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Vincent Pearse to Admiralty—3 Jun 1718

Letters – Vincent Pearse to Admiralty—3 Jun 1718

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ADM 1/2282                           Phenix at New York 3d June 1718



I acquainted you in my last of the 4th March from Providence that I arrived there from this place the 23 Febry with His Masy Royal Proclamations for Suppressing the Pirates. I therein also gave you Account that four of their Commanders & one hundred & fourteen of their Companys had then Voluntarily Surrenderd themselves to me & accepted of his Maties most Gracious Pardon. Since that time Ninety more of them have done the like, a Compleat List of all their Names being two hundred and Nine in Number you'l herewith Receive the greatest part of which are Separated and gone to Several parts of America to Surrender themselves to Government.

But am heartily Sorry I cannot give their Lordships such a Satisfactory accot of the rest as I could wish, for on the 18 Vig March last in the Night two Gaungs of them being upwards of thirty in Number went away with two Boats from the Towne of Nassau and on the 22d [March] in the afternoon they took a Small Sloop from Jamiaca that was comeing into the Eastward upon information thereof I that Night sent my Pinnace Man'd & Arm'd to attack them on board the said Sloop, but they being too Strong she was Oblig'd after Exchanging Several Small Shott with them to returne aboard.

There was then in they harbour three Sloops ready to Sail for Carolina & Road Island, the Masters of which was under Apprehension that in case they should goe out by themselves they must inevitably fall into the hands of the said Pirates, therefore I sail'd for their protection on the 23 March and after I had Seen them safe off the Coast, I Return'd & Cruiz'd off the harbour and the Boobie Rock till the 30 [March] to Secure any trade that Should be bound in. During which time I prevented two Sloops from being taken by them. But I being then Short of Water I put into Providence the day following the said Pirate Sloop who had been out since the 24 Inst March came to an anch'r at the Eastermost part of the harbour with an other called the Lark which they had taken three Days before off Harbour Island on board of which they had Removed themselves, She being a good Sailor & Equipt with 2 Guns and 8 Patraroes, there was a Barr between me & them on which was no more than eight foot water which made them very Insolent.

The said Pirate Sloop was Commanded by one Cha Veine & Man'd with 45 Men, three of which was of my own Ships Company that deserted me & took on with them. She sail'd, but meeting with Strong Gale Northerly in my passage, and being Short of Water also, I was Oblig'd to put into Virginia on the 25 [April] of the said Inst, from whence I arriv'd here [New York] the 20 May.

Whilst the said Pirate Sloop was at Providence I Several times Summoned the Inhabitants together in His Maties name & us'd all the Arguments possible to prevail with them to assist me in Suppressing the said Pirate, but they always Rejected all Methods Impos'd, entertain'd and assisted them with provisions & necessarys & on all Occassions shew'd no small hatred to Government, which if an other Ship of Warr had been with me I should have been able to have prevented as also the rest from going out againe.

The number of Pirates that was on the Island when I first went there [23 Feb] was about 500 all Subjects of Great Britain & young Resolute Wicked fellows. I found then in the harbour two Dutch Ships one of 36 & the other of 26 Guns, one English Ship of Bristoll called the Mary Galley & the Fourth a french Ship of 30 Guns, two of them was fitt'd for the Sea, and was Resolv'd to goe out upon the accot againe, But finding they was disappointed by my arrival, they Burn't three of them when I went to See the aforesd Sloops safe off the Coast / and the other they Set adrift on Hogg Island where she now has Bilg'd.

The harb'r of Providence has two Entrances one to the Eastwd the other to the Wt Wd a Barr about 8 foot water into a thwart the Middle of the harb'r the Wt Wd part where I ?nd was 20 feet at Spring tides at Low Water there is not yet any Fortifications at either Entrance to defend the [s]ame & Believe the Governm't will find it Difficult to drive those people from thence & the other Islands without the assistance of a Small Man of Warr or two, & those very well Man'd there being many Small harbours & Keys where they can Ride in safety & Supply themselves with Water, and Just in the Way to intercept all Trade.

The Day after I sail'd from Providence I mett a Ship called the John & Elizabeth which was taken by the Pirates from the French in Octr last, and now Loaded with hides Piratically taken from the Dutch Since the 5 January, and In possession of some people who had been pirates, which I have Secur'd and brought here, and am proceeding against her according to Law Shall give their Lordships a particulr accot of what is done with her my Next.

John Nichols my Gunner Dy'd at Providence the 5 March last, and I have in pursuance of their Lordships Gen'l order appointed one Simon Ward my Masters Mate to Succeed him.

John Dye my Carpent'r being infirm & unCapable of performing his Duty, Represented his Condition to me the 24 Apl last, and desir'd he may be admitted to quitt his Imploy that he may Seek some means for the Recovery of his health. I have Consideration thereof Granted his Request & have appointed Griffin Williams late Carpenters Mate of the Shoreham to succeed him.

One Mr. Ignatious Brown late Super Cargo of the Alexander of London Tho. Spencer Master but last from Madeira with wine for Boston, and one Capt. Ant. French a passenger, arriv'd here four days Since & Report that they Sail'd from Madera the 11 March last and that on the 18 following was taken in the Lat. of 26 0 28' & Longt from Madera 10 0 57' Wt by a Pirate Sloop Called the Dragon and Commanded by one Congdon (which I gave their Lordships an acct Sail'd from Providence before my arrival there) she had 130 Men 12 Six pounders & 12 Swivel Guns Mounted, that three days after they had taken her they put the said Browne & French onboard a London Pink from Lisbon for Maryland which they had 16 Days in possession, that the said Pirates had detain'd the said Spencer & Company but promis'd as soon as they should take a Ship fitter for their turn he and Company should have their own Ship againe the Pirates talk'd of going to the Cape de Verd Islands & thence to Guinea & Brasill and they have already Mounted 22 Guns onboard the sd Ship Alexander.

I have my Complemt of Men & pritty well in health, I am


Sir Your mosdt Humble Sert


                  Vinc. Pearse


The names of the three Men that deserted me & took on with the Pirates are


         Robt. Hudson

         John Warren

         Tho. Kingston


Recd 10th July






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Capt. Vincent Pearse's List of Surrendered Pirates at New Providence


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List of the Names of such Pirates as Surrender'd themselves at Providence to Capt. Vincent Pearse Commander of His Ma.ties Ship Phenix & accepted of his Maj.ties most Gracious Pardon and had Certificates from the said Commander to carry theem to Some Government.  Note those that are mark'd thus + before their names [denoted here by boldface print] are gone out a Pirating again


Henry Barnes


William Rouse


William Chow


Joseph Fryers


Thomas Emly


Danl. Champeon


Joseph Clapp


Abra. Adams


Geo. Rouncifull


Nichl. Woodale


John [B/R]owell


Peter Goudet


Joseph Thompson


John Creigh


Edward Hays


William Willis


Mark Holmes


James Peterson


Wm. Roberts


Chrisr. Peters


Tristram Wilson


Danl. Stillwell


Peter Mallet


Mathw. Reveire


John Jackson


Daniel Jones


Jno. Edwards


William Titso


Joseph Michelbro


Chas. Whitehead


Parker Adams


Thomas Lamb


Richard Taylor


Phillip Calvorley


Chas. Garrison


John Arterile


Robert Bass


Edw. Arrowsmith


Arthur Allen


John Allen


Martn. Townsend


James Brown


Joseph Pearse


John Mounsey


James Kerr


John Perrin


James Coates


Martin Carroll


Michl. Scrimshaw


John Sutton


Wm. Grahame


John Johnson


Edward Kerr




Jno Dalrymple


Thomas Clies


Saml. Richardson


Geo. Raddon


Alexr. Campbell


John Poley


Tho. Williamson


Vinc. Pearse


Benj. Hornogold


Jno Kipperson


Robert Brown


Adam Forbes


James Nevill


John Farrow


Tho. Chandler



Josiah Burgess


Jno Charlton


Henry Cheek


Cornelius Mahon


James Fasset


Samuel Addy


Samuel Moodey




Francis Lesley


Fras. Charnock


Robt. Hunter


Tho. Pearse


Edw. Berry


John Magness


Wm. Spencer




Thomas Nichols


Davd Merredith


James Moodey


David Ross


Jno. Andrews


Thomas Trouton


William Hunt




Palsgrave Williams


Edwd Nowland


Richd. Kaine


Jacob Johnson


David Nearne


Edw. Miller


Nathl. Hudson


total pirates?


John Lewis


James Goodson


Tho. Birdsale


Wm. Bridges


Gorrt. Peterson


Danl. Swoord


William Smith


19 have returned


Rich. Nowland


Dennis McCarthy


Robt. Dryker


Robt. Brown


Richd. Divelly


Richd. Earle


Adonijah Stanbury


     to piracy (in bold)


John Martin


Rowld Barton


Danl. Carman


Rt. Moggridge


Charles Veine [Vane]


Anthony Kemp


Edward Bead




William Connor


George Gador


John Dunkin


Henry Shipton


Rogr. Houghton


John Carye


Edw. Parmyter




Thos. Grahame


George Mann


Geo Feversham


John Cullomore


Ri[char]d. Valentine


Robt. Shear


Tho. Stoneham




Thomas Terrell


Richard Richards


John Barker


Peter Johnson


Samuel Bryce


Jno. Mitchele


John Crew




John Ealling


Anthony Jacobs


Thomas Codd


Charles Morgan


Richd. Legatt


Edw. Rogers


Wm. Edmundson




Robt. Wishort


Nabel Clarke


William Roberts


John Augur


Rd. Rawlings


Michl. Rogers


Richd. Hawks




James Gratrick


Henry Hawkins


John Waters


William South


Darby Connelly


John Kemp


Andrew Daws




Edward Stacey


Danl. White


Wm. Austin


Marmadke. Gee


Arthr. Van Pelt


John Sipkins


Thomas Pearse




John Fennet


Edwd. Savory


Fras. Roper


James Morvat


Jno. Richards


Othenius Davis


Richd. Ward




John Hunt


Peter Marshall


Griffith Williams


Benj. Turner


Saml. Beach


Wm. Pinfold


Henry Glinn




John Pearse


Archd. Murry


Edw. German


John Mutlow


Wm. Peters


Pearse Wright


Legh Ashworth




James Bryan


Daniel Hill


John Clarke


John Stout


John Smith


Jacob Roberts


Domink. Dwoouby




Henry Berry


William Davey


Richd. Bishop


Tho. Reynolds


Geo. Sinclair


Wm. Williams


Geo. Chissom










James Wheeler


Wm. Hasselton


Edwd. Wells


David Turner










Alexr. Lyell


Wm. Harris


Jno. Cockram


Clois Derickson
















Tho. Bradley



Table 2: Capt. Vincent Pearse's List of Surrendered Pirates at New Providence (3 Jun 1718) - List copied and composed by Baylus C. Brooks from ADM 1/2282 at National Archives of London, copy held in North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina (Names in bold orig. marked with a cross (+) have returned to piracy).