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William Howard Indictment and Trial at Williamsburg, VA—29 Oct 1718

Trials – William Howard—29 Oct 1718

Virginia (Colony), Colonial Papers, Order to charge William Howard with piracy, 1718 Oct. 29. Accession 36138. State government records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.

[words in red were stricken through in original]


Written on outside of folded paper: "Wm Howard charged with Piracy 1719 or thereabouts"
and [upside down] "Edmund Hyde of the Lyme Sloop, George Maynard of the Pearl Sloop" plus two names: "Wm. Epps?" and "Wm. Sinclair?" and initials "F.R." [appears to refer to preparations to go after
Edward “Blackbeard” Thache in North Carolina]


[Judgement:] all which ??? acts of Pyracy and Premisses are notoriously known to Certain and for which the said Wm. Howard ought by the Judgmt. and Sentence of the Court to Suffer Such pains Penalties and Forfeitures as by the Laws therto of Great Brittain are inflicted upon Pyrats and Robbers on the High Seas




Articles exhibited before the Honble. his Majty. Commrs. appointed under the great Seal in Pursuance of an Act of Parliament made in the Eleventh and twelfth years of the Reign of King William the third Entituled an Act for the more Effectual Suppression of Pyracy against


William Howard For Pyracy and Robbery committed by him on the High Seas



That the Said Wm. Howard not having the Fear of God before his Eyes nor Regarding the Allegiancy due to his Majesty nor the Just Obedience he Ow'd to the Laws of the Land did some time in the Year of our Lord 1717 Join and Associate him Self with one Edward Tach and other Wicked and disolute Persons & with them did combine to fit out in Hostile manner a Certain Sloop or Vessel Call'd the Revenge to commit Pyracys and depridations upon the High Seas Before Subjects of our Lord the King and of other Princes & States in Amity with his Majesty trading in America


That in pursuance of the Said Felonious and Pyratical Combination the Said Willm. Howard did Account the Office of a Quartermaster on Board other said Vessels and together with his Associates and Confederates did on or about the 29th day of Septbr, in the Year Afforesaid in an Hostile manner with force and Arms on the High Seas Struck and Seize upon the High Seas near Cape Charles in this Colony within the Jurisdiction of there Admiralty and of this Court.

attack & Bound Robb a Sloop Call'd the Lucy Betty of Virginia belonging to the Subjects of our Said Lord the King and the Said Sloop did then and there Rob and Plunder of Certain Pypes of Medera Wine and other Goods and Merchandizes and thereafter the said Wm. Howard did Sack and destroy the said Sloop with the remaining Part of the Cargo.



That the Said Wm. Howard and his Associates and Confederates did on or about the 22nd of the ninettenth (July in the year aforesd.? [1717]) of Busbar in the Bay of Delaware in America wthin. the Jurisdiction of the Admiralty of Great Brittain & of this Court pyraticaly take Seize and Rob the Sloop Robert of Philadelphia and the Ship Good Instant of Dublin bound for Philadelphia aforesaid and Jurs. goods and Merchandize those on board good Ship & Sloop belonging to the Subjects of our Lord the King & feloniously and Piratically take seize and carry away



That on or about the   day of december the said Wm. Howard and others of his Associates did Pyraticaly take and Seize the Ship Concord of Saint Malo comanded by Capt. d'Ocier belonging to the Subjects of the French King near the Island of Saint Vincent in the West Indies and having Rob'd and Feloniously Spoil'd the said Subjects of the French King of their Merchandize and Effects consisting of Negros, Gold dust money, Plates, and Jewels did Carry away the said Ship and Convert the Same towards the Carrying on and Prosecuting the said Pyratical designs.



That whereas his Sacred Majty. by his Royal Proclamation bearing date at Hampton Court the 5th day of Septr. and in the fourth year of his Reign was graciously pleasd to promise and declare that all Pyrates Surrendering themselves to Any of his Majtys. Principal Secrs. od State in Great Brittain or Ireland or to any Government or Deputy Govr. of his Majtys. Plantations Beyond the Seas Should have Majtys. most Gracious Pardon for Such Pyracys by them Committed before the fifth of January then  ensuing nevertheless the said Wm. Howard not being Ignorant of his Majtys. Gracious Intentions declared in the said Proclamation but Disposing his Majtys. gracious Royal offers of Mercy did after the said fifth of Jany. continue to Perpetrate his wicked and Pyratical designs and sundry time and places more Particularly he the said Wm Howard in Company with the afforesaid Edwd Tach and other their Confederates and associates in the Afforesaid Ship called the Concord of St. Malo and afterwards denominated by the said Pyrates by the name of Queen Anns Revenge on or about the month of June? And a Sloop B??p?y by Subjects of this King of Spain upon the high Seas & Carry? the ?pd of Cabe did pyratically take wares & ?ame?? Pa??? and also in the 1718 the Brigantine ___ of London bound on a Voyage from Guinea to South Carolina in and upon the high Seas near the Coast of the said province Did pyraticaly take and Divers Negro slaves & other goods and Merchandze. belonging to the Subjects of our Said Lord the King did then and there Feloniously take Seize & carry away.