The History of the Pyrates, by Daniel Defoe

The Trial of the Pyrates at Providence.

To Captain Johnson.


AS I am credibly informed you intend to oblige the Publick with a Second Volume of The Lives and Actions of the pyrates, and are now actually collecting Matter; I was of Opinion, that the sending you some Minutes I have by me, which are authentick, would be no unacceptable Office; and I hope, the Gentleman who was then Governor of the Bahama Islands, will not take the Publication of the following Tryals in ill Part, for I am informed he is in Town. Before I would send them to you, I examined very thoroughly whether he could have any Ground to be offended; but, as I find them Mark of his Prudence and Resolution, and that in the Condemnation and Execution of the pyrates, he had a just Regard to the publick Good, and was not to be deterr'd from vigorously pursuing it, in Circumstances which would have intimidated many brave Men: I think the Publication will do him both Honour and Justice, and therefore shall make no Apology, but come to the Point.

Trial and Condemnation of the pyrates, who were executed at Providence, His Excellency Woodes Rogers, Esq; being then Captain General, Governor, and Vice-Admiral of the Bahama Islands.

At a private Consultation, held on Friday the 28th of November, 1718, at the Secretary's Office in the City of Nassau.

New Providence ss.

THE Governor acquainting us, That Captain Cockrem and Captain Hornigold have, by Virtue of a Commission, issued and directed to them for the apprehending of certain pyrates, had the Success to bring ten of them Prisoners to this Part, who were now confined by an especial Mittimus on board the Ship Delicia; therefore, desired we might agree to join in one Opinion concerning the said Prisoners which being maturely debated and considered, and that as the necessary Guards set on the Prisoners for Want of a Goal, very much fatigued both the Soldiers and Seamen, who equally guarded the Fort and Ship; and as many as could be spar'd, daily work'd on the Fortifications, and did the Duty of Centinels at Night, thereby harrassing our small Numbers of Men, and hindering the publick Work. And there being suspected Persons still remaining in these Islands, who may give frequent Intelligence of our Condition; should any Fear be shewn on our Part, it might animate several now here, to invite the pyrates without, to attempt the Rescue of these in Custody: Therefore, we do believe it most for the publick Good, when the Fort is in a better State of Defence, and Captain Beauchamps and Burgis, with about 60 Soldiers and Seamen, at this time gone to prevent the Designs of Vane the Pyrate, are returned to strengthen us: The Governor ought then as soon as possible (notwithstanding he has made known to us, that he has no direct Commission for Trial of pyrates; yet according to the Intent and Meaning of the sixth Article of the Governor's Instructions, which, in this Case, refers to the fourth Article in those given to the Governor of Jamaica, a Copy of whose Instructions he has for his Directions to govern himself by, as near as the Circumstances of the Place will admit. This corroborated with the Power in the Governor's Commission of Governor, Captain General, and Vice-Admiral of the Bahama Islands, shew the Intention of his Majesty, for such Authority here; and having an Account that the Proprietory Government of Carolina had executed 22 pyrates, lately carried in there, which together with the provoking ill Example and Behaviour of these Prisoners, who have all accepted his Majesty's Act of Grace, and afterwards turned pyrates again, and considering it would be a great Risque and Trouble to send so many to Great Britain, and much greater to keep them Prisoners here; we are entirely of Opinion, his Majesty will approve of the Necessity for the Governor's judicial Proceeding with these pyrates, by a Trial in the best Manner we can according to Law; and do verily believe the speediest Execution for those who shall be found guilty, will conduce most to the Welfare of this Government.

N. B. Thus this stands in the Council-Book, the Governor's Secretary is answerable for Want of Connexion, or the Secretary of the Islands; for I cannot find what these Words can refer to, the Governor ought then as soon as possible, what ought he? But may be, it is an Error in my Friend, who himself brought over this Copy, written in his own Hand, which with the following, I found among his Papers after his Decease.

His Excellency Woodes Rogers, Esq; Captain-General, Governor, and Vice-Admiral of the Bahama Islands.

To William Fairfax, Esq; Captain Robert Beauchamps, Tho. Walker, Esq; Capt. Wingate Gale, Nathaniel Taylor, Esq; Capt. Josias Burgiss, and Capt. Peter Courant.

Providence, ss.

‘BY Virtue of a Commission from his most sacred Majesty King George, King of Great-Britain, &c. to be Governor, &c. of these Islands, thereby empowering me to authorize, commissionate, and constitute all Judges, Justices and Magistrates in these Islands, &c. as also by Virtue of my Commission, to be Vice-Admiral of these Islands, have Power and Authority to authorize and empower, constitute and commissionate, proper Judges and Commissioners, for the trying, determining, adjudging, and condemning, of all or any Pyrate or pyrates taken, apprehended, and brought into this Government; and in Confidence of the Loyalty, Prudence, and Integrity of you the aforesaid William Fairfax, Esq; Captain Robert Beauchamps, Thomas Walker, Esq; Captain Wingate Gale, Nathaniel Taylor, Esq; Captain Josias Burgiss, and Captain Peter Courant, I do by Virtue of these Presents, authorize, commissionate, and appoint you Deputy, Judges, and Commissioners of the said Especial Court, by these Presents erected and appointed to be, and set in the City of Nassau, on Tuesday the 9th of this Instant, to examine, hear, try, judge, determine, and condemn, all such Pyrate or pyrates who are now in Custody, and to be brought before the said Court, to be tryed for the Offences of Pyracy by them lately committed in and about these Islands, and to proceed as my Assistants, and as Commissioners aforesaid, according to the Laws of England, and Rules of the said Court in such Cases; and for your so doing, this shall be your sufficient Commission and Authority.

Given under my Hand and Seal at Nassau, this fifth Day of December, Anno Regni quinto Georgii Regis Magnæ Britanniæ, &c. Annoq; Domini, 1718.

WOODES Rogers.

New Providence, ss. Chief of the Bahama Islands.

AT an especial Admiralty Sessions, held in his Majesty's Guard-Room in the City of Nassau, on Tuesday the 9th, and Wednesday the 10th of December, 1718.

Before his Excellency Woodes Rogers, Esq; Governor, and Vice-Admiral, &c.

Will. Fairfax, Esq; Judge of the Admiralty.

Robert Beauchamp, Esq;

Thomas Walker, Esq;

Captain Wingate Gale.

Nathaniel Taylor, Esq;

Captain Josias Burgiss.

Captain Peter Courant.

Proclamation being made as usual, the Register opened and read the Governor's especial Commission, for erecting this Court according to the Intent and Meaning of a late Act of Parliament, Entitled, An Act for the more effectual Suppression of Pyracy, by Virtue of which said Commission, the seven afore-named Commissioners are appointed Assistant Judges, for the hearing, trying, judging, and condemning the several Persons now in Custody, who stand committed for Mutiny, Felony, and Pyracy.

Proclamation being again made, that all Persons concern'd or summon'd, and required to appear at this Court, do give their due Attendance.

Ordered, That the Prisoners be brought to the Bar, which being done, they were called by their respective Names, viz. John Augur, Will. Cunningham, John Hipps, Dennis Mackarthy, George Rounsivel, Will. Dowling, Will. Lewis, Thomas Morris, George Bendall, and Will Ling.

Ordered, That the afore-named Prisoners, now at the Bar, do all hold up their Hands.

Ordered, That the Accusation against the Prisoners be read, which was as follows.

New Providence, ss.

THE Articles and Accusations against John Augur, late Master of the Sloop Mary, of Providence; William Cunningham, Gunner and Mariner, on board the Schooner, called the Batchelors Adventure; Henry White, Master, John Hipps, Boatswain and Mariner, on board the Sloop Lancaster; William Greenaway, Master, Dennis Mackarthy, Mariner, on board the Scooner, William Dowling, Mariner, on board the said Scooner; William Lewis, Mariner, on board the Sloop Mary; Tho. Morris, Mariner, on board the said Scooner; George Bendall, Mariner, on board the said Sloop Lancaster, and William Ling, Mariner, on board the said Scooner.

You the said John Augur, Will. Cunningham, John Hipps, Dennis Mackarthy, George Rounsivel, William Dowling, William Lewis, Thomas Morris, George Bendall, and William Ling, having all of you lately received the Benefit of his Majesty's most gracious Pardon, for your former Offences and Acts of Robbery and Pyracy, and having since taken the Oaths of Allegiance to his most sacred Majesty King George, and thereupon Trust has been reposed in you the said John Augur, and in the others of you, lawful Employments been bestow'd to divert you all from your former and unlawful Courses of Life, and to enable and support you all in just and lawful Ways of Living; and you not having the Fear of God before your Eyes, nor any Regard to your Oaths of Allegiance taken to your Sovereign, nor to the Performance of Loyalty, Truth, and Justice: But, being instigated and deluded by the Devil, to return to your former unlawful evil Courses, of Robbery and Pyracy, and that you John Augur, Will. Cunningham, John Hipps, Dennis Mackarthy, George Rounsivel, Will. Dowling, Will. Lewis, Tho. Morris, Geo. Bendall, and Will. Ling, late Master and Mariners aforesaid, did on the 6th Day of October last, about Seven in that Evening, in the 5th Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, &c. plot and combine together, at a desolate Island, called Green Key, within the Jurisdiction of this Vice-Admiralty, to mutiny and feloniously and pyratically steal, take, and carry away, from the Commanders and Owners of the afore-named Vessels, the said Sloops and Cargoes, Tackle, Apparel, and Furniture, to the Value of above 900 l. current Money of these Islands, and by Force cause to be put ashore on the said desolate Island, one Mr. James Kerr, Merchant, and sundry others with him; and the said John Augur, as then Commander of one of the said Sloops, did proceed as Commander of the said pyrates from the said Island of Green Key to Exuma, whereby, by Virtue of a Commission, directed to Captain John Cockrem and Captain Benjamin Hornigold, you the said John Augur, and the rest of your pyratical Company, were there taken and apprehended as pyrates, and thereupon brought into this Port, to be proceeded against according to Law.

The Prisoners holding up their Hands, and the Accusation being read, all the said Prisoners were asked by the Register, Whether Guilty, or, Not Guilty; and they pleaded Not Guilty.

Ordered, That the Evidence for the King be severally sworn and examined.

James Kerr.

The Examination of James Kerr, Gent. upon Oath saith, That he being Supercargo in Trust, and outward bound from Providence, a trading Voyage in the Sloop Mary, and in about two Days Sail from the said Island, did arrive at Green Key with two other Vessels in Company, bound also on the said trading Account, where, on the 6th of October last, one Phineas Bunce, one of the said Vessel's Company, and the head Mutineer of the pyrates now at the Bar, but since deceas'd, did then and there come on board the said Sloop Mary, and very vilely treat this Deponent, and in the Evening did turn the Deponent ashore upon the said Green Key, a desolate Island; and this Deponent farther saith, that Dennis Mackarthy, one of the Prisoners now at the Bar, was the only Person of all the said pyrates and Mutineers who shew'd this Deponent any civil Treatment, and that the said Mackarthy did not reflect on the King and Government as others of them now at the Bar did, in this Deponent's Hearing.

Wm. Greenaway.

The Examination of Captain William Greenaway upon Oath saith, That on the 6th of October last John Hipps, one of the Prisoners now at the Bar, with some others of them, came on board the Vessel under this Deponent's Command, and then riding at Green Key, with Pretensions of getting Tobacco, and told this Deponent, that Mr. Kerr had a Mind to sail that Night; and this Deponent having order'd his Boat to go on board the Scooner, then belonging to the said Company, to give them Notice of the said Kerr's Design; in which Interim came on board John Augur and George Rounsivel, both Prisoners now at the Bar, James Matthews and John Johnson, who wanted this Deponent to go on board the Scooner, which he did, where Phineas Bunce, since dead, met this Deponent at the Side; upon which, this Deponent demanded of the said Bunce, the Reason he did not prepare for sailing, as the rest did. Whereupon Bunce, the head Mutineer, asked this Deponent to walk down into the Cabbin, and, when there, Bunce asked him to fit down by him; whereupon the said Bunce told this Deponent, he was his Prisoner; upon which, Dennis Macarthey, now Prisoner at the Bar, presented a Pistol at this Deponent's Breast, and told him, if he spoke a Word, he, this Deponent, was a dead Man; and the said Phineas Bunce told this Deponent, he had best be easy, for that the better Part of the People belonging to the Sloop Mary was on his Side, as were some of the People he had with him. And then the said Phineas Bunce, with others, the Mutineers, went on board the Sloop Mary, and took her. But this Deponent cannot particularize the Names of the Men who were with Bunce, being Night-time. Afterwards the said Bunce, and the Prisoners now at the Bar, except John Hipps, put Mr. James Kerr, Richard Turnly, Thomas Rich, John Taylor, and John Cox, all ashore at Green Key, a desolate Island, and had the Boat ready prepared to carry this Deponent ashore also; but Bunce hereupon declared, that this Deponent, being a Bermudian, would swim aboard again, and therefore confin'd this Deponent a Prisoner, and plundered his Vessel, leaving him not wherewithal to proceed any where, but a small Quantity of Flower and Beef, obliging this Deponent not to sail from Green Key in 24 Hours after his Departure; but this Deponent did sail the next Morning for Providence, and, in his Way, fell in Sight of the said Mutineers and pyrates, of whom the Prisoners at the Bar were some, who gave Chase. Whereupon this Deponent went back to Green Key, and took to the Shore, where he saw the pyrates and said Mutineers cut away the Mast of this Deponent's Vessel, and then were coming on Shore, as this Deponent apprehended, to take his Person. Whereupon this Deponent made his Escape to hide himself from them upon the said Key. Then the People who were left on board this Deponent's Vessel, coming ashore, told this Deponent, that the pyrates had scuttled her, turn'd the Yawl adrift, and from Green Key the said pyrates proceeded to Stocking Island, where meeting the Spaniards, the pyrates were themselves taken, and put ashore.

John Taylor.

The Examination of John Taylor upon Oath saith, That all the Prisoners at the Bar, except John Hipps, did join with Bunce, the Mutineer; and that Bunce and two more, whom the Deponent knew not, being Night, took the Vessel he belong'd to; and further saith, That John Hipps was at first confined with the said Greenaway by Bunce.

Richard Turnly.

The Examination of Richard Turnly upon Oath saith, That on the 6th of October last, Bunce the head Mutineer and two others, naming William Dowling and Thomas Morris, Prisoners at the Bar, did come on board the Sloop Mary at Green Key, and ask'd Mr. Kerr and this Deponent for a Bottle of Beer, which was given them, and afterwards a Second, and they commanded a third; and then with the Men, belonging to the said Sloop Mary, took up Arms, and took Mr. Kerr, Thomas Cox, and this Deponent Prisoners, and forced them to go on Shore at Green Key, a desolate Island, about 25 Leagues distant from Providence.

John Cox.

The Examination of John Cox upon Oath saith, That he being on board the Sloop Mary, of which John Augur went out of Providence Master: The said John Augur came on board his said Sloop in the Evening of the 6th Day of October last, and lay down as if he designed to sleep. Soon after, Capt. Greenaway, Master of the Sloop Lancaster, came on board, and ask'd the said Augur, if he intended to set Sail? He answer'd, he could not tell; thereupon Captain Greenaway went on board the Scooner, call'd the Batchelor's Adventure, Henry White, Master, and in about half an Hour afterwards, came on board another Boat with John Hipps, Greenaway's Boatswain, to enquire for Captain Greenaway; and in a little Time after, Phineas Bunce came on board the Sloop Mary from the Scooner with 2 or 3 Men more. Bunce ask'd for Captain Augur, and whether they had any Thing to drink, and coming to Mr. Kerr, ask'd him for a Bottle of Beer, which Mr. Kerr gave him; then the said Bunce went into the Cabbin, and brought up a Cutlash, and stood at the Cabbin-Door to drink, and swore that he was Captain of that Vessel, and would be so, which made Captain Augur ask him his Meaning; but presently the said Bunce and Augur seem'd to be good Friends, and Bunce ask'd for another Bottle of Beer, then struck Mr. Kerr with a Cutlash on his Back, and turn'd him and others ashore; and this Deponent well knew all the several Prisoners at the Bar, except Hipps the Boatswain, and that all the rest were

Aiders, Assistants, and Abettors to the Mutiny, Felony, and Pyracy, committed upon the Vessels and Cargoes at Green Key.

Thomas Rich.

The Examination of Thomas Rich upon Oath saith, That he knows the several Prisoners at the Bar; and that they all, except Hipps, were the Actors of the Mutiny and Pyracy, committed upon the Vessels and Cargoes at Green Key; and this Deponent was taken by them in the Mary Sloop, and put ashore with Mr. Kerr and the other Evidences for the King.

Thomas Petty.

The Examination of Thomas Petty upon Oath saith, That he saw Hipps beat by Bunce, and believes he was forced to go with him; and that Bunce would have forc'd this Deponent also; but Dennis Mackarthy, Prisoner at the Bar, said if Bunce forc'd the Doponent, he the said Prisoner would leave Bunce and his Company.

And then the Court adjourn'd till 3 a-Clock in the Afternoon.

The Court being met according to Adjournment, and all the Evidences for the King being called and examined, then the Prisoners at the Bar were severally called, to know what Defence each had to make, viz.

John Augur.

John Augur being first called to make Defence for himself, saith no other than that he was in Liquor, and knew not of Phineas Bunce his Design, when the said Bunce enter'd on board the Sloop Mary, whereof the Prisoner was Master; but could call no Evidence to prove himself not guilty.

Wm. Cunningham.

William Cunningham being next called and examined said, That he was asleep when Bunce went on board the Scooner (to which the Prisoner belong'd) at Green Key, and that Bunce brought the said Prisoner Punch, and told him, that he the Prisoner must either join him the said Bunce, or be put upon a Moroon Key, alias a desolate Key.

John Hipps.

John Hipps, Prisoner, said in his Defence, that he did not in any wise enter with Bunce and his Company; but went on board the aforesaid Scooner, to enquire for William Greenaway his Captain, where he was immediately confined by Bunce, together with Greenaway, and afterwards put on Shore with Mr. Kerr and others, where Bunce beat the said Prisoner, and compell'd him at length to join Bunce, but nevertheless declared his Intention to leave the said Bunce and Company on the first Opportunity, and desired Mr. Kerr, Captain Greenaway, Richard Turnly, Thomas Terrell, Benjamin Hutchins, John Taylor, John Janson, Thomas Petty and David Meredith, might be examin'd for him.

Mr. James Kerr being sworn as Evidence for the Prisoner declared, That Bunce used much threatning Language against John Hipps, Prisoner, that if he did not join him the said Bunce and pyratical Company, and go with them into a Boat, provided on Purpose to carry the pyrates to their Rendezvous, Hipps should repent the Refusal; and farther says, that he saw or knew of no Blows given to compel the Prisoner to assist or join the said pyrates, but that the Prisoner afterwards accepted the Office and Command of Boatswain to the said pyratical Company.

Captain Greenaway being sworn for the Prisoner says, that the Prisoner went with him on board the Scooner, and was in the Cabbin with him, and made Prisoner with him on board the said Scooner, where the Prisoner made Proposal to the Deponent to surprize Dennis Mackarthy, Prisoner at the Bar, then a Centinel upon Deck, and throw the said Mackarthy over-board; but the Deponent seeing no Probability of escaping the Rest, advised the Prisoner to keep his Mind to himself, till he could have a better Opportunity; and farther saith, that the Prisoner was put ashore with Mr. Kerr, &c.

Richard Turnly being sworn for the Prisoner deposed, That to the best of his Knowledge and Remembrance, the Prisoner was forc'd to accept of any Duty the said Bunce and Company put upon him, if the Command of Words be allowed by the Court sufficient to excuse him; but he never saw Bunce, or any of the rest of the pyrates, use Blows to force him to join them.

Thomas Terrell, Inhabitant, being sworn, gave the Prisoner the Character of being an honest Man, who was recommended to him by Thomas Bowling, Master of the Sloop Sarah, belonging to the said Thomas Terrell, that during a late Voyage perform'd to Cuba, about two Months ago, there was a Mutiny suspected by Thomas Bowling, of which the said Bowling declared, that John Hipps Prisoner, was not only innocent, but believed a Suppressor of the said Mutiny; and farther declares, that Thomas Bowling had acknowledged the Safety of the Vessel to be much owing to John Hipps, Prisoner at the Bar.

Benjamin Hutchins being sworn for the Prisoner, and examined, declared, that the Prisoner after having been matriculated and seduced by Bunce and his Accomplices, often complain'd to him the Deponent, that he would desert them the first Opportunity, and shew'd his Intentions by many Tears shed, as Tokens of Sorrow for his late Misfortune.

John Taylor being examined upon Oath declared, that the Prisoner was confined as a Person not trusted by Bunce and his pyratical Company.

John Jansen being examined upon Oath, had nothing to declare for or against the Prisoner worth Notice.

Thomas Petty being sworn for the Prisoner declared, that Bunce threatned the Prisoner, that if he would not consent to be of his pyratical Company, he should be frequently beat; and also be put on the first Moroon Key, where he might not find Provision, Water, or any other Sustenance, which the Deponent thinks compell'd the Prisoner to proceed with Bunce for his Safety.

David Meredith being also examined upon Oath declared, That when Phineas Bunce first made Seizure of the Vessel, he particularly spoke to Hipps the Prisoner, that if he would not take on in their Way, he the said Bunce would moroon him, upon some desolate Key or Island; and the more to compel him, gave him several Blows with his Cutlash, and thinks the Prisoner was forced to join with Bunce, &c.

Dennis Mackarthy.

Dennis Mackarthy Prisoner being next called, and desiring that Mr. Kerr, Captain Greenaway, John Taylor, Thomas Rich, and Thomas Petty, might be admitted to give Evidence for him.

Mr. Kerr being examined upon Oath declared, That Mackarthy, Prisoner, was as active as any other of the Prisoners in their pyratical Designs, and has nothing more to speak in his Favour, than that the Prisoner treated him and all others that were of the Deponent's Company, with more Civility than any others of the pyratical Crew did.

Captain Greenaway being sworn for the Prisoner declared, That when Bunce beat the said Deponent, the Prisoner said, that he would see who ought to be Strikers amongst them for the future.

John Taylor being examined upon Oath declares, that the Prisoner should say, that he would leave Bunce and his Accomplices.

Thomas Rich being sworn declares, that he heard the Prisoner say, that since he had begun, he thought himself obliged to go on with them, meaning Bunce and his pyratical Company.

Thomas Petty being also sworn declares, That after Mackarthy had been an Accomplice of Bunce's Pyracy, he heard the Prisoner say, he was sorry for his Unadvisedness, which might bring great Troubles on his poor Wife, having a small Child.

George Rounsivel.

George Rounsivel, Prisoner, being next called, desired Turnly to be Evidence for him; who being sworn, declared, That Geo. Rounsivel, after having consented to be of Bunce's pyratical Company, shew'd some Token of Sorrow, but withal said, that as he had begun, could not without Danger of Life, desert the pyrates he had combined with.

Wm. Dowling.

William Dowling, Prisoner, being next called, and desiring Thomas Petty to be Evidence for him, he was sworn, and said, that he had very little to say for him, because he had seen the Prisoner as consenting to their pyratical Designs as any of the said Prisoners.

William Lewis.

William Lewis, Prisoner, being next called, had very little to say for himself, otherwise than that one David Meredith had heard him say, he wished to be at John Cullemore's House to drink a Bottle of Beer, which David Meredith, being sworn as Evidence for the Prisoner, only confirmed.

Thomas Morris.

Thomas Morris, Prisoner, being next called, had very little else to say, than that he had the Fever and Ague when he was first commanded by Bunce to join them, and desiring Thomas Rich as Evidence, he was sworn, and declared, that the Prisoner, as much as he took Notice of him, appeared as active as the most capable, and could not say, that the Prisoner ever relented.

George Bendall.

George Bendall, Prisoner, being next called, and desiring Richard Turnly for Evidence, he was sworn, and declared, that the Prisoner was desired to make his Escape, but was resolved to continue with the pyrates.

William Ling.

William Ling, Prisoner, being next called, who having nothing to say farther, than a Request that Richard Turnly might give in Evidence for him; he was sworn, and declared, that the Prisoner bore Arms, and was as resolved as any of the pyrates.

Then the Court adjourned till Ten a-Clock next Morning, being the 10th Instant.

December 10, 1718.

The Court having met according to the Adjournment, and Proclamation made, the Prisoners were again brought to the Bar, and severally ask'd, if they had considered of any farther Evidence or Defence they could propose.

First, John Augur had no more to offer, in his Justification than before.

The second, William Cunningham, the same as before.

The Third, John Hipps having the same Question put, answer'd, that if John Raddon and Henry White had not been absent, they could have declared many Things in his Favour.

Then the Court proposed to every Person, who was an Auditor of the Trial, that any might have Leave to declare upon Oath, any Thing they had heard John Raddon or Henry White say in Behalf of John Hipps, Prisoner: Upon which, Samuel Lawford, Constable, appear'd, and being sworn, declared, That he heard George Raddon say, that he should have been glad to have done the old Boatswain any Service, meaning Hipps, the Prisoner at the Bar; for the said Raddon had seen him cry for his having consented, tho’ by Force, to join Bunce, &c. the Prisoner having also declared to Raddon, that he would fight each of the pyrates singly, if he could by that Means get clear of them. This Deponent farther said, that Raddon told him, he firmly believed the Prisoner at the Bar would have escaped from the other pyrates, as soon as he could have got an Opportunity.

The Fourth, Dennis Mackarthy, Prisoner, made some faint Excuse, and at length desired Captain Benjamin Hornigold, as farther Evidence for him; who being sworn, declared, That when he the said Hornigold went to apprehend the Prisoners, who were on one of the Exuma Keys, he the said Prisoner was one of the first taken, and seem'd to the said Hornigold to throw himself, and to have Dependance, on the Mercy of the Governor.

The Fifth, George Rounsivel, Prisoner, had no farther Plea to make.

The Sixth, William Dowling, Prisoner, only desired Thomas Petty to be again call'd, who being sworn, only declared, That he the Prisoner had Offers made by the Spaniards to go in their Service, but the Prisoner refused them.

The Seventh, William Lewis desired Richard Turnley might be again called, who being sworn, declared, That he the Deponent did not see the said Prisoner when the Sloop Mary was first taken, but the Day after he saw the Prisoner under Arms, as active as any one of the pyrates.

The Eighth, Thomas Morris, Prisoner, had little more to say than pretending that several Persons who were absent, would say something in his Justification; but no one present declared any Thing in his Favour.

The Ninth, George Bendall, Prisoner, had nothing to plead for himself; but desiring Mr. Kerr for Evidence, he was sworn, and declared, That he heard the Prisoner say, that he wish'd he had begun the Life sooner, for he thought it a pleasant One, meaning that of a Pyrate; and farther deposed, that the Prisoner reported, that he had once a strong Inclination to have smother'd John Graves, Esq; his Majesty's Collector for the Islands, as he lay feeble in his Bed, whose Servant the Prisoner was, but a short Time before he shipp'd himself for the intended Voyage, when he join'd the other Prisoners at the Bar in their Mutiny and Pyracy.

David Meredith being also sworn, declared, That Bunce did once beat the Prisoner, who told him, that if Bunce, &c. beat him once more, he would desert them the first Opportunity.

The Tenth, William Ling had nothing farther to say for himself.

Then the Prisoners were remanded to the Fort; after which, all Manner of Persons were comm nded by Proclamation to withdraw.

Then the Court summ'd up the Evidences for the King and the Prisoners, which being debated and considered, all the Prisoners, except John Hipps, were unanimously voted guilty of their Indictment, and the Register was ordered to draw up their Sentence. It was thought convenient to respite the Judgment on John Hipps, Prisoner, till Monday next; and the Court adjourn'd till Four this Afternoon, at which Time being met according to Adjournment, and Proclamation made, the Prisoners were brought to the Bar. Then John Hipps was remanded to the Guardship in Irons, and all the rest asked, if they knew any Cause why Sentence of Death should not be pronounced against them? They had nothing more to say, but to desire some Length of Time for Repentance.

Then the Sentence was read, as follows.

The Court having duly considered of the Evidence which hath been given both for and against you the said John Augur, William Cunningham, Dennis Mackarthy, Geo. Rounsivel, Wm Dowling, Wm Lewis, Tho. Morris, Geo. Bendall and Wm Ling; and having also debated the several Circumstances of the Cases, it is adjudged, that you the said John Augur, Wm Cunningham, Dennis Mackarthy, Geo. Rounsivel, Wm Dowling, Wm Lewis, Tho. Morris, Geo. Bendall and Wm Ling, are guilty of the Mutiny, Felony, and Pyracy, wherewith you and every of you stand accused. And the Court doth accordingly pass Sentence, that you the said John Augur, Wm. Cunningham, Dennis Mackarthy, Geo. Rounsivel, Wm. Dowling, Wm. Lewis, Tho. Morris, Geo. Bendall and Wm. Ling, be carried to Prison from whence you came, and from thence to the Place of Execution, where you are to be hanged by the Neck till you shall be dead, dead, dead; and God have Mercy on your Souls. Given under our Hands this 10th Day of October, Annoq; Dom. 1718, sign'd

Woodes Rogers,

Wm Fairfax,

Robert Beauchamp,

Thomas Walker,

Wingate Gale,

Nathaniel Taylor,

Josias Burgiss,

Peter Courant.

After Sentence of Death pass'd upon the Prisoners, the Governor, as President of the Court, appointed their Execution to be at Ten a Clock on Friday next in the Morning being the 12th Instant.

Whereupon the Prisoners pray'd for longer Time to repent and prepare for Death; but the Governor told them, that from the Time of their being apprehended, which was on the 15th of November, they ought to have accounted themselves as condemn'd by the Laws of all Nations, which was only sealed now; and that the securing them hitherto, and the Favour that the Court had allowed them in making as long a Defence as they could, wholly took up that Time, which the Affairs of the Settlement required in working at the Fortifications; besides the Fatigue thereby occasion'd to the whole Garrison in the necessary Guards, set over them by the Want of a Goal, and the Garrison having been very much lessened by Death and Sickness since his Arrival; also that he was obliged to employ all his People to assist in mounting the great Guns, and in finishing the present Works, with all possible Dispatch, because of the expected War with Spain; and there being many more pyrates amongst these Islands, and this Place left destitute of all Relief from any Man of War or Station Ship, much wanted, join'd to other Reasons he had, too long to enumerate in Court, he thought himself indispensably obliged, for the Welfare of the Settlement, to give them no longer Time.

Then the Prisoners were ordered to the Place of their Imprisonment in the Fort, where Leave was given them to send for any Persons to read and pray with them

On Friday Morning each of the Prisoners were call'd in private, to know if they had any Load upon their Spirits, for Actions committed as yet unknown to the World, the declaring of which was absolutely required, to prepare themselves for a fit Repentance; but they each refused to declare any Thing, as well as making known to the Governor, if they knew of any Conspiracy against the Government.

Wherefore, about Ten a-Clock, the Prisoners were releas'd of their Irons, and committed to the Charge and Care of Thomas Robinson, Esq; commissioned Provost Marshal for the Day, who, according to custom in such Cases, pinion'd them, &c. and order'd the Guards appointed to assist him, to lead them to the Top of the Rampart, fronting the Sea, which was well guarded by the Governor's Soldiers and People, to the Number of about 100. At the Prisoners Request, several select Prayers and Psalms were read, in which all present join'd; when the Service was ended, Orders was given to the Marshal, and he conducted the Prisoners down a Ladder, provided on Purpose, to the Foot of the Wall, were was a Gallows erected, and a black Flag hoisted thereon, and under it a Stage, supported by three Butts, on which they ascended by another Ladder, where the Hangman fasten'd the Cords. They had three Quarters of an Hour allowed under the Gallows, which was spent by them in singing of Psalms, and some Exhortations to their old Consorts, and the other Spectators, who got as near to the Foot of the Gallows as the Marshal's Guard would suffer them. When the Governor ordered the Marshal to make ready, and all the Prisoners expecting the Launch, the Governor thought fit to order George Rounsivel to be untied, and when brought off the Stage, the Buts having Ropes about them, were hawl'd away; upon which, the Stage fell, and the Prisoners were suspended.

A short Account of the Prisoners executed.

First, John Augur, being about 40 Years of Age, had been a noted Master of Vessels at Jamaica, and since among the pyrates; but on his accepting of his Majesty's Act of Grace, and Recommendations to the Governor, he was, notwithstanding, entrusted with a good Vessel and Cargo, in which betraying his Trust, and knowing himself guilty of the Indictment, he all along appeared very penitent, and neither wash'd, shav'd, or shifted his old Cloaths, when carried to be executed; and when he had a small Glass of Wine given him on the Rampart, drank it with Wishes for the good Success of the Bahama Islands and the Governor.

The Second, William Cunningham, aged 45, had been Gunner with Thatch the Pyrate, who being also conscious of his own Guilt, was seemingly penitent, and behaved himself as such.

The Third, Dennis Mackarthy, aged 28, who had also been formerly a Pyrate, but accepted of the King's Act of Grace; and the Governor had made him an Ensign of the Militia, being recommended as a sober civiliz'd Person, which Commission he had at the Time of his joining the pyrates, which very much aggravated his other Crimes. During his Imprisonment, he behaved himself tolerably well; but when he thought he was to die, and the Morning came, without his expected

Reprieve, he shifted his Cloaths, and wore long blue Ribbons at his Neck, Wrists, Knees, and Cap; and when on the Rampart, look'd cheerfully round him, saying, He knew the Time when there were many brave Fellows on the Island, who would not have suffered him to die like a Dog; and at the same Time pull'd off his Shooes, kicking them over the Parapet of the Fort, saying, He had promis'd not to die with his Shooes on; so descended the Fort Wall, and ascended the Stage, with as much Agility and in a Dress of a Prize-Fighter; when mounted, he exhorted the People, who were at the Foot of the Walls, to have Compassion on him, but, however willing, they saw too much Power over their Heads to attempt any Thing in his Favour.

The Fourth, William Dowling, of about 24 Years of Age, had been a considerable Time amongst the pyrates, of a wicked Life, which his Majesty's Act of Grace did not reform; his Behaviour was very loose on the Stage, and after his Death, some of his Acquaintance declared, he had confess'd to them, that he had murder'd his Mother before he left Ireland.

The Fifth, William Lewis, aged about 34 Years, as he had been a hardy Pyrate and Prize Fighter, affected an Unconcern at Death; but heartily desired Liquors to drink with his Sufferers on the Stage, and with the Standers by.

The Sixth, Thomas Morris, aged about 22, had been a very incorrigible Youth and Pyrate, and seem'd to have very little Anxiety of Mind by his frequent Smiles when at the Bar, being dress'd with red Ribbons as Mackarthy was with blue, he said, going over the Ramparts, We have a new Governor, but a harsh One; and a little before he was turn'd off, said aloud, that he might have been a greater Plague to these Islands, and now wish'd he had been so.

The Sixth, George Bendall, aged about 18, tho’ he said, he had never been a Pyrate before, yet he had all the villainous Inclinations that the most profligate Youth could be infected with; his Behaviour was sullen.

The Eighth, William Ling, aged about 30, not taken Notice of before the last Attempt, behaved himself as becoming a true Penitent, and was not heard to say any other than by Reply to Lewis, when he demanded Wine to drink, that Water was more suitable to them at that Time.

It was observed that there were but few (beside the Governor's Adherents) among the Spectators, who had not deserved the same Fate, but pardon'd by his Majesty's Act of Grace.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:53