William Brand

On this day in history...

457 posts in this topic

December 20 -

On this day in 1738, pirate James Buchanan was executed at Execution-Dock. It was a Wednesday.

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December 21 -

On this day in 1682, John 'Calico Jack' Rackham was born.

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December 22 -

On this day in 1522, the Knights Hospitallers of Jersusalem and St. John, having commanded the line of commerce between Alexandria and Istanbul (and a brisk trade in piracy on passing vessels) were expelled from Rhodos.

Also on this day in 1609, the pirate John Downes and many other pirates were indicted for piracy. John Downes preyed from ports in Southern Cornwall, he bribed local officials, and demonstrated the corruption that was symptomatic in the waters off Ireland, Wales and the Severn. For example: the conduct of H. Vivian and his son Francis in the vice-admiralty of South Cornwall left much to be desired. In 1606 Downes was allowed by Vivian’s deputy at Fowey to remain in harbor for several weeks, for which favor they were rewarded with a pipe of wine, a chest of sugar and several bolts of Holland cloth. On another occasion the deputy accepted a silver chain.

“Capt. Harris, Jennings, Longcastle, Downes, Hanlsey and their companies were severally indicted on St. Margrets Hill in Southwarke, on December 22, 1609 and executed the Fryday following”. However, the pirates’ examinations were forwarded to the King who granted the pirates a stay of execution “in hope of farther confessions from them”. The pirates’ revelations had shown how low the standards of admiralty and naval officers had sunk under his administration.

Downes is known to have tried to persuade the commander of the Scottish Royal of Leith to tell him the whereabouts of his money by whipping him and two young sailors. Downes also tied knotted chords around their heads, a way of torture called “wooling” that led to success in the shape of six bags full of reales of eight worth 400 pounds. Downes remained active till captured in 1631.

And on this day in 1675, the Barbary Corsair and renegade from Holland, Corali (aka Koralli), arrived with his command ship Olive and a Portuguese prize coming from Brazil with 236 chests with sugar, 400 chests Brazilian tobacco, 4 chests cacao, and some elephants teeth. Later in command of the ship Orangetree he captured a small barque from Oran, loaded with corn, and suffered a defeat by a Dutch frigate some 50 miles off Cape Vincent in the Atlantic. Corali was purchased for 12 hours but escaped.

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December 23 -

John Bannister, a pirate in command of the privateer Vlijt from the Netherlands during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, was accused of seizing the British Sally and was sentenced to death "at Justice Hall in the Old Bailey convicted of piracy". On December 23, 1782, Bannister received the pleasant news that he would be released at the next general pardon "for the poor convicts in Newgate". Bannister was released on the condition "of his entering and continueing to serve us in our Royal Navy".

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December 25 -

On this day in 1676, Barlow and his men went ashore for Christmas.

“Having put all our goods on shore that we were to deliver [to Marseilles], we walked ashore being Christmas, to take our recreation and see all about the town, which is a place of very good buildings and a pretty large town or city, where all things are very plentiful, both for meat and drink. They have a very good wine of several sorts and very cheap, especially a red wine, which is a king of wine much like to claret, only a clearer red and better wine to drink.” (Edward Barlow, Barlow’s Journal of his Life at Sea in King’s Ships, East and West Indiamen & Other Merchantman From 1659 to 1703, p. 271)

Raphael Mission has gathered some amazing tidbits and citations from pirate history about "Christmas Holidays at Sea in the Golden Age of Piracy" at the following link…

http://www.piratesurgeon.com/pages/surgeon_pages/christmas1.html

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December 27 -

On this day in 1670, Henry Morgan gained possession of the fortress of San Lorenzo on the Caribbean coast of Panama, killing 300 men of the garrison and leaving 23 alive.

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December 28 -

On this day in history, 1814, the British began firing at the American lines at New Orleans, but were repulsed by an artillery crew manned by two of Jean Lafitte's former lieutenants, Renato Beluche and Dominique Youx.

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December 29 -

On this day in history, 1720, John Clipperton and his crew took on fish, wood and water at Cocos Island, located off the shore of Costa Rica. A shack was set up on the beach there to shelter a large number of scurvy invalids among the crew.

And...while this is not pirate related, some things should be remembered...for on this day in 1890 some 150 Lakota men, women and children were massacred by the US 7th Calvary Regiment near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Some estimate the actual number was closer to 300.

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December 30 -

On this day in 1702, the Siege of St. Augustine was lifted.

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December 31 -

On this day in 1799, after nationalization had failed over the course of three years, and after being in existence for some 197 years, the VOC (or Dutch East India Company) was allowed to expire.

Statistically, the VOC eclipsed all of its rivals in the Asia trade. Between 1602 and 1796 the VOC sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia trade on 4,785 ships, and netted for their efforts more than 2.5 million tons of Asian trade goods. By contrast, the rest of Europe combined sent only 882,412 people from 1500 to 1795, and the fleet of the English (later British) East India Company, the VOC's nearest competitor, was a distant second to its total traffic with 2,690 ships and a mere one-fifth the tonnage of goods carried by the VOC. The VOC enjoyed huge profits from its spice monopoly through most of the 17th century.

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January 1 -

From a citation at piratesurgeon.com

"This being New-Year’s Day [1708], every Officer was wish’d a merry New-Year by our Musick; and I had a large Tub of Punch hot upon the Quarter-Deck, where every Man in the Ship had above a Pint to his share, and drank our Owners and Friends Healths in Great Britain, to a happy new Year, a good Voyage, and a safe Return. We bore down to our Consort, gave them three Huzza’s, wishing them the like." - Woodes Rogers

For more about 'New Years" visit the following… http://www.piratesurgeon.com/pages/surgeon_pages/christmas5.html

Also on this day in 1720, French Lousianna distributes paper notes of three typeset emissions from the Banque Royale. The notes were hand numbered with written signatures (added by the deputies of the officers named on the notes) except for the 10 livres note which had printed signatures. The backs of this currency were blank. Denominations in this issue were: 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 livres Tournois notes.

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!


In 1722, the first week of January was bitterly cold in Boston, and just after noon on this day -- January 1 -- a huge fire tore through a sailmaker’s warehouse on Long Wharf, the massive pier at the center of Boston’s large inner harbor. The fire completely destroyed at least two of the warehouses that lined one side of Long Wharf and damaged several others nearby.


What was particularly ominous about that first week of January 1722 is that one of the vessels that set sail from Boston Harbor was a ninety-ton brigantine called the Rebecca. It would be an unforgettable journey. The Rebecca would safely reach its destination, the small sugar-producing island of St. Kitts in the British West Indies, without serious incident. But the journey home would be different, for on May 28, 1722, the Rebecca would be taken by a pirate crew under the command of Edward Low, who would sail the brigantine north past New England and up to the Canadian coastline, capturing dozens of vessels along the way.




Greg


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Thank you for that addition! Nothing starts off a year wrong like a huge, local disaster. Poor Boston.

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January 2 -

On this day in 1688, Raveneau de Lussan and a part of his followers, having come from the capture of Tehuantepec and returning from Acapulco to find themselves at Mapala, a port north of El Realejo, deliberated on the route they should take to reach the Antilles. It was agreed to march to Nueva Segovia, a town situated on the Coco River, which empties into the Atlantic. Of this expedition Voltaire said: "The retreat of the ten thousand will always be more celebrated, but is not to be compared to it." Lussan formed four companies, of seventy men each, and made them swear to observe the severest discipline. After praying together, and sinking their boats for fear they might fall into the power of the Spaniards, they began their march, and in ten days, during which they were almost constantly engaged in fighting superior numbers, they reached Nueva Segovia.

Also on this day in 1669, Morgan’s flagship Oxford blew herself up during a banquet off Ile-à-Vache, South of St. Domingue on the Southwest coast of Hispaniola. Morgan's surgeon, Richard Browne, wrote in his journal "I was eating my dinner with the rest when the mainmast blew out and fell upon Captains Aylett and Bigford and others and knocked them on the head. I saved myself by getting astride the mizzenmast." Those who sat on his side of the table, including Morgan and Collier, were thrown into the air and found themselves swimming amid shattered timbers and the broken and disjointed bodies of the crew. Browne splashed around until he managed to scramble on to part of the mizzen mast. Soon boats from the rest of the fleet were rowing through the wreckage. Apart from Morgan, Collier, Morris the elder, 2 semen and 4 cabin boys, everybody else, some 250 men in all, perished in this devastating blow.

Much to the chagrin of many, Edward Collier lived through the destruction of the Oxford and resumed his piracies in a prize ship he had called Satisfaction and was present at Morgan’s plundering of the town of Rio de la Hacha one year later, still as his vice-admiral. Considered by most to be a very cruel man, he captured the fort and garrison and tortured the prisoners. He led the port wing in the attack on Panama City, in the rank of colonel, in January of 1671, where he chased after and slaughtered the fleeing crowd and killed a chaplain personally, after quarter had been given. He was accused to have cheated, with Morgan, the sailors of their share of the loot, deserting them, sailing off in ships with supplies and plunderage. Despite his infamous lifestyle, Collier lived to a ripe age in Jamaica, leading preparations for defenses against a possible enemy invasion.

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January 3 -

On this day in 1749, Benning Wentworth issues the first of the New Hampshire Grants, leading to the establishment of Vermont.

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Saturday, January 3, 1718/19 (although the true anniversary on our calendar would be Jan. 14 due to the 11 day shift of calendars in the mid-18th century), Lt. Robert Maynard returned to Virginia from North Carolina aboard Black Beard's sloop Adventure. Under the heading, “Remarkable Occurrences," in the ship's log of the HMS Pearl, Capt. George Gordon wrote the following:

"Little wind & fair weather; This day the Sloop Adventure Edward Thach formerly Master (a Pyrat) anchor’d here from No. Carolina commanded by my first Lieut. Mr. Rob’t Maynard who had taken the aforesaid Sloop, & destroy’d the said Edward Thach & most of his men; he also brought Thach’s head, hanging under his bowsprit in order to present it to the Colony of Virginia; he saluted me with 9 guns, I returned the like number."

Edited by LookingGlass

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Nice addition, Looking Glass!

January 4 -

It is believed that on this day in 1721, William Fenton, one of Walter Kennedy’s men, was executed for piracy, having been sentenced to death at Edinburgh.

“There were four pirates hanged at Leith today (...) very hardened. They were a melancholy sight, and there is three to be hanged next Wednesday.”

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January 5 -

On this day in 1718, a proclamation was issued announcing clemency for all piratical offenses, provided that those seeking what became known as the "King's Pardon" surrendered no later than September 5, 1718. Colonial governors and deputy governors were authorized to grant the pardon.

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January 6 -

On this day in 1718, Rogers was officially appointed "Captain General and Governor in Chief" by George I. He did not leave immediately for his new bailiwick, but spent several months preparing the expedition, which included seven ships, 100 soldiers, 130 colonists, and supplies ranging from food for the expedition members and ships' crews to religious pamphlets to give to the pirates, whom Rogers believed would respond to spiritual teachings.

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January 7 -

Between this day and the 9th of January in 1675, William Collingwood, one of Cusack’s men, was condemned to hang after all the proceedings held in the Old-Bailey, London.

And on this day in 1680, Cornelius Essex, with Allison, Row and Sharp joined an expedition under command of Captain Coxon in four barques and two sloops, sailing from Jamaica to Puerto Bello. Their passage was frustrated by violent storms but all ships arrived at the destination.

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January 8 -

On this day in 1676, there was an inconclusive naval battle between the French, under Abraham Duquesne, versus Dutch and Spanish forces under Michiel de Ruyter.

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January 9 -

On this day in 1675, Dixon (aka Smith), one of Cusack’s men was hanged “for taking, and robbing two ships, viz. the Robert, near the Fly: and the Anne on the Dogger-Sands.” It is believed that he died alongside William Collingswood.

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January 10 -

On the morning of January 10, 1720, the sloop Philippa lay anchored in the Laquary Roads at Tobago, with her captain below suffering from gout. When the mate came on deck he immediately rushed back for pistols and other arms, because a canoe was approaching the sloop. The mate ordered shots fired and cried out warnings not to come any nearer. Someone from the canoe shouted back that they were going to board and if there was any more firing no quarter would be given, so Philippa's crew shut up and the pirates clambered on board. Their leader, Thomas Anstis, swaggeringly informed the captain his sloop was impounded. It was recorded that Anstis was the worst type of pirate, attacking when peril was at its least, but in victory, vicious.

And on this day in 1722, One of Ned Low's forced men, named Christopher Atwell, was taken out of the ship Greyhound.

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January 10 -

And on this day in 1722, One of Ned Low's forced men, named Christopher Atwell, was taken out of the ship Greyhound.

Also taken from the Greyhound that same day with Atwell was the second mate, Charles Harris, "aged about 25, small stature, born in London." Before long, Harris signed on with Low's crew and by the Spring of 1723 was serving as Low's quartermaster and was in command of second sloop, the Ranger.
Harris' career as a pirate came to an end in June 1723 when he and the other men on the Ranger were captured by a British warship called, ironically, the Greyhound. The HMS Greyhound battered Harris' sloop during a celebrated 12-hour battle at sea. Harris and 26 other pirates from Low's crew were tried, convicted, and then hanged in Newport, Rhode Island on July 19, 1723.

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