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The Pirates Own Book by Charles Ellms

Part 4 out of 7

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campong, driving the rajah with his family among the mountains. Some
scores of men were killed, and 300 made prisoners, besides women and
children to half that amount. In December following, when I was there,
the people were slowly returning from the hills, but had not yet
attempted to rebuild the campong, which lay in ashes. During my stay
here (ten weeks) the place was visited by two other piratical chiefs,
one of which was from Kylie, the other from Mandhaar Point under Bem
Bowan, who appeared to have charge of the whole; between them they had
134 proas of all sizes.

Among the most desperate and successful pirates of the present day,
Raga is most distinguished. He is dreaded by people of all
denominations, and universally known as the "prince of pirates." For
more than seventeen years this man has carried on a system of piracy to
an extent never before known; his expeditions and enterprises would fill
a large volume. They have invariably been marked with singular cunning
and intelligence, barbarity, and reckless inattention to the shedding of
human blood. He has emissaries every where, and has intelligence of the
best description. It was about the year 1813 Raga commenced operations
on a large scale. In that year he cut off three English vessels, killing
the captains with his own hands. So extensive were his depredations
about that time that a proclamation was issued from Batavia, declaring
the east coast of Borneo to be under strict blockade. Two British sloops
of war scoured the coast. One of which, the Elk, Capt. Reynolds, was
attacked during the night by Raga's own proa, who unfortunately was not
on board at the time. This proa which Raga personally commanded, and the
loss of which he frequently laments, carried eight guns and was full of
his best men.

[Illustration: _A Piratical Proa in Full Chase._]

An European vessel was faintly descried about three o'clock one foggy
morning; the rain fell in torrents; the time and weather were favorable
circumstances for a surprise, and the commander determined to
distinguish himself in the absence of the Rajah Raga, gave directions to
close, fire the guns and board. He was the more confident of success, as
the European vessel was observed to keep away out of the proper course
on approaching her. On getting within about an hundred fathoms of the
Elk they fired their broadside, gave a loud shout, and with their long
oars pulled towards their prey. The sound of a drum beating to quarters
no sooner struck the ear of the astonished Malays than they endeavored
to get away: it was too late; the ports were opened, and a broadside,
accompanied with three British cheers, gave sure indications of their
fate. The captain hailed the Elk, and would fain persuade him it was a
mistake. It was indeed a mistake, and one not to be rectified by the
Malayan explanation. The proa was sunk by repeated broadsides, and the
commanding officer refused to pick up any of the people, who, with the
exception of five were drowned; these, after floating four days on some
spars, were picked up by a Pergottan proa, and told the story to Raga,
who swore anew destruction to every European he should henceforth take.
This desperado has for upwards of seventeen years been the terror of the
Straits of Macassar, during which period he has committed the most
extensive and dreadful excesses sparing no one. Few respectable families
along the coast of Borneo and Celebes but have to complain of the loss
of a proa, or of some number of their race; he is not more universally
dreaded than detested; it is well known that he has cut off and murdered
the crews of more than forty European vessels, which have either been
wrecked on the coasts, or entrusted themselves in native ports. It is
his boast that twenty of the commanders have fallen by his hands. The
western coast of Celebes, for about 250 miles, is absolutely lined with
proas belonging principally to three considerable rajahs, who act in
conjunction with Raga and other pirates. Their proas may be seen in
clusters of from 50, 80, and 100 (at Sediano I counted 147 laying on the
sand at high water mark in parallel rows,) and kept in a horizontal
position by poles, completely ready for the sea. Immediately behind them
are the campongs, in which are the crews; here likewise are kept the
sails, gunpowder, &c. necessary for their equipment. On the very summits
of the mountains, which in many parts rise abruptly from the sea, may be
distinguished innumerable huts; here reside people who are constantly on
the lookout. A vessel within ten miles of the shore will not probably
perceive a single proa, yet in less than two hours, if the tide be high,
she may be surrounded by some hundreds. Should the water be low they
will push off during the night. Signals are made from mountain to
mountain along the coast with the utmost rapidity; during the day time
by flags attached to long bamboos; at night, by fires. Each chief sends
forth his proas, the crews of which, in hazardous cases, are infuriated
with opium, when they will most assuredly take the vessel if she be not
better provided than most merchantmen.

Mr. Dalton, who went to the Pergottan river in 1830 says, "whilst I
remained here, there were 71 proas of considerable sizes, 39 of which
were professed pirates. They were anchored off the point of a small
promontory, on which the rajah has an establishment and bazaar. The
largest of these proas belonged to Raga, who received by the fleet of
proas, in which I came, his regular supplies of arms and ammunition from
Singapore. Here nestle the principal pirates, and Raga holds his head
quarters; his grand depot was a few miles farther up. Rajah Agi Bota
himself generally resides some distance up a small river which runs
eastward of the point; near his habitation stands the principal bazaar,
which would be a great curiosity for an European to visit if he could
only manage to return, which very few have. The Raga gave me a pressing
invitation to spend a couple of days at his country house, but all the
Bugis' nacodahs strongly dissuaded me from such an attempt. I soon
discovered the cause of their apprehension; they were jealous of Agi
Bota, well knowing he would plunder me, and considered every article
taken by him was so much lost to the Sultan of Coti, who naturally would
expect the people to reserve me for his own particular plucking. When
the fact was known of an European having arrived in the Pergottan river,
this amiable prince and friend of Europeans, impatient to seize his
prey, came immediately to the point from his country house, and sending
for the nacodah of the proa, ordered him to land me and all my goods
instantly. An invitation now came for me to go on shore and amuse myself
with shooting, and look at some rare birds of beautiful plumage which
the rajah would give me if I would accept of them; but knowing what were
his intentions, and being well aware that I should be supported by all
the Bugis' proas from Coti, I feigned sickness, and requested that the
birds might be sent on board. Upon this Agi Bota, who could no longer
restrain himself, sent off two boats of armed men, who robbed me of many
articles, and would certainly have forced me on shore, or murdered me in
the proa had not a signal been made to the Bugis' nacodahs, who
immediately came with their people, and with spears and krisses, drove
the rajah's people overboard. The nacodahs, nine in number, now went on
shore, when a scene of contention took place showing clearly the
character of this chief. The Bugis from Coti explained, that with regard
to me it was necessary to be particularly circumspect, as I was not only
well known at Singapore, but the authorities in that settlement knew
that I was on board the Sultan's proa, and they themselves were
responsible for my safety. To this circumstance alone I owe my life on
several occasions, as in the event of any thing happening to me, every
nacodah was apprehensive of his proa being seized on his return to
Singapore; I was therefore more peculiarly cared for by this class of
men, and they are powerful. The rajah answered the nacodahs by saying, I
might be disposed of as many others had been, and no further notice
taken of the circumstance; he himself would write to Singapore that I
had been taken by an alligator, or bitten by a snake whilst out
shooting; and as for what property I might have in the proa he would
divide it with the Sultan of Coti. The Bugis, however, refused to listen
to any terms, knowing the Sultan of Coti would call him to an account
for the property, and the authorities of Singapore for my life. Our
proa, with others, therefore dropped about four miles down the river,
where we took in fresh water. Here we remained six days, every argument
being in vain to entice me on shore. At length the Bugis' nacodahs came
to the determination to sail without passes, which brought the rajah to
terms. The proas returned to the point, and I was given to understand I
might go on shore in safety. I did so, and was introduced to the rajah
whom I found under a shed, with about 150 of his people; they were busy
gambling, and had the appearance of what they really are, a ferocious
set of banditti. Agi Bota is a good looking man, about forty years of
age, of no education whatever; he divides his time between gaming, opium
and cockfighting; that is in the interval of his more serious and
profitable employment, piracy and rapine. He asked me to produce what
money I had about me; on seeing only ten rupees, he remarked that it was
not worth while to win so small a sum, but that if I would fight cocks
with him he would lend me as much money as I wanted, and added it was
beneath his dignity to fight under fifty reals a battle. On my saying it
was contrary to an Englishman's religion to bet wagers, he dismissed me;
immediately after the two rajahs produced their cocks and commenced
fighting for one rupee a side. I was now obliged to give the old
Baudarre five rupees to take some care of me, as whilst walking about,
the people not only thrust their hands into my pockets, but pulled the
buttons from my clothes. Whilst sauntering behind the rajah's campong I
caught sight of an European woman, who on perceiving herself observed,
instantly ran into one of the houses, no doubt dreading the consequences
of being recognized. There are now in the house of Agi Bota two European
women; up the country there are others, besides several men. The Bugis,
inimical to the rajah, made no secret of the fact; I had heard of it on
board the proa, and some person in the bazaar confirmed the statement.
On my arrival, strict orders had been given to the inhabitants to put
all European articles out of sight. One of my servants going into the
bazaar, brought me such accounts as induced me to visit it. In one house
were the following articles: four Bibles, one in English, one in Dutch,
and two in the Portuguese languages; many articles of wearing apparel,
such as jackets and trowsers, with the buttons altered to suit the
natives; pieces of shirts tagged to other parts of dress; several broken
instruments, such as quadrants, spy glasses (two,) binnacles, with
pieces of ship's sails, bolts and hoops; a considerable variety of
gunner's and carpenter's tools, stores, &c. In another shop were two
pelisses of faded lilac color; these were of modern cut and fashionably
made. On enquiring how they became possessed of these articles, I was
told they were some wrecks of European vessels on which no people were
found, whilst others made no scruple of averring that they were formerly
the property of people who had died in the country. All the goods in the
bazaar belonged to the rajah, and were sold on his account; large
quantities were said to be in his house up the river; but on all hands
it was admitted Raga and his followers had by far the largest part of
what was taken. A Mandoor, or head of one of the campongs, showed me
some women's stockings, several of which were marked with the letters
S.W.; also two chemises, one with the letters S.W.; two flannel
petticoats, a miniature portrait frame (the picture was in the rajah's
house,) with many articles of dress of both sexes. In consequence of the
strict orders given on the subject I could see no more; indeed there
were both difficulty and danger attending these inquiries. I
particularly wanted to obtain the miniature picture, and offered the
Mandoor fifty rupees if he could procure it; he laughed at me, and
pointing significantly to his kris, drew one hand across my throat, and
then across his own, giving me to understand such would be the result to
us both on such an application to the rajah. It is the universal custom
of the pirates, on this coast, to sell the people for slaves immediately
on their arrival, the rajah taking for himself a few of the most useful,
and receiving a percentage upon the purchase money of the remainder,
with a moiety of the vessel and every article on board. European vessels
are taken up the river, where they are immediately broken up. The
situation of European prisoners is indeed dreadful in a climate like
this, where even the labor of natives is intolerable; they are compelled
to bear all the drudgery, and allowed a bare sufficiency of rice and
salt to eat."

It is utterly impossible for Europeans who have seen these pirates at
such places as Singapore and Batavia, to form any conception of their
true character. There they are under immediate control, and every part
of their behaviour is a tissue of falsehood and deception. They
constantly carry about with them a smooth tongue, cringing demeanor, a
complying disposition, which always asserts, and never contradicts; a
countenance which appears to anticipate the very wish of the Europeans,
and which so generally imposes upon his understanding, that he at once
concludes them to be the best and gentlest of human beings; but let the
European meet them in any of their own campongs, and a very different
character they will appear. The character and treacherous proceeding
narrated above, and the manner of cutting off vessels and butchering
their crews, apply equally to all the pirates of the East India Islands,
by which many hundred European and American vessels have been surprised
and their crews butchered.

On the 7th of February, 1831, the ship Friendship, Capt. Endicott, of
Salem (Mass.,) was captured by the Malays while lying at Quallah Battoo,
on the coast of Sumatra. In the forenoon of the fatal day, Capt.
Endicott, Mr. Barry, second mate, and four of the crew, it seems went on
shore as usual, for the purpose of weighing pepper, expecting to obtain
that day two boat loads, which had been promised them by the Malays.
After the first boat was loaded, they observed that she delayed some
time in passing down the river, and her crew being composed of Malays,
was supposed by the officers to be stealing pepper from her, and
secreting it in the bushes. In consequence of this conjecture, two men
were sent off to watch them, who on approaching the boat, saw five or
six Malays leap from the jungle, and hurry on board of her. The former,
however, supposed them to be the boat's crew, as they had seen an equal
number quit her previous to their own approach. In this they were
mistaken, as will subsequently appear. At this time a brig hove in
sight, and was seen standing towards Soo Soo, another pepper port,
distant about five miles. Capt. Endicott, on going to the beach to
ascertain whether the brig had hoisted any colors, discovered that the
boat with pepper had approached within a few yards of the Friendship,
manned with an unusual number of natives.

It appears that when the pepper boats came alongside of the Friendship,
as but few of the hands could work at a time, numbers of the Malays came
on board, and on being questioned by Mr. Knight, the first officer, who
was in the gangway, taking an account of the pepper, as to their
business, their reply was, that they had come to see the vessel. Mr.
Knight ordered them into their boat again, and some of them obeyed, but
only to return immediately to assist in the work of death, which was now
commenced by attacking Mr. Knight and the rest of the crew on board. The
crew of the vessel being so scattered, it was impossible to concentrate
their force so as to make a successful resistance. Some fell on the
forecastle, one in the gangway, and Mr. Knight fell upon the quarter
deck, severely wounded by a stab in the back while in the act of
snatching from the bulwarks a boarding pike with which to defend

The two men who were taking the pepper on a stage, having vainly
attempted to get on board to the assistance of their comrades, were
compelled to leap into the sea. One of them, Charles Converse, of Salem,
being severely wounded, succeeded in swimming to the bobstays, to which
he clung until taken on board by the natives, and from some cause he was
not afterwards molested. His companion, John Davis, being unable to
swim, drifted with the tide near the _boat tackle_, or _davit falls_,
the blocks being overhauled down near the water; one of these he laid
hold of, which the Malays perceiving, dropped their boat astern and
despatched him! the cook sprang into a canoe along side, and in
attempting to push off she was capsized; and being unable to swim, he
got on the bottom, and paddled ashore with his hands, where he was made
prisoner. Gregory, an Italian, sought shelter in the foretop-gallant
cross-trees, where he was fired at several times by the Malays with the
muskets of the Friendship, which were always kept loaded and ready for
use while on the coast.

Three of the crew leaped into the sea, and swam to a point of land near
a mile distant, to the northward of the town; and, unperceived by the
Malays on shore, pursued their course to the northward towards Cape
Felix, intending to go to the port of Annalaboo, about forty-five miles
distant. Having walked all night, they found themselves, on the
following morning, near the promontory, and still twenty-five miles
distant from Annalaboo.

When Mr. Endicott, Mr. Barry, and the four seamen arrived at the beach,
they saw the crew jumping into the sea; the truth now, with all its
horrors, flashed upon his mind, that the vessel was attacked, and in an
instant they jumped on board the boat and pushed off; at the same time a
friendly rajah named Po Adam, sprang into the boat; he was the
proprietor of a port and considerable property at a place called Pulo
Kio, but three miles distant from the mouth of the river Quallah Battoo.
More business had been done by the rajah during the eight years past
than by any other on the pepper coast; he had uniformly professed
himself friendly to the Americans, and he has generally received the
character of their being honest. Speaking a little English as he sprang
into the boat, he exclaimed, "Captain, you got trouble; Malay kill you,
he kill Po Adam too!" Crowds of Malays assembled on both sides of the
river, brandishing their weapons in a menacing manner, while a ferry
boat, manned with eight or ten of the natives, armed with spears and
krisses, pushed off to prevent the officers' regaining their ship. The
latter exhibited no fear, and flourished the cutlass of Po Adam in a
menacing manner from the bows of the boat; it so intimidated the Malays
that they fled to the shore, leaving a free passage to the ship; but as
they got near her they found that the Malays had got entire possession
of her; some of them were promenading the deck, others were making
signals of success to the people on shore, while, with the exception of
one man aloft, not an individual of the crew could be seen. Three Malay
boats, with about fifty men, now issued from the river in the direction
of the ship, while the captain and his men, concluding that their only
hope of recovering their vessel was to obtain assistance from some other
ships, directed their course towards Muchie, where they knew that
several American vessels were lying at anchor. Three American captains,
upon hearing the misfortunes of their countrymen, weighed anchor
immediately for Quallah Battoo, determined, if possible, to recover the
ship. By four o'clock on the same day they gained an anchorage off that
place; the Malays, in the meantime, had removed on shore every moveable
article belonging to the ship, including specie, besides several cases
of opium, amounting in all to upwards of thirty thousand dollars. This
was done on the night of the 9th, and on the morning of the 10th, they
contrived to heave in the chain cable, and get the anchor up to the
bows; and the ship was drifting finely towards the beach, when the
cable, not being stopped abaft the bitts, began suddenly to run out with
great velocity; but a bight having by accident been thrown forward of
the windlass, a riding turn was the consequence, and the anchor, in its
descent, was suddenly checked about fifteen fathoms from the hawse. A
squall soon after coming on, the vessel drifted obliquely towards the
shore, and grounded upon a coral reef near half a mile to the southward
of the town. The next day, having obtained a convenient anchorage, a
message was sent by a friendly Malay who came on board at Soo Soo,
demanding the restoration of the ship. The rajah replied that he would
not give her up, but that they were welcome to take her if they could; a
fire was now opened upon the Friendship by the vessels, her decks were
crowded with Malays, who promptly returned the fire, as did also the
forts on shore. This mode of warfare appeared undecisive, and it was
determined to decide the contest by a close action. A number of boats
being manned and armed with about thirty officers and men, a movement
was made to carry the ship by boarding. The Malays did not wait the
approach of this determined attack, but all deserted the vessel to her
lawful owners, when she was taken possession of and warped out into deep
water. The appearance of the ship, at the time she was boarded, beggars
all description; every part of her bore ample testimony of the scene of
violence and destruction with which she had been visited. The objects of
the voyage were abandoned, and the Friendship returned to the United
States. The public were unanimous in calling for a redress of the
unparalleled outrage on the lives and property of citizens of the United
States. The government immediately adopted measures to punish so
outrageous an act of piracy by despatching the frigate Potomac,
Commodore Downs, Commander. The Potomac sailed from New York the 24th of
August, 1831, after touching at Rio Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope.
She anchored off Quallah Battoo in February 1832, disguised as a Danish
ship, and came to in merchantman style, a few men being sent aloft,
dressed in red and blue flannel shirts, and one sail being clewed up and
furled at a time. A reconnoitering party were sent on shore disguised as
pepper dealers, but they returned without being able to ascertain the
situations of the forts. The ship now presented a busy scene; it was
determined to commence an attack upon the town the next morning, and
every necessary preparation was accordingly made, muskets were cleaned,
cartridge-boxes buckled on, cutlasses examined and put in order, &c.

At twelve o'clock at night, all hands were called, those assigned to
take part in the expedition were mustered, when Lieut. Shubrick, the
commander of the detachment, gave them special orders; when they entered
the boats and proceeded to the shore, where they effected a landing near
the dawn of day, amid a heavy surf, about a mile and a half to the north
of the town, undiscovered by the enemy, and without any serious accident
having befallen them, though several of the party were thoroughly
drenched by the beating of the surf, and some of their ammunition was

The troops then formed and took up their line of march against the
enemy, over a beach of deep and heavy sand. They had not proceeded far
before they were discovered by a native at a distance, who ran at full
speed to give the alarm. A rapid march soon brought them up with the
first fort, when a division of men, under the command of Lieut. Hoff,
was detached from the main body, and ordered to surround it. The first
fort was found difficult of access, in consequence of a deep hedge of
thorn-bushes and brambles with which it was environed. The assault was
commenced by the pioneers, with their crows and axes, breaking down the
gates and forcing a passage. This was attended with some difficulty, and
gave the enemy time for preparation. They raised their warwhoop, and
resisted most manfully, fighting with spears, sabres, and muskets. They
had also a few brass pieces in the fort, but they managed them with so
little skill as to produce no effect, for the balls uniformly whizzed
over the heads of our men. The resistance of the Malays was in vain, the
fort was stormed, and soon carried; not, however, till almost every
individual in it was slain. Po Mahomet, a chief of much distinction, and
who was one of the principal persons concerned in the outrage on the
Friendship was here slain; the mother of Chadoolah, another rajah, was
also slain here; another woman fell at this port, but her rank was not
ascertained; she fought with the spirit of a desperado. A seaman had
just scaled one of the ramparts, when he was severely wounded by a blow
received from a weapon in her hands, but her life paid the forfeit of
her daring, for she was immediately transfixed by a bayonet in the hands
of the person whom she had so severely injured. His head was wounded by
a javelin, his thumb nearly cut off by a sabre, and a ball was shot
through his hat.

Lieutenants Edson and Ferret proceeded to the rear of the town, and made
a bold attack upon that fort, which, after a spirited resistance on the
part of the Malays, surrendered. Both officers and marines here narrowly
escaped with their lives. One of the natives in the fort had trained his
piece in such a manner as to rake their whole body, when he was shot
down by a marine while in the very act of applying a match to it. The
cannon was afterwards found to have been filled with bullets. This fort,
like the former, was environed with thick jungle, and great difficulty
had been experienced in entering it. The engagement had now become
general, and the alarm universal. Men, women and children were seen
flying in every direction, carrying the few articles they were able to
seize in the moments of peril, and some of the men were cut down in the
flight. Several of the enemy's proas, filled with people, were severely
raked by a brisk fire from the six pounder, as they were sailing up the
river to the south of the town, and numbers of the natives were killed.
The third and most formidable fort was now attacked, and it proved the
most formidable, and the co-operation of the several divisions was
required for its reduction; but so spirited was the fire poured into it
that it was soon obliged to yield, and the next moment the American
colors were seen triumphantly waving over its battlements. The greater
part of the town was reduced to ashes. The bazaar, the principal place
of merchandize, and most of the private dwellings were consumed by fire.
The triumph had now been completed over the Malays; ample satisfaction
had been taken for their outrages committed upon our own countrymen, and
the bugle sounded the return of the ship's forces; and the embarkation
was soon after effected. The action had continued about two hours and a
half, and was gallantly sustained both by officers and men, from its
commencement to its close. The loss on the part of the Malays was near a
hundred killed, while of the Americans only two lost their lives. Among
the spoils were a Chinese gong, a Koran, taken at Mahomet's fort, and
several pieces of rich gold cloth. Many of the men came off richly laden
with spoils which they had taken from the enemy, such as rajah's scarfs,
gold and silver chunam boxes, chains, ear rings and finger rings,
anklets and bracelets, and a variety of shawls, krisses richly hilted
and with gold scabbards, and a variety of other ornaments. Money to a
considerable amount was brought off. That nothing should be left undone
to have an indelible impression on the minds of these people, of the
power of the United States to inflict punishment for aggressions
committed on her commerce, in seas however distant, the ship was got
underway the following morning, and brought to, with a spring on her
cable, within less than a mile of the shore, when the larboard side was
brought to bear nearly upon the site of the town. The object of the
Commodore, in this movement, was not to open an indiscriminate or
destructive fire upon the town and inhabitants of Quallah Battoo, but to
show them the irresistible power of thirty-two pound shot, and to reduce
the fort of Tuca de Lama, which could not be reached on account of the
jungle and stream of water, on the morning before, and from which a fire
had been opened and continued during the embarkation of the troops on
their return to the ship. The fort was very soon deserted, while the
shot was cutting it to pieces, and tearing up whole cocoa-trees by the
roots. In the afternoon a boat came off from the shore, bearing a flag
of truce to the Commodore, beseeching him, in all the practised forms of
submission of the east, that he would grant them peace, and cease to
fire his big guns. Hostilities now ceased, and the Commodore informed
them that the objects of his government in sending him to their shores
had now been consummated in the punishment of the guilty, who had
committed their piracies on the Friendship. Thus ended the intercourse
with Quallah Battoo. The Potomac proceeded from this place to China, and
from thence to the Pacific Ocean; after looking to the interests of the
American commerce in those parts she arrived at Boston in 1834, after a
three years' absence.


Captain Condent was a Plymouth man born, but we are as yet ignorant of
the motives and time of his first turning pirate. He was one of those
who thought fit to retire from Providence, on Governor Rogers' arrival
at that island, in a sloop belonging to Mr. Simpson, of New York, a Jew
merchant, of which sloop he was then quarter-master. Soon after they
left the island, an accident happened on board, which put the whole crew
into consternation. They had among them an Indian man, whom some of them
had beaten; in revenge, he got most of the arms forward into the hold,
and designed to blow up the sloop; upon which, some advised scuttling
the deck, and throwing grenade shells down, but Condent said that was
too tedious and dangerous, since the fellow might fire through the deck
and kill several of them. He, therefore, taking a pistol in one hand,
and his cutlass in the other, leaped into the hold. The Indian
discharged a piece at him, which broke his arm; but, however, he ran up
and shot the Indian. When he was dead, the crew hacked him to pieces,
and the gunner, ripping up his belly and tearing out his heart, broiled
and eat it.

After this, they took a merchantman called the Duke of York; and some
disputes arising among the pirates, the captain, and one half of the
company, went on board the prize; the other half, who continued in the
sloop, chose Condent captain. He shaped his course for the Cape-de Verd
Islands, and in his way took a merchant ship from Madeira, laden with
wine, and bound for the West Indies, which he plundered and let go;
then coming to the Isle of May, one of the said islands, he took the
whole salt fleet, consisting of about 20 sail. Wanting a boom, he took
out the mainmast of one of these ships to supply the want. Here he took
upon himself the administration of justice, inquiring into the manner of
the commanders' behaviour to their men, and those against whom complaint
was made, he whipped and pickled. He took what provision and other
necessaries he wanted, and having augmented his company by volunteers
and forced men, he left the ships and sailed to St. Jago, where he took
a Dutch ship, which had formerly been a privateer. This proved also an
easy prize, for he fired but one broadside, and clapping her on board,
carried her without resistance, for the captain and several men were
killed, and some wounded by his great shot.

The ship proving for his purpose, he gave her the name of the Flying
Dragon, went on board with his crew, and made a present of his sloop to
a mate of an English prize, whom he had forced with him. From hence he
stood away for the coast of Brazil, and in his cruize took several
Portuguese ships, which he plundered and let go.

After these he fell in with the Wright galley, Capt. John Spelt,
commander, hired by the South Sea company, to go to the coast of Angola
for slaves, and thence to Buenos Ayres. This ship he detained a
considerable time, and the captain being his townsman, treated him very
civilly. A few days after he took Spelt, he made prize of a Portuguese,
laden with bale goods and stores. He rigged the Wright galley anew, and
put on board of her some of the goods. Soon after he had discharged the
Portuguese, he met with a Dutch East Indiaman of 28 guns, whose captain
was killed the first broadside, and took her with little resistance, for
he had hoisted the pirate's colors on board Spelt's ship.

[Illustration: _Capt. Condent leaping into the hold, to attack the

He now, with three sail, steered for the island of Ferdinando, where
he hove down and cleaned the Flying Dragon. Having careened, he put 11
Dutchmen on board Capt. Spelt, to make amends for the hands he had
forced from him, and sent him away, making him a present of the goods he
had taken from the Portuguese ship. When he sailed himself, he ordered
the Dutch to stay at Ferdinando 24 hours after his departure;
threatening, if he did not comply, to sink his ship, if he fell a second
time into his hands, and to put all the company to the sword. He then
stood for the coast of Brazil, where he met a Portuguese man of war of
70 guns, which he came up with. The Portuguese hailed him, and he
answered, _from London, bound to Buenos Ayres_. The Portuguese manned
his shrouds and cheered him, when Condent fired a broadside, and a smart
engagement ensued for the space of three glasses; but Condent finding
himself over-matched, made the best of his way, and being the best
sailer, got off.

A few days after, he took a vessel of the same nation, who gave an
account that he had killed above forty men in the Guarda del Costa,
beside a number wounded. He kept along the coast to the southward, and
took a French ship of 18 guns, laden with wine and brandy, bound for the
South Sea, which he carried with him into the River of Platte. He sent
some of his men ashore to kill some wild cattle, but they were taken by
the crew of a Spanish man-of-war. On their examination before the
captain, they said they were two Guinea ships, with slaves belonging to
the South Sea company, and on this story were allowed to return to their
boats. Here five of his forced men ran away with his canoe; he plundered
the French ship, cut her adrift, and she was stranded. He proceeded
along the Brazil coast, and hearing a pirate ship was lost upon it, and
the pirates imprisoned, he used all the Portuguese who fell into his
hands, who were many, very barbarously, cutting off their ears and
noses; and as his master was a papist, when they took a priest, they
made him say mass at the mainmast, and would afterwards get on his back
and ride him about the decks, or else load and drive him like a beast.
He from this went to the Guinea coast, and took Capt. Hill, in the
Indian Queen.

[Illustration: _The Pirates riding the Priests about deck._]

In Luengo Bay he saw two ships at anchor, one a Dutchman of 44 guns, the
other an English ship, called the Fame, Capt. Bowen, commander. They
both cut and ran ashore; the Fame was lost, but the Dutch ship the
pirate got off and took with him. When he was at sea again, he
discharged Captain Hill, and stood away for the East Indies. Near the
Cape he took an Ostend East-Indiaman, of which Mr. Nash, a noted
merchant of London, was supercargo. Soon after he took a Dutch
East-Indiaman, discharged the Ostender, and made for Madagascar. At the
Isle of St. Mary, he met with some of Capt. Halsey's crew, whom he took
on board with other stragglers, and shaped his course for the
East-Indies, and in the way, at the island of Johanna, took, in company
with two other pirates he met at St. Mary's, the Cassandra
East-Indiaman, commanded by Capt. James Macraigh. He continued his
course for the East-Indies, where he made a very great booty; and
returning, touched at the island of Mascarenhas, where he met with a
Portuguese ship of 70 guns, with the viceroy of Goa on board. This ship
he made prize of, and hearing she had money on board, they would allow
of no ransom, but carried her to the coast of Zanguebar, where was a
Dutch fortification, which they took and plundered, razed the fort, and
carried off several men voluntarily. From hence they stood for St.
Mary's, where they shared their booty, broke up their company, and
settled among the natives. Here a snow came from Bristol, which they
obliged to carry a petition to the governor of Mascarenhas for a pardon,
though they paid the master very generously. The governor returned
answer he would take them into protection if they would destroy their
ships, which they agreed to, and accordingly sunk the Flying Dragon, &c.
Condent and some others went to Mascarenhas, where Condent married the
governor's sister-in-law, and remained some time; but, as I have been
credibly informed, he is since come to France, settled at St. Maloes,
and drives a considerable trade as a merchant.


This ferocious villain was born in Westminster, and received an
education similar to that of the common people in England. He was by
nature a pirate; for even when very young he raised contributions among
the boys of Westminster, and if they declined compliance, a battle was
the result. When he advanced a step farther in life, he began to exert
his ingenuity at low games, and cheating all in his power; and those who
pretended to maintain their own right, he was ready to call to the field
of combat.

He went to sea in company with his brother, and continued with him for
three or four years. Going over to America, he wrought in a
rigging-house at Boston for some time. He then came home to see his
mother in England, returned to Boston, and continued for some years
longer at the same business. But being of a quarrelsome temper, he
differed with his master, and went on board a sloop bound for the Bay of

While there, he had the command of a boat employed in bringing logwood
to the ship. In that boat there were twelve men well armed, to be
prepared for the Spaniards, from whom the wood was taken by force. It
happened one day that the boat came to the ship just a little before
dinner was ready, and Low desired that they might dine before they
returned. The captain, however, ordered them a bottle of rum, and
requested them to take another trip, as no time was to be lost. The crew
were enraged, particularly Low, who took up a loaded musket and fired at
the captain, but missing him, another man was shot, and they ran off
with the boat. The next day they took a small vessel, went on board her,
hoisted a black flag, and declared war with the whole world.

In their rovings, Low met with Lowther, who proposed that he should join
him, and thus promote their mutual advantage. Having captured a
brigantine, Low, with forty more, went on board her; and leaving
Lowther, they went to seek their own fortune.

Their first adventure was the capture of a vessel belonging to Amboy,
out of which they took the provisions, and allowed her to proceed. On
the same day they took a sloop, plundered her, and permitted her to
depart. The sloop went into Black Island, and sent intelligence to the
governor that Low was on the coast. Two small vessels were immediately
fitted out, but, before their arrival, Low was beyond their reach. After
this narrow escape, Low went into port to procure water and fresh
provisions; and then renewed his search of plunder. He next sailed into
the harbor of Port Rosemary, where were thirteen ships, but none of them
of any great strength. Low hoisted the black flag, assuring them that if
they made any resistance they should have no quarter; and manning their
boat, the pirates took possession of every one of them, which they
plundered and converted to their own use. They then put on board a
schooner ten guns and fifty men, named her the Fancy, and Low himself
went on board of her, while Charles Harris was constituted captain of
the brigantine. They also constrained a few of the men to join them, and
sign their articles.

After an unsuccessful pursuit of two sloops from Boston, they steered
for the Leeward Islands, but in their way were overtaken by a terrible
hurricane. The search for plunder gave place to the most vigorous
exertion to save themselves. On board the brigantine, all hands were at
work both day and night; they were under the necessity of throwing
overboard six of her guns, and all the weighty provisions. In the storm,
the two vessels were separated, and it was some time before they again
saw each other.

After the storm, Low went into a small island west of the Carribbees,
refitted his vessels, and got provision for them in exchange of goods.
As soon as the brigantine was ready for sea, they went on a cruise until
the Fancy should be prepared, and during that cruise, met with a vessel
which had lost all her masts in the storm, which they plundered of goods
to the value of 1000_l_. and returned to the island. When the Fancy was
ready to sail, a council was held what course they should next steer.
They followed the advice of the captain, who thought it not safe to
cruise any longer to the leeward, lest they should fall in with any of
the men-of-war that cruised upon that coast, so they sailed for the

The good fortune of Low was now singular; in his way thither he captured
a French ship of 34 guns, and carried her along with him. Then entering
St. Michael's roads, he captured seven sail, threatening with instant
death all who dared to oppose him. Thus, by inspiring terror, without
firing a single gun, he became master of all that property. Being in
want of water and fresh provisions, Low sent to the governor demanding a
supply, upon condition of releasing the ships he had taken, otherwise he
would commit them to the flames. The request was instantly complied
with, and six of the vessels were restored. But a French vessel being
among them, they emptied her of guns and all her men except the cook,
who, they said, being a greasy fellow, would fry well; they accordingly
bound the unfortunate man to the mast, and set the ship on fire.

The next who fell in their way was Captain Carter, in the Wright galley;
who, because he showed some inclination to defend himself, was cut and
mangled in a barbarous manner. There were also two Portuguese friars,
whom they tied to the foremast, and several times let them down before
they were dead, merely to gratify their own ferocious dispositions.
Meanwhile, another Portuguese, beholding this cruel scene, expressed
some sorrow in his countenance, upon which one of the wretches said he
did not like his looks, and so giving him a stroke across the body with
his cutlass, he fell upon the spot. Another of the miscreants, aiming a
blow at a prisoner, missed his aim, and struck Low upon the under jaw.
The surgeon was called, and stitched up the wound; but Low finding fault
with the operation, the surgeon gave him a blow which broke all the
stiches, and left him to sew them himself. After he had plundered this
vessel, some of them were for burning her, as they had done the
Frenchman; but instead of that, they cut her cables, rigging, and sails
to pieces, and sent her adrift to the mercy of the waves.

[Illustration: _The Cruelties practised by Captain Low._]

They next sailed for the island of Madeira, and took up a fishing boat
with two old men and a boy. They detained one of them, and sent the
other on shore with a flag of truce, requesting the governor to send
them a boat of water, else they would hang the other man at the yard
arm. The water was sent, and the man dismissed.

They next sailed for the Canary Islands, and there took several vessels;
and being informed that two small galleys were daily expected, the sloop
was manned and sent in quest of them. They, however, missing their prey,
and being in great want of provision, went into St. Michael's in the
character of traders, and being discovered, were apprehended, and the
whole crew conducted to the castle, and treated according to their

Meanwhile, Low's ship was overset upon the careen and lost, so that,
having only the Fancy schooner remaining, they all, to the number of a
hundred, went on board her, and set sail in search of new spoils. They
soon met a rich Portuguese vessel, and after some resistance captured
her. Low tortured the men to constrain them to inform him where they had
hid their treasures. He accordingly discovered that, during the chase,
the captain had hung a bag with eleven thousand moidores out of the
cabin window, and that, when they were taken, he had cut the rope, and
allowed it to fall into the sea. Upon this intelligence, Low raved and
stormed like a fury, ordered the captain's lips to be cut off and
broiled before his eyes, then murdered him and all his crew.

[Illustration: _The Captain of the Portuguese Ship cutting away the Bag
of Moidores._]

After this bloody action, the miscreants steered northward, and in their
course seized several vessels, one of which they burned, and plundering
the rest, allowed them to proceed. Having cleaned in one of the islands,
they then sailed for the bay of Honduras. They met a Spaniard coming out
of the bay, which had captured five Englishmen and a pink, plundered
them, and brought away the masters prisoners. Low hoisted Spanish
colors, but, when he came near, hung out the black flag, and the
Spaniard was seized without resistance. Upon finding the masters of the
English vessels in the hold, and seeing English goods on board, a
consultation was held, when it was determined to put all the Spaniards
to the sword. This was scarcely resolved upon, when they commenced with
every species of weapons to massacre every man, and some flying from
their merciless hands into the waves, a canoe was sent in pursuit of
those who endeavored to swim on shore. They next plundered the Spanish
vessel, restored the English masters to their respective vessels, and
set the Spaniard on fire.

Low's next cruise was between the Leeward Islands and the main land,
where, in a continued course of prosperity, he successively captured no
less than nineteen ships of different sizes, and in general treated
their crews with a barbarity unequalled even among pirates. But it
happened that the Greyhound, of twenty guns and one hundred and twenty
men, was cruising upon that coast. Informed of the mischief these
miscreants had done, the Greyhound went in search of them. Supposing
they had discovered a prize, Low and his crew pursued them, and the
Greyhound, allowing them to run after her until all things were ready
to engage, turned upon the two sloops.

One of these sloops was called the Fancy, and commanded by Low himself,
and the other the Ranger, commanded by Harris; both hoisted their
piratical colors, and fired each a gun. When the Greyhound came within
musket shot, she hauled up her mainsail, and clapped close upon a wind,
to keep the pirates from running to leeward, and then engaged. But when
the rogues found whom they had to deal with, they edged away under the
man-of-war's stern, and the Greyhound standing after them, they made a
running fight for about two hours; but little wind happening, the sloops
gained from her, by the help of their oars; upon which the Greyhound
left off firing, turned all hands to her own oars, and at three in the
afternoon came up with them. The pirates hauled upon a wind to receive
the man-of-war, and the fight was immediately renewed, with a brisk fire
on both sides, till the Ranger's mainyard was shot down. Under these
circumstances, Low abandoned her to the enemy, and fled.

The conduct of Low was surprising in this adventure, because his reputed
courage and boldness had hitherto so possessed the minds of all people,
that he became a terror even to his own men; but his behaviour
throughout this whole action showed him to be a base cowardly villain;
for had Low's sloop fought half so briskly as Harris' had done (as they
were under a solemn oath to do,) the man-of-war, in the opinion of some
present, could never have hurt them.

Nothing, however, could lessen the fury, or reform the manners, of that
obdurate crew. Their narrow escape had no good effect upon them, and
with redoubled violence they renewed their depredations and cruelties.
The next vessel they captured, was eighty miles from land. They used the
master with the most wanton cruelty, then shot him dead, and forced the
crew into the boat with a compass, a little water, and a few biscuits,
and left them to the mercy of the waves; they, however, beyond all
expectation, got safe to shore.

Low proceeded in his villainous career with too fatal success.
Unsatisfied with satiating their avarice and walking the common path of
wickedness, those inhuman wretches, like to Satan himself, made mischief
their sport, cruelty their delight, and the ruin and murder of their
fellow men their constant employment. Of all the piratical crews
belonging to the English nation, none ever equalled Low in barbarity.
Their mirth and their anger had the same effect. They murdered a man
from good humor, as well as from anger and passion. Their ferocious
disposition seemed only to delight in cries, groans, and lamentations.
One day Low having captured Captain Graves, a Virginia man, took a bowl
of punch in his hand, and said, "Captain, here's half this to you." The
poor gentleman was too much touched with his misfortunes to be in a
humor for drinking, he therefore modestly excused himself. Upon this Low
cocked and presented a pistol in the one hand, and his bowl in the
other, saying, "Either take the one or the other."

Low next captured a vessel called the Christmas, mounted her with
thirty-four guns, went on board her himself, assumed the title of
admiral, and hoisted the black flag. His next prize was a brigantine
half manned with Portuguese, and half with English. The former he
hanged, and the latter he thrust into their boat and dismissed, while he
set fire to the vessel. The success of Low was unequalled, as well as
his cruelty; and during a long period he continued to pursue his wicked
course with impunity.

All wickedness comes to an end and Low's crew at last rose against him
and he was thrown into a boat without provisions and abandoned to his
fate. This was because Low murdered the quarter-master while he lay
asleep. Not long after he was cast adrift a French vessel happened along
and took him into Martinico, and after a quick trial by the authorities
he received short shift on a gallows erected for his benefit.

[Illustration: _Low presenting a Pistol and Bowl of Punch._]


This adventurer was mate of a sloop that sailed from Jamaica, and was
taken by Captain Winter, a pirate, just before the settlement of the
pirates at Providence island. After the pirates had surrendered to his
Majesty's pardon, and Providence island was peopled by the English
government, Captain England sailed to Africa. There he took several
vessels, particularly the Cadogan, from Bristol, commanded by one
Skinner. When the latter struck to the pirate, he was ordered to come on
board in his boat. The person upon whom he first cast his eye, proved to
be his old boatswain, who stared him in the face, and accosted him in
the following manner: "Ah, Captain Skinner, is it you? the only person I
wished to see: I am much in your debt, and I shall pay you all in your
own coin." The poor man trembled in every joint, and dreaded the event,
as he well might. It happened that Skinner and his old boatswain, with
some of his men, had quarrelled, so that he thought fit to remove them
on board a man-of-war, while he refused to pay them their wages. Not
long after, they found means to leave the man-of-war, and went on board
a small ship in the West Indies. They were taken by a pirate, and
brought to Providence, and from thence sailed as pirates with Captain
England. Thus accidentally meeting their old captain, they severely
revenged the treatment they had received.

After the rough salutation which has been related, the boatswain called
to his comrades, laid hold of Skinner, tied him fast to the windlass,
and pelted him with glass bottles until they cut him in a shocking
manner, then whipped him about the deck until they were quite fatigued,
remaining deaf to all his prayers and entreaties; and at last, in an
insulting tone, observed, that as he had been a good master to his men,
he should have an easy death, and upon this shot him through the head.

[Illustration: _The Pirates pelting Captain Skinner with Glass

Having taken such things out of the ship as they stood most in need of,
she was given to Captain Davis in order to try his fortune with a few

Captain England, some time after, took a ship called the Pearl, for
which he exchanged his own sloop, fitted her up for piratical service,
and called her the Royal James. In that vessel he was very fortunate,
and took several ships of different sizes and different nations. In the
spring of 1719, the pirates returned to Africa, and beginning at the
river Gambia, sailed down the coast to Cape Corso, and captured several
vessels. Some of them they pillaged, and allowed to proceed, some they
fitted out for the pirate service, and others they burned.

Leaving our pirate upon this coast, the Revenge and the Flying King, two
other pirate vessels, sailed for the West Indies, where they took
several prizes, and then cleared and sailed for Brazil. There they
captured some Portuguese vessels; but a large Portuguese man-of-war
coming up to them, proved an unwelcome guest. The Revenge escaped, but
was soon lost upon that coast. The Flying King in despair run ashore.
There were then seventy on board, twelve of whom were slain, and the
remainder taken prisoners. The Portuguese hanged thirty-eight of them.

Captain England, whilst cruising upon that coast, took the Peterborough
of Bristol, and the Victory. The former they detained, the latter they
plundered and dismissed. In the course of his voyage, England met with
two ships, but these taking shelter under Cape Corso Castle, he
unsuccessfully attempted to set them on fire. He next sailed down to
Whydah road, where Captain La Bouche had been before England, and left
him no spoil. He now went into the harbor, cleaned his own ship, and
fitted up the Peterborough, which he called the Victory. During several
weeks the pirates remained in this quarter, indulging in every species
of riot and debauchery, until the natives, exasperated with their
conduct, came to an open rupture, when several of the negroes were
slain, and one of their towns set on fire by the pirates.

Leaving that port, the pirates, when at sea, determined by vote to sail
for the East Indies, and arrived at Madagascar. After watering and
taking in some provisions they sailed for the coast of Malabar. This
place is situated in the Mogul Empire, and is one of its most beautiful
and fertile districts. It extends from the coast of Canora to Cape
Comorin. The original natives are negroes; but a mingled race of
Mahometans, who are generally merchants, have been introduced in modern
times. Having sailed almost round the one half of the globe, literally
seeking whom they might devour, our pirates arrived in this hitherto
untried and prolific field for their operations.

Not long after their settlement at Madagascar, they took a cruise, in
which they captured two Indian vessels and a Dutchman. They exchanged
the latter for one of their own, and directed their course again to
Madagascar. Several of their hands were sent on shore with tents and
ammunition, to kill such beasts and venison as the island afforded. They
also formed the resolution to go in search of Avery's crew, which they
knew had settled upon the island; but as their residence was upon the
other side of the island, the loss of time and labour was the only fruit
of their search.

They tarried here but a very short time, then steered their course to
Johanna, and coming out of that harbor, fell in with two English vessels
and an Ostend ship, all Indiamen, which, after a most desperate action,
they captured. The particulars of this extraordinary action are related
in the following letter from Captain Mackra.

"_Bombay, November 16th_, 1720.

"We arrived on the 25th of July last, in company with the Greenwich, at
Johanna, an island not far from Madagascar. Putting in there to refresh
our men, we found fourteen pirates who came in their canoes from the
Mayotta, where the pirate ship to which they belonged, viz. the Indian
Queen, two hundred and fifty tons, twenty-eight guns, and ninety men,
commanded by Captain Oliver de la Bouche, bound from the Guinea coast to
the East Indies, had been bulged and lost. They said they left the
captain and forty of their men building a new vessel, to proceed on
their wicked designs. Captain Kirby and I concluding that it might be of
great service to the East India Company to destroy such a nest of
rogues, were ready to sail for that purpose on the 17th of August, about
eight o'clock in the morning, when we discovered two pirates standing
into the bay Johanna, one of thirty-four, and the other of thirty-six
guns. I immediately went on board the Greenwich, where they seemed very
diligent in preparation for an engagement, and I left Captain Kirby with
mutual promises of standing by each other. I then unmoored, got under
sail, and brought two boats a-head to row me close to the Greenwich; but
he being open to a valley and a breeze, made the best of his way from
me; which an Ostender in our company, of twenty-two guns, seeing, did
the same, though the captain had promised heartily to engage with us,
and I believe would have been as good as his word, if Captain Kirby had
kept his. About half an hour after twelve, I called several times to the
Greenwich to bear down to our assistance, and fired a shot at him, but
to no purpose; for though we did not doubt but he would join us,
because, when he got about a league from us he brought his ship to and
looked on, yet both he and the Ostender basely deserted us, and left us
engaged with barbarous and inhuman enemies, with their black and bloody
flags hanging over us, without the least appearance of ever escaping,
but to be cut to pieces. But God in his good providence determined
otherwise; for, notwithstanding their superiority, we engaged them both
about three hours; during which time the biggest of them received some
shot betwixt wind and water, which made her keep off a little to stop
her leaks. The other endeavored all she could to board us, by rowing
with her oars, being within half a ship's length of us above an hour;
but by good fortune we shot all her oars to pieces, which prevented
them, and by consequence saved our lives.

"About four o'clock most of the officers and men posted on the
quarter-deck being killed and wounded, the largest ship making up to us
with diligence, being still within a cable's length of us, often giving
us a broadside; there being now no hopes of Captain Kirby's coming to
our assistance, we endeavored to run a-shore; and though we drew four
feet of water more than the pirate, it pleased God that he stuck fast on
a higher ground than happily we fell in with; so was disappointed a
second time from boarding us. Here we had a more violent engagement than
before: all my officers and most of my men behaved with unexpected
courage; and, as we had a considerable advantage by having a broadside
to his bow, we did him great damage; so that had Captain Kirby come in
then, I believe we should have taken both the vessels, for we had one of
them sure; but the other pirate (who was still firing at us,) seeing the
Greenwich did not offer to assist us, supplied his consort with three
boats full of fresh men. About five in the evening the Greenwich stood
clear away to sea, leaving us struggling hard for life, in the very jaws
of death; which the other pirate that was afloat, seeing, got a warp
out, and was hauling under our stern.

"By this time many of my men being killed and wounded, and no hopes left
us of escaping being all murdered by enraged barbarous conquerors, I
ordered all that could to get into the long-boat, under the cover of the
smoke of our guns; so that, with what some did in boats, and others by
swimming, most of us that were able, got ashore by seven o'clock. When
the pirates came aboard, they cut three of our wounded men to pieces. I
with some of my people made what haste I could to King's-town,
twenty-five miles from us, where I arrived next day, almost dead with
the fatigue and loss of blood, having been sorely wounded in the head by
a musket-ball.

"At this town I heard that the pirates had offered ten thousand dollars
to the country people to bring me in, which many of them would have
accepted, only they knew the king and all his chief people were in my
interest. Meantime, I caused a report to be spread that I was dead of my
wounds, which much abated their fury. About ten days after, being pretty
well recovered, and hoping the malice of our enemies was nigh over, I
began to consider the dismal condition we were reduced to; being in a
place where we had no hopes of getting a passage home, all of us in a
manner naked, not having had time to bring with us either a shirt or a
pair of shoes, except what we had on. Having obtained leave to go on
board the pirates with a promise of safety, several of the chief of them
knew me, and some of them had sailed with me, which I found to be of
great advantage; because, notwithstanding their promise, some of them
would have cut me to pieces, and all that would not enter with them, had
it not been for their chief captain, Edward England, and some others
whom I knew. They talked of burning one of their ships, which we had so
entirely disabled as to be no farther useful to them, and to fit the
Cassandra in her room; but in the end I managed the affair so well, that
they made me a present of the said shattered ship, which was Dutch
built, and called the Fancy; her burden was about three hundred tons. I
procured also a hundred and twenty-nine bales of the Company's cloth,
though they would not give me a rag of my own clothes.

"They sailed the 3rd of September; and I, with jury-masts, and such old
sails as they left me, made a shift to do the like on the 8th, together
with forty-three of my ship's crew, including two passengers and twelve
soldiers; having no more than five tuns of water aboard. After a passage
of forty-eight days, I arrived here on the 26th of October, almost naked
and starved, having been reduced to a pint of water a-day, and almost in
despair of ever seeing land, by reason of the calms we met with between
the coast of Arabia and Malabar.

"We had in all thirteen men killed and twenty-four wounded; and we were
told that we destroyed about ninety or a hundred of the pirates. When
they left us, they were about three hundred whites, and eighty blacks,
on both ships. I am persuaded, had our consort the Greenwich done his
duty, we had destroyed both of them, and got two hundred thousand pounds
for our owners and selves; whereas the loss of the Cassandra may justly
be imputed to his deserting us. I have delivered all the bales that were
given me into the Company's warehouse, for which the governor and
council have ordered me a reward. Our governor, Mr. Boon, who is
extremely kind and civil to me, had ordered me home with the packet; but
Captain Harvey, who had a prior promise, being come in with the fleet,
goes in my room. The governor had promised me a country voyage to help
to make up my losses, and would have me stay and accompany him to
England next year."

Captain Mackra was certainly in imminent danger, in trusting himself and
his men on board the pirate ship, and unquestionably nothing but the
desperate circumstances in which he was placed could have justified so
hazardous a step. The honor and influence of Captain England, however,
protected him and his men from the fury of the crew, who would willingly
have wreaked their vengeance upon them.

It is pleasing to discover any instance of generosity or honor among
such an abandoned race, who bid defiance to all the laws of honor, and,
indeed, are regardless of all laws human and divine. Captain England was
so steady to Captain Mackra, that he informed him, it would be with no
small difficulty and address that he would be able to preserve him and
his men from the fury of the crew, who were greatly enraged at the
resistance which had been made. He likewise acquainted him, that his
influence and authority among them was giving place to that of Captain
Taylor, chiefly because the dispositions of the latter were more savage
and brutal. They therefore consulted between them what was the best
method to secure the favor of Taylor, and keep him in good humor. Mackra
made the punch to flow in great abundance, and employed every artifice
to soothe the mind of that ferocious villain.

A single incident was also very favorable to the unfortunate captain. It
happened that a pirate, with a prodigious pair of whiskers, a wooden
leg, and stuck round with pistols, came blustering and swearing upon the
quarter deck, inquiring "where was Captain Mackra." He naturally
supposed that this barbarous-looking fellow would be his executioner;
but, as he approached, he took the captain by the hand, swearing "that
he was an honest fellow, and that he had formerly sailed with him, and
would stand by him; and let him see the man that would touch him." This
terminated the dispute, and Captain Taylor's disposition was so
ameliorated with punch, that he consented that the old pirate ship, and
so many bales of cloth, should be given to Mackra, and then sank into
the arms of intoxication. England now pressed Mackra to hasten away,
lest the ruffian, upon his becoming sober, should not only retract his
word, but give liberty to the crew to cut him and his men to pieces.

But the gentle temper of Captain England, and his generosity towards the
unfortunate Mackra, proved the organ of much calamity to himself. The
crew, in general, deeming the kind of usage which Mackra had received,
inconsistent with piratical policy, they circulated a report, that he
was coming against them with the Company's force. The result of these
invidious reports was to deprive England of his command, and to excite
these cruel villains to put him on shore, with three others, upon the
island of Mauritius. If England and his small company had not been
destitute of every necessary, they might have made a comfortable
subsistence here, as the island abounds with deer, hogs, and other
animals. Dissatisfied, however, with their solitary situation, Captain
England and his three men exerted their industry and ingenuity, and
formed a small boat, with which they sailed to Madagascar, where they
subsisted upon the generosity of some more fortunate piratical

[Illustration: _Captain Mackra, and the Pirate with a wooden leg._]

Captain Taylor detained some of the officers and men belonging to
Captain Mackra, and having repaired their vessel, sailed for India. The
day before they made land, they espied two ships to the eastward, and
supposing them to be English, Captain Taylor ordered one of the officers
of Mackra's ship to communicate to him the private signals between the
Company's ships, swearing that if he did not do so immediately, he would
cut him into pound pieces. But the poor man being unable to give the
information demanded, was under the necessity of enduring their threats.
Arrived at the vessels, they found that they were two Moorish ships,
laden with horses. The pirates brought the captains and merchants on
board, and tortured them in a barbarous manner, to constrain them to
tell where they had hid their treasure. They were, however,
disappointed; and the next morning they discovered land, and at the same
time a fleet on shore plying to windward. In this situation they were at
a considerable loss how to dispose of their prizes. To let them go would
lead to their discovery, and thus defeat the design of their voyage; and
it was a distressing matter to sink the men and the horses, though many
of them were for adopting that measure. They, however, brought them to
anchor, threw all the sails overboard, and cut one of the masts half

While they lay at anchor, and were employed in taking in water, one of
the above-mentioned fleet moved towards them with English colors, and
was answered by the pirate with a red ensign; but they did not hail each
other. At night they left the Muscat ships, and sailed after the fleet.
About four next morning, the pirates were in the midst of the fleet, but
seeing their vast superiority, were greatly at a loss what method to
adopt. The Victory had become leaky, and their hands were so few in
number, that it only remained for them to deceive, if possible, the
English squadron. They were unsuccessful in gaining any thing out of
that fleet, and had only the wretched satisfaction of burning a single
galley. They however that day seized a galliot laden with cotton, and
made inquiry of the men concerning the fleet. They protested that they
had not seen a ship since they left Gogo, and earnestly implored their
mercy; but, instead of treating them with lenity, they put them to the
rack, in order to extort farther confession. The day following, a fresh
easterly wind blew hard, and rent the galliot's sails; upon this the
pirates put her company into a boat, with nothing but a try-sail, no
provisions, and only four gallons of water, and, though they were out of
sight of land, left them to shift for themselves.

It may be proper to inform our readers, that one Angria, an Indian
prince, of considerable territory and strength, had proved a troublesome
enemy to Europeans, and particularly to the English. Calaba was his
principal fort, situated not many leagues from Bombay, and he possessed
an island in sight of the port, from whence he molested the Company's
ships. His art in bribing the ministers of the Great Mogul, and the
shallowness of the water, that prevented large ships of war from
approaching, were the principal causes of his safety.

The Bombay fleet, consisting of four grabs, the London and the Candois,
and two other ships, with a galliot, having an additional thousand men
on board for this enterprise, sailed to attack a fort belonging to
Angria upon the Malabar coast. Though their strength was great, yet they
were totally unsuccessful in their enterprise. It was this fleet
returning home that our pirates discovered upon the present occasion.
Upon the sight of the pirates, the commodore of the fleet intimated to
Mr. Brown, the general, that as they had no orders to fight, and had
gone upon a different purpose, it would be improper for them to engage.
Informed of the loss of this favorable opportunity of destroying the
robbers, the governor of Bombay was highly enraged, and giving the
command of the fleet to Captain Mackra, ordered him to pursue and engage
them wherever they should be found.

The pirates having barbarously sent away the galliot with her men, they
arrived southward, and between Goa and Carwar they heard several guns,
so that they came to anchor, and sent their boat to reconnoitre, which
returned next morning with the intelligence of two grabs, lying at
anchor in the road. They accordingly weighed, ran towards the bay, and
in the morning were discovered by the grabs, who had just time to run
under India-Diva castle for protection. This was the more vexatious to
the pirates, as they were without water; some of them, therefore, were
for making a descent upon the island, but that measure not being
generally approved, they sailed towards the south, and took a small
ship, which had only a Dutchman and two Portuguese on board. They sent
one of these on shore to the captain, to inform him that, if he would
give them some water and fresh provisions, he might have his vessel
returned. He replied that, if they would give him possession over the
bar, he would comply with their request. But, suspecting the integrity
of his design, they sailed for Lacca Deva islands, uttering dreadful
imprecations against the captain.

Disappointed in finding water at these islands, they sailed to Malinda
island, and sent their boats on shore, to discover if there was any
water, or if there were any inhabitants.. They returned with the
information, that there was abundance of water, that the houses were
only inhabited by women and children, the men having fled at the
appearance of the ships. They accordingly hastened to supply themselves
with water, used the defenceless women in a brutal manner, destroyed
many of their fruit-trees, and set some of their houses on fire.

While off the island, they lost several of their anchors by the
rockiness of the ground; and one day, blowing more violently than usual,
they were forced to take to sea, leaving several people and most of the
water-casks; but when the gale was over, they returned to take in their
men and water. Their provisions being nearly exhausted, they resolved to
visit the Dutch at Cochin. After sailing three days, they arrived off
Tellechery, and took a small vessel belonging to Governor Adams, and
brought the master on board, very much intoxicated, who informed them of
the expedition of Captain Mackra. This intelligence raised their utmost
indignation. "A villain!" said they, "to whom we have given a ship and
presents, to come against us! he ought to be hanged; and since we cannot
show our resentment to him, let us hang the dogs his people, who wish
him well, and would do the same, if they were clear." "If it be in my
power," said the quarter-master, "both masters and officers of ships
shall be carried with us for the future, only to plague them. Now,
England, we mark him for this."

They proceeded to Calicut, and attempting to cut out a ship, were
prevented by some guns placed upon the shore. One of Captain Mackra's
officers was under deck at this time, and was commanded both by the
captain and the quarter-master to tend the braces on the booms, in hopes
that a shot would take him before they got clear. He was about to have
excused himself, but they threatened to shoot him; and when he
expostulated, and claimed their promise to put him on shore, he received
an unmerciful beating from the quarter-master; Captain Taylor, to whom
that duty belonged, being lame in his hands.

The day following they met a Dutch galliot, laden with limestone, bound
for Calicut, on board of which they put one Captain Fawkes; and some of
the crew interceding for Mackra's officer, Taylor and his party replied,
"If we let this dog go, who has overheard our designs and resolutions,
he will overset all our well-advised resolutions, and particularly this
supply we are seeking for at the hands of the Dutch."

When they arrived at Cochin, they sent a letter on shore by a
fishing-boat, entered the road, and anchored, each ship saluting the
fort with eleven guns, and receiving the same number in return. This was
the token of their welcome reception, and at night a large boat was
sent, deeply laden with liquors and all kinds of provisions, and in it a
servant of John Trumpet, one of their friends, to inform them that it
would be necessary for them to run farther south, where they would be
supplied both with provisions and naval stores.

They had scarcely anchored at the appointed place, when several canoes,
with white and black inhabitants, came on board, and continued without
interruption to perform all the good offices in their power during their
stay in that place. In particular, John Trumpet brought a large boat of
arrack, and sixty bales of sugar, as a present from the governor and his
daughter; the former receiving in return a table-clock, and the other a
gold watch, the spoil of Captain Mackra's vessel. When their provisions
were all on board, Trumpet was rewarded with about six or seven thousand
pounds, was saluted with three cheers, and eleven guns; and several
handsfull of silver were thrown into the boat, for the men to gather at

There being little wind that night, they remained at anchor, and in the
morning were surprised with the return of Trumpet, bringing another boat
equally well stored with provisions, with chests of piece-goods and
ready-made clothes, and along with him the fiscal of the place. At noon
they espied a sail towards the south, and immediately gave chase, but
she outsailed them, and sheltered under the fort of Cochin. Informed
that they would not be molested in taking her from under the castle,
they sailed towards her, but upon the fort firing two guns, they ran
off for fear of more serious altercation, and returning, anchored in
their former station. They were too welcome visitants to be permitted to
depart, so long as John Trumpet could contrive to detain them. With this
view he informed them, that in a few days a rich vessel, commanded by
the Governor of Bombay's brother, was to pass that way.

That government is certainly in a wretched state, which is under the
necessity of trading with pirates, in order to enrich itself; nor will
such a government hesitate by what means an injury can be repaired, or a
fortune gained. Neither can language describe the low and base
principles of a government which could employ such a miscreant as John
Trumpet in its service. He was a tool in the hands of the government of
Cochin; and, as the dog said in the fable, "What is done by the master's
orders, is the master's action;" or, as the same sentiment is, perhaps,
better expressed in the legal axiom; "Qui facit per alium facit per se."

While under the direction of Trumpet, some proposed to proceed directly
to Madagascar, but others were disposed to wait until they should be
provided with a store ship. The majority being of the latter opinion,
they steered to the south, and seeing a ship on shore were desirous to
get near her, but the wind preventing, they separated, the one sailing
northward and the other southward, in hopes of securing her when she
should come out, whatever direction she might take. They were now,
however, almost entrapped in the snare laid for them. In the morning, to
their astonishment and consternation, instead of being called to give
chase, five large ships were near, which made a signal for the pirates
to bear down. The pirates were in the greatest dread lest it should be
Captain Mackra, of whose activity and courage they had formerly
sufficient proof. The pirate ships, however, joined and fled with all
speed from the fleet. In three hours' chase none of the fleet gained
upon them, except one grab. The remainder of the day was calm, and, to
their great consolation, the next day this dreaded fleet was entirely
out of sight.

Their alarm being over, they resolved to spend the Christmas in feasting
and mirth, in order to drown care, and to banish thought. Nor did one
day suffice, but they continued their revelling for several days, and
made so free with their fresh provisions, that in their next cruise they
were put upon short allowance; and it was entirely owing to the sugar
and other provisions that were in the leaky ship that they were
preserved from absolute starvation.

In this condition they reached the island of Mauritius, refitted the
Victory, and left that place with the following inscription written upon
one of the walls: "Left this place on the 5th of April, to go to
Madagascar for Limos." This they did lest any visit should be paid to
the place during their absence. They, however, did not sail directly for
Madagascar, but the island of Mascarius, where they fortunately fell in
with a Portuguese of seventy guns, lying at anchor. The greater part of
her guns had been thrown overboard, her masts lost, and the whole vessel
disabled by a storm; she therefore, became an easy prey to the pirates.
Conde de Ericeira, Viceroy of Goa, who went upon the fruitless
expedition against Angria the Indian, and several passengers, were on
board. Besides other valuable articles and specie, they found in her
diamonds to the amount of four millions of dollars. Supposing that the
ship was an Englishman, the Viceroy came on board next morning, was made
prisoner, and obliged to pay two thousand dollars as a ransom for
himself and the other prisoners. After this he was sent ashore, with an
express engagement to leave a ship to convey him and his companions to
another port.

Meanwhile, the pirates received intelligence that a vessel was to the
leeward of the island, which they pursued and captured. But instead of
performing their promise to the Viceroy, which they could easily have
done, they sent the Ostender along with some of their men to Madagascar,
to inform their friends of their success, with instructions to prepare
masts for the prize; and they soon followed, carrying two thousand
negroes in the Portuguese vessel.

Madagascar is an island larger than Great Britain, situated upon the
eastern coast of Africa, abounding with all sorts of provisions, such as
oxen, goats, sheep, poultry, fish, citrons, oranges, tamarinds, dates,
cocoa-nuts, bananas, wax, honey, rice, cotton, indigo, and all other
fruits common in that quarter of the globe; ebony of which lances are
made, gums of several kinds, and many other valuable productions. Here,
in St. Augustine's bay, the ships sometimes stop to take in water, when
they make the inner passage to India, and do not intend to stop at

When the Portuguese ship arrived there, they received intelligence that
the Ostender had taken advantage of an hour when the men were
intoxicated, had risen upon them, and carried the ship to Mozambique,
from whence the governor ordered her to Goa.

The pirates now divided their plunder, receiving forty-two diamonds per
man, or in smaller proportion according to their magnitude. A foolish
jocular fellow, who had received a large diamond of the value of
forty-two, was highly displeased, and so went and broke it in pieces,
exclaiming, that he had many more shares than either of them. Some,
contended with their treasure, and unwilling to run the risk of losing
what they possessed, and perhaps their lives also, resolved to remain
with their friends at Madagascar, under the stipulation that the longest
livers should enjoy all the booty. The number of adventurers being now
lessened, they burned the Viceroy, cleaned the Cassandra, and the
remainder went on board her under the command of Taylor, whom we must
leave for a little while, in order to give an account of the squadron
which arrived in India in 1721.

When the commodore arrived at the Cape, he received a letter that had
been written by the Governor of Pondicherry to the Governor of Madras,
informing him that the pirates were strong in the Indian seas; that they
had eleven sail, and fifteen hundred men; but adding, that many of them
retired about that time to Brazil and Guinea, while others fortified
themselves at Madagascar, Mauritius, Johanna, and Mohilla; and that a
crew under the command of Condin, in a ship called the Dragon, had
captured a vessel with thirteen lacks of rupees on board, and having
divided their plunder, had taken up their residence with their friends
at Madagascar.

Upon receiving this intelligence, Commodore Matthews sailed for these
islands, as the most probable place of success. He endeavored to prevail
on England, at St. Mary's, to communicate to him what information he
could give respecting the pirates; but England declined, thinking that
this would be almost to surrender at discretion. He then took up the
guns of the Jubilee sloop that were on board, and the men-of-war made
several cruises in search of the pirates, but to no purpose. The
squadron was then sent down to Bombay, was saluted by the fort, and
after these exploits returned home.

The pirate, Captain Taylor, in the Cassandra, now fitted up the
Portuguese man-of-war, and resolved upon another voyage to the Indies;
but, informed that four men-of-war had been sent after the pirates in
that quarter, he changed his determination, and sailed for Africa.
Arrived there, they put in a place near the river Spirito Sancto, on the
coast of Monomotapa. As there was no correspondence by land, nor any
trade carried on by sea to this place, they thought that it would afford
a safe retreat. To their astonishment, however, when they approached the
shore, it being in the dusk of the evening, they were accosted by
several shot. They immediately anchored, and in the morning saw that
the shot had come from a small fort of six guns, which they attacked and

This small fort was erected by the Dutch East India Company a few weeks
before, and committed to the care of 150 men, the one half of whom had
perished by sickness or other causes. Upon their petition, sixteen of
these were admitted into the society of the pirates; and the rest would
also have been received, had they not been Dutchmen, to whom they had a
rooted aversion.

In this place they continued during four months, refitting their
vessels, and amusing themselves with all manner of diversions, until the
scarcity of their provisions awakened them to industry and exertion.
They, however, left several parcels of goods to the starving Dutchmen,
which Mynheer joyfully exchanged for provisions with the next vessel
that touched at that fort.

Leaving that place, they were divided in opinion what course to steer;
some went on board the Portuguese prize, and, sailing for Madagascar,
abandoned the pirate life; and others going on board the Cassandra,
sailed for the Spanish West Indies. The Mermaid man-of-war, returning
from a convoy, got near the pirates, and would have attacked them, but a
consultation being held, it was deemed inexpedient, and thus the pirates
escaped. A sloop was, however, dispatched to Jamaica with the
intelligence, and the Lancaster was sent after them; but they were some
days too late, the pirates having, with all their riches, surrendered to
the Governor of Portobello.


_And Thomas Veal, who was buried in his cave by the Great Earthquake_.

In the year 1658 there was a great earthquake in New-England. Some time
previous, on one pleasant evening, a little after sunset, a small vessel
was seen to anchor near the mouth of Saugus river. A boat was presently
lowered from her side, into which four men descended, and moved up the
river a considerable distance, when they landed, and proceeded directly
into the woods. They had been noticed by only a few individuals; but in
those early times, when the people were surrounded by danger, and easily
susceptible of alarm, such an incident was well calculated to awaken
suspicion, and in the course of the evening the intelligence was
conveyed to many houses. In the morning, the people naturally directed
their eyes toward the shore, in search of the strange vessel--but she
was gone, and no trace could be found either of her or her singular
crew. It was afterwards ascertained that, on the morning one of the men
at the Iron Works, on going into the foundry, discovered a paper, on
which was written, that if a quantity of shackles, handcuffs, hatchets,
and other articles of iron manufacture, were made and deposited, with
secrecy, in a certain place in the woods, which was particularly
designated, an amount of silver, to their full value, would be found in
their place. The articles were made in a few days, and placed in
conformity with the directions. On the next morning they were gone, and
the money was found according to the promise; but though a watch had
been kept, no vessel was seen. Some months afterwards, the four men
returned, and selected one of the most secluded and romantic spots in
the woods of Saugus, for their abode. The place of their retreat was a
deep narrow valley, shut in on two sides by craggy, precipitous rocks,
and shrouded on the others by thick pines, hemlocks and cedars, between
which there was only one small spot, to which the rays of the sun at
noon could penetrate. On climbing up the rude and almost perpendicular
steps of the rock on either side, the eye could command a full view of
the bay on the south, and a prospect of a considerable portion of the
surrounding country. The place of their retreat has ever since been
called the Pirates' Glen, and they could not have selected a spot on the
coast for many miles, more favorable for the purposes both of
concealment and observation. Even at this day, when the neighborhood has
become thickly peopled, it is still a lonely and desolate place, and
probably not one in a hundred of the inhabitants has ever descended into
its silent and gloomy recess. There the pirates built a small hut, made
a garden, and dug a well, the appearance of which is still visible. It
has been supposed that they buried money; but though people have dug
there, and in many other places, none has ever been found. After
residing there some time, their retreat became known, and one of the
king's cruizers appeared on the coast. They were traced to their glen,
and three of them were taken, and carried to England, where it is
probable they were executed. The other, whose name was Thomas Veal,
escaped to a rock in the woods, about two miles to the north, in which
was a spacious cavern, where the pirates had previously deposited some
of their plunder. There the fugitive fixed his residence, and practised
the trade of a shoemaker, occasionally coming down to the village to
obtain articles of sustenance. He continued his residence till the great
earthquake in 1658, when the top of the rock was loosened, and crushed
down into the mouth of the cavern, enclosing the unfortunate inmate in
its unyielding prison. It has ever since been called the Pirate's
Dungeon. A part of the cavern is still open, and is much visited by the

This rock is situated on a lofty range of thickly wooded hills, and
commands an extensive view of the ocean, for fifty miles both north and
south. A view from the top of it, at once convinces the beholder that it
would be impossible to select a place more convenient for the haunt of a
gang of pirates; as all vessels bound in and out of the harbors of
Boston, Salem, and the adjacent ports, can be distinctly seen from its
summit. Saugus river meanders among the hills a short distance to the
south, and its numerous creeks which extend among thick bushes, would
afford good places to secrete boats, until such time as the pirates
descried a sail, when they could instantly row down the river, attack
and plunder them, and with their booty return to the cavern. This was
evidently their mode of procedure. On an open space in front of the rock
are still to be seen distinct traces of a small garden spot, and in the
corner is a small well, full of stones and rubbish; the foundation of
the wall round the garden remains, and shows that the spot was of a
triangular shape, and was well selected for the cultivation of potatoes
and common vegetables. The aperture in the rock is only about five feet
in height, and extends only fifteen feet into the rock. The needle is
strongly attracted around this, either by the presence of magnetic iron
ore or some metallic substance buried in the interior.

The Pirates' Glen, which is some distance from this, is one of Nature's
wildest and most picturesque spots, and the cellar of the pirate's hut
remains to the present time, as does a clear space, which was evidently
cultivated at some remote period.

[Illustration: _The Dungeon Rock and Pirate's Cave, at Lynn, Mass._]


_And their Depredations on the Coast of China: with an Account of the
Enterprises and Victories of Mistress Ching, a Female Pirate_.

The Ladrones as they were christened by the Portuguese at Macao, were
originally a disaffected set of Chinese, that revolted against the
oppression of the Mandarins. The first scene of their depredations was
the Western coast, about Cochin China, where they began by attacking
small trading vessels in row boats, carrying from thirty to forty men
each. They continued this system of piracy, and thrived and increased in
numbers under it, for several years. At length the fame of their
success, and the oppression and horrid poverty and want that many of the
lower orders of Chinese labored under, had the effect of augmenting
their bands with astonishing rapidity. Fishermen and other destitute
classes flocked by hundreds to their standard, and their audacity
growing with their numbers, they not merely swept the coast, but
blockaded all the rivers and attacked and took several large government
war junks, mounting from ten to fifteen guns each.--These junks being
added to their shoals of boats, the pirates formed a tremendous fleet,
which was always along shore, so that no small vessel could safely trade
on the coast. When they lacked prey on the sea, they laid the land under
tribute. They were at first accustomed to go on shore and attack the
maritime villages, but becoming bolder, like the Buccaneers, made long
inland journeys, and surprised and plundered even large towns.

An energetic attempt made by the Chinese government to destroy them,
only increased their strength; for in their first encounter with the
pirates, twenty-eight of the Imperial junks struck, and the remaining
twelve saved themselves, by a precipitate retreat.

The captured junks, fully equipped for war, were a great acquisition to
the robbers, whose numbers now increased more rapidly than ever. They
were in their plenitude of power in the year 1809, when Mr. Glasspoole
had the misfortune to fall into their hands, at which time that
gentleman supposed their force to consist of 70,000 men, navigating
eight hundred large vessels, and one thousand small ones, including row
boats. They were divided into six large squadrons, under different
flags;--the red, the yellow, the green, the blue, the black and the
white. "These wasps of the Ocean," as a Chinese historian calls them,
were further distinguished by the names of their respective commanders:
by these commanders a certain _Ching-yih_ had been the most
distinguished by his valor and conduct. By degrees, Ching obtained
almost a supremacy of command over the whole united fleet; and so
confident was this robber in his strength and daily augmenting means,
that he aspired to the dignity of a king, and went so far as openly to
declare his patriotic intention of hurling the present Tartar family
from the throne of China, and of restoring the ancient Chinese dynasty.
But unfortunately for the ambitious pirate, he perished in a heavy gale,
and instead of placing a sovereign on the Chinese throne, he and his
lofty aspirations were buried in the yellow sea. And now comes the most
remarkable passage in the history of these pirates--remarkable with any
class of men, but doubly so among the Chinese, who entertain more than
the general oriental opinion of the inferiority of the fair sex. On the
death of _Ching-yih,_ his legitimate wife had sufficient influence over
the freebooters to induce them to recognize her authority in the place
of her deceased husband's, and she appointed one _Paou_ as her
lieutenant and prime minister, and provided that she should be
considered the mistress or commander-in-chief of the united squadrons.

This _Paou_ had been a poor fisher-boy, picked up with his father at
sea, while fishing, by _Ching-yih,_ whose good will and favor he had the
fortune to captivate, and by whom, before that pirate's death, he had
been made a captain. Instead of declining under the rule of a woman, the
pirates became more enterprising than ever. Ching's widow was clever as
well as brave, and so was her lieutenant Paou. Between them they drew up
a code of law for the better regulation of the freebooters.

In this it was decreed, that if any man went privately on shore, or did
what they called "transgressing the bars," he should have his ears slit
in the presence of the whole fleet; a repetition of the same unlawful
act, was death! No one article, however trifling in value, was to be
privately subtracted from the booty or plundered goods. Every thing they
took was regularly entered on the register of their stores. The
following clause of Mistress _Ching's_ code is still more delicate. No
person shall debauch at his pleasure captive women, taken in the
villages and open places, and brought on board a ship; he must first
request the ship's purser for permission, and then go aside in the
ship's hold. To use violence, against any woman, or to wed her, without
permission, shall be punished with death.

By these means an admirable discipline was maintained on board the
ships, and the peasantry on shore never let the pirates want for
gunpowder, provisions, or any other necessary. On a piratical
expedition, either to advance or retreat without orders, was a capital
offence. Under these philosophical institutions, and the guidance of a
woman, the robbers continued to scour the China sea, plundering every
vessel they came near. The Great War Mandarin, Kwolang-lin sailed from
the Bocca Tigris into the sea to fight the pirates. Paou gave him a
tremendous drubbing, and gained a splendid victory. In this battle which
lasted from morning to night, the Mandarin Kwolang-lin, a desperate
fellow himself, levelled a gun at Paou, who fell on the deck as the
piece went off; his disheartened crew concluded it was all over with
him. But Paou was quick eyed. He had seen the unfriendly intention of
the mandarin, and thrown himself down. The Great Mandarin was soon after
taken with fifteen junks; three were sunk. The pirate lieutenant would
have dealt mercifully with him, but the fierce old man suddenly seized
him by the hair on the crown of his head, and grinned at him, so that he
might provoke him to slay him. But even then Paou spoke kindly to him.
Upon this he committed suicide, being seventy years of age.

After several victories and reverses, the Chinese historian says our
men-of-war escorting some merchant ships, happened to meet the pirate
chief nicknamed "The Jewel of the Crew" cruising at sea. The traders
became exceedingly frightened, but our commander said,--This not being
the flag of the widow Ching-yih, we are a match for them, therefore we
will attack and conquer them. Then ensued a battle; they attacked each
other with guns and stones, and many people were killed and wounded. The
fighting ceased towards evening, and began again next morning. The
pirates and the men-of-war were very close to each other, and they
boasted mutually about their strength and valor. The traders remained at
some distance; they saw the pirates mixing gunpowder in their
beverage,--they looked instantly red about the face and the eyes, and
then fought desperately. This fighting continued three days and nights
incessantly; at last, becoming tired on both sides, they separated.

To understand this inglorious bulletin, the reader must remember that
many of the combatants only handled bows and arrows, and pelted stones,
and that Chinese powder and guns are both exceedingly bad. The pathos
of the conclusion does somewhat remind one of the Irishman's despatch
during the American war,--"It was a bloody battle while it lasted; and
the searjent of marines lost his cartouche box."

The Admiral Ting River was sent to sea against them. This man was
surprised at anchor by the ever vigilant Paou, to whom many fishermen
and other people on the coast, must have acted as friendly spies. Seeing
escape impossible, and that his officers stood pale and inactive by the
flag-staff, the Admiral conjured them, by their fathers and mothers,
their wives and children, and by the hopes of brilliant reward if they
succeeded, and of vengeance if they perished, to do their duty, and the
combat began. The Admiral had the good fortune, at the onset, of killing
with one of his great guns the pirate captain, "The Jewel of the Crew."
But the robbers swarmed thicker and thicker around him, and when the
dreaded Paou lay him by the board, without help or hope, the Mandarin
killed himself. An immense number of his men perished in the sea, and
twenty-five vessels were lost. After his defeat, it was resolved by the
Chinese Government to cut off all their supplies of food, and starve
them out. All vessels that were in port were ordered to remain there,
and those at sea, or on the coast ordered to return with all speed. But
the pirates, full of confidence, now resolved to attack the harbors
themselves, and to ascend the rivers, which are navigable for many miles
up the country, and rob the villages. The consternation was great when
the Chinese saw them venturing above the government forts.

The pirates separated: Mistress Ching plundering in one place, Paou in
another, and O-po-tae in another, &c.

It was at this time that Mr. Glasspoole had the ill fortune to fall into
their power. This gentlemen, then an officer in the East India Company's
ship the Marquis of Ely, which was anchored under an island about twelve
miles from Macao, was ordered to proceed to the latter place with a
boat to procure a pilot. He left the ship in one of the cutters, with
seven British seamen well armed, on the 17th September, 1809. He reached
Macao in safety, and having done his business there and procured a
pilot, returned towards the ship the following day. But, unfortunately,
the ship had weighed anchor and was under sail, and in consequence of
squally weather, accompanied with thick fogs, the boat could not reach
her, and Mr. Glasspoole and his men and the pilot were left at sea, in
an open boat. "Our situation," says that gentleman, "was truly
distressing--night closing fast, with a threatening appearance, blowing
fresh, with a hard rain and a heavy sea; our boat very leaky, without a
compass, anchor, or provisions, and drifting fast on a lee-shore,
surrounded with dangerous rocks, and inhabited by the most barbarous

After suffering dreadfully for three whole days, Mr. Glasspoole, by the
advice of the pilot, made for a narrow channel, where he presently
discovered three large boats at anchor, which, on seeing the English
boat, weighed and made sail towards it. The pilot told Mr. Glasspoole
they were Ladrones, and that if they captured the boat, they would
certainly put them all to death! After rowing tremendously for six hours
they escaped these boats, but on the following morning falling in with a
large fleet of the pirates, which the English mistook for fishing-boats,
they were captured.

"About twenty savage-looking villains," says Mr. Glasspoole, "who were
stowed at the bottom of the boat, leaped on board us. They were armed
with a short sword in either hand, one of which they layed upon our
necks, and pointed the other to our breasts, keeping their eyes fixed on
their officer, waiting his signal to cut or desist. Seeing we were
incapable of making any resistance, the officer sheathed his sword, and
the others immediately followed his example. They then dragged us into
their boat, and carried us on board one of their junks, with the most
savage demonstrations of joy, and, as we supposed, to torture and put us
to a cruel death."

When on board the junk they rifled the Englishmen, and brought heavy
chains to chain them to the deck.

"At this time a boat came, and took me, with one of my men and an
interpreter, on board the chief's vessel. I was then taken before the
chief. He was seated on deck, in a large chair, dressed in purple silk,
with a black turban on. He appeared to be about thirty years of age, a
stout commanding-looking man. He took me by the coat, and drew me close
to him; then questioned the interpreter very strictly, asking who we
were, and what was our business in that part of the country. I told him
to say we were Englishmen in distress, having been four days at sea
without provisions. This he would not credit, but said we were bad men,
and that he would put us all to death; and then ordered some men to put
the interpreter to the torture until he confessed the truth. Upon this
occasion, a Ladrone, who had been once to England and spoke a few words
of English, came to the chief, and told him we were really Englishmen,
and that we had plenty of money, adding that the buttons on my coat were
gold. The chief then ordered us some coarse brown rice, of which we made
a tolerable meal, having eaten nothing for nearly four days, except a
few green oranges. During our repast, a number of Ladrones crowded round
us, examining our clothes and hair, and giving us every possible
annoyance. Several of them brought swords, and laid them on our necks,
making signs that they would soon take us on shore, and cut us in
pieces, which I am sorry to say was the fate of some hundreds during my
captivity. I was now summoned before the chief, who had been conversing
with the interpreter: he said I must write to my captain, and tell him,
if he did not send an hundred thousand dollars for our ransom, in ten
days he would put us all to death."

After vainly expostulating to lessen the ransom, Mr. Glasspoole wrote
the letter, and a small boat came alongside and took it to Macao.

Early in the night the fleet sailed, and anchored about one o'clock the
following day in a bay under the island of Lantow, where the head
admiral of Ladrones (our acquaintance Paou) was lying at anchor, with
about two hundred vessels and a Portuguese brig they had captured a few
days before, and the captain and part of the crew of which they had
murdered. Early the next morning, a fishing-boat came to inquire if they
had captured an European boat; they came to the vessel the English were

"One of the boatmen spoke a few words of English, and told me he had a
Ladrone-pass, and was sent by our captain in search of us; I was rather
surprised to find he had no letter. He appeared to be well acquainted
with the chief, and remained in his cabin smoking opium, and playing
cards all the day. In the evening I was summoned with the interpreter
before the chief. He questioned us in a much milder tone, saying, he now
believed we were Englishmen, a people he wished to be friendly with; and
that if our captain would lend him seventy thousand dollars till he
returned from his cruise up the river, he would repay him, and send us
all to Macao. I assured him it was useless writing on these terms, and
unless our ransom was speedily settled, the English fleet would sail,
and render our enlargement altogether ineffectual. He remained
determined, and said if it were not sent, he would keep us, and make us
fight, or put us to death. I accordingly wrote, and gave my letter to
the man belonging to the boat before mentioned. He said he could not
return with an answer in less than five days. The chief now gave me the
letter I wrote when first taken. I have never been able to ascertain his
reasons for detaining it, but suppose he dared not negociate for our
ransom without orders from the head admiral, who I understood was sorry
at our being captured. He said the English ships would join the
Mandarins and attack them."

While the fleet lay here, one night the Portuguese who were left in the
captured brig murdered the Ladrones that were on board of her, cut the
cables, and fortunately escaped through the darkness of the night.

"At day-light the next morning, the fleet, amounting to above five
hundred sail of different sizes, weighed, to proceed on their intended
cruise up the rivers, to levy contributions on the towns and villages.
It is impossible to describe what were my feelings at this critical
time, having received no answers to my letters, and the fleet under-way
to sail--hundreds of miles up a country never visited by Europeans,
there to remain probably for many months, which would render all
opportunities for negotiating for our enlargement totally ineffectual;
as the only method of communication is by boats that have a pass from
the Ladrones, and they dare not venture above twenty miles from Macao,
being obliged to come and go in the night, to avoid the Mandarins; and
if these boats should be detected in having any intercourse with the
Ladrones, they are immediately put to death, and all their relations,
though they had not joined in the crime, share in the punishment, in
order that not a single person of their families should be left to
imitate their crimes or avenge their death."

The following is a very touching incident in Mr. Glasspoole's narrative.

"Wednesday the 26th of September, at day-light, we passed in sight of
our own ships, at anchor under the island of Chun Po. The chief then
called me, pointed to the ships, and told the interpreter to tell us to
look at them, for we should never see them again! About noon we entered
a river to the westward of the Bogue. Three or four miles from the
entrance we passed a large town situated on the side of a beautiful
hill, which is tributary to the Ladrones; the inhabitants saluted them
with songs as they passed."

After committing numerous minor robberies, "The Ladrones now prepared to
attack a town with a formidable force, collected in row-boats from the
different vessels. They sent a messenger to the town, demanding a
tribute of ten thousand dollars annually, saying, if these terms were
not complied with, they would land, destroy the town, and murder all the
inhabitants: which they would certainly have done, had the town laid in
a more advantageous situation for their purpose; but being placed out of
the reach of their shot, they allowed them to come to terms. The
inhabitants agreed to pay six thousand dollars, which they were to
collect by the time of our return down the river. This finesse had the
desired effect, for during our absence they mounted a few guns on a
hill, which commanded the passage, and gave us in lieu of the dollars, a
warm salute on our return.

"October the 1st, the fleet weighed in the night, dropped by the tide up
the river, and anchored very quietly before a town surrounded by a thick
wood. Early in the morning the Ladrones assembled in row-boats, and
landed; then gave a shout, and rushed into the town, sword in hand. The
inhabitants fled to the adjacent hills, in numbers apparently superior
to the Ladrones. We may easily imagine to ourselves the horror with
which these miserable people must be seized, on being obliged to leave
their homes, and everything dear to them. It was a most melancholy sight
to see women in tears, clasping their infants in their arms, and
imploring mercy for them from those brutal robbers! The old and the
sick, who were unable to fly, or make resistance, were either made
prisoners or most inhumanly butchered! The boats continued passing and
repassing from the junks to the shore, in quick succession, laden with
booty, and the men besmeared with blood! Two hundred and fifty women
and several children, were made prisoners, and sent on board different
vessels. They were unable to escape with the men, owing to that
abominable practice of cramping their feet; several of them were not
able to move without assistance. In fact, they might all be said to
totter, rather than walk. Twenty of these poor women were sent on board
the vessel I was in; they were hauled on board by the hair, and treated
in a most savage manner. When the chief came on board, he questioned
them respecting the circumstances of their friends, and demanded ransoms
accordingly, from six thousand to six hundred dollars each. He ordered
them a berth on deck, at the after part of the vessel, where they had
nothing to shelter them from the weather, which at this time was very
variable--the days excessively hot, and the nights cold, with heavy
rains. The town being plundered of everything valuable, it was set on
fire, and reduced to ashes by the morning. The fleet remained here three
days, negotiating for the ransom of the prisoners, and plundering the
fish-tanks and gardens. During all this time, the Chinese never ventured
from the hills, though there were frequently not more than a hundred
Ladrones on shore at a time, and I am sure the people on the hills
exceeded ten times that number.

"On the 10th we formed a junction with the Black-squadron, and proceeded
many miles up a wide and beautiful river, passing several ruins of
villages that had been destroyed by the Black-squadron. On the 17th, the
fleet anchored abreast four mud batteries, which defended a town, so
entirely surrounded with wood, that it was impossible to form any idea
of its size. The weather was very hazy, with hard squalls of rain. The
Ladrones remained perfectly quiet for two days. On the third day the
forts commenced a brisk fire for several hours: the Ladrones did not
return a single shot, but weighed in the night and dropped down the
river. The reasons they gave for not attacking the town, or returning
the fire, were, that Joss had not promised them success. They are very
superstitious, and consult their idol on all occasions. If his omens are
good, they will undertake the most daring enterprises. The fleet now
anchored opposite the ruins of the town where the women had been made
prisoners. Here we remained five or six days, during which time about an
hundred of the women were ransomed; the remainder were offered for sale
amongst the Ladrones, for forty dollars each. The woman is considered
the lawful wife of the purchaser, who would be put to death if he
discarded her. Several of them leaped overboard and drowned themselves,
rather than submit to such infamous degradation.

"Mei-ying, the wife of Ke-choo-yang, was very beautiful, and a pirate
being about to seize her by the head, she abused him exceedingly. The
pirate bound her to the yard-arm; but on abusing him yet more, the
pirate dragged her down and broke two of her teeth, which filled her
mouth and jaws with blood. The pirate sprang up again to bind her. Ying
allowed him to approach, but as soon as he came near her, she laid hold
of his garments with her bleeding mouth, and threw both him and herself
into the river, where they were drowned. The remaining captives of both
sexes were after some months liberated, on having paid a ransom of
fifteen thousand leang or ounces of silver.

"The fleet then weighed," continues Mr. Glasspoole, "and made sail down
the river, to receive the ransom from the town before-mentioned. As we
passed the hill, they fired several shot at us, but without effect. The
Ladrones were much exasperated, and determined to revenge themselves;
they dropped out of reach of their shot, and anchored. Every junk sent
about a hundred men each on shore, to cut paddy, and destroy their
orange-groves, which was most effectually performed for several miles
down the river. During our stay here, they received information of nine
boats lying up a creek, laden with paddy; boats were immediately
despatched after them. Next morning these boats were brought to the
fleet; ten or twelve men were taken in them. As these had made no
resistance, the chief said he would allow them to become Ladrones, if
they agreed to take the usual oaths before Joss. Three or four of them
refused to comply, for which they were punished in the following cruel
manner: their hands were tied behind their backs, a rope from the
masthead rove through their arms, and hoisted three or four feet from
the deck, and five or six men flogged them with their rattans twisted
together till they were apparently dead; then hoisted them up to the
mast-head, and left them hanging nearly an hour, then lowered them down,
and repeated the punishment, till they died or complied with the oath.

"On the 28th of October, I received a letter from Captain Kay, brought by
a fisherman, who had told him he would get us all back for three
thousand dollars. He advised me to offer three thousand, and if not
accepted, extend it to four; but not farther, as it was bad policy to
offer much at first: at the same time assuring me we should be
liberated, let the ransom be what it would. I offered the chief the
three thousand, which he disdainfully refused, saying he was not to be
played with; and unless they sent ten thousand dollars, and two large
guns, with several casks of gunpowder, he would soon put us to death. I
wrote to Captain Kay, and informed him of the chief's determination,
requesting, if an opportunity offered, to send us a shift of clothes,
for which it may be easily imagined we were much distressed, having been
seven weeks without a shift; although constantly exposed to the weather,
and of course frequently wet.

"On the first of November, the fleet sailed up a narrow river, and
anchored at night within two miles of a town called Little Whampoa. In
front of it was a small fort, and several Mandarin vessels lying in the
harbor. The chief sent the interpreter to me, saying, I must order my
men to make cartridges and clean their muskets, ready to go on shore in
the morning. I assured the interpreter I should give the men no such
orders, that they must please themselves. Soon after the chief came on
board, threatening to put us all to a cruel death if we refused to obey
his orders. For my own part I remained determined, and advised the men
not to comply, as I thought by making ourselves useful we should be
accounted too valuable. A few hours afterwards he sent to me again,
saying, that if myself and the quarter-master would assist them at the
great guns, that if also the rest of the men went on shore and succeeded
in taking the place, he would then take the money offered for our
ransom, and give them twenty dollars for every Chinaman's head they cut
off. To these proposals we cheerfully acceded, in hopes of facilitating
our deliverance.

"The Mandarin vessels continued firing, having blocked up the entrance of
the harbor to prevent the Ladrone boats entering. At this the Ladrones
were much exasperated, and about three hundred of them swam on shore,
with a short sword lashed close under each arm; they then ran along the
banks of the river till they came abreast of the vessels, and then swam
off again and boarded them. The Chinese thus attacked, leaped overboard,
and endeavored to reach the opposite shore; the Ladrones followed, and
cut the greater number of them to pieces in the water. They next towed
the vessels out of the harbor, and attacked the town with increased
fury. The inhabitants fought about a quarter of an hour, and then
retreated to an adjacent hill, from which they were soon driven with
great slaughter. After this the Ladrones returned, and plundered the
town, every boat leaving it with lading. The Chinese on the hills
perceiving most of the boats were off, rallied, and retook the town,
after killing near two hundred Ladrones. One of my men was
unfortunately lost in this dreadful massacre! The Ladrones landed a
second time, drove the Chinese out of the town, then reduced it to
ashes, and put all their prisoners to death, without regarding either
age or sex! I must not omit to mention a most horrid (though ludicrous)
circumstance which happened at this place. The Ladrones were paid by
their chief ten dollars for every Chinaman's head they produced. One of
my men turning the corner of a street was met by a Ladrone running
furiously after a Chinese; he had a drawn sword in his hand, and two
Chinaman's heads which he had cut off, tied by their tails, and slung
round his neck. I was witness myself to some of them producing five or
six to obtain payment!

"On the 4th of November an order arrived from the admiral for the fleet
to proceed immediately to Lantow, where he was lying with only two
vessels, and three Portuguese ships and a brig constantly annoying him;
several sail of Mandarin vessels were daily expected. The fleet weighed
and proceeded towards Lantow. On passing the island of Lintin, three
ships and a brig gave chase to us. The Ladrones prepared to board; but
night closing we lost sight of them: I am convinced they altered their
course and stood from us. These vessels were in the pay of the Chinese
Government, and styled themselves the Invincible Squadron, cruising in
the river Tigris to annihilate the Ladrones!

"On the fifth, in the morning, the red squadron anchored in a bay under
Lantow; the black squadron stood to the eastward. In the afternoon of
the 8th of November, four ships, a brig, and a schooner came off the
mouth of the bay. At first the pirates were much alarmed, supposing them
to be English vessels come to rescue us. Some of them threatened to hang
us to the mast-head for them to fire at; and with much difficulty we
persuaded them that they were Portuguese. The Ladrones had only seven
junks in a fit state for action; these they hauled outside, and moored
them head and stern across the bay, and manned all the boats belonging
to the repairing vessels ready for boarding. The Portuguese observing
these manoeuvres hove to, and communicated by boats. Soon afterwards
they made sail, each ship firing her broadside as she passed, but
without effect, the shot falling far short. The Ladrones did not return
a single shot, but waved their colors, and threw up rockets, to induce
them to come further in, which they might easily have done, the outside
junks lying in four fathoms water, which I sounded myself: though the
Portuguese in their letters to Macao lamented there was not sufficient
water for them to engage closer, but that they would certainly prevent
their escaping before the Mandarin fleet arrived!

[Illustration: _A Ladrone Pirate, cutting off the Heads of the Chinese._]

"On the 20th of November, early in the morning, discovered an immense
fleet of Mandarin vessels standing for the bay. On nearing us, they
formed a line, and stood close in; each vessel, as she discharged her
guns, tacked to join the rear and reload. They kept up a constant fire
for about two hours, when one of their largest vessels was blown up by a
firebrand thrown from a Ladrone junk; after which they kept at a more
respectful distance, but continued firing without intermission till the
21st at night, when it fell calm. The Ladrones towed out seven large
vessels, with about two hundred row-boats to board them: but a breeze
springing up, they made sail and escaped. The Ladrones returned into the
bay, and anchored. The Portuguese and Mandarins followed, and continued
a heavy cannonading during that night and the next day. The vessel I was
in had her foremast shot away, which they supplied very expeditiously by
taking a mainmast from a smaller vessel.

"On the 23d, in the evening, it again fell calm; the Ladrones towed out
fifteen junks in two divisions, with the intention of surrounding them,
which was nearly effected, having come up with and boarded one, when a
breeze suddenly sprang up. The captured vessel mounted twenty-two guns.
Most of her crew leaped overboard; sixty or seventy were taken,
immediately cut to pieces, and thrown into the river. Early in the
morning the Ladrones returned into the bay, and anchored in the same
situation as before. The Portuguese and Mandarins followed, keeping up a
constant fire. The Ladrones never returned a single shot, but always
kept in readiness to board, and the Portuguese were careful never to
allow them an opportunity.

"On the 28th, at night they sent eight fire-vessels, which, if properly
constructed, must have done great execution, having every advantage they
could wish for to effect their purpose; a strong breeze and tide
directed into the bay, and the vessels lying so close together, that it
was impossible to miss them. On their first appearance, the Ladrones
gave a general shout, supposing them to be Mandarin vessels on fire, but
were very soon convinced of their mistake. They came very regularly into

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