcken geen ant[woor]t en kreegh, roepende, Stryckt voor de Prins van Orangie: Antwoorde, Stryckt voor de Coningh van Spanjen: ende schoot met schut datelyk vier schooten; het vyfde stuck weigerde ende het seste gingh af op Blaeuvelt: sonder dat by Blaeuvelt Its claer gemaeckt hadde: Welcken Blaeuvelt resolveerde om by de Wint te steecken om naer syn volck te geraecken: alle t'welcke wy attestanten voornoemt verclaren alsoo waer ende waerachtich te weesen, presenteerende t'selve, des versocht synde, met Eede te verstercken. Ady desen 27 September 1649, opt Eylant d'Manhatans In Nieu Neederlant. Was onderteckent by dusdanich merck sideways H daer by geschreven: Dit is het merck van Fyck Herry, selfs gestelt: dusdanich teycken sideways S daer by geschreven dit is het merck van Antony Leon Spanjaert selfs gestelt. Nevens Albert Cornelisz ende t'merck van Nicolaes Stilwil, byde als getuygen vande waerheyt des bovenstaenden onderteckenden Mercken: onderstont In Kennisse van my, Jacob Kip geadmiteerde Clercq.

Naer Collatie is deese met syne principale gedateert ende geteckent als boven accordeerende bevonden by myn Jacob Kip Clercq ten overstaen van Francooys Noyret: ende —— getuygen, hier toe versocht desen —— Sept 1649 Int fort Amst. In N. Neederlandt.

Franssoys Noiret, getuyge.



Appeared before me Jacob Hendricksz Kip,[2] authorized clerk to the Honorable Director General and Honorable16 Council of New Netherland, Antony Leon, native of Majorca, 26 years old, Spaniard, and Fyck Herry, native of Castlehaven in Ireland, about 21 years old, passengers, who came from Captain Flip Drest's bark into the bark of Willem Albertsz Blaeuvelt, who testify, witness, and declare, in lieu and on offer of oaths, at the request of the joint owners of the frigate La Garce, of which the above-named Willem Blaeuvelt was captain, that it is true and certain that they, the deponents, being in the said Captain Blaeuvelt's bark, saw, and they recollect very well, that upon July 18, 1649, in the bay of Campechie,[3] there came in the evening a ship which they thought to be the bark or prize of Blaeuvelt, whereupon Blaeuvelt immediately made sail, and turned to the leeward in order that they might the better make her out. The said Blaeuvelt ran up the Prince's flag above and at the stern, not waiting for her, but doing his best to get away from her. About eleven o'clock at night she came up to him, when Blaeuvelt's quartermaster, named Gerrit Hendricksz, called: "Flip, Flip, mate Flip", but received no answer and then cried out, "Strike for the Prince of Orange!"[4] [The Spaniard] answered, "Strike for the King of Spain!" and immediately fired with cannon four shots. The fifth piece failed to go off. The sixth shot struck Blaeuvelt's ship, without his having made any preparations [to fire]; said Blaeuvelt resolved to sail close to the wind in order to get to his people. All which we deponents aforesaid declare to be true and certain, offering on demand to confirm the same by oath. This 27th of September, 1649, on the Island of Manhattan in New Netherland. Signed with a mark of the following shape, sideways H, against which is written, "This is the mark of Fyck Herry, made by himself"; a mark of this sort sideways S against which is written, "This is the mark of Antony Leon, the Spaniard, made by himself"; then, "Albert Cornelisz", and the mark of Nicolaes Stilwil,[5] both as witnesses of the genuineness of the above marks; and beneath, "Acknowledged before me, Jacob Kip, authorized clerk".

After comparison with its original, dated and signed as17 above, this is found to agree, by me, Jacob Kip, clerk, in the presence of Francooys Noyret and [blank] requested as witnesses hereto, this [blank] September, 1649, in Fort Amsterdam in New Netherland.

Franssoys Noiret, witness.[6]

[1] New York State Archives, Dutch Manuscripts, vol. III., p. 65.

[2] From whom Kip's Bay (East River, about Thirty-sixth Street) is named.

[3] Between Mexico and Yucatan.

[4] I.e., strike ensign and topsail.

[5] Albert Cornelisz was a magistrate of Brooklyn; Nicholas Stilwell, of Gravesend.

[6] It was judicially decided later that the Tabasco was not a good prize. A ray of light is cast on Blauvelt's latter end by an item in an enumeration of English buccaneers in 1663 found among the Rawlinson manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, "Captain Blewfield, belonging to Cape Gratia de Dios [Gracia á Diós, Nicaragua], living among the Indians, a barque, 50 men, 3 guns." Haring, Buccaneers, p. 273.


7. Declaration of the Massachusetts Council, July 20, 1653.[1]

Att A Counsell held at Boston 20th July 1653.

Captaine Robert Harding[2] presenting unto us a certificate in the Dutch language with the seale of Amsterdam affixed to it that the ship called in the certificate the holy ghost togather with the skipper thereof did belong unto the united provinces (Although at the first arrivall of the s'd ship diverse rumors were spread which did render them suspitious to have unjustly surprised the s'd ship) whereupon the Counsell thought it there duty to enquire into the matter, yet having now examined the s'd Captaine and Considerd the Certificate afores'd together with a charter partie found in the s'd ship, Wee doe declare that wee have nothing wherewith to charge the sd Capt. or the company but have discharged the said Captaine and the rest of the company heere, together with their clothes, And therfore doe signify unto them that they have free liberty to enter our harbours where they shall have protection from all in18juries and liberties of free trade with any of our inhabitants as any other ships whatsoever have had amongst us.

20 July 1653.
was signed by
Jno. Endecot, Gov.
Ric. Bellingham, Dept. Gov.
Increase Nowell.
Symon Bradstreet.
Samuell Symonds.
Robt. Bridges.
Jno. Glover.
Daniell Gookin.
Daniel Denison, Maj'r Gen'll.
A True Coppie of the paper
written to the Capt and Company
of the dutch prise—20th of
the 5th mo. 1653.[3]
Edward Rawson, Secret'y.

[1] Massachusetts Archives, vol. 60, p. 175. The document is a declaration of the Court of Assistants acting in its executive capacity, as a council.

[2] Capt. Robert Harding, now of Ratcliff, London, was well known in Boston, being, apparently, the same who came out with Winthrop, went to Rhode Island, was an assistant there, and then returned to England.

[3] The fifth month, in the reckoning usual among the English at this time, was July, March being the first. The civil year began on March 25.

8. Declaration of Governor Endicott. August (?), 1653.[1]

To all whom these presents may concerne, greeting etc.

Know yee that the ship called the holy gost of Amsterdam of the burthen about 160 tune beeing taken as a prize and carried away out of the Roade of the Iland of Barbados by some seamen and some planters and Inhabitants of the said Iland, the said Ship and company in their sayling Faling upon the coasts of new England were mett with at sea about 50 leagues from our harbor of Boston in great extremity, wanting provision, by a ship bound from London to our Ports whoe supplied them for there present need and pilatted them into one of our harbors called Natasket[2] where there is not a fort to bring a ship under Command. the Councell hearing of such a ship lying there sent to the Capt and company of the said ship and invited them to come into our harbor at Boston, they being afrade so to doe by reason (as the Councell was enformed) they were told that if they came into the harbor the Capt and Company should bee imprisoned and the ship seased. afterwards the Capt coming a shore, as alsoe some of the company, the Capt was19 arrested and some of the company were imprisoned, who were examined apt [apart] what ship it was they had taken and whence shee was, whither of Holland or of Spayne,[3] or wheather they had used any cruelty to any of the Company they tooke, either by wounding, killing or setting any of them ashore upon any Iland or other place to the endangering of there lives. they all agreed in one relation that no such thing was done by them or any man hurt, And there beeing not any person heere to enforme against the[m] and they making it appeare by a dutch certificate under the seale of Amsterdam and by other dutch writings w'ch are extant with us found in the seisd ship, that shee was a dutch ship of Amsterdam sett out by diverse Marchants of that citty, the councell released the said Capt and the rest w'ch had beene inprisoned, And sent to the rest of the ships company that they might freely come into our harbor, where they should have trafficke and protection from all Injuries and liberty of trade with any of our inhabitants as any other ships whatsoever, the ship afterwards came into Salem harbor,[4] And the Governor gave order to have the whole Cargo of goods to be brought ashore, that theire might bee a true Invoyce taken thereof, that the state of England[5] might have the tenth. And the rather because it was reported to be a vessell of great treasury And the account thereof might be expected from the goverment, being brought in to this Jurisdiction, And to the end there might be the better satisfaction given to such as might inquier after it. In Wittnesse of the premisses I have hereunto sett my hand and caused the seale of the Colony to be afixed.

This is A true Coppie Compared with the originall

per Edward Rawson, Secret'y.

[The words "Jno. Endecott Gov'n'r and the seale of the Colony" appear in the margin.]

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 174.

[2] Nantasket.

[3] England and the Dutch were now at war (1653-1654), and the ship if Dutch might be good prize, but there was no war with Spain.

[4] There are several entries regarding it in the Records of the Essex Quarterly Courts, I., but under the name of the Happy Entrance.

[5] The Commonwealth government.


9. Deposition of Matthew Hill. October (?), 1653.[1]

Mathew Hill aged 30 yeares and upwards deposeth and sayth

That upon the seaventh day of May 1653 last past aboute two of the clock in the afternoone of the same day The Prize-men and company that take the Spanish Ship out of Carlile Roade in Barbados,[2] there being at that tyme when shee was taken eight men of the shipps owne company on board when they tooke her (as the Gunner thereof informed this depon't) and that two of them leaped over board, w'ch were taken up by other shipps, and that they tooke thother six men with them, and were expected to have beene sent on shore back againe, but they cume not nor were ever heard of (by any meanes that this depon't could understand of) in foure months tyme whilst this depon't resided in Barbados after the ship was so taken, nor is yet that this depn't heares of. And this depon't further sayth That the Spanyord reported that there was a chest of gold dust six foote long and another chest of Jewells and Pearles, but named not how bigg it was, and seaven hogsheads of peeces of eight,[3] besides all other traffick that was in the said Shipp, And sayth that the Pylate of the said shipp affirmed that if there were Thirty men of them their share would come to one thousand pounds a peece, And also sayth That the Gunner of the said Ship being an Englishman (and this depn'ts country man) informed this depon't That his owne share in the said Shipp was worth eight hundred pounds sterl.

Mathew Hill.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 172a.

[2] Carlisle Road or Bay is the roadstead of Bridgetown, Barbados.

[3] Spanish dollars, pieces of eight reals.

10. Deposition of Francis Blackman and John Dukley. October (?), 1653.[1]

Mr. Francis Blackman, aged 60 yeares or there about, and mr. John Dukley aged 4[illegible] yeares or there abouts, doe joyntly and severally depose and say21 That in the month of May last past There was a Spanish Ship, as it was affirmed to be, taken at Barbados by a company of men that were some of them there resident and some of them inhabitants there, wherein there was eight men of the shipps company when it was taken, and two of them leapt over board and were taken up by other shipps but six of them were taken away with them in the said shipp. And there was a flying report that they were come on shoare againe the same day, but the constant report was that they were not, neither was any of them seene by these depon'ts after they were carryed away whilst these depon'ts remayned in Barbados, w'ch was foure months after.

Francis Blackman.

John ID Dukley.
his marke

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 173.

11. Letter of Governor Searle of Barbados. November 4, 1653.[1]

Honnored Sr.

Theare arived some sixe mo. since before this Iland a spannish ship belonging to Tennarife (one of the Canary Ilands) Commanded by Emanuell Rodriges, Capt. thereof, who having mett with much contrary weather in theire voiage homewards wer necessitated to put for this place, and being before the Iland sent in theire request to have libertie to wood and water. accordingly it was graunted unto them, with Assurance of receiving like protection, freedome, and libertie in our ports, as any other Nation in league and Amitie with the Commonwealt[h] of England, which gave them Incouridgment to bring theire shipp into harbor within Command of our forts, and having staied and Refreshed themselves some three weeks time and taken in such necessaryes and provicions as they needed, whiles the Comander with the major parte of his men were on shoare22 abo[ut] theire dispatches, the said ship was Unhappily surprized in the harbor by a wicked deboist[2] Crew of persons, who getting aboard and by force suppressed those few seamen which were in the shipp, Cutt the Cables and sett saile.

Assoone as the surprise was discovered some shott were made at them, but theire resolution to Carry so desperate an Attempt (knowing w't the end would have binn had they fayled therein) and sensiblenesse [?] in theire dispatch to gett the ship without Command, as also the night Coming on, and having the Advantage of winde and Currant, no meanes Could be used to recover the shipp Againe, by which action the Comander, with his men, who but a little before were possessed (as well of theire owne as others Interested) with very Considerable estates, were left on shoare to be Releived by our charitie.

The Inhabitants of this Iland with myself Cannot but have a very great Resentment of so vile an Act, which hath Reflected so much not only uppon Authoritie but the Iland in Generall, and may heareafter reflect to the prejudice of particcular persons heare who trade at the Canary Ilands.

Wee have lately understood these Robbers by fained pretenses and discourses, to Coulor theire Action have endeavored to shelter themselves under your Authoritie in New England, but its hoped and beleived that such persons will not be harboured, nor such Actions Countenanced by you there. if they should it may proove for the future of evill consequence to this Colonie. it was least of all suspected theire Confidence would have led them thither, otherwise wee should from hence have ere this requested your Assistannce for stoping the shipp and goods, and persons of those Robbers, untill the parties concerned therein might have Intelligence of theire being in New England, there to prosecute for theire rights;

The Capt. of the said ship with some others of the Compa. went hence for England hoping there to meete with them, others of them are gonn to some of the leiward Ilands, and some to the Canaries. assoone as Intelligence23 cann be given to the proprietors at tennarife, you will I judge have some one from thence, to prosecute for theire shipp and goods.

The persons who Committed this Robberie being thorough theire deboistnes brought into Considerable engagements to severall of the Inhabitants of this Iland, had long before sought waies to make escapes from of this place, to Avoide theire Confinement which the lawe would have forced them unto for sattisfaccion of theire just debts; and had not this ship presented, theire Attempts would have binn to have zeased on some other, as since hath binn prooved, which might as well have binn some Vessell heare of your Collony, as any other; theire example have binn encouradgement to others to Attempt the like, but wee are, and shall be as dilligent to prevent the same as possible wee may. if all or some of the cheife of those Robbers (if they are still with you), were sent hither that exemplary Justice might be Inflicted on them, it maybe a meanes to terrify others from such actions for the future.

What Justice you please to execute in this particcular, will not only be well resented by us heare; but also thankefully acknowledged and greately vindicate the Justice of your Authoritie against such as otheruise may be apt to blemish the same.

Since the Surprisall of said shipp here arived another vessell from the Canarie Ilands, to offer trade with the Inhabitants, who notwithstanding the Assurance they receaved from me of freedom and protection therein, yet afterwards being Informed of the Aforesaid action would not trust themselves amongst us but departed; which doe tend much to the prejudice of the Collonie. I shall not further enlarge at present but referr all to your Consideracion; and Commend you to the Almighty in whom I Rest

Yours in what I may to serve you

Daniel Searle.

Berbadoes 4th of November 1653.

a true copy, etc., and the address.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, pp. 176, 177. Daniel Searle was governor of Barbados, under the Commonwealth, from 1652 to 1660.

[2] Debauched.


12. Order of the Massachusetts Council. January 25, 1654.[1]

Att A Counsell Called by the Governor on occasion of a letter sent from the Governor of Berbadoes to the Governor heere respecting the prizemen and held at Salem the 24th of January, 1653.[2]

After the Counsell had Considered of that letter they Ordered that the Secretary should forthwith transcribe true Coppies of the originall and translacion of the Dutch Certifficat and the other Dutch writting found in the shipp called the holy ghost, and presented by Capt. Robt. Harding to the Counsell, Attested by the Secretary and sent to the Gov'nor and Counsell at the berbadoes, And further Ordered that the Secretary may give true coppies thereof to the Capt. or any other of the prizemen or any other that shall desier them;

And though by what the Governor of Berbadoes hath hitherto Certefied to us, it does not legally appeare that the vessell was or is a spannish vessell, but the Contrary rather seemeth unto us by the dutch Certifficat and other writting sealed and the Inscription on the sterne of hir De heyly[3] Gheest, with the picture of the dove and burden of the ship concurring with them, yett for these severall reasons, viz. 1. Becawse it cann be no Injury to Capt. Robt. Harding, Left. Thom. Morrice, and that company to Justify theire oune act at Berbadoes, (if it were a lawfull act). 2. Because there is probabillitie, some evidence appearing, that severall of the shipps former company that was aboard are missing, wch were not brought into this Jurisdiccion, what is become of them cannot so well be cleered, nor the Case triable any where so well as at the Berbadoes where the fact was donne. 3. Becawse Capt. Harding, Left. Morrice and the rest, as is suspected, have not discovered all the treasure that was in the shipp and thereby have deceaved the Commonwealth of England (In Case it should proove a pricze)25 which cannot be cleered so well, any where as at Berbadoes, who have as wee are Informed inquired of hr [?] the value of the prize, and the Rather becawse they broke bulke at Pemequid, out of our Jurisdiccion,[4] and that after they had our order, which they seemed to decline by theire Accepting proteccion from Capt. Gilbert Crane, as appeares by proofe, who was in our harbors under the Imploiment of the Parliament of England for masts and Tarre.[5]

Itt is therefore Ordered that the Capt. Robt. Harding, Left. Thomas Morris and the rest of that company now in hold and such as shall be taken heere after shall with all conveniency be sent to the Berbadoes and In the meane time Remaine in prison, unlesse the Counsell shall take further order.

Itt is further Ordered that Capt. Robert Harding, Left. Thomas Morris and Henry Cowes shall, when Capt. Jno. Allen or any other that shall first be Ready to sett saile to the Berbadoes, be delivered safe aboard to him or them, by him or them to be delivered to the Governor and Counsell at Berbadoes, And It is left to any three of the majestrates to send the rest by such conveyances as they shall Judge meete.

And that the Secretary shall from the Counsell give a strict charge to the keeper of the prison to secure them in prison so as they escape no[t] as he will Answer it on his utmost perrill.

25. January 1653. voted alltogither.

Edward Rawson, Secret.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 178.

[2] 1654, new style.

[3] Heylige.

[4] The Pemaquid settlement lay on the Maine coast near the mouth of the Damariscotta River; it belonged at this date to Richard Russell and Nicholas Davison, private proprietors.

[5] Capt. Gilbert Crane, in the King David, went out for this purpose in 1653 and returned to England in 1654.

13. Vote of the Massachusetts House of Deputies. June 10, 1654.[1]

Whereas there was some Information given unto this Court of the Illegall surprisall of the Spanish shipp for26merly Called the Holy Ghost and since Called the happie Entrance, of which shipp Capt. Robt. Hardinge was Commaunder, yet forasmuch as neither Capt. John Allen who so informed, nor any other person, would Ingage to procecute agaynst the sd Capt. Hardinge and Company, The Court thought it not meete to take Cognizance thereof, after which Capt. Crane undertooke to receive the tenth for the State of England, and whatsoever was Done by him or by mr. Endecot, then Gov'r, or Capt. Breedon[2] or any other person in any respect whatsoever about the sd shipp or Goods or tenth part thereof, neither was nor wilbe owned by this Court in any kind. the Deputyes have past this and desire our hon'rd magists. Consent hereto.

10th 4th 1654

William Torrey, Cleric.[3]

The magists. Cannot Consent heereto, It Contradicting the last act of the Court.

Edward Rawson, Secret'y.

[Another copy of the vote, likewise attested by Torrey, has instead of the above subscription the following:]

this vote to be entred in the booke altho not Consented to by the magists.

Contradicent., mr Jer Howchen.27

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, pp. 184, 183. On May 3 the General Court had voted that the imprisoned privateers (or pirates) should be released on bonds of a thousand pounds apiece for reappearance when summoned; Records of Massachusetts Bay, III. 344. We have now a conflict between the two houses, the House of Deputies wishing to drop prosecution, the Assistants adhering to the vote of May; id., IV. 196. In October the prisoners were released from their bonds; id., III. 361, IV. 207, 218.

[2] Capt. Thomas Breedon, afterward proprietary governor of Nova Scotia, had bought the ship. Records of Essex Quarterly Courts, I. 319, 320.

[3] Torrey was clerk of the House of Deputies, Rawson secretary of the Court of Assistants. Ensign Jeremiah Howchen, whose dissent from the majority opinion of the deputies is recorded below, was deputy for Hingham.


14. Portuguese Commission (Letter of Marque) to Charles de Bils. February 10 (N.S.), 1658, September 10, 1662.[1]

Alfonso, by the grace of God King of Portugall and of the Algarves [on both sides] of the seas In Africa, Lord of ginney and of the Conquest, navigation, and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and of India, Know all to whom this my letter patent shall Appeare that itt Behooving mee to provide shipps to oppose sea Roavers thatt frequent the Coasts of these my Kingdomes, for the conveniency of tradeinge to them, And Consideringe the merritts and Partts thatt Doe concurr in the person of Charles de Bils, Confidinge in him that In all thatt I shall Impose to his trust hee will serve mee to my Content, Itt Is my will and pleasure to nominate and by these Presents doe name for Capt. of a shipp of warr, by virtue of w'ch power hee may provide att his owne charge a shipp of one hundred Tonnes with whatt boates nessesarie, and provide her with Gunns, People, ammunition and provisions as hee shall thinke Convenientt, to wage warr with the subjects of the Kinge of spaine, Turks, Pirats, Sea Roavers, take there shipps and there marchandizes and all that belongs unto them and Carry them to Any Portts of this Kingdome to give An Accountt of them in my office, where they shall bee taken Account of In a booke kept for said purpose, where they shall bee Judged if Lawfull Prizes. hee may vizitt or search whatt shippes hee thinks goe loaden with our Enimies goods, goe to there ports, favouringe In all things any Alyed28 to this Crowne, Payinge the Customes of sd. Prizes, according to the Rates of the Custome Houses of this Kingdome. Wherefore I Request all Kings, Princes, Potentats, Lords, Republicks, states, theire Leiftenants, Generalls, Admirals, Governours of there provinces, Citties and Portts, Captaines And Corporals of Warr, to give to the said Charles de Bils all the Assistance, helpe and favour, Passage and Entrance into theire Portts, with his said shipp, people, prizes and all things theire unto pertaininge, offerringe my selfe in the like occasion to doe the same, and Command my Governours, Generalls, officers of Warr, to lett them goe and passe with there prizes as long time as shall be nessesarie, for Confirmation of w'ch I commanded this letter Pattent to bee past, signed and sealed with the great seale of my Armes. Given in the Cittie of Lisbone the tenth day of february. Written by Antonio Marques In the Yeare of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ one thousand six hundred fifty Eightt. Diogo Ferres Bravo Caused itt to bee written. Queene.[2] And because said Charles de Bills Presen[t]inge himselfe before mee, Declareinge hee had lost said patent, desireinge mee to favour him to Command to passe him Another With safety [?] I commanded itt to bee past him outt of the Register Booke, W'ch Is the same declared above. given in lisbone the tenth of September six hundred sixty two.

frances Pereira da cunha caused itt to bee written.

(Sealed with
the Armes
of portugall.)

The King.[2]

The Patent by w'ch your Mag'tie was pleased to nominate Charles de Bils for captaine of a warr shipp of One Hundred tonnes, w'ch hee offerred to furnish att his owne Cost with such Boates as hee shall thinke nessesarie and to provide them with Gunnes, People, Ammunitions, and victuals that hee thinks needfull. Reformed. By Your Mag'tie.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 215. A copy of the Portuguese original is in the archives, as well as this rough translation. The dates are new style. The grantor was King Alfonso VI., brother of Catharine of Braganza, queen of England from 1662 to 1685. War with Spain had continued since the Portuguese revolt of 1640. This series of papers shows well to what abuses the whole system of letters of marque was open. For an English commission, of later date (1741), see doc. no. 144.

[2] When the original commission was issued the king was a minor, and it was signed by his mother the queen regent, Donha Luiza; but in June, 1662, by a palace revolution, King Alfonso assumed authority.


15. Commission from de Bils to John Douglas. September 20 (N.S.), 1662.[1]

By his mag'ties decree of the tenth of october 657, And Dispach of the counsell of the 8th of september 662. Itt Is Registred In the 22 Booke of the s[ecre]taria of Warr, fol. 72.

Wee, Charles de Bils, Captaine by the King our Lord, by virtue of my fore written Patent, Sealed with The great Seale and Signed by his mag'tie, Constitute and doe Constitute D. John Duglas for Commander of my shipp Called st. John In my name and as if I were Personally Presentt to make Warr With the Enimies of this Crowne of Portugall, Accordingly And in the same manner as it Is declared In my Patent, for Effectinge of W'ch I grant to the said my Constituted all the Powers to mee granted, for Confirmacion of w'ch I deliver him this my Patent signed with my hand and Sealed with the seale of my Armes. made In lisbone the twentieth of september one thousand Six hundred sixty two.

Charles de Bils.

Wee the under written doe testyfie that the Aboves'd and what is Conteyned on the other Side[2] is a true translation of a Comission Graunted by the Queene of Portugall and afterwards Confirmed by the King of that Country unto Charles de Bills and afterwards Assigned over by Sayd Charles de Bills unto Capt John Duglas as witnes our hands

Aug't the 15th 1664.[3]

Edmund Downer.
William Tailer.
John Ford.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 216.

[2] Documents 14 and 15.

[3] Old style, presumably.


16. Deposition of William Browne. June 24, 1664.[1]

The deposicion of William Browne, passenger with Mr Robert Cooke, in the Blow Dove, and now prisoner aboard Capt. Jno. Dowglass:

That when hee was demaunded of the said Capt. John Dowglass where the said Shipp did belong unto, that the said William Browne did saye that hee heard the Mr say severall times, that the said Shipp did belong unto Amsterdam, and that the said Shipp was bound for Amsterdam, and that most of the company[2] were Scotts:

2ly. That the said William Browne did see when a Jewe did shipp aboarde some goods,[3] and that a Jewe did marke it, and that a Jewe did dispose of the goods which the Shipp brought from Holland and that Jewes name was Isaac Cardozo, and that after the Shipp was taken it was the Mr.'s desire for to bee put ashoare, and his company likewise, for the Mr. of the said Shipp was wounded and the Capt., meeting with a vessell bound for Port Royall in Jameka, did graunt leave to the said Mr. and most of his company for to goe in her for the said Port: as witness my hand this 24. of June 1664:

Taken uppon Oath this 12. of July 1664 in Portsmouth, in Pascatayvay River, in Newe-England, in America; before mee

Brian Pendleton,[4]

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 218a.

[2] Crew.

[3] At Port Royal, Jamaica. The Blue Dove was taken between Jamaica and Hispaniola, while sailing for Amsterdam.

[4] Brian Pendleton was a selectman of Portsmouth, and one of its leading men.

17. Deposition of Marcus Claesz. June 24, 1664.[1]

The deposicion of Markus Claise of Rotterdam borne, passenger in the Blow Dove, when shee was taken, and now prisoner aboarde Capt. John Dowglass.31

That when hee was demaunded of the said Capt. John Dowglass where the Shipp did belong unto, that hee the said Markus Claise did say that the said Shipp did belong unto Amsterdam, and that the Shipp was bound for Amsterdam when shee was taken, and that the Jewes were aboarde before wee set saile, and that most of the Company were Scotts, and after that the said Shipp was taken that the Mr., Robert Cooke, and most of his company did desire of the Capt. to goe ashoare uppon Jameka, and the Capt. meeting with a Barke bound for Port Royall in Jameka did graunt them leave, according to theire desire, to goe in her to the aforesaid Port at Jameka: as witnes my hand this 24. day of June 1664.

Taken uppon Oath this 12. of July 1664 in Pascatayvay River, in Newe-England, in America, before mee:

Brian Pendleton,

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60. p. 218.

18. Deposition of Bartholomew Martin. June 24, 1664.[1]

The deposicion of Bartholomewe Martin, Spaniard, passenger and now aboarde of Capt. John Dowglass:

That when hee was demaunded of the said Capt. John Dowglass whither hee knewe if the Shipp did belong unto the Jewes, hee answered that hee heard Isaac Cardozo a Jewe tell him privately that the Shipp did belong unto his father in Amsterdam, and that shee was Assigned unto him by his father from Amsterdam, and that the said Bartholomewe Martin did see the Jewes bring Quicksilver, and that hee knowes it is the same which was taken in the Blew Dove: as witness my hand this 24. day of June 1664.

Taken uppon Oath this 12. of July 1664 in Portsmouth, in Pascatayvay River, in Newe-England, in America, before mee:

Brian Pendleton,

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 217a.


19. Commission to James Oliver and Others. July 16, 1664.[1]

Being Credibly Informed of the Arrivall of a ship at Piscatage manned with persons who have Given just cause of suspition and are suspected to have seazed the said ship in a way of piracy or in a undue and Illegall manner, Now that his Maj'ty may have his rights and dues preserved, his Good Subjects the Right owners and proprietors of ship and Goods releived wht [without] any such violent seizures

These are therefore in his Maj'tys name to Authorize and Require yow, Capt. James Olliver, Capt. Edward Hutchinson, upon Receipt hereof forth with to repaire to the sd River of piscatage and there to Apply yourselves to Capt. Brian pendleton and mr. Richard Cutts, who are hereby Alike Authorized and Joyned in Comission with yow, who together or any three of yow are hereby Impowred and Required to make seazure of the Comander, officers and Company of the said ship, whither in piscatage River or in any other Harbor, port or place within this Jurisdiction, in Case they shall Refuse to submitt themselves to your comand Relating to a due triall, to secure the said ship and Goods, and having so secured them yow are to Convey the said persons, shipp and Goods to Boston, that so a due proceeding may be had and made therein according to law and Justice, And that yow may be fully enabled to dischardg the trust here Comitted to yow, All officers and Comanders both by33 land and sea, in those parts, are hereby required in his Maj'tys name on your warrant and order to be ayding and Assisting to you therein, for wch this shall be your and their Warrant.

Given Under our hands, with the seale of the Colony hereto Affixed, at Boston in N E. this 16th day of July 1664.

R B D. F W.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 220. Of the persons commissioned, Oliver was a prominent merchant in Boston; Hutchinson was a son of Anne Hutchinson, and was killed in King Philip's War; Pendleton and Cutts were selectmen of Portsmouth. The signatures are those of "Richard Bellingham, Deputy" (Governor), and Francis Willoughby of the Court of Assistants; see document 27. Four days later, July 20, 1664, Samuel Maverick, coming out from England as one of the four commissioners to regulate New England, writes to Capt. Thomas Breedon from Portsmouth, "It hapned, that as wee were ready to come in, There went out from hence a Pinck [small ship with narrow stern], taken as a prize by a ship of Jamaica, but by authority from the Governor of the Massachusetts, the prize was as I understand seized upon and those that first took her, secured as prisoners by Capt. Oliver, and carryed for Boston," and he remonstrates against this as a usurpation of the commissioners' authority. N.Y. Col. Doc., III. 65.

20. Deposition of Daniel Sprague. July (?), 1664.[1]

I, Danell Sprage,

when I wasse Cleer and my wages paid me I Could get noe imployment nor passage, not in three weeks time that I lay there, to goe to the windward Ilands. then I thought good to goe as to Cammanus,[2] to se if I Could get passage their, and I saild with one Captaine Hermon towards the Cammanus, and as wee Came to An iland Called Camman-bricke,[3] their lay Captaine John Duglasse at Anker. he sent his boate abord of us to heer what newse from Jemecoe, and we Asked of them wether they weare bound. the quarter Maistor Answered and said, wee be bound to the windword Ilands. I Asked of them weither I Could have passage with them or noe, and hee saide, "I,[4] and wellcome". then I went Abord with my Chest and Clothes and I staid aboard all the night and Could not speake with the Captaine, but the nixt Mornin as soon as it wasse day I spoke with the Captaine. I desired of the Captaine wether he wasse bound and he told me he wasse looking out for A shipe that Came from Amsterdam in holland to Jemecoe, Called the blew dove, and said, "if I Could meet with her she is A good prise for me. I have beene ten or tewlve dayes aseeking after her and Cannot light of her, but if I Can light of her she is Aprise for me. I have the king of34 Portugalls Commishon". I, danell Sprage, [said] unto Captaine John duglasse, "without your Commishon be very firme and that you be sure you Can Make a prise of her I desire you not to Come neer her, for I know what the ship is and Came out of holland in her". he Answered and said if I would goe a longe with him he would beare me out in all damages that shuld follow or insue upon me Conserning takeing of the prise. then the shipe which I Came from Jemecoe in wasse gon from the Iland over to the Cammanus and their wasse noe other shipe left but only Captaine John Duglasse. I said unto Captaine John Duglasse, "shuld I goe with you, and you shuld Come up with this shipe and take her, and the Company seeing of me they will say that I have been at the Cammanus and have fetched A shipe one purpose to Make a prise of them". Captaine Duglass Answered and said that "I and my Company Can testifie to the Contrarie and as far as my Commishon and my life doth goe I will beare you out Against all them that shall qushton you as Conserning the takeing of this shipe: I am Captaine and I have taken her with my Commishon and I will Answer it".

thes be the men that Can testifie that they weare ten or twelve dayes out in the pursuite after thes ship be fore I Came to them: and have heer unto set their hands.

the Marke of william gibens.
John Hill.
* the Marke of Cline the
Thomas Huckens is Marke. signature mark
Solemon Begensous, quarter
+ the Marke of Halligert
Thomas Berkenhead.
These be the two witnesses wich
Can Justifie that I did desire the
Capt. that, without his Comemishon
where[5] sure, not to medle
with the ship.
The Marke of danell harress.
signature mark
Abraham willkeson.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 229.

[2] The Cayman islands, NW. of Jamaica.

[3] Cayman Brac.

[4] Ay.

[5] Were; "unless his commission were sure."


21. Deposition of William Browne. July 25, 1664.[1]

William Browne, age 17 or 18 yeares, Saith that he was to goe passenger for England with mr. Robert Cook, master of the Shipe Called the blow dove of london. the sd. wm. Browne heard the master Say that the Said Ship did belonge to Sr. wm. Davidson in Amsterdam[2] and I know that James wattson who came owt of holand befoire the Ship, did frawght the Sd. Ship with Some goods marked with WD. and I doe not know certanly whether there was ane S. in the midle or not, and that the Said James wattson was going with the Sd Shipe first for England and then for Amsterdam, and that the Sd. wm. Browne did See a Jewe Marke Qwicksilver and wax, which was Shiped Aboard of the Sd. Shipe, which Jewe kept a Shope publickly in Jamaica and did dispose of Some of the goods q'ch [which] came from holdand in the Said Shipe, and I doe know that there was ane English man Aboard which was a pasenger which had Some goods A board, as Cocco, 2 Tunne marked with ane O burned with the Barrell of A mwscket.[3] the Sd Shipe coming out of port Royall with 10 men or there About, with Some passengers, went in Company with Captaine Hatchwell to blewefilds bay,[4] a bowte 20 Leagwes distance from Pt. Royall, and tooke in some watter and Some Ballace, and being at ane Ankore the Captane of a little Barke with his Company boarded them and gave them a voly of Shoat, being in nwmber about 27 men, and being Some what darke the master was Shote in the Arme and the men of the blow dove were put in the howll of the Shipe: and then the Asaylants Cut the Cables, and Caryed away both veshells and them, untill they came to poynt Niggereell,[5] where they met with ane English barke coming from Caymanws and bownd for Porte Royall in Jamaica, where they putte the Said mr. of the blowe dove Aboard According to his desire36 and furnished them with Some victwales and a Caise of Spirits: and after they were gone owt of Sight they lasht there barke aboard of the prise and took most of there things owt of her and Let her goe Adrifte.

There was Aboarde the Shipe when shee was taken from Ro't Cooke bowt 48 hogsheads of Sugar, Some Cocco, Ebbony, Granadilla, Brasilita,[6] Oakem, Stockfish, match, Qwick Silver 29 or 30 Chists, 2 gold Crownes with diveres other Jewelles, 1 Barill of knives, Some Swords, 1 Barill with Sheathes and Corvall, 60 Jares of oyle, 9 Caises with Spirits, 7 or 8 packes of whyte waxe, Lignavita, Gwmme about 5 or 7 pak.

Taken upon oath this 25th of July 1664 befor me
Thomas Savage, Commiss'r.

Acknowledged in Court 5th August 1664.
Edw. Rawson, secret.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 223.

[2] See document 27.

[3] Musket.

[4] This Blewfields Bay is at the SW. side of Jamaica.

[5] Cape Negril.

[6] Braziletto, a wood resembling brazil-wood.

22. Deposition of Robert Lord. July 26, 1664.[1]

The deposition of Robert Lord aged 42 yeares July 26, 1664.


That being at Jamaica about the moneth of January last past, there came in the pincke blew dove which was seized at sea betweene Hispaniola and Jamaica by John Morrice Captn. of the Virgin Queene (an english man of war), who putt two or three of his men aboad to bring her into Jamaica harbor, hee with his man of war bearing her Company neere to the harbour; when the sd blew dove had bin three or foure daies at Jamaica there was a Court of Admiralty appointed for the triall of the sd Blew-dove, it being expected by the sd Captn. Morrice and Company that the sd Ship would have been a prize to them, and their great Argument was that they were sailing towards Cuba before they had seized them, and that they were laden with am37munition and goods sutable to the spanish trade: but uppon triall in the Court, their billes of Lading appeared that they were bound to Jamaica, their cocketts and dispatches being cleere from the Kings Custome-house at Dover; this deponent speaking in Court to Sr Charles Littelton (then sitting Judge of the Court)[2] that hee knew the Master Robert Cooke, and that hee lived in Ratliffe[3] neere to him, which also testifies Captn: Isack Bowles Comander of the Blackmore (one of the Royall Companies Ships),[4] the Governor (Sr Charles Littelton) did thereupon declare them to be a free ship, and to have their liberty of trade as any other Ship whatsoever that was then in the Harbour; And further saith that the aforesd Captn. John Morrice told this deponent that hee had hoped to have had a good prize of the blew-dove, but hee gott nothing of them but an English Ensigne, and a hogshead of strong beare, and that the sd Blew-dove came in with English colours, and did on all occasions weare them.

Taken upon oath, 27: 5: 64. Before me

Elia. Lusher.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 224.

[2] Lord Windsor was governor of Jamaica in January, 1664, Sir Charles Lyttelton deputy governor.

[3] Ratcliff, London.

[4] Bowles was one of the captains, and the Blackamoor one of the ships, of the "Company of the Royal Adventurers of England trading into Africa", the predecessor of the Royal African Company.

23. Deposition of John Hunter. July 26, 1664.[1]

John Hunter Aged a bout 40 years deposeth and sayth

That this deponant was shipped by Captaine Robert Cooke, Commander of the blew dove of London so Caled, to sayle as a sayler in the said shipp from Jameco to Dover and so for Amsterdam: the time this deponant was shipped was about the begining of Aprill Last past in Jameco.

This Shipp blew dove, as I was informed by the people in Jameco, was brought in by a Captaine of a privat man of war uppon susspition that shee was to trade with the Span38iard as a hollander, haveing Jewes Goods on bord as thay Alleged, but was there Clered by the Governer, sir Charles Littelton, and had fower moneths trade there afterwards. this was the Common report of the people there. farther this deponant testifieth uppon his owne knowlidg, being about two moneths a seaman uppon the said Shipp before shee was taken, and when wee Came out of Jameco wee had a let pas[2] from the Governer to saile to dover and there to pay the Kings Customs and from thenc wee were to sayle unto Amsterdam and to deliver our goods unto Sir william Davis[3] or his order, as the bills of Lading maketh manifest, which this deponant did see in the hands of Captaine Dugles Now a prisner, who desired this deponant to Reade the bill of Lading unto him at sea as wee were Coming in to these parts, allso a nother bill of Lading for sum smale quantitie of wax and quicksilver which belonged unto a Jue, as I did aprehend. also I red a nother bill of Lading for severall goods belonging unto an Englishman Living in Jameco, who was going passenger for dover in the said shipp, but was turned a shore in blewfilds bay as the rest were by the said Duglas and his Company. farther this deponant testifieth that Captaine Duglas was at Jameco and did here that this shipp was there Clered and did then tell this deponant that hee would take this shipp, which this deponant towld him hee Could not Legally doe for shee beelonged unto Sir william davis in Amsterdam, his maisties Resident there. this deponant did acquaint Captaine Cooke what the said duglas said. farther this depont testifieth that when we were in blewfilds bay this duglas Came Rowing upp with two oars about eight of the Clock at night. Wee haild them and Asked whenc thay were and thayer Answer was, from the Barbados. wee Asked who was there to friend. thay Answered peter prier,[4] who said thay had lost Camanos and were going to seeke for it Againe, but presently thay Clapt thayer helme a starbord and shered Abord us giving a volly of smale shott,39 in which thay shot our master through the Arme, and so Came on bord and beate us doune in to the howld without Asking of us what wee weare and so Cut our Cable and presently put forth to sea. farther this deponant testifieth that two of the sailers being Englishmen Leaft the said Captaine Cooke at Jameco, uppon which the said Cooke was forced to shipp this deponant and a nother. and farther this deponant sayth not.

Taken upon Oath the 26th of 5th mo 1664
before mee Anthony Stoddard, Comissr.

owned in Court 5th August 1664Edw. Rawson.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 225.

[2] Let-pass, a permit; see doc. no. 130.

[3] Davidson; see doc. no. 27.

[4] Probably a pun on "pry", to fob off intrusive questioning.

24. Deposition of Charles Hadsall. July 27, 1664.[1]

The deposition off Charls Hadsall, aged forty six years or thereabouts:

Testefieth and saith that mr Robt Cooke, Comandor of the shipp blew dove, together with my selfe Comandor of the shipp Lucretia sett sayl from port Royall harbor In Jemaicah with free Lett Pases from Collonall morgan deputy Governer of Jemaicah:[2] And Coming down In Company to blew feilds bay where we Came to An Anchor to fetch our wood and watter on board and as soon as we were at anchor there Came of a Conoo from Capt John Dowglas Lying Closs under the shoar on board of my shipp with two men for to Inquire among my men whether I woold Ingage to defend the shipp blew dove, I then being on board of her the said shipp blew dove, with Squire wattson, Marchant of the said shipp, with whome I went a shoare: and Coming on board about seven a Clok In the Evning with squire wattson to the shipp blew dove and having taken my Leave of him went on board of my owne shipp: and halfe an hour after there Came a Conoo from40 the vessell of sd Dowglass on board of my shipp Lucretiah, where I demanded of the said men that Came In the Conoo whether they were bound: and they Replied for the Camanes, which they said they were formerly bound for and had mist: and now pretended they woold goe with mee to Cemanes: And further saith that they said they woold be at new england before mee. I Replied, "In whatt shipp": they said It was no matter In whatt shipp: and while these men were discoursing with mee Dowglas his barke Clapt the shipp blew dove on board, Cutt her Cables and sett sayle, and the men that were on board my shipp with me went away on board the said shipp blew dove: and soe went away, and three days after the master, marcha[nt] and sum of the Company being putt Into a small vessell Came Into blew feilds bay where I then Rod att Anchor and I going on board of them, saw the master of the shipp blew dove, shott In the arme, who told mee that they the said dowglass and his Company had took all they had from them only the Close uppon his back: And further this deponent saith that squire wattson told him that the shipp blew dove belonged to Sr Wm Davison and Captain Taillur: and that the master and marchant of the said shipp told mee there were Letters on board of the said shipp blew dove for his majesty and the duke of yorke:[3] being such Letters as were Considerable. And further saith that the master and marchant of the shipp blew dove told mee that there was In Jewells on board of said shipp to the vallue of three hundred pound sterling and about thirty Chests of quik silver and sugger he said was on board but I have forgott whatt quantity he spake off. And further this deponent saith that the shipp blew dove Rod In Jemaicah severall sabbeth days with her english Cullers out.

Taken upon oath 27: 5: 64
Before me Elia. Lusher.

owned in Court 5th August 1664 by the sd Hadsell


[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, pp. 231, 232.

[2] Col. Edward Morgan, commissioned deputy governor January 18, did not reach Jamaica till May 21 or 22. Cal. St. P. Col., 1661-1668, pp. 182, 211.

[3] The king's brother, afterward James II.

[4] Edward Rawson, secretary of the council.


25. Petition of John Douglass. August, 1664.[1]

To the honored Governor, Deputy Governor, Majestrates and Deputies of this honoured Generall Court now sitting in Boston in the Massachusetts Colonie of New England.

The peticion of captayne John Duglas late Commandor of the Prise called the Blew Dove of Anserdam in behalfe of himselfe and Company (servants and seamen to the said Ship belonging), whose names are hereunder Subscribed.

Humbly shewing, That whereas the said Ship was seized uppon at Puscataque in his Majesties name about the eighteenth-day of July-last with all the Seamens chests and Clothes save what they have on their backs, And that the said Seamen have bin here about fiveteene dayes without any allowance from the Countrey and not a penny of money to releeve themselves, so that they had perished eare this tyme had they not bin releeved by som freinds, some of which company have bin without victualls three dayes together, They humbly crave this honored Court that they may have a speedy triall whether their prise be a lawfull prise or not, otherwise that they may have their chests, clothes and armes, which request of your Peticioners they humbly crave may be taken into Consideration and they shall, as by duty they ar bound, pray, etc.

John Douglass.

Thomas Berkenhead.
Thomas Marttin.
Abraham Wilkerson.
Halligar Johnson.
his X marke
Mihill Henderson.
his MH marke
Cline the Dutchman.
his X marke
Joan Clobartexe [?].
Lameste [?]
William Giotte.
John Horre.
his + Marke
Pierre Perwalle.

Joan Page.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, p. 230a. In response apparently to this petition, the General Court on August 8 ordered 40 shillings to be given to Captain Douglas, and 20 to each of his men, "to preserve them alive till they can provide some honest imploy for themselves, and that their particcular cloathes, so cleerely prooved [i.e., if clearly proved to be theirs] ... be ... delivered to them." Records of Mass. Bay, IV., pt. 2, p. 128. But the capture was declared illegal.


26. Plea of John Douglass. (August 8?), 1664.[1]

The tenth day of October, one thousand Sixe hundred Sixtey and Tow, One Capt John Daglas Brought one Commision from the king of Portugall, Sayling out of Lisborren[2] for to Make ware according to His Commision in his Ship Called St John, force 4 Gones, with men and Amunission Convennent, to Make Ware with the Ennemes of the Sayed king.

Having lived about the time of 4 or 5 Monthes about the Ilandes of the Canares with out taking any Prise, this same Capt. tucke Resselution to Sayle to wardes the Endges[3] with his Ship and Men, and After Som dayes of his Arivall to this Enges, som thing Neare the Iland Martenekea[4] he Mett with a man of ware. the Sayed Captaine dagles was ingadged to fight having a great many of his Men kild and wounded and hee him Self Deapley Wounded with a Shote from a Mosquit, the whch Shote Bracke his Arrem, and was in danger of his Life.

And for his helth he and his men was forcest to Retier to the Iland of Monseratt, inhabeated by the Engles under the Goverment of Correnall Roger Asborn.[5] thare this Sayed Capt. was Courtiously Receved by this Sayed Govenar and brought him a shoure, whare hee was in dyett and dwelt a twel month upon this sayed Iland in which this his Sayed Ship which he brought Out of Lisborne Perresed[6] thare and was uncapabell of the ware.

Afterward the Sayed Capt. Dagles he went to Jemekea and the Jenerell of the Iland of Jemekea did Exammine the Commision of Capt. John Dagles, and having found itt Good the Sayed Jenerall gave him Permision to baye[7] a43 frigat for the Sayed ware according to his Commision, and touck men, Arrems and Amunision for the ware with the Ennemis of the king of Portagall, and the Sayed Capt. John Daglas Sayeled from the Iland Jemeake with permision of the sayed Jenearell.

And about 3 Mounth After Sayling out of thees harbor Jemeke, this Sayed Capt. Dagles had Nouse by Severell Engles Vessells that thar was a vessell Redey to Sayell Out of the harbor of Jemeake loden by the Jues under the king of Spaine, and the Sayed Captaine vas very Diligant to mite with the Sayed Shipe, the which Shipe was called the blau Duff, mr. Robart Coxe Commander, and this Sayed Capt. John Daglas had knowledge of this sayed Shipe in the baye of blue fild, whare no one Inhabeted, distant 32 Leages from the harbor of Jemekea, the which Capt. went with his Sayed frigett and found a Commission from the Engea Compenia of Ansterdam,[8] With letters and loden from thes Jues for Ansterdam, and after that toucke the Depousision of 5 prisnores, the which did all Declare that the Sayed Shipe did Beloung to Ansterdam and bound for Ansterdam with his loden, and the Sayed Prisnores Gave the Sayed depusison befor Capt. Pemmellton,[9] Chefe Justes in Pescatabay.

And After the Sayed Capt. John Dagles toucke the prise, Sayled outt of the Channell Called bahem[10] and Steared his Cource to Sayle into portag'll with this his Sayed Prise, to give knowledg to the king of portugall, in which Sayed vaydge wanting vettiells and watter he Arived in Now England for to tack watter and fitt his Ship for this his Sayed vaydge to portugall.

And [after] he did Arive att the port of Pescatabay, the Sayed Capt. Daglas Did Send ashore one of his Offecers to the Sayed Capt. Pemmellton, Justice of Putatabay, desiering Permision to watter and to give him libertey to sell som goods for to baye vittells and to be goine in his vaydge to Portugall.44

And upon his Desier the sayed Justase Capt. Pemmellton Sent word to the sayed Capt. Dagles that hee was verey wellcom and that he had his libertey to doue in seviletey[11] what his mind was and upon this his word the sayed Capt. Dagles was Obleged to him.

And After 8 Dayes the touck the Sayed Capt. Dagles prisnor and his men and seased upon his vessell and goods and pout all his men out and pout outher men abord, the which did Plonder me and my men Just to Ouer Sherts.

Sertenly itt tis a very Sad Cace that a Jntallman[12] of his qualetea Should youse a stranger soe unsivell, because of the Aleance between the Crounes,[13] and not to give him libertey to goe a bout his bousnes—and he had seased my Commision and all my paperes as if I ware an Enneme to the Croune of England.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, pp. 271, 272.

[2] Lisbon.

[3] Indies.

[4] Martinique.

[5] Col. Roger Osborn.

[6] Perished.

[7] Buy.

[8] The Dutch West India Company, Amsterdam Chamber.

[9] Pendleton.

[10] The Bahama Channel.

[11] To do in civility.

[12] Gentleman.

[13] Of England and Portugal, 1661.

27. Power of Attorney from Sir William Davidson. September 13,

Bee it knowne Unto all men by these presents that on the Thirteenth day of the month of September, Anno domini one thousand six hundred sixty and Foure, And in the sixteenth yeare of the raigne of our soveraigne Lord Charles the second, by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, Frannce and Ireland, defendor of the faith, etca. Before me William Allen, notary and tabellion publicke dwelling in this Citty of London, by the Authority of the said Kings Majesty admitted and sworne, and in the presence of the witnesses here after named personnally appeared Sir William Davidson, Knight and Barronett, his Majestyes Royall Commissionner at Amsterdam in Holland, etca., at present45 in this Citty of London, one of the Gentlemen of his Majestyes privy Chamber in ordinary;

Who hath declared that Whereas The ship or Vessell lately Called the Blew Dove of London, where of Robert Cooke of Ratcliffe was lately master and James Watson servant to the said Sir William Davidson Supra Cargoe on the said shipp, or by whatsoever other name the said ship may be Called or knowne, Together with all her Loading of Sugar, quicksilver, Cacau, Tobaccoe, Brazillet wood, and other goods, merchandises, silver mony, and other things whatsoever, lately loaden at Jamaica by the servants of the said sir William Davidson, was (as hee the said William Davidson is Certainely informed) villanously and Roguishly taken by Pyratts, Rovers, and Theeves, Comeing from Jamaica aforesaid; and Brought upp to Boston in New England, or thereabouts; Now hee the said Sir William Davidson hath, in the best manner way and forme unto him possible, made, ordained and Constituted and by these presents in his stead and place doth make, ordaine and Constitute Mr. Francis Willoughby of Charles Towne in New England, merchant,[2] his true and lawfull Atturny, Giving and by these presents graunting unto his said Atturny full power, Commission, and lawfull authority, for and in the name and to the Use of the said Sir William Davidson, to demaund, sue for, leavy, recover, receave and take possession of the said shipp lately Called the Blew dove of London (or by whatsoever other name shee may bee Called or knowne), And all furniture and appurtenances to her belonging, Together with all her Loading of sugar, quick silver, Cacau, Tobaccoe, Brazillet wood, and other goods, merchandises, silver mony, and other things whatsoever, And to make and give such acquittances and discharges as shall be requisite, And in all thinges to follow the orders and directions of the said Sir William Davidson; And further to take, seize upon, and apprehend the said Pyratts, Rovers, and Theeves, and prossecute them according to law, And if neede bee by reason of the premisses to appeare before whatsoever Lords Judges and Justices46 in any Court or Courts, there to answere, defend and reply in all matters and Causes touching or Concerneing the premisses, to doe, say, pursue, Implead, arrest, seize, sequester, attache, Imprison, and to Condemne, and out of prison againe to deliver; And further generally in and Concerneing the premisses to doe all thinges which hee the said Sir William Davidson might or Could doe if that hee should be then and there personnally present, with power to substitute one or more Atturnyes under him with like or lymmitted power and the same againe to revoake; And the said Sir William Davidson doth promise to rattify, Confirme, allow and approove of all and whatsoever his said Atturny, or his substitute or substitutes shall lawfully doe, or Cause or procure to bee donne, in and about the premisses, by vertue of these presents; In witnesse whereof the said Sir William Davidson hath signed, sealed and delivered these presents;

Thus donne and passed at London aforesaid in the presence of Captaine John Tailor of London, merchant,[3] and Mr. Nicholas Corsellis alsoe of London, merchant, as witnesses hereunto required.

John Taylor. William Davidson.
Nicolas Corsellis.  

In testimonium veritatis
Wm. Allen, Not's Pub'cus,

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 60, pp. 259-261. In the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1661-1668, p. 284, appears a letter from King Charles II. to the governor of Jamaica, March 1, 1665, in which he speaks of Douglas's piratical seizure of Davidson's ship, and declares that he (the king) has written to the governor and council at Boston to apprehend the pirate, but has heard nothing of them.

[2] Deputy-governor of Massachusetts 1665-1671.

[3] Willoughby's father-in-law. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings, pp. 970-977. Corsellis was a Dutch merchant in London.


28. Certificate of Cornelius de Lincourt. April 12/22, 1673.[1]

Lett it bee knowne to all kings, princes and potentates in Christendom and to all those that it may Concerne, how47 that upon the 21th day of aprill 1673 before the River of Virginia have taken and overmastered Under the Comition of his highness my lord prince William the third of Oringe, taken a Cetch called Dergens [?] Coming from Boston out of new england, goeing to the River of Virginia, whearof was skiper John Cox, which ketch I was intended for to burne or to sinck, but after severall Considerations I doe give the same ketch and all that belongs unto her freely and liberaly unto the honorable Capt. Thomas Raddon and Mr. Joseph Fox, whoe both likewise weare taken by mee, to have and to hold as their owne Ketch and to dispose thereof to their owne Content.

Signed by mee in the Ship Called Slanswelvarn at sea the 22th day of Aprill 1673.

Cornelis de lincourt.
Jan Cornelisse.
Pieter Gerritsz.
Thomas Severs.
Antoni Fero.
Jacob Walle.

I the underwritten do acknowledge that this above mentioned act is done and signed in the presence of my officers and signed by them before skiper Cox, Master of the above mentioned ketch, dated as above.

Copia vera.
Cornelious Delincourt.
G. Sweringen.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, Boston, no. 1257, paper 11. There was war between England and the United Provinces, 1672-1674. The Dutch privateer 's Landswelvaren (Commonweal) captures the Providence on April 4/14, 1673, and puts on board her a prize crew. The two vessels become separated. On April 11/21 the 's Landswelvaren makes prize of the ketch mentioned in this document, in which Captain de Lincourt presents the ketch, by way of consolation, to the master of the Providence. On April 12/22 the prize crew of the Providence, by a ruse, possesses itself of the Little Barkley, but presently both English crews separately recover possession of their vessels, and they separately make their way to Boston. Raddon, master of the Providence, arrives there later.

[2] Boatswain.

[3] Gunner.

[4] Boatswain's mate.


29. Deposition of John Johnson and Henry Harris. April 26, 1673.[1]

The depositions of John Johnson, aged 18 yeers, steersman, and Henry Harris, aged about 24 yeers:

These depon'ts testifie and say that they these deponts together with severall other seamen belonging unto Flushing, under the comand of Capt. Cornelious Lincort, Comand'r of the shipp Slandt Welvaeren, in English the Comonwelth, by vertu of a Comisson from his highness the prince of orange, we came up with the Providence of Falmouth (who was bound to Virginia) in the Latitude of 36: and 40: and tooke her, which when taken these depon'ts and ten more were put on bord her to Keepe and secure her, and after wee had been on bord some hours, in the night wee lost our own shipp and saw them no more, and about seven dayes after wee came up with a Londoner and thinking to take him, four of our company went on bord in the night but never returned, and the next day after the English that belonged to the sd Ship Providence, and some of the other ship before mencioned that wee had on bord with us prisoners, rose and retook her and suppressed us and have brought sd shipp and us into Piscattay River.

Grt Island[2] the 26th April 1673. taken upon oath by the persons above named before me

Elias Stileman, Comisr.[3]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, Boston, no. 1257, paper 19.

[2] Great Island, lying in the mouth of the Piscataqua River; at that time a part of Portsmouth, now New Castle, N.H.

[3] From 1658 to 1679, under the Massachusetts government of New Hampshire, Elias Stileman was a magistrate and county commissioner for Portsmouth.

30. Petition of Edward Bant. About April 28, 1673.[1]

To the Honorable County Court now sitting in Boston The humble petition of Edward Bant on the Behalf of himself and the rest of the Company belonging unto the Ship49 called the Little Barklay, being five men in number, Humbly sheweth

That they your Hon'rs petitioners, with the sd ship, were taken about Eighty Leagues East and by North from the Capes of Virginia by a Prize formerly taken by Capt. Cornelius Lincoint, commander of a ship belonging to Flushing called in English the Commonwealth. And the next day following the Commander of the said prize went on board the said Barkley, intending to have taken out her goods to put them on board his own vessell, whilst wee your petit'rs were on board his vessell as prisoners held in the Hold. And then the English Company remaining on board the sd. Barkley surprized them, the sd. Commander and his Company, and sailed away with them. And about six hours after, your petitioners, together with the other English men belonging to the aforesd prize (when in possession of the English), made an Insurrection and took the ship by violence from the Dutch men and have brought her into the harbour at Puscataqua with eight Dutch men prisoners in her, and her goods and Loading secured in the wearhouse of Mr. Nathaniell Fryer.[2]

Whereupon your Hon'rs serious wise Consideration of the premises your petitioners humbly pray your Hon'rs be pleased to order what salvage they shall have out of the said ship and cargo now in Puscataqua, and that with all expedition that may be, because they are all Strangers and willing[3] to returne to their hoames, And lying here upon great Charges, having nothing but what they borrow and cloathes on their back. And as in duty bound they shall pray for your prosperity, etc.

8 May 1673. At a Court of Assistants on adjourmt.

In ans'r to the petition of Edward Bant in behalfe of himself and fower seamen, the Court judgeth it meet to order that Mr. Nathaniel Fryer allow and pay the sum of fiveteene pounds for their salvage, taking their receipts for the same.

past. Edw. Rawson, Secre'ty.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, Boston, no. 1257, paper 1.

[2] Merchant and county commissioner in Portsmouth.

[3] I.e., desirous.


31. Order of the Suffolk County Court. April 29, 1673.[1]

At a County Court held at Boston Aprill 29th 1673.

In answer to the petition presented to this Court by Henry King and Edward Bant who lately brought into the River of Piscataquay the Ship Providence of Falmoth, whereof said King was Mate in a voiadge from England to Virginia, in which voiadge they were surprized by a Dutch man of War,[2] and by the Petitioners and Company rescued out of theire hands: who have since Surrendred the said Ship and her loading into the hands of Mr. Nathaniel Fryer for the Securing and looking after both in behalf of the Owners.

This Court doe order and Empower Mr. Elias Stileman and Mr. Henry Deering, together with said Fryer, or any two of them, to take a particular acco't of the state of said ship, and to Inventory the Goods brought in by and belonging to her, and to make provition for the Securing of both for the right Owners, making a return thereof to the present Dept. Govr. by the 7th of May next, and the said Fryer is further ordered to disburse for the Company arrived in the said Ship what may bee for the Supply of theire present necessities, and also order that hee take care that the 8 Dutch men brought in prisoners in the saide Ship bee forthwith brought to Boston before Authority, to be disposed of as the matter may require, and for the other parts of the petition's, touching Salvage or wages, The Court refers them to the Counsell at theire next meeting.

Copia vera per

Isaac Addington, Cler.[3]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 6.

[2] The term then included privateers. The 's Landswelvaren was not a public vessel.

[3] Afterward speaker 1685, assistant 1686, councillor and secretary of the province 1692-1715.

32. Petition of Henry King. April 30, 1673.[1]

To the Hon'able the Deputy Governor and Majest's[2] now assembled in Court.51

Hen. King.

Humbly Recommendeth to your worships candid consideration his present case and Condition, hoping to obtaine your worships Juditious approbation therein, to the end and intent that all persons Conserned and Related to the ship providence of Falmouth, which was taken by a Dutch ship of warr on the 4th instant[3] about 40 Leagues short of the Capes of Virginia and Retaken again by the means and directions of your suppliants, who requeste that your worships will please to Grant orders that your petitioner and those other seamen belonging to the said ship who were asistant in Retaking her may have their wages according to agreem't, from the time of their being shipt till the said ship providence with her Loading was brought into pascataqua River and there put into the Custody of Mr. Nathaniel Fryar, who is the Correspondant of one of the Owners of said ship with her Cargoe, where she is to Continue till orders from authority or instructions from the proprietors. Boston 30 Apr. 1673. And Your Petitioner shall Ever Pray.

At a Court of Assistants held in Boston on adjourm't, 8 May 1673.

In answer to the petition of Henry King in behalf of himself and the six seamen according to their Portlidge bills[4] Given into this Court with their declaration, the Court Judgeth it meete to Grant and order that Mr. Nathaniell Fryer pay them their severall wages, he taking their receipts for the same. Past by the Court, as Attest

Edward Rawson, Secrety.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 4.

[2] Magistrates, or members of the Court of Assistants.

[3] April 4, old style, the style still used by the English in 1673; April 14, new style, the style used by the Dutch, as in document no. 28, above.

[4] A mariner's portage or portledge was originally his own venture in the ship, in freight or cargo, but by this time "portledge bill" frequently meant merely a list of sailor's claims for wages or allowances.

33. Inventory of the Providence. May 5, 1673.[1]

An Inventory of the goods and things taken into the custody of Mr. Nathaniel Fryer that came in the Shipp Providence of Falmouth, of which shipp Mr. Henry King52 was Mate in a voyage from England to Virgenia but now Master.

a large hhd.

a large hhd.

a little hhd.

a little hhd.

a broad hamper.

a box.


a box.

a box.

a box.

a box, the baile in it.

a box.

a box.

a small box broak open.


a great chest.

What in 3 Chests (of the Seamens)
No. 1.

No. 2.

No. 3.


In Obedience to a Warrant Comeing from the County Court held in Boston the 30th day of Aprill 1673, Unto us whose names are hereunder written, for to take an Inventory of the Estate and goods in the Shipp Providence of Falmouth, lately arived in Piscataqua River, etc., and to Render an acco't thereof unto the present Deputy Governor by the 7th of May, wee haveing accordingly done the same61 (as time would afford) Doe Signifie Unto the Honourable Deputy Governor, that the before mentioned particulars are the whole, that to our certaine knowleidg is come (in the said shipp) and that, according to the wrighting at the beginning hereof, they are Secured in the said Fryers hands and the shipp well mored in the harbour at the Great Island in Piscataqua River.

May the 5th, 1673.
Nathaniell Fryer.
Henry Dering.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 16. In the margin of the original document, each indication of a parcel (such as "a large hhd.") is accompanied by a representation of the monogram or other symbol which the parcel bore as a distinguishing mark.

[2] French (?) falls; a fall was a collar falling flat around the neck.

[3] Plain.

[4] A linen fabric.

[5] Coarse linen.

[6] Women's.

[7] Damaged.

[8] Gowns.

[9] Justaucorps.

[10] Double camlet.

[11] Stomachers.

[12] Flannel.

[13] Narrow braid of gold, silver, or silk thread.

[14] Coils.

[15] The ensign was the ship's chief flag. The jack was a small flag, in this case no doubt the union jack, combining the crosses on the flags of England and of Scotland, and was at this time commonly flown at the spritsail-topmast head.

[16] Of the various ropes here mentioned, bowlines and brails ran to the perpendicular sides of square sails, buntlines across their fronts; clew-garnets and clewlines were tackles for clewing up the lower and the upper square sails respectively, jeers for hoisting the lower yards; lifts ran from the masthead to the yard-arms, leech lines to the sides of the topsails.

[17] Simple instruments for taking altitudes (and so determining latitudes).

[18] Tiffany, thin transparent silk.

[19] Collars.

[20] Woollen stuff used for linings.

[21] Wooden blocks for extending the stays.

[22] A speek was a large nail; a pintle, then as now, a rudder-pin.

[23] A kind of harpoon.

[24] Hook for sturgeons; dog-irons were probably fire-dogs.

[25] Deep-sea lead (for sounding).

34. Examination of John Johnson. May 5, 1673.[1]

The examination of John Johnson steersman of the frigott commonwealth, Capt. Cornelius Lincourt Comd'r.

December the 15th their stile[2] they came out of Flushing in the above sd Frigott with 20 gunns and ninety six men and boys, bound from Flushing to the Canarie Island, and in their way they tooke a Londoner bound from Malaga laden with fruit, which they sent to the Groyne,[3] and the men they putt on shore at the canaries. from the Canaries we sailed to the Cape de Verd Islands and from thence to Barbados, where they tooke a small French sloope, and from thence we sailed to the Capes of Verginia and in our way we mett with the Providence of Falmouth, which ship we tooke on the 15 day of Aprill, our Stile,[4] in the latitude of the capes, about 30 Leagues to the Eastward. it being a stormy night they drive away under a maine course to the northward. for 2 days afterward they stood in againe to the capes but could not see their frigott, so then we stood away for the Groine, and meet with a small Londoner bound for Verginia, who came abord on us for water, and we took the men being 5 and putt them in to the hold, then he that was Master of the ship went on board the Londoner and those men with him, whome the Londoner carried away,62 so then we followed them but could not overtake him, so the night following the English that were upon Decke conspireing with them in the hold, in the morneing they tooke the ship from us, and brought us to Piscataqua.

Taken in Boston 5 May 1673 before

John Leverett, Dep. Gov.[5]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 18.

[2] I.e., new style, which the Dutch used.

[3] The name then used by the English for Coruña, in northwestern Spain.

[4] April 5, O.S. See documents 32 and 36.

[5] John Leverett was deputy-governor 1671-1673. Two days later, May 7, 1673, he was elected governor, and so continued till 1679.

35. Declaration of Edward Bant and Others. May 8, 1673.[1]

A Declaration of some Occurrents that happened to us in our late voiadge from London in the Ship Barkely of the saide port, Nicholas Prynne Commander, intended for Virginia, Anno 1672/3.

On the twelfth Aprill 1673 being in saide Ship about the Lattitude of the Capes of Virginia about 80 Leagues distant, wee saw a sail towards Evening, and being in want of provitions, seeing her to be a Fly boate,[2] made towards her and came up with her about Eight a clock and hailed them asking them of whence theire Ship. they answered of Falmoth. wee ask't them from whence they came. they answered from Virginia, and called mee by my name and asked mee how I did. wee asked them what places they loaded at. they answered, in Petuxin River.[3] wee told them wee wanted some provitions. they answered us if we would hoise out our Boate and come on boarde, they would spare us water and other provitions what they could. in order thereunto wee did soe, and I being desired by the Master and Merchant[4] to goe on board with the Boate to Endeavor to gett what provitions I could, our Marchant who was the owner also desired mee to stay, and hee and the Doctor would goe with mee as soon as they had sealed theire let63ters. Our Master not having ended his writing the marchant desired him to goe on board with us also and to finish his letter there, and accordingly with three more Seamen wee went on board saide Ship, and when wee came there founded severall Dutchmen on board who had the Command of her, they having lately taken her from the English. the Ship was called the Providence, belonging to Falmoth, Thomas Radden having been lately master of her. the saide Dutchman Surprized six of us and kept us prisoners and sent one of our Company with three Dutchmen on board our Ship, who lay by us till the next morning. then the Dutch Commander comanded our Ships' Boate to come on board his Ship againe, which accordingly they did, hee promising our merchant to take out our goods and to give us our Ship againe, in order whereunto hee provided one hogshead of bread to have given us as hee saide and tooke our marchant with him and went on board our Ship, and about halfe an hour after our Ship made sail and Steered to the westward: and then the Dutch men put us who formerly belonged to her down into the hole and made sail after the saide Ship for about two houres, and seeing they could not come up with her stood on theire course againe to the Eastward, and by receiving advice from those Englishmen that were at liberty were combined together for them to make way for our coming up and soe to rush out upon the Dutchmen at once and to Subdue them, for the rescueing of ourselves and Ship, which with god's blessing wee Effected, without loss of life or bloodshed to any, and then agreed among our Selves to come away with saide Ship to New England, which accordingly wee did and after Eleven days passage by reason of contrary wind and foggy weather arrived in Piscataquay River on the 23th Aprill 1673.

Edward Bant, Mate.
John Ressell.
Jonas Lewis.

Att a Court of Assistants on Adjournment the 8th May 1673, Edward Bant, John Russell and Jonas Lewis de64posed in Court that having subscribed their names to this declaration that it was the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth:

As Attests       Edward Rawson Sec'ty

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 12.

[2] A small swift ship of Dutch pattern (originally Vlie boot).

[3] Patuxent River, in Maryland.

[4] I.e., supercargo.

36. Declaration of Henry King and John Champion. May 8, 1673.[1]

A Declaracion of some Occurrents that happened us in our late voiadge from Falmouth intended for Virginia in the Ship Providence of Falmoth, Anno 1672/3, Thomas Radden Commander.

About the 12th November 1672 wee sailed from Falmoth in the aforesaid Ship to Plimouth for convoy and there lay till the 15th January following, when wee sailed under convoy with a fleete of about 90 sail. our convoy went with us about 80 Leagues to the Westward of Silly,[2] then with about ten sail more were parted from the fleet and were making the best Emprovement of winde and weather to gaine our port till the 4th Aprill following, when wee between the houres of four and six in the morning saw a Sail upon our weather quarter. wee made what sail wee could, hee giving us chase, in about two houres hee came up with us, showed us Dutch colours, comanded us by the lee and to strike our Topsaile and ancient:[3] wee seeing of him to bee a man of War of Force could make no resistance against him, did accordingly: then the Capt. himself came aboard of us with twelve Dutch men more, showed us his Commission Signed by the Prince of Orange, for the taking of English Ships: the Capt. was named Cornelius Linquoint and commanded the Ship in English called the Commonwealth, of 20 peice of Ordnance. then hee tooke our master, merchant and ten seamen more out of our Ship and left seven of us aboard and soe went aboard his man of war65 againe and ordered the Dutch Steersman, whome hee left with Eleven Dutchmen more on board of our Ship, to Steere after the man of War, and in case wee should bee parted by weather to Saile with our Ship to the Groyne in Galecia, as the said Steeresman informed mee: the same night following wee lost the man of War—the said Capt having told mee that if wee kept Company while the next morning hee would take the Goods out of our Ship on board the man of war and give us our own Ship againe, but having lost Company of him in the night, wee bore up the helme to the Eastward, intending for the Groyne, as the Steersman informed mee. having plied too and againe 6 days hoping to meete with the man of war againe, two days after wee bore up wee saw a sail which made towards us, being about 3 Leagues from us. betweene six and eight aclock in the evening they came up with us, and hailed us asking whence wee were. The Dutch Steersman, standing with a laden pistol presented to my breast, commanded mee to answer them in those words he should dictate to mee, bid mee answer them, of Falmoth, and to tell them wee came from Petuxine River in Virginia, and if they wanted anything if they would hoise out theire Boat and Come aboard wee would supply them, upon which they hoised out theire Boat and the Master, Merchant, Mate, Doctor and two seamen came on board in the Boate, and after they had entred our Ship the Dutchmen Surprized them and sent three Dutchmen on board theire Ship and the Ship staied by us all the night. next morning the Dutchmen intending to goe on board commanded the said Shipps boats on board, who came accordingly, and the Dutch Skipper went on board the aforesaid Ship intending to take out her goods and put on board of our Ship, as hee saide, in order whereunto hee tooke the merchant along with him. about halfe an hour after, the said Ship made sail and steered to the westward. wee in our Ship making Sail followed them between two and three houres, and finding wee could not come up with her left our chase and stood to the Eastward againe, there being five Englishmen belonging to the saide Ship prisoners in our Ships hold. about six houres after, the66 same day, wee Englishmen that were at liberty, by writing to them in the hold, conspired together with them to lett them come up and soe to rush all out together upon the Dutch men and if wee could Subdue them to rescue ourselves and Ship, which accordingly with gods' blessing wee effected without any loss of life or shedding of blood and soe intended to New England, being afraide to goe for Virginia leaste wee should meete the man of War againe and being unable to carry the Ship home for England, and after eleven days lying at Sea by reason of foggy weather and contrary windes wee arrived at Piscataquay in New England aforesaid being 23th Aprill 1673.

Henry King, Mate.
John Champion, Bosson.[4]

At a Court of Assistants held at Boston on Adjou't, 8th May '73, Henry King, John Champyn and John Sennet deposed in open Court that this Declaration is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. As Attests

Edward Rawson, Secty.

Portlidge bill of Wages due to the Company belonging to said Ship Providence is as followeth:

Henry King, Mate, at 55s. per mo.,—4 mos., 5 days—11.9.2
John Champyn, Boatswaine, at 36s. per mo.,—4½ mo., 5d.8.6.2
John Jorey, Carpenter, at 3 [pounds] per mo., 4½ mo.13.10.0
John Sennett at 28s. per mo., 3 mo., 5d.4.8.6
John Burley at 28s. per mo., 4 mo., 5d.5.16.6
George Taylor at 28s. per mo., 3½ mo.4.18.0
Richard Gross[5] at 20s. per mo., 4 mo., 5d.4.3.4

8 May 1673.

It is ordered that the seamen above shall be allowed and payd their severall wages (according to their Portlidge bills here Given in) by Mr. Fryer, he taking their receipts of the several seamen. As Attests, Edward Rawson, Sec'y.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 10.

[2] The Scilly Isles, off the southwesternmost cape of England.

[3] Ensign.

[4] Boatswain.

[5] The margin adds, "sick aboard."


37. Petition of Thomas Raddon. June 10, 1673.[1]

To the Hon'rble the Governour and Magistrates Assembled in Boston,

The humble request of Thomas Raddon is that whereas the authority of this Jurisdiction hath taken care to secure the ship Providence of Fallmouth in old England, wich was brought into Piscataway by reprisall and the Cargo in her, whereof I the said Thomas Raddon was shipped Master by the owners to performe a voiage to Virginia and from thence home againe, for which care I doe in the behalf of myself and owners returne humble and hearty thanks to your worships.

And whereas the Providence of God soe ordering that I am now come myselfe, my humble request is that your worships would bee pleased to give orders that the said ship and Goods may be speedily delivered unto your petitioner, that soe I may (with Gods blessing) proceed in my intended voige for the benefit of my imployers according to my obligation, and your petitioner shall ever pray for your worships prosperity.

Thos. Raddon.

In Boston this 10th of June, 1673.

This was presented to the Hono'ble Jno. Leveret, Esq'r, Gov., the 11th of June 1673. As Attest Edward Rawson.

The Governor and Magistrates having perused the Certificate and finding that Tho. Raddon above, being now arrived, and the rest of the company that was took out of her, was the Master of the said Ship Providence, ordered the Secretary to signify to Mr. Nathaniell Fryer that they advise him to deliver the said ship and what was in her to the said Tho. Raddon, Master, for the use and benefit of the owners, he discharging the charges formerly advised to. As Attest. Edw. Rawson, Secret'y.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 7.



38. Examination of John Tooly. June 17, 1673.[1]

It was my Chance to be in Lesbon and wanting a woage[2] I shiped my slefe [selfe] A board of a portungal buelt ship, Mr. Orchard Commander, but some five dayes After it plesed the Almyty God to take him out of the woarld, and when that wee was Agoing to bury him I heard the men that was in the boate to helpe Rowe him over the water, for the portugeses would not suffer us to bury him in Lesbone, say that thay would have A Ship Are Longe, but I did not know how, not then, and some one day thay went into the house[3] for thay Could open the Locke of the haches when thay plesed and drawed wine of the Marchantes and soe sate doune to geather to drinke, and I being near, thay not deming of it, I heard them say that thay would asay[4] it all at once, and Liquise[5] that thay would Rune away with the ship, soe I disclosed it to the Master and the Marchant for our Marchant had gone, another master, which was Capt. haddockes second mate, which was then Comander of the Engles[6] ship Lying in Lesbone Rever, John Terry by Name, soe thay tooke three of them and put them in presone at Lesbone. it was the boatswane and two men more, but by Resone that one willam forrest which was Aboard that Gave the suprecargo Mr. John Pane fare words, the suprecargo would not sufer him to be put in to preson, but that hee should Goe the woage, and because thay Could note Geete another Carpenter thay would not put the Carpenter in to preson, but that hee should goe the woage Lyquise, soe the Master John Terry shipd two men more in there Romes which ware English men, Edmun69 Cooke and John Smith, and Afterwards hee shiped 2 Duchmen whose names I know not, and wee ware bound for newfoundland for a sacke,[7] but when wee had been about A weake at sea these two men, namly Willam forrest and John peket the Carpenter, perswaded the other two Engles men, Edmun Cooke and John Smith, and one other Engles which was a board and the two Duch men, to surprise the Master, the suprecargo and Mate, a portungall boy and I, and soe to Rune away with the ship. And waching thare Oppertunity when the Master and the Marchant was a slepe in the Roundhouse, the Mate A Riting in the Cabing, and I was at helme, the Carpenter came into the sterege and cauled the [said?] Edmun Cooke and John Smith out of thare Cabing whare thay ware aslepe, and soe thay went forward togeather into the forcasell and immeadly thay Came Aft agane, the two Duchmen and willam forrest, the Carpenter and Edmun Cooke, John Smith and the other Engles man. soe the two Duchmen and the Englesman that is not named came into the sterege. the other fower wente up upon the Quarterdecke and surprised the Master and the Marchant where thay ware a slepe in the Round house, and the other three sayed to me that if I did offer to stere I was a dead man. soe the Mate hering that in the Cabin where he was a riting salied out of the Cabing in to the sterege. soe thay tooke hould of him and throed him upon his back and soe held him and would not suffer him to ster. soe I rune doune the scutell which was in the sterege and hede my slefe amounge the sayles betweene deckes, for I heard the Master and the Marchant Cry out most petifully. soe I thought to my slife when thare pasene[8] was over that I mite perswaed them to save my Life. soe thay bound the Master and the Marchant and Carryed them forward upon the forcastell. but presenly after thay Loused them agane and put them in to the Greate Cabing all togeather, and would suffer but one to Come upon the deck at a time. the Master and the Marchant profered them that if thay would thay would take a70 drame of the botell and set doune and drink frinds and that all things should be forgoting, but thay would not Exsept of there profer. soe I went upon the deck and desyred them that thay would be plesed to Lend us a sayle, for thay tould us that thay would hoyst out the boate and Give us some provisones and tourne us to shift for our slevs. soe wee desyred to beare up the helme for to put us As neare the Land as thay Could. soe [torn] some 2 howers. soe thay Gave into the boate All neceesaryes, as provisons, wood, water and Lequers, with a sayle and mast and ores, A grapnall and grapnall rope, sayle nedles, twine and pame[9] for to men[d] the sayle. Soe Will Forrest, walking upon the Quater deck with a backe swoard[10] in his hand, Commanded the boat to be hoysted out and all those forenamed nesessarys to be got in to her, with a Compas, Quadrant and a plat,[11] and soe Comanded the Master, the Marchant and the Mate and the portuges boy in to the boate. John Tooley and Allexander[12] —— would have gone into the boate with them, but thay would not suffer us to goe [torn] Master saed [or] asked them [torn] that thay would keepe us but thay would not harking unto them and would not Let us goe.

John Tooley gave in this upon examination as a true narrative of the transaction in the Ship Anthony when she was surprised by forest and Pickard, etc., he the sayd Tooley being of the age of Twenty years or thereabouts.

Before us John Leverett, Gvr.
Edward Tyng.
William Stoughton.

John Terry, M'r, being present when this was spoken by John Toolly before the Govn'r, Mr. Ting, Mr. Staughton and Major Clarke on 17 June '73, being Asked whether what John Toolly had declared was the truth the said Terry71 Ansed he acknowledged the same to be the trueth: As Attests

Edward Rawson, Sec'ty.

19 of November 1673.

This examination of John Toollys being Read in the Councill with the Acknouledg'mt of the Master John Terry that it was the Trueth, The Councill ordered his dischardge from further attending: and that the Secretary Give him the signification thereof to the said John Toolly.

As Attests,

Edw. Rawson.

The Examination of Jno. Tooly marriner of Ship St. Anthony:[13]

What is your name?

Jno. tooly, borne nere norwich.

He saith that he was at Helme when the Rising was.

How long was it after you came to sea.

Ansr: about a weeke.

Who rise first or the manner of their Rising?

the Carpenter having a handspike in his hand called to forrest, who with the two Dutchmen came forward with Cooke, etc.[14]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 17.

[2] Voyage.

[3] The house or cabin on the after-deck.

[4] Assay, attempt.

[5] Likewise.

[6] English.

[7] Plunder.

[8] Passion.

[9] A sailmaker's palm, which serves the purpose of a thimble.

[10] A sword with one edge.

[11] Chart.

[12] Wilson. The name can be supplied from the Records of the Court of Assistants of Massachusetts Bay, I. 12.

[13] A marginal note reads: "Pres[en]t, Govr., Capt. Gookins, Mr. Russell, Mr. Danforth, Mr. Tynge, Mr. Stoughton, Mr. Clarke", all of whom were at this time members of the Court of Assistants. An endorsement reads: "Toolly Examination taken 17:9:73," i.e., November 17, 1673.

[14] John Smith and Edmund Cooke were condemned to death for their share in these acts of piracy, but were pardoned by the General Court, December 10, 1673. Records of Massachusetts Bay, vol. IV., pt. II., p. 573.

39. Examination of William Forrest. October 20, 1673.[1]

Newport one[2] Road Iland.

The Examinatione of William forist, mariner, taken the 20 day 8 mo.[3] 1673. the foresd forist beinge examined72 acknowlegeth that he was owne of that mutinous Company that Raised Reblion in the ship Called the Sainte Anthony upon the Coaste of portingall, one hundred and tenn leags from Land, and theire with others did deprive John Tarry, Master, of his power given to him leagelly to Gouvern the aforesd shipe: but denies that he had a hand in forsinge him over borde, or those that went with him, but sd he and them might have continued longer in the aforesd shipe: but owned that he with others did deprive him the sd John Tarry the Gouverment and ordring the aforesd shipe, and beinge asked concerning their further prosedings, owned that he with others brought the aforesd shipe called the Sainte Anthony into pascattoga River in new Ingland, where he the sd forrist was then the Reputed master, whoe undertooke to be owne (to witt the Cheefest) that managed and disposed of most or all the aforesd Ships Cargoe, till by some means of fallinge out amonge themselves was discovered, upon which the sd William forrist mad an Escape for a time, till he was apprehended at new plimoth in new Ingland, whence he acknowlegeth he lately Escaped out of his magisties Gale[4] at new plimouth as aforesd, and forther beinge examined, owned (to wit, william forist) that John Tarry and the suprocargoe ware the persons that had Right to Governe, order and dispose of the abovesd Shipe and Cargoe, which hee the aforesd william forrist and Company unjustly Deprived them of. taken before us

Nicholas Easton, Gov'r.[5]
William Coddington, D'py Gov'r.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 15.

[2] On.

[3] October.

[4] Jail.

[5] Nicholas Easton, governor of Rhode Island from May, 1672, to May, 1674; William Coddington, deputy governor 1673-1674, and afterwards governor.

40. Petition of Allwin Child. October 24, 1673.[1]

To the Hon'rd Governor and Coart of Asistants

The Humble Petition of Allwin Child

Sheweth, That a ship called the St. Anthony was con73signed unto your petitioner from Lisbon under the Command of John Tarry, and in his voyage, about one hundred and ten Leagues from Lisbon, the seamen of the sd. ship mutined Against the sd. Commander and turned himself, his supercargo, mate and Boy out of said ship into the Boate to shift for themselves and Ran Away with the shipe, Some of the men so running Away being at present under conviction in this prison, and three others having bin taken at Plimouth in order to bee also Brought to Answare for their misdimeniors before the Authouritey of this Colony, But did theare Breake prison and escaped unto the Government of Road Iland, at which place they are Apprehended, and the said Tarry is Liquise now Arived there for Another ship, consigned allso to your petitioner, and is there detained to prosicute the Above offenders.

Your Petitioner in Behalf of the Imployers humbly craves that your Hon'rs would be pleased to take such Coarse that the said escaped prisoners may bee sent for to this place to Answare these facts According to Law, the Evidence Against them Being partly heard All Ready, and the Comander being also Bound to this place, soe that his stay theare will bee very preduditiall to the voyge of said ship and Imployers, the Ship Requiering A speedy Dispatch. And he shall Pray

[Endorsed:] Allwin Child petition to Gov'r and Mag'ts in Court of Assists. 24 Oct. 1673.[2]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1257, paper 5.

[2] The Court of Assistants, March 7, 1674, fined Major Nicholas Shapleigh 500 pounds for harboring and concealing in his warehouse William Forrest, Alexander Wilson, and John Smith, "capitall offenders," arranging their escape, and receiving and concealing their goods. Records of the Court of Assistants, I. 12-14, where a petition of Alvin Child in the matter is referred to. See also Maine Historical Society, Documentary History, second ser., VI. 38-42.



41. Declaration of Thomas Mitchell. May 24, 1675.[1]

To the Hon. Court of Assistants sitting in Boston

The Declaration of Thomas Mitchell of Maulden Fisherman Humbly sheweth, That the said Mitchell beinge hired in October last both himself and the Barque whereof he was a part owner, for three moneths certaine and foure uncertaine upon a Tradeing voyage to the Eastward as farre East as a Plais called Siccanecto[2] in the Bottome of the Bay of Fundi by Captaine Peter Roderius and other of the Privateers, as by a Charter Party under their hands and seales more att Large it doth and may appeare, had nott any thought or suspition that the said Privateers would have taken any things from any man wrongfully, they before they went out severall times promiseinge the contrary (which if they should deny may be made to appeare). Butt when sd. Privateers came to the Eastward, instead of complyinge with their Charter Party or makeinge good their Promise, forced the sd. Michell to carry them whither75 they Pleased, and although the sd. Michell was very earnest Seaverall times with them to be discharged from their service, proffering them at Pemequid,[3] before he went out of this Jurisdiction, to loose the hire of his vessell and with more they desired rather [than] to proceed any further in said voyage, as Lieutt. Gardner[4] and his sonnes can testifie, And when he came backe from Pemequid, had he nott, the winde being Faire, been forced away before he could speak with Lieutt. Gardner, he might have had sufficient testimony from them of his unwillingnesse to proceed any further with them; Neither did the said Michell give his consent to their takeinge of any vessell or goods from any Person but as farr as in him lay and as much as he durst did oppose the same: Neither had the said Michell any share or part of any of the said goods that the aforesd Privateer tooke, nor had any hand in the takeing of either vessells or goods, butt was alwayes agt. such their proceedings, and when they came as farr East as Naskeague,[5] when the Privateers spake of goeing over the Bay of Fundi he told them he had rather give them a Hundred Pounds than goe over the Bay with them, as by the Testimony of Robert Wills may appeare which was sworne by The Worsp'll Mr. Stoughton.[6] Nevertheless they forced the said Michell to goe over the Bay with them, tellinge him they would carry him and his vessell wherever they pleased, And Being at Tuskett Islands,[7] the said Michell demandinge his hyre, telling them the time was expired that was mentioned in the Charter Party, and that he desired to goe home to looke after his familie and to pay his Merch'ts that had betrusted him, And withall he forewarned them for weighing his An76chors for he would stay noe longer in their service; But Richard Fowler, threatninge that he would make a hole through his skinne if hee did nott hold his tongue, went and, whether he would or nott, weighed his Anchors and forced him to goe backe to Machias; The said Privateers by their uncivill Carriage did make the said Michell soe weary of the voyage that if he could have gotten an opportunity he would have come away with his vessell and left them there, though he had lost all his hire and what also he carried out with him; Now the Premisses beinge considered by this Hon'ble Court, he hopes they will have soe much Charitie for him as to conclude him nott guilty of those actions that are laid to his Charge: The Just and Righteous determinations whereof he Leaves to the Wisdome and Clemencie of this Hon'ble Court, and is bound to subscribe Himself

Your Honours Most Humble Servt.,

Thomas Mitchell.

Boston, May the 24th, 1675.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1390, paper 1. This case appears in the Records of the Court of Assistants, I. 34-39, 42. The chief originator of this episode of piracy was a Dutch captain from Curaçao, Juriaen Arentsen. In 1674, when a state of war existed between France and the Netherlands, he captured the French forts at Castine and St. John, and took possession of the region as "New Holland." Then, "at the Bear in Boston," he gave some sort of commission to another Dutchman or Fleming, Peter Rodrigo or Rodriguez, to John Rhodes of Boston, and others, under which they proceeded in the piratical manner described in documents 41 and 42. The Court of Assistants had now, by a law passed in December, 1673, been fully authorized to act as a court of admiralty (which hitherto it had done without formal authorization); sitting as such, May 17-June 17, 1675, it condemned Peter Rodrigo, Dutchman, John Roads, late of Boston, Peter Grant, Scotchman, Richard Fowler and Randolph Judson, Englishmen, for piracy, and sentenced them to be hanged. All were however pardoned subsequently. Records of Massachusetts Bay, V. 40, 54, 66. Mitchell and Uring were whipped for complicity, of which there was evidence contradicting their testimony here presented. For the background of the whole story, see C.W. Tuttle, Captain Francis Champernowne, the Dutch Conquest of Acadie, and other Historical Papers (Boston, 1889), pp. 137-150, 349-399.

[2] Chignecto, Nova Scotia.

[3] Pemaquid, Maine, east of the mouth of the Damariscotta. There was an English settlement there from 1626. As to the jurisdiction, all this region east of the Kennebec had been included in the Duke of York's patent of 1664, but his governor at New York took no active steps to assume its government till 1677, and de facto Pemaquid in 1675 was in the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, which in 1674 had organized the region east of the Kennebec as the county of Devon.

[4] Lieut. Thomas Gardiner, resident at Pemaquid, was chief military commander and treasurer of the county of Devon, and a county magistrate.

[5] Near Sedgwick, Maine.

[6] William Stoughton, of the Court of Assistants, afterward lieutenant-governor of the province; see document no. 70, post.

[7] Off Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

42. Declaration of Edward Youreing. May 24, 1675.[1]

To the Hono'rd Court of Assistants Now Sitting in Boston The Declaration of Edward Youring of Boston, Fisherman, Humbly Showeth:

Thatt whereas the said youring being in October last past, both himselfe and the Barke whereof the said youring was part owner, and being hyred upon A leading Voyage, so farr Easterly as A Place caulled Zecganickto nere the botom of the Bay of Fundy (and noe further), by Capt. Peter Rodregross and Company; As by A Charter Partie, Refferance being had thereunto, more fully may Appear; and allso will therein Declare thatt I your Poore and Humble Declarant Edward Youring had not the Least Intention of anything thereby but onely and honestly to Improve both myselfe and my Interest in the foresaid Barque, in an honest77 Lawfull way; And it being well knowen and seen, both in Towne or else where wherever my caulling haith Led mee, thatt I have been according to my Capassetye and Abillity an Industreous hard Laberar, whereby I mought gitt wherewith to mentayne my Famely, which in a measure hayth been sumthing Comefortably untell now (through the goodness of God), nor I have not at all been wanting to take the best paynes I could for an honest Livelyhood, both for my selfe and my Familie, I not being so Ignorant but thatt by Instructyans and good Examples being thereby rightlie informed, thatt hee is worse than an Infidle thatt shall not provide for his Familie, etc.; I Doe Declare in the presence of God and Your Hon'rs this Day that, through God's goodness to me, I am Conscious unto my owne Innocency, and am truly free from thatt Reporte of my being guiltie of Pyracy or being A pyorett, nither ever had I the Least thought nor suspition thatt those persons which Carryed them selves so fairly to me whilst that I was in Boston with them, would have caryed it so much contrary to whatt they promised to me before they went from hence; And thatt was thatt they would not meddle, nor take either vessells or goods from any English man, as may Appeare by severel testimonys; whereupon I did proced upon the said Voyage, upon Monthly Wages. And wee being come as farr East as Casco Bay, then the Privateers (though much against my minde and will) they wentt on Shoare and brought on Board of us severall Sheepe which belonged to the inhabitants of thatt place, where upon I did so farr show my dislike to the Privateers for soe doeing that I tould them thatt I protested against their Actions in that way; where upon they did not only revile and use opprobius and reproachfull words to me for my declayring my minde to them, but they allso threated to strycke me and being so threatened forced me to Silence, and they also forced me to goe further upon the said voyage; and when wee arrived so farr East as Pemmaquid I tooke so much notice of the debaucherie of the Privateers thatt I thought in my selfe thatt the voyage was not like only to be unproffitable but allso troublesome and uncomfortable, whereupon I desired78 to be cleared from them, but I being one thatt was bound by charter partie was forced to goe further East with them; and Comeing to a Place caulled Knoskeegg,[2] there wee mett with Capt. Roades and the Privateers tooke him aboard of our vessell, and after some stay there the wind being Contrary, notwithstanding they went to turne it out and as they ware turning out, I Edward Youring spoke to Thomas Mitchell whoe was then at helme, desireing him to beare up the helme and to goe no further with them, and I tould the sayd Mitchell my reason was because I heard them say thay would take George Manning[3] and the Vessell if they could meet with him, and one of the Privateers, by name Randler Judgson, came to me as I was speaking to Mitchell to beare up the helme, sweareing thus or this effect: "God damne me, Youring or Mitchell, speake another word of bearing up the Helme and Ile knock out your Braines with a hand speake", etc.; furthermore I the sayd Youring haveing no way to Escape from them was forced to Stay Longer with them, but at Length Comeing to a Harbour further East, wee spieing a vessell at an Anchor, Capt. Rodregrose commanded Thomas Mitchell to Steer right with her, and Comeing up with her Rodregross bid them Amaine[4] for the Prince of Orainge; whareupon they lowred out their Annchor and it proved to be George Manning; then I the said Youring, haveing heard Rodregross and the Privateers say whatt they Intended to doe if they meett with Manning, I intreated them not to take him but to lett him goe peaceably with whatt hee had, and onely give him warning for the future; but Rodregross instead of Complying with my request blamed me much for speak[ing] against takeing of him, and forthwith went on board and tooke a way his peltery; and the same Afternoone made prize, both of vessell and goods, after wh. I Edward Youring Speakeing in the behalf of Manning, Capt. Rodregross tooke doune his pistol, wch generally he kept loaden by him, and presented it to me, and had not Capt. Roades whch satt by Layd his79 hand upon it, turnning of it away from me, I had then been shott. and the next Night following Petter Grant one of the Privateers made a writeing, and being very earnest with me to sett my hand to it, toulde me it would be no damage to me to sett my hand as a Witness; I the said Youring, being Ignorant of such things and not knowing what was in it, I did Sett my hand to it, but no otherwayes butt as A wittness (the which I did by reason of my being in feare of my life, if I should have denyed to have done it), and soon after the Pryvat[eer] [torn] had been at Mayhchyous[5] and Laded the goods they tooke from George Manning, they went to St. Johns, wheare they had not been above three or fower howers, as I judge, before thatt there caime into the Harbor a vessell from the Sea and came to an Anchor about a mile distant from us. then the said Rodregross Commanded twoe boates to be manned to cary him and his Company, and coming nere to the vessell, he bid them A Mayne for the Prince of orainge, and Some in the vessell knowing him desired him to come aboard, And when he came aboard Rodregross Commanded them to weigh Anchor and to Come and Ride by him; and thatt Night Capt. Rodregross kept possession of [torn] himself and the next day commanded his boat from his own vessell, and Commanded George Walton, master of the said vessell,[6] to deliver their Beaver and Moose, wch after search made in the hold he tooke and Carryed it away, and I the said Youring shewing my dislike as much as I darst in my opposeing Rodregross, upon which and because I would not give my consent to goe over the Bay of Fundee, I being one thatt was ingaged by Charter partie to the Contrarie, and soone affter one of the Privateers struke me many blowes upon my backe and Sides with a long knife Like a Short Hangger, which brused me very mutch, and the same night being a very could night in the latter eand of Dicember Last, the sayd Privateer thatt hett me turned me ashoare, wheare I was like to be Starved wth could. The next day80 following, I being very ill and very sore with the blowes I recd the evenning before, and after the morning was a little passed, with much intreetye I prevailed to git libertie to goe aboard to gitt some Releife. And after they had forced Thomas Mitchell and myselfe to goe over the Bay of Fundee, as wee Returned backe wee put into Maychyas, and Standing into the harbor wee saw a vessell under Duch collors standing out; which when wee came nere unto proved to be George Mannings vessell; whoe as soone as hee came up with us, haveing gotten to Windward of our Vessell, poured a Volley of Shott in upon us with Dutch coullors flying, and presently affter wee saw a vessell with French Coullors, upon which wee concluded All to be French and thatt wee ware betrayed and should bee taken; thereupon Capt. Rodregross Commanded every man to his Arms and to fight for his life. But as soone as Capt. Mosely[7] Came up with us, hee haveing the English Coullors out, Hee bid us A Maine for the King of England, and I myselfe Loured the Maine Sayle three or foure foot doune, at which Capt. Rodregross was very angry with me and Commanded me to hoyse it againe, which I Refused to doe; and there upon I went forward and Laye before the windles tell the vessell was taken; And when the Capt. yeelded, I Edward Youringe Lett fall the Anchor; I being very glad that I was freed from the Bondage and Slavery I was in untell the vessell was taken by Capt. Moseley; I being all the voyage Comanded, as occasion presented, to goe a Shoare with John Farmer to cott wood and fetch watter to carry aboard; notwithstanding one halfe of the vessell was my owne; and also I stand Still ingaged for one halfe of the Cargoe thatt was Carryed out from Boston.

Now all these premises being searyously pondred by this honord Courte of Assistants, with the prudent and upright management of the Gent'men of the Jury, Together with the testimonyes I have redy to give in, I hope will thereby Evidently Appeare thatt I am not guiltie of Pyracy or any Acttyons tending thereto, as is Layed to me in my Charge, And I being over powered by the Privateers thatt did81 tyranize over me, I was forced contrary to my minde and will to doe whatt I did during the time I was with the Privateers upon A voyage to the Eastward; for the true determination of which and of my being Concerned therein I freely and willingly Leave my Selfe to the wise, Judicious and Righteous proceedings of this Honoured Courte and Gentlemen of the Jury, hopeing the Lord will Cleare up my Innocency as to the matter of Factt, I being Conscious to my owne Innocency. So desiring the Lord to direct you In your Proceeding that Right may take place, not att all doubtting butt thatt your Honors will soe dilligenttly search in to the Cause thatt the Innosent may Bee Cleeared and the Guilty Suffer, according to merritt, so wishin you all happienes, And for the Continewance of which I shall ever Pray, etc., Subscribe my Selfe your Faithfull Subjectt and Searvantt In all Hummillitye

Edward Youreing.[8]

Boston the 24th of May

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 1390, paper 2. The name is more often found with the spelling Uring.

[2] Naskeag; see note 5 to document 41.

[3] Captain of a small Boston vessel; his letter to the owner is in the Maine Documentary History, second ser., VI. 42-43.

[4] I.e., lower your topsail, in token of surrender.

[5] Machias.

[6] The Trial, of Kittery, belonging to Maj. Nicholas Shapleigh; Doc. Hist., VI. 46-47.

[7] Sent by the Massachusetts government to suppress these pirates.

[8] Of one of the Dutchmen concerned in this episode of piracy, Cornelius Andersen, Hutchinson relates, quoting a contemporary letter, that, being under sentence of death for piracy, but pardoned on condition of enlisting in King Philip's War, "He pursued Phillip so hard that he got his cap and now wears it. The general, finding him a brave man, sent him with a command of twelve men to scout, with orders to return in three hours on pain of death; he met 60 Indians hauling their canoes ashore: he killed 13 and took 8 alive, and pursued the rest as far as he could go for swamps, and on his return burnt all the canoes ... and a short time after was sent out on a like design and brought in 12 Indians alive and two scalps." History of Massachusetts Bay, I. 263.



43. Seignelay to Colbert. May 8 (N.S.), 1679.[1]

Copie of a Letter to M. Colbert from the Marquis de Segnelay about two Brandenbourg Privateers armed for the American Islands. 8 May 1679 N.S., received 9 May V.S.[2]

Le Roy ayant esté informé à la fin du mois passé que deux particuliers avoient fait depuis peu un armement dans les Portes de Zelande, et qu'ils en essoient partis avec deux Vaisseaux armez en guerre pour aller dans les Isles d'Amerique faire la guerre a ses Sujets sous la Commission de Monsieur l'Electeur de Brandenbourg, Sa Majesté fit partir pour les dites Isles M. le Comte d'Estrées avec une escadre de quatorze vaisseaux pour les prendre ou couler à fonds. Et comme il est porté par le 9me Article du traitté de suspension d'armez que vous aves signé le 3e de ce mois avec l'Ambassadeur de ce Prince, que le comerce sera libre tant par eau que par terre, Sa Majesté veut que vous proposiez au dit Seigneur l'Ambassadeur de donner ordre aux Capitaines des dites deux fregates de ne rien entreprendre au prejudice du dit Traitté contre les Vasseaux des Subjects de Sa Majesté. Et en ce cas Elle fera scavoir audit Seigneur83 Comte d'Estrées, que son intention est qu'il laisse la liberté aux dites deux fregates, de naviguer par tout ou bon leur semblera. J'attendray ce qu'il vous plaira de me faire scavoir sur ce sujet, pour en rendre compte à Sa Majesté, etc.

à St. Germaine en l'aye
le 8me May 1679.


The King having been informed at the end of the past month that two individuals had lately fitted out in the ports of Zeeland, and had sailed thence with two vessels, armed for warfare, to go to the islands of America, and make war upon his subjects under commission from my lord the Elector of Brandenburg, his Majesty is sending my lord the Count d'Estrées with a squadron of fourteen vessels to seize or sink them.[3] And as it is provided by the ninth article of the treaty of armistice which you signed on the 3d of this month with the ambassador of that prince, that commerce shall be free by water as well as by land,[4] his Majesty desires that you should propose to the said lord ambassador that he give orders to the captains of the aforesaid two frigates to undertake nothing to the prejudice of the said treaty, against the vessels of his Majesty's subjects. And in that case he will communicate to the said lord Count d'Estrées his intention that he shall leave the said two frigates free to sail wherever they think fit.[5] I shall await whatever information you may be pleased to send me on this subject, in order to report it to his Majesty, etc.

St. Germain-en-Laye, May 8, 1679.

[1] British Museum, Harleian MSS., 1517, fol. 232. Probably an intercepted letter. Colbert was the great prime minister of Louis XIV.; Seignelay, Colbert's eldest son, was minister of marine. The document has a curious interest as showing perhaps the first instance in which the (Brandenburg-) Prussian navy, or privateer marine, touches American history. The Great Elector, Frederick William, had for some time cherished ambitious designs, respecting the creation of a navy and the establishment of colonies, but it was not till late in 1680 that he possessed a war-ship of his own, in 1681 that he began a little establishment on the West African coast, in 1682 that he founded his African Company. In this year 1679 he had a few ships hired from a Dutchman, and it appears from this letter of the watchful French minister that two others were being prepared for his service in Zeeland. For five years he had been at war with France. His allies—England, the Dutch, the Emperor—had made peace at Nymwegen in 1678. He was in danger of standing alone, and had made an armistice March 31, prolonged May 3.

[2] Veteri stilo, old style, then followed in England and Brandenburg. "Received" doubtless means received in England.

[3] Vice-admiral Count d'Estrées did not actually sail for the West Indies till the next year, and then for another purpose.

[4] The articles prolonging the armistice till May 18 had been signed at Xanten on May 3 by Colbert and Marshal d'Estrades for Louis XIV. and by Werner von Blaspiel for the elector. For their text, see Actes et Mémoires des Négotiations de Nimègue, IV. 468-471.

[5] Such orders were given, on both sides. Ibid., IV. 484, 487. The treaty of peace was concluded June 19/29. For further history of Brandenburg privateers in the New World, see documents 47 and 48.



44. The Buccaneers at Portobello. 1680.[1]

Ann acoumpt of our Intended Voyage from Jamaco with a party of shipps, departing from the afore said Island to Poartavell: Receving Letpasses to goe into the bay of Hundorus, to cutt Logwood, from his Maj'ties Reall Subject the Earle of Carlisle.[2]

The Names of the Captaines

In december about the Latter part in the yeare 1679 we meetts all up at port amorrant,[4] where the party Concluded to make Capt. John Coxon their Chiefe and to wood and watter at Porttamorrant, and after make all expedition to take Portavella.

January the 7th, Ditto. Thes Commanders above expresed Sett Sayle with a fresh gail of wind, at S.E. and E.S.E. [cut off] we stands over Close hailed with our Larbourd tackes abord[5] steming S.S.W. and S.b.W., keeping the Reefes of our Topesayles in, for the most part of our Vessells proved Leacke, that Capt. Cornelies Essex was vayne[6] to would his shipp Together with Two Hassers[7] to keep her together. Capt. Bartholomew Sharpe Lost his Bolsprit, that he was forced to Beare away large.[8] they gott into Ankour at the Island of Pine lying in the Samblowes in North Lattitud 9° 40´.[9] As we weare Coming out of portamorrant, about 6 Leagues from the Port, we meetts with a french Brickanteen, on[e] John Row Commander. he understanding our Designe, was willing to Concert with us. the weather growing very bad and lickly to Continue soe sum time, that as much as Ever sum shipps was abell to goe through the Sea, Capt. Essex by name his vessell being ould gave way in her boue that if shee had not been wolded,[10] Could never a he[ld] together. Capt. Coxon86 Calls and orders that he would make the Best of his way to the Isle of Forta, and gave order that those that gott thear first, to Leave a Noat one the Sandy point, to Sattisfie the Rest which are to com after, and them that first gott to forta, to goe over to the frinds Islands, Islands which lyeth about 12 Leagues to the westwards of Cathergeane,[11] about 8 leagues from Forta. our Admirall, the french Brickenteen, and the two slopes[12] getts to forta first, which finding Neither Capt. Essex nor Capt. Sharpe thear, Feared they had binn Suncke in the Sea. Capt. Coxon went over to the frinds Islands with one Slopes Crew and the Brickenteens Crew, Leaveing a Sayling Crew abord: goe to ly amongst thes frinds Islands to take pery agoes[13] and Canoes to Land our people at Portavella. 2 dayes after a Rives Capt. Cornelyes Essex at forta, But noe news of Capt. Bartholomew Sharpe. we did Certainly expect he had binn Lost. they stayd at thes frinds Islands 3 dayes. they Brings with them 4 pery agoes, and Six very good Large Cannoes. we fills watter at Forta and Concludes to see if through the marcyes of god Capt. Sharpe might be gotten into pines.[14] Capt. Coxon being the best sayler, Lost Company with us, he stering away S.w.b.w. and we w.s.w., that he weathered the golden Islands[15] and gott to An Ankour at the Isle of pines, which Lyeth in 9° 40´[16] North Lattitud, and beareth from the Golden Islands n.w.b.w. about 6 Leagues. only Capt. Coxon Weathered the Golden Islands and gott into pines, he being the best windward boat, it blowing very hard, the two slopes, the french Brickenteenn and Captain Cornelies Essex bore up and cam to Ankour at the Golden Islands. Capt. Coxon in his way to Pines Sees a sayle in the offinge, makes sayle towards her, Comes up with her, and finds her to be a Barque cam out of Jamaco one the Same accoumpt as we did, and Came over to the Samblowes to87 meett with the Fleett. we weare all Glad of his Company, for we wanted men. Coming into Pines, they found Capt. Sharpe had binn ther, and Suppose had fitted what damage he Receved at Sea, and Imagined he was gone to looke for the fleete. the weather being so bad att Present, could goe no farther with our Shipps. Coxon sends capt. Cooke with his barque from Pines to the Golden Island, to give us notice that he would be gone alone with his owne company and the Sloopes, in case that wee did not make hast to Pines, but the wind blowing hard att W.N.W. could not gett out. Capt. Coxon the next day comes downe himself in his cannoe, to knowe the reasone of our stay, and findeing the winde contrary, that wee could not gett out, Advised the commanders to make what dispatch they could in their cannoes and Peeriaugers, to Pines, and from thence to Puerta-Vella, being afraide some of their traideing boates should Discry them. Capt Cooke in his way to us meetes with a Spannish galliote[17] from Carthageane, bound to Puerta Vella with Negroes, butt ther being a desention amounge the company, some desireous to borde him, others nott, so that in fine they losst him. the currant under shoare setting stronge to the Eastward and haveing hard westerly winds, capt. Cooke could nott gett the Golden Islands, but was drove downe into the bay of Dueryan;[18] in the meane time our Party Imbarkques in perriaugers and Cannoes, being mighty desierouse to be their before should be descried. And lyeing here, wee gott greate acquaintance with the Natives of this Country, which the Spaniards had driven over to this side of the Land from the South side; wee found the Indians to have a greate Antipothy against the Spaniards, but could not know to have their revenge. they understanding our designes, they corted us to land and thay would shew us wheir was Spanish townes Plenty of Silver and golde; of which more here-after. The cannoes being gonn to Puerta Vella with about two hundred and fifty men, left the shipping with a sailing crew a borde to follow after, wheir orders was given by capt. Coxon, chiefe commander, to88 make what hast he could to lower Rainge of Keys in the Samboles, to a Key call'd Springers carreening Key,[19] and to goe no farther till farther Orders. the parting cannoes, goeing downe the Samboles, sees a greate shipp rideing att an Anchor att the 2d Rainge of Keyes, which coming neare they found her to be a French privateere, One capt. Lessone, who carreen'd in the Samboles. The said capt. understanding the designe wee weare about, Joyn'd his company with ours, who weare about Eighty men out of him, so wee went with all our parties on with corrage, and landed them about twenty leagues short of Puerta Vella in an olde ruinated Port called Puerta Pee; the way was very rocky and bad to march, they goeing near the sea side to Eschape the look-out which thay saw plainely on a high Hill, butt as god would have itt, the look-out did nott see them. this being Wensday they begin to drawe neare Puerta Vella. The Satterday following, about ten aclocke, came into an Indian Village. our peopple many of them were weake, being three day with-out any foode, and their feete cutt with the rocks for want of Shoose, soe an Indian man, crying out, "ladroones",[20] runs and make what speede he could to Puerta Vella. so Coxon our Generall cryed out, "good boyes, You that are able to runn gett into towne before wee are descryed". wee had then about 3 miles to Puerta Vella. The Indian being too nimble for us, wee being tired afore, He gott into Puerta Vella about half a hower before us, and cried out, "Ladroones!" Imediately wee heard the Alarm gunn fier. wee then certainly knew that wee weare discried. wee made what hast wee could into the towne, the forloorne[21] being led by capt. Robert Alliston, the rest of our party following upp so fast as they could. before —— of the clocke in the Afternoon wee had taken the towne, the peopple of the Place takeing to their stronge castle call'd the Glory, to secure themselves. the next day the Spaniards, being about two hundred, made an Attempt to come out of the Glory. wee face't them and made them89 to retreate back to their Castle to some of their sorrowes, which fell to the ground. wee kept the towne 2 dayes, plunder[ed] what wee could of itt, and putt the best of our Plunder into cannoes which wee tooke their. some men marcht back by lands, guarding the Prisonnars alonge with them, Hopeing wee should have had ransome for them: wee carried our Plunder, Plate and prissonars downe to a Key about 3 leauges and a half from Puerta Vella, The next Key's to the Bastamentes,[22] and on Tuesday comes away Capt. Robert Alleston to Springers carreeneing Key, to give notice to the Shipps which was all their att anchor that wee should make what dispach wee could to the Bastamentes, wheir our party lay. capt. Alliston info[r]m'd us that thay had taken Puerta Vella and plundred the most part of the Towne, without the loss of many men, onely five or six men wounded, and that a cannoe of the best plunder, as cloth of silver, cloth of tishee,[23] being soe covittious to lode deepe, sanck in the river comeing downe; the small fortes fiering, they wounded 2 or 3 men in the cannoes. Our plunder being carried downe to the Bastamentes, and our peopple which marched by land being come, carries plunder and Prissnars uppon a Key lying aboutt half a mile from the maine land. their came downe about 3 dayes after from Puerta Vella as neare as wee could Judge seven Hundred soldiers, that came from Pennamau[24] and arrived att Puerta Vella the tuesday as wee came away the Munday before. the Spaniards came downe on brest the Key wee weire uppon, and fired severall small armes, shooteing cleare over this Key, soe wee tooke our prissnars with plunder and what wee had gotten att Puerta Vella, and carried to another Key hard by, out of their Reaches, soe our shipps come downe wheir the partie lay in dispute what to doe, haveing some thoughts the Spaniard would send to relieve the Prissnars. keepeing strickt watch, wee saw the next day a Barkque longo[25] standing in to Puerta Vella, which capt.90 bartholl'w Sharpe went out and tooke. Her lodeing was salt and corne came from Carthagene. Keepeing very good watch att top mast head, 3 day's after wee saw comeing in a good bigg shipp, came from Carthagene. Our Shipps and Sloopes weighs and went out and mett her, as she was standing in to Puerta Vella. Capt. Allisson comeing up with her first in his Sloope Ingages her, and Coxon seconding him clapps her aborde and takes her without the loss of any men. some Spaniards fell for thay fought about one hower. she had Eight gunn's, a new shipp of about ninety tunn's, the chiefest of her ladeing being timber, salt and corne, and about 30 Negroe's and about fower chest of silke, Besides packetts of greate Conscernment from the King of Spaine, as was Reported by them which by relacion of our armie, thatt our Generall, capt. Coxon, had presented him in a Jarr of wine five Hundred peices of gould which he wronged the party of by Keepeing of itt to himself, he being sworne as well as any other man not to wronge any one. After this wee sheard[26] our Puerta Vella voyage, which was in money and plate and plunder wee had to the Vallew of hundred peeces of Eight a man. then wee concluded to goe downe to Boca-Toro,[27] to make cleane our shipps, that being the best place to carreene our shipps, by reason their is good store of turtle and Manatee and fish, our shipps being made cleane and ready for to sayle about six weekes time, butt wee fell in with Boca Draga and went thro' Boca Draga into Boca Toro, wheir seing a saile a cannoe went to her, and found itt to be a Barque longo, The commander one Richard Sawlkings, who tolde us of Capt. Peter Harriss's being att Diego's point[28] a carreeneing. wee dispacht as soone as possible. Capt. Coxon fitted out his new shipp, leaveing his olde one their, Capt. Essex leaveing his Barkque their she being so rotten. wee acquainting capt. Peter Harriss and capt Rich. Sawlking of the greate commerce wee had with the Indians in the Samboles, was very willing to91 goe upp with their shipps, so all concluded to goe upp to capt Lessones Carreeneing Key. Boca Toro lieth about 50 leagues to leeward[29] of Porta Vella and Boca Drago 3 leauges to leeward of Boca Toro. all the shipps meeteing att Lessoones carreeneing Key aforesaid, wheir was orders for our randevous, capt. Coxon concludes to goe upp to the goulden Islands and to travill over land to Pannamau, otherwise to a place which the Indians tolde us of, cal'd Toca Mora. all our English concluded to goe, but capt Lessoone and capt Jno. Rowe their Peopple refus'd, being man'd all with French. The Indians being very familliar came uppon a Key to our shipps, men, Women and children, Informing us that whilst wee weare att Puerta Vella the Spaniards had beene downe with about Eighty soldiers and had fell uppon the Indians for their haveing familiarity with us. The Spaniards did Kill of the Indians by their relation about 20, the rest of the Indians takeing the mountans for their security tell wee came. these Indians altho' Heathens yett have those amounge them that thay call Doctors, that can raise the Divill att their Pleasure. they knew of our comeing and att what time wee should be their, and when thay saw us, it was greate sattisfaction to them, wee putting out a signe, which was a white Jack and no Ensigne, then thay come on borde. thay offers themselves to goe with us to take revenge of the Spaniards, which they call by the name of walkers. Wee makeing in all, in mony, Plate and Plunder, about a hundred peices of Eight a man att Puerta Vella, peopple was Eagar for more Voyage, and was now fully resolved to goe to the Goulden Island and hall our shipps into a small Cove or creeke out of sight of any Spaniard, if any should come that way, haling our small Barkques and small vessells as close as wee thought convenient under the shelter of the greate shipps, and order so many men to stay on borde of Each Vessell according to their bigness to looke after them, and likewise order was given that if any should come in their to oppose them, the peopple weare all of them to goe on borde of capt. Coxon and capt. Peter Harriss's Shipp to92 defend themselves and Shipps to the uttmost of their Power. And on sunday, being the 4 day of Aprill,[30] wee Provides our provission to land next morning itt being munday. the french shipps we left in the Samboles. next day about 6 aclock in the morning lands 332 men, being Piloted by the Indians, who seemed to be very forward in their Assistance, as here after will prove.

Thus much for Puerta Vella Voyage.

[1] British Museum, Sloane MSS., 2752, fol. 29. This and the ensuing document, both by the same anonymous author, form one continued narrative, of dramatic and astonishing piratical adventure. For the second part, the adventures of these buccaneers in the Pacific Ocean, there are other, parallel narratives, some of them longer than ours; but with one exception they say almost nothing of this first adventure, the capture and sack of Portobello. Two or three pages (pp. 63-65 of part III.) are indeed devoted to it in the chapter on "Capt. Sharp's voyage", signed "W.D." [not William Dampier], which was appended to the second edition of the English translation of Exquemelin's Bucaniers of America (London, 1684), before Basil Ringrose's detailed account of the South Sea adventures was printed and issued (1685) as the second volume of that celebrated book; but the present account is fuller than "W.D."'s, and may apparently be regarded as the chief source now in print for the history of this second English capture of Portobello. It should be remembered that, by the signing of the various treaties of Nymwegen in 1678 and 1679, all hostilities between European powers had by autumn of the latter year been brought to an end. The privateers who had flourished during the preceding years of warfare now found their occupation gone—their lawful occupation at least. Many of them turned to piracy. The writer of these two narratives speaks of his companions as privateers, but in reality they had no legal status whatever. When the governor of Panama asked for their commission, Captain Sawkins replied that "we would ... bring our Commissions on the muzzles of our Guns, at which time he should read them as plain as the flame of Gunpowder could make them." Ringrose, p. 38. Legible, no doubt, but not legal.

[2] Charles Howard, earl of Carlisle, was governor of Jamaica from 1678 to 1681. The names preceding are intended for Jamaica, Portobello, and Honduras. Portobello had been a rich town, lying at the northern end of the usual route across the isthmus from Panama. The annual "plate fleet" was loaded here with the silver of Peru and other produce of the Pacific coast. Henry Morgan and his buccaneers had captured and sacked Portobello in 1668, Panama in 1671.

[3] Capt. Bartholomew Sharp, who figures largely in this narrative and the next, as chief commander of the buccaneers during most of the periods of their adventures, was also the author (or source) of two histories of their expedition. The first, The Voyages and Adventures of Capt. Barth. Sharp and others in the South Sea (London, 1684), is mainly a reproduction of the captain's journal or log; the second, "Captain Sharp's Journal of his Expedition, written by Himself," published as part II. of Capt. William Hacke's A Collection of Original Voyages (London, 1699), is more literary in form. Neither describes the period covered by the present document; both begin, like document 45, with Apr. 5, 1680.

[4] Port Morant, near the southeastern point of Jamaica.

[5] The wind being on the larboard quarter.

[6] Fain.

[7] Hawsers.

[8] I.e., was compelled to sail before the wind.

[9] Isla de Pinos, on the north coast of the republic of Panama, some 130 miles east of Portobello. "Samblowes" is a corruption of San Blas (Islands), in the gulf of San Blas.

[10] Woolded, wound around with cables, "undergirded" like St. Paul's ship, Acts xxvii. 27.

[11] Cartagena. Forta is the present Isla Fuerte, southwestward from Cartagena along the coast of Colombia. The "Friends Islands" are the islands of San Bernardo, lying between the two.

[12] Sloops.

[13] Periaguas or pirogues, like large canoes but with a square stern.

[14] Isla de Pinos, just west of the gulf of Darien; see note 9, above.

[15] Isla de Oro and its companions, a few miles south of Isla de Pinos.

[16] 9° 4´, more nearly.

[17] A small galley, with both sails and oars.

[18] Darien.

[19] One of the San Blas Islands, perhaps Cayo Holandés. The buccaneers were proceeding westward.

[20] Sp. ladrones, robbers.

[21] For "forlorn hope," which is from the Dutch verloren hoop, lost troop.

[22] Puerto de Bastimentos is a harbor about twelve miles northeast of Portobello. Columbus in his fourth voyage (1502) gave the place its name, "Port of Provisions."

[23] Tissue.

[24] Panama.

[25] Barca longa, a large Spanish fishing-boat, with lug-sails.

[26] Shared.

[27] The Boca del Toro and Boca del Drago ("bull's mouth" and "dragon's mouth") are entrances on either side of the Isla de Colón, at the western extremity of the republic of Panama.

[28] On Isla Solarte, near the Boca del Toro.

[29] Westward, here.

[30] 1680.

45. The Buccaneers on the Isthmus and in the South Sea. 1680-1682.[1]

The Journall of our Intended Voyage by the assistance of God over land into the South seas leaveing our ships att the goulden Islands, and landing on Munday Apr'll the fift, Annoque 1682.

All these above mencion'd captaines landed att the Golden Islands, which lieth about 15 leagues to the westerd of the westmost Point of Durian[2] bay. this golden Island lyeth in North lattitude nearest in 9° 12´. capt. Allisson and capt. Maggott being sickly weare unable to march, butt93 all the aforsd captaines landed with their men, leaveing onely a sayleing crew on bord Each vessell; their Orders being that if any should come to oppose them, all hands to repair on Borde Harriss and Coxon, thay being shipps of force. Being on Shoare wee had about Halfe an Howers discource with the Indians. thay amounge Each other chose out two men to goe before the forloorne, to shew us the way. first of all wee marched through a small skert of a wood, downe to sandy bay by the sea side, about 2 miles; the marching over the sandy bay was tiersom, haveing our gunns Amunition and knapsacks of provant[3] to carry with us, but after wee past this sandy Bay wee Enters into a wood againe, which lead us into a valley which in time of raines is full of water. by three of the clocke this day wee Had martched from the shipps 3 leauges, and takes upp our seate, wheir wee intended that night to sleepe. their came downe to us one capt. Andreas,[4] an Indian, with some others with him. he spake a little Spannish, and gave us the bien venitdo.[5] thay brought Plantins downe with them, which they distributed to the company, thinking theirby Had done us a greate Kindness; their garments are made of cotton, they weare longe Black Hair, the men weare a peice of thinn gould in their Noses, which is made like a Half moone (like unto the Marg't)[6] kivering their lipps. some few of them hath itt made of silver. their women goes bear headed, with longe black Hair hanging downe, wearing a kinde of white cotton Blanckett over their Sholders, which comes downe about their bodyes. thay weare in the grissell of their nose a round ring, some of Silver, some of golde. capt. Andreas tolde us he would have borne us company to have martched next day, butt that he had a childe sicke and fear'd would soone die; and when dead, would follow us with a comepany of Indians with him; and soe tooke his leave of us. The next day being tuesday, in the morning94 about 4 of the clock word was gave to Martch, and that no man, on the loss of life, should fier a gunn in the woodes, least some Indian Rogues or other should betray us, by runing afore to acquaint the Spaniards. yesterday two men tier'd, so went back againe. this tuesday wee Martched upp a very high Hill. twas neare 10 of the clock before wee gott the topp of itt. one man more tier'd, that return'd back againe. on this Hill wee could finde no water, so that the company weare almost famisht for the want theirof. the Indian pilotts gave us to understand that a little farther was water, which about 2 of the clock wee came up with; wheire wee all dranck and Refreshed our selves bravely. about 2 howers martch farther wee gott downe to the foote of this Hill. on the South side is a brave River whear wee tooke up our quarters that night, it being the second night of rest since wee left our Shipps. this day wee martched neare 14 miles E.S.E. nearest. the next day, being wensday the 7. ditto, as soone as the Day brake wee weare uppon our Martch. about 10. of the clocke wee rested and refresht our selves with bread an water, and Pipes and tobacco; and about 3 of the clock wee tooke upp our quarters againe, by a river side. in the woodes wee saw some Indian Hutte, butt no strainge Indians, for wee went a course more to the southward to fetch a Circute cleare of the Duryan Indians, who have a continuall Peace with the Spaniard.

Thirsday the 8 wee wear desired by Our Indian Pilotes to be martching by breake of day, that so wee might comepass 6 leauges, which wee did. about 2 aclock wee came up with some hutts, wheir their Kinge lived, who received us with greate kindness, being Joyfull of our company, as he Exprest it by presenting us with Plantans, Cassado,[7] Indian Corne, Drinck, and Rootes; haveing beene with us some time, return'd to his house againe. his garment was of white cotton made like to a friars cote. in the Evening the King came to us againe with his 2 sones, being in one garbe, save that the Kinge had in his Hand a longe white rodd of about 7 foote longe, and a Hoope of Golde about his Head for95 his crowne. this Hoope was about 2 Inches and a half broade. the Kinge had 3 daughters of womens Estate, very comely Indians, who went in fine cotton Roped about their bodies. Both men and women tooke much delight to heare our Drum beate and colers fly but to fier a gunn or to heare the noyse thay weare afraide. the Kings Daughters fantsied much to be in our Company, in so much that some of our Peopple by signes would ask them if they should live with them and thay be their wives. thay often would make Arrants to their fathers house to fetch us Plantans. The Kinge tolde capt. Coxon that the next day wee must nott march butt that he must send one of his sones to gett cannoes, to carry us all by water downe the river, and that in two dayes march more (itt being Sunday) wee should come wheir these Cannoes wheir. wee often mett with Indian Hutts in the Martch, in which the Peopple stoode ready to throw us Plantans and give us corne drincke.[8] wee found that they weare makeing cannoes for us as fast as they could. thiss day wee martcht about 5 leagues and came up with 3 or 4 Houses close by a River-side wheir wee lodged. hear thay provided about 14 cannoes which those that weare most tired with martching went into, about 90 men in the cannoes, 2 or 3 Indians to worke them downe the River, thay haveing Experience to worke cannoes in a river wheir the currant runns like an Arrow out of a bow.[9] the cheifest of our company this Sunday marched againe. the cannoes went downe the River. wee martched till night, where wee had all the rest of the cannoes made ready, about 60; in some cannoes their wear 6, some 4 and 3 Indians according to the biggness. the Indians tolde us that with-in 2 dayes after, which was tuesday, wee should see the other cannoes which went away out of the other river;[10] wee weare putt all to a stand att thiss and thoughts rise amounge us that these Indians onely seperated us to bring us all to destruction, so thatt wee had much grumbings amounge us,96 that thay made Signes wee should nott be troubled att any thing. the next day, wee haveing cannoes and Barkloggs enow, wee Imbarkques, haveing 2 Indians in Each cannoe, to steare them downe, because the freshes runn soe swift as possible can be Imagind, that the least touch of a cannoe against a stump or Rock over setts them if nott staves them all to peices. Munday night past, wee heare no newes of our other party that went away out of the other river, butt the Indians tolde us by signes that, by such time the sunn was att such a High as thay pointed, wee should see the other party. Tuesday Every one takes to his cannoe againe and went downe the river, and about 10 of the clock we saw an Indian cannoe a setting to us against the streame, alonght the river side, who tolde us that our cannoes which came downe the other River was gott to the place wheire both rivers mett, wheir the Indians intended to meete us. about 2 of the clock in the After noone we wear gott downe, and wear very glad to Injoy the comepany of our owne Peopple againe. in comeing downe the River some cannoes wear over sett; some lost their Armes, butt the Indians would dive and gett them up againe. one man being left behinde in the woodes astray, Expecting to Kill something to eate, the Indians weare soe Kind as to bring him downe to us. thiss afternoone wee fixes our Armes and cattoch[11] Boxes, Dryes our Poweder. now 20 leagues farther wee come to a Place called Santa Maria,[12] to which place wee rowe and paddle very hard alday. this place made all with Stockados, no greate gunns, but onely a place to keepe the Indians out of the river, itt being a river wheir thay take much golde. about one aclock att night wee wear gotten close under the Stockadose, soe that wee could heare the Centry talke. wee landed about half a mile from the place in the woods and lay their till day. Next morning wee heard a drum beate. thay fier'd a small arme to discharge their watch, which hearing no more gunns fired wee knew97 that wee wear not descryed. Capt Rich'd Sawlkings runns up to the Pallassados and all the party following him as fast as thay could, and fiering att the Pallassados, and thay att us; fiering with their harkquebusses, throweing lances, and shooteing Arrowes. thay had within their Pallassados about 200 men. wee killed about 70 men. after wee had had about half an howers dispute with them, Capt. Rich Sawlkings runns to the pallassado's with 2 or 3 men more, and halls up 2 or 3 pallassados by maine strength, and enters in. thay Imediately calls for Quarter, which was presently granted by us. this was one Thirday the 15 day of Aprill. the Governor with 2 Negroes and 2 women made his Eschape by runing about a mile downe the river, wheir he takes a cannoe and makes for Pennamau downe the river so fast as he could, butt understanding he had made his Eschape fitted in the Afternoone a cannoe with six oares. capt. Sawlkings goes in her to see if he could finde this governor butt could nott. wee lay att these Stockadose 2 dayes. itt is a very small place onely to shelter those that goes to wash golde in another Arme of the River, which comes out of a river[13] into this Santa Maria river. The Injury wee received in takeing the Pallassadoes was that capt. Sawlkings was shott in the Head with an arrow, and one man more shott in the hand, butt both soone cured. wee by Examining Our Prissonars understoode, that 4 dayes before wee came there went away for Pannamau 2 Small Barques which caried away 4 chests of dust golde. thay had no newes of us before thay saw us. heare we found butt little Riches. some church plate, as is reported, was found, some dust golde in callabasses,[14] some wines and brandy, Jerck porke, good store of bread. the next day wee drawes out to see who would goe for the South Seas, that is to say to take Pennamau; att last wee findes all our party, butt ii which wear unwilling. Our Generall, capt. Coxon, seemed unwilling, butt with much perswaission went; those ii men that would returne, wee putts into their hands to carry that plate wee tooke heare. thay had Indians to con98duct them back. Now wee putts our selves all in Readiness for Pennamau, which lieth about 30 leagues from thiss Santa Marea river to the Northwards. wee wear 2 dayes a roweing out of this snta Marea River, before wee gott into the South Seas. in this place there runns very Stronge tydes of Ebb and floode. the tydes keepe their common course as thay doe in the North Sea. itt flowes by the moone S.S.E. soe wee getting out of the river and the tyde of floode comeing on, wee rowed hard to gett over to a key which wee saw,[15] and Stopt their till the floode had done. on which key wee found the 2 Negro women which had made their Eschape alonge with the Governor of the Stockadose. thay tolde us that the gover'r went from thence that morning intending to row alonge shore with the 2 Negro men to Pennamau, he perswaiding him-self that wee would be for Pennamau. wee sent one of our best cannoes to rowe after him, butt to no purpose. Butt when wee left the Stockadose, the prissnars beggs of us to carry them away with us, crying that the Indians would distroy them all, soe when wee departed that Place wee carried with us what wee possibly could. no soonar wee came a shore butt wee hears a miserable crye. the Indians killed all the poore soules that weare left. Now wee being in the South Sea's goes alonge shoare to a Plantan Key,[16] which lieth about 14 leagues from Pennamau. wee tooke 2 Negroes which was sent thether to cutt woode for building as well as to breede provissions. Barkques come from Pennamau to fetch itt. this night as wee lay here wee saw a Barque on the back side of this key. wee man'd 2 cannoes and went out and tooke her. she fier'd 2 or 3 small Arme's att us butt did not any harme. next morning we went all out from the key in our cannoes. Our Gen'll capt. Coxon bad all peopple that wear in small cannoes, to goe on borde the barkque and putt their cannoes adrift. capt. Batt Sharpe went into the Barkque commander, and about 135 men, which had beene in very small cannoes and fearfull thay might Sinck under them. wee understood by this barkque99 that wee wear nott as yett descried att Pennamau. this day wee makes sayle, Keepeing the Perriaugers and cannoes company. that next night wee saw another Small Barkque which capt. Peter Harris came upp with in his cannoe and tooke. she had on borde her about 20 Armed men. thay fought about a quarter of an hower, wounded one of our men. capt. Sharpe looseing comepany in his barkque that night went away to the Pearle Keys.[17] Heard of a new Barkque Just launched, wee found to be trew; soe wee tooke the new one and sank the olde one wee first gott. wee gott their some plunder out of a House. this Night wee makes what sayle wee could to gett our party which went for Pennamau. capt. Sharpe haveing the 3d. part of the comepany one borde him disabled the Party, so as thay dirst not venture on Pennamau. Butt seeing 6 or 7 sayle of Shipps lying of att the Keys of Perico,[18] which lyeth in 9 degr. North lattitude and about 2 miles from Pennamau, wheir All the shipps that come to Pennamau rides, Thay putts for the Shipps, butt the Gover'r that had made his Eschape att the Stockadose did nott discry us, butt tolde them Sta. Maria was taken, by what nation he could nott well tell butt thought itt weare English. A Barkque wee gave chase to butt could nott fetch her upp. she seeing all our cannoes getts into Pennamau and makes alarme. their was by Relacion putt on board the shipp and Barkques which came out to fight us 300 Soldados[19] and Armed men. wee had about 3 howers dispute and tooke them all. wee killed and wounded many men. And Brave vallient capt. Peter Harriss was shott in his cannoe through both his leggs, bordeing of a greate shipp. their was nott any gott cleare only on [one] small Barkque that rann into Pennamau againe. itt being all done and Quiatt, the Spanish Gen'll[20] being kill'd wee tooke his Chief captaine, one capt. Berralto,[21] who being an Antient Seaman in those seas we100 caused him to be our Pylott, he being the commdr. of that shipp that carried away the Riches from Pennamau to Limma about 12 years since, that same time when Sr. Henry Morgan tooke Pennamau. this capt. Berralto was much burnt, and his peopple most of them kill'd and blowne upp, for as thay fought us thay had scatter'd loose powder on their decks, which tooke a fier by some accident or other, that wee seeing itt borded them and tooke them. these 7 sayle of shipps we tooke att Pennamau was not above half unloded. their lading was flower, linnen and woolen cloath, one greate shipp half laden with Iron. wee desierd of capt. Berralto which wear the best saylors. he told us on his word the Trinnity was the best in the South Seas, soe wee pitched on her for Admirall,[22] putting capt. Harriss abord that was wounded. the Doctors cutting of one legg itt fester'd so that itt pleased god he died, so wee lost that Valliant brave Soldiar. then wee putt in capt. Rich'd Sawlkings into the Shipp Trinity and made him Our Admirall. our former Adm'll[23] nott behaveing himself Nobly in time of Ingagement, was something houted att by the Party, that he Imediately went away to goe over land. wee gave him a small barkque, with which he return'd to the river of Sta. Maria with about 70 men alonge with him, capt. Richd. Sawlkings being now the chief commander in the Shipp Trinity, capt. Cooke commander of a Barkque about Eighty tunns, capt. Batt. Sharpe in a small Barkque that came from the Pearle Keys, and another small barke wee kept to weight uppon us. thay fierd their gunns off from Pennamau to us butt did us no damage. wee solde wine to Spaniards that came off shoare to buy itt by stillt, and thay brought us off hatts and showes to sell; butt about the sixt of March,[24] and the very next day that capt. Coxon our Adm'll went away, wee saw a shipp. wee gave her chase and tooke her, with capt. Batt. Sharps Barkque. she came from the citty Limmo,[25] most of her ladeing was flower. fifty thousand101 Peices of Eight in her and some silkes. capt. Sharpe shifted out of his Barkque into thiss Limmo Shipp; wee tooke what was needfull out of her, for dyett, wines, brandie, and what elce wee found good, and burnt and sunck all the rest. Kept onely those shipps aforemenciond for our owne use. Wee resolveing now to cruise these Seas, for wealth, wee stands from this Place or the Keys of Perico (so called) 3 leagues to another Key, very well Inhabited, to fill our water for the Sea, butt findeing we had no meat to eate (altho' Enough flower, Brandye and wine) wee concluded to gett som. to that end some Prissnars telling us of a Place called the Yjakeell,[26] a very rich towne, and that their wee might a voyage att once, Our Adm'll capt. Sawlkings was willing to goe to this place before they should have any Knowlidge of our comeing, butt our peopple, being head stronge, would have meate to eate first. this Pennama lieth in 9° No. lattitude in a bottom of a bay. wee sett saile with our greate shipp Trinity, and capt. Sharpe in the Lymmo shipp, and capt. Edmond Cooke in another Barkque, and 2 small Barkques, 7 men a Peece, very Head stronge fellowes, which sepperated themselves from us. wee saild S.W. and B.W.[27] and W.S.W. about 60 leagues and came up with these keys of Quibo Nueve,[28] or the keys of the new towne, wheir all shipps that goes from Pennamau to Lymmo touches to water and all shipps that come from windward makes these keyes if thay are bound into Pennamau. here is good Pearle oystars And fishing and Deare on the Keys. the 28 day of Apr'll capt. Sawlkings comes on borde capt. Edmond Cooke with about 60 men, goes to saile, and carries him into this river called Pueblo Nuevo.[29] wee went into a river by the Assistance of a Pilott. capt. Sawlkings went ashore with about 45 men. the barkque went in as far as102 she could and came to an Anchor. they went up the River and landed Just against some Stockadoes which thay had built by the river side for the security of their men. Our Valliant Gen'll capt. Salkins landed him-self first and went into the Savana and saw aboundance of Peopple their. one Molatta mett him, whome capt Sawlkins Shott downe. Returnes back a little way, askt if the Party wear all landed and ready. Answer was made, "Yes." then said he, "follow me and doe not lye behind, for if I doe amise You will all fair the worse for itt." Hee went up corragiously with some brisk men with him, butt their was provided Mollattas and hunters with their launces which came to oppose him. He fierd his Pistole and shott downe one Musteese,[30] the rest fiering and lodeing as fast as they could, but the Spaniards coming in uppon them so fast that kill'd capt. Sawlkins and 3 men more. thay tooke one alive. wee heard him make a dreadfull noyse butt could not rescque him, butt was forst to retreate to our cannoes, and goe off as fast as wee could, thay comeing downe so fast uppon us. Wee found in this River 2 barkques: one we burnt, the other wee brought out which was laden with pitch, She seemeing likely to sayle well. our peopple went aborde againe of capt. cooke, which lay with his barkque att the Rivers mouth, telling us that capt. Sawlkins was killd with 3 men more, to our greate sorrow. wee saild out with the barkque to the Key wheir the greate Shipp lay, about 5 leagues from this River, to the Southwards. when the parties came to know that capt. Sawlkins was kild and that thay could discover him to be our Admirall by the ring he had on his finger, a Present from the Governour of Pennamau,[31] He sending him this token and with all to meete him on shoare with a hundred men to try their manhoods against one hundred of them. capt. Sawlkins returnes this answer, that in case he would bring out one hundred thousand peices of Eight he would meete him, with one hundred men against his, to fight him for the money, or Elce resolved to die in that Place. butt103 the gov'r of Pennamau refused so to doe. Now capt. Sharpe goe's aborde the greate ship the Trinnity, as chief commander. capt. Sawkins being very well beloved by the party that saild with him, and Sharpe ill beloved, their was a party of sixty men went to returne over land, to whome wee gave capt. Cookes Barkque to carry them downe to the River of Sta. Maria. He Entring into the Barkque that was tooke in the River Pueblo Nuevo, which Barkque wee tooke on the first day of may and named her the may flower. Butt upon some disgust or other capt. Cooke left his May flower and went on board the greate Shipp as a private Souldiar. capt. Batt. Sharpe, being command't in chiefe, putts a commander of the May flower one Jno. Cox. att these keys wee fil'd our water and putts to sea to ply to windward. these keys lye in 7° 20´ North lattitude. we had the wind att S.E. and B.E. and S.E. wee stood to the Southward, steming S. and B.W. and S.S.W., butt little winde and sometimes calme. wee tried the currant and found itt to sett E. and b.S., a stronge currant. when wee had by our Judgement 60 leagues offing, wee had thoughts to goe to a parcell of Keys cal'd the galloper, which lieth 100 leagues in the offing from the Isle of Plate, and under the Equinoctiall.[32] we haveing here the winds hanging much in the S.W. quarter, wee stood to the Southward about 8 dayes, with our starborde tacks aborde, and in the morning about 8 of the clock, wee saw the land, which proved to be an Island called the Gurgony.[33] wee intending to cleane the Shipp Stayes here, and findeing a good bay, wee conscidered of itt and concluded to carreene here. wee findeing this Island good Stoare of water and fish, Oystars and Indian Connyes, and Monkeys which wee Eate for want of meate. this Gurgony lieth in the lattitude of 3° 7´ in a deepe bay. no Inhabbitance on't, save fishermen and those that dive for Pearles. her's good tree's for mast and timber, And for many other uses to furnish a shipp. wee carreen'd the greate shipp by the small barkque cal'd the104 May flower, built a house on shoare to putt our Rigging and saile in. Our greate shipp heaveing downe very taught, wee could not [bring] her keele upp by a streake.[34] itt flowes att this Island two fatham upp and downe.[35] wee made fast our cable to the trees, and the other Anchor in the offing; all being done to both shipps, in six weekes time wee putt to sea againe, intending to windward, and Orders was given, in case of looseing company, that wee wear to make the best of our way for the Island of Plate. att the beginning[36] of July twas, wee putts to sea both together. winds att S.S.E. and S. and B.E. wee stands with our Star-borde tacks aborde, standing over to the Island of Barrakoase or elce called Cock Island.[37] this Isl'd lieth in under the land, and is inhabbited with 7 or 8 families, as our pilot gave us an account. our former new Barkque, as wee heard, was taken into thiss river of barrakoase, and all butt one distroyed. the land here is high champian land far in the cuntry, butt near the water side low and Mangrovey. It lieth alonge W.S.W. 90 leagues, till wee come up to a key cal'd St. Francisco.[38] wee turn'd in up within 3 leagues of the shoare, with both shipps. wee Indeavord to stand in with the land in the night, to gaine the land winde. about the fift day att night after wee had been outt of the Gorgony, wee fortun'd to loose company, which brede greate disturbance on borde the Greate Shipp, which had 150 men on borde, butt much more fear and Rangling was on borde the May flower for fear wee should all be putt to our Shifts, being in an Enimies cuntry and unknowne Seas to us. wee in the May flower follows the order received from the Admirall and makes the best of our way for the Isle of plate. as itt appeard after-ward the greate ship stood into the offing for 2 dayes and the May flower turning alonge shoar, gott to the Isle of Plate before the Ship105 Trinity 3 dayes; wee wear about 15 dayes a turning up. the winds blow att S.E. and b.S. and S.S.E. most Here, with-out itt be in a turnado. this Isle of Plate is so called because in former time Sr. Francis Drake tooke their Armado of shipps, which was bound downe to Pannamau, and carries them into this Island, and their shares their wealth, as capt. Barralto related to us,[39] so that since the Spaniards have called itt the Isle of Plate. here wee have good Anchoring in about 14 fathom water, in a brave Sandy bay. You anchor against the body of the Island, bringing the Sandy bay to bear S.W. and S. of you. itt is well furnished with gotes, which caused us to touch here for fresh meates, butt no fresh water that ships can conveniently fill att, except in the time of raines. we lay att an anchor here 3 dayes. one man comeing from the South side of thiss Island saw a Shipp off att sea standing into the shore plying to windward. itt rejoyced our hearts hopeing to be the Trinity our Adm'll, which so proved. the next day She gott Inn, which caused Joy on both sides. here wee gott some turtle, which are butt small to those in the South Sea's. The greate Shipp was damag'd by standing so far to sea outt of the bay of Gorgony, twisting the Heads of her lore masts, occasiond by hard winds which blew att S.S.E., butt as soone as the carpenters had fitted the heads of the mast wee putt both to sea. this Isle of Plate lieth in 58´ South lattitude.[40] the Greate shipp being now more in her trim out sails the barkque. now wee learning of a Place cal'd Arico that lieth in south lattd. 18° 40´,[41] a rich place, Intends thither, But delaying of time att gorgony, advice is sent from Pennamau up to a towne cal'd Yaceell,[42] a very rich place for golde, which befor capt. Sawkins was kill'd intended to have tooken, butt after the 60 men had left us, wee had Informacion thay wear provided for us, soe wee stood upp alonge shore to goe to Arica. in 2 dayes wee getts up as high as St. Alena, which106 is a point. itt lieth in south lattd. 3° 5´.[43] the greate ship towes the small one, because would gett to windward before discried. this River of Yseell [Yaceell] is a brode river, about 35 legs[44] att the mouth. the towne lieth Near 40 leagues up the River. about the middle of August one night, as the greate shipp had us in a towe, we saw a saile in the darke. wee lett goe their towe, and made what saile we could to her, comes in half a hower up with her, and ha'ls her. Shee fierd a Harkquebus att us, att which wee presented them with a whole Volley; she fier severall small gunns at us, and wounded 3 men. one of them after-wards died. wee laid her aboard and tooke her. She had about 30 hands in her, fitted out for an Armadillo[45] to come downe to the Isle of Plate, to see what a posture wee lay in; their was on Borde 2 very Honorable gentlemen, which came out for ther Pleasure to see us, wee being term'd amounge them a strainge sort of Peopple and cal'd by the name of Laddron. thay tolde us that 4 dayes before thay came out of Yakell saild a shipp bound up for Lymmo, loden with tymber, woolen cloth, thred, Stockings and some silks, which if wee kept under the shoar as shee did wee must needs see her. thiss Vessell wee tooke, nott sayleing so well as the Trinity. wee rummages her, takeing what was good, towes her 35 leagues off to sea, cutts her maine mast by the borde and give her to the Prissnars, giveing them water and flower enough that thay might not want. wee kept the 2 gent'men and the master to pilote us. wee stood into the river of Yakell and makes the land. att the south side of the river about 16 leagus within is cape Blanco which is the southermost point of this river Yacell, and cape Blanco lieth in 4° South lattd. point a St. Alena is a very remarkable land to beknowne, for tis like to a shipp with her keele up. thiss cape blanco is a very barren land, onely small brush growes uppon itt. thay cals to us out of the greate shipp, aboard the May flower, to goe in under the shor to anchor, which wee did, and hal'd on borde of them. thay107 tooke out our water and flower and what was necessary and cutt a hole in her bottom, so wee all went on borde the Trinity. by takeing a small armadillo barkque, wee have Intelligence that a small Barkque of 7 hands of our's, one Morriss Connoway commdr., was taken and 6 of them Kill'd in the river Baracoes, onely one saved which speakes good Spannish, which suppose to be one Tho. Hall, whome the Spaniard hath prissnar att the river Ketto.[46] wee weere sorroy to hear it but could not help itt, neither knew not how to gett the other off that was alive, he being about 60 leagues in land. wee cruised under the Shoare for the shipp which came out of Yacell bound for Lymmo, which lieth in 12° South Lattd. by our prissnars wee understood shee had brake her mayne yard and was putt into Payta,[47] butt standing to and throw under the Shore wee saw a sayle to windwd. as farr as wee could descerne. wee stood after her all night and the next morning was within a league of her, the wind blowing a brave fresh gaile. by 12 aclock was up with her and found her to be the saime shipp thay tolde us of. wee had all manner of cloth in her, thred, Stocking and a very good linnen and silk plunder, some wine and brandy, very little plate, saveing a cupp, dis[h] or plate or soe in the cabbon. after wee had Plunderd her what wee would, wee towes her 40 leagues into sea, in the lattd. of 7° 10´ So. lattd. wee cutt her maine mast and mizan by the borde, and putts in a greate many Prissnars, keepeing the Master of the Small Armadillo and Barralto for Pylotes. Now wee are all with one conscent bound for Wind-ward, bloweing a fine ordnary gaile att S.S.E. and S.E. and B.S. wee stands close-hald into sea, steming S.W., sometimes S.W. and B.S.; sometimes the wind came in flawes, that we lay but S.W. and B.W. wee generally counted that wee made west 30° or sometimes 20° degree's course to the Southward of the west of cape Blanco, which lieth in 4 degrees. wee mett with very hard winds, but after wee gott as high as 7°108 degrees, oppositt to a point of land called Point Agoohow,[48] wee had easey winds that wee seldome reeved our topp-sailes. this land trenches away from the Point Agoohow till you come to Arrica, which lieth in the bottom of all the bay in the lattd. of 18° 40´ So. lattd. S.S.E.[49] wee Stretches of to Sea about a month and getts into the lattd. of Arrica, then wee had att the chainge and fall of the moone a small w.n.w. wind for 3 or 4 dayes togather. wee stears in E.S.E. with all sayle wee could, the master att that time Imagining that that course would fetch Arrica, butt the wind comeing att S.E. and b.E. and S.E. wee found that wee could lye but E. and b.N. here wee found 8° variacion and as wee runn to the Southward wee found the variation more. makeing what saile wee could, being in the lattd. of Arrica 380 legs., Imagining wee should be discryed before we gott in, wee fell to leewards of Arrica about 14 leagues, by a bay they call the bay of Yellow.[50] meeting under the Shore with a leward currant, was a week longer than expectacion turning up to the bay of Arrica. wee came about the beginning of October, and to my best remembrance, Indeavored to land the Second Day. att the north side of the bay, wee mand our 2 cannoes with 30 men and our Stricking Dory with 8, Our perriauger with 37 men. wee roade to the Shore butt found their no landing, soe that wee return'd againe, and stood in directly against the Morro Head,[51] which is a High Hill made white with foules dunging on't, which lieth Just over the towne of Arica, a very Remarkable Place to be knowne. itt lieth att the wester part of thiss bay of Arica, on which thay ust to keepe a looke out. Especially now hearing wee wear in the Seas, and bound upp to take that place, kept the strickter watch. wee saw, that after wee had made a second attempt, to goe ashoare, which was the night following we made the first, that thay knew of our coming, for Just as wee wear goeing to land in a bay about 2 leagues to the Southwards of the towne, wee saw many horse men rideing alonge Shoare, so that wee109 findeing no convenient Place to land, rowed a little of Shoar and consulted togather. wee lay in sight of the shipps, and saw 5 or 6 sayle vaporing and fiering off their Paderrero's[52] to frighten us; some of our Peopple would have gon in to have distroyed them, and others being backwards would not, soe all returnd aborde of our man of Warr Trinity; and makeing the best of way to windwards. Capt. Batt. Sharpe being our commandr., and haveing gott money by the death of our former capt. Sawkens, and more that he gott by Play, was Intended thiss year through the streights of Majelena,[53] butt some grumbled saying thay had not Voyage Enough, and weare unwilling, so that their was a debate amounge the peopple and capt[ain], butt stretching of itt into 29° and 30´ wee weare Informed of a towne in thiss lattd. its called Quoquemba,[54] a towne of 7 churches, no longe settlement butt a mighty Pleasant place and very rich of gold and silver. A Delightsome garden for all sorts of fruite, a[s] cherries, Appricocks, Peaches, Apples, pares, prunellos, Strawberrys and all things which grow in our Northern Parts, and curious small runing River parting Every mans land, mighty Pleasant to beholde. thiss towne of Quoquemba wee takes, butt wear discried 3 dayes, as wee heard Afterwards, By a flagg of truce which came in to treate with us. thay gotten away their mony and Plate out of the towne, onely some Church Plate with Silk hangings we Plundred. in the towne we tooke fresh Provission, as biefes, hoggs, and wine, which is made hear, And indifferent good Brandy wee carried on boarde. wee landed here on a Tuesday Morning, an houer before day, att a store-house which is made att the S.S. west part of the bay, from whence capt. Batt Sharpe and rest of the party (onely[55] those who wear left in the cannoes and Launch which was 2 in the cannoes, and 3 in the launch) marched for the towne of Quoquembo. 35 of our party as they wear Marching mett about 150 Spaniards, most on horseback;110 thay had not all gunns, some launces, other Spade's; more of our Party comeing upp, seeing the foloorne so much Ingaged, thay wounded one or 2 of their horses, with some of the Spaniards, which made them to retreat to a greate hill, about 5 mile from the towne. wee Entred the towne and kept possession of 4 dayes. wee askt the flagg of truce five hundred thousand peeces of Eight for the randsome of thiss towne, and told him that the next day by 10 of the clock, thay should bringe their money, otherwise wee would burne the towne. the next day the flagg of Truce came downe by 12 of the clock, and tolde us thay would give no randsome. wee understood thiss flagg of truce Had a suit of law in hand, and was likely to be cast, as he afterwards told us, which would be the ruing of him-self. he shew'd us his house and desier'd us to sett fier on itt, whatever wee did. fa[r]ther told us that if we weare not gone the next day thatt thay had gotten togather 600 men and most of them Armed. wee gett the Plunder of the towne what wee could. Next morning, setts most part of the towne on fier and Martches to the bay. their our cannoes mett us and tooke in our things wee brought downe and carried on borde the shipp, wheir she lay att Anchor within a Mile of the Stoare house, Just within a Rockey Poynt. the land lay in the winde 2 Points without her. the night before our Party came downe, Our Shipp had likt to have beene burnt. A Hogg skyn being blown upp and sowed tyte, some fellow of a Spaniard had Venterd off and laid itt on the rudther and Stearn Post (itt stufft with powder), satt itt on fier, and went away unseene by our Peopple. some of our men smelling a strainge Smell, run to and thro' about the Shipp to see for itt, lookeing every wheir. One man, seeing a light come into the Cabban, lookes out att the Stern-Portes, and spies wheir itt was, cryes out for more help, and by a providenc of God gott itt speedily out. some Imagined itt to be a Plott of the Prissnars aborde against us. some wear for killing capt. Barralto, because att that time he hid himself, others for keepeing him alive till our capt. and party came on board, which the next day thay all did, and being acquanted with what was past concludes to sett them on111 shore here thatt wee had had 7 or 8 months, Don Juan and his Cossin, a fine younge man, capt. Juan and capt. Barralto wee putt ashore, all att thiss storehouse in the bay of Quoquemba. wee wear glad to be ridd of them butt thay much more glad to be cleare of us; butt before thay went ashore thay understoode that wee wear minded to goe to two keys that lieth from thiss Place S. and b.W. and S.S.W. about 90 leagues off shoare in the lattd. of 33° 45´ south lattd. These keys are called Don Juan Francisco's[56] keys, because he found them out first, and Putt a parcell of goates on them, and since have bredd to a mighty number. aboundance of Fish and Seales; as fine keys as any in these seas to recruite att, being water and wood Enough. all is on the Easterd most key. these keys lieth East and west one of the other, 20 leagues distance by Relacion of some Prissnars.[57] on the westermost key is no anchoring for Shipps neither any cattle, so that wee did nott stop their att all, but went to the Estermost key, wheir wee come to anchor, with a northerly winde. att the South sid of thiss Island is a brave Sandy bay but no rideing if the wind come out Southerly; then you may runn downe to the leeward side of the Island. Our master, Jno. Hilliard, for some misdemeanor was turn'd out of his Place, and his mate, one Jno. Hall, putt in Master. Hall went with a cannoe mand to Leeward to find a bay which he thought might have beene a good place, seeing no better, so wee ridd 2 dayes with the Shipp at the Southermost bay. the wind coming out againe att S.E. and b.S. and S.S.E., we waied and putt to sea, fearing twould blow hard, itt being an open bay. so wee rann downe to thiss other bay our new master had found out, and lett goe anchor. our cable parted. wee weire faine to goe father to looke for another anchor Place, and about 4 miles to the N.W. we saw a fine large bay and rivers of water, that wee filled our water close to the water sid, wooding convenient, fish great store, Seals Inumerable, butt we eate none, gotes mighty Plenty. the Islands are butt112 small, nott above 7 miles round, butt very high and Hilly, full of Valleys, so that wee rowed on the westward sid of the Island to windward or to the southward to hunt for goates. In thiss second bay of anchorag, came downe such flawes of wind out of the Valleys that our Anchor could nott hold, that wee almost drove aShore. our Peopple cutting wood and filling water, which was the greater Party, haveing no love for capt. Batt. Sharpe, concludeing togather to turne him out of his capt'shipp, which thay did, and Putts into his Place a stout rugged fore man as captaine;[58] itt was much trouble to capt. Sharpe to be thuss served, butt could nott help himself, for the peopple weir Resolved nott to goe home by Sea before thay had more money. wee lay in thiss small bay, which was about 2 miles to leeward of thiss greate bay, about 3 dayes. wee made hast and gott our Anchor we lost and water aborde, and the most part of the wood wee had cutt. wee wear minded to have spent a moneths time att thiss key of Juan Fernandus and then to have gon downe to have cruised till the next Year; Our Blacksmith was ashore prepareing to have built a forge, and made Iron worke for the Shipp, and Intended to have burnt charcole. he had partly fixed his bellose. wee had two men of warr cannoes gon to windward for goates and had found, by relacion, 150 fatt ones, butt sleepeing alnight by a fier att the Sea Side and in the morning went to fetch their goates, lookeing out to se if the Sea weir cleare of shipps Spyed within 3 leagues of the Island 3 greate saile of Shipps, Admirall, Vise Adm'll and Rear Adm'll; seeing thiss, made what hast they could to their cannoes and soe on borde shipp, leaveing all their goates behind them bound. as soone as thay came near the Shipp thay warned us with 3 Motions, that wee understoode their was 3 saile. wee gott all our peopple that weir on shore off and what other things wee could, gott our anchor on bord, had nott time to113 gett the Other butt lett him slipp, hoysted in Our launch and canno's. by thiss time thay weir came within sight of us; so near that wee could se a weapon florrished on the quarter deck of the Adm'll. wee understoode wee had left one of our Strikears on shore that had gott under a tree to Sleepe, sent a cannoe for him but could not finde him, soe came of to the Shipp and left him their.[59] these 3 shipps Clings the wind and stands After us. the reare Adm'll which was the least had 12 gunns, their Vise Adm'll 16 and their Adm'll 24. Our new capt., being Jno. Watkins, would have gon aborde the Adm'll if the Party had beene willing; wee could wronge them by sayling att our Pleasures, bye or large, soe that wee played with them a day and a night. then wee concluded twas our time to goe downe and take Arrica, the Place that wee made an attempt att before. wee made what sayle wee could, Steering N.E. and b.N., to fall in about 30 leagues to windward of Arrica, which wee did very well, but we weir tolde of a fishing key that lay hear abouts 18 leagues from Arrica;[60] wee concluded to go thither, which was our greate folly, and so standing off and on, those on the key saw us and forthwith sent to Arica to informe them of us. Our man of warr cannoes, roweing alonge shore to thiss Key, was 2 dayes before came up with itt, which att last did, and took 2 Antient men Prissnors, about 75 years of Age. here we gott some fish and wine. our peopple Examin'd the 2 old men, found them in two tailes, the one being trew, the other not, as wee found Afterwards. the one tolde us that Arica had news of us114 and that he believ'd thay would be provided for us; for he sd. a Post would ride from the sand key to Arica in 3 dayes. for thiss Speech the man was shott downe by our quarter master Jno. Duill. the Other was made much of, because was supposed to speake the truth. soe wee made what hast wee could to Arica, and on a sunday Morning, itt being in March, wee landed 82 men, wee understanding itt to be a small towne. our orders was, if wee saw 3 Smokes rise from the hill thay called the More, wee should make what hast wee could into the harbor. Our Peopple marching till thay came to the towne, saw no peopple till they Entred the townes End, wheir thay found Every topp of a house fitted for them, and a fort of 12 gunns mounted. their houses hear are built all flatt att the topp, for they never have any Raines, no, nott in the remembrance of the Spaniards, butt very greate dewes. Wee fell on the towne smartly, and became Victors in fouer howers time so that twas our owne, Notwithstanding their was above 700 men In Armes, att our comeing.[61] all the Cuntry within 20 myles was come inn and more in greate Number comeing. wee tooke the biggest church to Make a Hospitall for our wounded men, which weare about tenn, and six killd out right. Our capt. Jno. Wattkings was kill'd att the same time, to our discomforts. One of the capt. of the Spaniards which wee had taken, Spake in his owne linqua[62] to thiss Efect, "Gent men, I know you are men come to seeke a fortune, if You want money or Plate goe alonge with me, I will shew you wheir their is more then you all can carry away." wee gave no credit to him, butt was minded to fall on uppon the forte to take their greate gunns for the shipp, haveing none on board. Our Party being so tired, and cutt off, wee weare feigne to leave the greate gunns, money, all the Rest of the rich traide which was in that small towne. three of our Doctors being in the Hospitall Church dressing of our wounded men, had about 6 men Order'd to guard them with their Armes. after wee saw we weir so worsted and beaten,115 fighting against so greate Advantage, Some peopple rann to bid them come away as could march, for our Party was gon out of the towne. the Spaniards seeing thiss gott fresh to their Armes againe, and rallied upp with us about the church that they durst no come out, so that their was left 5 well men besides the 3 Doctors which had not one Dropp of blood spilt from them. one or two of the wounded men that had good hearts gott up and rann to the Party, and tho' thay had many a shott made by the Spaniards att them, yett Scapte clear. so many of our Party being almost choked for water, made use of their owne; butt comeing downe to the water side wheir the launch and cannnoe lay reddy to receive them, their follows them a parcell of Negro's and Mallattos, which stood on a High Hill Just over the Cannoes and throwes Downe Stones and Launces on Our Peopple. In thiss frey, wee had taken, kill'd and wounded about 30. Wee Judge wee could not Distroy of them less then 150 or 200 men, for they lay very thick in the Streetes. Their governor or Gen'll was upon a Hill calld the More, on Horse back, Just over the towne, from whence he could see into every Streate and which way wee went. he often weaved to his soldiers from thence, With his Handkerchiffe, to gave them notice which way wee went, and crying out, "Valiente soldados, buina Valienta Soldados."[63] Some of our peopple passed a shott att him but could not have the fortune to hitt him. Our former new capt., Jno. Wattkings, being kill'd att this Place, capt. Sharpe would have thrust himself capt. againe. Soe that our party resolved to goe downe to leeward. The most voyces wear to have the shipp, the lessar to have the Launch and two cannoes. One party was resolved to stay, the other to goe over Land, as will be presently related. wee now wanting water and soe like to be in greate Distress, considered, and with the advise of our Spanish pilott wee must goe into Ylo[64] for water, butt wee learneing by some Spanish Journalls that their was water 14 Leagues to windward116 of Ylio, which place wee Indeavord to comepass, and comeing thither, found such a sea goeing as could nott gett ashoar with our Cannoe; Soe Endeavor'd to gaine the Keys of Juan Fernandas againe. But the windes bloweing so much southerly we could nott. soe leaveing itt into the Shoare with our Starboard tacks on board, fetcht the bay the[y] call't Vispo, in which their is a brave River and very good water, which bay lieth in South lattd. 29°.[65] So wee fill their about six tunn of water, And by Informacion of a Prissnor their taken, that att Coequembo lay 2 men of warr, and he beleived would be downe next morneing, thiss bay of Vispo being butt 15 leagues N. and b.W. from Coquembo. att thiss Place wee found a new barkque and building. some sheepe and goates wee brought of for foode, butt the Barkque wee left, hopeing to have better of her hereafter. Putting out of this Porte wee saild alonge N.N.W. 3 dayes, about 8 leagues of Shoare, to another bay lying about 24 degrees South lattd, A Bay cal'd by the name of Capt. Drakes his bay, Because that when he was their he water'd. their is a brave fresh water River, And to thiss day is standing a church which the sd. cap. Drakes causd to be Built for his Memoriall; alltho' wee could nott gett on shoare by the Violence of the Suff, yett the church was very vissible to us, nott being above one quarter of a mile from itt.[66] so that att last wee wear forc't to goe to Ylo to fill our Bumkings[67] with water. wee stay'd hear two Dayes but dare make no longer stay, for fear the cuntry should come downe uppon us. This Ylo lieth N.W. and b.W. from the Afore named Arica, above 26 leges, And in the lattd. of 17° 45´ South lattitude. Ylo beareth from the Citty lymmo S.B.E. 120 legs. now haveing fill'd thiss water we putts to sayle to carry the party which was minded to Martch back into the North Seas. wee rann down alonge, N.W.117 and by N. and N.W., Just keepeing sight of land because would not be Descried, which way wee went. About 9 dayes wee saild N.W. and b.N. and N.W., and meeting with a Strong Currant which as wee Judged Satt N.E. into a bay, wee fell in with a small Island about five Miles round, in the lattd. of 7° 40´ So. and about 12 leagues off the Maine shoare. to thiss Island our Prissnars tolde us severall Barkques came to for pretious Stones, which weir to be found their. Due East from thiss key lieth Another which is Inhabbited, 7 leagues from thiss key and 5 leagues from the maine or Trucksilly,[68] which is a towne wheir is water, and on thiss key cattle; aboundance of Fish is made here. Wee Just weatherd the small Rockey key on which the Pretious Stones are founde; wee had the wind att S. and B.E. and S.S.E., a fine topp saile gaile and fair weather. wee Steares away N. and b.E. to make Point Sta. Alena, the Point that is before discourst of, that makes the Northermost Point of the River Yakeell. the next day was upp with the Isle of Plate, which lieth in South lattd. about 50´. then the Party thatt resolved to goe over land, began to provide for Vittuall. their was about 56 of them, which carried away what thay had. thay had a launch and two cannoes. itt was on Sunday, after wee had din'd with what wee had, which was att that time onely bread and water. and now being under the Equinoctiall about a ii leagues from Shore wee [saw] Mount a Christo plaine,[69] that lieth some leagues in the cuntry, The Mount bore of us E.S.E. these poore men when parted from us had about 5 leagues to goe, before could Conveniently Land, for wild Indians and negro's, which by shipping formerly their was cast away, and since grone very Populus and Barberous, As we wear inform'd by our Prissnors. thay did intend to take thiss island of —— or Cork Island, which lieth in the bay of the Gorgony. now thay being gon both parties wear much troubled att the parting, Yett the party118 that went away would have staied in case Sharpe had nott beene made capt., for thay could not by any meanes allow of him to be capt. more of us would have gon away, Butt capt. Sharpe sends his Master to us who spoke thuss (his Name was Jno. Cooxe), "Gentmen, capt. Sharpe doth declair and swair that those men that will stay with him and goe about in the shipp with him by water, that he will make them a Voyage, and doe the uttmost of his power to gett money Enough, and will not have thoughts of goeing out of these till every man is willing." soe wee consider'd our shipp was foule. wee that stayed wear about 61 soles in number. with the advise of capt. Batt. Sharpe was resolved to run downe to Pennamau, and to leeward, to finde some private place to cleane our shipp in, and to take her one deck lower. wee searching of some Spanish Jurnalls findds mention of an Island lieing to the No'ward in 8 degrees called the Island of canes, wheir wee found thiss Isle of Canes;[70] and by our observacion lieth in North lattitude, 7° 30´. their is good wooding and watering butt no secure place for a shipp to ride in, without very good Anchors and Cables, which wee att that time was Ill provided with. wee staied here 3 dayes and killed one sow and Pigg and fill'd water. here are good large Oysters. so wee sett saile with full intencion to goe into the Gulph of Dulce,[71] if wee could find itt, but wee stearing away N.W. about 33 English legs from thiss Isle of Canes, which Island lieth 5 legs from the Maine shore, and comeing in with the land saw a brave deepe gulph, which concluded was a good Place for us to cleane Our shipp, hopeing that their might be no Inhabitance. Into which gulph we rann, by sounding of our leade so farr as wee could, Except wee had had a Pilott for that place. wee hoyst our 2 men of warr cannoes And went upp the Gulph. capt. Batt. Sharpe Imbarkque[d] in one of them him self, to see if could take an Indian to understand whatt for a place itt was; goeing about 4 leagues ahead of the shipp, comes upp with an119 Island lying in the gulph of Nicoy,[72] which Island wee understood by some Indians was called the Island of Perroz or in English the Isle of doggs. wee found 3 or 4 families which lived heare of Indians, very poore, haveing all thay gett once in two years taken from them by the fryars, and thay tell us that if thay have nott to pay the friars what their demands is when thay come, that thay carry away their children and makes them Slaves. Butt our capt. Batt. Sharpe Asked of one Indian that could speak Spanish, if any Shipp used to come their. he said that their was att pressent 2 small Barkques that weir come from Pennamau, which weir lodeing with hides and tallow bound for Pennamau again. The Indian tolde the capt. he would Shew us wheir they weir; with whome capt. Sharpe went with his cannoe well man'd, thiss Indian leaveing some hands on the Isle of Perros or Dogges, to see that none gott away to discry us, with our Shipp getts on brest the Island and Comes to an Anchor, and missing the right channel lay their not haveing above 3 foote water more then wee drew. thiss was about 25 of Aprile 1681. the next morning these two barkes was taken, the one being 2 thirds loden and the other half loden with talloe; wee tooke out as much as wee thought might serve to tallow our Shipps bottom twice and to make us candles, and no more, which is as I Imagin about 60 or 70 Packs. Now wee wanting carpenters understoode by thiss Indian Pylott that their was 2 shipps up an Arme of a River, about 4 leagues from thiss Isle of Dogges. The Indian conveighs us the next night upp to them. the morning about an hower before day wee comes wheir thay weir building, about 300 tunns a Peice; one of them haveing beene on the Stocks about 3 years. itt Pleas'd god wee tooke the head carpenter and the Rest of his gange, which weir about 12 in Number, with their tooles, about 6 Jarrs of wine and Brandy, which was much to our comfort, haveing lived for some time before on bread and water. takeing these carpenter[s] with their tooles, wee weare in greate hopes to have Our Shipps upper deck taken120 downe and made better for sayleing in little time, with the help of our owne carpenters; butt to carreene her here is impossible Because of a greate citty about 18 leagues from thiss lagoone of Nicoy, itt being the citty Naine,[73] wheir thay can Raise 20000 Men. wee fell lower downe in the River, as lay out of the way of the tide as much as could, for here the tides runn very Stronge and keepes itts course of moone. itt flows S.S.W., which when the moone comes to thiss S.S.W. point itt makes high water. itt flowes about 3 fathom and half right upp and downe. when wee brought these Spanish carpenters on borde, our capt. and carpenter Shewed the Spannish carpenter what thay would have done, desiering him to be reall, and tell them in what time itt might be finished. he promis'd that within 10 day, with the assistance of our peopple, he did nott doubt butt finnish itt; att which our capt. and company told him that as soone as he had done he should have one of the barques for his paines, and all he[r] ladeing of tallow, and that he would sett them all ashore againe. thiss Spannish carpenter being a very Ingenious worke man, and saw wee shew him and his company a greate deale of respect, which begott a love in him to us, for he tolde us wee should make what dispatch wee could out of the lagoone, for the cuntry was very populus, and would soone be after us if could procure any Imbarcation. the carpenter dispatcht is [his] buisness in 12 days, so that he and his comepany had the Barkque and all her loding. putting them ashore with some Prissnors wee had taken before, wee take a perriauger that come downe to thiss Isle of dogges, with a Spannish March't and a Mustees woman, which we suppose he kept. the woman lieing on borde one or two nights, was very familiar with one Copas a dutch a man,[74] who formerly had saild with the Spaniards, and had the linqua att will, but was mainly Inamoured with thiss women, makeing her severall121 presents of some Vallew. after the carpenters weir gone wee fell downe lower in the lagoone to fill water. thiss Copas goeing aShore to guard the Prissnars that fill'd water made an Excuse to goe into the woods to kill some thing to eate, but went cleare away, that wee never saw him since, carrying with him about 200 Peices of Eight in golde and Silver, that putt us in feare least he would give Intelligence which way wee weir bounden, wee being att this time butt a small partie, about 64 soules, and nott any greate gunn to help us. in takeing of these carpenters one of our men, a Scotch man, haveing dranck to much, by some way or Other gott out of the cannoe and was drounded. the peopple telling us the Barkque saild primely well and the best saylor belonged to Pennamau wee kept her to waite on the Shipp. shee was a small open barkque. wee tooke in her a man that was acquainted with thiss Gulph of Dolce, who tolde us wee might lay the shipp on shore their very well and no body see us, nor any Spaniard know we weir their, so wee concluded to go. about May the first 81, wee arrived in this Gulph of Dulce. itt lieth from the lagoone of Nicoy about 47 leagues South and from the Island of canes ii leagues S.S.E. wee found according to what the Spanish fellow tolde us, a very fine place to hall our Shipp on shore to cleane her. Here we caught some fish and turtle and fedd well for the time wee lay here. we Built a house ashore to putt our provissions in, to keepe them from the Raines, and carried ashore the most part of our Ballast, in the barkque and men of war cannoes. wee findeing the small barque to Saile very well, the Capt. putt in 7 Hands to her, to sayle her. as wee lay one night ready to hall a shore the next high water, the winde blew att South very hard, that our after mast cable gave way, that the shipp drave ashore against the rocks, we weir afraid should have bildged her; but the 2 carpenters, being carefull, shord her up to ease her what thay could, and the next flood heav'd her off againe to a sandy place in the bay, wheir wee found some butt heads started and abundance of nailes and spikes wanting, which our carpenters had provided for and drave aboundance in her bottom. we lay here about 5 weekes, mending our sailes122 and fixing our rigging. here cam in to us some Indian men, women and children, to whome wee gave Victualls and drink; thay staid with us tell we had done our shipp; some times giveing us plantans, and some time goeing into the woods, finding bees nests, would give us the Honney; butt the most good these Indians did us, wee had their barque loggs[75] all the time we lay hear to make us a Staige. Some of them goeing away Amounge the Spaniards tolde them that their was a greate Shipp in the Gulph, and that wee weir a casting of greate gunns. Butt these Indians that came to us tolde us that the Spaniards had tolde them if any shipps came in that had any thing of redd in their collers,[76] that thay should have a caire and not come on borde of them nor lett us see them, telling them that wee would kill them; but as itt happen'd we went in with all white collers, which was the Spanish order that thay should Assist all those, for thay weir their friends and would doe them no harme. the Spaniard lives here from the Gulph of Dulcey about 3 dayes Journey. thiss Gulph lieth in lattd. 7° 22´ No. lattd. wee fitted our Shipp, clensed our bottom what wee could; the small barque filld water, cutt wood, and went away to Sea to looke for Purchase.[77] we went from thiss place about the last of June 81, haveing a good fresh gaile att S. and B.E. and S.S.E. wee stands over thiss bay, cald the bay of the Gorgony, which Isle of Gorgoney wee carreend att the last Year lieth in No. lattd. 3° 35´, or their abouts. the land that we made was 7 leagues farther to windward. here generally setts a greate currant out of the Sea into thiss bay E.N.E. wee fell in first with Barraco Island and cock Island. wee now bethinks our selves that twas time in the year to gett up to windward to goe through the streights of Magelene. wee recruted here with water, filling all we could. about 30 leagues W.S.W. from thiss Island Barricoes we turnes up to windwards, and of[f] Cape passagoe, which lieth in 45´ No. lattd.,[78] wee cruises a good way of shore, about123 16 or 18 leagues, sees a saile, we gave chase, and comes up with her about 9 aclock of night. we found her to come out of Yakell, bound for Pennamau. the same shipp wee took loden with cloth and other goods the Laste year, which was then bound upp to Lymmo. she had in her now good Store of cloth, silk, stockings, mony and Plate, about forty thousand peices of Eight, and severall good things, butt the chiefest of her lading was coco. wee tooke out her what we thought convenient and carried her under the shore and came to an Anchor, and when we had done rummageing her putt them all aborde, cutt downe their maine mast, gave them Victualls and Drinck enough, and putt them to sea to goe right afore the wind for Pennamau. the master was very glad we gave him his shipp againe, and the most part of his lodeing; that he swore wee wear the Honnestest ladrones that ever he saw in his daies. we went of to sea cruiseing for more. we understood by thiss last prise that the Spaniards could not tell if [we] wear to windward or leewards. 3 dayes after in the morning we spies a small barque close by shore. wee gave chaces to her, came up hand over hand with her. She makes what she could for the Shore, their being one Spaniard in her that knew us, who we had taken the last year. She comes to an Anchor with in a quarter of a mile of the Shore, and a fryar and 4 Negro's getts ashore uppon a Planck and takes to the woods, but some staied on borde the barque. capt. Batt. Sharpe in a man of war cannoe follows them and come upp with some of them ashore. we found nothing butt a little Plunder. their letters of advice thay had hove over borde, butt they confest their was advice bound up to Yakell to give notice that wee weir in the gulph of Dulcey acleaning our shipp and acasting of greate gunns, as they heard. these Prisnars give us advice of a new Vice Roys comeing out of olde Spaine to Puerta Vella, and was come over land to Pennamau, and a greate Shipp lay their of 14 gunns to take him in.[79] thay told us thay had aboundance of riches124 with him; wee tolde them when wee had cutt their mane mast by the borde and sent them to Pennamau, that we lay waiteing for him and bid them tell the Vice Roy soe when they came to Pennamau. we cruises for more purchase and about 12 leagues from the cape, in a drisly misty morning, a man goeing to toppmast head saw a saile under our Lee, which wee made saile to and come upp with her; we fired severall small Armes before they called for quarter, butt calling, was presently granted and not a gunn fier'd. her capt. was short downe in takeing of her. we found She was a shipp bound for Pennamaw, came downe from Lymmo loden with wine and brandies, but very little plate, 700 piggs of Peuter, which we thought was silver, found to the contrary.[80] we now Resolveing to goe about this year if Pleasd God, we tooke out of her 700 Jarrs of wine, about 100 Jarrs of brandy, to serve us homewards, and had itt nott beene for thiss wine and brandy was Impossible to have subsisted. we cutt thiss shipps maine mast by the bord and sent her afore the wind to Pennama. wee kept about 18 Negroes and Indians to wash and pump our shipp. thiss last priz gave us full information of the Armado, which was to sayle from Lymmo, about 17 sayle of Shipps. the 15 day of September 81, wee turnd alonge shore as high as cape Blanco,[81] and then haveing a trew traid winde att S.S.E. and S.E. and b.S., sometimes South East, we all concluded to make the best of our way out of these seas; we haveing gotten ii hundred Peices of Eight a man in mony and Plate uppon Equall shairs, tho' itt was some of our125 fortune to loose our Voyage by Play afterwards; which those that were the winners to have the more. wee had the winds most att S.E. and b.S. and S.S.E. and S.E. wee stood of to sea, steming S.W. and b.W. and S.W., commonly makeing a West 35° southerly way, sayling after the rate of 5 or 6 leagues a watch. fine moderate windes and fair weather. we found a currant sett here to the S.W. quarter. we stands up to Payta, which is about 13 leagues to the Southwards of cape Blanco, and in so. lattd. 5°. wee wear minded to take itt, butt the fryar and fower Negro's, which made their Escape out of the little Barque we tooke under the Shore, had gott before us, and sent to every sea porte towne to give them notice that we wear a comeing to windward as fast as we could, so on a Sunday Morning our capt. Sharpe, with about 36 hands, went to land att Payta, butt found itt so well lyned with men that thay durst not adventure On itt, but come back againe, resolveing to live on bread and water till such time as could be better supplied, concludeing that our wine and brandy would keepe us alive. wee now makes no more tacks alonge shore, but stands close hal'd on a boleing to sea,[82] about 670 leagues due West from Payta, till we come up to 33 So. lattd. ther we had variable winds. wee hal's in for the shore, getting our Larbord tacks on borde, the wind comeing out at N.W. in that quarter that wee could not fetch the Keys of Juan Fernandus, wheir wee Expected to Recruit with fresh goates and water, and to have faught[83] off our Musketa-Indian we left their the time before, but we getting to the Southwards of these keys, and the winds comeing out for Northerly, was forced to ply to the Southward, and then wee had Some raines, which from 7° So. lattd. till you come to 28° So. lattd., is never no raine by the Spaniards report nor since thay have inhabited the cuntry, which hath been about 180 years; yett very good Corne growes, and all sorts of Herbs and graine, but thay [have] Extreeme dues. wee126 stands still to the Southward, and haveing now great variation, 13 or 14 degrees, we wear very Exact in takeing Amplitudes,[84] to be the more Sattisfied in thick weather of our true course made. wee stood to the S.E. and S.E. and B.S. 700 leagues, and about 3 aclock in the Morning the watch saw breakers very near us under our Lea. it blew hard, that 2 nights before we had handed[85] our topp sailes, and went under a pair of Coarses and our mizon. wee wear gott now up to 50° 8´ So. lattd. itt being a little light, before day wee saw the land plaine. wee heaved out our topp sailes reeved and made shift to weather all the breakers, and when twas day we discried a place between 2 keys which we concludes to beare up to see if wee could finde any good Anchoring and saife rideing till twas a little later in the year. twas very colde heare, much raine, The Hills coverd with Snow. wee went in along the key side about 4 leagues and saw a very convenient cove. wee came to an Anchor the 3d of November, thinking to stay hear till the weather was a little warmer. the first night we lost one Anchor, the Cable being Very bad. we warped and towed into another Cove, lieing a little more to the Southwards, the wind blowing N.N.W. wee gott the ends of all our cable and Hassers and made fast ashore to the trees; yett all would Hardly doe, for when it blew hard, our cable would give way and our shipp in dainger of driveing ashore, which if had we should lived like Heathens amounge the Savage Indians, and never have come to rights, but we spliced and Strengthend our cables what we could and with much difficulty made them hold out. the 21 day of november 81 wee putt out of thiss place to sea. wee lay here about 22 dayes, feadeing most on lempotts[86] and Mussles, which wee gatherd of the rocks and makes very good foode. our wine and brandie was a greate Help to us thiss cold127 weather. clothing wee had good Store. some times we gott a Penguine, which are plenty in these streights, which are as greate as a goose, but cant fly, haveing on their winges onely stubbs of feathers. hear we saw a fier and made to itt, wheir we saw an Antient Indian, and a younge fellow and a woman Indian, which had about their bodies a Seale Skinn to keepe them warme. thay saw us and rann away, but we over tooke the younge fellow, which tooke to throwing of Stones. the olde man tooke the water and was so cunning in diveing that our Peopple could not gett him, so they shott him in the water. the woman gott away from us the next day. one of our cannoes went downe to this place againe, and carried the Indian that was taken alonge with him, which Indian carried our peopple to thre or 4 wigwams, wheir was fier, but could see no peopple. the fellow cald in their Speech but none appeard, he makeings signes that thay weare greate tall men with longe beards.[87] when our peopple saw none came, thay returned to the cannoe, carying this Indian fellow which was very unwilling to goe but Strugled to gett away, twas as much as 3 or 4 of our men could do to binde him, and force him downe to the cannoe, His strength was so greate. wee doe Imagin that here may be some Spaniards which formerly have been cast away; for to the Southwards about 4 legs when wee came out with our Shipp we saw to very greate fiers but wear la'ft [sic] to see what thay weir, but went to sea, stearing away S.W. and B.S. and S.W. the winds weir very hard att N.W. we went under a pair of courses, haveing no observation in 3 days after wee came out of these Lempot keys, wee stearing as far to the westwards for fear of the Island called the 12 Appostle and 4 Evangelist[88] takeing of us upp, which lieth att the entring of the Streight mouth. the currant setting to the westward out of the Streights, satt us by Judgement 25 leagues off128 shore and when we observed we weir in the lattd. of 55° 30´, the wind being no[r]therly, and wee so to the Southwards of the Streights could not gett to the Northwards againe, but the capt. and Master, with advice of some others, concluded to goe about terra fuega,[89] and so to goe through the New Streights, the Streights of Maria, which wee had a Journall of 2 Brothers called by name Noddles, which was about 65 years agon sent out to discover these parts of the world,[90] which thay gave description that thay went about terra Fogoe through thiss Streight of Maria and weatherd Terra Fogoe, and went downe the west side, and ran downe to the Northwards, and entred the Streight of Magelena, and came thro' into the North Sea, wheir he speakes of aboundance of those birds called Penguins, whear thay laded, bold with them.[91] wee had very colde weather and about the 3 of december wee passed a cape, called cape Frea, lieing to the South of Terra Fogoe, in the lattd. 59° 30´ South.[92] wee finde here about 4 degrees variation, but downe in 35 and 40 wee had 11 and 12 and 13 degrees variation. wee weir something fearfull of Halling to close into shore, being not acquainted did not know what danger might be, yett would very willingly have save [seen?] the Land, that wee might have beene the better satisfied where we weir. twas very thick weather, that wee could seldom take an observation. we Indeavord to make the Cape Horne but we weir gott so far to the Southwards.[93] Yett we beleive we weir not very farr off shore, for we had thousands of birds about us. the 9 day of December we had129 a good observation and found our selves to be in South lattd. 58° 5´. we had the winds att N.E. and N.E. and b.N., fine handsome topp saile gailes, sometimes a shower of Snow and Sleete, but miserable colde. now our wines and brandy stand us in greate Steade and is the thing under god that keepes us alive. we stands to the Southward, haling S.E. and S.E. and B.E. After wee had our last observation, which was 58° 5´, when we thought by our Dead reconning that we weir in the lattd. of 60 or better, wee Steerd away due East.[94] we had but little Night, the Daylight was hardly shett in att all. we standing to the Eastwards saw 3 or 4 greate Islands of Ice and Snow, as we thought, of a good high and very colde about them. from this Cape their are lying 3 or 4 Islands called the Berlingos, which I am to think are those wee tooke to be the Islands of Ice, for thay are all kiver'd with Snow, and the Burlingos lyeth by the globe in the lattd. of 59° 00´.[95] One Night as wee weare getting about the land, some men gott merry, Especially the capt. and his Mess, which caused some words to arise between the capt. and Some of the company, in so much that thay fell to blowes, but the capt. runns into his cabbon and fetches out a Pistoll laden, and comeing to one of Our Peopple, by name Richard Hendricks, fier'd itt off as he thought att his Head, but itt pleased god itt mist his head and grased on his neck. the next morning wee found the shott placed in one of the Dead Eyes of the maine shroudes, which was but Jus[t] behinde him. the capt. thought he had kil'd the man, cryed out, "Armes, their was one dead," and he would have kill more, which cabbon mess ran and fetched their Armes forthwith,130 and those that weir awake, was fetching theirs likewise, which had not been soberer then others and more discretion in them Sharpe had certainly been kill'd. it had likt to have been a bad buisness, but when the[se] things came to an understandings All was husht upp, Especially findeing the man was not so much hurt as wee did suppos and was cured in a weeks time. Well, we stears away East, till we thought we Had Easting enough to enter the Streights of Maria. Now we begins to Hall to the Norwards E.N.E., and by observation taken we found our selves to be gott to the norwards into 57° 8´. then we halls away N.E. and about 4 days after had another very good observation. then we found our Selves to be in 50° So. lattd. Shott to the Norwards of these new Streights, doubled about all the Lands; aboundance of birds attends us Still. Wee are now gotten to the Streights Mouth of Magelen, the North side. wee had good Fresh gales att N.W. and S.W., the winds very variable. we runing into hot weather to the Norwards and halling about Terra Fogoe to the Eastward wee found a greate Currant to the E.N.E. wee weare farther off Shore then wee Expected, yett wee hal'd away N.E., hopeing that off of Brazill we should meete with English, Dutch or Portugeez, to hear how our buisness was discourst of att home and to buy a little Provision of them. we hal'd away N.E. till we came downe into 14° No. lattd,[96] that we would be sure to carry itt about a shoale which lieth a little to the Norwards of Cape Toms,[97] lying in South lattd. 22° 50´. we wear more to the eastward then we Expected. by our Runn afterward we found wee weir 170 leagues to the eastward then we Judged our selves to be. in this lattd. we had very Easy topp saile gailes of wind, and mostly att E. and E.N.E. and sometimes att E.S.E., but very seldom comes to the southward of the S.E. att this time of year, Except itt be in a Turnado. we carried what saile we could, being willing to be on land. after we gott into 13° So. lattd, we steard more westerly, N. and N. and b.W., till we comes into the lattd. of 8° 20´, the length of cape Augus131teene,[98] then hald away N.N.W. and N.W.b.N. till we come into the lattd. of Barbados, and run down into 13° and 5´,[99] keepeing a good lattd. for to see the barbados. wee ran about 12 or 13 days in the latt. our Reconing was out 5 or 6 dayes before we made the Land,[100] and about 3 a clock in the morning about the 12 of feb.[101] the Master cal'd out Land. wee saw twas Barbados, and which was comfortable to us all to have so good a land fall. we went downe the N.E. side, luffing upp for spikes rode,[102] wheir we saw shipping ride. The Richmans Pinnas [omission] and haled us. we lay by and disputed with them, desiering them to come on borde, but thay would not. thay askt us if we would not goe into an Anchor. we told them as farr as wee knew wee would, but thay being soe cautious how thay came on borde Putt us into many thoughts what to doe. wee consciderd, that here was one of his Majts. Shipps, and wee could not hear how itt was with other Nations, wheather itt was Warrs or Peace, so that we threw the Helme a weather, throwing out topp gallant Sailes, studing sayles and all the sayles we could make, and Steard for the Disiada[103] which we made plaine and so went downe to Antigua. their wee saw a fly bote att Anchor, wheir we sent our man of warr Cannoe ashore to buy some provissionns. when thay came in thay found itt called Falmouth.[104] wee Supplied our selves hear with one or two dayes provission. one capt. Burroughs, understand132ing we wear in want, came on borde of us and after went away with one Cook, our Master, to the governor of Antigua[105] for liberty to come in. we next morning had the mate of a Shipp which lay att the olde rode to carry us as close in as he could for which he was very well sattisfied. wee could not have any permission to come in, neither any deniall, but after some commanders of March't-men came on borde and desierd our Capt. to goe for England, he was easy perswaided, thay telling him twould be the makeing of him; so he came on the deck and bid Every man shift for himself, for he would goe for England himself; upon which every man packt upp whatt he had, some for olde England, some for Jamaica, other for New Engl. everyone tooke his way, onely 7 men abord that had lost their Voyage,[106] so the capt. and Company thoug[ht] good to give them the shipp and what was in her. thay thought good to goe downe to their commission Port, Petit guavos,[107] but the Shipp was so crewell leakey, that thay hardly have the Patience to keepe her above water to St. Thomases,[108] haveing but 7 hands on borde, and a shipp giveing chace to them so that thay loosed all their saile, and was much putt to itt for the hands, but comein a brest of St. Thomases saw the Harbor very Plaine, and to be sure we went into a small Harbor a mile to leeward of the Fort. we wear tolde att Antegua that thiss was a free Port for Eight years, which we found to be so.[109] the133 governor gave us Liberty to come in, and the next day sent out hands to bring us in to the right harbor, under Commd. of the forte. the next day our cable brake and she drave ashore; but not being willing to loose her, gott her off with one Anchor and cable off, and one end of a cable ashore, and so gott her into the Soft woose,[110] because wee would not be att the charge of Negro's and to pumpe her. thus the good shipp Trinity, which was Built in the South Seas, ended her Voyage, and through the Blessing of god brought us amounge our Cuntry men againe, and thiss being what I can think on att present, being the true actions of our Voyage as near as I can Remember, my Jornall being detained att St. Thomases and lost.[111] The Lord be praised for all his mercyes to us. Finis.

[1] British Museum, Sloane MSS., 2752, fol. 36. The chief narrative of these piratical adventures, and a remarkably interesting one, is that of Basil Ringrose, which constitutes the second volume of Exquemelin; see note 1 to document 44. There are also the narrative signed "W.D." and those attributed to Capt. Bartholomew Sharp (notes 1 and 3, ibid.), and very brief accounts in William Dampier's New Voyage around the World (London, 1697) and in Lionel Wafer's A New Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of America (London, 1699). The present narration is by still another participant, illiterate but not incapable of telling an interesting story, with many additional details.

[2] Darien.

[3] Provisions.

[4] He survived till 1698, to receive the Scottish settlers of the Darien colony, who also, by the way, had the aid of Captain Allison, sickly though he is declared, above, to have been in 1680.

[5] Buen venido, welcome.

[6] Margent, margin—a marginal drawing here.

[7] Cassava.

[8] Wafer, pp. 153-154, who lived four months among these Indians, describes their method of making "corn drink." "It tastes like sour small Beer, yet 'tis very intoxicating."

[9] The river was that which is now called Chucunaque.

[10] Some affluent of the Chucanaque.

[11] Cartridge.

[12] Still so called. It lies some 15 or 20 miles north of the gold mines of Cana ("the richest Gold-Mines ever yet found in America", says Dampier) and from the Cerro Pirre, whence Balboa first looked at the Pacific, "Silent upon a peak in Darien."

[13] The Tuira, into which the Chucunaque flows at this point.

[14] Calabash, gourd.

[15] Isla Iguana?

[16] Isla Majé?

[17] Now the Pearl Islands, in the gulf of Panama, southeast of the city.

[18] Perico, Naos, and Flamenco, three little islands lying in front of Panama.

[19] Sp. for soldiers.

[20] Don Jacinto de Barahona, high admiral of the South Sea.

[21] Don Francisco de Peralta. The escape of his vessel from Morgan's men in 1671, bearing the chief treasures, is recounted in Exquemelin, pt. III., ch. VI. He was put ashore, later, at Coquimbo.

[22] I.e., flag-ship. It was probably the same ship, La Santissima Trinidad, of 400 tons, in which Peralta had made his escape nine years before.

[23] Capt. John Coxon.

[24] Error for April 26, 1688.

[25] Lima. The 50,000 pieces of eight (dollars, pieces of eight reals) mentioned below were a consignment for expenses, sent to the governor of Panama by the viceroy of Peru, Archbishop Don Melchor de Liñan. So we learn from an account of this whole raid along the South American coast, given by him in an official report, printed in Memorial de los Vireyes del Perú (Lima, 1859), I. 328-335.

[26] Guayaquil, in an attempt at phonetic spelling.

[27] In modern phrase, southwest by west.

[28] Coiba or Quibo is a large island off the south coast of the isthmus, about 150 miles west of Panama.

[29] Rio Santa Lucía. The town is the present Remedios.

[30] Mestizo, halfbreed, Spanish and Indian.

[31] According to Ringrose, the ring came from the bishop, the challenge from the governor.

[32] The Isla de Plata (Island of Silver) lies a few miles off the coast of Ecuador, in 1° 10´ S. lat. The Galápagos lie not 100 but more than 200 leagues off the coast.

[33] Gorgona, off the Colombian coast.

[34] I.e., when the ship had been careened she remained so fixed in that position that the men could not, by the breadth of one of her planks, get her keel where they could work on it.

[35] In other words, there was a tide of twelve feet.

[36] End.

[37] Isla del Gallo, in Tumaco bay.

[38] Cape San Francisco (about 50´ N. lat.) not an island; but Ringrose, p. 58, says, "At first this Cape appeared like unto two several Islands".

[39] This is no doubt legendary. Isla de la Plata means Isle of Silver.

[40] Nearer 1° 12´ S.

[41] Arica, a Peruvian town now occupied by Chile.

[42] Guayaquil, in Ecuador.

[43] Punta Santa Elena, 2° 10´ S.

[44] Leagues.

[45] Armadilla, a small armed vessel.

[46] At Quito, probably. The viceroy-archbishop, op. cit., p. 332, calls the man Carlos Alem (Charles Allen, Charles Hall?). Besides the viceroy's circumstantial account of this fight at the Barbacoas, there is one in Dionisio de Alcedo's Aviso Histórico [Piraterías y Agresiones de los Ingleses] (Madrid, 1883), p. 158.

[47] Payta, Peru, in 5° S. lat.

[48] Punta Aguja, 5° 57´ S. lat.

[49] Nearer 18° 30´.

[50] Ilo. It was late in October, not early.

[51] Mora de Sama.

[52] Pedereros, small cannon.

[53] Magellan. The temporary capture of Ilo is omitted.

[54] Coquimbo, Chile, in 30° S. lat. Ringrose, pp. 107, 111, gives plans of the town and the harbor.

[55] Excepting.

[56] Juan Fernandez. A Spanish pilot of that name discovered the islands in 1563. Our buccaneers sighted them on Christmas eve, 1680.

[57] The eastern is called Mas-á-tierra ("nearer the land"), the western Mas-á-fuera ("farther out"). The distance between is about 100 miles.

[58] John Watkins. The new pirate chief had severe principles as to the Sabbath. "Sunday January the ninth [1681, three days after his election], this day was the first Sunday that ever we kept by command and common consent since the loss and death of our valiant Commander Captain Sawkins. This generous spirited man [Sawkins] threw the dice over board, finding them in use on the said day." Ringrose, p. 121. The Spanish accounts call the new captain Juan Guarlen.

[59] This was a Mosquito Indian named William. A precursor of Alexander Selkirk, he lived alone upon the island for more than three years, till in March, 1684, when Capt. Edward Davis, in the Batchellor's Delight, in his voyage from the Chesapeake, touched at the island. William Dampier and several others of Captain Sharp's crew were now with Davis. They bethought them of William, and found and rescued him. Dampier, New Voyage, I. 84-87, describes the Crusoe-like expedients by which the ingenious William maintained himself. He was not the first precursor of Selkirk on the island, for Ringrose, p. 119, says that the pilot of their ship told this present crew of buccaneers "that many years ago a certain ship was cast away upon this Island, and onely one man saved, who lived alone upon the Island five years before any ship came this way to carry him off." Several of Davis's men lived there three years, 1687-1690. Selkirk's stay was in 1704-1709.

[60] Iquique.

[61] Barros Arana, Historia Jeneral de Chile, V. 204-205, points out the impossibility of such numbers.

[62] Sp. lingua, language.

[63] In better Spanish, "Valientes soldados, buen valientes soldados", i.e. "Valiant soldiers, very valiant soldiers".

[64] Ilo, between Islay and Arica.

[65] Choros bay must be meant. The present Obispo lies too far north, and was not named till 1709.

[66] Ringrose identifies this bay and river with the bay and river of Loa, on the Chilean coast, the bay in 21° 28´ S. lat. That Drake landed there, in his voyage around the world, in January, 1579, we know from the narrative of Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa (Mrs. Nuttall's New Light on Drake, p. 80), but the story of the chapel is of course legendary.

[67] Water-barrels, Middle Dutch bommekijn, a little barrel.

[68] Truxillo, in Peru. The islands may have been the Lobos.

[69] Monte Christi, in Ecuador. The secession occurred on April 17, 1681. Dampier and Wafer were in the seceding party, which made its way to the isthmus of Darien and so across to the Caribbean and home, or to Virginia.

[70] Isla de Caños, in Coronada Bay, off the coast of Costa Rica, and some 300 miles west of Panama.

[71] Golfo Dulce, where the coast of Costa Rica begins.

[72] The gulf of Nicoy lies near the western end of the Costa Rican coast. The island was Chira.

[73] It does not appear that there was in Costa Rica at that time any town of such name or size.

[74] Under this strange name is disguised Jacobus Marques, a Dutchman skilled in many languages. The Voyages and Adventures of Capt. Barth. Sharp, p. 80, says that he "left behind him 2200 ps. 8/8 [pieces of eight, dollars] besides Jewels and Goods". "Copas" is for Jacobus.

[75] Barcalongas. See document 44, note 25.

[76] Colors, flags.

[77] Prizes or booty.

[78] Cabo Pasado would seem to be indicated, but that is in 20´ S.

[79] Don Melchor de Navarra y Rocaful, duke of La Palata, prince of Massa, viceroy of Peru from 1681 to 1689. He did not arrive in Lima till November. His predecessor the archbishop took great precautions for his protection against these pirates. Memorias de los Vireyes, I. 336-337.

[80] The ship was the Rosario, the last considerable prize taken by these buccaneers. See document 46. The story of the 700 pigs of pewter is told in a much more romantic form by Ringrose, p. 80, and by the author of The Voyages and Adventures of Capt. Barth. Sharp, p. 80. According to them, the pigs were thought to be of tin, and only one of them was saved, the rest being left in the prize when she was turned adrift. Later, when Sharp's men reached the West Indies, a shrewd trader there, perceiving this remaining pig to be silver, took it off their hands, and then sold it for a round sum; whereupon deep chagrin fell upon the pirates, who had duped themselves by abandoning a rich cargo of silver. It will however be observed in document 46 that Simon Calderon, mariner, of the Rosario, speaks of the pigs as pigs of tin. A mass of sea-charts taken from the Rosario is now—either the originals or copies by Hacke—in the British Museum, Sloane MSS., 45.

[81] About 4° 18´ S. lat., at the beginning of the Peruvian coast.

[82] I.e., they sailed up into the wind. So strong a wind blows up the coast, that the best way to sail from Peru to southern Chile is first to sail westward far out into the Pacific. It was Juan Fernandez who discovered this course.

[83] Fetched.

[84] Distances, in degrees on the horizon, between east or west and the rising point of a star. By amplitudes, east and west could be fixed when the variation of the compass from true north and south was doubtful.

[85] Furled. Courses are the lower sails. 50° S. lat. is the latitude of the gulf of Trinidad. To the island by which they anchored a little farther south, as described below, they gave the name of Duke of York Island, after their king's brother James; this name it still bears.

[86] Limpets.

[87] But all observers of the Patagonian Indians, from Pigafetta, Magellan's companion, to recent times, describe them as having little hair on the face, and accustomed to remove that little. Ringrose, p. 183, gives the same report as our writer.

[88] These rocky inlets lie between 52° and 53° S. lat., the four Evangelistas just to the north of the western entrance into the Strait of Magellan, the twelve Apóstolos just to the south of it.

[89] Tierra del Fuego. By "Streights of Maria" the writer means the Strait of Le Maire, outside Tierra del Fuego, and between it and Staten Island—a strait discovered by Schouten and Le Maire in 1616, when they also discovered and named Cape Hoorn (Horn).

[90] He means Bartolomé and Gonzalo Nodal, who, under orders from the king of Spain to follow up the discoveries of Schouten and Le Maire, made in 1619 the first circumnavigation of Tierra del Fuego, sailing southward, westward past Cape Horn, northward, then eastward through the Strait of Magellan. The book referred to as possessed by the buccaneers is the Relacion del Viaje que ... hizieron los Capitanes Bartolome Garcia de Nodal y Gonçalo de Nodal hermanos (Madrid, 1621), of which a translation was printed by the Hakluyt Society in 1911, in Sir Clements Markham's Early Spanish Voyages to the Strait of Magellan.

[91] Relacion del Viaje, p. 48; Markham, p. 256.

[92] The date is wrong, and there is no such cape.

[93] Cape Horn is in 55° 59´ S. lat.

[94] Under date of November 17, 1681, the Voyages and Adventures of Capt. Barth. Sharp says, p. 103, "We find by this observation, and our last 24 hours run, that we have been further Southerly by almost two Degrees, than our computation by dead reckoning makes out, and by many Degrees, than ever any others have sailed in that Sea, that have yet been heard of: for we were at about 60 Degrees South Latitude".

[95] Probably it was icebergs they saw. The Nodal brothers' Relacion, which they seem to have been following, mentions, p. 37 vo. (p. 245 of Markham), northeast of Cape Horn, "three islands which are very like the Berlings"; but these are the Barnevelt Islands, in about 55° 20´ S. lat. The original Berlengas are a group of rocky islands, well known to navigators, off the coast of Portugal.

[96] Error for 24° S., apparently.

[97] Cape Sao Thomé, one of the southeast capes of Brazil.

[98] An east cape of Brazil, Cape Sao Augustinho.

[99] 13° 5´ north latitude.

[100] Navigators of that time could determine latitudes almost as accurately as it is now done, but they had very imperfect means of determining longitudes. These pirates, of course, had no chronometer. The best they could do was to keep account each day of the courses and estimated distances that they sailed, to reduce this to numbers of miles eastward and westward in different latitudes (their "eastings" and "westings"), measured from their last known position, Duke of York Island, and from these computations to deduce their probable longitude. It appears from Ringrose's fuller statements that they were several hundred miles out of their reckoning when they sighted Barbados.

[101] January 28, 1682, according to the other accounts.

[102] Speight's Bay, on the northwest coast of the island. Bridgetown, where the chief harbor or roadstead lies, is at the southwest, and H.M.S. Richmond, which the pirates rightly viewed with apprehension, lay there; she had gone out to Barbados in 1680.

[103] Deseada, or Désirade.

[104] Falmouth is on the south side of the island of Antigua.

[105] Lt.-Col. Sir William Stapleton, governor-in-chief of the Leeward Islands 1672-1686. The pirates sent a valuable jewel to his wife, but he caused her to return it. As to those who sailed for England, as related below, (Sharp himself included), "W.D." reports, pp. 83-84, "Here several of us were put into Prison and Tryed for our Lives, at the Suit of Don Pedro de Ronquillo, the Spanish Embassador, for committing Piracy and Robberies in the South Sea; but we were acquitted by a Jury after a fair Tryal, they wanting Witnesses to prove what they intended.... One chief Article against us, was the taking of the Rosario, and killing the Captain thereof, and another man: But it was proved the Spaniards fired at us first".

[106] I.e., they had gambled away all their share of the plunder.

[107] Petit Goave in Haiti.

[108] The Danish island lately acquired by the United States. The harbor and fort referred to are those of Charlotte Amalia, the latter completed in 1680. The small harbor a mile to westward was Gregerie Bay.

[109] The allusion is apparently to the mandate of the Danish West India Company, February 22, 1675, described in Westergaard, The Danish West Indies under Company Rule, pp. 43-44. The governor, next mentioned, was Nicholas Esmit [Schmidt?], a Holsteiner. On St. Thomas as a refuge of buccaneers, neutral to Spanish-English-French warfare and jurisdiction, see ibid., pp. 47-58. Professor Westergaard, p. 48, quotes from a letter of Governor Esmit, May 17, 1682, in the Danish archives at Copenhagen, regarding our seven remaining pirates: "There arrived here February 8 a ship of unknown origin, some two hundred tons in size, without guns, passport, or letters, and with seven men, French, English, and German. On being questioned they replied that they had gone out of Espaniola from the harbor of Petit Guava with two hundred men and a French commission to cruise on the Spaniards.... [Summary of adventures on the Isthmus and in the South Sea.] I bought what little cacao they had; the rest of their plunder they brought ashore and divided among our people. The ship was no longer usable. I have decided not to confiscate it, in order to avoid any unfriendliness with sea-robbers. The inhabitants of St. Thomas have decided that the said seven men shall remain among them". Later, Captain Sharp himself came and spent his last years at St. Thomas.

[110] Ooze.

[111] This sentence sounds as if our narrator, himself one of the seven, had finally reached England or Jamaica. If so, he was more fortunate than some of the others; see the next document.

46. Sir Henry Morgan to Sir Leoline Jenkins. March 8, 1682.[1]

May it Please your Honour

Since I in obedience to his Majesties commands caused the Three Pyrates to be executed, The whole party which134 these two last yeares have molested the Spaniards in the South Seas are by the help of a Spanish Pilote come about to the windward Islands; Sixteen whereof are gone for England with Bartholemew Sharpe their Leader, the rest are at Antegoe and the Neighboring Islands, excepting four that are come hither, one whereof surrenderd himself to me, the other three I with much difficulty found out and apprehended my self, they have since been found guilty and condemned. he that surrendred himself is like as informer to obtain the favour of the Court. one of the condemned is proved a bloody and Notorious villain and fitt to make an exemple of, the other two as being represented to me fitt objects of mercy by the Judges, I will not proceed against till his Majesties further commands; and am heartely glad the Opinion of the Court is soe favorable, I much abhorring bloodshed and being greatly dissatisfyed that in my Short Government soe many necessities have layn upon me of punishing Criminels with death. The passage of these people is extraordinarily remarkable, for in litle more then four monthes they came from Coquimbo in Peru five degrees South Latitude, to Barbados in thirteen North.

Our Logwoodmen have lately had eight of their Vessels taken from them and their people carried away prisoners, their usage appears by the inclosed Petition. I am informed that in the Havana, Merida and Mexico many of135 his Majesties Subjects are prisoners and the Spanish Pylott that brought the People about (who is here) tells me That Sir John Narborow's Lieutenant and nine or ten others are at Lima in Perua.[2] they are all great objects of mercy and Compassion, therefore I hope your Honour will not bee unmindful of them....[3]

Hen. Morgan.

St. Jago de la Vega
this 8th of March 1681-2.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 1:48, no. 37. The writer, lieutenant-governor of Jamaica from 1674 to 1688, and at the time of writing acting governor, was the same Henry Morgan who in earlier years had been the most famous of buccaneers, capturing Portobello in 1668, Maracaibo in 1669, Panama itself in 1671—wonderful exploits, carried out with great bravery and cruelty. Now he is governor, holds piracy in abhorrence, and is determined to suppress it! It must be remembered, however, that his own exploits were carried out under commissions from proper authority, and legally were not piracy. His correspondent, Sir Leoline Jenkins, for twenty years judge of the High Court of Admiralty, and at this time also secretary of state, was one of the most learned admiralty lawyers England ever produced. Morgan's view of his own competence as admiralty judge in his colony is given with engaging frankness in a contemporary letter: "The office of Judge Admiral was not given me for my understanding of the business better than others, nor for the profitableness thereof, for I left the schools too young to be a great proficient either in that or other laws, and have been much more used to the pike than to the book; and as for the profit, there is no porter in this town but can get more money in the time than I made by this trial. But I was truly put in to maintain the honour of the Court for His Majesty's service." Cal. St. Pap., Col., 1677-1680, p. li.

[2] Sir John Narbrough (1640-1688), afterward a celebrated admiral, had in 1669-1671 voyaged to the South Sea, as a young lieutenant, in command of the Sweepstakes; in Valdivia bay the Spaniards had seized two of his officers, and, it seems, still detained them.

[3] The rest of the letter relates to quite other matters.

47. Deposition of Simon Calderon. 1682.[1]

Relation of the South Sea men.

Simon Calderon, Natural de Santiago de Chile, Marinero de profession, yendo del callado a Panama en el Navio llamado el Rosario, cargado de Vinos, aguardientes, estaño en Barras, y cantidad de Patacas, con beynte y quatro Hombres pasageros y todo, encontraron en la punta de Cabo passado como a la mitad del Camino, al navio de la Trinidad y le estimaron como de Espagnoles, pero luego que reconocieron ser de Piratas, procuraron ganarle el Barlavento, lo qual ganaron los Piratas, y luego empezaron a tirar mosquetarias, y de las primeras tres cargas mataron al Capitan del Rosario, que se llamaba Juan Lopez, y hizieron otras y apresaron el navio y sacaron con las favas todo lo que les parecio necessario del Vino y aguardientes y toda la plata y demas que havia de valor, y dieron tormento a dos Espagnoles para que descubriessen si havia mas plata y curtaron velas y Jarzias, menos la mayor, y alargaron el Navio con la gente menos cinco o seys, que trageron consigo y entre ellos el declarante.

De alli hecharon a la Isla de la Plata, donde estubieron tres dias y medio refrescando; y sospechando que los136 prisioneros se querian alzar con el navio mataron a uno y castigaron a otro; y de alli a Payta en donde hecharon dos canoas a tierra con treynte y dos hombres armados con animo de ganar a Payta, y hallando resistencia se bolvieron al navio; de alli Tiraron al estrecho de Magallanes; pero no passaron por el, sino al redidor de la ysla del fuego que estava como seys a ocho dias apartada del estrecho de Magallanes, este estrecho del fuego tardaron en pasarle hasta entrar en el mar del Norte cosa de nuebe Dias. Llegaron a Barbadas donde por haver encontrado un navio del Rey de Inglatierra no se atrevieron a entrar.

En el camino dividieron la présa y tocó a quatrocientos pesos a cada uno de sesenta y quatro personas.

De Barbadas fueron a Antica donde fueron recividos sin hacerles molestia, antes buen acostimiento y de alli se dividieron unas a Niebes en una balandra, otras como diez y ocho de ellos a londres en el navio cuyo Capitan se llamaba Portin, otros ocho que erran los principales se uieron en el Navio llamado la Comadressa Blanca o cui Wihte, su Capitan Charles Howard, dos de ellos que eran los principales cabos se llaman el Capitan Sharp, y el otro Gilbert Dike, y a este declarante le dexaron en Plymuth.

Los demas testigos dicen tambien haver oydo que estos Piratas andan comprando aora un Nabio para bolver a haçer el mismo viage o continuar esta pirateria.


Relation of the South Sea Men

Simon Calderon, native of Santiago de Chile, mariner, going from Callao to Panama in the ship called the Rosario laden with wine, brandy, pigs of tin,[2] and artichokes, with 24 passengers and all, they met off Cabo Pasado, about halfway in their voyage, a ship, the Trinidad, and supposed it to be Spanish, but when they perceived that it was a ship of pirates, they tried to obtain the weather-gauge, but the pirates obtained it, and then they began to fire musket-shots, and with the first three shots they killed the captain of the137 Rosario, who was called Juan Lopez, and fired other shots, and captured the ship, and took out with the hooks [?] all that they deemed necessary of the wine and brandy, and all the silver and other things that had value, and tortured two Spaniards in order to learn whether there was more silver, and cut down the sails and rigging, except the mainsail, and turned the ship adrift with the men, excepting five or six whom they took with them, and among others the deponent.

Thence they went to the Isla de la Plata, where they remained three days and a half refreshing themselves, and suspecting that the prisoners were planning to rise and take the ship they killed one and flogged another; and thence they went to Payta, where they sent two canoes ashore with 32 armed men, with design to capture Payta, but meeting with resistance they returned to the ship. Thence they sailed away to the Strait of Magellan, but did not go through it, but around the Isla del Fuego, which was some six or eight days' distance from the Strait of Magellan. In making this passage of Fuego, to enter into the North Sea, they were delayed some nine days. They came to Barbados, where, because of finding there a ship of the King of England, they did not venture to enter.

On the voyage they divided the booty and obtained 400 dollars apiece, for each one of 74 persons.

From Barbados they went to Antigua, where they were received without injury, but rather with good treatment, and from there they divided, some going to Nevis in a bilander,[3] others, some 18 of them, to London in the ship whose captain was called Portin,[4] and eight others that were the principal ones fled in the ship called the Comadressa Blanca (White Gossip),[5] Captain Charles Howard. Two of them, that were the principal chiefs, were called, [the one] Captain Sharp, and the other Gilbert Dike; and this deponent was left at Plymouth.

Other witnesses say, however, that they have heard that these pirates are now proceeding to buy a ship to return and make the same voyage or continue this piracy.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 1:50, no. 139.

[2] See document 45, above, note 80.

[3] A bilander was a small two-master, with the mainsail of lateen form.

[4] The Lisbon Merchant, Captain Porteen. Ringrose, p. 212.

[5] Or perhaps Ermine.



48. Petition of Paul Sharrett and Claes Pietersen. August 2, 1681.[1]

To the Honnorable Simon Bradstreet Esq. Governor, Thomas Danforth Esqr Dept. Governor, and the Rest of the Honnorable Assistants to sitt in Boston on the 4th of this Instant August 1681 as A Court of Admiraltie or Assistants

The humble petition Libell and Complaint of Paul Sherrot Lift.[2] and Cloyse petterson, Mate or Pilot of the Ship or prize called the Salamander, now belonging to the great prince the Duke of Brandenburge, Burden one hundred Tonns or thereaboute, Loaden with Brandy and wynes—

Humbly Sheweth

That your Petitioner entering into the Duke of Brandenburgs service and pay this 14 of April 1680 or thereaboute, on A ship of warr called Coure Prince belonging to the Said Duke, Cornelyus Reise Capt. and Comander,[3] and sayling139 then from Quinborough[4] to the West Indies and at St. Martins in the West Indies tooke the above mentioned ship Salamander, Loaden as above, And put in Marcellus Cock Comander of said Ship Salamander, and Paul Sherrot Leift. and Cloys Peterson Mate or Pylot of said ship, to Carry the Said Ship home to Quinborough to the said Duke, But the said Marcellus Cock, under pretence of want of Proviscions and Leakenes of said Ship, brought her into Piscatuqua and there stayed about 3 months whiling away the time, and Repayring the ship, And while there so cruelly beate twelve of the ships Company, at the Capston and otherwise, As made them weary of their Lives, that they could not stay but gott on shoar And left him, Loosing all their wages, except one, that the Capt. turned a shoare, as he said for a Rogue, But the Governor of Piscataqua made the master pay him his wages, And now after 16 monethes and a halfe soar service, ventering and hazarding their lives, After the Authoritie at Piscatuqua tooke notice of the said Capt. Cocks Long Stay, and Conceiveing he Intended to sell the said Ship and deceive the Duke, ordering him to pay the said Sherret and Peterson our wages,[5] fell to threatening us first by turning the Pilot out of the Cabbin from his mess; and then swearing he would Pistoll the Leiften't and him if they came on board.

The premises Considered wee humbly Intreat your honours to make such due order And provision that the Duke be not Deceived of his the sayd prize and that wee may have our full wages so dearly yearned and be freed as wee are and have been, from his the said Cocks Tiranicall service; And yo'r Petition'rs shall forever pray etc.

Paul Sharrett.
Claes pietersen.

This libell I Rec'd this 2d of August, 1681.

Edw'd Rawson, Secret.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 2031, paper 1. The story of the Salamander is curiously interwoven with the early history of the Prussian navy, on which something has been said in note 1 to document 43. The facts may be made out by a comparison of documents 48 and 49 with data found in R. Schück, Brandenburg-Preussens Kolonial-Politik (Leipzig, 1889), I. 113-118, and in a monograph on "Brandenburg-Preussen auf der Westküste von Afrika, 1681 bis 1721", in Heft 6 of the Kriegsgeschichtliche Einzelschriften of the German General Staff (Berlin, 1885), pp. 102-105. In the First Brandenburg-Prussian fleet that ever sailed out of the Baltic (August, 1680), one of the six frigates was the Churprintz (Kurprinz, Electoral Prince), 32 guns, Capt. Cornelius Reers, and there was a fire-ship, the Salamander, 2 guns, Capt. Marsilius (or Marcellus) Cock; the captains were probably all Dutch. The chief exploit of the squadron was to capture, in time of peace, a ship of the Spanish royal navy, which thus became the first of the elector's ships actually owned by him. Then Reers and a squadron of four frigates and the Salamander sailed to the West Indies, and spent the winter of 1680-1681 in cruising against Spanish shipping, though with little success. If Samuel Button's story is true (document 48), it would seem that the original Salamander must have been lost, and the William and Anne substituted in its place and renamed. The squadron got back to Prussia in May, 1681.

[2] Lieutenant.

[3] Cornelius Reers, vice-commander of the squadron mentioned in note 1, appears later as governor of Arguin on the west coast of Africa, 1685-1690. Schück, I. 347, 350.

[4] So the English then called Königsberg, capital of the duchy of Prussia.

[5] The petitioners are following closely the language of the vote of the council of New Hampshire, by which it was ordered that the ship should be taken to Boston for trial, and the mariners paid. N.H. State Papers, XIX. 677; July 11, 1681. "Governor of Piscataqua", i.e., of New Hampshire, there was none at this time; they probably mean Maj. Richard Waldron, president of the council.


49. Deposition of Samuel Button. August 11, 1681.[1]

Samuel Button of Boston declareth concerning the Ship now called the Salamander in this harbour, Marcellus Cock commander. That in April last was twelve-months' hee was Shipped Carpenter of sd Ship at London then called the Wm. and Anne, Anthony Thorne of London Commander, mr. George Trumbal of London being their Owner of sd. Ship. wee Sailed with sd Ship from London to Bilboa where wee cleered our foremast men and Ship't Biscayers in their steed and from thence Sailed to the Canary's, where wee loaded brandy and wines, and our sd master there left the Ship and our Mate mr. Christopher Johnson was put in master, all the English men being cleered from her but myselfe, wee being bound for Carthagene,[2] from thence back to Canary's, so to Carthagene again and from thence to Canary's and from Canary's to London and proceeding on our voyage wee put in to Sta. Marke in the west Indies[3] to water; where the Governour forced our Stay to convoy a Galliote bound to Carthagene, and after wee had been two or three dayes in the Road, wee espied five Ships lying off and on by the space of two or three dayes. at length they sent in their pinace with Dutch colours to the Gov'r to get liberty to wood and water, pretending to be Dutchmen come to cleer the coast of privateers; upon which the Gov'r granted them liberty to come in and the same day they came and anchored by us; they goeing ashore to the Gov'r acquainted him they were of Middleborough,[4] Flushing, and Amsterdam (as I was informed) and rode with dutch colours abroad; after they had been there four or five dayes wee coming to saile in the night, all being buisy, they laid us on board. wee demanding what they were they answered they were Frenchmen; wee bad them keepe off, but they entring the Ship, the Ltt. asked me if I was the Carpenter. I answered "yes," hee said "that's good, you bee an Englishman. that doth no141 harme," comanding me to keepe upon deck, declaring himselfe Capt. of the Ship, and when they tooke us they shewed no Colours but told me the next day they would shew me such Colours as I never saw, and then spread their Brandenburgh Colours, putting our Supra Cargo and all the prisoners ashore at St. Marke, onely Christopher Johnson a Dutchman our then Ma[ste]r and myselfe, whom they carried with them to Jamaica. not being Suffered to Land any of their goods there, Sailed thence with this Ship in Comp'y of our English Fleete, pretending they were bound with her to the East Country,[5] putting our Master and myselfe on shore at Jamaica.

Samuel Button deposed in Court that what is above written is the truth and whole truth to his best knowledge. 11th of August 1681.

Edw Rawson, Secret.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 2031, paper 8.

[2] Cartagena on the Spanish Main is meant; see below.

[3] St. Marc on the west coast of Haiti, then French.

[4] Middelburg in Zeeland.

[5] Baltic lands.


50. Agreement to Commit Piracy. June 30, 1683.[1]

June the 30th day, 1683. Articles of Agreement between us abord of the Camillion,[2] Nich. Clough Comander, that142 wee are to dispose of all the goods thatt are abord amongst us, every man are to have his full due and right share only the Commander is to have two shares and a half a share for the Ship and home[3] the Captain please to take for the Master under him is to have a share and a half. Now Gentlemen these are to satisfy you, as for the Doctor a Share and half, and these are our Articles that wee do all stand to as well as on[4] and all.

These are to satisfy you thatt our intent is to trade with the Spaniards, medling nor make no resistances with no nation that wee do fall with all upon the Sea. Now Gentlemen these are to give you notice that if any one do make any Resistances against us one any factery[5] hereafter shall bee severely punish according to the fact that hee hath comitted and as you are all here at present you have taken your corporall oath upon the holy Evangelists to stand one by the other as long as life shall last.

John Hallamore.
the mark signature mark of
Thomas Dickson.
Robert Cockram.
the marke of X Jo. Darvell.
the marke of X Arthur Davis.
the marke of X Jno. Morrine.
John Renals
the mark of signature mark Robert Dousin.

Nicho. Clough.
Samll. Haynsworth.
Daniell Kelly.
William Heath.
John Griffin.
Henery Michelson.
Albert Lasen.
the mark signature mark of Symon
William Strother.
Edwa. Dove.
John Watkins.
Edward Starkey.
the mark of signature mark George Paddisson.
John Copping.[6]
the mark of HL Henry

[1] This very curious document (for one does not expect to find pirates agreeing in writing to pursue a course of piracy) is found embedded in one of the indictments in the case of the Camelion, in vol. I. of the wills in the office of the surrogate, New York City, pp. 312-313 of the modern copy. Its presence among wills requires a word of explanation. The governor of a royal colony was usually chancellor, ordinary, and vice-admiral, and as such might preside in the courts of chancery, probate, and admiralty—courts whose common bond was that their jurisprudence was derived from the civil (or Roman) law, and not from the common law. Most of his judicial action was in testamentary cases. It was therefore not unnatural that the few admiralty cases and cases of piracy tried in these early days should be recorded in the same volume as the wills, though distinguished by the simple process of turning the book end for end and recording them at the back. In this case the record begins with our document 51; but the present document, copied into one of the indictments, is earlier in date. The substance of another pirates' agreement (Roberts's company, 1720, see doc. no. 117) is given in Charles Johnson, General History of the Pyrates, second ed., pp. 230-232; another (Phillips's company, 1727, see doc. no. 120 and note 10), ibid., verbatim, pp. 397-398.

[2] The Camelion had in 1682 sailed for the Royal African Company to the slave-mart of Old Calabar on the west coast of Africa, thence with a cargo of negroes to Barbados, thence to Montserrat and Nevis, thence in June, 1683, to London with a cargo. Off Nevis, June 29, the crew took possession of the ship, then made this agreement on the 30th, sold part of the cargo at the Dutch island of Curaçao, and brought the vessel to Sandy Hook. For their trial, see the next document.

[3] Whom.

[4] One. The larger shares for captain, master, and doctor were in accordance with custom. Clough, the master, was forced to join the mutineers.

[5] Sic. They probably mean, on any pretext, or, on any occasion.

[6] Copping, it was testified, was the writer of this remarkable agreement.


51. Court for the Trial of Piracy: Commission. September 15, 20,

Memorandum. That Thursday the twenty day of September, in the five and thirtieth yeare of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles the second, by the grace of God of England, Scottland, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc., at the Citty Hall of New Yorke in America, A speciall Court of Oyer and Terminer was holden by Vertue of this following Commission, Viz.

Thomas Dongan Lieutt. and Governour, and Vice Admirall under his Royall Highnesse of New Yorke and Dependences in America.

Whereas his Royall Highnesse James Duke of Yorke and Albany, Earle of Ulster, etc., Lord high Admirall of Scottland and Ireland, and the Dominions and Islands thereof, As also Lord high Admirall of the Dominions of New England and Virginia, Barbados, St. Christophers, Antego, New Yorke in America, etc., hath by his Commission dated at St. James the third day of October in the yeare of our Lord 1682 and in the 34th yeare of his Ma'ties Reigne constituted and made mee his Vice Admirall of New Yorke, and the Maritime ports and Islands belonging to the same, and hath authorized and impowered mee to appoint a Judge, Register, and Marshall of a Court of Admiralty there;[2] I144 do therefore hereby make and appoint You Lucas Santen Esq., Judge of the said Court, and William Beekman, Deputy Mayor, John Lawrence and James Graham, Aldermen of the Citty of New Yorke, Mr. Cornelis Stenwyck, Mr. Nicholas Bayard, Mr. William Pinhorne, and Mr. Jacob Leysler, and you or any six of you, to hear and determine of any or all Treasons, Felonys, Robberys, Piracys, Murders, Manslaughters, Confederacys, breaches of trust, Imbezleing goods, or other Transgressions, contempts, Misprissions and Spoyles whatsoever, done or committed within the Maritime Jurisdiction aforesaid, on board the Ship Camelion of London, Nicholas Clough commander, and I do also appoint Will. Nicolls to bee Register, and John Collier to bee Marshall of the said Court, and this Commission to bee of Force during the time of this Tryall only. Given under my hand and seale this 15th day of September, 1683, and in the thirty fifth yeare of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles the second, by the Grace of God, of England, Scottland, etc. King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Tho. Dongan.


Lucas Santen Esqr.,[3]
William Beakman,[4]
Jno. Lawrence,
James Graham,

Cornelius Stenwyck,
Nicholas Bayard,
Willm. Pinhorne,
Jacob Leisler.

[1] Vol. I. of wills in surrogate's office, New York City, pp. 306-307.

[2] Governor Dongan's commission of vice-admiralty "in the usual forme", October 3, 1682, is recorded in the Public Record Office, London, C.O. 5:1182, p. 40. James, duke of York, was Lord High Admiral from 1660 to 1673; he was proprietor of the province of New York from 1664 till he became king in 1685. As Lord High Admiral, he issued commissions to the colonial governors appointing them as his vice-admirals. That which he issued, January 26, 1667, to Lord Willoughby, governor of Barbados, is printed in the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, II. 187-198. That to Dongan, issued by James in 1682, when, though excluded from office in England, he was still Lord High Admiral of the crown's dominions, was no doubt similar. At this early period the governor himself sometimes acted as judge; see document 46, note 1. Strictly speaking, what was here appointed was not a court of admiralty but a commission for the trial of piracy and other felonies. By the statute 28 Henry VIII. c. 15 (1536), it was provided that cases of piracy should be tried within the realm, not by the High Court of Admiralty, but before commissions specially appointed for the purpose, and with the aid of a jury. But this statute did not extend to the plantations, and until the passage of the act of 11 and 12 William III. c. 7 (1700), commissioners for the trial of piracy in the colonies were usually appointed by governors in their capacity as vice-admirals, and proceeded under the civil (Roman) law, not the statute. Another commission, for the trial of piracy (to Governor Bellomont and others, Nov. 23, 1701) is printed in E.C. Benedict, The American Admiralty, third ed., pp. 73-79, fourth ed., pp. 70-76; another (1716) is doc. no. 106, below; another (to Governor Woodes Rogers, Bahamas, Dec. 5, 1718), is in Johnson's History of the Pyrates, II. (1726) 337-340; a fourth (1728) is in N.J. Archives, first series, V. 196. See also doc. no. 201, note 1, and Chalmers, Opinions (ed. 1858), pp. 511-515.

[3] Collector of the port.

[4] Acting mayor. Lawrence, Graham, Steenwyk, and Bayard were aldermen, Pinhorne became an alderman two months later. Leisler was the celebrated revolutionary. The accused men were found guilty. Eight of them were sentenced to receive twenty lashes and to be imprisoned for a year and a day. Clough was sent to London to give an account of his stewardship to the Royal African Company. Calendar of Council Minutes, N.Y., p. 34.



52. William Coward’s Plea. 1690.[1]

And the said Wm. Coward for plea saith that he ought not nor by Law is obliged to make any further or other answar or plea to the Indictments now preferred against him in this Court: for that he saith that the Crimes for which he stands Indicted be:—The same is for Pyracy, felony and [so forth] by him supposed to be done And Committed upon the high seas without this Jurisdictions and not within the body of any County within the same from Whence any Jury Cann be Lawfully brought to have tryall thereof, That before the Statute of the 28th of King Henry the 8th, Chapt. the 15th, all Pyraceys Felonys, etc., Committed upon the high seas was noe Felony whereof the Common Law tooke any knowledg, for that it could not be tryed, being out of all towns and Countes, but was only Punishable by the Civill Law before the Admira[l], etc., but by the said Statute the offence is not altered and made felony, but Left as it was before the said Statute, vizt. felony only by the Civill Law, but giveth a mean of tryal by the Common Law in this maner, Viz: All Treasons, felonys, Robberys, murders and Confederacies Committed in or upon the sea or in any other haven, rivar, creek, or place where the Admirall hath or pretends to have power, Authority, or Jurisdiction shall be Enquired, tryed, heard, determined, and Judged in such shires and places in the Relm as shall be Limitted by the kings Commistion under the great Seale, in Like forme and Condition as If any such offenses had been Committed upon146 the land, to be directed to the Lord Admirall or to his Leiut., Deputy, or Deputys, and to three or foure such other substantiall persons as shall be named by the Lord Chancellor of England for the time being, etc., as [by] the said statute appeareth—

That the Crimes and offences afforesaid must ether be Considered in the Condition they were in before or since the making of the said statute. If as before then they are only to be Judged and Detarmined before the Admirall, etc., after the Course of the Civill Laws, which this Court hath not Jurysdiction off—

That the Crimes and offences in the said Indictments supposed to be done [and] commited by the said Wm Coward, If any such there were, [were] done and Committed in or upon the sea or in some haven, river, Creek, or place where the Admiralty hath or pretends to have power, Authority, or Jurisdiction, etc. not within the Jurisdiction of this Court—

That the Admiralty of those seas, havens, etc., where the Crimes and offences afforesaid are supposed to have been done and Committed, In Case the Commistion Lately geven to Sir Edmd. Andros, knt., to be vice Admirall there of be voyd, it is now remaining in his Maj. and cannot be Executed or exercised by any person or persons without being Lawfully Commistionated by his Maj. for the same.

That in Case the Crimes, etc., offences aforesaid shall be considered According to the said statute of the 28th of Henry the 8th, Chapt. the 15th, Then the said Wm. Coward saith that this Court hath noe power or Jurisdiction there of, nor can the same be Enquired, tryed, heard, Determined, and Judged by them, but Can only be Enquired, tryed, and Determined by the Spetiall Commistion from his Majesty in such manner as by the said statute is Derected.

All which the said Wm. Coward is ready to Answar, etc.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 2540, paper 6. The case is reported in Records of the Court of Assistants of Massachusetts Bay, I. 319-322. Coward (a sailor of H.M.S. Rose) and others were indicted for a piratical attack on the ketch Elinor in Nantasket Roads, November 21, 1689. They were tried in January, 1690, and condemned, but reprieved. See Andros Tracts, II. 54. The trial occurred in the interregnum between the deposition of Governor Andros in 1689, and the arrival of Governor Phips and inauguration of the new charter in 1692. Therefore Coward pleads to the jurisdiction, Andros's commission as vice-admiral being void.



53. Declaration of Jeremiah Tay and Others. March, 1691 (?).[1]

An acc'tt of the Surprizeall and takeing of the Ship Good hope of Bost[on] in New England, Burthen about three hundred Tonns with twenty two Gun[s], Jeremiah Tay Comander, which was acted and done in a most Treacherous and Pyratticall manner by certain Rovers or pirates (moste of them theire Majest[ies] Subjects) in the Road of the Isle of May of the Cape de verd Islands upon the Fourth day of February Anno Dmi 1690/1, The said Shipp with what goods were on board her properly belonging unto Coll. Sam'll Shrimpton[2] Merchant att Boston in New England aforesaid, vizt.

Upon the twentyeighth day of January 1690/1 wee arrived from the Island of Madara att said Island of May aforesd and came to Anchor in the Road there. The next day our men went ashore and applyed themselves to rake togeather of salt in the Salt Pounds in order to the loading our Said Shipp and Soe continued workeing severall days. And upon the first day of February following there came into the aforesaid Road a Sloope weareing theire Majesties Collours and anchored not farr [fro]m our Said Shipp who tould us they came from South Carolina, theire Captn. one James Allison formerly of New Yorke, and that they had a Com'n from the Governor of Carolina aforesaid to take and Indamage the French, for which end they were here arrived expecting they might in a Short time meete Some of them.[3] The said Captn. Allison and moste parte of his Company were wellknowne unto us, they haveing beene Loggwood Cutters in the Bay of Campeach[4] where wee148 were with the said Shipp about twelve mounthes Since, Loadeing Loggwood, parte whereof wee bought of them and fully Sattisfied them for, and during our stay there kept amicable correspondance with us, Eateing, Drinking and Lodging frequently on board our said Shipp, which wee gladly consented unto in regard they might have beene a defence and help to us if any Enimey had assaulted us, by reason of which former friendshipp and good Correspondance as alsoe theire Specious pretence of a Commission against our Enimies (which wee woere in Some feares of) wee willingly continued the former kindnesse and amity betweene us, hopeing if wee were assaulted by the French wee might by theire assistance (they being thirty five able men and our Shipp being of pretty good force) have beene capable to make a good resistance, They often protesting and promiseing to Stand by and help us to the uttmost if there Should be occasion. wee therefore not doubting theire honesty and Sincerity permitted them frequently to come on board our Said Shipp, and Sometimes Some of us went on board theire Sloope, and Believeing ourselves secure and willing to make a quick dispatch as possible in Loading our Shipp, wee sent all [hands] to worke in the Pounds (as wee [had done (?)] he[retof]ore) Except our [Carpenter]s, which were [then (?)] att worke on our Decke building [a] Boate for the more Convenient carriage of salt. Thus wee continued workeing, and upon the Fourth day of February instant Capt. Allison and Sundry of his men Dined with us on board said Shipp in a friendly manner, as they were wont to doe, and Some time after Dinner desired the said Commander Tay, with Mr. Edward Tyng the Sup[er]cargoe and James Meeres a passenger, to goe on boarde theire Sloope to Drinke a glasse of Punch with them, which he did, and when we were come on board the said Sloope they pretended theire Doctor (whom wee Left on board the Shipp talkeing with our men) had the keys where theire Sugar was, Soe they could not make the Punch, and forthwith149 severall of them Stept into the Boate and Rowdd on board our Shipp to fetch the keys. as Soone as they entred our Shipp one of them Ran to the Steereage Doore and another to the Round house and Secured all our Arms, the rest Imediatly Seizeing the Carpenters who were att work on the Boate. They then fired a gunn as a Signall to theire Sloope, who Imediatly Seized us who were on board her (wee being unarmed) and forthwith way'd anchor and Laid our Shipp aboard, att the same time takeing everything out of the Sloope, excepting a Little Stincking Brackish water, some Flower, a Little Stincking beefe, and three or foure baggs of wheate, and then Comanded us presently to putt of from the Shipp about Musquett Shott and then to come to anchor, which we were forced to Comply with; After which they went on Shore and fetched our men out of the Pounds by force and Armes, Seaventeene of whom they tooke with them, Some whereof by force and threattnings and others of them went volluntarily, which wee have good reason to beleive were privy to the Plott and Surpriseall of the Shipp, a List of whose names is hereto Subjoyned. afterward they gave us our Chests and some of our Cloaths and the next day Comanded us to Saile away with the said Sloope (which they gave us), and upon the Sixth day of February Instant wee sailed with said Sloope for the Island of Barbados where wee arrived the twenty first day of the same.

Jeremiah Tay, M'r.
Edward Tyng
Thomas Wharfe, Mate
James Meeres, junior.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 3033, paper 4.

[2] Member of Andros's council, 1688-1689.

[3] England and France were at war, 1689-1697.

[4] Bay of Campeche, west of Yucatan. At the beginning of this Campeche voyage of the Good Hope ("formerly the Fortune of Courland"), in October, 1689, she had been detained by the royal officers in Boston, for evasion of the customs laws, but made her escape. Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., XII. 116.

54. Deposition of Epaphras Shrimpton. July, 1694 (?).[1]

Epaphras Shrimpton, of full Age, Testifieth that Benja. Blacklidge did acknowledge that himselfe and some others which he named took from on borde the Ship Good hope at Madagasker about halfe her Cargoe which she brought150 from Holland particulerly Hollands, duck, Riging, Ketles, Powder, etc., belonging to Col. Sam. Shrimpton, and said that with part of the Ketles they Sheath'd the bow of the Ship which he came from Madagasker in, and offer'd if Colo. Shrimpton would be kinde to him he would discover the Persons that were to bring home the remainder of the Ship Good hopes Cargoe. the said Blacklidge said that himselfe and other of his Confederates took the above mention'd goods out of the Shipp Good hope at Madagasker just before he came from thence to New England. this he acknoledg'd to Colo. Shrimpton in the Prison house in Boston in New England in the year 1693.

Epaph. Shrimpton.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 3033, paper 7. Epaphras Shrimpton was a cousin of Colonel Shrimpton.

55. Deposition of Jeremiah Tay. July 6, 1694.[1]

Jer. Tay, aged thurty five yeres, Testifieth that hee being att the Ile of May, Master of the Shipe goodhope belonging to Coll. Samuell Shrimpton, In february one thousand six hundred and ninety, That then And thare was surprised and tacken by A pyrate, one James alloson, Comander, That after thay had posseshon of the Above said Shipe The next day sent for My Men from the Pond to come on bord of said Shipe, Telling them that thoose as would goe willingly should have as good A shaar in shipe and goods as Anny of themselves, whare upon one bengeman blackledg of boston, with sundry more, tuck up armes with the pyrats, hee macking choyce of one of my one[2] small armes for him selfe. This was dun by said blackledg without anny force or Compulshon, as the pyrats themselves did declare That thay did not nor would not force him nor sundry more which did intend To goo with them. I doue furder Ad that sence I came from London, being to the Westward, was tolde by sum of those men that came home in Massons shipe A Longe with said blackledge Last yere, to the est end of Long island, whare Thare was A bundance of the goods which Came out151 of My Shipe the goodhope, As Canvos and Riging of sundry sorts, whare itt was Im baseled,[3] and given all most to anny that would ask for itt. Also that thay did heere some of my one Men tell blackledge that hee was A great Rooge, in that hee had gott his Cloose out of the shipe goodhope in to The shipe beefore the Shipe was Tacken, that so hee mought goe with the Shipe wheather the Shipe was tacken or not. I doue also ad that in the day of it, when the shipe was in thare posseshon, the pyrats did then and thare say to mee, had it not beene by purswashon of sum of my one men telling of Them thare was A bundance of Monnys A bourd of said Shipe be sids goods, thay had not tacken hur, which A parrantly proved to bee true, for thare was sundrey of them ware for punishing of Mee to Mack mee Confes whar itt was, but thay so difered in thare Judgments that that was not dun by them.

Jer. Tay.

July 6, 1694. Sign'd and Sworn by Capt. Jeremia Tay.

Coram nobis Sam'l Sewall
Jer. Dumer
bracket Justices
of the

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 3033, paper 6.

[2] Own.

[3] Embezzled.

56. Indictment of Benjamin Blackledge. October 30, 1694.[1]

Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Suffolk, SS:

At a Court of Assize and Generall Goale delivery held in Boston for the County of Suffolk aforesaid the Last Tuseday in October 1694, Annoq[ue] R[egi]s et Reginae Gulielmi et Mariae, Angliae, etc., Sexto.

The Jurors for our Sov'r Lord and Lady the King and Queen aforesaid Present, That Benjamin Blackleich of Boston aforesaid, mariner, on the fourth day of February in the year of our Lord 1690/1, at the Isle of May otherwise called Santo-May, one of the Islands of Cape de verd, being then and there a Seaman or Marriner, on bord the Ship152 called the Good Hope, Jeremiah Tay Comander, did Wickedly, Felloniously and Piratically Rise up in Rebellion against the sd Master Jeremiah Tay, and with one James Allison A Pirate or Sea Rover, Master of a Sloop, and his Company, did Conspire, Abett and Joyne, and with the sd James Allison and his Company did Seize, Surprize, and Piratically take from the sd Jeremiah Tay The sd Ship Good Hope, of Burthen about Three hundred Tonns, and her Loading, being to the Value of Two Thousand Pounds, of the Goods and Chattels of Collonol Samuel Shrimpton of Boston aforesaid, and of the said Ship and Loading the said Master and Owner did Dispoyle, Disposess and Exclude, against the Peace of Our Sov'r Lord and Lady the King and Queen, their Crown and Dignity, and the Laws in Such Case made and Provided.


Rich'd Crisp, foreman, with the Rest.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 3033, paper 2.

[2] For "Ignoramus" (we ignore), the word by which a grand jury indicated its refusal to prosecute an indictment. We here find the Superior Court, the highest common-law court of Massachusetts under the second charter, taking cognizance of a case of piracy. Governor Phips had a commission as vice-admiral (text in Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, II. 206-215, 372-380), but no judge of admiralty had yet been appointed, nor any special commission to try pirates.

57. Deposition of Thomas Larimore. October 28, 1695.[1]

The Deposition of Thomas Larimore, aged Thirty two Yeares or thereabouts. This Deponent testifyeth and saith that whenever any person is fitted out to go in a Private man of Warr there is not wont to be any Writing drawne betwixt the person fitting and the person fitted out, and Yet153 the person fitted out always allows to the person fitting him out One full Quarter part of a whole share of whatsoever is gained on the Voyage.

Boston Octobr
28th, 1695.
Thomas Larimore.
Sworne in Court 30th Octobr. 1695
Attest Jona. Elatson Cler.
A true Copy of that on file
Examd. Ad'ton Davenport, Cler.[2]

[1] Among the manuscripts of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Captain Larimore in 1704 played an equivocal part in the case of Quelch and his pirate crew (see no. 104, post), assisting their attempts to escape, but his testimony as to prize-money is to be valued, as that of an experienced shipmaster and privateer. In 1677 he had assisted the authorities of Virginia against the rebel Bacon by conveying troops in his ship. Journals of the House of Burgesses, II. 70, 79, 86. In 1702 he was sent by Governor Dudley to Jamaica with a company of volunteers, the first Massachusetts force to serve overseas. Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, XVIII. 84-93.

[2] Addington Davenport, clerk of the Superior Court from 1695 to 1698, and one of its judges from 1715 to 1736.


58. Petition of the East India Company. July, 1696.[1]

To their Excellencyes The Lords Justices of England in Council,

The humble Petition of the Governour and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies

Most humbly sheweth

That the said Governour and Company have lately received certain Intelligence That Henry Every, Commander154 of a Ship called the Fancy, of 46 Guns, is turned Pirate and now in the Seas of India or Persia, who with divers other Englishmen and Forreigners to the number of about 130 (the names of some of which are hereunto annexed) run away with the sa[id Ship], then called the Charles, from the Port of Corona[2] in Spain and that the said Pirate ha[vin]g ... at the Island of Johanna[3] had left there the following Declaration: vizt.:

To all English Commanders, let this satisfie, That I was riding here at this instant in the Ship Fancy Man of War, formerly the Charles of the Spanish Expedition,[4] who departed from Croniae the 7th of May 1694 Being (and am now) in a Ship of 46 Guns, 150 Men, and bound to Seek our Fortunes. I have never as yet wronged any English or Dutch, nor ever intend whilst I am Commander. Wherefore as I commonly speak with all Ships, I desire whoever comes to the perusall of this to take this Signall, That if you, or any whom you may inform, are desirous to know what wee are at a distance, Then make your Ancient[5] up in a Ball or Bundle and hoist him at the Mizenpeek, the Mizen being furled. I shall answer with the same and never molest you, for my Men are hungry, Stout, and resolute, and should they exceed my Desire I cannot help myself. As yet an Englishmans Friend

Henry Every.

At Johanna February 28th, 1694.

The Copy of which said Declaration was brought by Some of the said Company's Ships to Bombay and from thence transmitted to England with the annexed Clause of a Letter relating thereunto.[6]

And the said Governour and Company having likewise understood by some fresh Advices from Persia hereunto annexed That the said Pirate had in pursuance of his said155 Declaration pillaged severall Ships belonging to the Subjects of the Mogull[7] in their passage from the Red Sea to Surrat,[8] upon notice whereof the Factoryes of the said Company at Surrat had guards set upon their Houses by the Governour of the place till such time The Mogulls pleasure was known, Whereby the said Governour and Company have reason to fear many great inconveniences may attend them not only from the Reprizalls which may be made upon them at Surrat or other their Factories But also from the Interruption which may be thereby given to their Trade from Port to Port in India, as well as to their Trade to and from thence to England.

Wherefore your Peticioners do most humbly beseech your Excellencies to use such effectuall means for the preventing the great Loss and damage which threatens them hereby, as to your Excellencies great wisdom shall be thought fit.

And your Peticioners shall ever pray etca.

Signed by order of the Governour and Company

Ro. Blackborne, Secretarie.

[1] London, Privy Council, Unbound Papers, 1:46. This petition is addressed, not to the king in Council, but to the lords justices who were exercising his functions during the absence of William III. in Holland, whither he had gone on account of his war with Louis XIV. The paper is endorsed as read July 16, 1696. A proclamation was immediately issued, July 18, declaring Henry Every and his crew pirates, ordering colonial governors to seize them, and offering a reward of £500, which the East India Company agreed to pay, for their apprehension; Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial, II. 299-302. Several of the crew were apprehended, tried, and hanged in November; their trial is reported in Hargrave's State Trials, V. 1-18. Others found a refuge in the colonies, despite the proclamation, Governor Markham of Pennsylvania in particular being loudly accused of connivance; Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1696-1697, pp. 613-615. Every (or Avery) was one of the most famous of the pirates. His history is told in Captain Charles Johnson's General History of the Pyrates (second ed., London, 1724), pp. 45-63. Two popular ballads respecting him are in Professor Firth's Naval Songs and Ballads, pp. 131-134. We print first the documents which first brought knowledge of his misdeeds, but the whole story in a consecutive order is better found in the examination of John Dann, document no. 63, post. The case is only partly American, but ramifies, as will be seen, over much of the globe.

[2] Coruña.

[3] The chief of the Comoro Islands, in the Mozambique Channel, northwest of Madagascar. The document which follows is also printed, from a manuscript in the India Office, in the Hakluyt Society's Diary of William Hedges, II. cxxxviii-cxxxix, where are other extracts concerning Every.

[4] The expedition which sailed for Spain in the spring of 1694, to deter the French from attacking Barcelona.

[5] Ensign.

[6] Document no. 59, post.

[7] Aurangzeb, the Mogul emperor of Hindustan.

[8] Surat, 150 miles north of Bombay, and the seat of an important trading factory of the East India Company.

59. Extract, E.I. Co. Letter from Bombay. May 28, 1695.[1]

Extract of a Clause in the Generall Letter from Bombay dated the 28th May, 1695.

By our shipping now arrived who touched at Johanna Wee have News That Strongs ship which was one of them that w[ent] for the Spanish Expedition is runn away with from the Groyn[2] and come into these seas carrying 46 Guns and 130 men, as your Honours will perceive by Copy of the Captains Letter left at Johanna that accompanyes this. Your Honours Ships going into that Island gave him156 chase, but hee was too nimble for them by much, having taken down a great deal of his upper work and made her exceeding snugg, which advantage being added to her well sailing before, causes her to sail so hard now that shee fears not who follows her. This Ship will undoubtedly into the Red Seas and Wee fear disappoint us of Our above expected Goods, And it is probable will after shee had ransacked that Gulph proceed to Persia and doe what mischief possible there, which will procure infinite clamours at Suratt and the Government will be for embargoing all that ever Wee have there.

[1] London, Privy Council, Unbound Papers, 1:46, accompanying our no. 58. Bombay was the main post of the East India Company; a council there supervised all its trade along the west coast of Hindustan.

[2] Coruña, which the English then frequently called "The Groyne."

60. Abstract, E.I. Co. Letters from Bombay. October 12, 1695.[1]

By Letters received the 4th of this Inst. from the Generall[2] and Councill for the English Affairs residing att Bombay dated 12th October 1695 the Company are advised as followeth, vizt.

That on the 29th August the Generall and Councill dispatched the Company's ship the Benjamin, Burthen 468 Tunns, Captain Brown Commander, in Company of two Dutch ships that wintered here, for Surrat, with almost all the Cargoes of the three ships, except the Lead that the Mocha carryed in her for Persia (which wee had nott time to take out, she arriving so late). On the 7th of September she arrived Surrat Rivers mouth, where the President, according to Orders, fell to unlading her, but by that time they had gott the Guns, 4 or 500 Bales, and some other Goods on shoar, on the 11th Ditto, One of Abdull Gofores[3]157 Ships arriving, their people sent the Governour word, that they were plundered by an English Vessell, severall of their Men killed in fight, and others barbarously used; Upon which there was a great noise in Towne, and the Rabble very much incensed against the English, which caused the Governour to send a Guard to Our Factory to prevent their doing any violence to Our People. the 13th in the Morning, the Gunsway, one of the Kings Ships, arrived from Judda and Mocho,[4] the Nocqueda[5] and Merchants, with one voice, proclaiming that they were robbed by four English Ships near Bombay of a very great Sume, and that the Robbers had carryed their plundered Treasure on Shoar there, on which there was farr greater noise than before. upon this the Governour[6] sent a very strong Guard to the Factory and clapt all our People in Irons, shut them up in a room, planked up all their windows, kept strict Watches about them, that no one should have pen, ink, or paper to write, stopped all the passages, that no Letters might pass to Us. att this time Captain Brown being att Surat, with some of his Officers and Boats Crew, faired in Common with the rest, and so did some others, that were on shoar, to look after their sick att Swally;[7] and their Long boat and Pinnace going on Shoar there, for Water and Provisions, They sent one Man to the Choultrey,[8] to inquire what News, (having heard somewhat of the Rumour). this person they seized on, by severall Peons, which caused them immediately to putt their boats off, which they had no sooner done, but sundry small Armes were discharged at them. This Caused the Boats to repair to their Ship, att the Rivers mouth, where the Dutch told them, they durst not supply them with any thing while there. But one of them, being ready to sail for Batavia, said, if they would sail in Company with158 them, they would supply them with what they wanted, as soon as they were out of sight of the Rivers Mouth, which was done according to promise, and so the Benjamin, by the Generall Consent of their Officers, came hither, having left her Captain and thirty nine more of her Company behind. as soon as we had a full relation of these things, we immediately wrote to Court, to one Issa Cooley, an Armenian, whom wee intend to make our Vakeel[9] to represent Our Cause to the King, and to Excuse Our Selves from being concerned in those barbarous Actions. Wee Also wrote to the Governour of Surrat and all the Great Umbraws[10] round Us to the same effect, hearing by all that come from Surrat, that that Citty is in an uproar about Us, and being informed also, that Severall Letters are gone to the Siddy[11] (who is very near Us with an Army) from Court and Surat, wee are making what preparation Wee can for our Own defence, nott knowing what this Extream ferment may produce.

On the 28th past, We received a Letter from the President and Councill by the Governour's permission, Coppy of which is enclosed with a Coppy of Our Answer. Wee have also wrote the Governour a Second time and the Vockanavis, Cozze and Hurcorra,[12] and have sent a Letter to the King, Asset Cawn, and the Cozyse[13] att Court, endeavouring as much as possible to allay the heat, by clearing our innocency, and have promised that if Our Shipping arrives according to Expectation, that wee will send one or two next Season to Mocho and Judda to convoy their Fleet.

Wee are informed, that one English man in Surrat carrying to Prison, was so wounded by the Rabble, that he dyed three days after, and that severall others were barbarously used. it is certain the Pyrates, which these People affirm were all English, did do very barbarously by the People of the Gunsway and Abdul Gofors Ship, to make them confess159 where their Money was, and there happened to be a great Umbraws Wife (as Wee hear) related to the King, returning from her Pilgrimage to Mecha, in her old age. She they abused very much, and forced severall other Women, which Caused one person of Quality, his Wife and Nurse, to kill themselves to prevent the Husbands seing them (and their being) ravished. All this will raise a black Cloud att Court, which We wish may not produce a severe storme.

The Pyrates, being neglected of all hands, begin to grow formidable, and if some Course be nott taken to destroy them, they will yearly increase, having found their trade so beneficiall, and how soon the Companys servants, as well as their Trade, may be sacrificed to revenge the Quarrell of the Sufferers, they know not.

[1] London, Privy Council, Unbound Papers, 1:46, accompanying our no. 58.

[2] Sir John Gayer, governor of Bombay, which at this time was the chief seat of the company's operations in India.

[3] Abd-ul-Ghaffar was the richest merchant in Surat. "Abdul Gafour, a Mahometan that I was acquainted with, drove a Trade equal to the English East-india Company, for I have known him to fit out in a Year above twenty Sail of Ships, between 300 and 800 Tuns." Capt. Alexander Hamilton, A New Account of the East Indies, I. 147. The Indian historian Khafi Khan, who was at Surat at the time, gives an account of the transactions which follow, translated in Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, VII. 350-351.

[4] "The royal ship called the Ganj-i sawai, than which there was no larger in the port of Surat, used to sail every year for the House of God [at Mecca, or to Jiddah, its port]. It was now bringing back to Surat fifty-two lacs of rupees in silver and gold, the produce of the sale of Indian goods at Mocha and Jedda." Khafi Khan, ubi sup.

[5] Urdu nakhoda, captain or master of a vessel.

[6] The Mogul's governor of Surat, Itimad Khan.

[7] Suwali, the port of Surat.

[8] Caravanserai, or place for public business.

[9] Agent or envoy.

[10] Urdu umarā, grandee of the great Mogul's court.

[11] Urdu sīdī, a title given in western India to African Mohammedans of high position under the Mogul. The particular sīdī here mentioned was probably Kazim Khan, admiral to the Mogul.

[12] News-writer (wakanavis), civil judge (kāzī, cadi), and messenger.

[13] Kazis.

61. Letter from Venice. May 25, 1696.[1]

Coja[2] Panous Calendar has received a Letter from his Friend at Venice, dated the 25th May last, S.V., which advises him That he received a Letter from Spahaune[3] dated the 16th of December last, which sayes that Four ships, one of the Mogulls, and Three belonging to the Merchants, were coming from Mocha and Juddah to Surratt, mett with a Pyrate who took them and Plundered them of the Gold and Silver and goods on board them, and then let the ships go, who arriving at Surratt complained thereof to the Governour, and that the Pyrate was under English Colours. The Governour thereupon setts Guards upon the Companies House and sends up the Account to the Mogull.

Coja's Letter does not give an Account when the Ships returned to Surratt, but believes it must be in the beginning of September, that being the time when Ships return from Mocha to Surratt.

[1] London, Privy Council, Unbound Papers, 1:46, accompanying our no. 58.

[2] Persian khōjah, scribe.

[3] Ispahan.


62. Abstract, Letters from Ireland. June 16-July 7, 1696.[1]

An Abstract of Letters relating to the Sloop Isaac of Providence, whereof Captain Thomas Hollandsworth Commander.[2]

Thomas Bell Esqr., Sheriff of the County of Mayo, in his Letter of the 16th of June 1696 says That on the 7th instant came into Westport[3] a small Vessell of about 30 tuns, whereof he had no account till the 14th, upon which he immediately went thither, and only found the Master, whom they call Captain Thomas Hollinsworth, and two men more on board. That they had no other Loading but Gold and Silver, which they conveyd away, and sold the Ship to one Thomas Yeeden and Lawrence Deane of Gallway, Merchants. It was a very considerable Sume they had, of which Mr. Bell desires the Government may be informd, that he may have further direction therein; And adds that he found two baggs of about Forty pound worth of Mony not passable in this Kingdom,[4] in the hands of the said Mr. Yeeden and Mr. Dean, and took their Bond of a hundred pound to have the same forthcomeing to answer the Governments pleasure.

The said Mr. Bell in his Letter of the 20th of June further says, That since the writing of the above Letter he mett two of the Crew belonging to the said Vessell, by name, James Trumble and Edward Foreside, in whose hands he found about 200 l., and seizd on their persons and goods, but found none of the said Guilt or Bullion in their Custody, and now hath them with their said goods in his hands, and hopes to find a great deale more of the said Guilt and Bullion in the Country, or those that carry it away, the common report being that the said Ship was worth Twenty161 Thousand pounds in Gold, Silver and Bullion; And further adds That he receivd a Warrant from Sir Henry Bingham, Barronet,[5] and John Bingham, Esquire, requiring him forthwith to produce the said Trumble and Foreside with their Goods before them, which he obeyd and will give a further account per next post.

Mr. Farmer Glover, Generall Supervisor of the Revenue, in his Letter of the 25th of June from Gallway says, That having had some Account of a sloop being putt into Westport he hastned thither, but she was gon thence (the day before he gott there) towards Gallway; On examinacion he found she came from New Providence in America by Cocquett[6] from thence, had on board Three Tunn and a half of Brazelett[7] Wood and a great quantity of Coyne and Bullion; It is likewise reported that before her Arrivall at Westport she putt into a place calld Ackill[8] and there landed severall Passengers and Goods; That the Officer at Westport says he dischargd at one time 32 baggs and one Cask of Mony, each as much as a man could well lift from the ground; That there are severall Reports in the Country, some saying she was a Privateer, others a Buckaneer, or that she had Landed some of the Assassinators,[8a] which no doubt but their way of comeing into the Country gave great cause of Suspition, for as soon as they had Landed they offerd any Rates for Horses—Ten pounds for a Garran[9] not worth Forty shillings and Thirty shillings in Silver for a Guinea for lightness of carriage;[10] That on these consideracions he seizd the Sloop untill Bond was given accord162ing to Law; That she is sold to two Merchants of Gallway and designd to be fraighted out soon.

Mr. Lee the Collector of Gallway, in his Letter of the 26th of June, gives an Account That the Sloop that lay at Westport is come into the Harbour of Gallway; That the Master hath made Report of his Ship and Invoyced upon Oath at the Custom House, and entred into Bond with Security not to depart without Lycence as usuall; That the Master says each person on board took his share of the Silver and Gold and went away with it, That Mony paying no Duty, and being frightned in thither by a Privateer, there being no place there to make a Report, he could not hinder the men to carry off their Fortunes, but on Oath denys the knowledge of any other Goods whatsoever; That the Officer placed on board swears that since he came thither he did not see dischargd or carried out of the Ship any Goods whatsoever but Mony and Melted Silver, of which they took out 32 baggs and one small Cask; That he opened severall of the baggs, in which were Dollars,[11] and that this quantity belongd to two men and the Master, the rest being carried away and the men gon, they have brought part of their Mony hither by Land, And that the Sheriff hath caused part of it to be Lodgd in the Country untill further Order. The said Mr. Lee has also inclosed a Copie of the Masters Pass and Clearings at the Custom House in Providence, And that the Captain of the Sloop brought a Pacquett for His Majestie and deliverd into the Post Office in Gallway.

Mr. Vanderlure, Collector at Ballinrobe,[12] in his Letter of the 2d of July writes, That he has usd all Lawfull ways and means to discover what Goods were Landed on that Coast where the Sloop from New Providence arrivd, which was near Westport, but before that she sett on Shoar at Ackill head about a dozen Passengers, English and Scotch, who had a considerable quantity of Gold and Silver Coyne with some Bullion. most part of the latter they parted with at Westport and elswhere, but as for any thing else he cannot learn they had; That he has in his keeping in a small163 bagg about 5 l. worth of broken Silver belonging to Mr. Currin and Mr. Samuel Bull and likewise about 9 l. worth of course melted Silver Securd with one Mr. John Swaile in Foxford,[13] which also belongs to them, which they alleadg they brought from the aforesaid Passengers; That there is one Crawford, a dweller in Foxford, who told the said Mr. Vanderlure and others, That there was one of the Passengers who had some peices of Muslin[14] in a bagg. the said Crafford absented himself when Mr. Glover and Mr. Cade were at Foxford to examin that matter, but there is a Summons left at his house to appear at Gallway on Munday next to give his Testimony and knowledge therein; That assoon as the said Mr. Vanderlure had notice of that Sloop being in that part of the Country he desird the Surveyor to send an Express to Mr. Lee, the Collector of Gallway, to acquaint him of the Vessell's Arrivall, which accordingly was don and an Officer sent from Gallway who went in the Vessell thither; That two of the Ships Crew are st[op]t and in Custody of the High Sheriff of the County of Mayo by a Warrant from Major Owen Vaughan, a Justice of Peace, upon an Information of one of the Passengers That that Sloop was the King's Pacquett Boat. they have 2700 plate Cobbs[15] in the sheriffs hands, which he secured when he Seizd the said persons. It is said they have about 100 worth of the Coyne. The names of the said Seizd persons are Edward Foreside and James Trumble, who desire themselves and cash might be removd to Dublin, to answer what shall be laid to their Charge.

Mr. Bartholomew Cade, Surveyor at Ballinrobe, in his Letter of the 2d of July says he has been with Mr. Glover according to the Commissioners directions, and for an account of their proceedings in each particular referrs to Mr. Glovers Letter.

Mr. Glover in his Letter of the 3d of July from Gallway164 gives an account That he is returned from Ballinrobe District, where he has been making all strict Enquiry about the Sloop putt in at Westport, and says, That as yett there appears no substantiall proof of any Goods Landed lyable to Duty, except such as were taken by the Officer, Mr. Currin, which he says he had seized from them, that the said Mr. Glover has taken them from the officer and deliverd them into the Custom House. As for the 14 pound ¾ worth of Silver bought by the Officer, it is in Charge with the Collector Mr. Vanderlure. No question but the Master of the Sloop hath forfeited and been lyable to the Penalty according to Law, for by Affidavit of one of his Sailers he proves that at Ackill, where they first landed their Passengers, there being no Officers present, there was taken off board and Landed severall large baggs belonging to the Passengers. what was in the baggs he cannot tell, but that they were stuffed full of something. That the said Mr. Glover had likewise Informacions from severall persons that they heard one George Crawford of Foxford say that he had seen Eight peices of Muslin with some of the Passengers which came out of the Sloop. That he went to Foxford to examin the said Crawford, but he went out of the way so that the said Glover could not see him, but left a Summons at his house for his appearing at Gallway the Munday following.

Mr. Humphry Currin, in his Letter of the 7th of July from Gallway, says, That a small Sloop from the West Indies Landed at Ackill about 10 or 12 Passengers and that he saw them at Westport and one of them was putting something in a bagg which he examined and found 5 yards and ½ of Striped Muslin, 2 yards and ½ of Cottened Cloth, 2 yards of Quilted Linnen, with 10 small Cravatts and 4 Silk Handkerchiefs, which he then Seizd as lyable to Duty, and said he must carry them to the Custom House of Gallway; That he supposd the Kings share would be remitted and ignorantly gave him the next day 4 Cobbs for it and told him if the Law would allow him more he should have it; That the said Currin shewd the Linnen to Mr. Cade and told him he must go with them to Gallway, but delayd it till165 after the next Office; That he was advisd to carry the Passengers to a Justice of Peace, which he accordingly did; That he bought for himself and a friend 5 pound of broken silver and 9 pound of melted course Silver and deliverd it to Mr. Glover's Order.

[1] London, Privy Council, Unbound Papers, 1:46, accompanying our no. 58.

[2] Providence here means New Providence in the Bahamas. Hollingsworth was one of those who came from Madagascar to New Providence in the Fancy with Every. Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1700, pp. 278, 411.

[3] A seaport in northwestern Ireland, co. Mayo, about 40 miles north of Galway in a direct line, but a much larger distance around the coast.

[4] Foreign coin; e.g., Indian or Arabian.

[5] The third baronet, grand-uncle of the first earl of Lucan.

[6] In old days, a certificate from customs officials that merchandise on board had paid its duties.

[7] Braziletto, a dyewood.

[8] The Isle of Achill lies off the Irish coast, northwest of Westport.

[8a] Conspirators for the assassination of King William, in connection with the plot headed by Robert Charnock and Sir George Barclay. Several had been executed this spring, but some were at large.

[9] An inferior Irish horse.

[10] I.e., because the gold was so much lighter to carry. In 1695, 30 shillings for a guinea would not have been an unusual price in London (Great Britain then had the silver standard), but the Recoinage Act passed in January, 1696, had enacted that it should be penal to give or take more than 22 shillings for a guinea.

[11] I.e., presumably, Spanish money.

[12] About 20 miles southeast of Westport, between that place and Galway.

[13] About 20 miles northeast of Westport.

[14] Muslin (meaning organdie; from Mosul in Mesopotamia) was not then made in Europe, but was brought from India.

[15] Plate means silver. Cob was the name then used in Ireland to designate Spanish pieces of eight (dollars). Sir William Petty, Political Anatomy of Ireland, p. 71.

63. Examination of John Dann. August 3, 1696.[1]

The Examination of John Dann of Rochester, Mariner, taken the 3d of August 1696.

Danns Examination.

This Informant saith that 3 yeares agoe he was Coxwain in the Soldado Prize, That he deserted the said shipp to goe in Sir James Houblons[2] Service, upon an Expedition to the West Indies, under Don Authuro Bourne. hee went on board the James, Captain Gibson Commander, and the whole Company shifted their Ship in the Hope, and went on board the Charles in which they went to the Corunna. The Shipps Company mutinied at Corunna for want of their pay, there being 8 months due to them; some of the men proposed to Captain Every, who was master[3] of the Charles, to carry away the Shipp, which was agreed on and sworne too; accordingly they sayled from the Corunna the 7th of May 1693.[4] when they were gone out they made up about 85 men. Then they asked Captain Gibson, the Commander, whether he was willing to goe with them, which he refusing, they sett him a shoar, with 14 or 15 more.

The first place they came to was the Isle of May,[5] where they mett three English Ships and tooke some provisions out of them, with an Anchor and Cable and about 9 men.166 They went next to the Coast of Guinea, and there they tooke about 5 li. of Gold Dust, under the pretence of Trade; from Guinea they went to Philandepo,[6] where they cleaned their ship and tooke her lower; from thence they went to Princes Island,[7] where they mett with 2 Deanes[8] ships, which they tooke after some restraine. in those Shipps they tooke some small Armes, Chestes of Lynnen and perpetuenes,[9] with about 40 l. in Gold dust and a great quantity of Brandy. they putt them on shoar Except 18 or 20 they tooke with them. they carryed the best of the Danes Shipps with them and burnt the other. They stood then for Cape Lopez, and in the way mett with a small portugeese, laden with slaves from Angola. they tooke some Cloathes and silkes from them and gave them some provisions which they were in want of. att Cape Lopaz they only bought Honey, and sunke the little shipp, the men not being satisfied with the Commander. They went next to Annabo[10] and takeing provisions there they doubled the Cape and sailed to Madagascar, where they tooke more provisions and cleared the ship. from thence they sailed to Johanna,[11] where they mett a small Junke, put her a shore and tooke 40 peices out of her, and had one of their men killed. they only tooke in provisions at Johanna. Three English Merchant ships came downe thither at the same time, but they did not speake with them. They went thence to a place called Paddy,[12] and soe back to Johanna, touching167 at Comora by the way, where they tooke in provisions. at Johanna they tooke a Junke laden with Rice, which they stood in need of; here they tooke in 13 French men that had been privateering in those Seas under English Colours and had lost their ship at Molila, where it was cast away. Then they resolved to goe for the Red Sea. in the way they mett with two English Privateers, the one called the Dolphin, the other Portsmouth Adventure. The Dolphin, Captaine Want Comander, was a Spanish Bottom, had 60 men on board and was fitted out at the Orkells[13] neare Philadelphia. She came from thence about 2 yeares agoe last January. The Portsmouth Adventure was fitted out at Rhode Island about the same time, Captain Joseph Faro Comander. this ship had about the like number of men and about 6 Gunns each and they joyned Company. They came to an Island called Liparan,[14] at the entrance into the Red Sea, about June last was 12 months. they lay there one night and then 3 sale more of English came to them, One comanded by Thomas Wake[15] fitted out from Boston in New England, another the Pearle Brigantine, William Mues Comander, fitted out of Rhode Island, the third was the Amity Sloop, Thomas Tew Comander,[16] fitted out at New Yorke. they had about 6 Guns each. two of them168 had 50 men on board and the Brigantine betweene 30 and 40. they all Joyned in partnership, agreeing Captain Every should be the Comander. After they had laine there some time they were apprehensive the Moors shipps would not come downe from Mocha,[16a] soe they sent a pinnace thither, which tooke two Boates. they brought away 2 men, which told them the shipps must come downe. In the meane time they stood into the sea about 3 Leagues and came to an Anchor there, and hearing by the Pinnace the Moors Shipps were ready to come downe they weighed and stood to Leparon againe. After they had lain there 5 or 6 dayes the Moores shipps (being about 25 in number) past by them in the night unseen, though the passage was not above 2 miles over. they[17] was in August last on Saturday night. the next morning they saw a Ketch comeing downe, which they tooke, and by them they heard the ships were gone by, whereupon it was resolved they should all follow them and accordingly they wheighed on Monday, but the Dolphin being an ill sayler they burnt her and tooke the men most of them aboard Captain Every and the Brigantine they tooke in two [tow]. the sloop fell asterne and never came up to them. Captain Wake likewise lagged behind but came up to them afterwards. the Portsmouth kept them company. they steered their Course for Suratt, whether the Moores ships were bound. about 3 dayes before they made Cape St. John[18] they mett with one of the Moores ships, betweene 2 and 300 tons, with 6 Guns, which they tooke, she haveing fired 3 shott. they tooke about 50 or 60,000 l. in that ship in Silver and gold, and kept her with them till they made the land, and comeing to an anchor they espied another ship. they made sale up to her. she had about 40 Guns mounted and as they said 800 men. Shee stood a fight of 3 houres and then yeilded, the men runing into the Hold and there they made their Voyage. They tooke out of that ship soe much Gold and Silver in Coyned money and Plate as made up each mans share with what they had taken169 before about 1000 l. a man, there being 180 that had their Dividents, the Captain haveing a Double share and the Master a share and a halfe. The Portsmouth did not come into the Fight and therefore had noe Divident, but the Brigantine had, which was taken away from them againe by reason that the Charles's men changing with them Silver for Gold they found the Brigantine men Clippt the Gold, soe they left them only 2000 peices of Eight to buy provisions. They gave a share to the Captain of the Portsmouth and brought him away with them. Captain Want went into his ship and sailed into the Gulph of Persia and the Brigantine (he thinkes) went to the Coast of Ethiopia. Captain Wake went to the Island of St. Maries near Madagascar,[19] intending for the Red Sea the next time the Moores ships were expected from thence. Captain Every resolved to goe streight for the Island of Providence. In the way the men mutinied, some being for carrying her to Kian[20] belonging to the French, neere Brazill, but Captain Every withstood it, there being not above 20 men in the Shipp that Joyned with him. when they came to the Island of Mascareen[21] in the Latitude of 21 they left as many men there as had a mind to stay in that Island, and about March or Aprill last they arrived in the Island of Providence with 113 men on board. they came first to an Anchor off the Island of Thera,[22] and by a sloop sent a Letter to Nicholas Trott, Governor of Providence,[23] to propose bringing their ship thither if they might be assured of Protection and Liberty to goe away, which he promised them. They made a collection of 20 peices of 8 a man and the Captain170 40, to present the Governor with, besides Elephants Teeth and some other things to the value of about 1000 l. Then they left their Ship which the Governor had and 46 Guns in her. they bought a sloop which cost them 600 l. Captain Every and about 20 more came in her for England and Every tooke the name of Bridgman; about 23 more of the men bought another Sloop and with the Master, Captain Risby, and the rest of the men went for Carolina.

Captain Every alias Bridgman and this Informant landed at Dumfaneky[24] in the North of Ireland towards the latter end of June last, where this Informant parted with Captain Every and heard he went over for Donaghedy in Scotland.[25] when this Informant was at Dublin he heard Every was there, but did not see him. he heard him say he would goe to Exeter when he came into England, being a Plymouth man.

This Informant says that he parted with Captain Every at Esquire Rays, within 6 miles of Dumfannaky; That the Land water[26] of that Port, one Mawrice Cuttle, gave this Informant a Passe to goe to Dublin for himselfe, 5 men more and 2 boyes, and came along with them to a place called Lidderkenny,[27] and there he would have detained their money but this Informant and another of the Company had liberty to goe to Derry[28] to cleere themselves to Captain Hawkins, but by the way Cuttle agreed with them to lett them goe for three pounds weight in Gold, which they gave him at a place called St. Johnstons,[29] and then they had liberty to goe on to Dublin.

This Informant heard likewise that the said Cuttle made an agreement with the other men before he lett them goe but he cannot tell what they gave him.

This Informant came from Dublin about 3 weekes agoe and landed at Holyhead and soe to London, where he arrived on Tuesday last. the man that came over with him171 was Thomas Johnson, who lives neare Chester, and there he left him.

This Informant went to Rochester on Thursday last and was seized there the next morning by meanes of a Maid, who found his Gold Quilted up in his Jackett hanging with his coate. he was carryed before the Mayor, who comitted him to Prison and kept his Jackett, in which and in his pocketts were 1045 l. Zequins[30] and 10 Guineas, which the Mayor now hath in his Custody.

This informant sayes further that the wife of Adams, who was their Quarter Master, came with them from the Island of Providence, that shee was with Captain Every at Donoughedee and beleives they went over together; as this Informant came to London hee saw this woman at St. Albans, who was goeing into a stage Coach. She told this Informant that shee was goeing to Captaine Bridgmans but would not tell him where he was.

This Informant saith that the Sloope they came home in was given to Joseph Faroe, Comander of the above mencioned Portsmouth Adventure, and that he intended to returne in her to America. the vessell is called the Sea Flower, about 50 Tuns and 4 Guns. This Informant heard she was at Derry.

This Informant sayes that the other Sloop, which Captaine Richy came over in, landed somewhere neare Galloway.[31] hee saw some of the men att Dublin. And this Informant beleives that most of the men which came with Captaine Every to Ireland are now in Dublin.

[1] London, Public Record Office, C.O. 323:2, no. 25 IV. Endorsed: "In closed in Mr. Blackborne Secretary to the East India Company his letter of the 18th December 1696", as to which letter see Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1696-1697, pp. 259-264.

[2] An alderman of London and a director of the Bank of England. "Sir Arthur Bourne, an Irish commander, who has served on board the Spanish fleet 5 years; he is to command 5 English and Dutch men of warr, and sail for the West Indies" (1692). Luttrell, Brief Relation, II. 330.

[3] Navigating officer.

[4] Error for 1694.

[5] Maio, one of the Cape Verde Islands.

[6] Fernando Po, in the Bight of Biafra.

[7] Ilha do Principe. The islands of St. Thomé, Principe, and Annobon are fully described, in their then state, in the second edition of Johnson, General History of the Pyrates, pp. 188-204.

[8] Danish. Fourteen of the Danes joined the pirate crew, so says Philip Middleton in a narrative not identical with our no. 64, post (Cal. St. Pap. Col., 1696-1697, p. 261); and the Court of the East India Company, in a letter to the General and Council at Bombay, Aug. 7, 1696, report that Every's motley company "consisted of 52 French, 14 Danes, the rest [104] English, Scottish, and Irish". Beckles Willson, Ledger and Sword, I. 434.

[9] Perpetuana, a durable woolen fabric.

[10] The island of Annobon, in lat. 1° 24´ S.; see note 7.

[11] One of the Comoro group of islands, lying between the north point of Madagascar and the mainland of Africa. It may be useful to mention that at this time the East India Company's monopoly of trade in the Indian Ocean had been broken by a declaration of the House of Commons, Jan. 11, 1694, that every British subject had the right to trade with India.

[12] Probably Patta, off British East Africa, but then Portuguese. Comoro is the principal island in the group of which Johanna is one. Molila, below, is most likely Mohelli, another of the group.

[13] Whorekill, i.e. Lewes Creek, Delaware.

[14] Perim, in the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.

[15] See doc. no. 68, paragraph 8, post.

[16] Tew appears in Jamaica, Rhode Island, and New York, everywhere with an ill reputation. Edward Randolph (Toppan, Edward Randolph, V. 158) declares that from this present voyage he brought £10,000 in gold and silver into Rhode Island. He had gone out with a privateering commission from Governor Fletcher of New York (N.Y. Col. Doc., IV. 310, etc.), though, according to Bellomont, Fletcher must have known of his piratical habits. Fletcher in his not too satisfying "defence" (ibid., IV. 447) says: "This Tew appeared to me not only a man of courage and activity, but of the greatest sence and remembrance of what he had seen, of any seaman I had mett. He was allso what they call a very pleasant man; soe that at some times when the labours of my day were over it was some divertisement as well as information to me, to heare him talke. I wish'd in my mind to make him a sober man, and in particular to reclaime him from a vile habit of swearing. I gave him a booke to that purpose." But it appears from paragraph 9 of our no. 68 that Tew was killed, in the act of piracy, within the year of the issue of his commission, and it is impossible to say how far the reformation of his speech had progressed.

[16a] Mocha lies inside the straits, on the Arabian side of the Red Sea.

[17] This.

[18] Probably Cape Diu.

[19] Off the northeast coast. A celebrated resort of pirates; see Capt. Adam Baldridge's deposition, no. 68, post.

[20] Cayenne, French Guiana. The editor remembers that old New England people, in his boyhood, still pronounced the name Ky-ann.

[21] Now Réunion, then called by the French (to whom it belonged) Bourbon, or Mascaregne, from the Portuguese commander Pedro Mascarenhas, who discovered it in 1512.

[22] Eleuthera.

[23] Governor of the Bahama Islands from 1693 to 1696, when he was removed because of his suspicious dealings with the pirates. He was a cousin of that Chief-Justice Nicholas Trott (1668-1740) who was so great a power in South Carolina, and who in 1718 sentenced Stede Bonnet's company with such severity. See the next document.

[24] Dunfanaghy, co. Donegal, on the north coast of Ireland.

[25] Probably an error for "from Donaghedy to Scotland". Dunaghadee is in Ireland, co. Down, at one of the points nearest to Scotland.

[26] Landwaiter.

[27] Letterkenny, co. Donegal.

[28] Londonderry.

[29] St. Johnstown, on the Foyle above Londonderry.

[30] A Venetian or Turkish gold coin, worth about nine shillings.

[31] Galway.

64. Affidavit of Philip Middleton. November 11, 1696.[1]

Phillip Midleton of London, Mariner, of competent age, deposeth and saith upon his Corporall Oath That he, this172 Deponent, did serve on board the ship Charles alias Fancy under the command of Henry Every alias Bridgeman in the month of Aprill last, when she arrived at an Island near Providence in America, from whence a Letter was writ to Mr. Nicholas Trott, Governour of Providence, which Letter this Deponent saw and heard it read, and declareth That the Contents were, That, provided he would give them liberty to come on Shoar and depart when they pleased (or words to this purpose), they promised to give the said Governour twenty Peices of Eight and two Peices of Gold a Man and the said Ship, and all that was in her. But this Deponent remembers not the least threatning expression in the said Letter nor did he hear such like words from any of the Ships Crew, onely some of them said that if they were not admitted to come to Providence they would go some where else, and further deposeth That Mr. Governour Trott returned answer to the aforesaid Letter in writeing in very civill termes, assuring Captain Every That he and his Company should be wellcome (or words to this purpose), which said assurance was made good to them by Governour Trott after their arrivall at Providence as effectually as they could desire.[2] This Deponent likewise deposeth, That upon receipt of Mr. Governour Trotts Letter, or in a little space of time after, a Collection was made afore the Mast (at which this Deponent was present) for him the said Governour Trott, to which Captain Every contributed 40 Peices of Eight and four Peices of Gold and every Sailer (being one hundred men besides Boyes) twenty Peices of Eight and two Peices of Gold a man, which sum being collected were sent to Mr. Governour Trott by Robert Chinton, Henry Adams, and two more, whose names this Deponent doth not call to mind, after which the said Captain Every and his Crew sailed in the said ship Charles for Providence, where at their arrivall they delivered up the said ship with what was in her to the said Governour Trott, and accordingly Major Trott took possession of her in the said Governours173 name and afterwards left her in the custody of the Governours Boatswain and a few Negroes, whose incapacity or number were not sufficient to secure the ship from hurtfull accidents, as this Deponent believes and also was informed, the which was made evident by the ships comeing a shoar about two dayes after Governour Trott was possessed of her, though she had two Anchors at her Bow and one in the hold, at least she had so many Anchors when this Deponent and the rest of the Company quitted the said ship to Mr. Trott. This Deponent also deposeth That so soon as Mr. Trott was in possession of the said ship he sent Boats to bring a shoar the Elephants teeth, the sails, Blocks, etc., that was valuable in the said Ship, And further saith That he saw severall Boats Land which were filled with the aforesaid Commodityes and stores, and that he hath heard severall of the Ship Charles's Crew say and affirm (and which this Deponent also doth believe and partly know) that at the said Ship's arrivall at Providence she had on board fifty Tons of Elephants teeth, forty six Guns mounted, one hundred Barrells of Gunpowder or thereabouts, severall Chests of Buccanneer Guns, besides the small Armes which were for the Ships use, the number of which doth not occur to his mind. He further deposeth to the best of his knowledge and Information the said ship was firm and tight, for whereas he went down into her Hold the same day she arrived at Providence he then could not perceive she made the least water. And further saith that the said Ship came a shoar as aforesaid two dayes after Mr. Trott was possessed of her, he first having taken out of her what was most considerable. this misfortune of the ship happened about noon in the said Governour's sight, as this Deponent (who was an Eye Witness) well knowes. he likewise declares That one named James Browne, with severall others of Providence and also severall that had been of the Ships Crew, upon this occasion profered themselves to undertake weighing her with Casks, But this Deponent never heard that the offers aforesaid were accepted, nor that any means was used to get her off, nor that Governour Trott had any consideration besides that of getting on Shoar what still re174mained on board. This Deponent also saith That it was generally reported at Providence the Ship was run on Shoar designedly. And this Deponent saith That he left Providence when Captain Every did and that the Sloop in which they went was the last Vessell that carryed from Providence any considerable number of the ship Charles's men and that this Deponent was informed a Packet was sent by Hollandsworths Sloop, which sailed before that in which this Deponent was, in which also he knowes there was another Packet sent, which this Deponent saw and believes 't was from Governour Trott but knowes not to whom they were directed. He further deposeth That neither while he was at Providence nor afterwards he knew or heard that the said ship Charles was bilged, but he remembers that Joseph Dawson, who had been Quarter-Master by Captain Every, was sent on board her just before his departure to fetch some Cask for the use of his Sloop, which Dawson brought on Shoar and then in this Deponents hearing declared That the said ship was not bilged, the water in her being black and stinking and the Cask being wedged in the Ballast. if the Ship had been bilged she would have been full of water whereby he could not have gotten the Cask out. And this Deponent alwaies understood That Sir James Houblon and Company of London owned the said Ship and verily believes Governour Trott knew as much. The said Deponent further deposeth That John Dan, John Sparks and Joseph Dawson arrived in Ireland in Captain Everys Sloop in the Company of this Deponent, which said Sloop departed from Providence about the beginning of last June, and Hollandsworths Sloop about fourteen dayes or three weeks before.

A copy of Phillip Middleton's Affidavit made before Sir John Houblon, Knight,[3] the 11th of November last, examined in London this 30th day of January anno 1696/7.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:1257, no. 47 I. Besides this examination before the London magistrate, Middleton had made a statement, Aug. 4, 1696, to the lords justices of Ireland, fully summarized in Cal. St. Pap. Col., 1696-1697, pp. 260-262; it nearly duplicates that of John Dann, our no. 63, supra. Note also the affidavit of John Elston of New Jersey, another of the crew, in N.J. Archives, first series, II. 223-226.

[2] In his defence, Cal. St. Pap. Col., 1697-1698, p. 506, Governor Trott declares that there were but 60 men resident at New Providence (Nassau) as against 113 (whites) of Every's men. See also Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial, VI. 3.

[3] Governor of the Bank of England, and lord mayor of London in the earlier part of that year. The owner of the Charles was his brother.


65. Deposition of Samuel Perkins. August 25, 1698.[1]

The Examination of Samuel Perkins, of Ipswich in New England, taken upon oath before me Ralph Marshall Esquire, one of his Majesties Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex and Citty and Liberty of Westminster, this 25th day of August Anno Domini 1698.

This Informant upon his Oath saith, That about 5 years since he went aboard the ship Resolution, Captain Robert Glover an Irishman Commander, (who had 18 Guns and 60 men), to see his Uncle Elisha Skilling, who was Boatswain of the said Ship but is since Dead, who detained him in the said Ship together with a French Maletto[2] Boy, which ship sailed from New England in the night to the Isle of May, where they took in Salt, and thence sailed to Cape Coast in Guinnea,[3] where a Dutch man of War took 11 men from them, but returned 9 of them again, keeping the other two as Hostages, in case they meddled with any Dutchmen. From thence they sailed to Cape Lopaz and so to Madagascar, where they victualled and cleaned, and thence sailed into the Red Sea, where they lay waiting for some India ships, but missing them went to an Island called Succatore[4] in the Mouth of the red Sea, where they bought Provisions and so went to Rajapore,[5] where they took a small Muscat man with 12 Guns laden with Dates and Rice, in the Harbour; in taking whereof they killed some of her men, and sent the Muscatt man by Captain Glover (with whom the rest of the Resolutions Crew had a quarrell)[6] to Madagascar, and then chose one Richard Shivers a Dutchman for their Commander, and then sailed to Mangelore,[7] where176 they took a small ship belonging to the Moors, laden with Rice and Fish, some of which they Plundered and then let her goe. from thence they went to Callicut,[8] where they took 4 ships belonging to the Moors at Anchor in the Road, and sent ashore to know if the Country would Ransome them. But there being a design among the Countrey people to retake their own ship and the said ship Resolution, with some Grabbs[9] or Boats sent off, They fired two of the said Prizes and run away and left them. Thence they went to Cape Comarine, to cruise for Malocca[10] men, but mist them, and took a Danish ship, out of which they took two men by force and five more came voluntarily aboard, and left the rest aboard the sloop, having first taken severall Piggs of Lead, fire arms, and Gun Powder out of her. from thence they went to the Island Mauretious,[11] where they took in Provisions and so to St. Marys Island near Madagascar, where they met with Captain Hoare an Irishman (since Dead) who was commander of the John and Rebecca,[12] a Pyrate of about 200 Tuns, 14 Guns, belonging to the Road Island, who had with her a Prize (a pritty large ship) belonging to the Mogulls subjects at Suratt, which he had taken at the Gulph of Persia, laden with Bale Goods. there was there also a Brigantine belonging to New York, which came to fetch Negroes, and the hulk of the said ship which Captain Glover carried thither.

The Island St. Maries is a pritty large Island, well inhabited by black people, where one Captain Baldridge[13] (who, as he was informed, had formerly killed a man in Jamaica, and thereupon turned Pirate about 13 years agoe) had built a platforme of a Fort with 22 Guns, which was destroyed, together with Captain Glover and the rest of177 the Pyrats there, whilst this Informant was at Madagascar about nine months agoe, by the Blacks, who also killed 7 English men and 4 French men in the house where this Informant was at Madagascar, sparing only himself.

There was then also a party of English in another part of the Island of Madagascar, who defended themselves against the Blacks on an Island in a River there, having some of the blacks on their side, till Captain Baldredge, who was then absent with the said Brigantine (which he had bought and sailed in her to Mascarine,[14] an Island belonging to the French, where he went to sell Prize Goods) returned, and took them off, carryed them to St. Augustines Bay,[15] they paying considerably for their Transportation. This Informant further saith that, before this happened, he run away from the Resolution and remained on the Island of Madagascar as aforesaid, the said ship being gone, as he was told, to the Streights of Mallacca, which is about Tenn months since; That he this Informant was redeemed for a parcell of Gun Powder by those who defended themselves as aforesaid, and went with them aboard the Briggantine, who went first to St. Augustines Bay to putt some men ashore (who had not money to pay for their further passage) and thence sailed to St. Helena, where they arrived about six months agoe, pretending there to be a trading ship belonging to New York, upon which they got water and Provisions.[16] But this Informant run away from the said ship at St. Hellena and concealed himself in the Island till she was gone (who stayed there about 7 or 8 days) and continued there about 3 months till the arrivall of the Sampson there from the East Indies, aboard of which ship he came for England with the consent of the Governor of St. Helena.

This informant farther saith That he had heard upon Madagascar, That a little before his arrivall there That 14 of the Pyrates (belonging to Captain Tew, Captain Rayner, and Captain Mason and Captain Coats or some178 of them)[17] had by consent divided themselves into two sevens, to fight for what they had (thinking they had not made a voyage sufficient for so many) and that one of the said Sevens were all killed, and five of the other, so that the two which survived enjoyed the whole Booty. And this Informant further saith, that he hath heard and believeth, that not only the ship Resolution to which he formerly belonged, but also the Mocha Friggat,[18] which run away out of the service of the East India Company, the Charles and Mary, and severall other ships manned by English and other European Nations, were about nine months since, when he came from Madagascar, and still are playing the Pyrates in the Streights of Mallaca, in the Red Sea and other Parts in the East Indies.

Samuell Perkins.

Juratus coram me[19]
Ra. Marshall.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 323:2, no. 131. It is endorsed "Copy of a Deposition of Samuel Perkins relating to Pirates in the East Indies Communicated to the Board [of Trade] by Mr. Secretary Vernon" (secretary of state). Samuel Perkins of Ipswich, Massachusetts, had been one of that town's contingent in King Philip's War, and died in Ipswich, an old man, in 1738.

[2] Mulatto.

[3] Cape Coast Castle, on the Gold Coast.

[4] Sokotra.

[5] Rajpur, a few miles south of Bombay.

[6] See paragraph 10 in Capt. Adam Baldridge's deposition, no. 68, infra.

[7] Further south, on the Canara coast.

[8] Still further south, on the Malabar coast; still on the west coast of Hindustan, of which Cape Comorin, below, is the southernmost point.

[9] Arabic gurab, a large coasting-vessel.

[10] Malacca.

[11] Mauritius, then a Dutch island.

[12] See paragraphs 12, 13, in Capt. Adam Baldridge's deposition, no. 68, infra. Governor Fletcher of New York, July 16, 1695, had given Hoar a commission as a privateer to cruise against the French in the John and Rebecca. Glover and Hoar were brothers-in-law. Cal. St. P. Col., 1697-1698, p. 108.

[13] See document no. 68, post.

[14] See document no. 63, note 21.

[15] On the southwest coast of Madagascar.

[16] St. Helena was then already an English island, with about a thousand inhabitants.

[17] All these figure in the accusations against Fletcher in N.Y. Col. Doc., IV.

[18] The Mocha appears also in the Kidd narratives, and continued her career of piracy till 1699, at least.

[19] I.e., sworn before me.

66. Certificate for John Devin (Bahamas). September (?) 20, 1698.[1]

New Providence SS.

Whereas in the month of Aprill in the year of our Lord God one Thousand Six hundred and ninety six Capt. Henry Every als Bridgeman came into the Harbor of new Providence with the Shipp Charles als Fancy, which said Capt. Every and his Shipps Crew were few days after their arrivall thought and supposed to be by the Major Part of the Island of Providence to be guilty of piracy upon the open Seas, And that the with in mentioned John Devin was one of the Ships Company, and was lately apprehended and taken as one of the said Pirates in order to be brought to his Tryall, which was accordingly done the 22d of this179 Instant August, and the Bill being presented against the within mentioned John Devin to the Gran Jury, which sd Grand Jury found the Bill, and afterwards the sd John Devin was brought to the Court, and holding up his hand was arraigned; The Petty Jury being sworne, the Attorney Gen'll opening the matter to the Court and Jury against the sd John Devin, The Petty Jury returning to the Court found the within mentioned John Devin not Guilty, upon which the sd John Devin was cleared by proclomation, as by the publick Entrys doth and may more at large appear:

Whereupon and upon the humble Requestt to me made by the sd John Devin, I, Ellis Lightwood Esq., Chief Judge, have thought fitt to certifie this under my hand, and ordered the publick Seale of this Goverment to be hereunto affixed as a Testimony of his the sd John Devins Innocency relating to the supposed piracy of Capt. Every als Bridgeman in the ship Charles als Fancy.

Ellis Lightwood

[September (?)]the 20th Anno Dom 1698
[blank]Leighton per Dom. Regem.

Coppy examined by Elisha Cooke, Clerk.[2]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, Boston, no. 3765, paper 2. We find John Devine settled as a chirurgeon in Boston in 1704. N.E. Hist. Gen. Reg., XXXVI. 309.

[2] Elisha Cooke the younger, clerk of the superior court of Massachusetts from 1702 to 1718.

67. Certificate for John Devin (Massachusetts). October 25, 1698.[1]

New England. Anno Rs. Gulielmi 3d Decim.[2]

At a Court of assize and General Goal Delivery holden at Boston for the County of Suffolk, within his Maj'ties Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, upon the 25th Day of Octo'r 1698.

John Devin, Chyrurgion, bound over by Recogniscance unto this Court, to answer what should be objected ag'st him on his Maj'ties behalf as being one of the Company belonging to the Ship Charles al's Fancey, Henry Every180 al's Bridgeman Command'r, at the time when several acts of Piracy were committed by the sd Every al's Bridgeman and Company in the aforesd Ship, upon the high Seas of India and Persia, and for aiding and assisting in the sd Piracys and shareing in the Plunder so piratically taken.

The sd Jno. Devin, being called, appeared and produced a Certificate und'r the hand of Ellis Lightwood Esq., chief Judge of the Island of Providence, and the Public Seal of the Government there, Importing that the sd Devin had lately been indicted, arraigned and tryed for the same matters and Facts (whereof he is now inquired) In the Kings Court within the sd Island of Providence and found not guilty by the Jury, and clear'd by Proclamation, which afore cited Certificate being read and other the proceedings in the case in the sd Court at Providence, Proclamation was made, and nothing of further charge or Evidence appearing against the sd Jno. Devin, he was openly acquitted. Which at Request of sd Devin and by ord'r of his Maj'ties Justices of Assize etc. is hereby Certified under the Seal of the sd Court. Dated at Boston the Second day of November, Anno predict.[3]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, Boston, no. 3765, paper 1.

[2] I.e., anno decimo Regis Gulielmi Tertii, "in the tenth year of King William III."

[3] I.e., anno predicto, "in the year aforesaid".

68. Deposition of Adam Baldridge. May 5, 1699.[1]

1. July the 17th 1690. I, Adam Baldridge, arrived at the Island of St. Maries in the ship fortune, Richard Conyers Commander, and on the 7th of January 1690/1 I left the ship, being minded to settle among the Negros at St. Maries with two men more, but the ship went to Port Dolphin[2] and was Cast away, April the 15th 1691, and181 halfe the men drownded and halfe saved their lives and got a shore, but I continued with the Negros at St. Maries and went to War with them. before my goeing to War one of the men dyed that went a shore with me, and the other being discouraged went on board againe and none continued with me but my Prentice John King. March the 9th they sailed for Bonnovolo on Madagascar, 16 Leagues from St. Maries, where they stopt to take in Rice. after I went to war six men more left the Ship, whereof two of them dyed about three weeks after they went ashore and the rest dyed since. In May 91 I returned from War and brought 70 head of Cattel and some slaves. then I had a house built and settled upon St. Maries, where great store of Negros resorted to me from the Island Madagascar and settled the Island St. Maries, where I lived quietly with them, helping them to redeem their Wives and Children that were taken before my coming to St. Maries by other Negros to the northward of us about 60 Leagues.

2. October 13, 1691. Arrived the Batchelors delight, Captain Georg Raynor[3] Commander, Burden 180 Tons or there abouts, 14 Guns, 70 or 80 men, that had made a voyage into the Red Seas and taken a ship belonging to the Moors, as the men did report, where they took as much money as made the whole share run about 1100 l. a man. they Careened at St. Maries, and while they Careened I supplyed them with Cattel for their present spending and they gave me for my Cattel a quantity of Beads, five great Guns for a fortification, some powder and shott, and six Barrells of flower, about 70 barrs of Iron. the ship belonged to Jamaica and set saile from St. Maries November the 4th 1691, bound for Port Dolphin on Madagascar to take in their provision, and December 91 they set saile from Port Dolphin bound for America, where I have heard since they arrived at Carolina and Complyed with the owners, giveing them for Ruin of the Ship three thousand pounds, as I have heard since.182

3. October 14th 1692. Arrived the Nassaw, Captain Edward Coats Commander, Burden 170 Ton or there about, 16 Guns, 70 men, whereof about 30 of the men stayed at Madagascar, being most of them concerned in taking the Hack boat at the Isle of May Colonel Shrymton over [owner?], the said Hack boat was lost at St. Augustin. Captain Coats Careened at St. Maries, and whilst careening I supplyed them with Cattel for their present spending, and the Negros with fowls, Rice and Yams, and for the Cattel I had two Chists and one Jarr of powder, six great guns and a Quantity of great Shott, some spicks[4] and nails, five Bolts of Duck and some Twine, a hogshead of flower. the ship most of her belonged to the Company, as they said. Captain Coats set saile from St. Maries in November 92, bound for Port Dolphin on Madagascar, and victualed there and in December set saile for New-York. Captain Coats made about 500 l. a man in the red Seas.[5]

4. August 7th 1693. Arrived the Ship Charles, John Churcher master, from New York, Mr. Fred. Phillips, owner,[6] sent to bring me severall sorts of goods. She had two Cargos in her, one Consigned to said Master to dispose of, and one to me, containing as followeth: 44 paire of shooes and pumps, 6 Dozen of worsted and threed stockens, 3 dozen of speckled shirts and Breaches, 12 hatts, some Carpenters Tools, 5 Barrells of Rum, four Quarter Caskes of Madera Wine, ten Cases of Spirits, Two old Stills full183 of hols, one worme, Two Grindstones, Two Cross Sawes and one Whip saw, three Jarrs of oyle, two small Iron Potts, three Barrells of Cannon powder, some books, Catechisms, primers and horne books, two Bibles, and some garden Seeds, three Dozen of howes,[7] and I returned for the said goods 1100 pieces 8/8 and Dollers, 34 Slaves, 15 head of Cattel, 57 barrs of Iron. October the 5th he set sail from St. Maries, after having sold parte of his Cargo to the White men upon Madagascar, to Mauratan to take in Slaves.

5. October 19, 1693. Arrived the ship Amity, Captain Thomas Tew Commander,[8] Burden 70 Tons, 8 Guns, 60 men, haveing taken a Ship in the Red Seas that did belong to the Moors, as the men did report, they took as much money in her as made the whole share run 1200 l. a man. they Careened at St. Maries and had some cattel from me, but for their victualing and Sea Store they bought from the Negros. I sold Captain Tew and his Company some of the goods brought in the Charles from New York. the Sloop belonged most of her to Bermudas. Captain Tew set saile from St. Maries December the 23d 1693, bound for America.

6. August, 1695. Arrived the Charming Mary from Barbados, Captain Richard Glover Commander,[9] Mr. John Beckford marchant and part owner. the most of the ship belonged to Barbados, the Owners Colonel Russel, Judge Coats, and the Nisames [?]. She was burden about 200 Tons, 16 Guns, 80 men. she had severall sort of goods on board. I bought the most of them. She careened at St. Maries and in October she set saile from St. Maries for Madagascar to take in Rice and Slaves.

7. August 1695. Arrived the ship Katherine from New York, Captain Tho. Mostyn Commander and Super Cargo,[10] Mr. Fred. Phillips Owner, the Ship Burden about 160 Tons, noe Guns, near 20 men. She had severall sorts184 of goods in her. she sold the most to the White men upon Madagascar, where he had Careened. he set saile from St. Maries for Mauratan on Madagascar to take in his Rice and Slaves.

8. December 7th 1695. Arrived the Ship Susanna, Captain Thomas Weak[11] Commander, burden about 100 Tons, 10 Guns, 70 men. they fitted out from Boston and Rhoad Island and had been in the Red seas but made noe voyage by reason they mist the moors fleet. they Careened at St. Maries and I sold them part of the goods bought of Mr. John Beckford out of the Charming Mary and spaired them some Cattel, but for the most part they were supplyed by the Negros. they stayed at St. Maries till the middle of April, where the Captain and Master and most of his men dyed. the rest of the men that were left alive after the Sickness Carried the Ship to St. Augustin, where they left her and went In Captain Hore for the Red Sea.

9. December 11th 1695. Arrived the Sloop Amity, haveing no Captain, her former Captain Thomas Tew being killed by a great Shott from a Moors ship,[12] John Yarland master, Burden seventy Ton, 8 Guns, as before described, and about 60 men. They stayed but five dayes at St. Maries and set saile to seek the Charming Mary and they met her at Mauratan on Madagascar and took her, giveing Captain Glover the Sloop to carry him and his men home and all that he had, keeping nothing but the ship. they made a new Commander after they had taken the ship, one Captain Bobbington. after they had taken the ship they went into St. Augustine Bay and there fitted the ship and went into the Indies to make a voyage and I have heard since that they were trapaned and taken by the Moors.

10. December 29 1695. Arrived a Moors Ship, taken by the Resolution and given to Captain Robert Glover and 24 of his men that was not willing to goe a privateering upon the Coasts of Indies, to carrie them away. the Company turned Captain Glover and these 24 men out of the Ship, Captain Glover being parte Owner and Commander185 of the same and Confined prisoner by his Company upon the Coast of Guinea by reason he would not consent to goe about the Cape of good hope into the Red Sea. the ship was old and would hardly swim with them to St. Maries. when they arrived there they applyed themselves to me. I maintained them in my house with provision till June, that shiping arrived for to carry them home.

11. January 17th 1696/7. Arrived the Brigantine Amity, that was Captain Tew's Sloop from Barbadoes and fitted into a Brigantine by the Owners of the Charming Mary at Barbados, Captain Richard Glover Commander and Super Cargo. the Brigantine discribed when a Sloop. She was laden with severall sorts of goods, part whereof I bought and part sold to the White men upon Madagascar, and parte to Captain Hore and his Company. the Brigantine taken afterwards by the Resolution at St. Maries.

12. February the 13th 1696/7. Arrived Captain John Hor's Prize from the Gulph of Persia and three or four dayes after arrived Captain Hore[13] in the John and Rebeckah, Burden about 180 Tons, 20 Guns, 100 men in ship and prize. The Prize about 300 Ton Laden with Callicoes. I sold some of the goods bought of Glover to Captain Hore and his Company as likewise the white men that lived upon Madagascar and Captain Richard Glover.

13. June the —— 1697. Arrived the Resolution, Captain Shivers Commander, Burden near 200 Tons, 90 men, 20 Guns, formerly the ship belonged to Captain Robert Glover but the Company took her from him and turned him and 24 more of his men out of her by reason they were not willing to goe a privateering into the East Indies.[14] they met with a Mosoune[15] at sea and lost all their masts and put into Madagascar about 10 Leagues to the Northward off St. Maries and there masted and fitted their ship, and while they lay there they took the Brigantine Amity for her watter Casks, Sailes and Rigeing and Masts, and turned the Hull a drift upon a Rife.[16] Captain Glover promised to forgive186 them what was past if they would Let him have his ship again and goe home to America, but they would not except he would goe into the East Indies with them. September the 25th 97 they set saile to the Indies.

14. June 1697. Arrived the ship Fortune from New York, Captain Thomas Mostyn Commander, and Robert Allison Super Cargo, the Ship Burden 150 Tons or there abouts, 8 Guns, near 20 men, haveing severall sorts of goods aboard, and sold to Captain Hore and Company and to the White men upon Madagascar.

15. June —— 1697. Arrived a Ship from New York, Captain Cornelius Jacobs Comander and Super Cargo, Mr. Fred. Phillips owner, Burden about 150 Ton, 2 Guns, near 20 men, haveing severall sorts of goods a board, and sold to Captain Hore and his Company and to the White men on Madagascar, and four Barrells of Tar to me.[17]

16. July the 1st 1697. Arrived the Brigantine Swift from Boston, Mr. Andrew Knott Master[18] and John Johnson Marchant and parte owner, Burden about 40 Tons, 2 Guns, 10 men, haveing severall goods aboard. Some sold to Captain Hore and Company the rest put a shore at St. Maries and left there. A small time after her arrivall I bought three Quarters of her and careened and went out to seek a Trade and to settle a forraign Commers and Trade in severall places on Madagascar. About 8 or 10 dayes after I went from St. Maries the Negros killed about 30 White men upon Madagascar and St. Maries, and took all that they or I had, Captain Mostyn and Captain Jacobs and Captain Hor's Ship and Company being all there at the same time and set saile from St. Maries October 1697 for Madagascar to take in their Slaves and Rice. having made a firm Commerse with the Negros on Madagascar, at my return I met with Captain Mostyn at sea, 60 Leagues of St. Maries. he acquainted me with the Negros riseing187 and killing the White men. he perswaded me to return back with him and not proceed any further, for there was noe safe goeing to St. Maries. all my men being sick, after good consideracion we agreed to return and goe for America.

The above mentioned men that were killed by the Natives were most of them privateers that had been in the Red Seas and took severall ships there, they were cheifly the occasion of the natives Riseing, by their abuseing of the Natives and takeing their Cattel from them, and were most of them to the best of my knowledge men that came in severall Ships, as Captain Rainor, Captain Coats, Captain Tew, Captain Hore, and the Resolution and Captain Stevens.[19]

Adam Baldridge.

Sworne before me in New York
5th of May 1699
A.D. Peyster[20]

A true copy

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:1042, no. 30 II. An endorsement shows that it was sent to the Lords of Trade with Bellomont's letter of May 15, 1699, which is printed in N.Y. Col. Doc., IV. 518-526. Capt. Adam Baldridge, as will be seen from some of the preceding narratives, had kept a rendezvous for pirates at St. Mary's Island, but he had now settled down as a respectable citizen of New York. Bellomont thought well of him at first (he "appears to be a sober man and reported wealthy"), but was warned by the Board of Trade of his connection with piracy, and later (note 19, post) had fuller information from Kidd. Ibid., IV. 333, 552.

[2] Fort Dauphin, at the southeast point of Madagascar, built by the French.

[3] Josiah Rayner was associated with Tew, later with Every; Fletcher had, for a bribe, it was said, released his chest of treasure brought to New York.

[4] Spikes.

[5] In April, 1693, this Coats, in a ship now called the Jacob, anchored near the east end of Long Island, and sent men to bargain with Governor Fletcher for permission to enter and for protection. They promised the governor £700 and secured protection, though in the end the owners gave him the ship instead. N.Y. Col. Doc., IV. 223, 310, 386-388; Cal. St. P. Col., 1697-1698, pp. 227-228.

[6] Frederick Philipse (1626-1702), the richest trader in New York, but perhaps not the most scrupulous; see Henry C. Murphy, in his edition of the Journal of a Voyage to New York in 1679-80 of Jasper Danckaerts, pp. 362-365. The ship in which the two Labadist missionaries, Danckaerts and Sluyter, came to America was also named Charles and owned by Philipse. It was in this year 1693 that Governor Fletcher instituted for him the Philipse Manor. Mary Philipse, who won the affections of young Major George Washington, was his great-granddaughter. It was said that Baldridge's establishment in Madagascar was sustained by Philipse's capital, to obtain for the latter a share in the profits of piracy. Cal. St. P. Col., 1697-1698, p. 108.

[7] Hoes.

[8] See doc. no. 63, note 16, ante.

[9] See doc. no. 65.

[10] Another of those commissioned by Fletcher. Having no guns, the vessel must have been intended for illegal trade rather than for warfare.

[11] Or Wake.

[12] See doc. no. 63, note 16, ante.

[13] See doc. no. 65, note 17.

[14] See doc. no. 65.

[15] Monsoon.

[16] Reef.

[17] When this ship came back, richly laden, Philipse sent out a sloop to meet her, which off the New Jersey coast quietly unloaded all of her cargo but the negroes, and sailed with it to Hamburg. Cal. St. P. Cal., 1697-1698, p. 414.

[18] In 1690 he had commanded a ship in Sir William Phips's unsuccessful expedition against Quebec. For his connection with Kidd, see post, doc. no. 85, note 7.

[19] Such is Baldridge's tale of innocence, but Kidd told Bellomont that "Baldridge was the occasion of that Insurrection of the Natives and the death of the pirates, for that having inveigled a great number of the natives of St. Maries, men, women and children, on board a ship or ships he carryed and sold them for slaves to a French Island called Mascarine or Mascaron, which treachery of Baldridges the Natives on the Island revenged on those pirates by cutting their throats."

[20] Abraham de Peyster, a member of the New York council and an assistant judge of the supreme court.

69. Warrant for Commissioning of Admiralty Judge. April 29, 1697.[1]

By the Comiss'rs for Executing the Office of Lord high Admirall of Engl'd. Irel'd. etc.

Whereas, in pursuance of His Ma'tis pleasure signified to Us by the Rt. hon'ble Mr. Secretary Trumbull, Wee have188 appointed Mr. William Smith to be Judge, Mr. John Tudor Register, Mr. Jarvis Marshall, Marshall, and Mr. James Graham, Advocate of the Vice Admiralty of New-Yorke, and Connuticutt, and East-Jersey:[2] You are therefore hereby Empower'd and directed, to give unto them Commissions for their said Employm'ts respectively; And in case of the death, or inabillity, by sickness, or otherwise, of any of the said persons, You are to appoint others in their roome: and Transmitt to Us the Names of such persons as You do so appoint; Dated at the Admiralty Office this 29th of April 1697.

To his Ma'tis Governour of
New-Yorke and Connuticutt,
and East-Jersey/ for the time
G. Rooke.
Jno. Houblon.

By Command of their Lord'ps
Wm. Bridgeman.

[1] New York State Archives, Albany: Historical MSS., vol. XLI., p. 60. The commissions of admiralty judges had originally been issued on warrant from the Lord High Admiral. Since 1673, however, except for two brief periods, the latter's duties have always been performed by the "Lords Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral" (Admiralty Board, or Lords of the Admiralty). On April 29, 1697, the board consisted of the two distinguished admirals Sir Edward Russell (created earl of Oxford eight days later) and Sir George Rooke, Sir John Houblon, governor of the Bank of England, Col. James Kendall, ex-governor of Barbados, and four others. The warrant is not addressed to any governor by name; Bellomont was not commissioned (as governor of New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire) till June 18, 1697.

[2] William Smith was already chief-justice of the supreme court of the province, and a member of the council. Jarvis Marshall had been messenger of the council. James Graham was speaker of the assembly, attorney-general, and recorder of the city of New York.

70. Proclamation of Lieut.-Gov. Stoughton. June 4, 1698.[1]

William Stoughton Esqr., Lieutenant Governour and Commander in chief in and over his Ma'tys Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England189

To the Sheriff of the County of Suffolke, his Under Sheriff or Deputy or Constables of the respective Towns within the sd County and to each and every of them to whom these presents shall come, Greeting.

Whereas I am informed That sundry wicked and ill disposed persons, suspected to have committed divers inhumane and hostile Acts and depredations upon the Subjects and Allies of other Princes and States in Forreign parts in Amity with his Ma'ty, are lately landed and set on shore on or about Long Island, Rhode Island and parts adjacent, having brought with them quantitys of Forreign Coynes, silver, Gold, Bullion, Merchandize and other Treasure, Some of which persons (unknown by name) may probably come into this his Ma'tys Province and transport their moneys, Merchandize and Treasure hither,

These are therefore in his Ma'tys name strictly to command and require you to make diligent search within your several Precincts for such suspected persons, and to apprehend and seize every such person or persons, his or their money, gold, bullion, Merchandize and Treasure, and to bring the same before the next Justice of the Peace to be examined and proceeded against as the Law directs. And you are to require and take such a number of persons, with Armes or otherwise, unto your Assistance as you shall think meet for the seizing and apprehending such suspected person or persons aforesd. and carrying him or them before the next Justice or Justices. And all his Ma'tys subjects are required to be aiding and assisting unto you in the Execution of this Warrant, as they will answer their refusal or neglect at their peril. And hereof you or they may not faile. And make return of this Warrant with your doings thereupon. Given under my hand and seal at Armes at Boston the Fourth day of June 1698, In the tenth year of his Ma'tys Reign.

Wm. Stoughton.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 62, p. 253. William Stoughton, lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts 1691-1701, acted as governor from the departure of Governor Phips for England in 1694 to the arrival of Governor Bellomont in the province, May 26, 1699. Bellomont in June, 1698, was in New York. In the period to which most of our documents belong there was always an outburst of piracy after the conclusion of a war, because multitudes of privateers found their occupation gone when peace was proclaimed, and some of them were sure to turn to the allied trade of piracy. The peace of Ryswyk, between France and Great Britain, Spain, and Holland, Sept. 20, 1697, had had this effect at the time of Stoughton's proclamation.



71. Deposition of Benjamin Franks. October 20, 1697.[1]

The Deposition of Benjamin Franks aged about 47 years (who came out in the Adventure Gally, a Privateer, Captain William Kid Comander) Inhabitant of New York.

Declareth That having lived in Barbadoes and Jamaica and traded in severall parts of the West Indies, meeting191 of late with great losses of above £12,000 sterling by the Earthquake and Enemyes and through misfortune, came to New York and there finding Captain Kid comeing out with a full Power to the East Indies to take the Pyrates, which he shewed me by the means of my Friends, so resolved to go with him to the East Indies and to remain there at Surrat or any other place where I could best follow my profession, being a Jeweller, for he told me he would put into some of the said Parts. Wee sailed from New York the 6th September 1696 in Company with a Brigantine belonging to Bermudas, bound to the Maderaes. there met with a Brigantine from Barbadoes bound for England who had lost her Mast and Boltsprit, whom Captain Kid assisted with a Mast, Riggin and Canvas, for which kindness [the] Master gave him a few flour Barrells with Sugar. the same Brigantine after she had what she wanted proceeded on her Voyage. And a day or two after wee espyed a Ship whom Wee gave chase to three days and came up with her, found her to be a Portuguez from Brazile bound to the Maderaes. the Captain of the Portuguez pre[sen]ted Captain Kid with a Roll of Brazile Tobacco and some Sugar, in lieu of which Captain Kid sent him a Cheshire Cheese and a Barrell of White Bisket, but through mistake of the Steward the Barrell thought to be Bisket proved to be Cutt and Dry Tobacca. So Wee proceeded to Maderaes and saw the Brigantine in safe that came under our Convoy. wee stayed there one day. before wee departed from thence the Portuguez ship came in. Thence wee went to Bona Vista,[2] took in some Salt, thence to St. Jago, tooke in Water and some Provisions; from St. Jago wee steered our course for Cape Bona Esperanza,[3] but before wee got to the Latitude thereof Wee met with three English Men of War and a Fireship, Captain Warren in the Windso[r] Comodore,[4]192 Captain Acton in the Advice,[5] the Tyger and Fire Ship I do not know the Commanders names. I was on board the Commodore when he told me that Kids Commission was firm and good and that he would not molest or hinder his proceedings for his puting his hands to his Ears, and discoursing of severall other things of the Voyage amongst the rest the Commodore told Kid he had lost a great many of his men and asked him to spare him some, who answered that he would let him have 20 or 30, and about a day or two after Kid went on board one of the Men of War again and in the Evening came on board his own ship very much disguised with drink and left the Men of War without sparing them the men he promised. Some time after had sight of the Cape, did not put in but went directly for Madagascar and imported at a place called Talleer,[6] where took in some Water and provisions. after our being there some time came a Sail in sight and came to an Anchor in Augustine Bay, upon which wee weighed Anchor and came to her, the two Ports being but a little way distant each from other. We found her to be a Sloop from Barbadoes come to buy Negroes, after which Wee returned to Talleer, our former Port, and the next day the Master of the Sloop came on board Us being very ill when he came. a few dayes after ordered the Sloop to come down to Talleer, and the same day she came down the Owner and Merchant[7] dyed on board of us, and he that succeeded him could by no Means agree with the Master of the Sloop but continually a quarrelling and fighting. Our Captain did what he could to make up the difference between them but to no purpose. So when wee had done getting our provisions etc. on board Wee sailed for Johanna,[8] and the Sloop followed us, and seeing two Ships gave them Chase, found them to be both East India Men and so went in together in Company to Johanna and two India Men came in after.193 Wee took in Some Water and went to Mohilla[9] to clean our Ship. And this Sloop still followed Us, but our Captain told him severall times to be gone and agree amongst themselves, but they took no notice thereof, continuing with Us all the time of our Stay here, being about 5 weeks, where buryed severall of our Company but the just number I know not. when Wee had been there about 5 weeks a Pinnace came on board of Us with some Men, the quantity I know not, for being mortall sick, the Merchant of the Sloop dyed there too. Wee returned from this place to Johanna and the Sloop in our Company. Wee took in some more water and some French Men, the quantity I know not for I was carryed a shoar sick and lay a shoar all the time wee lay at Johanna. We sailed thence, leaving the Sloop behind Us, directly for India and touched at a place called Motta.[10] there was 5 Junks ashoar and at an Anchor ditto place. our Captain wanted to take in some water, sending the Pinnace ashoar for some, which the Natives refused, upon which our Captain next morning sent both Boats with a matter of 40 Men or thereabouts with Armes, as I heard lying very Sick of a Feaver, Ague and Flux, and that he had bought two Cowes and some dates, and 2 dayes after the People run away into the Mountains, as I heard. after they run away the People sent a shoar, found India Corn and Garravances[11] in great holes, and brought off likewise six of the Natives, of whom four leaped overboard in the Night and swam ashoar. the other two gave [3] Cowes and 2 sheep for their ransom, as I heard of the Seamen, lying very ill. from thence wee went to the Babs[12] and there anchored to wait for the Pyrates, as the Seamen said, but meeting with none, sending the Pinnace out 3 or 4 times, as I heard of the Seamen, but at Carwar ashoar I heard of the Seamen that they was to go to Mocho.[13] after the194 Pinnace went with the Captain, Quarter-Master came back and gave an account there was 17 Sail, which I heard of the Seamen as I lay very ill. our Captain ordered two men ashoar on one of the Babs. when the Fleet came in sight the Men waved the Jack.[14] the whole Fleet came by the Babs on a Saturday in the evening in the month of August, but the day of the month I do not remember. our Captain weighed and stood amongst the Fleet, as I heard of the Seamen. the next morning at break of day one of the Fleet began to fire at Us, as I heard of the Seamen, which alarming the rest they all did the same. there was one Ship which the Captain said was a Mallabar, pretty near Us, as I heard of the Seamen. then our Captain ordered the People to row up to him, being but little Wind, then the Mallabar fired at Us and our Captain at him severall Guns. at last our Captain perceiving an English and Dutch Colours did all he could to get away. the Captain designed to go to the high Land off St. Johns.[15] meeting with a small Vessell under English Colours he chased her and comanded the Master to come on board and plundered the Ship. I hearing a great noise asked what it was. they told me that our Folks beat the People aboard of the little ship and against night I heard there was a Portuguez. so doing my endeavour to creep up to speak to the Portuguez and asked him what was the best news, he told me that he and the Master was forced to stay on board of our Ship, and that he did belong to Bombay, and that our Captain had taken out some Rice, Raisons and old Cloths and some Money. I heard of the Seamen that our Captain had Information of three ships that had gone out of Aden bound for Callicut being off Carwar, and being in necessity for Wood and Water put in there, at which time I made great intercession to the Captain for leave to go ashoar, which at last I obtained by giving him a Beaver Hat, for he was unwilling to let any go ashoar but whom he thought he could trust, for fear they should run away for most of his people seemed dissatisfyed and would I believe do as I have195 done in making their Escape if had opportunity, for the Carpenter and his mate with severall others does design to run away with the Pinnace. This I do swear by the old Testament to the best of my knowledge and what I have heard of the Seamen that all the above written is true.

Benjamin Franks.

Bombay the 20th October 1697.
Sworn before me:

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 323:2, no. 124 I. William Kidd, the most famous pirate in American history, was a Scot, born in Dundee in 1654. In 1689-1690, in command of a captured ship, he took a creditable part in the attacks on Mariegalante and St. Martin's by Captain Hewetson, who at Kidd's trial testified to his bravery; but a few weeks later his men, ex-pirates apparently, ran away with his ship. Cal. St. P. Col., 1689-1692, pp. 122, 226, 227; Hargrave, State Trials, V. 326. In 1689 he settled in New York, where he seems to have been well regarded; in the record of his marriage license, May 16, 1691 (N.E. Hist. Gen. Reg., VI. 63) he is styled "William Kidd, Gentleman," and two days earlier the New York assembly (Journal, ed. 1764, I. 6, 13) voted him a gratuity of £150 for services in connection with the arrival of Governor Sloughter. In 1695, Kidd being then in England, Robert Livingston of New York arranged in London with Lord Bellomont, who had been designated but not yet commissioned as a governor in America, and with others, for a privateering voyage under Kidd's command. Other sharetakers were Sir Edward Russell, first lord of the admiralty, Sir John Somers, lord keeper of the great seal, the Duke of Shrewsbury, secretary of state, and the Earl of Romney, master-general of the ordnance; and the king himself was to receive one-tenth of the profits of the cruise. Kidd's letter of marque, dated Dec. 11, 1695, is in Hargrave's State Trials, V. 307. To it was added, Jan. 26, 1696, ibid., 308, a commission to apprehend pirates. Kidd sailed from England in April, 1696, in the Adventure Galley, 287 tons, 34 guns, 70 men. At New York he increased his crew to 155 men (there is a list of them in Cal. St. Pap. Col., 1700, p. 199), and sailed thence in September for Madagascar and the East Indies. Whether it was by his fault that the Adventure Galley slipped from privateering and the search for pirates into acts of piracy, or whether, as Kidd alleged, his men forced his hand, has been doubted, but it is probable that he shared the guilt. In the summer of 1698 complaints began to come in from India and from the East India Company, and in November, 1698, orders were sent to the governors of colonies in America to apprehend Kidd as a pirate whenever he should appear. The ensuing papers, especially his own narrative and Bellomont's letters, tell the story of his arrival and arrest. As under Massachusetts law he could not be condemned to death for piracy, he was, probably illegally, carried to England in the spring of 1700, and there tried at the Old Bailey for the murder of one of his men and for piracy. After an unfair trial and on insufficient evidence, he was condemned, and was hanged at Execution Dock May 23, 1701.

As to Benjamin Franks, we learn from a deposition of William Cuthbert (Journal of the House of Commons, XIII. 26) that two of Kidd's men deserted him at Carwar because of his attempts and designs toward piracy and his cruel conduct toward his men; Franks, Hebrew jeweller of New York, was apparently one of the two. Apparently he was a Danish subject; Westergaard, Danish West Indies, p. 110.

[2] One of the Cape Verde Islands; Santiago is a larger island of the same group, farther south.

[3] The Cape of Good Hope.

[4] Capt. Thomas Warren, R.N.

[5] Capt. Edward Acton, R.N.

[6] Tullear, near St. Augustine's Bay, on the southwest coast of Madagascar.

[7] Supercargo.

[8] See document no. 63, note 11.

[9] Mohelli, another of the Comoro group.

[10] "Matta in the Red Sea," says William Jinkins of Bow, in his deposition in Commons Journal, XIII. 24.

[11] Chick-peas.

[12] The straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.

[13] Mocha; see document no. 63, note 16a. Carwar is on the west coast of Hindustan, some 350 miles south of Bombay.

[14] See document no. 33, note 15.

[15] Probably Diu, in northwest India.

72. The President and Council of the Leeward Islands to Secretary Vernon. May 18, 1699.[1]

Right Honourable Sir

Your Letter of the 23d of November last[2] in relacion to that notorious Pirate Captain Kidd came safe to our hands, and shall take particular care to put the same in execucion, and in order thereto have sent copies thereof to the Lieutenant or Deputy Governor of each respective Island under this Government; since which wee have had this following account of the said Kidd (vizt.) That he lately came from Mallagascoe in a large Gennouese vessell of about Foure hundred Tonns, Thirty Guns mounted, and eighty men,[3] and in his way for these partes his men mutinyed, and thirty of them lost theire Lives; That his vessell is very Leaky; and that they are very much in want of Provisions; And that severall of his men have deserted him soe that he has not above five and twenty or thirty196 hands on board; about twenty dayes since he touched at Anguilla, a small Island under this Government, where he Tarryed about foure houres; but being refused succour Sailed thence for the Island of St. Thomas (an Island belonging to the Crowne of Denmarke)[4] and Anchored off that Harbour three dayes, in which time he treated with them alsoe for releife; but the Governor absolutely Denying him, he bore away farther to Leeward (as it is beleived) for Porto Rico or Crabb Island;[5] upon which advice wee forthwith ordered his Majesties Shipp Queeneburrough, now attending this Government, Captain Rupert Billingsly Commander, to make the best of his way after him; and in case he mett with him to secure him with his men, vessell and effects, and bring them upp hither, That no Imbezlement may be made, but that they may be secured till wee have given you advice thereof, and his majesties pleasure relateing thereto can be knowne. Wee shall by the first conveniencie transmitt the like account of him to the Governor of Jamaica, soe that if he goes farther to Leeward Due care may be taken to secure him there; As for those men who have deserted him, wee have taken all possible care to apprehend them, especially if they come within the districts of this Government, and hope on returne of his majesties Friggatt shall be able to give you a more ample account hereof.

Wee are with all due Respects

Right Honorable
Your most obedient humble servants

Jno. Smargin.
Richd. Abbott.
Wm. Burt.
Mich. Smith.
Dan. Smith.

Nevis the 18th May 1699

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 152:3, no. 21. This letter conveyed to the British government its first knowledge of the return of Captain Kidd to the western hemisphere. The Leeward Islands—Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Christopher, the most important being Nevis—constituted at this time one government, though with subordinate administration in the several islands. The governor having died, the council, of which William Burt was president, was acting as governor till a new governor should arrive. Burt and the other signers of this letter were all of Nevis. James Vernon, to whom the letter is addressed, was secretary of state; he was the father of Admiral Vernon, for whom Mount Vernon was named.

[2] Printed in the Commons Journal, XIII. 16. It was the circular letter to colonial governors ordering them to apprehend Kidd.

[3] The Quedah Merchant; see post. She is here spoken of as Genoese, but other documents of the time speak of her as "Moorish built."

[4] And now belonging to the United States. On Kidd at St. Thomas, see document no. 83, post.

[5] Now commonly called Vieques, a small island lying a few miles east of Puerto Rico, and also now belonging to the United States.


73. Examination of Edward Buckmaster. June 6, 1699.[1]

Taken this 6 June 1699.

The Answer of Edward Buckmaster to severall questions put to him by the Honorable John Nanfan, Esqr., Lieutenant Governor of this province,[2] the said Buckmaster being sworne to answer all such Questions as should be demanded of him.

Impr[imi]s. That the first land they made after they parted from this port in the Adventure Galley, Capt. William Kidd Commander, was the Island of Maderas, from whence they went directly to Madagascar, where they staid about A month to victual and careen. That there were no vessels at Madagascar when they came there. That they sailed from thence to a small Island called Johanna, lying in the Latitude of 12 degrees south, and from thence to Mahela, Lying in the Latitude of 11 degrees south; that they staid at the said Johanna and Mahela two Months where the Natives supplyed them with provisions. That there were four East India ships belonging to the Company at the Island Johanna at the same time they were there, the one called the East India Merchant the second the Maderasse, the third was a fly boat, and the fourth he knows not the name of.

Item. That from thence they sailed along the shore of Magellona[3] in the redd sea but saw no vessels till they came into the Latitude of 12 degrees north. That there they Met with several ships, some with English, some with Dutch, and some with Moors Colours, with whom they198 sailed in Company for Twenty five dayes but were not on board any of them. That the name of the one was the Scepter,[4] which ship fired a Gunn or Two At Capt. Kidds Galley.

Item. That they tooke a ship on the coast of Mallabar that had a french pass, and French Master on board, with two Other white men, he believes them Dutch men, the rest all Moors; she was about 200 Tuns, made no resistance, and that they shared out of her four Bailes of Callicoes each Man. That afterwards the Adventure Galley sunck at Saint Maries, and Kidd and Company went on board the prize.

Item. That Capt. Kidd had made no good voyage, having no money and only 160 Bailes of Callicoes on board.

Item. That he the said Buckmaster Left the said Capt. Kidd the last day of May 1698 and went on board the ship Resolution, Capt. Robert Culliford Comander,[5] as a volunteer before the Mast, and went out Cruising with him but tooke no vessel dureing the voyage though they Continued Cruising from May to December. the said Culliford had forty Gunns mounted and 120 men. he had been in those parts seven yeares on the account.

Item. That he quitted the said Culliford the Middle of December last and went on board the ship Nasaw, Giles Shelley Master,[6] that went from New yorke to Madagascar to trade there (the said Buckmaster being willing to come home to his family, the said Shelley being bound back to New Yorke), that he gave the said Shelley 100 pieces of Eight for his passage, which was the Comon rate and which sume he believes Fifty more passengers that came from on board pyrate ships at Madagascar and Saint Maries199 gave to the said Shelley, the said Shelley as he believes well knowing what ships they had been in and what designe they came from.

Item. That the said Shelley sailed from the Island Saint Maries in the East Indies to Chyan[7] where he stayd three or four dayes.

Item. That five or six of the persons that belonged to Capt. Culliford in the East Indies went on board Capt. Gravenreadt[8] out of Shelleys ship, when she came on this coast at Cape May, which Cape they made on Friday sevennight last.[9] Gravenreadts vessel lay about two miles from Shelleys ship, but the said Gravenreadts came on board shelleys ship, and believes made an agreemt. with the several men he took on board with him for their passages to [blank]: Vizt. Robert English, Jan Spons, Theophilus [blank][10] and two or three Others. That John Elderige, —— Stanton, and Doctor —— Badwain[11] went on shore at Cape May: they also came from on board Culliford.

Item. That they came to Sandy Hook on Fryday last in the Evening, that the said Edward Buckmaster, Paul Swan, Jonathan Evans and Otto van Toyle went on shore at the west end of long Island on Saturday last at seven of the Clock in the Evening, they also belonged to Culliford; that he was at New Utrecht yesterday and came to New Yorke last night. That he has been often in the hold of Shelleys ship dureing the voyage but saw nothing but water Casks, and that he never saw but four Gunns on the Deck since he was on board.

That one Capt. Shivers[12] came to saint Marys with a ship called the soldado of 40 Gunns while Shelley was there, which ship is run ashore.200

That he did not see the Quedaw Merchant nor Capt. Wright.

That he was at Callicut and Carresaw[13] in Kidds ship.

A True Copy.

[1] Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson MSS., A. 272, fol. 48; also in the Public Record Office, C.O. 5:1042, no. 40 XI. Edward Buckmaster, "one of Shelley's men", was committed June 7, and broke prison Aug. 25. Cal. St. P. Col., 1699, pp. 278, 401. A year later, though he was supposed to be still alive, a rascally chaplain of the fort at New York married his wife to Capt. Adam Baldridge of document no. 68, obtaining a marriage license for "Adam Ball" and adding "-dridge" afterward. N.Y. Col. Doc., IV. 333, 413, 766.

[2] Capt. John Nanfan, a cousin of Bellomont's wife, was lieutenant-governor of New York under him, and administered the province during Bellomont's absence in Massachusetts.

[3] Somaliland, probably.

[4] An English frigate. The events that follow are more fully detailed in Kidd's narrative, document no. 76, post.

[5] Culliford was a noted pirate, who for a time commanded the Mocha frigate, which had been stolen from the East India Company; and this Resolution was the Mocha renamed, not the Resolution of document no. 68, par. 13.

[6] Shelley, fitted out from New York in 1698 by Stephen Delancey and others, was suspected of piracy. In a letter of May 27, 1699, to Delancey, from Cape May, he speaks of bringing in 15,000 dollars of passage money. Cal. St. P. Col., 1699, p. 281. He had lived in New York since 1688. See also doc. no. 85, note 17.

[7] Cayenne, probably.

[8] Andreas Gravenraedt of New York. On this very day, June 6, Governor Blakiston of Maryland was seizing him and his ship in the Severn River. Cal. St. P. Col., 1699, p. 287.

[9] May 26.

[10] Turner. He turned king's evidence. See the next document.

[11] Kidd's physician was Robert Bradinham; he also turned king's evidence.

[12] See document no. 68, par. 13.

[13] Carwar?

74. Deposition of Theophilus Turner. June 8, 1699.[1]

Maryland scilicet

Came Theophilus Turner, Borne at Heckfield near Hartley roade in Hampshire, Aged about thirty years, and being sworne upon the Holy Evangelists to declare the truth of what he knows concerning any Acts of Pyracy comitted by him or any others, saith:

That he sayled out of London about three years agoe in the Ship Hanniball, Captain William Hill Commander, which ship was a Merchant ship mounted with thirty two Gunns and Navigated with seventy Men, and went upon the Coast of Guinea, where the Captain put his Men to very short allowance so that severall of them, vizt. Henry Webber, 3d Mate, who afterwards Comanded the said ship, and severall others, took the ship from him and went to Brasile, where the Deponent and some others left the ship. After that the Deponent had lived at Brasile about one yeare, a French Vessell which had lost her top mast arrived there under the Comand of Mounsieur de Ley, on Board of which Vessell the deponent embarqued himselfe for the Coast of India, the said De Ley being bound to Bengall, in the Voyage whereto they touched at the Island of Johannah, an Island [whose] inhabitants are Arabians, which was in the Month of May or June 1698: and riding there at Anchor with the said ship, came a ship of fourty Gunns called the Resolution by the Men on Board, But understood her right name was the Moco,[2] from Madagaskar, Navi201gated with about 130 or 140 Men under the Comand of Captain Robert Culliford. De Ley weighed one Anchor and cut the other Cable, but Culliford chasing him took him and brought the deponent on Board them, being the only Englishman on board De Ley, and examined him concerning Deleys Loading, with many threats. after they plundered the ship and found there 2000 l. in money, besides Wine and Cloath, which they took, and because the Deponent was an Englishman they would not let him go on board De Ley again but kept him. After which the said Culliford sayled with the said ship upon the Coast of India: and about the middle of August came up with a Pyrate, who came out of America some where near Rhroad Island under the Comand of Richard Chivers, had 80 or 90 men and twelve Gunns, who kept Company and Consorted with Culliford. And about the End of September last they met off of Suratt with a turkey ship belonging to Suratt, which Chivers crew boarded: and the Quartermaster and some of Cullifords crew went on Board: she was laden with Pieces 8, Gold and Dollers, was reputed to the vallue of one Hundred and twenty or thirty thousand pounds. there were some shots made and several turks were killed and wounded and two or three of Chivers Company: they put the men on shoare on the Coast of India, sunck their own ship and took the turkey ship and then shared the money, about 700 or 800 l. a man in each ship, and gave the Deponent who pumped for them on occasion and was ready at call 250 l., not deeming him as one of them but in the nature of a prisoner, and told him if that he would go out with them their next Voyage, he should be all one as the rest. thence the said Culliford and Chivers sayled to Madagascoe, Port St. Marys, a large Island about three or four Hundred Leagues in Length inhabited by a numerous people being Negroes.

Theo. Turner.

Juratus coram me,

N. Blakiston.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:714, no. 70 VI. Original; a copy (no. 70 II.) is marked as sworn to before Colonel Blakiston, governor of Maryland, on June 8, 1699.

[2] The Mocha had been a frigate belonging to the East India Company. Piratical members of the crew, especially James Gillam, had murdered the captain and had seized the ship.


75. Memorial of Duncan Campbell. June 19, 1699.[1]

Boston, June the 19th, 1699.

The Memorial of Duncan Campbell, of Boston, humbly presented to his Excellency the Earle of Bellomont.

I, the said Duncan Campbell, being at Rhode-Island on Saturday the 17th of June currant, that morning I went in a Sloop from said Island, in Company with Mr. James Emott of New-Yorke,[2] and two other men belonging to said Sloop, towards Block-Island, and, about three leagues from that Island, I mett a Sloop commanded by Captain Kidd, and haveing on board about Sixteen men besides; after hailing of which Sloop and being informed that the said Kidd was Commander thereof, he said Kidd desired me to come on board the same; which I accordingly did, and after some discourse passed, said Kidd desired me to do him the favour as to make what Speed I could for Boston and acquaint your Excellency that the said Kidd had brought a Ship, about five or six hundred Tuns, from Madagascar, which, some considerable time since, he met with in [blank] and commanded her there to bring to; and that thereupon the Pilott, being a French man, came on board the said Kidds Ship, and told him, said Kidd, he was welcome, and that the said Ship (to which said Pilott belonged) was a lawfull Prize to him the said Kidd, she sailing under a French Pass: Whereupon he, the said Kidd, and Com203pany, took the said Ship, and afterwards, understanding that the same belonged to the Moors, he, said Kidd, would have delivered her up again, but his men violently fell upon him, and thrust him into his Cabbin, saying the said Ship was a fair Prize, and then carryed her into Madigascar and rifled her of what they pleased, but before they got into Madigascar, the Gally under Command of him, said Kidd, became so leaky that she would scarce keep above water, whereupon the Company belonging thereto, haveing taken out of her her Guns and some other Things and put them on board the Prize, sett the said Gally on fire. The said Captain Kidd further told me that, when he and his Company were arrived at Madagascar, several of his Company moved him to go and take a Ship called the Moco Frigat, that lay ready fitted at a place not far distant from them, in the possession of certain Privateers, and to go in the same for the red-Sea. But that he the said Kidd said that if they would join with him he would attempt the taking of the said Ship, (supposeing her a lawful Prize, being formerly belonging to the King of England), but would not afterwards go with them on the said design to the red-Sea. Whereupon ninety of his the said Kidd's men deserted him, went and tooke the said Ship, and sailed with the same on the aforesaid design, as he, said Kidd, was informed; obliging one Captain Culliver, the then Commander of her, to go along with them.

And the said Kidd further told me That, his men having left him and his design frustrated, he thought it his best way to preserve the said Ship then in his possession, and the goods on board her, for his Imployers or the proper Owners thereof: And accordingly, with the few men he had then left, which would not joine with the other Ninety in their aforesaid design (being about Twenty in Number) and with a few other men that he procured at Madagascar to assist him in navigating said Ship, he intended to have brought the same to Boston, according to his Orders; but touching in his way at the Island of St. Thomas's and other places in the West-Indies, he there heard that great Complaints were preferred against him, and he proclaimed a204 Pirate, which occasioned him to saile to a place called Mona, near Hispaniola;[3] from whence he sent to Curaso,[4] and bought there the Sloop on which he is now on board, and tooke into her out of the said ship to the Value of about eight or ten thousand pounds in goods, gold, and Plate, for which Gold and Plate he traded at Madagascar, and was produced by the sale of sundry goods and Stores that he tooke out of the Adventure Gally, formerly commanded by him, and hath left the Ship taken by his Company, and carryed to Madagascar as aforesaid, at or near Mona abovesaid, in the Custody of about six men of his owne Company and Eighteen others that he got from Curaso (the Merchant of whom he bought the said Sloop being intrusted therewith), unto which he hath promised to returne again in three months, the said Kidd resolveing to come into Boston or New-Yorke to deliver up unto your Excellency what goods and Treasure he hath on board, and to pray your Excellency's assistance to enable him to bring the said Ship, left by him at Mona aforesaid, from thence, the said Ship being disabled from comeing, for want of furniture.[5]

But the said Captain Kidd further informed me, That by reason of what his Men had heard in the West-Indies, as aforesaid, of their being proclaimed Pirates, they would not consent to his coming into any Port without some Assurance from your Excellency That they should not be imprisoned or molested. And the said Captain Kidd did several times protest solemnly that he had not done anything since his going out in the said Gally contrary to his Commission and Orders, more than what he was necessitated unto by being overpowered by his Men, that deserted him, as aforesaid, who evil intreated him several times for his not consenting to, or joineing with them in, their actions. And all the men on board the Sloop now with him did in like manner solemnly protest their innocence, and declared that they had used their utmost endeavours in preserving the aforesaid Ship and goods for the Owners or Imployers. Said Kidd205 also said, that if your Lordship should see Cause so to direct, he would carry the said Ship for England, there to render an Account of his Proceedings.

Which beforegoing contains the particulars of what Captain Kidd and his Men related to

Your Lordship's most humble Servant,
Duncan Campbell.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:860, no. 64 IV.; a copy certified by Bellomont, and endorsed, "Copy of a Memorial of Mr. Campbell who had been sent by the Earl of Bellomont to Captain Kidd, about what Kidd had said to him.... Referred to in the Earl of Bellomont's Letter of the 26th July 1699. Received [i.e., by the Board of Trade] September 26th, Read 26th, 1699." This memorial is printed, with slight inaccuracies, in the Commons Journal, XIII. 21-22, and thence reprinted in Sir Cornelius N. Dalton's The Real Captain Kidd, pp. 315-321 (a book of slight value as a vindication of Kidd, but reprinting useful documents); but the Commons Journal is in few American libraries, and the document is essential to the story of Kidd, and therefore is printed here. Duncan Campbell, a Scot like Kidd, had been a bookseller in Boston, and was now postmaster there. John Dunton describes him (1686) as "a brisk young Fellow, that dresses All-a-mode, and sets himself off to the best Advantage; and yet thrives apace. I am told (and for his sake I wish it may be true) that a Young Lady of a Great Fortune has married him." Letters from New England, p. 80.

[2] An attorney in New York, and vestryman of Trinity Church.

[3] Mona is a small island lying in the passage between Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico.

[4] Curaçao, Dutch West Indies.

[5] Masts, spars, sails, and rigging.

76. Narrative of William Kidd. July 7, 1699.[1]

A Narrative of the Voyage of Captain William Kidd, Commander of the Adventure Gally, from London to the East Indies.

That the Journal of the said Captain Kidd being violently taken from him in the Port of St. Marie's in Madagascar, and his life many times being threatned to be taken away from him by 97 of his men that deserted him there, he cannot give that exact Account he otherwise could have done, but as far as his memory will serve is as followeth; viz.

That the said Adventure Gally was launched in Castle's Yard at Deptford[2] about the 4th day of December 1695, and about the latter end of February the said Gally came to the buoy in the Nore, and about the first Day of March following, his men were pressed from him for the Fleet, which caused him to stay there 19 Days,[3] and then sailed for the Downs, and arrived there about the 8th or 10th Day206 of April 1696; and sailed thence for Plymouth, and on the 23d Day of the said month of April he sailed from Plymouth on his intended Voyage, and some time in the month of May met with a small French Vessel with Salt and Fishing Tackle on board, bound for Newfoundland, which he took and made Prize of and carried the same into New-York, about the 4th day of July, where she was condemned as lawful Prize, the produce whereof purchased Provisions for the said Gally for her further intended Voyage.

That, about the 6th day of September 1696 the said Captain Kidd sailed for the Maderas in Company with one Joyner, Master of a Briganteen belonging to Bermudas, and arrived there about the 8th day of October following; and thence to Bonavista,[4] where they arrived about the 19th of said month, and took in some Salt and stayed three or four days, and sailed thence to St. Jago,[4] and arrived there the 24th of the said month, where he took in some Water and staied about 8 or 9 Days, and thence sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, and in the Latitude of 32, on the 12th day of December 1696 met with four English Men of War, whereof Captain Warren was Commodore, and sailed a week in their Company, and then parted and sailed to Telere, a Port in the Island of Madagascar, and being there about the 29th day of January, came in a Sloop belonging to Barbadoes, loaded with Rhum, Sugar, Powder and Shot, one —— French Master, and Mr. Hatton and Mr. John Batt Merchants, and the said Hatton came on board the said Gally and was suddenly taken ill there and dyed in the Cabin: and about the latter end of February sayled for the Island of Johanna, the said Sloop keeping Company, and arrived there about the 18th day of March, where he found Four East India Merchantmen, outward bound, and watered there all together, and stayd about four days, And from thence about the 22d of March sayled for Mehila, an Island Ten Leagues distant from Johanna, where he arrived the next morning, and there careened the said Gally, and about fifty men died there in a weekes time.

That on the 25th day of April 1697 set saile for the207 Coast of India, and came upon the Coast of Mallabar in the beginning of the month of September, and went into Carrwarr upon that Coast about the middle of the same month and watered there, and the Gentlemen of the English Factory gave the Narrator an Account that the Portugese were fitting out two men of War to take him, and advised him to set out to Sea, and to take care of himselfe from them, and immediately he set sail thereupon ... about the 22d of the said month of September, and the next morning about break of day saw the said two Men of War standing for the said Gally, and spoke with him, and asked him Whence he was, who replyed, from London, and they returned answer, from Goa, and so parted, wishing each other a good Voyage, and making still along the Coast, the Commodore of the said Men of War kept dogging the said Gally all Night, waiting an Opportunity to board the same, and in the morning, without speaking a word, fired 6 great Guns at the Gally, some whereof went through her, and wounded four of his Men, and thereupon he fired upon him again, and the Fight continued all day, and the Narrator had eleven men wounded: The other Portuguese Men of War lay some distance off, and could not come up with the Gally, being calm, else would have likewise assaulted the same. The said Fight was sharp, and the said Portuguese left the said Gally with such Satisfaction that the Narrator believes no Portuguese will ever attack the Kings Colours again, in that part of the World especially, and afterwards continued upon the said Coast, cruising upon the Cape of Cameroone[5] for Pyrates that frequent that Coast, till the beginning of the month of November 1697 when he met with Captain How in the Loyal Captaine, an English Ship belonging to Maddarass,[6] bound to Surat, whom he examined and, finding his Pass good, designed freely to let her pass about her affairs; but having two Dutchmen on board, they told the Narrator's men that they had divers Greeks and Armenians on board, who had divers precious Stones and other rich Goods on board, which caused his men to208 be very mutinous, and got up their Armes, and swore they would take the Ship, and two-thirds of his Men voted for the same. The narrator told them The small Armes belonged to the Gally, and that he was not come to take any Englishmen or lawful Traders, and that if they attempted any such thing they should never come on board the Gally again, nor have the Boat, or Small-Armes, for he had no Commission to take any but the King's Enemies, and Pirates, and that he would attack them with the Gally and drive them into Bombay; the other being a Merchantman and having no Guns, might easily have done it with a few hands, and with all the arguments and menaces he could use could scarce restraine them from their unlawful Designe, but at last prevailed, and with much ado got him cleare, and let him go about his business. All which Captain How will attest, if living.

And that about the 18th or 19th day of the said month of November met with a Moors Ship of about 200 Tuns,[7] coming from Suratt, bound to the Coast of Mallabar, loaded with two horses, Sugar and Cotton, to trade there, having about 40 Moors on board, with a Dutch Pylot, Boatswain and Gunner, which said Ship the Narrator hailed, and commanded on board, and with him came 8 or 9 Moors and the said three Dutchmen, who declared it was a Moors Ship, and demanding their Pass from Suratt, which they shewed, and the same was a French Pass, which he believes was shewed by a Mistake, for the Pylot swore Sacrament[8] she was a Prize, and staid on board the Gally and would not return again on board the Moors Ship, but went in the Gally to the Port of St. Maries.

And that about the First Day of February following, upon the same Coast, under French Colours with a Designe to decoy, met with a Bengall Merchantman belonging to Surrat of the burthen of 4 or 500 Tuns, 10 guns, and he209 commanded the Master on board, and a Frenchman, Inhabitant of Suratt and belonging to the French Factory there, and Gunner of said Ship, came on board as Master, and when he came on board the Narrator caused the English Colours to be hoisted, and the said Master was surprized and said, You are all English; and asking, Which was the Captain, whom when he saw, said, Here is a good Prize, and delivered him the French Pass.[9] And that with the said two Prizes sailed for the Port of St. Maries, in Madagascar; and sailing thither the said Gally was so leaky that they feared she would have sunk every hour, and it required eight men, every two Glasses[10] to keep her free, and was forced to woold[11] her round with Cables to keep her together, and with much ado carried her into the said Port of St. Maries, where they arrived about the First Day of April 1698, and about the 6th day of May the lesser Prize was haled into the Careening Island or Key, the other not being arrived, and ransacked and sunk by the mutinous men, who threatened the Narrator and the men that would not join with them, to burn and sink the other, that they might not go home and tell the news.

And that when he arrived in the said Port there was a Pyrate Ship, called the Moca Frigat,[12] at an Anchor, Robert Culliford Commander thereof, who with his men left the same at his coming in, and ran into the Woods, And the Narrator proposed to his Men to take the same, having sufficient power and authority so to do,[13] but the mutinous210 Crew told him, if he offered the same, they would rather fire two Guns into him than one into the other, and thereupon 97 deserted, and went into the Moca Frigat, and sent into the Woods for the said Pyrates and brought the said Culliford and his men on board again; and all the time she staid in the said Port, which was for the Space of 4 or 5 Dayes, the said Deserters, sometimes in great numbers, came on board the said Gally and Adventure Prize,[14] and carried away great guns, Powder, Shot, small Armes, Sailes, Anchors, Cables, Chirurgeons Chest, and what else they pleased, and threatned several times to murder the Narrator (as he was informed, and advised to take care of himselfe) which they designed in the Night to effect but was prevented by his locking himself in his Cabin at night, and securing himselfe with barrocading the same with bales of Goods, and having about 40 small Armes, besides Pistols, ready charged, kept them out. Their wickedness was so great, after they had plundered and ransacked sufficiently, went four miles off to one Edward Welche's house,[15] where his the Narrator's Chest was lodged, and broke it open, and took out 10 Ounces of Gold, forty Pounds of Plate, 370 pieces of Eight, the Narrator's Journal, and a great many papers that belonged to him and the People of New-York that fitted them out.

That about the 15th of June, the Moca Frigat went away, being manned with about 130 Men and forty Guns, bound out to take all Nations. Then it was that the Narrator was left only with 13 Men, so that the Moors he had to pump and keep the Adventure Gally above Water being carried away, she sunk in the harbour, and the Narrator211 with the said thirteen men went on board of the Adventure-Prize, where he was forced to stay five months for a fair Wind. In the meantime some Passengers presented, that were bound for these Parts, which he tooke on board to help to bring the said Adventure-Prize home.

That about the beginning of April 1699 the Narrator arrived at Anguilla in the West-Indies and sent his Boat on Shore, where his men had the News That he and his People were proclaimed Pirates, which put them into such a Consternation that they sought all Opportunitys to run the Ship on shore upon some reef or Shoal, fearing the Narrator should carry them into some English Port.

From Anguilla they came to St. Thomas, where his Brother-in-law Samuel Bradley[16] was put on shore, being sick, and five more went away and deserted him, where he heard the same News, that the Narrator and his Company were proclaimed Pirates, which incensed the People more and more. From St. Thomas set saile for Moona, an Island between Hispaniola and Porto Rico, where they met with a Sloop called the St. Anthony, bound for Montego[17] from Curaso, Mr. William Bolton[18] Merchant and Samuel Wood Master. The men on board then swore they would bring the Ship no further. The Narrator then sent the said Sloop St. Anthony for Curaso for Canvas to make Sails for the Prize, she being not able to proceed, and she returned in 10 Dayes, and after the Canvas came he could not persuade the men to carry her for New-England, but Six of them went and carried their Chests and things on board of two Dutch Sloops, bound for Curaso, and would not so much as heele the Vessel or do any-thing; the remainder of the men not being able to bring the Adventure-Prize to Bos212ton, the Narrator secured her in a good safe Harbour in some Part of Hispaniola, and left her in the Possession of Mr. Henry Boulton of Antego, Merchant, the Master, three of the old men, and 15 or 16 of the men that belonged to the said Sloop St. Anthony and a Briganteen belonging to one Burt of Curaso.

That the Narrator bought the said Sloop St. Anthony of Mr. Bolton, for the Owners accompt, and after he had given Directions to the said Bolton to be careful of the Ship and Ladeing and persuaded him to stay three months till he returned, and then made the best of his way to New-York, where he heard the Earl of Bellomont was, who was principally concerned in the Adventure Gally, and hearing his Lordship was at Boston, came thither and has now been 45 Dayes from the said Ship.

Wm. Kidd.

Boston, 7th July 1699.

Further the Narrator saith, That the said Ship was left at St. Katharina on the Southeast part of Hispaniola, about three Leagues to Leward of the Westerly end of Savano.[19] Whilst he lay at Hispaniola he traded with Mr. Henry Bolton of Antigua, and Mr. William Burt of Curracao,[20] Merchants, to the value of Eleven thousand two hundred Pieces of Eight, whereof he received the Sloop Antonio at 3000 Pieces of 8/8, and four thousand two hundred Pieces of 8/8 by Bills of Exchange, drawn by Bolton and Burt upon Messieurs Gabril and Lemont,[21] Merchants in Curracao, made payable to Mr. Burt, who went himself to Curracao, and the Value of four thousand Pieces of 8/8 more in Dust and barr-gold, which Gold, with some more traded for at Madagascar, being Fifty Pound Weight or upwards in Quantity, the Narrator left in Custody of Mr. —— Gardner of Gardner's-Island,[22] near the Eastern end of213 Long-Island, fearing to bring it about by Sea. It is made up in a bagg put into a little box, lockt and nailed, corded about, and sealed. Saith, He took no receipt for it of Mr. Gardner.

The Gold that was seized at Mr. Campbel's the Narrator traded for at Madagascar, with what came out of the Gally.

Saith, That he carried in the Adventure Gally from New-York, 154 Men; Seventy whereof came out of England with him. Some of his Sloop's Company put two Bailes of Goods on shore at Gardner's-Island, being their own proper. The Narrator delivered a Chest of Goods, viz. Muslins, Latches, Romals[23] and flowered Silke, unto Mr. Gardner of Gardner's-Island aforesaid, to be kept there for the Narrator. put no Goods on shore any-where else. Several of his Company landed their Chests and other Goods at several places.

Further saith, He delivered a small Bayle of course Callicoes unto a Sloop-Man of Rhode-Island that he had emploied there. The Gold seized at Mr. Campbell's the Narrator intended for Presents to some that he expected to do him Kindness. Some of his Company put their Chests and Bailes on board a New Yorke Sloop lying at Gardner's-Island.

Wm. Kidd.

Presented and taken, die praedict.[24] before his
Excellency and Council.

Isa. Addington, Secretary.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:860, no. 64 XXV. Printed in Commons Journal, XIII. 31-32, and by Dalton, but the same remark applies to this document (and to documents nos. 77, 79, and 82) as to no. 75; they are essential to an understanding of the story. A "protest" by Kidd, July 7, of similar purport, has just been published in Portland MSS., IX. 403.

[2] Three miles down the Thames from London Bridge. The Nore was a sandbank at the mouth of the river; the Downs is the roadstead off Deal.

[3] "At the Buoy in the Nore Captain Steward, commander of the Duchess, took away all my ship's crew; but Admiral Russell [one of Kidd's owners], upon my application to him at Sittingbourne, caused my men to be restored to me." Kidd's protest; Hist. MSS. Comm., Manuscripts of the Duke of Portland, VIII. 80. England and France were at war from 1689 to the peace of Ryswyk, Sept. 20, 1697 (War of the Grand Alliance, King William's War). In such times the royal navy always relied, for its supply of men, upon impressment, especially of merchant seamen. See J.R. Hutchinson, The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore (London, 1913).

[4] See doc. no. 71, note 2.

[5] Cape Comorin, the southern point of Hindustan.

[6] I.e., Madras.

[7] The Rouparelle; her French pass (from the director of Surat for the French East India Company) showing a Mohammedan captain, Dutch pilot, and Dutch boatswain, is in Commons Journal, XIII. 21. It was one of the two passes whose absence at Kidd's trial was fatal to his case.

[8] "The Dutch-man seeing that, swore his countries oath, 'sacremente'." Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (ed. 1908), p. 35.

[9] The French pass of this ship, the Cara Merchant or Quedah Merchant (Kedah, in the Malay Peninsula) is in the Commons Journal, XIII. 21, signed by François Martin, the founder of Pondicherry and of the French empire in India. It is dated Jan. 14, 1698, at Hugli (Chandernagore). It names Armenians as commanders and owner, though the evidence given at Kidd's trials in London (Hargrave, State Trials, V. 287-338) constantly states an Englishman named Wright to have been commander. It should be remembered, in respect to these two captures, of vessels ostensibly French, in November, 1697, and February, 1698, that though the peace of Ryswyk was signed Sept. 20, 1697, the news of its signing did not reach the Indian Ocean till April, 1698; and by its terms (art. X.) captures made "beyond the Line" (Equator) within six months from the signing of the treaty were not illegal.

[10] I.e., an hour by the sand-glass.

[11] Wind.

[12] See doc. no. 74, note 2.

[13] One of the witnesses at Kidd's trial, a member of his crew, gives a very different account of the latter's attitude toward Culliford. It may be quoted, as a specimen of Kidd's unstudied conversational style. "On the Quarter-deck they made a Tub of Bomboo, as they call it, (it is made of Water, and Limes, and Sugar) and there they drank to one another; and, says Capt. Kidd, Before I would do you any Damage, I had rather my Soul should broil in Hell-fire; and wished Damnation to himself several times, if he did. And he took the Cup, and wished that might be his last, if he did not do them all the Good he could." State Trials (Hargrave), V. 306, 335.

[14] I.e., the Quedah Merchant.

[15] Edward Welch was a New Englander, who had come out to Madagascar as a boy, and had a house fortified with six guns near St. Mary's, where he ruled over a company of negroes. Cal. S.P. Col., 1699, p. 289.

[16] Kidd's wife's brother; see doc. no. 78, note 1, and N.Y. Col. Docs., IV. 128, 144, 179. General McCrady, History of South Carolina, I. 262-263, mentions two affidavits in an old manuscript book in Charleston, by two sailors of the Adventure's company, who declare that Bradley took no part with the piratical crew, but constantly protested against their course, and therefore was put ashore sick on a rock near Antigua.

[17] The manuscript (a copy) says Montego, which is in Jamaica, but the name should be Antigua. The Antonio belonged partly to Abraham Redwood of Antigua, afterward of Newport.

[18] Henry Bolton; see doc. no. 86. Samuel Wood's examination is in Commons Journal, XIII. 26.

[19] Savona, or Saona, a small island off the southeasternmost part of Santo Domingo. Santa Catalina is a still smaller island, a little farther to the west.

[20] Burt or Burke, an Irish trader, was of Dutch Curaçao to Kidd, of French St. Kitts to Governor Codrington, but a British subject to the Danish governor of St. Thomas. See doc. no. 83.

[21] Walter Gribble (see doc. no. 86, note 7) and William Lamont.

[22] See doc. no. 79.

[23] Handkerchiefs.

[24] Die praedicta, on the day aforesaid.

77. Lord Bellomont to the Board of Trade. July 8, 1699.[1]

Boston, 8th July, 99.

My Lords,

I have the Misfortune to be ill of the Gout at a time when I have a great deal of business to exercise both my head and my hand.214

It will not be unwellcome News to your Lordships to tell you that I secured Captain Kidd last Thursday in the Gaol of this Town with five or six of his men. He had been hovering on the Coast towards New-York for more than a fortnight, and sent to one Mr. Emot to come from New-York to him at a place called Oyster-Bay in Nassau Island[2] not far from New-York. He brought Emot from thence to Rhoad Island and there landed him, sending him hither to me with an Offer of his comeing into this port provided I would pardon him. I was a litle pussiled how to manage a treaty of that kind with Emot, a cunning Jacobite, a fast Friend of Fletcher's and my avowed enimie. When he proposed my pardoning Kid, I told him It was true the King had allowed me a power to pardon Pyrates; But that I was so tender of useing it (because I would bring no Staine on my Reputation), that I had set myselfe a Rule never to pardon Pyracy without the King's expresse leave and Command. Emot told me that Kid had left the great Moorish Ship he took in India (which Ship I have since found went by the Name of the Quidah-Marchant), in a Creek on the Coast of Hispaniola, with Goods to the Value of thirty Thousand pounds: That he had bought a Sloop, in which he was come before to make his termes: that he had brought in the Sloop with him severall Bailes of East India goods, threescore pound weight of gold in Dust and in Ingotts, about a hundred weight of Silver and several other things which he beleived would sell for about Ten Thousand pounds. Emot also told me that Kid was very innocent and would make it appear that his men forced him, locking him up in the Cabin of the Adventure Galley while they215 robbed two or three Ships, and he could prove this by many witnesses. I answered Emot that if Kid could make that appear he might safely come into this Port and I would undertake to get him the King's Pardon. I writ a Letter to Captain Kid inviteing him to come in,[3] and that I would procure a pardon for him, provided he were as innocent as Mr. Emot said he was. I sent my letter to him by one Mr. Campbell of this Town, and a Scotch as well as Kid, and his Acquaintance: within three or four days Campbell returned to me with a Letter from Kid, full of protestations of his Innocence, and informing me of his Design of coming with his Sloop into this Port. I must not forget to tell your Lordships that Campbell brought three or four small Jewells to my Wife, which I was to know nothing of; but she came quickly and discovered them to me and asked me whither she should keep them, which I advised her to do for the present. For I reflected that my shewing an over-nicety might do hurt, before I had made a full discovery what goods and treasure were in the Sloop. All this whole matter, even to my writing my Letter to Kid, was transacted with the privity and advice of the Councill.

Kid landed here this day Seven night; and I would not so much as speak with him but before Witnesses: I thought he looked very guilty, and to make me believe so he and his friend Livingston[4] (who posted hither from Albany, upon newes of Captain Kid's designe of comeing hither), and Campbell aforesaid began to juggle together and Imbezle some of the Cargo; besides, Kid did strangely trifle with me and the Councill three or four times that we had him under Examination. Mr. Livingston also came to me in a peremptory manner and demanded up his Bond and the articles which he sealed to me upon Kid's Expedition, and told me that Kid swore all the Oaths in the World that unless I did immediately indemnifie Mr. Livingston by giving up his Securities he would never bring in that great Ship and216 Cargo, but that he would take care to satisfie Mr. Livingston himself out of that Cargo. I thought this was such an Impertinence, in both Kid and Livingston, that it was time for me to look about me, and to secure Kid. I had notice that he designed my wife a Thousand Pound in Gold Dust and Ingotts last Thursday, but I spoyled his Complement by ordering him to be arrested and committed that Day, showing the Councill my orders from Court for that purpose. Two Gentlemen of the Councill, Two Merchants, and the Collector, have the Charge of all the Cargo, and they are preparing Inventories of every thing, which shall be sent to your Lordships by the next Ship.[5] I delivered up to those five persons the Jewells that I have formerly told you Kid sent by Campbell to my Wife, and that at the Councill Board.

If I had kept Mr. Secretary Vernon's Orders for seizing and securing Kid and his associates with all their Effects with less Secrecy, I had never got him to come in: for his Country men, Mr. Graham[6] and Livingston, would have been sure to caution him to shift for him selfe and would have been well paid for their pains. I received the Lords Justices[7] Orders about Kid, and likewise Mr. Secretary Vernon's, about three moneths before my leaveing New-York, but I never discovered them to any body, and when I heard people say, that the neighbouring Governors had217 Orders from Court to seize him, I laughed, as if I believed noe such thing. I wish they may not let him escape here, as they have Bradish, a notorious Pyrate. About a fortnight ago, Bradish and another Pyrate got out of the Gaol of this Town and escaped with the Consent of the Gaoler as there is great reason to beleive.[8]

As the Law stands in this Country a Pyrate cannot be punished with Death; therefore I desire to receive orders what to do with Bradish's Crew, and also with Kid, and those Men of his I have taken.[9]

Since my leaving New-York one of the four Ships has come in that went from thence to Madagascar last Summer and of which I informed your Lordships, and has brought Sixty Pyrates and a vast deall of Treasure. I hear that every one of the Pyrates paid 150 l. for his passage, and the owners, I am told, have cleared thirty Thousand pounds by this Voyage. It is observable that Mr. Hackshaw, one of the Merchants that petitioned against me to your Lordships, and Stephen Delancy, a hot headed saucy Frenchman and Mr. Hackshaw's Correspondent, are the cheife owners of this Ship. I hear there were 200 Pyrates at Madagascar when this Ship came away, who intended to take their passage in Frederick Phillips Ship and the other Two belonging to New York.

A great Ship has been seen off this Coast any time this218 Week; it is supposed to be one Maise, a Pyrate who has brought a vast deale of wealth from the red Seas.[10] There is a Sloop also at Rhoad Island, which is said to be a Pyrate. I hear the men goe a shoar there in the day time and return to the Sloop at night and spend their gold very liberally. We can do nothing towards the taking those Ships, for want of a man of War. I am manning out a Ship to go in Quest of the Quidah-Marchant left by Kid on the Coast of Hispaniola: by some papers which we seized with Kid, and by his own Confession, wee have found out where the Ship lyes;[11] and according to his account of the Cargo we compute her to be worth seventy thousand pounds. The Ship that carries this is just upon Sailing, and will not be persuaded to stay any longer; so that I cannot send your Lordships the Inventories of the Goods brought in by Kid, nor the Informations we have taken about him from his own men, till next opportunity. I am, with Respect,

My Lords
Your Lordships most humble
and obedient Servant

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:860, no. 62; Commons Journal, XIII, 18-19. Endorsed as received and read Aug. 31. Richard Coote (1636-1701), earl of Bellomont in the peerage of Ireland, was designated as governor of Massachusetts in June, 1695, and as governor of New York in July, three months before his agreement with Livingston and Kidd, but was not commissioned till June 18, 1697. He arrived in New York Apr. 2, 1698, and first came to Boston May 26, 1699. The part he had taken in sending out Kidd to capture pirates made Kidd's piracy a matter of special indignation and embarrassment to him, particularly when the affair was used in Parliament, in the session of 1700, as a means of attack on the Lord Chancellor Somers (see doc. no. 71, note 1). The agreement with Kidd was an unwise arrangement, but there is no doubt that Bellomont was an honest and zealous official.

[2] Long Island.

[3] The letter, June 19, and Kidd's reply, June 24, are in Commons Journal, XIII. 22.

[4] Robert Livingston (1654-1725), first proprietor of Livingston Manor, a Scot like Kidd and Campbell, was a member of the council of New York, and secretary for Indian affairs.

[5] This inventory is printed in Commons Journal, XIII. 29, and, from a copy preserved by the Gardiner family at Gardiner's Island, in C.C. Gardiner, Lion Gardiner and his Descendants (St. Louis, 1890), pp. 84-85. Judge Samuel Sewall headed the commission, and supervised the shipping of part of the treasure to London; Diary, Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, XLVI. 7. The total of what was secured by the authorities—obtained from Kidd's box and chest, from the Antonio, from Campbell, and from Gardiner—was 1111 troy ounces of gold, 2353 ounces of silver, 17-3/8 ounces of jewels or precious stones, 57 bags of sugar, 41 bales of merchandise, and 17 pieces of canvas. How much leaked away in sloops from Long Island Sound to New York and elsewhere, or in the West Indies, or was destroyed in the burning of the Quedah Merchant in Hispaniola, is matter for conjecture. The total capture, listed above, was thought to be worth £14,000.—Since writing the above, I have come upon Mr. Ralph D. Paine's The Book of Buried Treasure (London, 1911), which presents, at p. 82, a photograph of the inventory mentioned above. Mr. Paine prints our docs. nos. 72, 76, 79, 82, 84, and part of 85.

[6] James Graham, another Scot, was attorney-general of New York and a member of the council.

[7] Acting as chief executive, in the absence of King William.

[8] Joseph Bradish and others of the crew of the ship Adventure of London, on a voyage from London to Borneo in 1698, piratically seized the ship and ran away with it to Block Island. John Higginson of Salem, in a letter of Oct. 3, 1699, after mention of Kidd, adds, "And there was one Bradish, a Cambridge man, who sailed in an interloper bound for India, who, in some part of the East Indies, took an opportunity, when the captain and some of the officers were on shore, to run away with the ship, and came upon our coast, and sunk their ship at Block Island, and brought much wealth ashore with them; but Bradish, and many of his company, and what of his wealth could be found, were seized and secured. But Bradish, and one of his men, broke prison and run away amongst the Indians; but it is supposed that he will be taken again." Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, XXVII. 210. Judge Sewall reports him as recaptured Oct. 26, 1699, and sent to England with Kidd Feb. 16, 1700. Ibid., XLV. 503; XLVI. 6.

[9] A Massachusetts act of 1692 punishing piracy with death had been disallowed by the crown. Judge Sewall, in the debate in the council as to the matter, declared that he knew of no power they had to send men out of the province to be tried. Ibid., XLVI. 4. He was probably right.

[10] William Maze or Mace was one of the pirates specifically named, along with Tew and Wake, in Kidd's commissions.

[11] For the benefit of treasure-hunters, one might wish one could be precise. But while the master of the Antonio says at Sta. Catalina (Commons Journal, XIII. 27) and other sailors (ibid., 24) say in the Rio Romana, which would mean much the same, Henry Bolton (doc. no. 86) says in the Rio Higuey, which is 30 miles farther east, and Capt. Nicholas Evertse, a worthy New York skipper, says (C.J., XIII. 24) that on June 29 he saw the Quedah Merchant, on fire and burnt down almost to the water's edge, in a salt lagoon on "the Island St. Helena, nigh Hispaniola," meaning, apparently, Sta. Catalina.

78. Petition of Sarah Kidd. July 16 (?), 1699.[1]

To his Excellency the Earle of Bellomont, Captn. Gen. and Govr. in Chief of his Maj'tys provinces of the Massa219chusetts Bay, New Yorke, etca. in America, and of the Territorys thereon depending, and Vice Admiral of the same,

The petition of Sarah Kidd the wife of Captn. Wm. Kidd,

Humbly Sheweth

That on the sixth day of July Inst. some of the Magistrates and officers of this place came into your Pet'rs lodgings at the house of Duncan Campbell and did there Seize and take out of a Trunck a Silver Tankard, a Silver Mugg, Silver Porringer, spoons, forcks and other pieces of Plate, and two hundred and sixty pieces of Eight, your Pet'rs sole and proper Plate and mony, brought with her from New Yorke, whereof she has had the possession for several years last past, as she can truely make oath; out of which sd Trunck was also took Twenty five English Crowns which belonged to your Pet'rs Maid.[2]

The premisses and most deplorable Condition of your Pet'r considered, She humbly intreats your hon'rs Justice That Returne be made of the said Plate and mony.

Sarah S K Kidd.

In Council July 18, 1699.

Advised that Mrs. Kidd makeing oath that she brought the Plate and money above mentioned from New York with her, It was restored unto her. As also that Capn. Kidd and Companys wearing Apparel under Seizure be returned to them.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 62, no. 316. On May 16, 1691, Kidd received license to marry at New York Sarah Oort, widow of John Oort, merchant of New York. She was a daughter of Samuel Bradley. Kidd was her third husband. In 1703 she married a fourth. She died in New Jersey in 1744, leaving five children, one of whom was apparently a daughter of Kidd. Frederic de Peyster, in his Bellomont, p. 29, says that she "is said to have been a lovely and accomplished woman." Lovely she may have been, and evidently she was attractive, since she had four husbands, but she could not write her own name. To this document and to nos. 80 and 81 she affixes her mark, S.K., rudely printed; facsimile in Memorial History of Boston, II. 179.—Since this book was prepared, this petition has been printed in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, XXXI. 50-51.

[2] The maid was most likely Elizabeth Morris, whose indenture of apprenticeship to Capt. William Kidd, Aug. 19, 1695, is printed in N.Y. Hist. Soc., Coll., 1885, pp. 571-572. She had then just come out from England in Kidd's old barkentine the Antigua, which Governor Codrington of the Leeward Islands had given him in 1690 to reward his services and replace the ship then stolen from him (see doc. no. 71, note 1, and Portland MSS., VIII. 78) and which had apparently been his ship ever since. She was indentured to him as a maidservant for four years, from July 14, 1695, to July 14, 1699. The council ordered Sarah Kidd's plate to be returned to her.


79. Narrative of John Gardiner. July [17], 1699.[1]

The Narrative of John Gardner of Gardners-Island, alias Isle of Wight, relating to Captain William Kidd.

That about twenty dayes agoe, Mr. Emot of New Yorke came to the Narrators House, and desired a boat to go for New Yorke, telling the Narrator he came from my Lord at Boston. Whereupon the Narrator furnished the said Emot with a boat, and he went for New Yorke, and that Evening the Narrator saw a Sloop with Six Guns rideing at an Anchor off Gardners Island. and two days afterwards in the Evening the Narrator went aboard said Sloop to enquire what she was, and so soon as he came on board Captain Kidd (then unknown to the Narrator) asked him how himselfe and Family did, telling him that he the said Kidd was going to my Lord at Boston, and desired the Narrator to carry three Negroes, two boys and a girle, ashore, to keep till he the said Kidd or his Order should call for them, which the Narrator accordingly did. That about two hours after the Narrator had got the said Negroes ashore, Captain Kidd sent his boat ashore with two bailes of Goods and a Negro Boy, and the morning after, said Kidd desired the Narrator to come immediately on board and bring Six Sheep with him for his the said Kidds Voyage for Boston, which the Narrator did, when Kidd asked him to spare a barrel of Cyder, which the Narrator with great importunity consented to, and sent two of his men for it, who brought the Cyder on board said Sloop, but whilst the men were gone for the Cyder, Captain Kidd offered the Narrator several Pieces of damnified[2] Muslin and221 Bengalls as a Present to his Wife, which the said Kidd put in a bagg, and gave the Narrator, and about a Quarter of an Hour afterwards the said Kidd tooke up two or three pieces of damnified Muslin and gave the Narrator for his proper Use. And the Narrators men then coming on board with the said Barrel of Cyder as aforesaid, the said Kidd gave them four pieces of Arabian Gold for their trouble and also for bringing him Wood. Then the said Kidd, ready to saile, told this Narrator he would pay him for the Cyder, to which the Narrator answered That he was already satisfied for it by the Present made to his Wife. And this Narrator observed that some of Kidds men gave to the Narrators men some inconsiderable things of small value, which this Narrator believes were Muslins for Neckcloths. And then the Narrator took leave of the said Kidd and went ashore, and at parting the said Kidd fired four Guns and stood for Block-Island.

About three Dayes afterwards the said Kidd sent the Master of the Sloop and one Clarke in his boat for the Narrator, who went on board with them, And the said Kidd desired this Narrator to take on shore with him and keep for him, the said Kidd, and Order, a Chest, and a box of gold and a bundle of Quilts and Four Bayles of Goods, which box of gold the said Kidd told the Narrator was intended for my Lord; and the Narrator complied with the said Kidds request and took on shore the said Chest, box of gold, Quilts, and bayles of Goods.

And the Narrator further saith That two of Kidds Crew, who went by the Names of Cooke and Parrat,[3] delivered to him, the Narrator, two baggs of Silver, which they told the Narrator weighed thirty pound weight, for which he gave receipt. And That another of Kidd's men delivered to the Narrator a small bundle of gold, and gold dust of about222 a pound weight, to keep for him, and did also present the Narrator with a Sash and a pair of worsted Stockins. And just before the Sloop sayled Captain Kidd presented the Narrator with a bagg of Sugar, and then tooke leave and sayled for Boston.

And the Narrator further saith, he knew nothing of Kidds being proclaimed a Pyrate, and if he had, he durst not have acted otherwise than he has done, having no force to oppose them, and for that he hath formerly been threatned to be killed by Privateers, if he should carry unkindly to them.

John Gardiner.

The within named Narrator further saith That whilst Captain Kidd lay with his Sloop at Gardners Island, there was a New Yorke Sloop, whereof one Coster is Master, and his Mate was a little black man, unknown to the Narrator by name,[4] who, as it was said, had been formerly Captain Kidds Quarter Master, and another Sloop belonging to New-Yorke, Jacob Fenick[5] Master, both which lay near to Kidds Sloop three dayes together, and whilst the Narrator was on board with Captain Kidd, there was several Bayles of Goods and other things put out of the said Kidds Sloop and put on board the other two Sloops aforesaid, and the said two Sloops sayled up the Sound. After which Kidd sailed with his Sloop for Block Island, and being absent by the Space of three dayes returned to Gardners-Island again in company of another Sloop belonging to New-Yorke, Cornelius Quick Master, on board of which was one Thomas Clarke of Setauket, commonly called Whisking Clarke, and one Harrison of Jamaica, Father to a boy that was with Captain Kidd, and Captain Kidds Wife was then on board his own Sloop.[6] And Quick remained223 with his Sloop there from noon to the evening of the same day, and tooke on board two Chests that came out of the said Kidd's Sloop, under the observance of this Narrator, and he believes several Goods more, and then sailed up the Sound. Kidd remained there with his Sloop until next morning, and then set saile intending, as he said, for Boston. Further the Narrator saith That the next day after Quick sayled with his Sloop from Gardners Island, he saw him turning out of a Bay called Oyster-pan Bay,[7] although the wind was all the time fair to carry him up the Sound; the Narrator supposes he went in thither to land some Goods.

John Gardiner.

Boston, July 1699.

The Narrator, John Gardiner, made Oath before his Excellency and Council unto the truth of his Narrative contained in this Sheet of Paper.

Isa. Addington, Secretary.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:860, no. 64 XXI; Commons Journal, XIII. 30-31. John Gardiner (1661-1738), grandson of Lion Gardiner, was the third manorial proprietor of Gardiner's Island, an island lying three miles northward from Long Island, toward its eastern extremity and near the entrance to the Sound. The narrative was sent to the Board of Trade by Bellomont as an enclosure in no. 82.

[2] Damaged. Bengals were striped goods, partly silk. Kidd gave Mrs. Gardiner more than this. A pitcher and fragments of a piece of cloth of gold are still in the hands of different descendants of two of John Gardiner's wives. See article by John R. Totten in N.Y. Biog. Rec., L. 17-25. The story is told in Thompson's Long Island, p. 203, from a letter of a descendant writing more than a hundred years ago. "He [Kidd] wanted Mrs. Gardiner to roast him a pig; she being afraid to refuse him, roasted it very nice, and he was much pleased with it. He then made her a present of this cloth."

[3] Neither of these sailors was of the original crew. Hugh Parrott, of Plymouth, England, joined Kidd at Johanna, and was tried and condemned with him. His examination at Boston is in Commons Journal, XIII. 29.

[4] Carsten Luersen and Hendrick van der Heul.

[5] Jacob Phoenix.

[6] Capt. Thomas Clarke, coroner of New York, was soon after arrested in Connecticut at the instance of Bellomont, who charged him with having privately deposited £10,000 worth of Kidd's treasure with a man at Stamford. Clarke promised restitution. N.Y. Col. Docs., IV. 595, 793; Calendar of Council Minutes, pp. 143, 144, 164.

[7] Not Oyster Bay, but Oyster-pond Bay, near Orient.

80. Sarah Kidd to Thomas Payne. July 18, 1699.[1]

From Boston Prison, July the 18 day 1699.

Captain Payen:

After my humble service to your selfe and all our good Friends this cometh by a trusty Friend of mine how[2] can declare to you of my great griefe and misery here in prison by how I would desire you to send me Twenty four ounces of Gold and as for all the rest you have in your custody shall desire you for to keep in your custody for it is all we have to support us in time of want; but I pray you to deliver to the bearer hereof the above mentioned sum, hows[3]224 name is Andrew Knott.[4] And in so doing you will oblige him how is your

Sarah S K Keede

the bare hereof can informe you more at large.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:861, no. 4 XVIII. Captain Thomas Paine of Jamestown, R.I. (Conanicut Island), had come to Rhode Island in 1683, as a privateer with dubious papers. In 1690 he had defeated a body of Frenchmen at Block Island. He may have been an accomplice of pirates, as Bellomont charges in doc. no. 85 (in which this is an enclosure); he was certainly one of the founders of Trinity Church, Newport.

[2] Who.

[3] Whose.

[4] See doc. no. 85.

81. Petition of Sarah Kidd. July 25, 1699.[1]

To his Excell'cy the Earle of Bellomont,

Capt. Gen'll and Governor of his Maj'tys Collonies of the Massachusetts Bay in N. Engl'd etca. and to the honorable the Councill.

The Peticion of Sarah Kidd humbly Sheweth

That Your Petitioners husband Capt. Wm. Kidd, being comitted unto the Comon Goale[2] in Boston for Pyracie, and under Streight durance, as Alsoe in want of necessary Assistance, as well as from Your Petitioners Affection to her husband humbly pray's that your Excell'cy and Councill will be pleased to permitt the sd Sarah Kidd to have Communication with her husband, for his reliefe; in such due Season and maner, as by your Excelle'y and Councill may be tho't fitt and prescribed, to which Your Petitioner shall thankfully conforme herSelfe and ever pray etca.

Sarah S K Kidd

Boston 25 July 1699.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 62, no. 317.

[2] Gaol, jail.

82. Lord Bellomont to the Board of Trade. July 26, 1699.[1]

Boston, 26th July 99.

My Lords,

I gave your Lordships a short Account of my taking Capt. Kidd, in my Letter of the 8th Instant:[2] I shall in this Letter confine myselfe wholly to an Account of my Proceeding with him.225

On the 13th of last Month Mr. Emot, a Lawyer of New-York, came late at Night to me and told me he came from Captain Kidd, who was on the Coast with a Sloop, but would not tell me where: That Kidd had brought 60 Pound Weight of gold, about a 100 Weight of Silver, and 17 Bales of East-India goods, (which was less by 24 Bales than we have since got in the Sloop), That Kidd had left behind him a great Ship near the Coast of Hispaniola that nobody but himselfe could find out, on board whereof there were in bale goods, Saltpetre, and other things to the Value of at least 30,000 L.: That if I would give him a pardon, he would bring in the Sloop and goods hither, and would go and fetch the great Ship and goods afterwards. Mr. Emot delivered me that Night Two French Passes, which Kidd took on board the Two Moors Ships which were taken by him in the seas of India (or, as he alleges, by his Men against his Will). One of the Passes wants a date in the original, as in the Copy I send your Lordships; and they go No. I. and No. II.[3]

On Thursday, the 15 of June, I sent Mr. Campbel, the Post-Master of this town, Kidd's Countryman and acquaintance, along with Mr. Emot, to invite Kidd to come into this Port. Mr. Campbel returned hither on the 19 of June, and gave in a Memorial to my selfe and the Councel, containing what had passed between him and Kidd: The said Memorial goes No. 3.[4] On the said 19 June, as I sate in Councel, I wrote a Letter to Captain Kidd, and shewed it to the Councel, and they approving of it, I dispatched Mr. Campbel again to Kidd with my said Letter, a Copy whereof goes No. 4. Your Lordships may observe That the promise I make Captain Kidd, in my said Letter, of a kind reception, and promising the King's pardon for him, is conditionall; that is, provided he were as innocent as he pretended to be. But I quickly found sufficient Cause to suspect him very guilty, by the many lyes and Contradictions he told me. I was so much upon my guard with Kidd that, he arriving here on Saturday the [first] of this moneth, I would not see226 him but before witnesses; nor have I ever seen him since, but in Councel twice or thrice that we examined him; and the day he was taken up by the Constable, it happened to be by the door of my Lodging,[5] and he rushed in and came running to me, the Constable after him. I had him not seized till Thursday the 6th instant, for I had a mind to discover where he had left the great Ship, and I thought my selfe secure enough from his running away, because I took care not to give him the least umbrage of my Design of seizing him, Nor had I till that day that I produced my orders from Court for apprehending of Kidd, communicated them to anybody. And I found it necessary to shew my orders to the Councel, to animate them to join heartily with me in securing Kidd, and examining his Affair nicely, to discover what we could of his behaviour in his whole Voyage. Another reason why I took him not up sooner was that he had brought his wife and Children hither in the Sloop with him, who I believed he would not easily forsake. He being examined twice or thrice by me and the Councel, and also some of his men, I observed he seemed much disturbed, And the last time we examined him I fancied he looked as if he were upon the wing, and resolved to run away, and the Gentlemen of the Councel had some of them the same thought with mine, so that I took their Consent in seizing and committing him.[6] But the officers appointed to seize his men were so careless as to let 3 or 4 of his men escape, which troubled me the more because they were old New-York Pyrates. The next thing the Councel and I did, was to appoint a Committee of trusty persons to search for the goods and Treasure brought by Kidd and to secure what they should find till the King's pleasure should be known as to the Disposition thereof, as my orders from227 Mr. Secretary Vernon import. The said Committee were made up of Two Gentlemen of the Councel, Two Merchants, and the Deputy Collector, whose names are to the inclosed Inventory of the goods and Treasure. They searched Kidd's Lodging, and found hid and made up in Two sea-beds, a bag of gold dust and Ingots of the value of about 1000 L. and a bag of silver, part money and part pieces and piggs of silver, value as set down in the said Inventory. In the above bag of gold were several litle bags of gold; all particulars are, I believe, very justly and exactly set down in the Inventory. For my part, I have medled with no manner of thing, but put every thing under the management of the Councel, and into the Custody of the before mentioned Committee, that I might be free from the Suspicion and Censure of the World. The enameled box mentioned in the beginning of the Inventory is that which Kidd made a present of to my wife by Mr. Campbel, which I delivered in Councel to the said Committee to keep with the rest of the Treasure. There was in it a stone ring, which we take to be a Bristoll Stone;[7] if it were true, it would be worth about 40 L. And there was a small stone unset which we believe is also counterfeit, and a sort of a Locket, with four Sparks which seem to be right diamonds; for there is nobody here that understands Jewels. If the Box and all that is in it were right, they cannot be worth above 60 L.

Your Lordships will see in the middle of the Inventory a parcel of Treasure and Jewels delivered up by Mr. Gardiner, of Gardiner's Island, in the Province of New-York, and at the East End of Nassau-Island, the Recovering and saving of which Treasure is owing to my Own Care and quickness. I heard by the greatest accident in the world, the day that Captain Kidd was committed, That a Man had offered 30 L. for a Sloop to carry him to Gardiner's Island, and Kidd having owned he had buried some Gold on that Island, (though he never mentioned to us any Jewels, nor, I believe, would he have owned the gold there but that he thought he should himselfe be sent for it), I presently re228flected that that man (whom I have since discovered to be one of Kidd's Men) was to defeat us of that Treasure; I privately posted away a Messenger by Land with a peremptory order to Mr. Gardiner in the King's name to come forthwith, and deliver up such Treasure as Kidd or any of his Crew had lodged with him; acquainting him That I had committed Kidd to Goal, as I was ordered to do by the King. My Messenger made great haste, and was with Gardiner before anybody, and Gardiner, who is a very substantial man, brought away the Treasure without delay, and by my direction delivered it into the Hands of the Committee. If the Jewels be right, as it is supposed they are, but I never saw them, nor the gold and silver brought by Gardiner, then we guesse that the parcel brought by him may be worth (Gold, Silver and Jewels) 4500 L. And besides Kidd had left Six bales of goods with him, one of which was twice as big as any of the rest; and Kidd gave him a particular Charge of that bale, and told him it was worth 2000 L. The six bales Gardiner could not bring, but I have ordered him to send them by a Sloop that is since gone from hence to New York, and which is to return speedily. We are not able to set an exact value on the goods and Treasure we have got, because we have not opened the bales we took on board the Sloop; But we hope when the six bales are sent in by Gardiner, what will be then in the hands of the Gentlemen appointed to that Trust, will amount to about 14000 L. I have sent strict orders to my Lieutenant Governor at New York,[8] to make dilligent Search for the Goods and Treasure sent by Kidd to New York in Three Sloops mentioned in Gardiner's affidavit,[9] which I send with the other affidavits and Informations to your Lordships; and I believe I have directed him where to find a Purchase in a house at New York, which by a hint I have had I am apt to believe will be found out in that house. I have sent to search elsewhere a certain place, strongly suspected to have received another depositum of gold from Kidd. I am also upon the hunt after Two or229 Three Arch Pyrates, which I hope to give your Lordships a good Account of by next Conveyance. If I could have but a good able Judge and Attorney General at York, a Man of war there and another here, and the Companies recruited and well paid, I will rout Pirates and Piracy entirely out of all this north part of America, but as I have but too often told your Lordships, it is impossible for me to do all this alone in my single person.

I wrot your Lordships word in my last letter of the 8 Instant That Bradish the Pyrate and one of his Crew were escaped out of the goal of this Town. We have since found that the Goaler was Bradish's kinsman, and the Goaler confessed they went out at the prison door, and that he found it wide open; we had all the reason in the world to believe the Goaler was consenting to the escape: by much ado I could get the Counsel to resent the Goaler's behaviour, but by meer Importunity I had the fellow before us; we examined him, and, by his own Story and accounts given us of his suffering other prisoners formerly to escape, I prevailed to have him turned out and a prosecution ordered against him to the Attorney Generall. I have also, with some difficulty, this late Session of Assembly here, got a bill to pass, That the Goal be committed to the Care of the High Sheriffe of the County, as in England, with a Salary of 30 L. per Annum, to the said Sheriffe: I would have had it 50 L. per Annum, for the Sheriff's Incouragement to be honest and carefull, but I could not prevail. I am forced to allow the Sheriff 40 s. per Week for keeping Kidd safe; otherwise I should be in some doubt about him. He has without doubt a great deal of gold, which is apt to tempt men that have not principles of honour; I have therefore, to try the power of dull Iron against gold, put him into Irons that Weigh 16 Pound. I thought it moderate enough, for I remember poor Doctor Oates[10] had a 100 weight of Iron on him when he was a prisoner in the late Raign. There never was a greater Lyar or Thief in the World than this Kidd; not230withstanding he assured the Councel and me every time we examined him That the great Ship and her Cargo waited his return to bring her hither, and now your Lordships will see by Two severall Informations of Masters of Ships from Curacao, that the Cargo has been sold there, and in one of them it is said they have burnt that noble Ship, and without doubt, it was by Kidd's order, that the Ship might not be an evidence against him, for he would not own to us her Name was the Quidah-Marchand, though his men did. Andries Henlyne, and Two more, brought the first news to York of the sale of that Cargo at Curacao; and never such pennyworths heard of for Cheapness; Captain Evertz is he who has brought the news of the Ship's being burnt. She was of about 500 Ton, and Kidd told us at the Councel, there never was a stronger or stancher Ship seen. His Lying had like to have involved me in a Contract that would have been very chargeable and to no manner of purpose, as he has ordered Matters. I was advised by Counsel to dispatch a Ship of good Countenance to go and fetch away that Ship and Cargo. I had agreed for a Ship of 300 tons, 22 Guns, and I was to man her with 60 men, to force (if there had been need of it) the Men to yield who were left with the Ship. I was just going to seal the writing, when I bethought myself it were best to presse Kidd once more to tell me Truth: I therefore sent to him Two Gentlemen of the Councel to the Goal, and he at last owned That he had left a power with one Mr. Henry Bolton, a Marchand of Antegoa whom he had Committed the Care of the Ship to, to sell and dispose of all the Cargo: upon which Confession of Kidds I held my hand from hireing that great Ship, which would have cost 1700 L. by Computation. And now to-morrow I send the Sloop Captain Kidd came in, with Letters to the Lieutenant Governor of Antegoa, Colonel Yeomans, to the Governors of St. Thomas's Island and Curacao, to seize and secure what effects they can, that was late in the possession of Kidd, and on board the Quidah-Marchand. There is one Burk, an Englishman, that lives at St. Thomas, who has got a great Store of the goods and mony for Kidd's account. St.231 Thomas belongs to the Danes, but I hope to retrieve what Burt has in his Hands.[11] The sending this Sloop will cost but about 300 L. if she be out Three moneths. I hope your Lordships will take care, that immediate orders be sent to Antegoa to secure Bolton, who must have plaid the Knave egregiously; for he could not but know that Kidd came knavishly by that Ship and Goods. It is reported That the Dutch of Curacao have loaded Three Sloops with those Goods, and sent them to Holland; perhaps it were not amiss to send and watch their Arrivall in Holland, if it be practicable to lay Claim to them there.

Since my Committment of Kidd, I hear That upon his approach to this port, his heart misgave him, and he proposed to his Men the putting to Sea again and going to Caledonia,[12] the new Scotch Settlement near Darien, but they refused.

I desire I may have orders what to do with Kidd, and all his and Bradish's Crew; for, as the Law stands in this Country, if a pyrate were Convict, yet he cannot suffer Death: And the Counsell here refused the bill to punish Privateers and Pyrates which your Lordships sent with me from England with a direction to recommend it at New York and here, to be passed into a Law. I shall by next Conveyance acquaint your Lordships what a prejudice I have found in some of the Counsel to the Laws of England this Session, but having writ myself almost dead, I must till another Opportunity forbear to treat of the affairs of this Province; but when I do, I must tell your Lordships beforehand, I will not dissemble with you to favour any man or number of men; I am both above it, and I should thinke I did not do the part of an honest man, if I concealed any thing from you that tends to the prejudice of the Interest of England.

You will observe by some of the Informations I now232 send, That Kidd did not only rob the Two Moors Ships, but also a Portugueze Ship; which he denied absolutely to the Counsel and me.

I send your Lordships 24 severall Papers and Evidences relating to Captain Kidd. It is impossible for me to animadvert and make remarks on the several matters contained in the said papers, in the weak Condition I am at present; but must leave that Trouble to Mr. Secretary Popple,[13] whose excellent clear method in business fits him incomparably beyond me for such a Work.

I will always continue to be, with much Respect,

My Lords,
Your Lordships most humble
and obedient Servant,

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:860, no. 64; Commons Journal, XIII. 19-21. The original is endorsed as received Sept. 20.

[2] Doc. no. 77.

[3] See doc. no. 87, note 2.

[4] Doc. no. 75.

[5] Peter Sergeant, a rich merchant, who had the finest house in Boston, had given it over to the new governor's use. Mass. Hist Soc., Proc., XXII. 123-131. Lord Bellomont held his council meetings in its best chamber. It was afterward the famous Province House, having been bought later by the province, for a residence for the governors. Hawthorne, at the beginning of part II. of his Twice-Told Tales, describes it as it was in 1845. A portion of the walls was in 1919 still visible from Province Court.

[6] Dr. Edward Everett Hale gives quotations from the council records, in Memorial History of Boston, II. 177-178.

[7] Rock-crystal, of a kind found near Bristol, England.

[8] Capt. John Nanfan; see doc. no. 73, note 2.

[9] Doc. no. 79.

[10] Titus Oates, the scurrilous and perjured informer, wonderfully successful with his "Popish Plot" in 1679 and 1680, thrown into prison, under heavy irons, in 1684. He was still living in 1699. His doctoral degree ("D.D. of Salamanca") was spurious.

[11] The reply of the governor of St. Thomas is doc. no. 83.

[12] Caledonia was the settlement on the isthmus of Panama to which the Darien Company, amid so much enthusiasm on the part of the Scottish nation (see Macaulay's twenty-fourth chapter), had sent out its colony in 1698. The settlement had proved a disastrous failure and had been abandoned, and the ships bringing away the wretched survivors were already approaching New York, but neither Kidd nor Bellomont yet knew this.

[13] William Popple the elder, secretary to the Board of Trade from 1696 to 1708.

83. The Danish Governor of St. Thomas to Lord Bellomont. September 1, 1699.[1]

Aen Syn Excell. Bellomont

St. Thomas de 1 Septembris anno 1699

Myn Heer

Hebbe d'Eere gehadt, uw Excell. aengename Missive van den 26 July door Capt. —— Carry t'ontvanghen, en daer uyt ten volle verstaen het gheen uw Excell. aengaende den Zeeroover Will Kidd heeft gelieven te schryven, waerop uw Excell. met naervolgende Antwoort dienen Sall. voorschryven Will Kidd is voor deesen Haeven met zyn voerende Schip onder Engelse Vlagge buyten Schoot Van't Kooninghs233 Fortress ten Anker gekoomen, en heeft daerop zyn Chaloupe met een Brief aen My aen Lant gesonden, waerin hy Protectie van my was begehrende, Vaerder pretenderende onschuldigh te weesen in't Rooven van de Subjecten van den Mogol in Oostjndien. Zyn Bedryf my toenmaels nogh Onbekent Zynde, Schreef hem Wederom, by aldien hy een Eerlyk man was, dat ick hem protegeren woude, maer hy heeft Verzekeringh willen hebben, dat ick hem aen gheen Oorloghs schepen van syn Majestat van Groot Britannien, die hem souden Koomen Opeyschen Overleveren soude, 't welck hem geweygert hebbe, waerop by Verstaen hebbende, dat ick alle Habitanten verbooden hadde, gheen Provisie aen hem te vercoopen, wederom onder Zeyl is gegaen; zedert die Tyt hebbe hooren seggen, dat hy omtrent het Eylant Moone ten Anker lagh, en dat een Bolton van Antigua by hem geweest hadde, om met hem te negotieren. Naederhant quam in deesen Haven eenen Bergantin, toebehoorende aen Barbades, waerop eenen Will Burcke Coopman was, van welcke ick gheen suspitie hadde nogh minder de gedachten, dat hy hem soude onderstaen dörfen eenighe Zeerover goederen hier intevoeren; Nochtans hebbe des Andern Daeghs verstaen, dat hy by Nacht een Party Goet aen Lant hadde gebrocht, dewelcke hy volghens seggen aen de Heer Pedro van Bellen, General Directeur voor de Ceurvorsth. Brandenborgse Privilegeerde soude vercocht hebben, dewelcke ook in't Brandenborgse Magazyn zyn Opgeleght. ick hebbe aen voorschryven goederen niet können koomen dewyl voorschryven Brandenborgse Privilegeerde hier ter Plaetse haer eyghen Recht en Privilegien hebben, maer voorschryven Will Burcke hebbe laeten arresteren, en naerdien hy Borghtocht heeft gestelt, hebbe hem laeten vertrecken met de Bergantin, dogh met de Conditie, dat hy syn verantwoordinghe aen Barbades (dewyl hy een Subject van Syn Majestät van Engelant en aldaer woonachtigh was) soude doen. Naederhant is hy van Barbades wederom hier gekoomen, medebrengende een Recommendatie van de Heer Gouverneur Grey aen my, en ophoudt sigh hier nu nogh in't Brandenborgse Loge, maer alle voorschryven Goederen zyn (soo geseght word) naer234 aendere Plaetse getransporteert. Deeses is all het gheen, daervan Uw. Excell. aengaende deese Saeke onderrechten kan, daerby verzekerende dat gheen Subjecten of inwoonders van Syn Cooninglyke Majestät van Denemarck myn Souverain Heer met voor[schryven] Kidd gehandelt hebben, dewyl daerin Goede ordre hebbe beschickt. Ondertuschen hebbe aenstonts een Persoon uyt den Raet naer Denemarck gesonden, om aen Syn Cooninglyke Majestät myn allergenadigste Kooning ende Heer van all het gheen, soo als het passeert is, alleronderdaenigst Rapport te geven. Hiermede Sluytende recommenderende Uwe Excell. alle Goede Vrientschap en Vaerdere goede Correspondentie t'Onderhouden, Waermede verblyve

Uwe Excell.
Ootmoedigen Dienaer
J. Lorents.

[Addressed:] To Milord Bellomont Earl,
Gouvernor of New England, Yorck and other
places, In Boston


St. Thomas, September 1, 1699.

To His Excellency Bellomont:

My Lord:

I have had the honor to receive by way of Captain —— Carry[2] Your Excellency's agreeable letter of July 26, and to understand fully from it what Your Excellency has been pleased to write as to the pirate Will Kidd, upon which I shall serve Your Excellency with the following reply. The aforesaid Will Kidd, with his freight-ship under the English flag, came to anchor off this harbor, out of range of the King's fortress, and then sent his shallop to land with a letter to me, in which he asked me for protection, further declaring that he was innocent as to robbing the subjects of the235 Mogul in the East Indies. His course of conduct being at that time still unknown to me, I wrote him in reply that, in case he was an honorable man, I would protect him, but he wished to have assurance that I would not give him up to any war-ship of His Majesty of Great Britain that should come to demand him. This I declined to give, whereupon he, understanding that I had forbidden all inhabitants to sell him any provisions, set sail again.[3] Since that time I have heard that he lay at anchor near the island of Mona, and that one Bolton of Antigua had been with him, to transact business. Afterward there came into this harbor a brigantine belonging to Barbados, on which one Will Burcke[4] was merchant, concerning whom I had no suspicion, still less the thought that he would dare to undertake bringing in here any pirate goods; yet I learned the other day that he by night had brought a quantity of goods to land, which, according to reports, he had sold to Mr. Pedro van Bellen, general director for the Electoral Brandenburg Privileged Company, and which are also stored in the Brandenburg warehouse.[5] I have not been able to get at the aforesaid goods, because the said Brandenburg patentees have here their own law and privileges, but I have caused the said Will Burcke to be arrested, and on his giving bail have let him return with the brigantine, yet on condition that he should discharge his responsibility to Barbadoes, he being a subject of His Majesty of England and resident there. Since that time he has come here again from Barbados, bringing with him a recommendation from Gover236nor Grey[6] to me, and is living here still at the Brandenburg Lodge, but all the aforesaid goods have, it is said, been transported to other places. This is all the information that I can give Your Excellency respecting this matter, at the same time assuring you that no subjects of his Royal Majesty of Denmark, my sovereign Lord, or inhabitants here, have traded with the aforesaid Kidd, for in that matter I have enforced good order. Meanwhile I have forthwith sent a member of the council to Denmark, to report most submissively to His Royal Majesty, my most gracious King and Lord, all these matters just as they have occurred. Herewith closing, and commending myself to Your Excellency, to maintain all good friendship and further good correspondence, I remain

Your Excellency's
Humble Servant
J. Lorents.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:860, no. 73 XIII. Johan Lorentz, acting governor of the Danish island of St. Thomas 1689-1692, governor 1694-1702, was of Flensborg in Sleswick, but his habitual language was Dutch, which indeed was the usual language of St. Thomas at this time. His letter, written in Dutch, was sent to the Board of Trade as an enclosure in a letter from Bellomont dated Oct. 24. Bellomont, as indicated in the latter part of doc. no. 82, sent the Antonio, with a trusty skipper, to Antigua, St. Thomas, Curaçao, and Jamaica, to recover whatever could be found of Kidd's booty. This is one of the letters it brought back. Lorentz dated by old style.

[2] Nathaniel Cary of Charlestown. His very interesting account of his wife's prosecution for witchcraft in 1692 is in Calef's More Wonders of the Invisible World, and is reprinted in G.L. Burr, Narratives of the Witchcraft Trials, pp. 349-352.

[3] The episode is related more fully in Westergaard, The Danish West Indies, pp. 113-118, Professor Westergaard having found Lorentz's carefully kept diary in the Danish archives at Copenhagen. Lorentz "answered that if he could produce proof in writing that he was an honest man, he might enter". From his request for protection from English royal ships, the governor "saw that he was a pirate", and "his request was flatly refused him, and he was forbidden to send his men ashore again unless they came into the harbor with the ship".

[4] See doc. no. 76, note 20.

[5] By a treaty between the Great Elector and the King of Denmark, in 1685, Brandenburg secured for thirty years the privilege of maintaining on St. Thomas an establishment, chiefly useful in connection with the work of the Brandenburg company for the African slave-trade. The story is related in Westergaard, ch. III., and in Schück; see doc. no. 43, note 1, and no. 48, note 1. The episode of Burke and Van Belle is more fully related in Westergaard, pp. 115-118. Burke escaped and most of the goods went across the Atlantic to Brandenburg, but Lorentz seems to have been honest.

[6] Hon. Ralph Grey, governor of Barbados 1697-1699.

84. Declaration of William Kidd. September 4, 1699.[1]

Boston September 4, 1699

Captain William Kidd declareth and saith That in his chest which he left at Gardiners Island there was three small baggs or more of Jasper Antonio or stone of Goa,[2] severall pieces of Silk stript with silver and gold, Cloth of Silver, about a Bushell of Cloves and Nutmegs mixed together and strawed up and down, severall books of fine white callicoes, severall pieces of fine Muzlins, severall pieces more of flowred silk, he does not well remmember what further was in it. he had an Invoyce thereof in his other chest. all that was contained in the said Chest was bought by him and237 some given him at Madagascar, nothing thereof was taken in the ship Quedah Merchant. he esteemed it to be of greater value than all else that he left at Gardiners Island except the gold and silver. there was neither gold or silver in the chest. It was fastned with a Padlock and nailed and corded about.

Further saith That he left at said Gardiners Island a bundle of nine or tenn fine India Quilts, some of them Silk with fringes and Tassells.

Wm. Kidd.

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:860, no. 65 XIX. Enclosed in a letter of Bellomont to the Board of Trade, Aug. 28. There is a photographic facsimile of the original in R.D. Paine, The Book of Buried Treasure, at p. 85. Though this chest is mentioned in several of the Kidd documents, no account of its contents appears in the chief printed inventories, indeed I find no evidence that it was brought to Boston. The statement may have interest as showing kinds of goods then highly valued.

[2] A fever medicine, consisting of various drugs made up into a hard ball, lately invented in India by Gaspar Antonio, a lay brother of the Society of Jesus.

85. Lord Bellomont to the Board of Trade. November 29, 1699.[1]

Boston the 29 November 99.

My Lords

I gave your Lordships an account in my Letter of the 24th of last moneth[2] by the last ship that went hence for England, of my taking Joseph Bradish and Tee Wetherley, the two Pyrates that had escaped from the Goal of this town;[3] and I then also writ that I hoped in a little time to be able to send your Lordships the news of my taking James Gill[am] the Pyrat that killed Captain Edgecomb, Commander of the Mocha frigat for the East India Company,[4] and that with his own hand while the Captain was asleep, and Gillam is supposed to be the man that Incouraged the Ship's Company to turn Pyrats, and that ship has ever since been robbing in the Red Sea and Seas of India, and taken an Incredible deal of wealth; if one may believe the reports of men that are lately come from Madagascar, and that saw the Mocha frigat there, she has taken above two millions sterling. I have been so lucky as to take James Gillam, and he is now in Irons in the Goal of this town, and at the238 same time with him was sie[ze]d one Francis Dole,[5] in whose house he was harboured, who proves to be one of Hore's Crew, H[ore] one of Colonel Fletcher's Pyrates commissioned by him from New York; Dole is also committed to Goal. My taking of Gillam was so very accidentall that I cannot forbear giving your Lordships a narrative of it, and one would believe there was a strange fatality in that m[an's] Starrs. On Saturday the 11th Instant late in the evening I had a letter from Colonel Sanford,[6] Judge [of] the Admiralty Court in Rhode-Island, giving me an account that Gillam had been there, but was come towards Boston a fortnight before, in order to ship himselfe for some of the Islands, Jamaica or Barbados, that he was troubled he knew it not sooner, and was affraid his Intelligence would come too late to me; that the Messenger he sent knew the Mare Gillam rode on [to] this town. I was in despair of finding the man, because Colonel Sanford writ to me that he was g[one] to this town so long a time as a fortnight before that; however I sent for an honest Constable I had made use of in the apprehending of Kidd and his men, and sent him with Colonel Sanford's Messenger to examine and search all the Inns in Town for the mare, and at the first Inn they went to, they found her tied up in the yard; the people of the Inn reported that the man that brought her thither, had lighted off her about a quarter of an hour before, had there tied her, but went away without saying anything to anybody. Upon notice of this I gave order to the Master of the Inn that if any body came to look after the mare, he should be sure to seize and secure him, but no body came for her. The next morning which was Sunday I summoned [a] Council, and we published a Proclamation, wherein I promised a reward of 200[l.] for the seizing and securing Gillam, whereupon there was the strictest search [all that] day, and the next, that was ever made in this part of the world, but we had missed him, if I had not been Informed of one Captain Knot, as an old239 Pyrate and therefore likely [to k]now where Gillam was concealed.[7] I sent for Knot and examined him, promising h[im if h]e would make an Ingenious Confession, I would not molest or prosecute him; he seemed [mu]ch disturbed, but would not confesse anything to purpose. I then sent for his wife and examined her on oath apart from her husband, and she confessed that one who went by the [name] of James Kelly had lodged severall nights in her house, but for some nights past [lo]dged as she believed in Charlestown Crosse the River. I knew he went by the name of Kelly, [the]n I examined Captain Knot again, telling him his wife had been more free and ingenious [tha]n him, which made him believe she had told all; and then he told me of Francis Dole in Charlestown, and that he believed Gillam would be found there. I sent half a dousin men immediately over the water to Charlestown and Knot with them, they beset the house, and searched it but found not the man, Dole affirming with many protestations he was not there, neither knew [of] any such man. Two of the men went through a field behind Dole's house, and passing [thr]ough a second field they met a man in the dark (for it was ten a clock at night) whom they [seize]d at all adventures, and it happened as oddly as luckily to be Gillam, he had been treating [some] young women some few miles off in the Country, and was returning at night to his Landlord Dole's house, and so was met with. I examined him, but he denied everything, even that he came with Kidd from Madagascar, or ever saw him in his life; but Captain Davies,[8] who also came thence with Kidd, and all Kidd's men, are positive he is the man and that he went by his true name viz. Gillam, all the while he was on the voyage with them, and Mr. Campbel the Postmaster of this town (whom I sent to treat with Kidd) offers to swear this is the man he saw on [bo]ard Kidd's sloop under the name of James Gillam. He is the240 most impudent hardened V[illai]n I ever saw in my whole life. That which led me to an Inquiry and search after this man [was t]he Information of William Cuthbert on oath, which I sent your Lordships with my packet of the 26th of this last July,[9] wherein Cuthbert Informs that being lately in the East India Company's service [it w]as commonly reported there that Gillam had killed Captain Edgecomb with his own hand, that he had [s]erved the Mogul, turned Mahometan and was Circumcised. I had him searched by a [su]rgeon and also by a Jew in this Town, to know if he were Circumcised, and they have both declared on oath that he is. Mr. Cutler the surgeon's[10] deposition goes (No. 1) and Mr. Frazon the Jew's (No. 2).[11] The rest of the Evidences about Gillam and some other Pyrates go numbered from 3 to 23 inclusive, which I recommend to your Lordships perusall, as what will inform you of the strange Countenance given to Pyrats by the Government and people of [Rhode]-Island. I have numbered the papers in order of time and according to their dates: most have reference to Gillam, some to Kidd. In searching the forementioned Captain Knot's house [a smal]l trunk was found with some remnants of East India goods, and a Letter from Kidd's wife to Captain Thomas Pain an old Pyrat living on Canonicot Island in Rhode Island Governm[ent.][12] The affidavit he made when I was at Rhode-Island goes numbered among the other evide[nce.] He then made oath that he had received nothing from Kidd's sloop when she lay at anchor by [torn] Island, yet by Knot's241 deposition your Lordships will find, he was sent with Mrs. Kidd's letter to Pa[in for] 24 ounces of gold, which Knot accordingly brought; and Mrs. Kidd's Injunction to Pain to keep a[ll the] rest that was left with him till further order, was a plain Indication that there was a good deal of [trea]sure still behind in Pain's Custody, therefore I posted away a messenger to Governor Crans[ton][13] and Colonel Sanford to make a strict search of Pain's house before he could have notice; it see[ms] nothing was then found, but Pain has since produced 18 ounces and odd weight of gold, as appears by Cranston's Letter of the 25th Instant and pretends it was bestowed on him by Kidd, hoping that may p[rove (?)] a salvo for the oath he made when I was in Rhode-Island, but I think it is plain he forswore himselfe then, and I am of opinion he has a great deal more of Kidd's gold still in his hands. [But] he is out of my power, and being in that Government I cannot compell him to deliver up th....

Your Lordships will find in Captain Coddington's narrative number 35[14] and sent with my Report dated the 27th Instant an Inventory of gold and Jew[els] in Governor Cranston's hands which he took from a Pyrat. I see no reason why he should keep them ... so far from that, that he (with submission) ought to be called to an account for Conniving at the Py[rats] making that Island their Sanctuary, and suffering some to escape from Justice. If there be an order sent to him to deliver what gold and jewels is contained in the said Inventory, and also the formentio[ned] parcel of gold which he received from Pain, with all other goods and treasure which he has at any time rec[eived] from Privateers or Pyrates, into my hands for the use of his Majesty, and that upon oath, I will [see] the order executed, and will give a faithfull account thereof according to the order I shall re[ceive].

Four pound weight of the gold brought from Gardiner's Island which I formerly acquainted your Lordships of, and242 all the Jewels, belonged to Gillam, as Mr. Gardiner's Letter to Mr. Dummer,[15] a Marchand in t[he] town and one of the Committee appointed by me and the Council to receive all the treasure and goods which [were] brought in Kidd's sloop, will prove; and there is some proof of it in Captain Coddington's b[efore men]tioned narrative, and in Captain Knot's deposition of the 14th Instant. I am told that as Vice A[dmiral] of these provinces I am entitled to 1/3 part of Gillam's said gold and Jewels; I know not whe[ther I] am or no, but if it be my right I hope your Lordships will please to represent to the King the ext[reme] pains and vigilance I have used in taking these severall Pyrates, and that I may have my [por]tion of the said gold and Jewels, if there be any due to me. It is a great prejudice to the King's s[ervice] that here is no Revenue or other fund to answer any occasion or service of Majestys. I have [been] forced to disburse the 200 pieces of 8/8 for the taking of Gillam out of my own little stock and also to [de]fray my journey and other expences in going to Rhode-Island to execute the King's Commission [and] Instructions. Both accounts I now send, and beg your Lordships favour in promoting and Countenancing the payment of that mony to Sir John Stanley for my use. Captain Gullock[16] tells [me] that 15 or 16 of the ship's Company that would not be concerned with Gillam and his accomplices in murdering Captain Edgecomb, and afterwards turning Pyrates, went home to England in [the] Ship America belonging to the East India Company, Captain Laycock Commander. I should thi[nk an] advertisement in the Gazette requiring some of those men to appear before one of the Sec[retaries] of State to give their evidence of what they know of that matter, would be proper.

[Your] Lordships will meet with a passe among the other papers, number 5, to Sion Arnold, one of the [pirat]es brought from Madagascar by Shelley of New York, the said passe signed by Mr. Basse,[17] [Go]vernor of East and243 West Jerzies, which is a bold step in Basse after such positive orders as he received from [Govern]or[18] Vernon, but I perceive plainly the meaning of it, he took severall Pirats at Burlington [in West] Jerzey, and a good store of mony with them as it is said, and I daresay he would be glad they [should] escape, for when they are gone, who can witnesse what money he seized with them? I know [the] man so well, that I verily believe that is his plot. John Carr mentioned in some of the [papers to (?)] be in Rhode Island, No. 6, was one of Hore's Crew. There are abundance of other Pyrats in that [Is]land at this time, but they are out of my power. Mr. Brinley,[19] Colonel Sanford, and Captain Coddington are honest men, and of the best estates in the Island, and because they are heartily [wea]ry of the male administrations of that Government, and because too I commissioned them (by [virt]ue of the authority and power given me by his Majesty's Commission and Instructions so to do) to [make] Inquiry into the Irregularities of those people, they are become strangely odious to them and [are o]ften affronted by them, neither will they make them Justices of the peace; so that when they [w]ould commit Pyrates to Goal, they are forced to go to the Governor for his Warrant, and very ... ly the Pyrates get notice, and avoid the Warrant for that time. You may please to o[bser]ve too that Gardiner the Deputy Collector[20] is accused to have been once a Pyrat, in one of the [paper]s. I doubt he will forswear himselfe rather than part with Gillam's gold which is in his hands. [It is] impossible for me to transmit to the Lords of the Treasury these proofs against Gardiner. [I am] so jaded with writing,244 that I cannot write to them by this Conveyance, but I could wish [your Lordships might be (?)] made acquainted with Gardiner's Character, and that they would send over honest In——t men to be Collectors of Rhode Island, Conecticut, and New Hampshire; and that they [would h]asten Mr. Brenton[21] hither to his post, or send some other Collector in his room. I could [wish] that Mr. Weaver were ordered to hasten to New York. Your Lordships may please to observe that [Knott] in one of his depositions accuses Gillam to have pyrated four years together in the [Sou]th sea against the Spaniards.

We have advice that Burk an Irishman and Pyrat that committed severall robberies on th[e] [coast] of Newfoundland, is drowned with all his ship's Company, except 7 or 8 persons somewh[ere to the] southward. It is said he perished in the hurrican that was in those Seas about the end of [July and] beginning of August last. It is good news, he was very strong if we may believe report, [and is s]aid to have had a good ship with a 140 men, and 24 guns.

[Bra]dish and Wetherley have a slight extraordinary in attempting to escape, they [made] two attempts since they were last committed, once they broke the floor of the prison and thought to escape that way, but that failing them, within a night or two they filed off their fetters, upon which I ordered them to be manicled, and chained to one another. I believe this new Goaler I have got is honest, otherwise I should be very uneasy for fear these Pyrats should escape....[22]

I conclude with all respect

My Lords
Your Lordships most humble and obedient Servant


[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:861, no. 4. Endorsed as received Jan. 19, 1700, and read at the Board Feb. 9.

[2] The letter in which no. 83 was enclosed; its substance is given in Cal. St. P. Col., 1699, pp. 486-490.

[3] See doc. no. 77, note 8.

[4] See doc. no. 65, note 18, and no. 74, note 2.

[5] Francis Dowell, of Wapping Street, Charlestown, mariner. T.B. Wyman, Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown, I. 301.

[6] Peleg Sandford, governor of Rhode Island 1680-1683.

[7] Andrew Knott's examination shows that he and Gillam had known each other in Virginia years before, and had sailed together under a privateer captain, making many prizes in the South Sea, possibly in the expedition narrated in docs. no. 44 and no. 45. See also doc. no. 68, paragraph 16 and note 18.

[8] Edward Davis of London, originally boatswain of the Fidelia (see doc. no. 90), whose deposition is in Commons Journal, XIII. 28.

[9] Commons Journal, XIII. 26; narrative of William Cuthbert, late gunner of the ship Charles the Second.

[10] John Cutler was a Dutch surgeon named De Messenmaker, who on settling in New England translated his name into Cutler. His marriage record in the town records of Hingham begins, "Johannes Demesmaker, a Dutchman (who say his name in English is John Cutler)", etc.

[11] Joseph Frazon, died 1704, buried in the Jewish cemetery at Newport. The anonymous author of the anti-Mather pamphlet, A Modest Enquiry (London, 1707, reprinted in Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., fifth ser., VI.), p. 80*, accuses Cotton Mather of having "attempted a Pretended Vision, to have converted Mr. Frasier a Jew, who had before conceiv'd some good Notions of Christianity: The Consequence was, that the Forgery was so plainly detected that Mr. C.M. confest it; after which Mr. Frasier would never be perswaded to hear any more of Christianity".

[12] Doc. no. 80.

[13] Samuel Cranston, governor of Rhode Island 1698-1728.

[14] Nathaniel Coddington of Newport, register of the court of admiralty in Rhode Island.

[15] Jeremiah Dummer the elder, father of the publicist.

[16] Thomas Gullock was the captain of the ship which Bradish had run away with. Sir John Stanley was an official of the lord chamberlain's office.

[17] On Shelley, see doc. no. 73, note 6. Jeremiah Basse was deputy-governor of East and West New Jersey from 1697 to 1699. In a letter of June 9 to Secretary Popple, N.J. Archives, first ser., II. 286-287, he describes his activity in manning a sloop and in person capturing four of Shelley's men at Cape May, and committing them to Burlington jail. "In their Chestes are about seaven thousand eight hundred Rix dollars and Venetians, about thirty pound of melted silver, a parcell of Arabian and Christian Gold, some necklases of Amber and Corrall, sundry peaces of India silkes."

[18] If the word is Governor, it should be Secretary.

[19] Francis Brinley, one of the chief Newport merchants; he had been a member of Andros's council.

[20] Robert Gardiner of Newport.

[21] Jahleel Brenton, for many years, beginning in 1691, collector and surveyor of the customs for New England (and thus Gardiner's superior officer) had gone to England as agent of Rhode Island in her boundary dispute with Connecticut. Thomas Weaver, who had been appointed collector for New York, was in London as agent for that province.

[22] The rest of the letter has nothing to do with Kidd or other pirates.


86. Information of Henry Bolton. February 4, 1701.[1]

Information of Henry Bolton.

4th of February 1700

Being required by the Right hono'ble the Commission'rs for Executing the office of High Admiral of England, Ireland etc. to informe their Lord'ps of the place of my nativity, manner of Living for some time in the West Indies, and particularly of my meeting and Transactions with Capt. Kidd, I presume to make the following Answer, being the best and fullest I can make at present having neither my Books or papers in this Kingdome.

That I was born in Worcestershire about the yeare 1672 and in the year 1697 was Deputed by the Commissioners of his Maj'ties Customes for the Leeward Islands to be Collector for the Island of Antigua.

That in the year 1698 following I quitted that Imployment[2] and followed Merchandizing about the said Leeward Islands.

That in February 1698/9 I sailed from Antigua in the Sloop St. Antonie, Samuel Wood Master, on a Trading Voyage amongst the Dutch and Spaniards. The Markett at Curacoa (a Dutch Island) not answering my Ends I went to Rio De la Hacha,[3] and there sold my Cargoe, and Loaded my Sloope with Stock Fish [and] Wood on Freight for Curacoa aforesaid, which I there Landed and departed for the Island of Porto Rico with intention to Trade with the Inhabitants of that Island, having a Cargo on Board for that purpose.246

That in that Voyage in the Moneth of Aprill 1699 being becalmed to the N.N.E. of the Island Mona the Men belonging to the Sloop discovered a Sail E. and B.S.[4] from Mona which the Pilote of the Sloope supposed to be a Guarda Costa, a small vessell fitted out by the Spanish Governors to clear the Coast of Foreign Traders. A few houres after Wee discovered a Cannoa, which drawing near the Sloope, Wee hailed the said Cannoa. They answered from Whitehall. Wee demanded who Commanded their Shipp. They Replyed Capt. Kidd. Then he that stired[5] the Cannoa was desired to come on Board. After he came he told me his name was John Ware, and that he was Master of Capt. Kidd's Ship, requesting that I would goe on Board in the Cannoa to see Capt. Kidd which accordingly I did. When I came there Captain Kidd askt me to sell him my Sloope in regard his Ship was disabled and could not well proceed the voyage he intended for New Yorke, and finding me unwilling he then askt if I could not procure him a Vessell. I answered possibly I might at Curacao, upon which he desired me to use my Endeavors there to get him a Sloope, and procure him some Buyers or Chapmen[6] for his Calicos and Muslings, And that he would consider me for my paynes.

That thereupon I departed from Capt. Kidd and went for Curacao where I applyed my selfe to Mr John Stonehouse and Mr Walter Gribble[7] (Acquaintance of Captain Kidd) who promised to send A Sloope to him. I also Endeavored to procure him some Buyers for the Muslings and Callicos.

That after doing my Errand and business at Curacao I ordered the Master of the Sloope to shape his Course for the West End of Porto Rico, But the Wind proving Northerly Wee fell in with the East end of Savona and plyed to Winward for Mona in order to meet Captain Kidd, which I there did according to Appointm't and with him a Dutch Sloope, Jean Vander Bist Master, and a French247 Turtler, the Master's name I have forgot; Captain Kidd waited at Mona for the Curacao vessells But the Wind being about No. and from thence to NNE they could not possibly Fetch Mona, So Captain Kidd's patience being tyred gott his ship under Saile and intended to Weather point Esperdo,[8] the Eastermost part of Hispaniola, but the Deficiencies of his Ship being so great he bore away for the West end of Savona, and there Anchored. a Day or two afterwards came into Our Company the Brigandin Mary Gold, George Lorriston Master, and the Elenora, John Duncan Master. Then Cap't Kidd weighed Anchor with the sloop Spey, John Vander Bist Master, and Brigandine Mary Gold, sailed for the River Higuey in the Island Hispaniola where Arriving he moored his ship across the River to the Stumps of Trees or Rocks on shoar.

That there Capt. Kidd disposed of wine, part of his Cargoe, to severall that came on Board to him And that at the same time I sold him the Sloope St. Antonio.

That Capt. Kidd tooke severall Goods out of his ship, and put them on Board the Sloope I sould him and left his owne ship in the River Higuey and desired me to doe him all the service I could in selling and disposeing of the Goods left on Board of the said ship for Account of the Owners of the Adventure Galley.

That Captain Kidd told me that my Lord Bellomont and my Lord of Orford[9] and himselfe were some of the Adventure Galleys owners and to the best of my Remembrance Sir John Somers.

That Capt. Kidd shewed me a Commission under the Great Seale signed at the Topp William Rex and another Commission signed by the Lords of the Admiralty, the purport of neither of which I can remember, onely Capt. Kidd sayd his Commissions impowred him to take pirates and the subjects of the French King.

That Capt. Kidd at his going to New Yorke promised to return himselfe or send some other persons in two248 Moneths time to bring Necessaryes for refitting his said ship the Adventure Prize and also a Condemnation for the said ship and Goods and to indempnifye all persons that should purchase any of the said Goods, alledging that the said ship was a lawfull prize being taken with a French passe which Captain Kidd shewed me, and actually in the time of War with France.[10]

That after the Departure of Capt. Kidd the Seamen shiped by him in the said ship did plunder and convert to their owne uses the best and most choicest of the goods of the said ships Cargoe, which did not come to my Knowledge till they had been near Five Weeks on board the said ship, and indeed it was out of my power to prevent them had I discovered it sooner being only myselfe and Negro Boy, And they were Eighteen in numbers.

That the said Seamen belonging to the said ship as afores'd when they found I was not ignorant of their villanies openly declared they would not stay longer on board the said ship, but being terrified with the thoughts of Capt Kidds returning, they Joyned all (saving the Boatswaine) and came on the Quarter Deck and said I might remain in the ship and be damned for they would stay no longer. The Man that thus affronted me I shoved on the main Deck[11] and ordered the rest to go on the Main Deck likewise and told them they had engaged themselves to Capt. Kidd to stay on board the ship as long as I should be there, And that I was resolved to stay till the two Months in which Capt. Kidd promised to return were expired unless some Extraordinary Accident intervened: I also charged them with stealing out of the Ships Hould severall Bales of Goods And that if they went from the Ship before Capt. Kidd's Arrivall I was oblidged as his Friend and in my owne Justification to write to all Governm'ts in those parts to have them secured; this calmed them for two or three dayes.

That the said Seamen did again Joyne and draw up a Paper directed to me setting forth their Resolution of leaving the Ship and signed with their names within a Circle249 commonly called a Round Robin, so gott on board A Sloope and went for the Island Curacao leaving the Ship to me and three more.

That after the departure of the said Seamen I stayd about a Week in the ship and would have stayed longer had not a Friend of myne sent a Sloope Express from Curacao to informe me the Spaniards of the Citty of St. Domingo[12] were arming out a Brigandine to come and take us, which induced me to leave the said ship Adventure Prize in the said River Higuey and went to the Island Curacao in order to protest ag't the Seamen as aforesaid and to get what satisfaction the Law would allow, For at that time they had most of them three or Four hundred pounds a Man. But the said Seamen had gained their Ends so farr in the Governm't that the Governor would not admitt me to stay in Curacao tho' at the same time John Ware Master of Capt. Kidd's ship and the said seamen were there openly protected; I do not charge this on the Govern'r[13] (who is since dead) For I should be very sorry to disturbe the Ashes of so good a Gentleman as I believe he was, but on some of his Councill that did not desire I should face them.

That I have not received of the produce of the Goods Capt. Kidd left upwards of three hundred and Eighty peices of Eight, all the rest is in Debts outstanding which is much less than my Charges.[14]

This is the full that presents to my Memory in Answer to their Lord'ps Demands February 4th, 1700.

Hen. Bolton.

[1] From the manuscripts of the Duke of Portland at Welbeck Abbey, a copy having been kindly furnished by the Rev. Richard W. Goulding, librarian to the duke. The date Feb. 4, 1700, means Feb. 4, 1701, new style. Bolton's previous history and his relations with Kidd are sufficiently shown by this and preceding documents. In 1700 he had been shipped to England from Jamaica, and he was now, or at any rate on Dec. 22, 1700, in Newgate prison under charges of piracy. Cal. St. P. Col., 1700, p. 760.

[2] He was removed, and at the time of his removal he owed the crown about £500. Ibid., p. 603.

[3] On the Spanish Main, or north coast of South America, about 300 miles west of Curaçao.

[4] East and by south, i.e., midway between east and eastsoutheast.

[5] Steered.

[6] I.e., Some customers or some selling agents.

[7] See doc. no. 76, note 21.

[8] Punta Espada.

[9] The Sir Edward Russell of doc. no. 71, note 1. He had been created earl of Orford in 1697.

[10] See doc. no. 76, note 9.

[11] I.e., shoved down from the quarter-deck onto the main deck.

[12] Not a hundred miles away.

[13] Bastiaen (Sebastian) Bernage.

[14] But John Ruggles, master's mate of the Primrose of Boston, testified that, drinking in a public house at Charles Town, Nevis, with William Cheesers and William Daniel, he heard the former say that Bolton had got £16,000 by Captain Kidd. Cal. St. P. Col., 1699, p. 416.


87. William Kidd to the Speaker of the House of Commons (Robert Harley). April (?), 1701.[1]

May it please Y'r Hon'r

The long Imprisonment I have undergone, or the tryall I am to undergoe, are not soe great an affliction to me, as my not being able to give your Hon'ble House of Commons such satisfaction as was Expected from me. I hope I have not offended against the Law, but if I have, It was the fault of others who knew better, and made me the Tool of their Ambition and Avarice, and who now perhaps think it their Interest that I should be removed out of the world.

I did not seek the Commission I undertook, but was partly Cajold, and partly menac'd into it by the Lord Bellomont, and one Robert Livingston of New York, who was the projector, promoter, and Chief Manager of that designe, and who only can give your House a satisfactory account of all the Transactions of my Owners. He was the man admitted into their Closets, and received their private Instructions, which he kept in his own hands, and who encouraged me in their names to doe more than I ever did, and to act without regard to my Commission. I would not Exceed my Authority, and took noe other ships than such251 as had French passes, which I brought with me to New England, and relyed upon for my Justification. But my Lord Bellomont seized upon them together with my Cargoe, and tho he promised to send them into England, yet has he detained part of the effects, kept these passes wholly from me, and has stript me of all the Defence I have to make, which is such Barbarous, as well as dishonorable usage, as I hope Your Hon'ble House will not let an Englishman suffer, how unfortunate soever his Circumstances are; but will intercede with his Maj'ty to defer my tryall till I can have those passes, and that Livingston may be brought under Your Examination, and Confronted by me.[2]

I cannot be so unjust to my selfe, as to plead to an Indictment till the French passes are restored to me, unlesse I would be accessary to my own destruction,[3] for though I can make proof that the ships I took had such passes, I am advised by Council, that It will little avail me without producing the passes themselves. I was in great Consternation when I was before that great Assembly, Your Hon'ble House, which with the disadvantages of a mean Capacity, want of Education, and a Spirit Cramped by Long Confinem't, made me Uncapable of representing my Case; and I have therefore presumed to send your Honor a short and252 true state of It, which I humbly beg Your Honors perusall, and Communication of to the House, if you think it worthy their Notice.[4]

I humbly crave leave to acquaint Your Honor that I was not privy to my being sent for up to Your House the second time, nor to the paper lately printed in my name[5] (both which may justly give Offence to the House) but I owe the first to a Coffeeman in the Court of Wards who designed to make a shew of me, for his profit; and the latter was done by one Newy a prisoner in Newgate to get money for his support, at the hazard of my safety.

I humbly beg the Compassion and protection of the Hon'ble House of Commons, and Your Honors intercession with them on behalfe of

Your Honors
Most Dutifull and Distressed Serv't

Wm. Kidd.

[1] From the manuscripts of the Duke of Portland at Welbeck Abbey. The Historical Manuscripts Commission's calendar of those archives, IV. 16, wrongly gives this petition the same date as the next document, May 12, 1701. This petition was written before the trials, which occurred on May 8 and 9, but after Kidd's appearances before the House of Commons, which occurred on Mar. 27 and 31; Commons Journal, XIII. 441, 463. Kidd, Gillam, Bradish, Witherley, and 28 other pirates, mostly members of Kidd's crew, were shipped from Boston soon after March 6, 1700 (eight months after his arrest), on the Advice frigate, and arrived in the Downs Apr. 11, the day on which King William brought to an end, by prorogation, the session of Parliament. In that session, chiefly as a means of attacking Somers, the lord chancellor, a party in the House of Commons had assailed the grant of letters patent under which Kidd's enterprise had been undertaken (Dec. 6, 1699). They were outvoted, but on Mar. 16, 1700, a vote was passed for addressing the king that Kidd should not be tried, discharged, or pardoned till the next session of Parliament. The Admiralty concurred, May 2. The new Parliament came together Feb. 6, 1701; Harley was chosen speaker Feb. 11; the impeachment of Somers and Orford, in which the contract with Kidd was made the basis of one article, was voted Apr. 14.

[2] Whether the presence of the French passes at the trial for piracy would have brought about Kidd's acquittal may be doubted, courts of justice being what they were; at all events Kidd, though he clamored for them from the day of his arrival in the Downs (Portland MSS., VIII. 78) till the day he was sentenced, was never able to recover them. The admiralty court refused to consider them. "Where are they?" said the Lord Chief Baron Ward. Kidd's counsel could only reply, "We cannot yet tell whether they are in the Admiralty-Office, or whether Mr. Jodrell [clerk of the House of Commons] hath them". State Trials, V. 290. In point of fact the House of Commons, which had had all the papers before it for examination, had on Apr. 16, on information that Kidd desired the use of his papers at his trial, ordered the clerk to deliver them to the secretary of the Admiralty. Commons Journal, XIII. 379, 380, 496.—A photographic facsimile of the pass of the Cara (Quedah) Merchant is in Paine, Book of Buried Treasure, at p. 104.

[3] So when first arraigned, he tried to avoid pleading (ibid., 287), but he was tried first for the murder of William Moore, on which the passes had no bearing. William Moore was an insubordinate gunner; after an altercation, Kidd hit him on the head with a bucket, and he died. It was probably manslaughter, but the jury sustained the indictment for murder. After being condemned for murder, Kidd was tried (unfairly in several particulars) and condemned for piracy.

[4] Not doc. no. 88, I judge, but more probably the "Protest" printed in Portland MSS., VIII. 78-80, a statement of Kidd's case which he had drawn up at Boston and on arrival in the Downs had sent to Orford.

[5] I cannot identify this paper (probably a broadside), but the ingenious Newy was doubtless the author of Captain Charles Newy's Case, impartially laid open: or a ... Narrative of the Clandestine Proceedings aginst (sic) him, as it was hatched ... and ... carried on by Mrs. M. Newey, widdow (London, 1700), a pamphlet which I have not seen, but of which there is a copy in the British Museum.

88. William Kidd to Robert Harley [?]. May 12, 1701.[1]


The Sence of my present Condition (being under Condemnation) and the thoughts of haveing bene imposed on by such as seek't my destruction therby to fulfill their ambitious desieres makes me uncapable of Expressing my selfe in those terms as I ought, therefore doe most humbly pray that you will be pleased to represent to the Hon'bl. house253 of Commons that in my late proceedings in the Indies I have Lodged goods and Tresure to the value of one hundred thousand pounds[2] which I desiere the Government may have the benefitt of, in order thereto I shall desiere no manner of liberty but to be kept prisonner on board such shipp as may be appointed for that purpose, and only give the necessary directions, and in case I faile therein I desiere no favour but to be forthwith Executed acording to my Sentance. if y'r honbl. house will please to order a Committee to come to me I doubt not but to give such satisfaction as may obtaine mercy, most Humbly submitting to the wisdom of your great assembly I am

S'r Y'r Unfortunate humble servant
Wm. Kidd

New Gate
12th May 1701

[1] From the manuscripts of the Duke of Portland at Welbeck Abbey. See doc. no. 87, and notes. The trials had taken place on May 8 and 9, and Kidd was now under sentence. He was hanged at Wapping on the shore of the Thames, May 23, 1701. The precept, or order for his execution, at Wapping "infra fluxum et refluxum maris" (i.e., between high-water and low-water mark, according to admiralty custom), is quoted in Marsden, Law and Custom of the Sea (Navy Records Society), II. 263.

[2] His first figure, as quoted by Bellomont in doc. no. 77, was £30,000.

89. Captain Kid’s Farewel to the Seas; or, the Famous Pirate’s Lament. 1701.[1]

To the Tune of Coming down.


My name is Captain Kid, who has sail' [who has sail'd],
My name is Captain Kid, who has sail'd;
My name is Captain Kid.
What the laws did still forbid
Unluckily I did while I sail'd [while I sailed, etc.].254

Upon the ocean wide, when I sail'd, etc.,
Upon the ocean wide, when I sail'd,
Upon the ocean wide
I robbed on every side,
With most ambitious pride, when I sail'd.

My faults I will display while I sail'd, etc.,
My faults I will display while I sail'd;
My faults I will display,
Committed day by day
[A line lost.]

Many long leagues from shore when I sail'd, etc.,
Many long leagues from shore when I sail'd,
Many long leagues from shore
I murdered William More,
And laid him in his gore, when I sail'd,

Because a word he spoke when I sail'd, etc.,
Because a word he spoke when I sail'd,
Because a word he spoke,
I with a bucket broke
His scull at one sad stroke, while I sail'd.[2]

I struck with a good will when I sail'd, etc.,
I struck with a good will when I sail'd;
I struck with a good will,
And did a gunner kill
As being cruel still when I sail'd.

A Quida merchant[3] then while I sail'd, etc.,
A Quida merchant then while I sail'd,
A Quida merchant then
I robbed of hundreds ten,
Assisted by my men, while I sailed.255

A banker's ship of France,[4] while I sailed, etc.,
A banker's ship of France, while I sailed,
A banker's ship of France
Before us did advance:
I seized her by chance, while I sailed.

Full fourteen ships I see when I sailed, etc.,
Full fourteen ships I see when I sailed;
Full fourteen ships I see,
Merchants of high degree;
They were too hard for me when I sailed.[5]

We steered from sound to sound while we sailed,
We steered from sound to sound while we sailed;
We steered from sound to sound,
A Moorish ship we found;
Her men we stript and bound while we sailed.

Upon the ocean seas while we sailed, etc.,
Upon the ocean seas while we sailed,
Upon the ocean seas
A warlike Portuguese
In sport did us displease, while we sailed.

At famous Malabar when we sailed, etc.,
At famous Malabar when we sailed,
At famous Malabar
We went ashore, each tar,
And robbed the natives there, when we sailed.

Then after this we chased, while we sailed,
Then after this we chased, while we sailed,
Then after this we chased
A rich Armenian, graced
With wealth, which we embraced, while we sailed.

Many Moorish ships we took while we sailed,
Many Moorish ships we took while we sailed,
Many Moorish ships we took;
We did still for plunder look;
All conscience we forsook while we sailed.256

I, Captain Cullifoord, while I sailed, etc.,
I, Captain Cullifoord, while I sailed,
I, Captain Cullifoord,
Did many merchants board,
Which did much wealth afford, while we sailed.

Two hundred bars of gold, while we sail'd, etc.,
Two hundred bars of gold, while we sailed,
Two hundred bars of gold
And rix dollars manifold
We seized uncontrolled, while we sailed.

St. John, a ship of fame,[6] when we sailed, etc.,
St. John, a ship of fame, when we sailed,
St. John, a ship of fame,
We plundered when she came,
With more that I could name, when we sailed.

We taken was at last, and must die, etc.,
We taken was at last, and must die;
We taken were at last,
And into prison cast:
Now, sentence being past, we must die.

Tho' we have reigned awhile we must die, etc.,
Tho' we have reigned awhile we must die;
Tho' we have reigned awhile,
While fortune seemed to smile,
Now on the British Isle we must die.

Farewel the ocean main, we must die, etc.,
Farewel the ocean main, we must die;
Farewel the ocean main:
The coast of France or Spain
We ne'er shall see again; we must die.

From Newgate now in carts we must go, etc.,
[From Newgate now in carts we must goe;]
From Newgate now in carts,
With sad and heavy hearts,
To have our due deserts we must go.257

Some thousands they will flock when we die,
Some thousands they will flock when we die,
Some thousands they will flock
To Execution Dock,
Where we must stand the shock and must die.

[1] Of this ballad, contemporary with Kidd's execution, there is a unique copy in the famous collection of pamphlets belonging to the Earl of Crawford, from which it is reprinted in Professor Firth's Naval Songs and Ballads, pp. 134-37, published by the Navy Records Society. By oral transmission it had wide currency in New England. There are bits of it in Palfrey, New England, IV. 185, and in Watson's Annals of Philadelphia, ed. 1830, p. 464; and the editor remembers hearing his Salem grandmother sing parts of it. Professor George L. Kittredge says that the Harvard College Library has a broadside of this American version, printed in Boston about 1810-1820, which, with some differences in the order of stanzas, is printed in Dr. E.E. Hale's New England History in Ballads, pp. 40-46. The original version, which we print, purports to be written between sentence and execution, May 9-23, 1701, and follows closely the chief incidents brought out in the trials, and in the documents which precede.

[2] See doc. no. 87, note 3. Captain Kidd, says the record of the trial (State Trials, V. 290), called Moore "a lousy dog". "Says William Moore, 'If I am a lousy dog, you have made me so; you have brought me to ruin, and many more'. Upon his saying this, says Captain Kid, 'Have I ruined you, ye dog?' and took a bucket bound with iron hoops and struck him on the right side of the head, of which he died next day."

[3] See document 76, note 9.

[4] I.e., a French fishing ship, bound to the banks of Newfoundland. See the second paragraph of doc. no. 76, Kidd's statement.

[5] The reference is to Kidd's projected, but abandoned, attack on the "Mocha fleet" at Babs Key, near the mouth of the Red Sea.

[6] This ship I do not identify; the name is perhaps due to misunderstanding of a passage in the trials.


90. Examination of William Sims. October 22, 1699.[1]

Suffolk SS. Boston, October 22, 1699
  nine a clock at night:

The Examination of William Syms of Boston, Marriner, Master of the Ship Fidelia, as followeth, Vizt.

The Examinant saith That sometime in the month of August last past, he being at Crabb Island in the West Indies, where was lying the sd Ship Fidelia, one Tempest Rogers then Master of her,[2] of whome this Examinant and John Brett of Antigua Merchant (then at the aforesd Island) bought the sd Ship, and the Examinant was Ships'258 Master of her, and after their buying of the sd Ship, the sd Rogers tooke out of the sd Ship seaveral Bayles of Goods to the number of about twenty and laded them upon the Sloop which he had of the Examin't in part payment for the Ship, and left several bayles on board the Ship wch this Examinant Supposeth the said Mr. Brett bought of him: said Rogers declared that he came from the Coast of Guinea, saying also that he had been at Madagascar, and the Examinant saw the sd Rogers Sell several Bayles of Goods at Crabb Island to several Merchants that came thither: which Bayles were opened and contained Silke Muslins and other Muslins, Callico's and other East India Goods, and sd Rogers said he had remitted home to his owners the value of Twenty seven Thousand pounds in money by good bills of Exchange. and after the Examin't left Crabb Island with his Ship he Stopt at Portreico,[3] tooke in some Ballast and Provisions and came directly for New England, Mr. Brett aforesd, his Merchant and part owner, being on board, and when they came into the Massachusetts Bay as high as the Gurnett[4] off Plymouth, they spoke to a Sloop that was then fishing in the Bay to come onboard, and sd Brett treated with the sd Sloopmen, and the Bayles then on board the sd Ship to the number of Fourteen or Fifteen, containing (as the Examinant supposeth) East India Goods, were put out of the Ship into the sd Sloop, and the Examinant and sd Brett also went onboard of her leaving the Ship in charge with James Williams the Mate, and came up to Boston in the Sloop bringing in her the aforementioned Bayles, and arrived there on a Monday night about the latter end of September last past about Eight aclock in the Evening, at the Wharffe on the backside of the Queen's head Inn, and the Examinant went with sd Brett into the aforesaid Inn to procure a Lodging for him and then went directly home to his own house; Saith he knows not when or where the sd Bayles were put on shore nor how disposed of, he signed no Bills of Ladeing nor receipt for them: And Saith he knows neither the Sloop259 nor men which brought them up; Supposeth it to be a Sloop belonging to some Country Town lying on the Sea Coast. Further the Examinant saith that the sd Brett was not willing to have come with the sd Ship to New England but would have gone to Carolina or East Jersey.

William Sims

Capt. Cor.Isa. Addington, J.Pc.

[Marginal note] the sd Bayles were about three foot and a halfe long, about a foot and a halfe over and something more than a foot deep, each of them.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, Boston, no. 4682, paper 3. The case is not precisely one of piracy, though piracy was at first suspected, but rather of the receipt of piratical goods. Bellomont writes to the Board of Trade, Oct. 24, 1699 (Cal. St. P. Col., 1699, p. 486), that he had lately seized at Boston a ship and some East India goods; that the officers of the custom house were not nimble enough or they had got all the goods, worth above £2000; that that which first gave him a "jealousy" of the ship was the fact that the master, William Sims, a man formerly burnt in the hand for stealing, had gone forth a poor man and come back master and half owner of a ship. The ship was seized, condemned, and sold for the crown, and Sims committed to jail. He had sailed as master of a sloop to Curaçao, and thence to Crab Island (Vieques, see doc. no. 72, note 5). Ibid., 499. Bellomont suspected that what he found there in August had been derived from Kidd in May.

[2] She had cleared from London in November, 1697, for Madagascar (testimony of Edward Davis, her boatswain, who on arrival there in July, 1698, joined himself to Kidd, and came home with him, Commons Journal, XIII. 28). After selling the Fidelia and her goods, alleged to be largely Kidd's, Capt. Tempest Rogers settled at St. Thomas, where, says Richard Oglethorp (Cal. St. P. Col., 1706-1708, p. 24), "any piratt for a smale matter of money may bee naterlized Deane"; there he became "a sworn Deane", removed to St. Eustatius (Dutch), engaged in the contraband trade which these neutral islands maintained during the war between Great Britain and France, and finally died among the French—ubi bene, ibi patria.

[3] Puerto Rico.

[4] The Gurnet is the north point of the entrance to Plymouth harbor.


91. Orders of Governor Nicholson to County Officers. April 28, 1700.[1]

Virginia SS.

Kiquotan[2] Aprill 28th 1700 between
3 and 4 a Clock in the

Capt. John Aldred, Commander of his Maj'tes Ship Essex Prize,[3] hath just now given me an Account that there260 are 3 or 4 Ships or vessels in Lynhaven-bay,[4] who are supposed to be pyrates. I doe therefore in his Maj'tes Name command you that upon Sight hereof you give Notice to the Commanders of the Ships and vessels in York River that they take care of their Ships and vessels, and that you do Imediately Order the Militia in your parts to be ready, and you must fortwith dispatch an Express to the Colo. and Chief Officers of the Militia of Gloster, whom I also hereby Command in his Maj'tes Name to have their Militia ready, and they are forthwith to dispatch an Express to the Colo. or chief officers of Middlesex, whom I doe also in his Maj'tes Name Command to have their Militia ready, and they are to give Notice to the Commanders of ships and vessells in Rappahannock, that they may take care of their ships and vessels, and the officers of Middlesex are imediatly to send an Express to the Colo. and Chief officers of Lancaster, whom I do also in his Maj'tes Name command to have their Militia ready, and if any Ship or vessel be in their County, to give them Notice that they may take care of their ships and vessels, and the oficers of Lancaster are forthwith to send an Express to the Collo. or Chief officers of the Militia of Northumberland, whom I do also in his Maj'tes Name Command to have their Militia ready, and they are to give Notice to the Commanders of ships or vessels in their County that they take care of their ships and vessels, and the Colonel or Chief officers of Northumberland are imediatly to send an Express to the Colo. or Chief Officers of the Militia of Westmoreland, whom I doe also in his Maj'tes Name command to have their Militia ready, and if any Ship or vessel be in their County to give the Commanders Notice that they may take Care of their Ships and vessels. The Colonel or Chief officers of Northumberland I doe hereby Impower in his Maj'tes Name forthwith to press a good boat and able men and send an account to any of his Maj'tes officers either Military or Civill in his Maj'tes261 Province of Maryland, of these 3 or 4 ships or vessels being in Lynhaven bay, and that they are desired imediately to Dispatch an Express to his Excell'y Nathaniel Blakiston, Esqr., his Maj'tes Capt. Gen'll and Governor in Chief and Vice Admiral of his Maj'tes Province of Maryland. And I do in his Maj'tes Name Command all officers both Millitary and Civil to Obey and follow these my Commands, and all his Maj'tes Loveing Subjects are hereby required to pay all due Obedience to these my Commands and to be Aiding and Assisting what in them lyes to their officers both millitary and Civill, and I do further hereby command all officers both millitary and Civill, and all other his Maj'tes Loveing Subjects, Strictly to observe and put in Execution an Act Passed last Session of Assembly against Pyrates and privateers.[5] And I doe hereby promise to any person or persons who shall take or kill any Pyrate that shall belong to Either of these 3 or 4 ships or vessells now in Lyn haven bay, a reward of twenty pound sterling for Each pyrate that they shall either take or kill, And lastly I do in his Maj'tes Name Command all officers both Military and Civill and all his Maj'tes Loveing Subjects of this his Maj'tes most ancient and great Colony and Dominion of virginia, that they will give all Due Obedience and follow all these my Commands as they will answer the Contrary at their utmost perills. Given under my hand and lesser Seal at Arms the Day and year above written, in the twelfth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord William the third, by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the faith, etc.

To Lieut Collo. Thomas Ballard
or Majr. William Buckner at York Town
who are to take a Copy hereof, and Dispatch it as Directed and Each Colonel or Chief officer is also to take a Copy hereof and dispatch it as Directed. Lieut. Collo. Thomas262 Ballard and Major Wm. Buckner are to send an Express to the Hon'ble Col. Edmd. Jenings, with a Copy of this, and they are likewise to send a Copy of this to Collo. Philip Ludwell, who is in his Maj'tes Name Commanded to have the Militia of James City ready by this Order of

Kiquotan, Ap'll 28th 1700

Whereas this Day I have received Informacion that there is three or four ships or vessels now riding at anchor in Lynhaven bay, suspected to be Pyrates or Privateers,

These are therefore in his Maj'tes Name to will and require you on Sight hereof to give Notice to all officers and Souldiers under your Comand to be in readiness with their Armes and amunition at one houres Warning as you Shall receive further Orders. given under my hand and Lesser Seal at Armes the Day and Year above written.

To Lieut. Collo. Miles Cary,
Comander in Chief of his
Maj'tes Militia in Warwick County.[6]...

Fr. Nicholson.

[1] Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson C. 933, fol. 8; also in P.R.O., C.O. 5:1311, no. 16. The piracies of La Paix, inside the capes of Virginia, show how bold the pirates had become, between wars, and the story of her capture how real the danger. She was a Dutch ship, which, seized by pirates, had run quite a career of depredation in the West Indies before she and her consorts appeared in Lynnhaven Bay. Her whole story is told in Bruce, Institutional History of Virginia, II. 217-226, and there the history of her capture may be followed consecutively, but the documents here presented show vividly how the news of her villanies and of her fate came to the authorities. The trial of the pirates is in C.O. 5:1411, Public Record Office (transcript in the Library of Congress). Col. Francis Nicholson was now governing Virginia for the second time, 1698-1705. Being himself in Elizabeth City County, he addresses these orders to the commanders of the militia in York, the next county. Gloucester, Middlesex, Lancaster, Northumberland, and Westmoreland, named below, were, in succession, the maritime counties lying to the northward.

[2] Hampton.

[3] A guardship of the royal navy was in these days kept in Virginian waters. At the moment, it happened, there were two, the Essex Prize, 16 guns, which had been there since the spring of 1698 and was now about to return to England, and the Shoreham, Capt. William Passenger, a larger vessel which was to take her place, and which had arrived Apr. 10, 1700. The Essex Prize was careened at the moment, and not available; Beverley, History of Virginia, p. 94.

[4] A roadstead on the south side of the Chesapeake, between Cape Henry and Willoughby Spit.

[5] The act is in Hening, Statutes at Large of Virginia, III. 176-179, passed in May, 1699. It had been superseded by the act 11 and 12 Will. III. c. 7, passed in the session of Parliament just ended, that of Nov. 16, 1699-Apr. 11, 1700, but that fact would not yet be known in Virginia. On Apr. 28, 1699, the Virginia council had issued a proclamation against pirates, which is printed in the Virginia Magazine of History, VIII. 191.

[6] Warwick and James City lay westward, up the James River. A series of directions like those sent northward was also sent southward, to Norfolk, Princess Anne, Nansemond, and Isle of Wight.

92. Deposition of William Fletcher. May 2, 1700.[1]

The Deposition of William Fletcher, Master of the ship Barbadoes merchant of Leverpoole, Sworne the Second Day of May 1700, Saith

That about 30 Leagues from the Capes upon the 23th Day of Aprill A pink[2] of about 100 tons bound from Barbadoes to virginia, no great guns, and between 50 or 60 men, most french and Dutch and some Irish men[3] lately263 taken by Pyrates, Seized his ship, rifled her, and barberously used him and a Merchant belonging to him, by whom they had accot. that the Cheif Pirate[4] was about 24 Guns and about 140 Tons, and another about the same burthen but what force he could not learn, and a Sloope of Six Guns: in all 4 pirates. Designing to get some good Ships and more Company as they Could, [they favored (?)] this Deponant and used much kindness to his men and persuaded them to goe with them, which when they refused the Pirates used them Cruelly, cut away all his Masts, Sailes and Rigging and bolespritt,[5] and threw all over Board, tooke all their Candles, broke their Compases, and Disabled them soe as they Supposed the ship would perish and never give Intelligence: and all 4 of the Pirates would pass by them and in a way of Deriding ask why they Cut away their Masts, and soe left them, Supposeing they had left them nothing to help themselves, for they threw over Board a Spare topmast which lay upon the Deck, but by providence their foremast and Sailes and Rigging thereof hung by their Side unknown to the Pirates, wherewith they fitted Jewry Masts[6] and found a Compass under some old Oakcum, with which on Sunday night the 28th Day of Aprill they got into the Capes and are now in Accomack:[7] but took away all Letters, Papers, Bookes, Certificates and Cocquits,[8] and would not leave any manner of writings, soe as they have no thing to Shew, tooke away his Carpenter, and another man, and took away his Long boat, and Complained for want of Powder and tobacco, and beat this Depont. after they had Stript him, that if an Irishmen had not Interceeded he beleves they would have kild him with the flat of their Curtle-axes,[9] the Cruelty being used to them by french men,264 and saw no Englishmen, all which and much more barbarity this Depont. affirmeth to be truth

Wm. Fletcher.

Sworn the second Day
of May 1700 before
Cha. Scarburgh.

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson C. 933, f. 12. An enclosure in no. 93.

[2] A pink was a vessel having a narrow stern, bulging sides, and a flattish bottom.

[3] The crew of La Paix is reported in the trial to comprise three Dutchmen, one Swede, one Norwegian, one Englishman, the rest French or from the French islands.

[4] La Paix.

[5] Bowsprit.

[6] A jury-mast is a temporary mast set up as a substitute.

[7] On the Eastern Shore of Virginia, across the Chesapeake.

[8] A ship's cocket was a custom-house certificate that the merchandise had been duly entered and had paid duty.

[9] A perversion of "cutlasses".

93. Charles Scarburgh to Governor Nicholson. May 3, 1700.[1]

Excellent Sir

I have Enclosed sent you the Deposition of Wm. Fletcher, which I suppose may be a more particular accot. then any your Excell'y may receive. he ad's that the Pirates boasted much of their great strength by sea, and that there were sufficient of them to repell any force that would be sent against them, and used many enticements to perswade his men to goe with them: and I Doubt it will be impossible to secure the Navigation to and from this Country, and stop their Piraticall Invations, without a greater force. Capt. Fletcher haveing lost his Certificate, Cocquetts, and Register, cannot be entered and suffered to Load without your Excellys order. the ship hath used this Place many Years: and this Master in her last Year produced his Certificates, Cocquets, and Register, all which are in my booke of Entryes:[2] he hath the same Owners and [as?] the ships here. his Townsmen will refitt him and hath his Loading and Tobacco ready: and it would be severe if his misfortune should Doubly injure him. besides it would prejudice his Majestys revenue to forbid him to Load, therefore suppose if he gives Security to unload in England he may be permitted to trade: if your Excellency think fitt. I lay wind bound and [at (?)] Mr. Mekennies at Elizabeth River, and on Sunday last afternoon we saw a ship come in: and265 imediatly the Shoreham loosed and went to turn out of the River, when we Crossing over to Castle point[3] Mr. Makennie spoke with Capt. Passenger, who told him a Pirat had pursued that ship and taken others and desired we would not adventure into the Bay but lye at the Poynt. next morning early we saw Cap. Passenger on the back of the horshooe,[4] standing Down towards 3 ships in Lyn haven bay, who when he came up with them fired upon him, and the Pyrate imediately gott to sail and stood directly with Capt. Passenger, who got the weather gage, and Imediatly followed as sharp a Dispute as (I thinke) could be betwixt two ships, of which we were full spectators Dureing the whole engagement: and in my Judgment Capt. Passenger behaved himself with much Courage and good Conduct, haveing to Deal with an Enemy under a Desperate choice of killing or hanging, and I believe few men in their circumstances but would elect the first. the Conflict briskly maintained from soon after sunrise untill about 4 afternoon. on thursday May the second Fletcher gott in here and gave the inclosed accot.,[5] which I beleive much Imports his Maj'tes service and Interest, least thinking the Pirate aforesaid might be all, security would Endanger many ships. Fletcher further saies these are not of them who tooke Burgis last Year but others, and perhaps more may come upon the same accot. as these doe. I suppose your Excelly will think fitt to lay on a Gen'll Embargoe untill some Assureance that the Coast is Clear: and believe York River will be more Convenient then James River, in Regard ships must goe to the Cape to Clear the horshooe before they can gett into James River, and soe may be Endangered. I wait your Excellys Order and Directions and withall to favour me with a true relation of the success of the Action266 betwixt Capt. Passenger and the Pirate:[6] I humbly take leave to subscribe Right Excellent

Your Excellencies Faithful and
most Obliged servant
Cha. Scarburgh.

May 3d

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson A. 271, f. 48. Col. Charles Scarburgh or Scarborough was the chief magnate of the Eastern Shore, and a member of the governor's council.

[2] Colonel Scarborough was also collector of customs in his district.

[3] Old Point Comfort? It is just possible that "Mr. Mekennie", p. 264, or "Mr. Makennie", here, may mean the celebrated pioneer of Presbyterianism, Rev. Francis Makemie, who is sometimes said to have lived in Lynnhaven parish before settling down in Accomac, on the Eastern Shore.

[4] The Horseshoe is a sandy shoal running from the shore north of Old Point Comfort eastwardly toward the channel between Cape Charles and Cape Henry.

[5] Doc. no. 92.

[6] For Captain Passenger's own account, see Cal. St. P. Col., 1700, p. 311. Governor Nicholson accompanied him in person, aboard the Shoreham. During most of the fight the two ships were within pistol-shot of each other. Finally the pirate, with all masts and sails shattered, drifted aground. Then, having laid a train to thirty barrels of gunpowder, he threatened to blow the ship up, and the governor, to save the lives of the forty or fifty English prisoners, gave quarter, promising to refer the pirates to the king's mercy if they should surrender quietly. So 111 of them were sent to England in the Essex Prize and the fleet of merchantmen convoyed by her, June 9. The trial was of three who were brought in without having been included in the surrender. It was held, in accordance with the Virginian act, by a commission of oyer and terminer, appointed by the governor. All three of them were hanged, although "One of them, Cornelius Frank, said, Must I be hanged that can speake all Languages"? Another curious passage in the trial deserves to be quoted: "Mr. Atty. Gen. Did the Pyrates talk of blowing their Shipp up? Ed. Ashfeild. Yes, they did, and went to prayers upon it." Nor less the picture, in the evidence of either this or an adjoining trial, of the pirate captain "with a gold chain around his neck, and a gold Tooth-picker hanging from it"—nouveau riche!

94. John and Adam Thorowgood to Captain Passenger. May 3, 1700.[1]


This Day 7 men which had been taken by a Pirate in a Pink without any great Guns, only small Armes, and very litle Ammunition, came on shore and informed us this News, which we thought convenient to Inform you, that you may act according as the Necessity requires. Also Adam Hayes, a man who lives on the Sea side, Informes us, he Yesterday saw a Pink and Brigantine rideing at Anchor in sight of his house, 8 or 10 miles to the soward of Cape Henry. the Brigantine he suppose came out of the Capes. about 3 of the Clock in the afternoon he saw a boat goe from on board the Brigantine, to the Pink. after that two boats were267 Passing and repassing from one vessel to the other till near night, at which time the Pink weighed and stood of to sea. the Brigantine remained there till within Night, but this morning Neither of them to be seen. The abovesaid 7 men informed us the Pink which took them hath but 16 men which belonged to the Pyrate and 9 Prisoners. they say she belonged (before taken) to Biddeford[2] and is an Extraordinary good sailer. they also tell us they were put into a Boat and turned a Drift, they think because they were to many to be kept on board, being then 16 men Prisoners, and now as abovesaid but 9. likewise on tuesday last they tooke a Bristol man and Cut down their Masts and Boltspritte and left them as a wreck in the sea, as also another they tooke and Cut a hole in her bottom and let her sink in the sea, and that they were Ordered by the Pyrate You took last munday[3] to Cruise in the Lattitude of the Capes till they came out to them. Sir, this is all we think materiall at present to be Informed you by

Your Humble servants

Jno. Thorowgood, sher.[4]
Adam Thorwgood

Princess Ann County
the 3d of May being
Fryday, 1700.

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson A. 272, f. 89. An enclosure in doc. no. 95. The Thorowgoods were substantial planters of Princess Anne County, dwelling near Lynnhaven Bay.

[2] In Devonshire, England.

[3] April 29. La Paix, Capt. Louis Guittar.

[4] Sheriff. Adam was sheriff the next year.

95. Benjamin Harrison, jr., to Governor Nicholson. May 4, 1700.[1]

May it Please your Excell'y,

Last night about six of the Clock the inclosed letter[2] came to Capn. Passengers hand whilest we were on board,268 and he desired me to transmitt it to your Excelly. he had not time to write wee being Just comeing away, and much Company with him. About the same time came in from sea the Brigantine mencioned in the inclosed letter, and the Master of gives a relacion pretty agreable to the letter in everything only he sayes there were about 50 men on board the Pinke when he was taken, so that 'tis Probable they will lye there, to watch for other ships. as far as I can understand by this Master the litle ship mencioned in the letter to be sunk was wheeler, who brought the Brandy and wine into York River; I am

your Excellys

most Obliged Humble serv't

B. Harrison Jnr

Williams Burgh, May 4, 1700, 10 at Night.

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson A. 272, f. 89 b. Benjamin Harrison, jr. ("Benjamin Harrison of Berkeley") was the son of a member of the council ("Benjamin Harrison of Surry") and was himself attorney-general of the colony. He was great-grandfather of President William Henry Harrison.

[2] Doc. no. 94.

96. Governor Nicholson to Captain Passenger. May 4, 1700.[1]

James Town, May 4, 1700,[2]
about Eleven a Clock at Night.

Capt. Wm. Passenger


Just now I received a letter from my friend Mr. Benja. Harrison, with an inclosed one to you from the two Mr. Thorowgoods, a Copy of which I here send you.[3] if his Maj'tes ship the shoreham under your Command be at present capable of goeing to sea to look after the Pirates in the Pink, etc., I would have you doe it as soon as, God willing, wind and weather permitts: but if the shoreham be not in a sailing Condicion, then you may, if you think Convenient, sent your boat or boats to looke after the said Pyrates, in269 order Either to take or burn the said Pink. And I do hereby Authorize and impower you to stop all ships and vessells from goeing out of the Capes, and Order them up to Kiquetan.

If you cannot be here your Selfe Either on Monday or tuesday yet I would have Capt. John Aldred, Commander of his Maj'tes Ship the Essex Prize, be here; in the Interim remain

Your most affectionate Friend

If you conceive it proper, You may send the Prize which you have taken either to take, sinke, or burn the Pink on board which are the Pyrates. In Order thereunto You may Put what men and Guns on board, You think Necessary.

I hope you have secured for his Maj'tes Service the seamen which belong to Capt. Harrison, etc., and you will do the like by those, which Mr. Thorowgood sayes come on shore. And for so Doeing these things, this shall be your sufficient Warrant and Authority. given under my hand the Day and Year above written.

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson A. 272, f. 90.

[2] The seat of government had just been removed from Jamestown to the new capital, Williamsburg.

[3] Docs. no. 94 and no. 95.

97. William Wilson to Governor Nicholson. May 5, 1700.[1]

May it please your Excelly

I have here enclosed a few lines[2] Concerning a Brigantine that sailed out of the Capes last wednesday.[3] it should been sent you before this. I had it this Day from Capt. Cole at Church. If the Capt. had sent the Master on shore (who had no boat of his owne) or a line to me about it, Your Excellency had sooner Notice.

The french Prisoners are equally Divided amongst the three Capts., who have them under Guard. the wounded men att John Smiths died last Night. Suppose this Pink is that that was taken a coming from Barbadoes, and the270 longer he lyes the more harme he do and gather more strength, which is all that offers from

Your Excellys humble servt.
to Command

Wm. Wilson.

I did designe to have sent
this by an Express, but there
came one from your Excell'y
with a Letter to Capt. Passenger.

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson C. 933, f. 10. Col. Wilson was a justice of the peace for Elizabeth City County.

[2] Doc. no. 98.

[3] May 1.

98. Captain Michael Cole to William Wilson. May 5, 1700.[1]


Satterday morning being aboard the man of Warr Shoreham there found the Master of Brigantine which came in here the Evening before, who sayes that on thursday morning last he was taken by the Pyrates about 2 leagues Southward the Cape Henry, in a Pink, who tooke from him his Sailes, Masts, and provisions, and all his Necessaries and Cut of[f] the head of his Rudder as low down as they Could, to disable him of getting in. his fore Yard they also tooke from him. he likewise sayes that they spoke some English aboard and that they are about 40 or 50 strong besides the Prisoners, but they would not suffer him to Speake to any of them, but was threatned to be Shot for Speaking only to one and asked (and that softly) what are you, who answered, I am a Carpenter who belonged to a vessell of about 110 Tons loaded in York River which they sunk. when they left him they stood NE. and believes they Intend of the Coast as soone as they meet a vessell which they have an Accot. of, Dayly Expected here from Guinea.

Mich'll Cole.

May 5, 1700.

[1] Bodleian Library, ibid. Capt. Michael Cole was master of the Friends' Adventure; he had come into James River on his way from South Carolina to London.


99. Libel by Captain William Passenger. May 11, 1700.[1]

Virga. ss. Att the Court of Admiralty held at Hampton Town on Saturday the 11th day of May in the 12th year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord William the third, of England, Scotland, France and Ireland King, Defender of the faith, etc., annoq Domini 1700,

Before the Hono'ble Edward Hill, Esqr., Judge of the sd Court,[2] came Capt. William Passenger, Commander of his Maj'tes ship the shoreham, and Exhibited the following Libel in these Words

Virg'a. ss. May the 11th in the 12th year of his Maj'tes Reign, Annoq Domini 1700.

To the Hon'ble Court of Admiralty:

William Passenger, Commander of his Majestyes ship the shoreham, as well for and in behalf of his Majesty as for and in behalfe of himself, officers and Company on Board the said ship,

Humbly gives this Court to understand and be Informed that on the 29th Day of Aprill last Past, in his Maj'tyes said ship the Shoreham, within the Cape of Virga: he engaged, fought and tooke a Company of Pirates or sea Robbers which were in a ship called the Peace, of about two hundred tons Burthen, Mounted with twenty Gunns, which said Company of Pyrates or sea Robbers in the aforesaid ship for severall dayes before their being soe taken did in an Open, Warlike, Hostile, and Piraticall manner Assault, Attack, Fight, take, Robb, Burn, and spoile severall Merchant ships belonging to the subjects of our sovereign Lord the King (Vizt.)272

A Pinke Called the Baltimore, John Loveday Master, A Sloope Called the George, Joseph Forest Master, A Ship Called the Pensylvania Merchant, Samuell Harrison Master, A Ship Called the Indyan King, Edward Whitaker Master, A Ship Called the Nicholson, Robert Lurting Master, who in a Peaceable and Lawfull manner were comeing into and goeing out of the aforesaid Cape of Virga. with their severall Goods and Merchandizes, etc. And also the aforesaid Company of Pyrates or sea Robbers, in the aforesaid ship, at and upon the aforesaid time and Place, in a Hostile and Warlike manner, did fight his Maj'tes said ship the shoreham, but they being overcome and taken as aforesaid the aforesaid William Passenger, in behalfe as aforesaid, prays Condemnation of the aforesaid Pirats ship Called the Peace, with all her Gunns, Ammunition, tackle, furniture, and apparell, to be devided and Proportioned according to the Rules and Orders of the sea, in such Cases made and provided, etc.

W. Passenger.

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson A. 272, f. 91. A libel, in admiralty law, is a plaintiff's or claimant's document containing his allegations and instituting a suit—in this instance a prize suit.

[2] A court of vice-admiralty was first erected in Virginia in 1698, and Hill was the first judge appointed. He was commissioned (Mar. 8, 1698) by Governor Andros, by virtue of the latter's commission (June 26, 1697) from the High Court of Admiralty in England; so say the Virginia council, in Va. Mag. Hist., XXII. 245, but the record of this latter commission in London dates it Apr. 29. Am. Hist. Assoc., Annual Report, 1911, I. 518.

100. Deposition of William Woolgar and Others. [June 11, 1700.][1]

Virginia sct.

William Woolgar, Peter Shaw, Francis Warrell and Joshua Atkinson Examined and Sworne say

That on or about the 28th April in the year of our Lord God One Thousand seaven hundred, being sailers on board the Indian King bound for London, about three or four Leagues from Cape Henry they were attack'd and taken by a french Pirate of twenty Gunns by some called La Paix, who Comanded the Master of the said Indian King on Board the Pirate, who upon the same hoisted out his Yaul and went a board them with 4 of his men, upon which severall of the Pirates came on board the Indian King with the aforesaid Yaul and return'd her on board the Pirate with273 the mate, Doctor and sundry Passengers of the shipp aforesaid. the said Deponants further say that the Pirate aforesaid, with their shipp and another small ship taken by them, came into Lyn haven, where they Attack'd and took another Shipp, whose Comander they have since understood to be called Robert Lurten, and came all to an anchor in Lyn haven bay, where they plundred the said Indian King of some of her provisions and rigging with other things. And that on the 29th in the morning their came out of James River his Maj'tys Shipp the Shorham, which Engaged the said Pirate about 7 a Clock in the morning and forced them to surrender about 4 or 5 a Clock in the afternoon, there being two of the said Depon'ts (to witt) William Woolgar and Peter Shaw on board the Shorham the most part of the Engagement. And further the said Deponants say not.

Francis Warrell.
Joshua Atkinson.
Wm. Woolgar.
Peter Shaw.

Sworne to before the Court of Oyer and Terminer for Tryall of Pirates

Test, Peter Beverley Cl. Arr.[2]

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson A. 271, f. 40.

[2] Clerk of arraignments.

101. Deposition of Joseph Man. [June 11, 1700.][1]

Virginia Sct.

Joseph Manns aged 30 yeares Examd: and Sworn saith

That on Sunday being the 28th day of April last past Capt. John Aldred, Comander of his Maj'tys Shipp the Essex Prize, came on Shoare to Collo. William Willson at Kyquotan and informed his Excellency Francis Nicholson, Esqr., his Maj'tys Lieut. and Governor Gen'll of Virginia, and Capt. Passenger, Comander of his Maj'tys Shipp the274 Shorham Galley, in the hearing of this depon't, that he had been on board of a Pink and was there informed that there was a Pirate lay in Lyn haven bay and that she made her Escape from them, upon which information soe as aforesaid given Capt. Passenger immediatly went on board his Maj'tys shipp the Shorham and got her under saile, designeing to goe downe in the night, and this depon't further saith that upon the aforesaid 28th day of April in the Evening his Excellency, accompaned with Capt. John Aldred, Peter Heyman, Esqr.,[2] and this depon't, went on board his Maj'ty's ship the Shorham. the next morning about six of the Clock wee came up with the Pirate (which this depon't since understands is called the La Paix, the Captaines name said to be Lewis Guittar). we threw abroad the Kings Jack, flagg and Ancient,[3] the Pirate hoisted up blood red Colloures and refused to submit, whereupon wee immediatly Engaged with them and Continued the fight till about four a Clock in the afternoone. Peter Heyman, Esqr., standing on the left hand of this depon't within a foot of him, made severall shots into the Pirates Shipp, and about one or two of the Clock was by a shott from the Pirates shipp unhappily slaine. about four in the afternoone the Pirate struck his bloody Collours and hoisted up a flagg of truce and then fired no more Gunns, whereupon Capt. Passenger Comanded a boat and hands to board the Pirate, who brought back with them about 124 Pirates Prisoners, and it was supposed there was about 25 or 30 kill'd in the fight and that about 40 or 50 English Prisoners were redeemed, whome the Pirate had taken. And this deponant Yet further saith that two of the Pirates men, being left on board the shipp called the Nicholson, Robt. Lurten Master, which was taken by the Pirates the 28th of April, were upon the coming up of his Maj'tys ship the Shorham seized and brought on board us as prisoners, that this deponant was on board the Shorham Galley all the time of the En275gagement upon the quarter deck near to his Excellency, and saw all the Transactions, and further says not.

Joseph Man.

Sworne to before the Court for tryall of Pirates

Test, Peter Beverley C. Arr.
A true copy, C.C. Thacker C. Sec. Off.[4]

[1] Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson A. 271, f. 44b. Man, an able seaman, was afterward taken over to England to testify against the pirates, and was granted £60 by the Privy Council for his services in the fight, besides five months' pay promised him by Nicholson. Acts P.C. Col., II. 360.

[2] Heyman was collector of customs for the lower district of James River. Gov. Nicholson caused a tombstone to be set in commemoration of him, with a laudatory inscription which is printed in the Southern Literary Messenger, IX. 695.

[3] Ensign. See doc. no. 33, note 15.

[4] Clerk in the secretary's office. The name of Chicheley Corbin Thacker deserves a comment, for double Christian names were at that period very rare. "In forty-nine church registers out of fifty, throughout the length and breadth of England, there will not be found a single instance of a double Christian name previous to the year 1700." Bardsley, Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature, p. 226.

102. Report of Dr. George Bramston. November 27, 1702.[1]

Doctors Commons,[2] November 27th, 1702.


The matter in yours of the 18th instant being of a Nature That was little knowne to Me, It seemed proper to take longer time to consider thereof, than otherwise would have been decent, for the Information of His Royall Highness as to the Power of the Vice-Admiralls of the Forreigne Plantations.

I humbly conceive it plaine, That they can have no Authority to condemne Prizes, in their Commissions from the276 Lord Admirall,[3] for He has none in that Patent which constitutes Him Lord Admirall of England.

And you may please to call to mind, that the Power by which Ships are adjudged Prize, Proceeds from a Commission for that purpose particularly granted, under the Great Seale, to his Royall Highness.

And as to what may be most proper for the condemning of Prizes in those parts, I humbly conceive it cannot be Regularly done, but by an Authority grounded upon a Commission under the Broad Seale.

All which I humbly submitt with the Assurance That I am

Your must Humble Servant

Geo. Bramston.

To be sent to Lord Nottingham[4] if it came from him.

[1] Public Record Office, Admiralty 1:3666, p. 162. The writer of this report, George Bramston, LL.D., was a notable practitioner of the civil law, and from 1702 to 1710 was master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. His uncle writes of him in his autobiography, a few years before this, "George is doctor of law, ... fellow of Trinity Hall, and is admitted at the Commons, and lives there in some practice, but very good repute." Autobiography of Sir John Bramston, p. 29. To whom the report was nominally addressed is not clear, but it was intended indirectly for the enlightenment of Prince George of Denmark, consort of Queen Anne, whose wifely partiality had in May of this year raised him to the office of Lord High Admiral. As such, he nominally presided over the High Court of Admiralty; finding the need of having its activities supplemented by additional prize courts in the colonies, and instructed by this and similar reports, he on Dec. 7 applied for authority under the great seal to commission colonial governors (vice-admirals) to hold prize courts.

[2] Doctors' Commons (see ch. VIII. of Sketches by Boz and ch. XXV. of David Copperfield), near St. Paul's, was the headquarters of the doctors of the civil law and of the admiralty and other civil-law courts.

[3] A typical commission of a vice-admiral (Barbados, 1667) may be seen in the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, II. 187-198.

[4] The Earl of Nottingham was one of the two secretaries of state.


103. Letter to Boston News Letter. May 8, 1704.[1]

New-York, May 8. On the 3d Arrived here a Sloop from St. Thomas, in whom Mr. John Vryling, who Sail'd the 23d Decemb. last from Boston, in the Ship St. Jacob and Philip, of whom was Owner and Merchant, Charles Farnam Master, bound for Barbadoes, and on the Sabbath following, lost her Mane and Misin Mast in a Storm, taken in sight of Barbadoes, and carried into Martinico, and says that 7 Weeks ago was a Prisoner at Martinico, that the Governour permitted him to go in a French Sloop bound for St. Thomas, That the French have taken 130 odd Vessels this War into Martinico, and when he left it there was277 17 Privateers out.[2] The Ships lately taken and carried thither are, the Venetian Merchant, Captains, Alexander, the Ship Virgin, John Sherwood, Brintania William Bartrum, Darvar of Bidiford, Richard Barton of Liverpool, Henry Punsunby of Dublin, John Reading of Barbadoes, belonging to Boston, Twisden a Brigantine, Chadwel another, Farnam a Ship, Andrews, Porter a Sloop. Nicholas Bradock, and Crute of Philadelphia, Peylton of Bermuda, Johnson of Maryland, a Sloop, Penley Master, Stephens a Ship of Boston taken into Guardiloop. after Mr. Vryling had been 14 days at St. Thomas, had advice from Martinico, 5 Brigantines carried in thither, on Board of one of which was Major Wheeler of Barbadoes[3] and several other Passengers, but what Ports bound to, or to whom the Brigantines belong'd, heard not. The Ship Princess Anne, bound from Barbadoes to London, being Leaky put into St. Thomas, there condemn'd as insufficient to go to Sea. Yesterday from Albany by information from our Indians acquainted, that the French of Canada are sending out 300 men to attack some parts of N. England. We have very rainy, dirty, and cold Weather for the Season, and so continues. We hear the Virginia Fleet Sails the last of this Month. Captain Davison hopes to Sail this Month.[4] The Wind and Weather hinders our Pensilvania Post coming in.

[1] A specimen of news of privateering in Queen Anne's War from one of the earliest issues of our first established newspaper; from the Boston News-Letter of May 15, 1704. That newspaper was founded by John Campbell, postmaster of Boston, son of Kidd's friend Duncan Campbell (see doc. no. 75). The first issue was for the week from Monday, April 17, to April 24, 1704. The text is taken from the file of the News-Letter possessed by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

[2] A letter written from Martinique a little later (June 27) by a captive colonel from St. Christopher's says, "We have had 163 vessels brought in here since the warr, ... there is about 30 privateers now belonging here, so that it's almost impossible for a vessel to pass to or from the Islands without a good convoy, and then they take some from them". He encloses a petition from some 300 British prisoners, "some whereof have been here 16 months in close prison". Cal. St. P. Col., 1704-1705, p. 184.

[3] Lately a member of the council of that island.

[4] Capt. John Davison, in the Eagle galley, had arrived at New York on Mar. 13, but had been long detained by disputes between the governor, Lord Cornbury, and the collector of the port over questions concerning the legal status of its cargo. N.Y. Col. Docs., IV. 1105-1110, 1121.



104. Account of their Execution. June 30, 1704.[1]

An Account of the Behaviour and Last Dying Speeches Of the Six Pirates, that were Executed on Charles River, Boston side, on Fryday, June 30th, 1704. Viz., Capt. John Quelch, John Lambert, Christopher Scudamore, John Miller, Erasmus Peterson and Peter Roach.

The Ministers of the Town had used more than ordinary Endeavours, to Instruct the Prisoners, and bring them to Repentance. There were Sermons Preached in their279 hearing, Every day,[2] And Prayers daily made with them. And they were Catachised; and they had many occasional Exhortations. And nothing was left, that could be done for their Good.

On Fryday the 20th [30th] of June 1704, Pursuant to Orders in the Dead Warrant, the aforesaid Pirates were guarded from the Prison in Boston, by Forty Musketeers, Constables of the Town, the Provost Marshal and his Officers, etc. with Two Ministers,[3] who took great pains to prepare them for the last Article of their Lives. Being allowed to walk on Foot through the Town, to Scarlets Wharff,[4] where, the Silver Oar being carried before them, they went by Water to the place of Execution, being Crowded and thronged on all sides with Multitudes of Spectators. The Ministers then Spoke to the Malefactors, to this Effect.

"We have told you often, ye[a] we have told you Weeping, That you have by Sin undone your selves; That you were born Sinners, That you have lived Sinners, That your Sins have been many and mighty, and that the Sins for which you are now to Dy are of no common aggravation. We have told you, That there is a Saviour for Sinners, and we have shewn you, how to commit your selves into His Saving and Healing Hands. We have told you, That if He Save you, He will give you an hearty Repentance for all your Sins, and we have shown you how to Express that Repentance. We have told you, What Marks of Life must be desired for your Souls, that you may Safely appear before the Judgment Seat of God. Oh! That the means used for your Good may by the Grace of God be made Effectual. We can do no more, but leave you in His Merciful Hands!"

When they were gone up upon the Stage, and Silence280 was Commanded, One of the Ministers Prayed, as followeth.

The Prayer made by One of the Ministers, after the Malefactors were first upon the Stage.[5] (As near as it could be taken in Writing in the great Crowd.)

"O Thou most Great and Glorious Lord! Thou art a Righteous, and a Terrible God. It is a Righteous and an Holy Law that thou hast given unto us. To break that Good Law, and Sin against thy Infinite Majesty, can be no little Evil. Thy Word is always True; and very Particular, that Word of thine which has told us and warn'd us, Evil Pursueth Sinners. We have seen it, we have seen it; We have before our Eyes a dreadful Demonstration of it. Oh! Sanctify unto us a Sight that has in it so much of the Terror of the Lord! We have Reason to Glorify the Free Grace of God, that we are not our selves the Instances. We have before us very astonishing Examples of Evil Pursuing Sinners. Here is a Number of men that have been very Great Sinners, and that are to Dy before their Time, for their being wicked overmuch. God knows the Prayers, the Pains, the Tears, and the Agonies that have been Employ'd for them. And now, the Last Thing that we have to do for them, is to pour out with Anguish of Soul our Prayer on their behalf; Our Prayer, to that God, who heareth Prayer; to that God, with whom there is Mercy and Plenteous Redemption; to that God, who is Rich in Mercy and Ready to Pardon. But how can we make our Prayer, without a Rapturous Adoration of that Free-Grace, which has distinguished us! We, even we also, have every one of us an horrible Fountain of Sin in our Souls. There are none of the Crimes committed by these Miserable Men, or by the worst of those Criminals that go down into the Pit, but we have the seeds of them, in that Original Corruption, which we brought into the World with us. If God had left us to our selves, as He justly might have done, there is not the best among us all, but what would soon have281 done the worst things in the World. Oh! The Free-Grace! Oh! The Free-Grace! Oh! The Riches of that Grace, which has made all the Difference! But now, we Cry mightily to Heaven, we Lift up our Cries to the God of all Grace, for the Perishing Souls which are just now going to Expire under the Stroke of Justice, before our Eyes. We Mourn, we Mourn, that upon some of them, at Least, we do unto this Minute see no better Symptomes. But, Oh! is there not yet a Room for Sovereign Grace to be display'd, in their Conversion and Salvation! They Perish, if they do not now Sincerely Turn from Sin to God, and give themselves up to the Lord Jesus Christ; They Righteously and Horribly Perish! And yet, without influences from above, they can do none of those things which must be done if they do not perish. Oh! Let us beg it of our God, that He would not be so Provoked at their Multiplied and Prodigious Impieties, and at their obstinate Hardness under means of Good formerly afforded them, as to withhold those Influences from them! We cry to thee, O God of all Grace, That thou wouldest not Suffer them to continue in the Gall of Bitterness and Bond of Iniquity, and in the Possession of the Devil. Oh! Knock off the Chains of Death which are upon their Souls; Oh! Snatch the prey out of the Hands of the Terrible.

"Yet once again! Once again! We bring them, and lay them before the Spirit of Grace. O Almighty Spirit of Grace, May these Poor, blind, mad Sinners become objects for the Triumphs of Grace! O Almighty Spirit of God, and of Grace, cause these poor men to see their own Sinfulness and Wretchedness! Make them willing to be Saved from such Sinfulness and Wretchedness; Discover to them the only Saviour of their Souls. Oh! Dispose them, Oh! Assist them to give the Consent of their Souls unto His Wonderful Proposals. Let them Dy, Renouncing all Dependence on any Righteousness of their own; Alas, what can they have of their own to Depend upon! As a Token and Effect of their having Accepted the Righteousness of God, Let them heartily Repent of all their Sins against thee, and Abhor and cast up every Morsel of their Iniquity.282 Oh! Let them not go out of the World, raging and raving against the Justice of God and Man; And whatever part of the Satanick Image is yet remaining on their Souls, Oh! Efface it! Let them now Dy in such a State and such a Frame, as may render them fit to appear before God the Judge of all. What shall we do for them? What shall plead for them?

"Great God, Grant that all the Spectators may get Good by the horrible Spectacle that is now before them! Let all the People hear and fear, and let no more any such Wickedness be done, as has produced this woful Spectacle. And let all the People beware how they go on in the Ways of Sin, and in the pathes of the Destroyer, after so Solemn Warnings; Lest thou shouldest not only leave them to the grossest Acts of Wickedness, but also give them up unto the most amazing Impenitency, when the Punishment of their Iniquity comes to be inflicted on them.

"Oh! but shall our Sea faring Tribe, on this Occasion, be in a Singular manner affected with the Warnings of God! Lord, May those of our dear Brethren be Saved from the Temptations which do so threaten them! so ruine them! Oh! let them not Abandon themselves to Profanity, to Swearing, to Cursing, to Drinking, to Leudness, to a cursed Forgetfulness of their Maker, and of the End for which He made them! Oh! Let them not be abandoned of God, unto those Courses that will hasten them to a Damnation that slumbers not. Oh! Let the men fear the Lord Exceedingly, We Pray thee! We Pray thee! Let the Condition of the Six or Seven men, whom they now see Dying for their Wickedness upon the Sea, be Sanctified unto them.

"And now, we fly, we fly to Sovereign Grace. Oh! that the Poor men, which are immediately to appear before the awful Tribunal of God, may first by Sovereign Grace have produced upon their Souls those Marks of thy Favour, without which tis a dreadful Thing to appear before that awful Tribunal. Oh! Great God, Let thy Sovereign Grace Operate on this fearful Occasion! God be Merciful to us all, for the Sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto whom with283 the Father and the Spirit, be ascribed the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, for ever more, Amen."

They then Severally Spoke, Viz.

I. Capt. John Quelch. The last Words he spake to One of the Ministers at his going up the Stage, were, "I am not afraid of Death, I am not afraid of the Gallows, but I am afraid of what follows; I am afraid of a Great God, and a Judgment to Come." But he afterwards seem'd to brave it out too much against that fear: also when on the Stage first he pulled off his Hat, and bowed to the Spectators, and not Concerned, nor behaving himself so much like a Dying man as some would have done. The Ministers had, in the Way to his Execution, much desired him to Glorify God at his Death, by bearing a due Testimony against the Sins that had ruined him, and for the ways of Religion which he had much neglected: yet now being called upon to speak what he had to say, it was but thus much; "Gentlemen, 'Tis but little I have to speak; What I have to say is this, I desire to be informed for what I am here. I am Condemned only upon Circumstances. I forgive all the World: So the Lord be Merciful to my Soul." When Lambert was Warning the Spectators to beware of Bad-Company, Quelch joyning, "They should also take care how they brought Money into New-England, to be Hanged for it!"

II. John Lambert. He appeared much hardened, and pleaded much on his Innocency. He desired all men to beware of Bad Company; he seem'd in a great Agony near his Execution; he called much and frequently on Christ, for Pardon of Sin, that God Almighty would Save his innocent Soul; he desired to forgive all the World; his last words were, "Lord, forgive my Soul! Oh, receive me into Eternity! blessed name of Christ receive my Soul."

III. Christopher Scudamore. He appeared very Penitent since his Condemnation, was very diligent to improve his time going to, and at the place of Execution.

IV. John Miller. He seem'd much concerned, and284 complained of a great Burden of Sins to answer for; Expressing often, "Lord! What shall I do to be Saved!"

V. Erasmus Peterson. He cryed of injustice done him; and said, it is very hard for so many mens Lives to be taken away for a little Gold. He often said, his Peace was made with God; and his Soul would be with God: yet extream hard to forgive those he said wronged him. He told the Executioner, he was a strong man, and Prayed to be put out of misery as soon as possible.

VI. Peter Roach. He seem'd little concerned, and said but little or nothing at all.

Francis King was also Brought to the place of Execution, but Repriev'd.

Printed for and Sold by Nicholas Boone, at his Shop near the Old Meeting-House in Boston. 1704.


There is now in the Press, and will speedily be Published: The Arraignment, Tryal and Condemnation of Capt. John Quelch, and others of his Company, etc. For sundry Piracies, Robberies and Murder, committed upon the Subjects of the King of Portugal, Her Majesties Allie, on the Coast of Brasil, etc. Who upon full Evidence were found Guilty, at the Court-House in Boston, on the 13th of June 1704. With the Arguments of the Queen's Council, and Council for the Prisoners, upon the Act for the more effectual Suppression of Piracy. With an account of the Ages of the several Prisoners, and the Places where they were Born. Printed for and sold by Nicholas Boone, 1704.[6]

[1] What is here reproduced, to show somewhat of the harrowing circumstances under which the pirate's career might end, is a very rare "extra" of the Boston News-Letter, found in the Massachusetts Historical Society's file of that newspaper. The case of Quelch and his associates is related in much detail by Mr. A.C. Goodell in the Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, VIII. 386-398, and in the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, III. 71-77. The pursuit of the pirates is described in Sewall's diary, with extracts from the News-Letter, in Mass. Hist. Soc., Collections, XLVI. 103-110. In August, 1703, the brigantine Charles, fitted out as a privateer to cruise against the French, was riding off Marblehead, with her captain lying too sick to take her to sea. The crew seized the ship, put it in command of Quelch, threw the captain overboard, and sailed for the coast of Brazil, where for some months they engaged in a profitable career of piracy at the expense of subjects of the King of Portugal, with whom England had just concluded a particularly close alliance. In May, 1704, they reappeared on the Massachusetts coast, landed, and dispersed, but were presently suspected, accused, proclaimed, and "rounded up", the main capture being made at the Isles of Shoals, by an armed force under Maj. Stephen Sewall, the diarist's brother. The trial, June 13, 16, 19-21, was the first held in New England under the act of Parliament 11 and 12 Will. III., ch. 7, which gave the crown authority to issue commissions for the trial of pirates by specially constituted courts, outside the realm of England. The governor, Joseph Dudley, presided. Mr. Goodell maintains that the trial was conducted illegally in important particulars. Of the six pirates named above, as executed on June 30, Lambert was a Salem man, Peterson apparently a Swede, Roach Irish, Quelch and the other two English. Judge Sewall records that "When the Scaffold was let to sink, there was such a Screech of the Women that my wife heard it sitting in our Entry next the Orchard, and was much surprised at it; yet the wind was sou-west. Our house is a full mile from the place." In 1835 the editor's grandfather saw the six pirates of the Mexican, almost the last of their profession, hanged at about the same spot. I find that Mr. Paine has printed this piece, in Buried Treasure, but I know no other that so well illustrates its particular aspect of our theme.

[2] One of the sermons preached by Cotton Mather to the unfortunate men was printed by him this year under the title Faithful Warnings to prevent Fearful Judgments.

[3] Rev. Thomas Bridge of the First Church, and Cotton Mather of the Second.

[4] At the foot of Fleet Street, near the present South Ferry. Thus the grim procession went around most of the water front of the town. Sewall says his cousin counted 150 boats full of spectators of the execution, besides the multitude on land. The silver oar was the emblem of the admiralty.

[5] This prayer is unmistakable Cotton Mather; to whom we may be sure this whole occasion was one of extraordinary enjoyment.

[6] The publication of the pamphlet here advertised was by authority of Governor Dudley, who gives the Board of Trade the following excuse for printing the minutes of the trial before sending them to that body (letter of July 25, 1705), "My Lords, I should not have directed the printing of them here, but to satisfy and save the clamour of a rude people, who were greatly surprised that any body should be put to death that brought in gold into the Province, and did at the time speak rudely of the proceeding against them and assisted to hide and cover those ill persons". Cal. St. P. Col., 1704-1705, p. 585.


105. Deposition of Paul Dudley. August 15, 1705.[1]

The Deposition of Paul Dudley, Esquire, Her Majestys Attourney General for the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, and Advocate of the Court of Admiralty—who saith

That on or about the fifth day of June last past, being at Newport on Road Island in Company with the Honourable Nathaniel Byfield, Esquire, Judge of the Court of Admiralty, etc.[2] at the House of Samuel Cranston, Esquire, Governour of said Island, The said Judge complaining of the said Governours granting a Commission to Captain Halsey, a Privateer,[3] after the Receipt of her Majesties Commands to the Contrary, The said Samuel Cranston replyed, That he had taken the advice of the Generall Court[4] of that Colony, who were all of opinion That her Majesties Commands did not forbid him or restrain him from Granting Commissions for Privateers, And that their Charter granting them Power of Vice Admiralty,[5] he was286 determined to Exercise that power, and Grant such Commissions untill their Charter was actually and wholly taken away; And that they would not part with their powers or Government by piece meal, but would Die all at once, And that they had parted with too many of their priviledges already....

Paul Dudley.

Boston in New England
15 August 1705

Sworne in presence of his Excellency the Governour before us

Isa. Addington
Andrew Belcher
bracket of the Council

[1] Public Record Office, C.O. 5:1263, no. 57 XXVI. Paul Dudley was the governor's oldest son. The deposition is one of 55 enclosures in the governor's letter of Nov. 2, 1705, to the Board of Trade respecting his complaints of irregularities in the governments of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Though Dudley's commissions as governor confined his civil authority to Massachusetts and New Hampshire, his commission as vice-admiral (printed in the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, II. 220-224) gave him authority in Rhode Island also. The assembly of that colony, however, claimed the right under their charter to erect admiralty courts of their own, and for their governor the right to commission privateers. Queen Anne wrote to them in March 1704, repealing their act erecting a court, but they held that her letter did not forbid the commissioning of privateers. See Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, III. 508-510, 535-540.

[2] Nathaniel Byfield—founder of Bristol, Mass, (now R.I.), nephew of Archbishop Juxon and grandson of that Rev. Richard Byfield who was vicar of Stratford-on-Avon during most of Shakespeare's life—was commissioned admiralty judge for Massachusetts and Rhode Island during brief periods in 1698 and 1703, again 1704-1715 and 1728-1732.

[3] Nov. 7, 1704, Cranston had given a privateer's commission to Capt. John Halsey of the brigantine Charles, the vessel that had been Quelch's. The governor's confidence seems not to have been justified, for presently Halsey entered upon a large and lurid career of piracy, duly described in Johnson, General History of the Pyrates, II. 110-118.

[4] Assembly.

[5] It would be hard to find any such grant in the Rhode Island charter of 1663.

106. Commission for Trial of Piracy. November 1, 1716.[1]

South Carolina.

His Excellency John Lord Carteret, Palatine, The most Noble Henry Duke of Beaufort, the Right Hon'ble William Lord Craven, the Hon'ble Maurice Ashley Esqr., Sir John Colleton Baronet, John Danson Esqr., and the rest of the287 true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of Carolina,[2] To Nicholas Trott Esq., Judge of the Vice Admiralty in South Carolina and chief Justice of the said Province,[3] The Hon'ble Capt. Thomas Howard Commander of his Majestys ship the Shoram, the Hon'ble Charles Hart Esqr., one of the Members of our Council in South Carolina, the Hon'ble Thomas Broughton, Speaker of the Lower House of Assembly in South Carolina, Arthur Middleton and Ralph Izard Esqrs., Capt. Philip Dawes, Capt. Willm. Cuthbert, Commander of the Fortune Frigate, Capt. Allen Archer, Commander of the Brigantine Experiment, and Samuel Deane and Edward Brailsford, merchants, Greeting.

Whereas by an Act of Parliament made in the Twenty-Eight year of Henry the Eight Intituled for Pirates It is among other things Enacted That all Treasons, Felonies, Robberies, Murthers and Confederacies thereafter Committed in or upon the Seas or in any other Haven, River, Creek or Place where the Admiral or Admirals have or Pretend to have power, Authority or Juridiction, Shall be Inquired, Tryed, heard, determined and Judged in such Shires and Places in the Realm as shall be Limitted by the Kings Commission or Commissions to be directed for the same in like form and Condition as if any such Offence or Offences had been Committed or Done in and upon the Land, and such Commissions shall be had under the Kings Great Seal Directed to the Admiral or Admirals or to his or their Lieutenant, Deputy and Deputies, and to three or Four such other Substantial persons as shall be named or appointed by the Lord Chancellor of England for the time being from time to time and as often as needs shall require, to hear and Determine such Offences after the Common Course of the Laws of England Used for Treasons,288 Felonies, Robberies, Murthers and Confederacies of the same Done and Committed upon the Land within the Realm of England, And it is further Enacted That such Persons to whom such Commission or Commissions shall be Directed or four of them at the least shall have full power and authority to Inquire of such Offences and of every of them by the Oaths of Twelve good and Lawfull Inhabitants in the Shire Limited in their Commission in such like manner and form as if such offence had been Committed Upon the Land within the same Shire, And that every Indictment found and presentd before such Commissioners of any Treasons, Felonies, Robbery, Murthers, Manslaughters or such other Offences Committed or done in and upon the Seas or in and upon any other River or Creek Shall be Good and Effectual in the Law, and if any Person or Persons happen to be Indicted for any such Offence done or thereafter to be done upon the Seas or any other place above Limitted That then such Order, Process, Judgement and Execution shall be used had Done and made to and against every such person or Persons so being Indicted as against Traitors, Felons and Murtherers for Treason, Felony, Robbery, Murther or such Offences done upon the Land as by the Law of this Realm is Accustomed, and that the Tryal of such Offence or Offences if it be Denied by the Offender or Offenders shall be had by Twelve Lawfull men Inhabited in the Shire Limited within such Commission, which shall be Directed as is aforesaid, and no Challenge or Challenges to be had for the Hundred.

And such as shall be Convict of any such Offence or Offences by Verdict, Confession or Process by Authority of any such Commission shall have and Suffer such pains of Death, Losses of Lands, Goods and Chattels as if they had been Attainted and Convicted of any Treasons, Felonies, Robberies or other the Like said Offences done upon the Land,[4] Which said Act for Pirates with Several other Acts of Parliament of the Kingdom of England are made of Force in this Province by of Act of Assembly Intitled an Act to put in Force in this Province the several289 Statutes of the Kingdom Of England or South Britain therein particularly mentioned, duely Ratified in open Assembly the Twelth Day of December in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twelve, In which said Act of Assembly Amongst other things It is Enacted That the Honble Governor and the Council of this Province for the time being shall have all the power and Authority relating to the Execution of the therein Enumerated Statutes as by the same or by any other the Laws of England are Given to the Lord Chancellor or the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England as the said Act of Assembly, reference being there unto had, will more fully appear.

Now Know yee, That we, reposing especial Trust and Confidence in the Ability, Care, Prudence and Fidelity of you the said Nicholas Trott, Thomas Howard, Charles Hart, Thomas Broughton, Arthur Middleton, Ralph Izard, Philip Daws, William Cuthbert, Allen Archer and Samuel Brailsford or any four of you, the said Nicholas Trott to be one, have constituted and Appointed and by these presents Do Constitute and Appoint you to be Our Commissioners in South Carolina for Examining, Enquiring of, Trying, Hearing and Determining and Adjudging, according to the directions of the said act of Parliament as made of force in the said province of South Carolina, all Treason, Piracies, Robberies, Felonies and Murthers Committed in or upon the Sea or within any Haven, River, Creek or place where the Admiral or Admirals have power, authority or Jurisdiction, And to Do all things necessary for the hearing and final Determination of any Cases of Treason, Piracy, Robbery, Felony or Murther Committed on the Sea or where the Admiral hath Jurisdication, and to Give Sentence and Judgement of Death and to Award Execution of the Offenders so Convicted and Attainted, And we hereby direct, Impower and require you our said Commissioners to proceed, Act, Examine, hear, adjudge and Determine in all things as fully and amply to all Intents and purposes within this province of South Carolina as any Commissioners in the Kingdom of England Impowered by Commission under the Broad Seal pursuant to the said Statute of the290 Twenty Eight of Henry the Eight for Pirates or any the like Commissioners in any of the British Plantations in America can or may lawfully doe, perform and Execute, And we do hereby Require and Command all our Officers and all other Persons whatsoever in anywise concerned to take notice of this our Grant and give all due Obedience to your said Commissioners in the Execution of the several powers herein Granted you, as they will Answer the Contrary att their Perils. Witness our Deputy Governor and our Deputies at CharlesTown in South Carolina And Given under the Publick Seal of the said Province of South Carolina This First day of November In the Third year of the Reign of our Lord George, by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King, Defender of the faith etc. And in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Sixteen.

Robert Daniel.[5]
George Logan.
Fra. Yonge.
Sam: Eveleigh.

[1] Charleston, Records of the Court of Vice-admiralty of South Carolina, vol. A-B. The document is spread upon the records of the court for Nov. 27, 1716, at the beginning of the day's proceedings. This commission is a peculiar one. As has been explained in note 2 to doc. no. 51 and in note 1 to doc. no. 104, the act 28 Henr. VIII. ch. 15 (1536) provided for the trial of piracy by commissions specially appointed for the purpose, and with a jury, but did not extend to the oversea plantations, while the act 11 and 12 Will. III. ch. 7 (1699-1700) extended to those dominions the crown's authority to appoint such commissions. Before the passage of the latter statute, colonial governors had as vice-admirals appointed such commissions, which had then proceeded under the civil (Roman) law, and not under the statute. But South Carolina had in 1712 expressly adopted the act of 28 Henr. VIII. (Cooper, Statutes at Large, II. 470) and here we have a commission issued by the deputy governor and council, under authority of the proprietors of Carolina, for trial under the act of 1536, though action could have been taken under that of 1700. The accused persons for whose trial the commission was issued were acquitted. For the whole subject of piracy in or near Carolina, where it was rife in these years, see S.C. Hughson, "The Carolina Pirates and Colonial Commerce", in Johns Hopkins University Studies, XII. The most famous case was that of Major Stede Bonnet, but the original records of that case are fully printed in State Trials, ed. Hargrave, vol. VI.

[2] The six proprietors of Carolina here named held at this time six of the eight shares in the property. The holder of the seventh was a minor; the eighth was in litigation.

[3] Nicholas Trott, LL.D., attorney-general of Bermuda 1696-1697, the first attorney general of South Carolina 1698-1702, chief-justice 1702-1709, 1713-1719, a learned lawyer, and a great power in the politics of the province so long as the rule of the proprietors continued. He was the first vice-admiralty judge, having commissions as such from both the king and the proprietors. He is often erroneously identified with his cousin the governor (1693-1696) of the Bahamas, the Nicholas Trott of docs. nos. 63 and 64.

[4] Thus far quoting, correctly, sect. 2 of 28 Henr. VIII. ch. 15.

[5] Governor Edward Craven, sailing for England in April preceding, had left Col. Robert Daniel deputy governor in his stead. The other signers were deputies of individual proprietors.


107. Cyprian Southack to Governor Samuel Shute. May [5?], 1717.[1]

Cape Cod Harbour[2] May [5?] 1717

Maye itt Pleass Your Excellency

Sir, may 2 at 1 After noon I Came to Anchor here, finding Serveral Vessells, Visseted them and on board one of291 them found a Yung man boling[3] to the Ship the Pirritt[4] Took 26 April in South Channell, Saileing from Nantaskett the Day before at 3 After noon. April 26 Pirritt Ship Took a Sloop in South Channell, Lading with West India Goods, Sloop or Master I no not as Yett.[5] at 7 After noon the Pirrett Ship with her Tender, being a Snow a bout Ninty Tuns they Took in Latitude 26°, 15 Days agoe,[6] maned with 15 of Pirritts men, wine Ship and Sloop all to Gather Standing to the Northward. at 12 Night the Pirritt Ship and wine Ship Run a Shore, the Snow and Sloop Gott Off Shore, being Sen the Next morning in the Offen.[7]

Sir, 29 April Came to Anchor sum Distance from the Pirritt Rack[8] Ship, a Very Great Sloop. After Sending his292 boat to the Pirrit Rack Thay Came to Saile and Chassed serveral of Our fishing Vessells, then stod in to Sea which I belive to be his Cunsatte.[9]

May 2 at 2 After noon I sent Mr. Little and Mr. Cuttler to the Rack. they Got their that Night and Capt[10] watch till I Came the Next morning. at my Coming their I found the Rack all to Pices, North and South, Distance from one a Nother 4 Miles. Sir, whear shee Strock first I se one Anchor at Low water, sea being so Great Ever sence I have ben here, Can not Come to se what maye be their for Riches, nor aney of her Guns. she is a ship a bout Three hundred tuns. she was very fine ship. all that I Can find saved Out of her, is her Cables and som of her sailes, Cut all to Pices by the Inhabitances here. their has ben at this Rack Two hundred men at Least Plundring of her.[11] sum saye they Gott Riches Out of the sand but I Can not find them as yett. Sir, what I shall Gett to Gather will be to the Value of Two hundred Pounds. If Your Excellency Pleass to send the sloop to Billingsgatt[12] for itt, is Carted Over Land to that Place. Sir, here has been 54 whit men and 4 Negros Come a shore Ded from the Rack. If their be aney News by the Pirritts at boston[13] whear the money is, I humbley Desier Your Excelleny menets[14] of what Place in the ship itt was in, for I am in Great hops. whare the Anchors are the money is I fancy, and weather Per mett I have Got a whale boat to fish for itt and Things for that service.[15]293

Sir, here is One Caleb Hopkines, Senr., of freetown, which has Dun a Great Dell of Damage to Your Excellency Officers in Doeing their Duty. I Pray Your Excellency would send a Order for his Coming to boston in Order to Answare what I shall Aledge aganst him.

Sir, Yr Excellency Most
Obed. serv'tt
Cyprian Southack.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 51, pp. 287, 287a. Cyprian Southack was a notable sea-captain and pilot. For a number of years he commanded the naval vessel of Massachusetts, so that it was the natural course for the governor to send him in pursuit of pirates who suddenly appeared on the Massachusetts coast. In 1711 he had commanded a vessel in the unfortunate expedition against Quebec under Sir Hovenden Walker, and the admiral had stayed at his house during his long detention in Boston. He was also the most noted map-maker of his time in New England; in 1694 King William had admitted him to kiss his hands and had given him a gold chain of £50 for his map of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and the St. Lawrence region (Acts. P.C. Col., II. 264). The governor whom he addresses was Samuel Shute, governor 1716-1727. The ending of the War of the Spanish Succession (1713) had as usual caused a large revival of piracy, many privateers turning to that trade. The career of the Whidah and of Capt. Samuel Bellamy can be made out from the depositions which follow. On April 26, in a heavy gale, she had come ashore on the sands of Cape Cod, in what is now Wellfleet, and all on board but two men (see doc. no. 114) were drowned. More than a hundred of the pirates thus perished. Of those who escaped wreck, in the smaller vessels, several, who had constituted the prize crew of the Mary Anne (doc. no. 109), were captured, tried, and executed (doc. no. 112). The story is told in The Trials of Eight Persons Indited for Piracy, etc. (Boston, 1718), and by Mr. John H. Edmonds in the Boston Sunday Globe for Oct. 22, 1916.

[2] Southack had come across from Boston into the inner side of the Cape.

[3] Belonging. Spelling was not one of the captain's many accomplishments. For facsimiles of his handwriting, see Memorial History of Boston, II. liv, 98.

[4] Pirate. The South Channel lies in the southern portion of Nantucket Sound, south of the great shoal known as the Horse-shoe. The ship here alluded to was the pink Mary Anne; see doc. no. 109.

[5] The Fisher; see doc. no. 111.

[6] See the last part of doc. no. 108. A snow was a small vessel like a brig except for having a supplementary third, or trysail, mast.

[7] Seen; offing. The local legend, as recounted by the minister of Wellfleet in 1793, was that the captain of the snow, ordered by Bellamy to precede the Whidah with a light at his stern, under promise of receiving the snow as a present if he should pilot him safely into Cape Cod Harbor, purposely "approached so near the land, that the pirate's large ship which followed him struck on the outer bar: the snow being less [in draft] struck much nearer the shore". Rev. Levi Whitman, in Mass. Hist. Soc., Coll., III. 120. But the evidence in doc. no. 111 is to the contrary.

[8] Wreck.

[9] Consort.

[10] Kept.

[11] "Wrecking" was still an important industry in the world. Indeed, as late as 1853, in this very neighborhood (Nauset Light), Emerson records in his Journal, VIII. 399, "Collins, the keeper, told us he found obstinate resistance on Cape Cod to the project of building a lighthouse on this coast, as it would injure the wrecking business".

[12] Wellfleet Bay.

[13] Those already in prison.

[14] Minutes.

[15] Rev. Mr. Whitman says (1793), "At times to this day, there are King William and Queen Mary's coppers picked up, and pieces of silver, called cob money [see doc. no. 62, note 15]. The violence of the seas moves the sands upon the outer bar so that at times the iron caboose of the ship, at low ebbs, has been seen." Ubi sup. In 1863 she was quite visible. Another reporter tells us that "For many years after this shipwreck, a man of a very singular and frightful aspect used every spring and autumn to be seen travelling on the Cape, who was supposed to have been one of Bellamy's crew. The presumption is that he went to some place where money had been secreted by the pirates, to get such a supply as his exigencies required. When he died, many pieces of gold were found in a girdle which he constantly wore." Thoreau, Cape Cod, ed. 1914, p. 192. On one of Southack's maps, a narrow waterway across Cape Cod is marked with the legend, "The Place where I came through with a Whale Boat, being ordered by the Governm't to look after the Pirate Ship Whido, Bellame Command'r, cast away the 26 of April, 1717, where I buried One Hundred and Two Men Drowned". This map, with this legend, is reproduced at the back of Miss Mary R. Bangs's Old Cape Cod (Boston, 1920). The western initial portion of this waterway still exists, in the town of Orleans, and is known as "Jeremiah's Gutter". See A.P. Brigham, Cape Cod and the Old Colony, pp. 80-82.

108. Examination of John Brown. May 6, 1717.[1]

The Substance of the Examinations of John Brown, etc. Taken by order of His Excellency the Governour on Munday the 6th of May 1717.

John Brown being interrogated saith, that he was born in the Island of Jamaica, is 25 years old and unmarried. About a year agoe he belonged to a Ship commanded by Captain Kingston, which in her voyage with Logwood to Holland was taken to the Leeward of the Havana by two Piratical Sloops, one commanded by Hornygold[2] and the other by a Frenchman called Leboose,[3] each having 70 men on board. The pirats kept the Ship about 8 or 10 daies, and then having taken out off her what they thought proper delivered her back to some of the men, who belonged to her. Leboose kept the Examinate on board his Sloop about 4 months, the English Sloop under Hornigolds command294 keeping company with them all that time. Off Cape Corante[4] they took two Spanish Briganteens without any resistance, laden with cocoa from Ma[l]aca. The Spaniards, not coming up to the pirats demand about the ransom, were put ashoar and their Briganteens burn'd. They sailled next to the Isle of Pines, where meeting with three or four English Sloops empty, they made use of them in cleaning their own, and gave them back. From thence they sailled in the latter end of May to Hispaniola, where they tarried about 3 months. The Examinate then left Leboose and went on board the Sloop commanded formerly by Hornygold, but at that time by one Bellamy, who upon a difference arising amongst the English Pirats because Hornygold refused to take and plunder English Vessels, was chosen by a great majority their Captain, and Hornygold departed with 26 hands in a Prize Sloop, Bellamy having then on board about 90 men, most of them English. Bellamy and Leboose sailled to the Virgin Islands and took several small fishing boats, and off St. Croix a French Ship laden with flower and fish from Canada, and having taken out some of the flower gave back the Ship. Plying to the Windward the morning they made Saba[5] they spy'd two Ships, which they chased and came up with, the one was commanded by Captain Richards,[6] the other by Capt. Tosor, both bound to the bay. Having plunder'd the Ships and taken out some young men, they dismist the rest and Tosors Ship and made a man of War of Richards's, which they put under the command of Bellamy, and appointed Paull Williams Captain of the Sloop. Next day they took a Bristol Ship[7] commanded by James Williams from Ireland laden with provisions, and having taken out what provisions they wanted and two or three of the Crew let her goe. Then they parted with their French consort at the Island of Blanco[8] and stood away295 with their Ship and Sloop to the windward passage, where in the latter end of February last they met with Captain Laurence Prince in a ship of 300 Ton called the Whido, with 18 guns mounted, and fifty men, bound from Jamaica to London, laden with Sugar, Indico, Jesuits bark and some silver and gold, and having given chase thre daies took him without any other resistance than his firing two chase guns at the Sloop, and came to an anchor at Long Island.[9] Bellamy's crew and Williams's consisted then of 120 men. They gave the Ship taken from Captain Richards to Captain Prince, and loaded her with as much of the best and finest goods as she could carry, and gave Captain Prince above twenty pounds in Silver and gold to bear his charges. They took 8 or 10 men belonging to Captain Prince; the Boatswain and two more were forced, the rest being volunteers. off Petteguavis[10] they took an English Ship hired by the French, laden with Sugar and Indico, and having taken out what they had occasion for, and some of the men, dismist her. Then they stood away for the Capes of Virginia, being 130 men in Company, and having lost sight of the Sloop the day before they made the land, they cruised ten daies, according to agreement between Bellamy and Williams, in which time they seized three ships and one Snow, Two of them from Scotland, one from Bristol, and the fourth a Scotch Ship, last from Barbadoes, with a little Rum and Sugar on board, so leaky that the men refused to proceed further. The Pirats sunk her. Having lost the Sloop they kept the Snow, which was taken from one Montgomery, being about 100 Ton, and manned her with 18 hands, which with her own Crew made up the number of 28 men; the other two Ships were discharged being first plundered. They made[11]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 11945, paper 5; a fragment.

[2] Benjamin Hornigold was a pirate captain of some fame; he soon after this surrendered to the governor of Bermuda, and "came in" under the king's proclamation of Sept. 5, 1717, which offered pardon to those pirates who should surrender within a given time. Charles Johnson, General History of the Pyrates (second ed., London, 1724), I. 35, 70, 71; II. 274-276.

[3] Id., I. 35, 184.

[4] Cape Corrientes, near the southwestern point of Cuba.

[5] A small Dutch island, east of St. Croix, and between St. Martin and St. Eustatius.

[6] The Sultana, James Richards. "The bay" means the Bay of Honduras.

[7] The St. Michael.

[8] An islet among the Virgin Islands, east of St. John, and not far from the Dead Man's Chest. The Windward Passage lies between Haiti and Cuba. Jesuits' bark is cinchona, from which quinine is made.

[9] One of the Bahamas.

[10] Petit Goave, a port in the southern part of Haiti.

[11] Here the fragment ends.


109. Deposition of Thomas FitzGerald and Alexander Mackonochie. May 6, 1717.[1]

The Deposition of Thomas Fitz Gerald, Marriner, aged about nineteen years, and late Mate of the Pink Mary Anne, belonging to Dublin (whereof Andrew Crumsty was lately Commander) and Alexander Mackconothy late Cook of the said Pink, aged fifty five years.

These Depon'ts Testify and say That on the twenty fourth day of April last past, they sailed from Nantasket harbour bound for New York, and on the twenty sixth day of the said month, being friday, in the morning about nine of the clock, they discovered a large Ship, and her Prize, which was a Snow, astern, and the large Ship came up with the said Pink Mary Ann, between nine and ten, and ordered us to strike our Colours, which accordingly we did, and then they shot ahead of us, and braced too, and hoisted out her boat and sent seven Men on board, Armed with their Musquets, pistols and Cutlashes (which Men are now in Boston Goal) and they commanded the said Capt. Crumpsty to take his Papers, and go aboard the said Ship with five of his hands and accordingly the said Crumpsty with five of his Men rowed aboard the said Pyrates Ship, and the seven Men tarryed aboard the Pink, and soon after the Pyrates sent their boat on board the said pink with four hands to get some of the Wine which they were Informed was on board the Pink, and accordingly they hoisted the pinks boat off of the hatches and opened the hatches and then went into the hold, but the Cable being Quoiled in the hatchway, they found it difficult to Come to the Wines in the hold, and so returned to their own Ship without any wine, Except five bottles of green wine which the found in the pinks Cabbin and carryed away, with some of the Cloaths which belonged to the pinks Company, and presently after the pyrates had hoisted their boat on board the great Ship, they gave Orders to the Pyrates on board the pink to steer North Northwest after them, which Course they followed till about four a297 Clock in the afternoon, and then the large Ship whereof Capt. Samuel Bellame was Commander, and the snow and pink lay too,[2] it being very thick foggy weather, And about half an hour after four a Clock a sloop came up with Capt. Bellames Ship and he hoisted out his boat and sent several men on board the Sloop and soon afterwards, Vizt. about five a Clock, the Commander of the snow bore away, and came under the stern of Capt. Bellames Ship and told him that they saw the Land; And thereupon Capt. Bellame Ordered the Pyrates on board the Pink to steer away North, which they did, and as soon as it began to be dark the sd Capt. Bellames Ship put out a light astern and also the snow and the sloop and the pink had their lights out; and about ten a Clock the weather grew thick and it lightned and rained hard and was so dark, that the pinks Comp. Could not see the shore till they were among the Breakers, when the Depon't Fitz Gerald was at helm, and had lost sight of the Great Ship, Snow and Sloop; and being among the breakers we thought it most proper and necessary to weere[3] the Pink, and before we could trim the head sails we run ashoar opposite to Sluts bush at the back of Stage harbour to the southward of Cape Codd[4] between ten and Eleven a Clock at night, And the seven Pyrates together with the Depon't and a young man named James Donovan tarryed on board the said Pink till break of day[5] and then found the shoar side of the Pink dry and so all of them went on shoar upon the Island called Poachy[6] beach, and there tar298ryed till about ten a Clock, when two Men came over in a Canno, Namely John Cole[7] and William Smith, who Carryed the seven pyrates over to the Main land, and then Cole came again to the Depon't and Inquired who they (meaning the pyrates) were, and the Depon't Mackconothy Answered they were pyrates and had taken the said pink, and soon after the said John Cole Informed Mr. Justice Done of Barnstable[8] thereof, by virtue of whose Warrant the said seven Pyrates were Apprehended, and the Depon'ts Journeyed with them to Boston, where they are now in Custody of the Keeper of His Maj'ties Goal as is aforesaid. And further the Depon'ts say not; but that the said Pink is Bilged on shoare, so that it is impossible to get her off.

Thos. Fitz Gerald

Alexander X Mackconothy

Boston May 6th 1717
Jurat May 8th, 1717

James Donovan, within named, made oath to the truth of the within written Deposition, and further saieth that being upon deck on Friday in the afternoon, on which day the Pink was taken, Alexand'r Mackonothy being at the Helmn steering to windward of her Course, this Declar't heard John Brown, one of the Pirates now in Goal, say that for a small matter he would shute Mackonothy thro the head as soon as he would a Dog and he should never tell his story.

James Donovan

Jurat Cor. May 8th 1717

Coram[9] Penn Townsend
John Clark
Oliver Noyes
bracket Justices of the

Attest. Jos Marion D. Secr'y.[10]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 11945, paper 9.

[2] To.

[3] Wear, to come about before the wind.

[4] Slut's Bush was a rocky, swampy piece of land, well grown with berry-bushes, in the midst of the large isle of Nauset, that lay outside of the smaller Pochet Island and outside Stage or Nauset Harbor, the harbor of Eastham. Now, Slut's Bush ledge and Nauset Island are far out from the present shore and under deep water. On this mostly sandy coast wind and wave have made extraordinary changes. They are described, down to 1864, in an article by Amos Otis on "The Discovery of an Ancient Ship", in N.E. Hist. Gen. Register, XVIII. 37-44. Much of his information came from the grandson of John Doane, mentioned below, a grandson born not much later than 1717.

[5] In another deposition of Thomas Fitzgerald, reproduced in Trials of Eight Persons, he gives us a quaint glimpse of the pirates' psychology during this night of peril: "And in their Distress the [Pirates] ask'd the Deponent to Read to them the Common-Prayer Book, which he did about an Hour; And at break of Day they found the Shoar-side of the Pink dry."

[6] Pochet.

[7] See his testimony in doc. no. 112.

[8] Either John Doane, Esq., or his cousin Joseph. Both were justices of the peace for Barnstable County, but neither lived in Barnstable town; they were the leading residents of Eastham.

[9] In the presence of.

[10] Deputy secretary of the province. Josiah Willard was secretary.


110. Cyprian Southack to Governor Samuel Shute. May 8, 1717.[1]

Eastham May the 8, 1717

Maye itt Pleass Your Excellency

Sir, Captt. Gorham, Mr. Little, Mr. Cuttler and Mr. Russell, Gentt'men that I have Deputed, have Rid at Least Thirty miles a moung the Inhabtances, whome I have had Information of ther being at the Pirate Rack, and have Gott Concernable Riches out of her. the first men that want Doun to the Rack with the English man that was Saved out of the Rack, I shall Mention their Names to Your Excellency in Order for a Warrant to me for bringing them for boston before Your Excellency, or as You Pleass, Sir, for all thes Pepol are very stife and will not one[2] Nothing of what they Gott, on the Rack. Sir, Fryday 26 April, at 12 night, Pirate Ship Came a shoare. Saturday 27 Instant, at 5 morning, Came the English man that was Saved out of Pirate Ship,[3] Came to the house of Samuell harding, Two miles from the Rack. After a smalle time the saide harding took the English man on his Horse and Carred him to the Rack. thes Two made Serverall Turnes from the Rack to harding house, so they most Gett much Riches. by 10 Clock the same morning their Gott to the Rack a bout 10 men more, and Gott a Great Dell of Riches. Sunday morning, Joseph[4] Doane, Esqr., gott to the Rack but all was Gon of Vallue. Sir, he Comanded the Inhabtances to save what they Could for the King, which was them Things I Rett[5]300 to Your Excellency before of. Sir, the Curner[6] and his Jurey Putt a stop to serverall Things beloning to the Rack in Part for buering[7] Sixty Two men Came a shoare Dead from the Pirate Rack, the Curner and his Jurey says their Due is Eight Three Pounds. Sir, I am of the mind that the Curner and Jurey should have nothing for buering aney of thes men After they New them to be Pirats, and they had bured but Thirteen before they new them to be Pirats. as Your Excellency Pleass, I humbley Desier Your Excellency Orders to this Afare. the Curner name is Samuell freeman, for his stoping aney of the Rack Goods for Paye is very hard. Sir, the weather has ben very bad, and Great Sea, so we Can Due Nothing as yett on the Rack with my Whale boat and men, but se the Anchor Every Low Watter. Sir, If some Gentt'men ware Commissined here to Give Serverall of them their Oath Concerning the Rack, itt will be of Great Service. Sir, Coll. Ottis[8] and Joseph Doane, Esqr., are Very Good men.

Sir, 72 Dead men are Come a shoare out Pirate ship to this Time.

The men that were Down first at the rack

Samuell Harding
Joseph Collins Senr.
Abiel Harding
Samuell Horton
Jonathan Cole
Edward Knowles
Thomas Wood
Samuell Airy

Sir, Yr Excellency Most
Obd. Servant
Cyprian Southack.

[1] Mass. Archives, vol. 51, pp. 289, 289a.

[2] Own.

[3] Thomas Davis; see his memorial, doc. no. 114.

[4] See doc. no. 109, note 8.

[5] Writ. The money on board the Whidah was claimed by the crown because of its being the product of piracy, not because of the shipwreck, for if man or cat or dog escaped alive from any shipwrecked vessel, its contents were technically not "wreck of the sea", belonging as such to the crown, but were reserved for the owners, with reasonable salvage to the preservers. A recent act, 12 Anne, II., ch. 18, provided that any who secreted goods saved from a wreck should be punished with a fine of treble value; but this act did not run in Massachusetts.

[6] Coroner. Investigation in cases of wreck and treasure-trove was part of the duties of his office.

[7] Burying.

[8] Col. John Otis, the chief magnate of Barnstable County, colonel of its militia, judge, member of the governor's council, and grandfather of James Otis the revolutionary orator.


111. Deposition of Ralph Merry and Samuel Roberts. May 11, 16,

We, Ralph Merry and Samuel Roberts, mariners, both of full age, Joyntly and Severally testify and make Oath That on the twenty sixth day of April last we belonged to a certain Sloope Called the Fisher (whereof Robert Ingols was Commander), bound to Boston from Virginia, being laden with Tobacco, hides and other things. That Assoon as we arived within a few leagues off Cape Codd we met with a Ship of twenty eight guns called the Wedaw, which assoon as they came near, haled us and Demanded from whence we came. We told 'em That we came from Virginia and were bound for Boston. Then they asked us whether the Master was Acquainted here, meaning (as we suppose) with the Coast. Our Master Answered he knew it very well, Whereupon they Commanded our Master and Company to hoist out our boat, which we did, and then our Master and Mate went on board the said Ship. they, keeping our Master and Mate on board thereof, Sent four men Armed from thence on board of our Sloop, whereupon the said Ship stood away to the Northward and gave Orders to our Sloope to follow their Light, And being in the Night we lost Sight of said Ship And followed a Snowe light which was before in Company with her (which said Snow was a Prize the said Ship had taken off from the Capes of Virginia, as we were informed) untill the Snow was almost ashoar. then the said Snow came to an Anchor And Called to us to doe the same, which we Accordingly did, and lay there till about ten of the Clock the next day, being the twenty Seventh day of said month; then, the wind blowing off Shoar, they Cutt their Cable and bid us make the best of our way after them to the Eastward, and About three leagues off the Cape they, taking out of our Sloope what they pleased, Commanded us to goe on board the said Snow. then they, Cutting our Mast off by the board, the hatches of our Sloope being open, left her afloat in the Sea, then302 makeing the best of their way to Menhagen[2] at the Eastward, where we arrived the twenty ninth of said April, where they stayed and waited for the aforesaid Ship Wedaw Some time, but she came not, whereupon, thinking the Ship was lost, they fitted their Long boat and sent her down to Mentinacus,[3] where they tooke a Sloope belonging to Colonel Minot,[4] one Shallop belonging to Capt. Lane,[5] and three Scooners. They brought the Sloop and Shallop and (as we are Informed) the Sailes and Compasses of the three Scooners to Menhagen, whereupon they manned the last mentioned Sloope with ten hands and soe went after Capt. Cars Sloope, lying at Peniquid,[6] which they alsoe took a little distance from said Peniquid, but finding the Mast and Bowspreat not Serviceable they left her there, and brought the Master thereof on board the Snow then at Menhagen aforesaid. In these ten mens absence Came into Menhagen two Shallops from Marblehead, which the Snow tooke and Caused 'em to come to an Anchor there, and sent the men therein togeather With us the Depon'ts to prison upon Menhagen Island, where we lay till they had fitted the Sloop of Collonel Minots aforesaid with what they thought fit from the Snow, and soe departed and left the Snow and all the rest behind,[7] and leaving us to our Libertyes ordered the Skipper of the Shallope to carry us to Marblehead which they accordingly did, where we arrived yesterday, being the tenth day of May Instant.

Ralph Merry
Sam'll Roberts

Attest: Jos. Marion, D. Secr'y.

Boston, May 16, 1717
Sworne before the Hon'bl Lieutenant
Governour and Council.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 11945, paper 3.

[2] Monhegan, a small island on the coast of Maine, off Pemaquid Point.

[3] Matinicus, a small island farther east, southward from Rockland.

[4] Stephen Minot of Boston.

[5] Capt. John Lane of Malden, son of a noted Indian-fighter.

[6] Pemaquid.

[7] A letter from Capt. John Lane, dated at Winter Harbor May 19, shows the continuance of operations: "This moment Came A young man from Spurwinke which wass Taken by A pirat sloop of Aboute ninty men with Eight guns which is now att an anker In Cape Elesebth Roade ... they have Taken one sloop and one shallop which they keep with them". Maine Hist. Soc., Coll., second ser., IX. 357.


112. Trial of Simon van Vorst and Others. [October], 1717.[1]

That one of the Prisoners asked the Depont. what he thought they were, to which Baker who stood by, said that the King had Given them a Commission to make their Fortune, and they were sworn to do it. After the pink was cast on shoar they said they were in as bad a Condition then as before.

Alexander Mackonachy, late Cook of the Pink Mary Anne of Dublin,[2] Saith, That on the 26th day of April last past, in the course of their Voyage from Nantasket to New York, they were taken by a pyrate Ship Called the Whido, Comanded by Capt. Samuel Bellamy, That all the Prisoners at the Barr came on board the sd Pink Armed, Except Thomas South and John Shuan, and made themselves Masters of the Pink; And that Simon Van Vorst ordered the Captain to go on board the Ship Whido with his Papers and five of his Company. The Depont. further Saith That the Pink was Cast away opposite to an Island Called Slutts Bush; and after the prisoners were Carryed to the Main Land they looked very sorrowfull and made all Imaginable speed in order to Escape from the Hands of Justice. That Thomas South behaved himself Civilly. That Thomas Baker Cutt down the Foremast and Mizen Mast of the Pink when she run on shoar.

John Brett, Marriner, Testifyeth and Saith, That in the Month of June 1716 he was taken by two Pyrate Sloops, one Commanded by Capt. Samuel Bellamy and the other by Capt. Labous. They Damn'd the Depont. and bid him bring his Liquor on board. They Carryed him to the Island304 of Pynes, and he was detained a Prisoner by them there Eighteen days, During which time John Brown was as Active on board the Pyrate Sloop as the rest of the Company, he told a Prisoner then on board that he would hide him in the hold, and hinder him from Complaining against him, or telling his Story.

Thomas Checkley, Marriner, Saith, That he knows John Shuan the Prisoner at the Barr, That he belonged to the Tanner Frigot, One John Stover Master, and sometime in March last the said Ship or Frigot was taken in the prosecution of her Voyage from Pettyguavus to old France by Capt. Samuel Bellamy and Monsieur Lebous. they pretended to be Robbin Hoods Men. That Shuan Declared himself to be now a Pyrate, and went up and unrigged the Maintopmast by order of the pyrates, who at that time forced no Body to go with them, and said they would take no Body against their Wills.

Moses Norman says that he knows Thomas Brown, and saw him in Company with the Pyrates belonging to Capt. Bellamy and Monsr. Lebous when the Depont. was taken with Capt. Brett in the Month of June 1716. That he was Carryed to the Isle of Pynes, and kept Prisoner Seventeen or Eighteen days, During all which time the sd Thomas Brown was very Active on board of Capt. Labous.

John Cole Saith That on the twenty seventh day of April last he saw the Prisoners now at the Barr, in Eastham, soon after they were Cast on shore, that they tarryed a short time at his house, and lookt very much Dejected and Cast down. they Enquired the way to Rhode Island, and made great hast from his house tho he asked them to tarry and refresh themselves.

John Done, Esq., Saith that hearing there were some Pyrates Journeying towards Rhode Island, he pursued them with a Deputy Sheriff and other assistants, and seized the Prisoners, now at the Barr, at Eastham Tavern about the 27th of April last; When they Confessed that they belonged to Capt. Bellamy Comander of the Ship Whido, and had taken the Pink Mary Anne, in which they run on shoar.

After the aforenamed Witnesses were Examined, the305 Court in favour of the Prisoners by giving them time to make their Defence Adjournd till three a Clock post merediem.

The Court met about that time and the Prisoners were sent for and brought again to the Barr, when the President[3] Observed to them, that this Court had Given them time, till now, to make their own Defence, Then demanded what they had to say for themselves.

Simon Van Vorst Alledged that he was forced by Capt. Bellamys Company to Do what he did, and would have mad known his Intentions to make his Escape from the Pyrates unto the Mate of the sd Pink, but that he understood by the Mates Discourse that he Inclined to be a Pyrate himself, and therefore he did not discover his mind to the Mate.

Thomas Brown pretended himself also to be a forced Man, but produced no Evidence to make it Appear to the Court.

Thomas South Alledged that he belonged to a Bristoll Ship[4] whereof one James Williams was Master, That he was taken by Capt. Bellamy and forced to tarry with him, otherwise was threatened to be put upon a Desolate Island where there was nothing to Support him.

Thomas Baker Saith that he and Simon Van Vorst were both taken out of one Vessell, That he Attempted to make his Escape at Spanish Town,[5] and the Governour of that place seemed to favour his Design, till Capt. Bellamy and his Company sent the Governour word that they would burn and destroy the Town, if that the sd Baker and those that Concealed themselves with him were not delivered up, And afterwards he would have made his Escape at Crabb Island[6] but was hindred by four of Capt. Bellamy Compa.306

Hendrick Quintor saith That he was taken by Capt. Bellamy and Monsr. Labous; and they had Agreed to let him go to the Coast of Crocus[7] in the French Vessel which they took him in, But the Commander thereof soon after dyed and so Captn. Bellamy would not permit him to proceed the sd. Voyage and he was unavoidably forced to Continue among the Pyrates.

Peter Cornelius Hoof Declares and Saith That he was taken by Capt. Bellamy in a Vessel whereof John Cornelius was Master, That the sd. Bellamys Company swore they would kill him unless he would Joyn with them in their unlawfull Designs.

John Shuan, by his Interpreter, Saith That he was sick at the time when Capt. Bellamy took him, and went on board the Pyrate Vessel at the Instance of Capt. Bellamy's Doctor, who advised him to stay with him till his Cure. And that when he went on board the Pink Mary Anne he did not Carry any Arms with him; and that he hoped by going on board the Pink he should the sooner make his Escape from the Pyrates, for that he had a better way of getting his Living than by Pyrating.

The Evidence for the King being fully heard, and also the Pleas and Allegations made by the Prisoners at the Barr, His Majesty's Attorney General[8] in a very handsome and learned speech summed up the Evidence and made his Remarques upon the whole, and the Court was cleared, and the Evidence and pleadings thereupon against the Prisoners, with their Defences, having been duly considered, and the Question put,[9]

[1] Suffolk Court Files, no. 10923; a fragment. The persons on trial were Simon van Vorst, born in New York, John Brown, born in Jamaica, Hendrick Quintor and Thomas Baker, both born in Holland, Peter Cornelius Hoof, born in Sweden (but the name is Dutch), John Shuan, a Frenchman, born in Nantes, and Thomas South, born in Boston, England. The trial began Oct. 18, 1717; all but South were condemned Oct. 22, and executed Nov. 15, "within flux and reflux of the sea."

[2] See doc. no. 109.

[3] Governor Shute. The court consisted of the governor, William Dummer, lieutenant-governor, nine members of the council, John Menzies, vice-admiralty judge, the captain of H.M.S. Squirrel, then on the New England station, and the collector of the plantation duties at Boston. See doc. no. 201, note 1.

[4] The St. Michael.

[5] The old Spanish capital of Jamaica, founded in 1525 by Diego Columbus under the name of Santiago de la Vega.

[6] See doc. no. 72, note 5.

[7] Carácas?

[8] Paul Dudley, acting as king's advocate before the special commission appointed under the act of 11 and 12 Will. III. ch. 7. See doc. no. 104, note 1.

[9] Here this fragmentary record of the trial ends. On Oct. 22 Van Vorst, Brown, Quintor, Hoof, Shuan, and Baker were condemned and sentenced to death. Cotton Mather records in his Diary, II. 483, that on Nov. 2 he had obtained a reprieve, perhaps a pardon, for one who was more penitent and less guilty than the others (South or Davis? but both had been acquitted). On Nov. 15 he records, II. 488, "Six pirates executed. I took a long and sad Walk with them, from the Prison to the Place of Execution", instructed them, and prayed with them. Before the end of the year he published Instructions to the Living, from the Condition of the Dead, A Brief Relation of Remarkables in the Shipwreck of above One Hundred Pirates, Who were Cast away in the Ship Whido, on the Coast of New-England, April 26, 1717, And in the Death of Six, who after a Fair Trial at Boston, were Convicted and Condemned, Octob. 22, And Executed, Novemb. 15, 1717, With some Account of the Discourse had with them on the way to their Execution, And a Sermon preached on their Occasion (Boston, 1717). In the pamphlet The Trials of Eight Persons we see Van Vorst and Baker, properly repentant, singing a Dutch psalm on their way to execution.


113. Trial of Thomas Davis. October 28, 1717.[1]

Then the Kings Evidences were called into Court and, no Objection agt them being made by the Prisoner,

Owen Morris, Marriner, was first Examined upon Oath, Who solemnly Testifyed and Declared that he knew the Prisoner at the Barr, That he belonged to the Ship St. Michael, whereof James Williams was Master, and in the Month of September 1716 They left Bristol bound to Jamaica and in December following the said Ship was taken by two Pyrat Sloops, one comanded by Capt. Samuel Bellamy, and the other by Louis Le Boose, about Twenty Leagues off Sabia,[2] That they Gave the said Williams his Ship and Detained the Prisoner, because he was a Carpenter and a Singleman, together with Three others of the Ships Company. And further the Dep't Saith that the Prisoner was very Unwilling to goe with Bellamy and prevailed with him by reason of his Intreatys to promise that he should be Discharged the next Vessell that was taken, and afterwards the Dep't was again taken in the Ship Whido, Commanded by Capt. Prince, by the said Captain Bellamy, who was then Commander of the Ship Sultana, taken from Capt. Richards as the Dep't understood, and then he saw the Pris'r aboard the said Ship. At which time the Pris'r reminded the said Bellamy of his promise. When he asked him if he was willing to goe he answered, yes, and then the said Capt. Bellamy replyed if the Company would Consent he should go. And thereupon he asked his Comp'y if they were willing to lett Davis the Carpenter go, Who Expressed themselves in a Violent manner saying no, Dam308 him, they would first shoot him or Whip him to Death at the Mast.

Thomas South, Marriner, lately taken by Capt. Samuel Bellamy in the Pyrate Ship Whido, Cast away upon this Coast, and Discharged upon his Tryal, was admitted an Evidence, and being Accordingly Sworn Saith; That the said Bellamy while he was in Command of the said Ship Whido took a Scotch Vessel off the Capes of Virginia last Spring, Cutt down her Masts and Sunk her. That he heard the said Thomas Davis went on Board her: but I did not see him. That this Depo't Thought it not prudent to be too familiar with the Prisoner[3] because it might tend to Create a Jealousy in the Pyrates, that the Depo't and the Pris'r (whom they Suspected, because he was a forced man) would runn away together, and The Depo't Saith further that Capt. James Williams, Commander of the Ship St. Michael (whose Carpenter the Pris'r was) Intreated the said Capt. Bellamy when he took him to lett the Pris'r go. But the Ships Comp'y would by no means Consent thereto by reason he was a Carpenter, And swore that they would shoot him before they would lett him go from them.

Capt. John Brett, Marriner, Sworn, Saith that he was taken by Capt. Samuel Bellamy before the Ship Sultania was taken from Capt. Richards, and then it was the Custome among the Pyrates to force no Prisoners, but those that remained with them were Voluntiers.

Capt. Thomas Fox, sworn, saith that he was taken by the Pyrates in July last and Robb'd, and they Questioned him whether anything was done to the Pyrates in Boston Goall. The Depo't Answered he knew nothing about them, and in particular a Dutchman belonging to the Pyrate asked him about his Consort, a Dutch Man, in Boston Prison, and said that if the Prisoners Suffered they would Kill every Body they took belonging to New England.

Seth Smith, Prison keeper in Boston, sworn, Saith that when the Prisoner at the Barr was first brought to Goal his Illness hindered their talking together, But sometime after as they were discoursing the Depo't observed to the309 Prisoner that if he would be Ingenious and make a Confession he might save his Life and be a good Evidance against the other Pyrates in Prison, To which the Prisoner made answer that he was abused by Several of the Pyrates that were Drowned and was Glad he had got from them, but knew nothing against the Rest of the Pyrates in Prison.

Then the Kings Council moved the Court that Capt. Thomas Glyn, a Prisoner for Debt upon Execution, might be brought into Court to give Evidence on his Majestys behalf in this Tryal, Whereupon the Court directed the Sheriffs who have the keeping of his Majestys Goal to bring the said Glyn into Court.

Capt. Isaac Morris, Sworn, Saith That on the 14th of September 1716 he was taken by the Pyrates but knows nothing of Capt. Bellamy or his accomplices.

Capt. Thomas Glyn, being brought into Court by the Sheriffs and Interrogated upon Oath, Saith that he never knew the Prisoner.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, fragment 99. Davis was tried separately, on Oct. 28, and acquitted on Oct. 30.

[2] Saba; see doc. no. 108, note 5.

[3] He had been a shipmate of Davis on the St. Michael.

114. Memorial of Thomas Davis. 1717.[1]

Province of the Massachusetts Bay. To His Excellency Samuel Shute, Esquire, Governour, and the Honourable His Majesties Council for the said Province.

The Memorial and humble Representation of Thomas Davis of Bristol in Great Britain, Shipwright,

Sheweth, That in the month of September last past he sailed out of Bristol as Carpenter of the Ship St. Michael, whereof James Williams was the Commander, bound for Jamaica, and on or about the sixteenth day of December following We met two Pyrate Sloops, One Commanded by Capt Samuel Bellame, and the other by Monsr. Louis Le310 Bou[s], who took the said ship about twenty Leagues off of Sabia and Carried us to the Island of Blanco, w[h]ere we were kept till the ninth day of January when your Memo. (with about fourteen more Prisoners taken by the said Pyrate Sloope) was forced on board the ship Sultan Gally, taken from Capt. John Richards, then under the said Bellames Command, And afterwards the said Bellame took another ship called the Whiddo, and your Memo., with the rest of the said Ships Compa., Came in her upon this Coast, where she was Cast away, as is very well known, and your Memo, (with one Jno. Julian[2]) only Escaped. And since his Imprisonm't he is Informed That some have Reported That your Memo. was several times on board the said ship after she was Cast away and knew where a considerable part of her Treasure was, and that he had Concealed some of it;[3] and many other things have been given out Concerning your Memo. very falsely, to the great prejudice of your Memo., Who is altogether Ignorant of what is Alledged against him, And hath already Discharged his Conscience by making a true and full Discovery of all he knows referring to the premises. But your Memo. being a stranger was not Credited and therefore he had no better Fare than the Pyrates, being in Chains as well as they; Whereas he declares from his heart that he was forced along with them, very Contrary to his will and to his great grief and sorrow, and was no ways Active among them any further than he was Compelled.

And forasmuch as your Memo. understands that the Pyrates in Prison suspect that he will make such discoverys as will not be pleasing to them, he is fearfull least they should hurt him, if not deprive him of life, to prevent his Testimony against them. Your Memo. therefore and for the Considerations before mentioned Humbly prays your Excellency and Honours will so far Indulge him as to free311 him from his Chains and Imprisonm't with the pyrates, and that he may have some Apartm't seperate from them, and that such other Relief may be Given to your poor pet'r (who is Innocent of what is laid to his Charge) as the matter will bear, and as to your Excellency and Honours in your great Moderation and Compassion shall seem meet.

And your Memo. (as in Duty bound) shall ever pray, etc.

Thomas Davis.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, fragment 26283, paper 2. With this memorial we may connect a passage in the pamphlet Trials: "Mr. Valentine [counsel for Davis] moved, That an Affidavit under the firm seal of a Notary Publick in Great Britain, and in favour of the prisoner, should be read in open Court", but the request was denied, as contrary to the act of Parliament requiring all evidence respecting pirates to be given viva voce. Davis is recorded as a shipwright, aged 22, born in Carmarthenshire, who "had used the sea these five years".

[2] So the manuscript reads, but it is doubtless an error for "Jno. Indian", which in the handwriting of that day would look much the same; we know that one Englishman and one Indian alone escaped, and in the printed Trials it was testified that the pirates had "one Lambeth and one Indian born at Cape Cod for Pilots."

[3] See doc. no. 110.

115. Petition of William Davis. 1717.[1]

To His Excellency the Governour and Council

The humble Petition of William Davis of Bristol Carpenter and Father of the said Thomas Davis,

Sheweth, That the said Thomas Davis from his youth up hath been a Dutiful and Obedient son, and his life and Deportm't has been always Regular and becoming as well as Peaceable, and your poor Pet'r prays your Excellency and Honours will Compassionate him and extend your Favour and Indulgence to his son as far as shall stand with your Wisdom and Clemency.

And your Pet'r shall pray, etc.

William Davis.

Capt. John Gilbert, Marriner, belonging to Bristol, Testifyeth and saith That he well knew Thomas Davis (son of the abovenamed William Davis) for these seven or eight years last past, and that he has had a good Education in a Religious and Orderly Family, and his Conversation, Carriage and behavour all that while was very decent and becoming, and this Depon't has no reason to think but that he always lived a well ordered life, having never heard to the Contrary.

And further Saith not.

Jno. Gilbert.

[1] Suffolk Court Files, fragment 26283, paper 2. There were several oral witnesses to Thomas Davis's good character.



116. Sir Henry Penrice to the Secretary of the Admiralty. November 29, 1718.[1]


Since I had the Honour of your letter I have looked into the Registers Office,[2] and there find Copies of the Orders of Council, of Commissions for granting Letters of Mart, of Commissions for proceeding in Prize Courts, and of Warrants to the Judge of the High Court of Admiralty thereupon, in the years 1664, 1672, 1689 and 1702,[3] of which if you please you may have Copies if they will be of any service in the present Case.

Now as to the Question proposed whether there is Occasion for any further power, to the severall Courts of Admiralty in the plantations, other Remote parts, or at home, to Try and Condemn such Prizes as may be Taken?

As far as I have observed during the course of the Wars with Holland, France and Spain, the High Court of Admiralty have proceeded in all Prize causes, by Virtue of Warrants from the Lord High Admiral or Commissioners for Executing that Office, in pursuance of Commissions under the Great Seal directed to them for that purpose;[4] and Commissioners were appointed at the severall Plantations to take the Examinations of Witnesses in preparatory and to transmit them hither, together with the Ships papers, and in case the ship and Goods were perishable they had a Power to Appraise and sell, and keep the produce in their hands, till after Sentence, that the Merchants might have time, and be at a Certainty, where to enter their Claims.313

But after the American Act, the Vice-Admiralty Courts in the Plantations, by Authority thereof,[5] proceeded in Prize Causes, which I conceive they had no right to do before; and that power being during the late War only, by Virtue of that Act, I presume it is now determined. Therefore upon a Grant of new Powers, I must humbly submit it to their Lordships Consideration, whether it may be for the Honour and Service of his Majesty, to permit the Vice-Admiralty Courts in the Plantations to proceed in Prize Causes, since it is much to be feared they are not well versed in the Laws of Nations, and Treaties between Us and other States; and it is well known that they do not proceed in that Regular Manner as is practised in His Majesties High Court of Admiralty; besides it will be a Considerable Time before Orders from their Lordships upon any Emergency can reach the Vice Admiralty Courts in the plantations, for want of which great Inconveniences may arise; whereas the Admiralty Court here is under their Lordships Eye and Immediate direction, and always ready to observe such Instructions as the Nature of affairs shall require.

But this is most humbly submitted to Their Lordships great Wisdom, by, Sir,

Your most humble servant
H. Penrice.

Doctors Commons, November 29, 1718.

[1] Public Record Office, Admiralty 1:3669. This letter was apparently addressed to the secretary of the Admiralty, Josiah Burchett. Sir Henry Penrice was judge of the High Court of Admiralty from 1715 to 1751.

[2] The office of the register of the Admiralty.

[3] At the beginnings, respectively, of the Second Dutch War, the Third Dutch War, and the wars of William and of Anne against France.

[4] Such a commission (1748) is printed in Marsden, Law and Custom of the Sea, II. 297, and (1756) in Stokes, View of the Constitution of the American Colonies, p. 278.

[5] 6 Anne ch. 37, "An Act for the Encouragement of the Trade to America" (1707), sect. 2.


117. Extract from the Boston News-Letter. August 22, 1720.[1]

Boston, On Monday last, the 15th Currant, arrived here the Ship Samuel, about eleven Weeks from London, and314 ten from Lands end, Capt. Samuel Carry Commander,[2] who in his Voyage hither, on the 13th of July past, in the Latitude of 44, about 30 or 40 Leagues to the Eastward of the Banks of New-foundland, was accosted and taken by two Pirates, viz., A Ship of 26 Guns, and a Sloop of ten, both Commanded by Capt. Thomas Roberts,[3] having on board about a hundred Men, all English: The dismal Account whereof follows:

The first thing the Pirates did, was to strip both Passengers and Seamen of all their Money and Cloths which they had on board, with a loaded Pistol held to every ones breast ready to shoot him down, who did not immediately give an account of both, and resign them up. The next thing they did was, with madness and rage to tare up the Hatches, enter the Hould like a parcel of Furies, where with Axes, Cutlashes, etc., they cut, tore and broke open Trunks, Boxes, Cases and Bales, and when any of the Goods came upon Deck which they did not like to carry with them aboard their Ship, instead of tossing them into the Hould again they threw them over-board into the Sea. The usual method they had to open Chests was by shooting a brace of Bullets with a Pistol into the Key-hole to force them open. The Pirates carryed away from Capt. Carry's Ship aboard their own 40 barrels of Powder, two great Guns, his Cables, etc. and to the value of about nine or ten Thousand Pounds Sterling worth of the Choicest Goods he had on board.315 There was nothing heard among the Pirates all the while, but Cursing, Swearing, Dam'ing and Blaspheming to the greatest degree imaginable, and often saying they would not go to Hope point[4] in the River of Thames to be hung up in Gibbets a Sundrying as Kidd and Bradish's Company did, for if it should chance that they should be Attacked by any Superiour power or force, which they could not master, they would immediately put fire with one of their Pistols to their Powder, and go all merrily to Hell together! They often ridicul'd and made a mock at King George's Acts of Grace[5] with an Oath, that they had not got Money enough, but when they had, if he then did grant them one, after they sent him word, they would thank him for it. They forced and took away with them Capt. Carry's Mate, and his Seamen, viz. Henry Gilespy, Mate,[6] Hugh Minnens,[7] both North Britains, Michael Le Couter, a Jersey Man, and Abraham, a Kentish Man, could not learn his Sir-name, the Captains Book being carryed away, (except one Row born in Dublin which they would not take because born in Ireland),[8] holding a Pistol with a brace of Bullets to each of their breasts to go with them, or be presently shot down, telling them that at present they wanted none of their Service; but when they came to any Action, they should have liberty to Fight and Defend the Ship as they did, or else immediately be shot, that they should not tell tales. They316 had on board the Pirate near 20 Tuns of Brandy. However the Pirates made themselves very merry aboard of Capt. Carry's Ship with some Hampers of fine Wines that were either presents, or sent to some Gentlemen in Boston; it seems they would not wait to unty them and pull out the Corks with Skrews, but each man took his bottle and with his Cutlash cut off the Neck and put it to their Mouths and drank it out.[9] Whilst the Pirates were disputing whither to sink or burn Capt. Carry's Ship they spy'd a Sail that same evening, and so let him go free.

And at Midnight they came up with the same, which was a Snow from Bristol, Capt. Bowls Master, bound for Boston, of whom they made a Prize, and serv'd him as they did Capt. Carry, unloaded his Vessel and forced all his Men, designing to carry the Snow with them to make her a Hulk to carreen their Ship with.

The abovesaid Capt. Roberts in Novemb. 1718,[10] was third Mate of a Guinea Man out of London for Guinea, Capt. Plummer Commander, who was taken by a Pirate, and by that means Roberts himself became a Pirate, and being an active, brisk Man, they voted him their Captain, which he readily embraced.

The said Roberts in the abovesaid Sloop, Rhode Island built, with a Briganteen Consort Pirate, was some time in January last in the Latitude of Barbadoes, near the Island, where they took and endeavoured to take several Vessels; but the Governour,[11] hearing of it, fitted out one Capt. Rogers of Bristol, in a fine Gally, a Ship of about 20 Guns, and a Sloop, Capt. Graves Commander; Capt. Rogers killed and wounded several of Roberts's Men, and made317 a great hole in his Sloop, which his Carpenter with very great Difficulty (hundreds of Bullets flying round him) stopt, and finding Capt. Rogers too strong for him, tho' Graves did nothing, which if had, he must of necessity been taken, he therefore run for it, as also did his Consort Briganteen, which he never saw nor heard of since.

From Barbadoes Roberts went to an Island called Granada,[12] to the Leeward of Barbadoes, where he carreen'd his Sloop, and from thence this Spring with 45 Men he came to Newfoundland, into the Harbour of Trepassi,[13] towards the latter end of June last, with Drums beating, Trumpets sounding, and other Instruments of Musick, English Colours flying, their Pirate Flagg at the Topmast-Head, with Deaths Head and Cutlash, and there being 22 sail in that Harbour, upon the sight of the Pirate the Men all fled on Shore and left their Vessels, which they possess'd themselves off, burnt, sunk and destroyed all of them, excepting one Bristol Gally, which they designed to be their best Pirate Ship, if a better did not present. After they did all the mischief they could in that Harbour, they came on upon the Banks, where they met nine or ten sail of Frenchmen, one of whom is the Pirate Ship of 26 Guns abovesaid, taken from a French-man, unto whom Roberts the Pirate gave the Bristol Gally, but sunk and destroyed all the other French Vessels, taking first out what Guns were fit for his own Ship, and all other valuable Goods.

Roberts the Pirate designed from Newfoundland to range thro' the Western and Canary Islands, and so to the Southward, to the Island of New Providence,[14] possest by Negroe's, in South Latitude 17, which they say is the place of the Pirates General Rendezvous, where they have a For318tification and a great Magazine of Powder, etc. where they intend to spend their Money with the Portuguize Negro Women. Roberts the Pirate says, that there is a French Pirate on the North Coast of America, who gives no Quarter to any Nation, and if he met him, he would give him none. The Pirates seems much enraged at Bristol Men, for Capt. Rogers sake, whom they hate as they do the Spaniards.

[1] From the file possessed by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

[2] Sewall notes in his diary, under this same date of Aug. 15, "Cary arrives who had been pillaged by the Pirats." Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., XLVII. 259.

[3] For Thomas read Bartholomew. Bartholomew Roberts was one of the most famous pirates of his time, i.e., of the years 1718-1724, the heyday of piracy in the eighteenth century. Capt. Charles Johnson, in his account of that period, A General History of the Pyrates (London, 1724), devotes nearly a third of his book (pp. 161-260 of the first edition) to Roberts, as "having made more Noise in the World" than others, and declares (p. 3 of preface) that "Roberts and his Crew, alone, took 400 Sail, before he was destroy'd". Of his appearance we have this picture, from the same chronicler's account of his last fight: a tall dark Welshman of near forty, "Roberts himself made a gallant Figure, being dressed in a rich crimson Damask Wastcoat, and Breeches, a red Feather in his Hat, and a Gold Chain Ten Times round his Neck, a Sword in his Hand, and two pair of Pistols hanging at the End of a Silk Sling, which was flung over his Shoulders, according to the Fashion of the Pyrates" (p. 213). His meteoric career of piracy lasted but four years.

[4] Probably a derisive phrase of their own, for the ordinary place of execution near Wapping Old Stairs.

[5] Proclamations offering pardon to pirates who should surrender themselves within a given time. Two such proclamations of George I., Sept. 5, 1717, and Dec. 21, 1718, are printed in the American Antiquarian Society's volume of royal proclamations relating to America, Transactions, XII. 176-178.