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Deposition – Thomas Pyke of Cassandra - 9 Nov 1721

Deposition – Thomas Pyke of Cassandra - 9 Nov 1721

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Information of Thomas Pyke, Nov. 9, 1721, Correspondence Memoranda, No. 7 (1720-1721), East India Co. MSS (now in the British Library, IOR/D/97, ff. 722-725):


At a Com[mi]tee. of Shipping ye 9th. Novr. 1721


Tho. Pyke who went out a Souldier on the Casssandra (that was taken by the Pyrates [England & Seager] that have lately ben in the East Indies) being now return'd free to England by way of the West Indies being Examin'd Says as follows Vizt.

That himself & 10 or 11 more Sould[ie]rs. & Seaman being wounded & Sick (up in the Country at Johanna) were left behind by Capt. Macrae who sail'd in the Ship left him by the Pyrats. the Next day after they went -

He & the rest left stay'd there 'til 17th of Novr. last -































A Grab man'd with black Arabs ["Black Sea" Arabs? or a ref. to free blacks in the maritime trade] from Potti [Poti] [1] on the Coast of Arabia [Ottoman Georgia?] comeing in to Johanna being bound to Madagascar[,] He & 3 more - Vizt. John Cook & Francis Blackmore Seamen & John Gilligan a Sold[ie]r. went upon her thither to the River Aboyne [old Muslim settlement] where the Grab traded - He stay'd there 1 Night & 1 day & then Travell'd overland to ye No East of the Island - in 2 days & a Night & got to ye King's Town where was Kindly received by the King [Ratocaffe?] & all the blacks & after he stay'd there 2 days was Conducted by the blacks to the Port or Harbor of Massalege [Massailly (Bombetoke Bay)] (abo[u]t. 24 Miles from King's Town.) where lay the Ship Henrietta burth[e]n. abo[u]t. 170 Tons (but had then but 14 Men) being from London Capt Hebbart Comandr. her chief Owner being Mr. Smallwood of Wappin - The sd. Ship was formerly Called the Gascoigne wch she had Bristol Owners But Now has None but Lond[o]n. Owners Except one Capt. Baker of Bristol -

























There was No Apprehension or fear of Pyrats comeing there. -

The Henrietta had ben at Port St. Mary's (as he heard whilst aboard) & had Traded wth. Capt. Condon ye Pyrat (in the Firey Dragon [only source for this name and it is second-hand] who had 56 Guns & abo[u]t. 500 Men Whites & Blacks [certainly an exaggeration; only 83 were aboard immediately after capturing the Mocha ship]) from whom she had Cowries, Pepper, Callicos, Mirh, & ca East India Goods (taken by Condon from a Dutch Ship). for which (in return) Condon had of the Henrietta wine & ca she haveing be'n at the Maderas -

He said Condon left a Letter behind him at Port St. Marys to ye English that shou'd happen to touch there that they shou'd Use the Blacks Kindly or he wou'd be revenged of them -

The Henrietta also Traded with one John Lambert a Pyrat at Madagascar [at Bombetok Bay? Or St. Marys?] (who was formerly Boatsw[ai]n. of the Victory & left on the Island) to whom the Henrietta sold a Great Many Chests of Arms Wine & ca

He with the other 3 went on the Henrietta from Messalege [Massailly at Bombetok Bay] to Farninbuck on Brazil Where not Suffer'd to Trade but for provisions

from thence went to Barbados (& the other 3 men Dy'd in the Passage) where Arived abo[u]t. 22nd. or 25th. of May last[.] Went in with a White flag at Top mast head (being a Privat Signal) when came in was ask'd whence came you [-] Answer was from Guinea, upon which the persons shook their heads & said she came from Madagascar - She was Consigned to Messrs. Raymond & Harper merchts. there - Mr. Raymond came aboard & was in Conference with the Capt. 1 hour & 1/2 - 2 days after she Arived the Kings officers were sent aboard to stop her & the President sent for all the Men a Shoar & Examin'd them  (but he Pike was not Exam'd being but a Passingr.) after the Examinacon 4 of ye Ships Compa. Vizt. Wm Sellers Calker, Sam'll Moody - Tho Steward & one Francis _______ were sent by the Captn. aboard the Rose Man of War Capt. [Thomas] Whitn[e]y Comdr.-

The Captn. of ye Henrietta gave the Presid[en]t. a Man & Woman Slaves & beleive other Presents so the Henrietta was Released in 8 hours time & went for New York in Virginia & may be Expected in ye River of Thames between this & Christmas.

He (Pyke) came in the Priscilla & Mary of Topsham from Barbados (? last from Antegoa) & Arived at Topsham 13 Octobr. last /


[1] In 1578, the seaport of Poti was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The Turks, who knew the town as Faş, heavily fortified it and made it into one of their Caucasian outposts which was also home to a great slave market. A combined army of the western Georgian princes recovered Poti in 1640, but the town fell under the Ottoman sway again in 1723.



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