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Admiralty to Clerk of Council—5 Oct 1721

Letters – Admiralty to Clerk of Council-5 Oct 1721

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ADM 7/339 (NC call #73.1819.2-8)


Admiralty Office to Clerk of Council - 5 October 1721

Report on Lieut. Maynard's Petition relating to the taking of Thatch the Pirate


His Majesty having been pleased by His Order in Council dated the 24th: of August last to refer unto Us the Petition of Lieutt: Robert Maynard late Lieutt: of his Majys: Ship the Pearl and Thomas Tucker then Master's Mate of the same Ship in behalf of themselves & Sundry others setting forth that being orderd by Captain Gordon in November 1718 then Comander of the said Ship at Virginia, to sail with two Sloops in pursuit of Thatch a Pirate commonly calld Blackbeard, and that after a Desperate Engagement they took him, and carried his Head into Virginia where his Sloop & Cargo was Sold for above £2500, And that the Government of Virginia made an Act by which £100 was promised for the Head of Blackbeard, £20 for each Officer's Head and for every private Man's Head killd or taken £10, as a reward to the Captors, amounting to the Sume of £350 or £360, One of which Sumes was paid to the aforesaid Captain Gordon & to Captain Brand Commaner of the Lyme

That the said Commanders contrary to reason or Equity as the Petitioners humbly conceive, distributed the said Reward among all the Officers & Men belonging to both the Ships of War, altho' none but they did or could Share in the action, the Inlet being at least Seventy Leagues distant from the Place where his Majys: Ships lay, to the great discouragement of the Captors who only exposed their Lives, and had not above £150 amongst them all, and forasmuch as they have not hitherto had any further or other consideration for the Service they have perform'd, therefore most humbly pray that his Majesty will be graciously pleased to grant them the Benefit & Advantage of such Bounty as hath been given to other Captors on the like occasions at home, together with Such Shares & parts of the Prize Money beforemntioned as to his Royal Wisdom & Justice shall seem meet.

We have in obedience to his Majts: Commands considerd of what is alleged in the said Petition, and do most humbly report to his Majesty that the Petitioner Lieutt: Maynard was with several of the Pearls Men together with others belonging to his Majts: Ship the Lyme sent in Search of the aforesaid Pirate Thatch, by whom his Sloop was taken and himself and Several of his Men killd, But it is affirm'd to Us by Captain Gordon that the Proceed of the said Sloop & Goods amounted to no more than £1200 or thereabouts of Virginia Money; And that of the Bounty Money promised by the Government of Virginia the Governor Kept a twelfth part thereof to distribute among the two Masters of the Sloops he had hired at his own Charge for the Expedition & their Crews, they amounting to the twelfth part of the whole Numb?? of Men that went with Lieutenant Maynard.

That the said Captain Gordon & Captain Brand of the Lyme receiving £33.13.4 for both the Ships Companies, it was concluded that such Men who were not permitted Voluntarily to go in Search pf the Pirate were as much at their Duty as those who were permitted to go, And therefore, as hath been usual in time of War divided the aforesaid Sume amongst them all, with this difference only, that Captain Gordon gave every Farthing of his Share to Lieutenant Maynard and the People sent with him, which made the Foremast Men's Shares, who were So with him £1.13.6 Whereas those who was forced to Stay to look after the Safety of the Ship had but Seven Shillings & Six pence each, and that he doubled Lieutenant Maynard's Share what did actually of right appertain to him; And that over and above the Petitioner Lieutt: Maynard Shared between himself & Men Some Gold Dust, Plate and other things found on board the Pirate Sloop before he return'd to the Ship, his own part amountin as Captain Gordon hath been informed to about Ninety Pounds, & his contrary to the Orders he received from him & from Captain Brand and before the Court of Admiralty could determine any Right or Property to the aforesaid Pirate's Effects.

This being the Case as it hath been represented to Us, We do most humbly report to his Majesty that in regard many of the Men who belong'd to the aforesaid Ships Pearl & Lyme were as willing to proceed in quest of the Pirate as those who were as willing actually Sent they had a right to an equal Share with them of the Proceed of the Sloop & Goods and of the Reward given by the Government of Virginia for the Service perform'd.

And We further most humbly report that hise Majesty was graciously pleased by his Proclamation bearing date the 5th: Day of September 1717 to promise that if any Person or Persons should on or before the 6th Day of September 1718 discover or Seize or cause or procure, to be discover'd or Seized any one or more Pirates Such Person or Persons so making such discovery or Seizure should have and receive as a Reward for the Same Vizt: For every Comdr: of any Pirate Ship of Vessel the Sume of £100, For every Lieutt:, Master, Boatswain, Carpenter, Gunner the Sume of £40. For every Inferior Officer the Sume of £30 and for every private Man the Sume of £20; And that the Captains Officers & Men who actually belong'd to the aforesaid Ships Pearl & Lyme are intitled to the Same, upon their making it appear what Number of Officers & Men belonging to the aforesaid Pirate Ship were either Seized or Slain in the Action, in regard the said Service was perform'd after the time which the said Proclamation declares such Rewards should take place. All which is most humbly Submitted to his Majesty.


Admiralty Office, 5 October 1721, Sent to the Clerk of the Council


        J Jennings J Cockburne Cha Wager

                Byde J Burchett

The Officers of the Pearl & Lyme are intitled to the Reward promised by his Majts: Proclamation for taking of Pirates.

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