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Manual Captain Frigate and the Pirate Birds

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Many were killed in battle, numbers of them were drowned. Not a few drank themselves to death with strong Jamaica rum, while many of the buccaneers died of malaria and yellow fever contracted in the jungles of Central America, and most of the pirates who survived these perils lived only to be hanged. It is recorded of a certain ex-prizefighter and pirate, Dennis McCarthy, who was about to be hanged at New Providence Island in , that, as he stood on the gallows, all bedecked with coloured ribbons, as [Pg 24] became a boxer, he told his admiring audience that his friends had often, in joke, told him he would die in his shoes; and so, to prove them liars, he kicked off his shoes amongst the crowd, and so died without them.

The trial of a pirate was usually a rough and ready business, and the culprit seldom received the benefit of any doubt that might exist. If he made any defence at all, it was usually to plead that he had been forced to join the pirates against his wish, and that he had long been waiting for an opportunity to escape. Once condemned to death, and the date of execution decided, the prisoner, if at Newgate, was handed over to the good offices of the prison Ordinary; or, if in New England, to such vigorous apostles of Christianity as the Rev.

Cotton or the Rev. Increase Mather. The former of these two famous theologians was pastor of the North Church in Boston, and the author of a very rare work published in , called "An History of Some Criminals Executed in This Land. The Reverend Doctor made a speciality of these "hanging" sermons, and was a thorough master of his subject, as is shown by the following passage taken from the above "Brief Discourse":. On the Sunday previous to an execution the condemned pirates were taken to church to listen to a [Pg 25] sermon while they were "exhibited" to the crowded and gaping congregation.

On the day of the execution a procession was formed, which marched from the gaol to the gallows. At the head was carried a silver oar, the emblem from very early days of a pirate execution.

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Arrived at the gibbet, the prisoner, who always dressed himself in his, or someone else's, best clothes, would doff his hat and make a speech. Sometimes the bolder spirits would speak in a defiant and unrepentant way; but most of them professed a deep repentance for their sins and warned their listeners to guard against the temptation of drink and avarice.

After the prisoner's death the bodies of the more notorious pirates were taken down and hanged in chains at some prominent spot where ships passed, in order to be a warning to any mariners who had piratical leanings. The number of pirates or buccaneers who died in their beds must have been very small, particularly amongst the former; and I have been able to trace but a single example of a tombstone marking the burial-place of a pirate.

This is, or was until recently, to be found in the graveyard at Dartmouth, and records the resting-place of the late Captain Thomas Goldsmith, who commanded the Snap Dragon , of Dartmouth, in which vessel he amassed much riches during the reign of Queen Anne, and died, apparently not regretted, in Engraved upon his headstone are the following lines:.

A Spaniard. Commanded a pirate brig, the Macrinarian. Committed many outrages.

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Helena, murdering the whole crew. In the same year he took the Candace , from Marblehead, and plundered her. The supercargo of the Candace was an amateur actor, and had on board a priest's black gown and broad brimmed hat. These he put on and sat in his cabin pretending to tell his beads. On the pirates coming to rob him, they all crossed themselves and left him, so that he alone of the whole company was not robbed.

A Scotch buccaneer; one of Captain Sharp's crew. Drowned on May 9th, Captain Sharp, with a party of twenty-four men, had landed on the Island of Chiva, off the coast of Peru, and taken several prisoners, amongst whom was a shipwright and his man, who were actually at work building two great ships for the Spaniards. Sharp, thinking these men would be very useful to him, took them away, with all their tools and a quantity of ironwork, in a dory, to convey them off to his ship. But the dory, being [Pg 28] overladen, sank, and Alexander was drowned. On the evening of May 12th his body was found; which they took up, and next day "threw him overboard, giving him three French vollies for his customary ceremony.

Conquered the Kingdom of Tunis in the sixteenth century, and captured many Maltese galleys. He brought the development of organized piracy to its greatest perfection. In Ali Basha commanded a fleet of no fewer than Moslem galleys in the battle of Lepanto, when he was severely defeated, but escaped with his life. Commanded a vessel of eighteen tons, no guns, and a crew of twenty-four. In March, , sailed in company with eight other vessels, under command of Captain Harris, to the Coast of Darien, and marched on foot across the isthmus, on his way attacking and sacking Santa Maria.

Hanged on November 8th, , at White Point, Charleston, South Carolina, and buried in the marsh below low-water mark.

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An admiral of an Arabian fleet of Red Sea pirates. In he captured four British merchant vessels on their way to Surat. A Dutch pirate. Sailed from Boston in with Captain Roderigo to plunder English ships along the coast of Maine, in a vessel called the Penobscot Shallop. Tried at Cambridge, Massachusetts, sentenced to death, but later on pardoned. Afterwards fought very bravely for the English colonists against the Indians.

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A Chief or Captain of the Darien Indians, who in conducted the buccaneers under Coxon and Harris across the isthmus to attack Santa Maria and afterwards to make an attempt on Panama. Captain Androeas had a great esteem for the English, partly because the buccaneers were kind to the Indians, and partly because of the Indians' fear and hatred of the Spaniards.

He afterwards led back a party of malcontents under Captain Coxon from the Pacific side of the isthmus. Refusing to allow the East India Company to station garrisons on Timor, he was driven out of the whole of his island except the chief town, also called Angora.

Deciding to take revenge, he turned pirate and went to sea in command of a small fleet of five well-armed prows and several galleys. His first prize was a packet brig carrying despatches from Calcutta to the English General before Angora. Captain Hastings, the commander, a near relation of Warren Hastings, and a gallant officer, had thrown the despatches overboard, for which he was hanged, while the crew were [Pg 30] sent to prison at Angora and afterwards poisoned. His next prize was an East Indian ship, the Edward , Captain Harford, the crew of which were also poisoned.

Cruising off Bombay he defeated a vessel sent out by the Government to attack him. After taking other English vessels, Angora met with a richly laden ship from Burmah, a country whose sovereign he was on friendly terms with, but the Sultan-pirate took this ship and drowned every soul on board except one woman, who, owing to her great beauty, he kept for himself. His next victim was a well-armed Malay praam, which he captured after a severe fight. The crew he shackled and threw overboard, while he burnt the vessel. Paying another visit to Bombay, he caught the garrison unprepared, blew up the fort, and sailed off with some sheep, cows, and pigs.

A few days later the pirate seized an English packet, St. George , and after he had tortured to death the captain, the terrified crew joined his service. Returning to Timor with his plunder, he was surprised by the arrival off the port of H. Victorious , seventy-four guns, which had been sent to take him. Slipping out of harbour unobserved in the night in his fastest sailing praam, he escaped to Trincomalee in Ceylon, where the East India Company decided to allow him to remain undisturbed.


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Brother of a famous pirate, Angora, Sultan of Timor. When the Sultan retired from practice to the Island of Ceylon he gave his brother his praam, a fast vessel armed with thirty-eight guns. Angria's brother Angora had been dethroned from the Island of Timor by the English Government, and this had prevented the former from all hope of succeeding as Sultan.

Owing to this, Angria, a very [Pg 31] vindictive man, nursed against the English Government a very real grievance. Declaring himself Sultan of another smaller island, Little Timor, he sailed out to look for spoil.

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His first victim was the Elphinston , which he took some eighty miles off Bombay. Putting the crew of forty-seven men into an open boat, without water, and with scarcely room to move, he left them. It was in the hottest month of the year, and only twenty-eight of them reached Bombay alive. Angria, being broad-minded on the subject of his new profession, did not limit himself to taking only English vessels, for meeting with two Chinese junks, laden with spices and riches, he plundered them both, and tying the crew back to back threw them into the sea to drown.

One of the Chinamen, while watching his companions being drowned, managed to get a hand free from his ropes, and, taking his dagger, stabbed Angria, but, missing his heart, only wounded him in the shoulder.

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To punish him the pirate had the skin cut off his back and then had him beaten with canes. Then lashing him firmly down to a raft he was thrown overboard. After drifting about for three days and nights he was picked up, still alive, by a fishing-boat and carried to Bombay, where, fully recovered, he lived the rest of his days. Angria continued his activities for three years, during which space he was said to have murdered in cold blood over Englishmen.

He was eventually chased by Commander Jones in H. Asia , sixty-four guns, into Timor, and after a close siege of the town for twelve months, Angria was shot by one of the mob while haranguing them from a balcony. After Commander Jones's death his widow built a tower at Shooter's Hill, by Woolwich Common, to perpetuate the memory of her husband who had rid the Indian Ocean of the tyrant Angria.