Read CAPTAIN EDWARD ENGLAND, AND HIS CREW of Pirates , free online book, by Claud Lovat Fraser, on ReadCentral.com.

Edward England went Mate of a Sloop that sailed out of Jamaica, and was taken by Winter, a Pirate, from whom he had the Command of a Sloop just before their Settlement at Providence. The man was brave and good natured, and far from being cruel, as most of them are; and would not have committed such barbarous actions as he did, had not his comrades compelled him to it.

He sailed to the Coast of Africa, after the Island of Providence was inhabited by the English. In his Passage he took several Ships, particularly the Cadogan Snow belonging to Bristol, one Skinner Master, who was murdered by those very men who had formerly served under him, upon a quarrel that happened between Skinner and them, about their wages: He shipped them on board a Man-of-War, from whence they deserted, and went on board a ship in the West-Indies, where they were taken by a pirate, and brought to Providence, and then they sailed with Captain England a-Pirating.

As soon as Skinner came on board, he saw his old Boatswain, who said, Ah! Captain Skinner is it you, I am much in your Debt, and now I shall pay you in your own Coin. These words put the Captain in a panic Fear: And indeed he had Reason enough to be afraid, for they immediately seized him, bound him to the Windlass, pelted him with Glass Bottles, afterwards whipt him about the Deck, and then said, because he had been a good Master, he should have an easy Death, and so shot him through the Head; the vessel and her Cargoe being given to Howel Davis.

After this England went into an Harbour to clean his Ship, and also fitted up the Peterborough, which he called the Victory. Then putting out to sea, they sailed for the East-Indies, and took Madagascar, by the Way. From thence, after taking in water and provisions, they went for Malabar, in the Empire of the Mogul. Here they took several Indian Vessels, and one European, a Dutch Ship, which they exchanged for one of their own, and then came back to Madagascar, where they sent several Hands on shore to kill venison, and then resolved to seek out for the remains of Avery’s Crew; but returning without success, they being settled on the other side, they stay’d no longer than till they had cleaned their ships, and then sailed to Juanna.

In the Year 1720, the Bombay Fleet, consisting of four Grabs, the London Chandois, and some other ships, carried 1000 Men to bombard and batter Gapra, a fort belonging to Angria, on the Malabar Coast; which they not being able to do, fell in with the Pirates, in their return to Bombay: But Captain Upton the Commodore, having no orders, would not engage them; which so provoked the Governor, for missing so favourable an opportunity of cutting the Pirates all off, that he gave the command to Captain Mackra, with orders to fight them wherever he met with them.

But the Pirates proceeded to the southward, and took a small ship out of Orincro Road, with a Dutch and two Portugueze Men on board, one of which they sent to the Captain, to inform him, that if he would supply them with provisions and water he should have his ship again. But the Master would not agree to it; thereupon they sent other persons ashore, and swore he should be the last man they would give quarter to, and so put directly for Laccadeva Island, and arrived there in three days. But being informed by a Menchew, there was no anchor-ground there, they went to the next Island, called Melincha, whence they were driven by a storm, leaving behind them a hundred people, and all their water-casks: But in a week’s time, they regained the island, took their people on board, and filled the water-casks. Provisions being scarce, they resolved to visit the Dutch at Cochin, and after three days sail, arrived off of Tellechery, where they took a small Vessel belonging to Governor Adams; who giving an account of Captain Mackra’s fitting out against them, put them into a grievous passion.

Afterward they arrived at Mauritius, where they refitted the Victory, and then sailed the 5th of April for Madagascar, but called first at the Island Mascarine, at which they found a Portugueze ship of seventy guns at anchor, disabled by a violent storm, so that they easily became a Prize to the Pirates. She had on board the Conde Ereceira Vice-Roy of Goa, also they found on board her, in diamonds only, to the value of four millions of Dollars. They made the Vice-Roy a prisoner; but in consideration of his losses, accepted of a ransom of 2000 dollars and then set him and his followers ashore. Learning that an Ostender was on the leeward of that Island, they sailed and took her, and sent her to Madagascar with news of their success, where they followed themselves soon after, with two hundred Mozambique Negroes in the Portugueze Ship.

When Taylor came with the Portugueze Prize to Madagascar, they found that the Ostender had made his men drunk, and seized his ship, which they carried to the Mozambique; from thence the Governor ordered her to Goa. But the Pirates staid and clean’d the Cassandra, and divided very great plunder. Some, who thought they had got enough, staid at Madagascar, and the rest, having no occasion for two ships, burnt the Victory, she being leaky, and went on board the Cassandra, under the Command of Captain Taylor, designing to go for Cochin to dispose of his diamonds, amongst his old Friends the Dutch, and also to avoid the dangers of the Men-of-War that were in pursuit of them. But as he was preparing to sail, and heard of four Men-of-War coming after him; therefore he altered his mind, and sailed for the Main of Africa, and put in at Delagoa: But the Pirates were surprized in the evening with some shot from the shore. They took it for a desert shore, but it proved otherwise; for a few months before, the Dutch East India Company had settled one hundred men upon it, who, not being supplied with necessaries, were reduced to about sixteen; whom Taylor, upon their humble petition took aboard, and they all became Pirates with him.

Here they stayed about four months, careened their ships, and left Delagoa the latter end of December: But not agreeing among themselves, they parted those who were weary of that sort of life, went on board the Portugueze Prize, and sailed for Madagascar; the others went on board the Cassandra, and sailed for the Spanish West Indies. The Mermaid Man-of-War, which was a convoy to some Merchant-men, about 30 leagues distance, would have gone to attack them, had not the Merchants, whom he had the care of, declar’d their protection was of more service than destroying the Pirates; and so he was oblig’d to be content with only dispatching the news of it to Jamaica. This brought down the Lanceston, though it was a day or two too late, for they had just before surrendered, with all their riches, to the Governor of Porto-Bello, where they now live upon their Spoils, saying, others would have done as much, had they had the same opportunity; swearing, That whatever Robberies they had committed they are not the only Rogues in the World; for that the South-Sea did more Mischief in one Year, than they were able to do in their whole Lives.