[Page]
[Page]

A NARRATIVE Of Part of the LIFE and ADVENTURERS of JOSEPH ANDREWS, Particularly of his PIRACY and the MURDER of Capt. DURYEE and his Com­pany, for which he was tried on the 17th Instant, and condemn'd to be hang'd this Day, the 23d of May, 1769, on the Shore between the Air Furnace and the Town, and his Body afterwards hung in Chains on Bedlow's Island.

JOSEPH ANDREWS, the unhapy Cri­minal who is this Day to suffer Death, was, we hear born in the Island of Madeira, and is now about 40 Years of Age. The Parti­culars of his Life, we have not been able to obtain as he was much upon the Reserve, and as we hear has not made any Confession, except of the Crime for which he is this Day to suffer; but as a dying Man, solemnly denies having been guilty of or concerned in any other Murder.

A Neglect of Religion, and all Christian Duties, and a free Indulgence of every vicious, Inclination, particu­larly in keeping bad Company, led him from one De­gree of Wickedness to another, till his Heart was har­dened against Remorse, and became capable of har­bouring and devising the most horrid Thoughts and Designs.

In the Month of August 1766, he enter'd himself on board the Sloop Polly, Roluff Duryee Master, bound from New-York to the West-Indies. The other Persons on board were, Peter Demelt, jun. Mate, Nicholas Johnson and William Harris, Mari­ners — Cobbs, a Cabbin Boy, and two Gentle­men, Wells Caverley and his Son, Passengers. Soon after leaving New-York, observing the Captain and Passengers had a good deal of Money, He and John­son formed the Design of gaining Possession of it by murdering the People. This Design they concluded to put in Execution as soon as they should make the Land, accordingly about 8 Days after, the Night before they expected to get to St. Christopers, about Midnight, William Harris being at Helm, and the Captain a sleep on a Hencoop on Deck, Johnson with one Blow of an Ax killed him, and he expired with­out a Groan or Struggle. They then in like Man­ner between them murdered the two Passengers, and Mate with the Ax, and threw the Boy overboard alive. One of them made a Stroke with the Ax at Harris, who ran to the End of the Bowsprit with a Knife and declared he would kill the first Man that approached him. They then told him if he would join them and swear to be secret and faithful, he should be safe, and share the Plunder with them, for Johnson having formerly sail'd with him, pretended to have a Regard for him; but it was previously agreed between Johnson and Andrews to kill him be­fore they got ashore. Harris then came into the Vessel and assisted in throwing the Bodies overboard; after which they broke open the Captain's and Pas­sengers Chests and Lockers, got a Bottle of Wine, and drank Damnation to themselves and each other if they discovered the Secret. They then got a Bible and made Harris swear upon it that he would not betray them; 3 or 4 Days after this, being in Sight of Land, and several Vessels appearing, they got out the Boat, put into it two Chests, with what­ever they thought proper to take, scuttled the Vessel, left her, and sail'd towards the Land, telling Harris to steer clear of the Shore. But he telling them if they did not get pretty near the Land the Current would drive them to the Leeward of all the Islands, they left him to steer as he thought best,—but intended to throw him overboard before he got to Land. After some Time Johnson and Andrews both fell asleep, when Harris stripping himself, took the Opportunity to throw overboard, without Noise, both the Oars and his Clothes, when unhanging and dropping the Rudder overboard, he gently let himself down into the Sea and swam on Shore at St. Kitts, where he gave a blind suspicious Account of himself, being afraid to say any Thing that might break his Oath of Secrecy; but at last he applied to a Minister for Advice how a Man ought to act in a Case similar to his own. The Minister convinced him that such Kinds of Oaths were to far from being binding, that it would be highly criminal to keep them. He then went before the Judge Surrogate of the Admiralty and gave his Deposition of all the Circumstances he knew of the bloody Affair. Soon after he quitted the Boat, the irregular tumbling of it waked the two Criminals, who saw their despe­rate Situation, and were enraged they had not an Opportunity to satiate their Revenge upon Harris. They at first endeavour'd to steer with their Hate, but aftewards did it more effectually with their Sprit, and by that Means got to Eustatia, where they sold the Boat.

[Page]Some Days after their Arrival, the St. Christo­pher's Gazette with Harris's Deposition, made its Appearance in Eustatia, Andrews happening to see it, immediately left the Island, in a Vessel bound to Casco Bay. The Governor of St. Eustatia, on seeing the Deposition, publish'd by Proclamation an Order for a deligent Search, and that no Person should car­ry the Criminals off, under the Penalty of 50,000 Pieces of Eight: He also dispatched a Vessel after Andrews, with a proper Notification of the Charge against him, and Description of his Person. John­son was soon taken up at Eustatia, confessed the Facts, and was executed on the 15th of November, 1766, by being broke a live on the Rack, he was stretched naked on a Cross, where the Bones of his Arms, Legs and Thighs were broken with an Iron Bar, and he afterwards received upwards of 20 Strokes on his Breast, before he expired. Andrews, the present Criminal was soon after his Arrival ta­ken up, and imprisoned some Time at Boston, when he attempted to cut his own Throat, but was pre­vented by the Care of his Attendants. From Boston he was sent here, where he arrived the Twenty-sixth Day of May, 1766, and has remained a Prisoner ever since.

On Wednesday last, the 17th Instant, by Virtue of a special Commission, he was tried by a Court of Admiralty held for that Purpose, consisting of his Excellency the Governor president, the Gentlemen of his Majesty's Council, the Judge of the Admiralty, the Commander of his Majesty's Ship Deal Castle, the Deputy's Secretary, and the Receiver General and Collector of the Province.

Richard Nicholls, Esquire, Register of the Court of Vice-Admiralty, at New-York, and John M'Kes­son, Esq, Deputy Register of the said Court, and a Notary Public, in the said Province, exhibited five several Charges in the said Court, against him— During the Course of the Trial, fourteen Witnes­ses were examined on the Part of the Crown, and two on the Part of the Prisoner—The greatest Part of the Clothing found with the Prisoner in his Chest, and by him claimed as his own, in the Presence of the Court, were very fully and circumstantially proved to have belonged to Captain Duryee, and his Mate, or some of the Persons who were murdered on board the said Sloop, and also many other Things found in the Chest and owned by the Prisoner, — Many of them were marked with the initial Letters of the Names of their former Owners, and many others of them with the plain Marks of those initial Letters remaining, tho' the Silk of the marking was taken out, and they were marked J. A, the initial Letters of the Name of the Prisoner.—Several Things said by the Pris­oner, during the Course of the Trial, and in his Defence, militated much against him.—— The Trial lasted from Ten of the Clock on Wednes­day, until One of the Clock on Thursday Morning, during all which Time, his Excellency never left the Bench.——The Evidence was full, clear and particular, and the Prisoner found guilty,

He is to be executed this Day, between the Hours of Ten in the Morning, and Two in the Af­ternoon, on the Strand, at the East Side of Hudson's River, near Domini's Hook, between the ebbing and flowing of the Tide: And his Body to be afterwards hung in Chains, on the most conspicuous Part of the Pest-Island in New-York Bay, as a Spectacle to de­ter all Persons from the like Felonies for the fu­ture.

On Friday the same Court of Admiralty met for the Trial of Stephen Porter, Mariner, for the Murder of Capt. John Westcot, and sundry others, on board a Bristol Ship on the High Seas on the Coast of Guinea, in the Year 1766,—But on the Officers going to bring him up from the Prison, they found him hanging to one of the Window Bars, quite dead, he having made Use of a String he usually kept up his Irons with:—The Coroner's Inquest brought it in Self-Murder, and he was sen­tenced to be buried in the High-Way, at the fur­ther End of the Bowry-Lane, and have a Stake drove through his Body.

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.