William Brand

On this day in history...

485 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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July 18 - 

 

On this day in 1696, Czar Peter I's fleet occupied Azov at the mouth of the Don River.

 

And on this day in 1700, according to British Admiralty Records in the Public Records Office in the UK, the HMS Poole, commanded by Captain John Cranby, engaged pirate Emanuel Wynn's ship off the Cape Verde islands. Cranby chased Wynn into a cove at Brava Island but, assisted by Portuguese soldiers, Wynn escaped Poole. Most historians agree that Cranby's account is the first mention of a Jolly Roger, which Cranby described as "a sable ensign with cross bones, a death's head, and an hour glass." Wynne is believed to be the first (or some sources contend one of the first) pirate to fly the now familiar form of the jolly roger. His flag, showing the distinctive skull and crossbones motif, was augmented with another common pirate symbol: an hourglass (meant to signify to his prey that only by timely surrender could they evade death).  Wynne began his piratical career raiding English merchantmen off the coast of the Province of Carolina near the end of the 17th century. He later moved to the more profitable waters of the Caribbean, attacking both English and Spanish ships.

 

Also on this day in 1718, Howell Davis was given command of the Cadogan and set out for Brazil. However, his crew mutinied and sailed to Barbados instead. Davis was imprisoned there on the charge of piracy, but was eventually released and sought shelter in the pirate den of New Providence in the Bahamas. With New Providence being cleaned out by Governor Woodes Rogers, Davis left on the sloop Buck and conspired with six other crew members, who included Thomas Anstis and Walter Kennedy, to take over the vessel off Martinique. Davis was elected captain and conducted raids from his base at Coxon's Hole.

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July 21 - 

 

On this day in 1721, William Kennedy was executed at Execution Dock, Wapping, along with Howell Davis.

 

And on this day in 1823, the U. S. schooners of war Greyhound and Beagle came to anchor off Cape Cruz.

 

"Kearney went in his boat to reconnoitre the shore, when he was fired on by a party of pirates who were concealed among the bushes. Fire was also opened from several pieces of cannon erected on a hill, a short distance off. The boat returned, and five or six others were manned from the vessels, and pushed off for the shore, but a very heavy cannonade being kept up by the pirates on the heights, as well as from the boats were compelled to retreat. The two schooners were then warped in, when they discharged several broadsides, and covered the landing of the boats. After a short time the pirates retreated to a hill that was well fortified. A small hamlet, in which the pirates resided was set fire to and destroyed. Three guns, one a four pounder, and two large swivels, with several pistols, cutlasses, and eight large boats, were captured. A cave, about 150 feet deep, was discovered, near where the houses were, and after considerable difficulty, a party of seamen got to the bottom, where was found an immense quantity of plunder, consisting of broadcloths, dry goods, female dresses, saddlery, Many human bones were also in the cave, supposed to have been unfortunate persons who were taken and put to death. A great deal of the articles were brought away and the rest destroyed. About forty pirates escaped to the heights, but many were supposed to have been killed, from the fire of the schooners, as well as from the men who landed. The bushes were so thick that it was impossible to go after them. Several other caves are in the neighborhood, in which it was conjectured they occasion ally take shelter."

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July 22 - 

 

On this day in 1718, Rogers' expedition arrived at Nassau Harbor, surprising and trapping a ship commanded by pirate Charles Vane.  Negotiations ensued, but failed, and Vane used a captured French vessel as a fireship in an attempt to ram the naval vessels. The attempt failed, but the naval vessels were forced out of the west end of Nassau harbor, giving Vane's crew an opportunity to raid the town and secure the best local pilot. Vane and his men then escaped in a small sloop via the harbor's narrow east entrance. The pirates had evaded the trap, but Nassau and New Providence Island were left in Rogers' hands.

 

On this same day and year, a minor engagement took place between Sweden and Russia.

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August 20 - 

 

On this day in 1720, Adam, a boatswain that sailed Condent, received a share of 2,000 pounds sterling after robbing an Arabian bagala bound from Jeddah to Surat. 

 

"The Pirates shared out their booty at St. Mary's [Madagascar] and then broke up the Company. After a time there came a Snow from Bristol the master of which they paid very liberally to convey a petition from them for pardon to the Governor of Mascarenhas, which he granted on condition they burnt their ship. They agreed to this, burnt the Flying Dragon and about 40 of them went to Mascarenhas." 

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