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Petition of John Hollidge and Stephen Courtney of Bristol, owners of 140-ton Ship Charles Galley

Petition – Bristol Merchants about Charles Galley —21 Sep 1717

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SP 35/9/168 - Petition of John Hollidge and Stephen Courtney of Bristol, owners of 140-ton Ship Charles Galley


To the King's Most Excellent Majesty


The humble Petition of John Hollidge & Stephen Courtney of Bristol Merchants on behalf of themselves & the rest of the Owners of the Ship Charles Galley of the Burthen of about 140 Tons & carrying Six Guns & Nineteen Men Charles Porter late Master.



That in November last the Said Ship Sailed on a voyage from Bristol to Ireland there to load Provisions for Barbados & Jamaica, which were accordingly landed at the said Islands.

That besides your loaded on board her at Bristol sundry dry Goods & at Barbadoes purchased & took on board some Rum & Sugar, & finding no Freight at the said Islands, their said Master resolved to proceed thence for Carolina, there to load a Cargo of Pitch, Tarr & Rice for Bristol or London & in prosecution of the said Voyage about the 23.d of January following near the Island of Pines met with a Pyrate Sloop commanded by one Benjamin Hornigold, who gaves chase to your Pet.r's Ship to the Leeward eight & forty hours.

That by reason thereof the said Ship was got so far to the Westward in the Bay of Mexicoe [Gulf of Mexico] that it would take up a long time to turn to Windward, & therefore fearing that he might want Water, your Pet.r's said Master designed to touch at the Island of Trest [Triste, a favorite logwood-cutting pirate base—later called Isla del Carmen or Carmen Island, in the Laguna de Términos of Campeche *] there to fill Water, but that in making towards the Said Island he was met with by a Spanish Man of War called the St. John Baptist Capt. John Albertus Commander, who commanded your Pet.r's said Master on board him & there detained, & carried him together with the said Ship & the Goods & Things then on board mentioned in the Schedule hereunto annexed to la Vera Cruz, where their said Master was detained Prisoner for two & twenty Days, during which time their said Goods were taken out & discharged, & the said Goods together with the said Ship were confiscated & converted to the use of the Spaniards.

That tho' your Pet.r's said Master did petition the Vice King & therein set forth his Case, & pray to be relieved & released from the said unjust Seziure; yet he could not obtain any Answer thereto, & the pretence for the seizing & confiscating of the said Ship & Cargo viz. That she was bound to the Bay of Campeachy there to cut Wood being most false & untrue, as by the annext affidavit more at large appears.

Your most humbly beg leave to lay the Hardships & Injustice done to your Subjects in this unjust Seizure & Confiscation before your most Sacred Majesty for your wize & just Consideration, & pray your most gracious protection & Relief, & that your Maj:ty will so effectually interpose with the King of Spain in their behalf, that they may obtain full satisfaction for their Losses & Damages occasioned thereby.

and your shall ever pray v&.




Certificate of Diego de Alarcon y Ocana - 18 Mar 1717

Deposition of Charles Porter, master of 140-ton Ship Charles Galley

Deposition of Fflewelling and Rowe 11 Sep 1717


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· The timing of this event coincides with New Spain’s new Viceroy Baltasar de Zúńiga y Guzmán, 1st Duke of Arión, 2nd Marquess of Valero’s recovery of Triste from pirates on July 16, 1717 with a fleet of nine Spanish warships:

· Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Mexico, Vol. XI (San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Company, Publishers, 1883), 82, 146, 162, 224, 292-293; Since 1632, English and French buccaneers attacked all of New Spain, but Campeche had always been especially troublesome for viceroys of New Spain at Vera Cruz. In 1669, Spanish slaves rose up and decimated Campeche, and in 1670s Campeche was continually set upon by English pirates, who enjoyed protection from Gov. Thomas Lynch of Jamaica. In 1680, English and French logwood pirates, were expelled from the Laguna de Términos and in 1690, the Spanish fortified Isla la Triste or today’s Carmen Island with artillery. Wood-cutters returned in two years, but Conde de Galve reinforced the garrison there and repelled them again. Soon, the pirates returned. Page 292: "A favorite rendezvous of these adventurers was the Isla Triste, or as it is now known the Isla del Carmen, at the entrance of the bay of Terminos. During the war of the Spanish succession they frequently attacked Spanish vessels trading between Campeche and Vera Cruz. When pirates again became a nuisance after the Hurricane of 1715, another minor attempt to clear them was made in 1716, but again, like the pests that Spaniards had always perceived them to be, they returned. The new Viceroy in Vera Cruz, Baltasar de Zúńiga y Guzmán, 1st Duke of Arión, 2nd Marquess of Valero, then launched "an expedition… despatched from Mexico by way of Vera Cruz to Campeche, and being reenforced by the troops stationed there, drove the intruders from all their settlements on the bay of Terminos. The attack was made on the 16th of July 1717, the feast of the virgin of Carmen, and hence the island [formerly Triste] received its name." Page 293: "A large amount of booty was wrested from the buccaneers, many of whom were slain, those who escaped harboring in Belize [in Bay of Honduras], where, being joined by others of their craft, they organized a force of three hundred and thirty-five men and returned to the bay of Terminos. Landing on the Isla del Carmen they sent a message to Alonso Felipe de Andrade, the commander of the Spanish fort which had been erected during their absence, ordering him to withdraw his garrison. The reply was that the Spaniards had plenty of powder and ball with which to defend themselves. The freebooters made their attack during the same night and captured the stronghold without difficulty, taking three of the four field pieces with which it was defended. But Andrade was a brave and capable officer, and his men were no dandy warriors. Placing himself at the head of his command he led them against the enemy, forced his way into the fort, recaptured one of the field pieces, and turned it against the foe. During the fight a building filled with straw was set on fire by a hand grenade. This incident favored the Spaniards, who now made a furious charge on the invaders. Their commander was shot dead while leading on his men; but exasperated by the loss of their gallant leader, they sprang at the buccaneers with so fierce a rush that the latter were driven back."