William Brand

On this day in history...

481 posts in this topic

July 9 - 

 

On this day in 1722, the Boston News Letter published a list of those captured by Edward Low after he sank ships of the fleet, and abandoned the Rebecca. 

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July 12 - 

 

On this day in 1701, James Gilliam, also known as James Kelly, died.  He was an English pirate active in the Indian Ocean during the 1690s and was a longtime associate of Captain William Kidd. One of Kidd's earliest crew members, Gilliam was a participant in the mutiny on board the Moacha and the subsequent murder of Captain Edgecomb who was killed in his sleep. After taking command of the East Indiaman, Gilliam and the crew of the Mocha captured several ships in the eastern seas until his arrest after returning to New England with Kidd in 1699. Transported to Great Britain, he was tried at the Old Bailey and found guilty of piracy. While in prison, he wrote A full and true Discovery of all the Robberies, Pyracies, and other Notorious Actions, of that Famous English Pyrate, Capt. James Kelly which included references to the as yet undiscovered Galapagos Islands before his eventual execution on July 12, 1701.

 

And on this day in 1723, twenty-five members of the crew of the Ranger, including the ship's doctor, were tried, with Peter Solgard giving evidence and recounting the battle. Low, Harris and their ships had left the Azores for the Carolinas earlier in the Summer, and suffered a resounding defeat in a battle with the HMS Greyhound, a heavily armed man of war.  The Greyhound had been dispatched under the command of Peter Solgard to hunt down Low and his fleet. Low had fled in the Fancy with a skeleton crew and £150,000 in gold on board and headed back to the Azores, leaving Harris and the Ranger behind to be captured.

 

Also on this day in 1726, Captain Fly and other pirates captured by Walker and Benbrooke, were brought to their trial before the Honourable William Dumnier, Esq. Lieutenant Governor and commander in chief of the province of Massachusetts Bay, President of the Special Court of Admiralty, at the court-house of Boston, assisted by 18 gentlemen of the council; before whom they were found guilty of murder and piracy condemned to be executed, and accordingly were executed the 12th of July. Fly was ordered to be hanged in chains at the entrance of the harbour of Boston. Thus ended the short reign of an obdurate wretch, who only wanted skill and power to be as infamous as any who scoured the seas. The names of the three pirates, executed with him were, Samuel Cole, George Condick, and Henry Greenville. 

 

Captain William Fly was an English pirate who raided New England shipping for three months in 1726 until he was captured by the crew of a seized ship. William Fly's career as a pirate began in April 1726 when he signed on to sail with Captain John Green to West Africa on the Elizabeth. Green and Fly began to clash until one night William led a mutiny that resulted in Capt. Green being tossed overboard; Fly then took command of the Elizabeth.[1] Having captured the ship, the mutineers sewed a Jolly Roger flag, renamed the ship Fames' Revenge, elected William Fly as captain, and sailed to the coast of North Carolina and north toward New England. They captured five ships in about two months before being captured themselves. Following his capture, Cotton Mather tried, and failed, to get Fly to publicly repent.

 

Reportedly, Fly approached the hanging with complete disdain and even reproached the hangman for doing a poor job, re-tying the noose and placing it about his neck with his own two hands. His last words were, roughly, a warning to captains to treat their sailors well and pay them on time - "Our Captain and his Mate used us Barbarously. We poor Men can’t have Justice done us. There is nothing said to our Commanders, let them never so much abuse us, and use us like Dogs."  Fly urged that "all Masters of Vessels might take Warning of the Fate of the Captain that he had murder'd, and to pay Sailors their Wages when due."

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July 14 - 

 

On this day in 1698, the Darien scheme began with five ships, bearing about 1,200 people, and departed Leith for the Isthmus of Panama.

 

And on this day in 1702, Christopher Codrington, governor-general of the English Leeward Islands, lead 1,200 militiamen and privateers in a descent upon the shared island of St. Kitts, expelling its French Settlers.  

 

Also on this day in 1714, the Battle of Aland occurred wherein the Russian fleet overpowered the larger Swedish fleet.

 

And on this day in 1769, the expedition led by Gaspar de Portola established a base in California and set out to find the Port of Monterey.

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July 15 - 

 

The Bahamas did not come under external threat during Rogers' second term, but the reappointed governor had difficulties. Still seeking to bolster the island's defences, Rogers sought imposition of a local tax. The assembly, which had been instituted in Rogers' absence, objected, and Rogers responded by dissolving it. The governmental battle exhausted Rogers, who again went to Charleston in early 1731 in an attempt to recover his health. Though he returned in July 1731, he never truly regained his health, and died in Nassau on this day in 1732.

 

On this day in 1741, Alexei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

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aaah... Taxes - the death of us all!

 

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July 17 - 

 

On this day in 1596, At 10:30AM,  Dutch explorer Willem Barents arrived at Novaya Zemlya, an archipelago in the Arctic Sea.

 

Also on this day in 1603, Sir Walter Raleigh was arrested by forces of King James.

 

And on this day in 1690, Adam Baldridge arrived at Island of St. Marie in Madagascar where he built a fort and began trading with pirates.

 

And also on this day in 1696, a proclamation for the arrest of Henry Every was issued by the Lords Justices.

 

And if that weren't enough, on this day in 1696, an Irish Proclamation was put forth promising a reward for the apprehension of a pirate named Henry Every.

 

And finally, on this day in 1726, Captain William Fly of Jamaica and the ship Elizabeth was hanged at Boston.  His career as a pirate lasted just one month.

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