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Deposition of William Slade (mstr. Guinea Hen) — 3 Jun 1719

Depositions – William Slade - 3 June 1719

From CO 31/15 (CO 31 - Colonial Office and predecessors: Barbados, Sessional Papers), ff. 13-19


This deposition was originally taken in Barbados after the return of the sloop Guinea Hen of Barbados.

in Carlisle Bay in this Island; of Joseph Peile Mate[,] Richard Smith Doctor, John Lottie Cooper, George Barnett & John Shoe Smith Marriners belonging to the Said Sloop, taken this third day of June 1719.

by Order of his Excellency Robert Lowther Esqr: his Majesties Captain General & Governour in Cheif of this & Other the Charribbee Islands to Windward of Guardaloupe & Chancellour of ye Same before Me John Lenoir  Esqr: Deputy Secretary of this Island & One of the Masters of the High & hon:ble Court of Chancery for this Island Established; Who being all Duely Sworne On the holy Evangelists Depose as followeth Vizt.

The Depon:t William Slade for himself Saith that he ye Depont Was on or about the Twenty Seventh day of Novembr: 1718. - Employed in this Island by Thomas Shawe & Henry Warner of Bridge towne in this Island owners of the Sloop Guinea hen abovementioned to proceed as Master or Commander of the Said Sloop On a Voyage from this Island to the Coast of Guinea in Africa there to Trade & Dispose of the said Sloops Cargo for Slaves, Gold & Teeth, & to Return to this Island with the said Sloop; and the Deponent William Slade further Saith that these Other Deponents, Joseph Peile, Richard Smith, John Lottie, George Burne & John Shoesmith were all Shipt & Employed by him the Depont. William Slade to proceed & Act in ye Said Voyage According to their Severall Station's & Employments that they were Shipt for, and all these Deponents to Doe Joyntly Depose & Say, that they these Depts being Employed & Shipt to proceed on the Voyage aforesaid together with David Williams Second Mate & Carpenter Richard Hicks Boatswaine, Richard Luntley, William Green, James Knox, Thomas Bonamy & William Dunken Marriner's (Who were also Shipt & Employed in their Said Several Stations to proceed in the Sd: Sloop on the Sd: Voyage but afterwards left ye Sd: Sloop on the Coast) Did on or about the Twenty Third Day of December in the Year aforesaid take their Departure from this Island in the Sd: Sloop then loaded with her Outward bound Cargo belonging also to the Said Thomas Shaw and Henry Warner More particularly Mentioned in a Certain Invoice thereof to this Deposition Annext and undersigned by the Deponent William Slade, And these Deponents Do all further Joyntly Say and Depose that they having thus taken their Departure from this Island in ye Sd: Sloop, they proceeded on that Said Intended Voyage, and Arrived Upon the Coast of Guinea Sometime in the Month of ffebry 1718 [1719]. aforesaid & there began to Trade, And these Deponents Memory's a Ship Came Up the Sd: River, and Came to an Anchor & Saluted the fort and Immediately afterwards the Captain Or Cheif Officer of the Said Shipp (as these Deponents were informed) Went on Shoar and Acquainted the Company's agent there, that he with his Said Ship were Drove off the Coast of Barbarry Where he had been trading for Gumm [Gum Olibanum or Frankincense?], and that he Came in there for Wood & Water; That he having told this plausible Story and the Agent belonging to the Said ffort Giving Credit to what was told him, And these Depon:ts at that time Suspecting Nothing he the said Cap:tn Or Cheife Officer of the Said Ship together with his Men Surprized & took ye Said ffort and the Said Agent & these Deponents found & Discovered them to be Pyrates, That the Said Capt:n of the Sd: Pirate Ship with his Company Immediately after they had So Surprized and taken ye Sd: ffort & Sloop, they Plundered & Ransacked the Sd: ffort & Sloop of Every thing they thought fitt for them, and Sett the Said ffort On ffire; thereby burning & Destroying goods & Effects to a Great Value; And these Deponents Do all[?] further Jointly Say that about the 27:th of the Said Month of ffebruary in the Year 1718 [1719] aforesaid, A Sloop Came into the Said River, which Proved to be another Gang of Pyrates[, which] Consorts with the Other Pyrates, and they left the Said Sloop & Went on board the Said Ship; That the Pyrates having Trade with with the Negroes in that place by Purchasing fresh Provisions with the Goods that they had taken from the ffort & the Sloop Guinea hen, And having filled themselves with Gunn's[,] Ammunition[,] & Provisions On the Seventh Day of March following having Weighed their Anchor, they proceeded to Go out of the River, And forced these Deponents with them, and in the Evening brought the Said Ship & Sloop Guinea Hen to an Anchor at the Month of the River, That on the Eight Day of the Same Month of March Another Pyrates Company [LeVasseur in Rising Sun?] Arrived at the Mouth of the River in a Briganteen, Which Ship and Briganteen Consorted together, and on the Tenth of that Instant went to Sea, having Obliged the Deponent William Slade at the perill of his life to Pilott out the great Ship, And these Depon:ts further Say that On the Twelfth of the Said Month of March, The Pyrates (being then at Sea) permitted these Deponents to go on board their Said Sloop Guinea Hen, That the Said Pyrates (Vizt:) the Ship & Briganteen after they had forced the above named David Williams the Second Mate and Carpenter of the Said Sloop, James Knox, Thomas Bonamy & William Dunken Marriners belonging to ye Said Sloop On board their Vessell, and Also Carryed with them three Other persons belonging to the Said Sloop (Viz.t) Roger Hicks Boatswaine, Richard Luntley & William Green Marriners Which last Mentioned three persons these Depon:ts verily beleive went with the Said pyrates Voluntarily and without Compulsion (they the Said pyrates left these Depon:ts in the Sd: Sloop Guinea hen; That the Said Sloop Guinea hen being there left by the aforesd: Pyrates without Wood Or Water Sufficient to Carry these Depon:ts to any Other Port on the Coast but Serraleon [Sierra Leone], that being the first Port to Leeward[.] These Deponents proceeded thither with a Design to Wood & Water, and then to proceed for this Island of Barbados[.] And these Depon:ts further Say, that about the 19th of ye Sd: Month of March as they were a going into the Said Port of Serraleon, they mett with Two Ships a Working out [transferring cargo?] the One proved to be another Pyrate, and the Other Ship that Pyrates Prize, being a Ship belonging to this Island Named the Two ffriends Commanded by Capt:n William Elliot, Which two Ships Commanded these Depon:ts to bring their Sloop to an Anchor, and the Day following in the Morning the Said Pyrates Seized the Said Sloop for the Use of an hospital Ship, they putting their Sick People On board of ye Sd. Sloop, After Which they Immediately Weighed Anchor Carrying these Depon:ts Up the River with them to Bence Island, to Assist the Pyrate Brigantine their Consort, Which had Chased Up that River Seven Saile of Trading Ships & Vessels, Vizt: One Briganteen belonging to Antigua Commanded by One Capt:n Bennett, two Ships Commanded by two Masters Named Cradons [Creighton], the One belonging to London, the Other to Bristoll, One Snow Commanded by Capt:n Morris belonging to Bristoll, One Other Ship belonging to London Commanded by Capt:n Thompson, One Other Ship belonging to London Commanded by a french Man, And One Other Ship belonging to London Named the Sarah Gally Commanded by Capt:n Lamb. That these trading Ships having Run Up the River to Escape the Pyrates, The Pyrates Made after them in the aforesaid Ship & Briganteen, and Coming Up with them the Commanders of these Trading Ships with Most of their People Quitted their Ships & Went on Shoar, And they together with the Company's Agent fled from the Fort, and Run into the Countrey to Save themselves, that the Pyrates Officers Coming to the ffort & finding but One Man there, they Writt a Letter to the afores:d Merch:ts and Agent to Come Down and take possession of their Ships and ffort, But two of the Master's (Vizt.) Capt. Bennett and Capt. Thompson Refusing to Come Down at the Pyrates Call[.] The Pyrates Sett their Vessells on fire And Burnt them, That the Pyrates after they had fitted their Ships & put the Briganteen's Company On board of the London Ship Called the Sarah Galley & Quitted the Briganteen they went Down the River where they Stayed Sometime, and took three Ships More Viz:t The Bird Gally Capt, Snelgrave Commander[,] a french Ship bound for Widdah & a Company's Ship named the Dispatch Capt. Wilson Commander, And On the Twenty fifth of the sd: Month of April put out to Sea; That On the Twenty-Seventh of the Said Month, The Pyrates being at Sea, having Carryed with them Capt:n Elliot with his Ship, and these Deponents with the Said Sloop Guinea hen, They permitted these Depon:ts in the Said Sloop to part with them Which those DeponentsReadily Did, And these Depon:ts Do all further Say & Depose that the aforesaid Pyrates Did at Several times & at Several places On the Coast of Guinea, Dureing the time that these Depon:ts were kept & Detained by ye Said Pyrates from their first being taken to the time they were permitted to Leave them Riffled the Sd: Sloop & Seized on & took out of the Said Sloop Such Part of her Cargo as they thought proper against the Consent Or Approbation of these Deponents And these Deponents futher Say That the aforesaid Pyrates Did at Several times & places On the Coast of Guinea aforesaid Dureing the time That these Deponents with the Said Sloop were Compelled to Stay with them putt On board ye Sd: Sloop Such Goods and Merchandizes as they Judged not Usefull to them Which Goods & Merchandizes So as aforesaid putt On board the Said Sloop by the Said Pyrates These Deponent's were Compelled to Receive On board the Said Sloop by the Sd: Pyrates, And Lastly These Depon:ts Say & Depose That there is Endorsed on the back of the aforesaid Invoice of the Said Sloops Outward bound Cargo a true Account of Such of the Goods belonging to the Said Sloop's Cargo as were taken out of the Said Sloop by the Said Pyrates and Also of Such Goods Or Merchandizes as were putt On board the Said Sloop by the Sd: Pyrates Which these Depon:ts Were Compelled to Receive Which Invoice of the Sd. Sloops Outward bound Cargo & the aforesaid Acco:t [account] Endorsed on the back thereof is to this Deposition, And further Say & Depose That they these Depon:ts in ye Said Sloop Guinea hen Did Immediately After they were permitted to leave ye Sd: Pyrates Bear away for & Came Directly to this Island without Speaking with any Ship Or Vessel in their passage hither till they Arrived in Carlisle Bay in this Island & that all & Every the Goods So as afores:d putt On board ye Sd: Sloop by the pyrates afores:d which these Depon:ts were So Compelled to Receive as aforesaid & particularly Mentioned in the Endorsement made on the back of the Said Invoice hereunto Annext & therein Said to be Reced from the Pyrates afores:d were brought in the said Sloop Guinea hen to Carlisle bay in this Island & ye Same Now are On board ye Sd: Sloop Where She now lyes at Anchor Without any Imberlement[?] whatsoever to the best of these Depon:ts knowledge & beleife.


Sworne before Me this                              W:m Slade

3:d Day of June 1719.                              Joseph Peile

John Lenoir                                               Rich:d Smith

Magistr: in Cancell.                                      his

                                                                Jno: Totte



                                                                George Burne


                                                                John Shoesmith



To his Excellency Robert Lowther Esqr his Majesties Capt:n General in Cheife of this & Other the Carribbee Islands to Windward of Guardaloupe &c.

I the within Named William Slade Commander of the Sloop within Mentioned Do humbly Certifie to Your Excellency that the Severall Goods Mentioned in the within Information to have been put on board ye Sd: Sloop Guinea hen by Pyrates are now Ob board her and are in My Custody and that I am Willing to Deliver & Surrender them to Your Or to Such person as Yo:r Excell:cy Will be pleased to Appoint to Receive ye Same frome Me, And I will Accordingly Deliver the Same by Inventory and Will make Oath when Required by Your Excellency of the Truth of Such Inventory. - Witness Nby hand this fourth day of June 1719.

                                        W:m Slade


John Lenoir

Samuel Wadeson


Barradas [Barbados], Decemb:r 13:th 1718.

Invoice of Merchandize Shipt by Thomas Shawe & Henry Warner on board the Sloop Guinea Hen Capt:n William Slade bound from herree to the Coast of Guinea in Africa, On the proper Acco:t of the Said Thomas Shawe & Henry Warner Each One half.


Seven hhds [hogsheads] four Tierces & three Barr:lls of Rum

GxH.No. 1. a hhd [hogshead] q:ta... 113 Gall:s Rum

        2. Do.....................  119.

        3. Do.....................  111.

        4. a T:s..................  70 1/2

        5. a hhd..................  106.

        6. Do ....................  107.

        7. Do.....................  106.

        8. Do ....................  106.1/2

        9. a T:s .................  81.

        10. Do....................  81.

        11. Do....................  82.1/2

        12. a Barr:ll.............  51.

        13. Do. ..................  47.

        14. Do....................  53.

        ------------------------------------                 L

                                   1234. 1/2 Gall:s Rum at 2.6

        ------------------------------------ & Gall:n ............ L 154.6.3


                                                                No: 15.