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Deposition of Richard Stiles, James Blake, James White, & Thomas Gates—12 Mar 1719

Depositions – Stiles, Blake, White, & Gates—12 Mar 1719

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In pursuant of an order of Council dated April the 4 1719 Tobias Knight Esqr Secty of this province and a member of the Council attended this Board to make answer to the several Depossitions and other Evidences mentioned in the aforsd order which sd Depossitions and Evidences were read in the following words Copy of several Depossitions and other Evidences given before the Court of Admiralty Constituted by Commission under the Great Seal for hearing and determining Piracy for the Colony of Verginia the 12th day of March 1718 for the tryal of James Blake, Alias Jemmy and other pirates late of the Crew of Edward Thache        late master of the sloop Adventure Comand by Edward Thache being sworn and Examined Deposed that he was on Board the sd Sloop Adventure at the takeing of Two ffrench Ships in the month of August last past and that all the prisoners at the Barr were on Board the Said Sloop and bore armes under Thache at the time of the sd Piracy That Thache plundered one of the ships of some Cocoa and the other brought in with him to North Carolina haveing first put her Crew on Board the ship first mentioned that soone after Thache's arrival at Ocacock Inlet he went in a periangor with foure of the prisoners by name Richd Stiles James Blake James White and Thomas Gates to Mr Tobias Knight Secty of North Carolina carrying with him a present of Chocolate Loaf Sugar and Sweet meats being part of what was taken on Board the ffrench ships above mentioned and that upon Thaches return from Mr Knight the Deponant Sawe divers goods brought in the pariangor which Thache sd he bought in the Country but the Deponant afterwards hearing that one William Bell had been robbed and understanding as well by common report as by discourse with sd Bell what kind of Goods he had been robbed of the Deponant knew them to be the same which Thache had brought on board his sloop but durst not discover to the sd Bell who had robbed him

The four prisoners being asked whether they knew of the robbery of Bells Periangor acknowlegeth that the Same time in September they went from Ocacock in a periange with Edward Thache to the house of Tobias Knight Secty of North Carolina and carried in the said periangor three or foure Caggs of Sweet meets Some Loaf Sugar a bagg of Chocolate and Some boxes the Contents of which they did not know that they got to the sd Knight house about Twelve or one a Clock in the Night and carried up the caggs and boxes afsd which were all left there except one cagg of Sweet meets which was carried back in the periangor that the sd Knight was then at home and the sd Thache staid with him til about an hour before the break of day and then departed that about three miles from the sd Knights house at a place called Chesters landing they saw a periangor lying near the shore upon which Thache ordered them to rowe up towards her saying he would goe a shore to Chesters house but when he came up with the said periangor (in which were a white man a boy and an Indian) Thache asked them for a dram and immediately Jumped into the periangor and after some dispute plundered her carying away with him some money one cask of pipes a Cask of rum or Brandy Some Linen and other things and then the sd Thache Comanded the sd prisoners to rowe away for Ocacock Inlet instead of going a shore at Chesters as he at first gave out he intended.


[NC court added:]

And this Board haveing taken the whole into their Serious Consideration and it appearing to them that the foure Evidences called by the names of James Blake Richd Stiles James White and Thomas Gates were actually no other then foure negroe Slaves [testimony of slaves was considered inadmissible in court in the 18th century] and since Executed as in the remonstiances is set forth and that the other Evidences so far as it relate to the sd Tobias Knight are false and malitious and that he hath behaved himself in that and all other affairs wherein he hath been intrusted as becomes a good and faithful Officer and thereupon it is the opinion of this Board that he is not guilty and ought to be acquited of the sd Crimes and every of them laid to his charge as aforsd



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