THE TRIALS Of Eight Persons Indited for Piracy &c.

Of whom Two were acquitted, and the rest found Guilty.

At a Justiciary Court of Admiralty Assembled and Held in Boston within His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, on the 18th of October 1717. and by several Adjournments continued to the 30th. Pursu­ant to His Majesty's Commission and Instructions, founded on the Act of Parliament Made in the 11th. & 12th of KING William IIId. Intituled, An Act for the more effectual Suppression of Piracy.

With an APPENDIX, Containing the Substance of their Confessions given before His Excellency the Gover­nour, when they were first brought to Boston, and committed to Goal.

Boston: Printed by B. Green, for John Edwards, and Sold at his Shop in King's Street. 1718.


I Do appoint Bartholomew Green to Print the Trials of Simon Van Vorst, John Brown, Thomas Baker, Hendrick Quintor, Peter Cornelius Hoof, John Shuan, Thomas South, and Thomas Davis, To be Sold by John Edwards, Bookseller in King Street, Boston; And that no other Person presume to Print the same.

[Page 23]


The Substance of the Examinations of John Brown, &c. Taken by Order of His Excellency the GOVERNOUR, on Monday the 6th of May, 1717.

JOhn Brown being interrogated saith, That he was born in the Island of Jamaica, is 25 Years old, and Unmarried. About a Year ago he belonged to a Ship Commanded by Capt. Kingston, which in her Voyage with Logwood to Hol­land was taken to the Leeward of the Havana by two Piratical Sloops, one Commanded by Hornygold and the other by a Frenchman called Labous, each ha­ving 70 Men on Board. The Pirates kept the Ship about 8 or 10 Days and then having taken out of her what they thought proper delivered her back to some of the Men, who belonged to her Labous kept the Examinate on board his Sloop a­bout 4 Months, the English Sloop under Hornygolds command keeping company with them all that time. Off Cape Corante they took two Spanish Briganteens without any resistance laden with Cocoa from Maraca. The Spaniards not co­ming up to the Pirates demand about the ransom were put a-shore and their Briganteens burn'd. They Sailed next to the Isle of Pines, where meeting with 3 or 4 English Sloops empty, they made use of them in cleaning their own, and gave them back. From thence they Sailed to Hispaniola in the latter end of May, where they tarryed about 3 Months. The Examinate then left Labous and went on board the Sloop Commanded formerly by Hornygold, at that time by one Bellamy, who upon a difference arising amongst the English Pirates because Hornygold refused to take and plunder English Vessels, was chosen by a great Majority their Captain & Hornygold departed with 26 hands in a prize Sloop, Bellamy having then on Board about [...] Men, most of them English Bellamy and Labous sailed to the Virgin Islands, and took several small Fishing Boats and off St Croix a French Ship laden with Flower and Fish from Canada, and having taken out some of the Flower gave back the Ship. Plying to the Windward the Morning they made Saba they spy'd 2 Ships, which they chased and came up with, one was Command­ed by Capt. Richards, the other by Capt. Tosor both bound to the Bay. Having plundered the Ships and taken out some Young Men they dismist the rest & like­wise T [...]sor's Ship, and made a Man of War of Richard's, which they put under the Command of Bellamy, and appointed Paul Williams Captain of their Sloop. Next Day they took a Bristol Ship, Commanded by James Williams from Ireland laden with Provisions, and having taken out what Provisions they wanted and 2 or 3 of the Crew, let her go. They parted with their French consort at the Island of Blanco and stood away with their Ship and Sloop to the Windward passage, where in the latter end of February last they met with Capt. Lawrence Prince in a Ship of 300 Ton called the Whido with 18 Guns mounted, and 50 Men bound from Jamaica to London laden with Sugar, Indigo, Jesuits Bark and some Silver and Gold, and having given chase 3 Days took him without any other resistance than his firing two chase Guns at their Sloop, & came to an Anchor at Long Island. Bellamy's crew and Williams's consisted then of 120 Men. They gave the Ship ta­ken from Capt. Richards to Capt. Prince, and loaded her with as much of the best and finest goods as She could carry, and gave Capt. Prince above Twenty Pounds in Silver and Gold to bear his charges. They took 8 or 10 Men belonging to Capt. Prince, the Boatswain and two more were forced, the rest being Volunteers. Off Pettiguavis they took an English Ship hired by the French laden with Sugar and Indigo, and having taken out what they had occasion for, and some of the Map, dismist her. Then they stood away for the Capes of Virginia, being 130 Men in company, and having lost sight of their Sloop the Day before they made the Land, they cruised ten Days according to agreement between Bellamy and Williams, in which time they seized 3 Ships and one Snow, two of them from Scotland, one from Bristol, and the fourth a Scotch Ship from Barbadoes with a little Rum and Sugar on Board, so leaky that the Men refused to proceed farther. The Pirates sunk her. Having lost the Sloop they kept the Snow, which was taken from one Montgomery, being about 100 Ton and manned her with 18 hands, which with her [Page 24] own Crew made up the number of 28 Men; the other 2 Ships were discharged being first plundered. They made the best of their way for Cape Cod intending to clean their Ship at Green Island (having one. [...] & an Indian born at Cape Cod for Pilots ) and on Friday the 26th of April last to the Eastward of Cape Cod took a Pink laden with Wine from Madera, last from Boston, bound to New York. They sent seven Men on Board called out on the Watch Bill, of whom the Examinate was one. He further saith, that there were about 50 Men forced, over whom the Pirates kept a watchful eye, and no Man was suffered to write a word, but what was Nailed up to the Mast. The names of the forced Men were put in the watch Bill and fared as others, they might have had what Money they wanted from the Quarter Master, who kept a Book for that purpose, but this Examinate took only Cloaths. It was the common report in their Ship, that they had about 20000 Pounds in Gold and Silver. That Peter Ho [...]ff was once whip'd for attempting to Run-away, and that he and every one of the other Prisoners were forced to Join the Pirates

THomas Baker being Examined saith, That he was Born in Flushing, Aged 29 Years, by Trade a Taylor, and sometimes went to Sea, and sometimes fol­lowed his Trade ashore▪ That he was taken with 9 more in a little Boat coming from Cape Francois, by Bellamy and Labous, but they were sent away being Mar­ried Men. This Examinate was never sworn as the rest were. Being on Board of Lebous he asked leave to go on Board of Bellamy, that he might have an oppor­tunity of getting away, and accordingly he went, but found that Bellamy would not discharge him, on the contrary threatned to set him ashore on a Moroon Island if he would not be easy. When they took Richards, Tosor and Williams they spread a large black Flag, with a Death's Head and Bones a-cross, and gave chase to Captain Prince under the same Colours. They had on Board 20000 or 30000 Pounds, and the Quarter Master declared to the Company, that if any Man wanted Money he might have it. The Examinate came on Board the Pink which was taken off Cape Cod, Armed. The reason why he and the other Pri­soners did not discover themselves to the Government when they first came ashore was because they expected to get to Boston and there Ship themselves as Sailors. In all other particulars he agrees with what is above.

THomas Davis Examined saith, He was born in Carmarthenshire in Wales, Aged Two & twenty Years, is by Trade a Ship wright, and has used the Sea these five Years. He Sail'd from Bristol with Capt. Williams, and was taken on the 19th of December last, by [...] 9 leagues to the Leeward of Blanco, and in January he joyned Bellamy's company. When the company was called together to Consuls, and each Man to give his Vote, they would not allow the forced Men to have a Vote. There were One hundred and thirty forced Men in all, and Eighty of the Old company; and this Examinate being a forced Man had no opportunity to discover his Mind. From Blance they Sail'd to the Spanish Main and water'd there, and from thence to a Moroon Island called Testegos, where they fitted up a Ship and Sloop of their own. All the New Men were Sworn to be true and not to cheat the company to the value of a piece of Eight. That when they chased the Whido they thought they had lost her, but came up with her the third day. Capt. Prince was treated civily. What Money they got in the Whido was not shared. Seven or eight of the Whido's Crew joyned them. That their design in coming on this Coast was to get Provisions: That three of the Vessels, they look off the Capes of Virginia, be­longed to Scotland, and the fourth to Bredhampston, and when a Prize was taken the Watch­bill was called over, and Men put on board as they stood named in the Bill, and no more imposed on the forced Men than the Volunteers, they being all alike. The same day the Whido was lost, they took a Sloop coming from Virginia. The Ship being at an An­chor, they cut their Cables and ran a shoar, in a quarter of an hour after the Ship struck, the Main-mast was carried by the board, and in the Morning She was beat to pieces. About Sixteen Prisoners drown'd, Crumpstey Master of the Pink being one, and One hun­dred and forty-four in all. The riches on board were laid together in one heap.

PEter Hooff declares, That he was born in Sweden, is about 34 Years old, and left his Country 18 Years ago. He Sail'd for the most part with the Dutch on the Coast of Portobello, and has been with the Pirates fourteen Months▪ When he was taken by Bellamy in a Persaga, he belong'd to a Ship whereof one Cornelison was Master: Three Weeks after he was taken they went to Portobello in a French Sloop with 60 Men on board; then stood for the Havana, and from thence to Cuba, where they▪ met with a Pink, an English-man Master, and took out some Powder and Shot, and some Men. A difference arising amongst them about taking Prisoners; Some being for one Nation and some for another; and having at that time Two Sloops [Page 25] and about 100 Men, Hornygold parted from them in One of the Sloops, and Bel­lamy and Labous kept company together. They turned to the Windward from the Isle of Pines to look out for a Ship of Force. The Money taken in the Whido, which was reported to Amount to 20000 or 30000 Pounds, was counted over in the Cabin, and put up in bags, Fifty Pounds to every Man's share, there being 180 Men on Board. No Married Men were forced. Their Money was kept in Chests between Decks without any guard, but none was to take any without the Quar­ter Masters leave.

JOhn Shuan declares, That he was born in Na [...]ts, 24 Years old, a Mariner. That [...] Two Months and an half ago he was taken by Bellamy in an English Ship coming from Jamaica, commanded by an English-man, and a French-man, bound from Pettiguavis to Rochel, with Sugar. This Examinate knows nothing of the Scotch Vessel's being sunk. When Crumpstey's Pink was taken on this Coast, He desired Bellamy to give him leave to go on board her, but could not obtain it, by reason he had not taken up Arms, yet afterwards Bellamy let him go. He further declares, That he never was upon the List as the rest were: That in the Ship he belong'd to the Pirates found 5000 Liyres, and on board of Bellamy's there was a great quantity of Silver and Gold.

Simon Van Vorst declares, That he was born in the City of New-York, aged 24 Years. That he went from New-York to St. Thomas's, and from thence to Cape Francois, where he staid three Months, and came from thence in October last in a Boat with Captain Simsons Men, who were Prisoners there, and standing over to Cape Nicholas they spy'd two Sail, which came pretty near them, and firing a Gun brought them on board, three were dismist, being Married. The Examinate de­sired Labous to let him goe on board of Bellamy, and accordingly he went, Bellamy told him he must be easy until they could find Volunteers, or he would put him a shoar on some Moroon Island. Next day they took a Sloop coming from Cape Francois, and soon after a French Ship, out of which they took Claret and Provisi­ons. They cleaned at St. Croix, where 3 of their Men Ran away, and one of them be­ing brought back was severely whipped. Plying to Windward for what they could get they took Richards, Tosor and a Bristol Ship laden with Beef. He further declares, That he saw many of Williams's, Tosor's and Richards's Men Cry & express their Grief upon their being compelled to go with Bellamy. After the Whido was taken they gave Richards's Ship to Capt. Prince and put as great a quantity of Goods on Board, as he desired. They took 10 or 12 of Prince's Men of whom the Boatswain and 2 or 3 more were forced. The Examinate went on Board Crumpsty's Pink Armed with a Gun and Pistol, and he and the other 6, who were with him were all equal as to the commanding part, being in course according to the list or Watch Bill.

HEndrick Quintor declares, He was born in Amsterdam, Aged 25 Years, a Mariner. That he was taken in a Spanish Briganteen by Labous Commander of the Sloop Postiti­on, and Bellamy Commander of the Sloop Mary Anne and being bound to [...], the Pirates told him he should go to the Coast of Crocus, but afterwards they compelled him to stay, and during the time he was with them they took 3 French Ships and then clean'd at the Main Land of Hispaniola. After that they took 3 English Ships, viz. Richards's, Tosor's and Williams's, and went to the Main to Water, from thence to Testegos, the Wind blowing very hard they went to St Croix, where a French Pirate was blown up. That this Examinate and the other six, who were sent on Board the Pink were Forced Men.

THomas South saith, He was born in Boston in Lincolnshire, about 30 Years of Age, a Mariner. That he came from Cork in Ireland in a Ship Commanded by Capt. Williams bound to Jamaica, and was taken by the Pirate Bellamy about four Months ago. The Pirates forced such as were Unmarried, being four in number two of them were drown'd in the Whido, a Dutchman and a Welshman. This Examinate fur­ther saith, That the Pirates brought Arms to him, but he told them, He would not use any, for which he was much threatned; they staid sometime at Spanish To [...]; when Captain Richards's Ship was taken this Examinate did not take up Arms, he only stood by the Rigging. That they came on this Coast to meet their consort Paul Williams, whom they expected to find at Block Island▪ That he was One of Seven, who were sent on board the Pink, He told the Mate that he was a forced Man, and if he could get a-shoar he would run away. And further declares, That he has heard the other Prisoners say, They were compelled to joyn the Pirates.


The Reader is desired to Correct with his Pen the following Errors.

PAge 1. line 3. read Eighteenth. p. 2. l. 15. r. Reign. p. 8. l. 10. r. [...]. p. 11. l. 11. say Brown r. Baker. p. 12. l. 19. for Thomas r. John. p. 17. l. 22. r. aggravating. p. 29. l. 51. r. Firm and Seal. p. 21. l. 16. r. confinement nor restraint. p. 22. l. 32. r. had ever prevail'd. For Indictment r. Inditement throughout.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.