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Thomas Walker (letter) at Charles Town, SC—5 Aug 1716

Depositions – Thomas Walker—5 Aug 1716

BELLIN Carte de Golphe du Mexique et des Isles de l'Amerique - Pour servir a l'Histoire Generale des Voyages... Paris (1754)

Reference: SP 42/16/2

Description: Enclosing copy of letter (5 August 1716) from Mr Walker 'Judge of the Admiralty in those Parts', and affidavits received from South Carolina giving an account of the actions of English pirates in the Bahama Islands.

Date:        1717 Jan 19


A Copy of a Letter from Mr. Walker in So. Carolina dated Augt. 5. 1716.

To the Lords Comrs. of the Admiralty.


I was formerly directed by his Excell:cy Genl. Nicholson to Render your Lordshps an Account of the state & Condition of the Bohamia [Bahama] Islands, which has a long time been without Government, the want of which has laid those Islands open to be a Receptacle and Shelter of Pirates & Loose fellows, & gives the Inhabitans as well as trading Vessels from other parts the Liberty & Opportunity of inriching themselves by siding & dealing with them, Entertaining & Releiving such Villains, who from time to time Resort there to sell & dispose of these piratical goods, & profusely Spend what the take from the English, French, & mostly from the Spaniards, & as I am an Inhabitant of New Providence have been an Eye witness to thse illegal and unwarrantable practices Committed both by Pirates & Inhabitants & Others trading there, & have used the utmost of my Endeavours to put by & prevent them, as also by my going to the Havana have been a means of preventing the Design of the provoked Spaniards coming to Cut those Islands off for the Piracies that have been since the Peace comitted even by some of the Inhabitants, as will more fully appear to your Lordps by the deposition of Richard Ward, a Copy of which is here inclosed to your Lordps.

The Pirates daily increasing to Providence, & having began to mount the Guns in the Fort for their defence, & Seeking the Oportunity to kill me, because I was against their illegal, and unwarrantable practices, and by no means would Consent to the mounting of Guns in the said Fort upon such Accounts, I was thereupon forced with my wife and family to quit the Island to my great Expence & damage & the latter part of June last arrived safe to this Province, where I remain upon Expence, in hopes that his Majesty will be graciously pleased to take those Islands under his Care & protection the better to prevent them from being a Receptacle &ca; and that the said Islands may become the Seat of Government, a flourishing Plantation, & a port of Lawful Trade & Commerce, being well Scituated, and under a wholsome Climate for his Majtys Subjects to live & injoy their healths, & make Improvement for them selves and posterity.

His Honour the Govr: of this Province has lately granted Comms. against the Pirates that Resort at Providence, by virtue of which Comision, the grand Pirate Capt. Benjn: Hornigold's man of war's Sloop of Ten Guns is taken and destroyed, tho he has Escaped himself; this Step in some measure has disabled him from doing such damage upon the high Seas, as he would have done if he had continued his Comand in the said Sloop which did accomodate 135. men. When he last sailed out of Providence, & by the Same Comission granted as aforesaid, great Quantities of piratical goods Traded for at Providence was Respited, seized, & taken & brought into this Port, & most justly condemned, which has been of great service to his Majty, & the said Govr. by his granting such Comissions I hope will put a stop to the Islands of Providence falling wholly under the Comand, & into the hands & possession of Pirates, as twas like to do, when I left the place, & seemingly the Pirates increasing & growing so strong under the Resolution of Fortifying & Strenghening the the place, & having got to so great a head, that consequently will put ye Crown to some Expence & charge to reduce and subdue them, if speedy measures be not taken from hence, & some other Governmnts. to put a Stop to their designs, & if let alone will be of evil consequence.

Here inclosed to yr. L:dps is the deposition of Thos. Walker Junr: taken before his Honour the Govr: of this Province, to fully make appear to your Ldps. how I was treated by Hornigold the Pirate, & Other of his Society, together with the Reasons or Cause of my coming from Providence to this Province.