VIRGINIA COLONIAL RECORDS PROJECT; DEPOSITORY Public Record Office CLASS H.C.A. 1/26
Title High Court of Admiralty: Oyer & Terminer Records Dates 1700. References List of H.C.A.1 Examined 13 April 1961 Exposures 169 Reel No.
To be copied 1, 2, 5, 6, 8.- 11,13,14,21,23-25, 33-38,42, 44, 46: 15, 45
H.C.A.1/26 is a collection of documents bound in one volume.. The documents are numbered -1-48 and comprise some 250 leaves. Two cases of piracy mentioned in these documents have reference to Virginia. The first against the BALTIMORE, the PENNSYLVANIA MERCHANT, the FRIENDSHIP, the INDIAN KING and the NICHOLSON by Lewis Guittar and others. See.also.H.C.A.1/15; H.C.A.l/29; H.C.A.l/32.
The second against the GUNSWAY by David Evans and Turlagh Sullivan and others. See also H.C.A.l/14: H.C.A.l/15: H.C.A.l/29: H.C.A.1/32 and H.C.A.l/53.
1. 13 May 1700 This document contains 21 depositions sworn before the Court of Oyer & Terminer for the trial of pirates in Virginia before Peter Beverly, Clerk of Arraigns. Some of the depositions are sworn by individual mariners, others by groups of mariners from different ships captured by Lewis Guittar. All the ships were outward bound from Virginia. On 17 April the BALTIMORE was captured; on 18 April the GEORGE of Pennsylvania bound for Jamaica. The master of the FRIENDSHIP of Belfast - Hans Raniel - was killed when the pirates fired on his ship. On 28 April 4 ships were captured within the Capes of Virginia including the PENNSYLVANIA MERCHANT, the INDIAN KING of Virginia and the NICHOLSON. The PENNSYLVANIA MERCHANT was plundered and burnt. The crews taken prisoner were confined in the hold of the pirate ship which was called LA PAIX some of them being made to throw cargoes of tobacco and other goods Overboard. The INDIAN KING and other ships were brought in to Lyn-Haven by the pirates. On 28 April Captain John Aldrich, Conmmander of H.M.S. ESSEX having heard of the pirates' exploits came ashore and informed H.E.Prancis Nicholson H.M.Governor General of Virginia and Captain Passenger of H.M.S.SHOREHAM that there was a Pirate in Lyn-Haven Bay. Whereupon Captain Passenger and. His Excellency, together with Captain Aldred and Peter Hayman Esquire, went aboard H.M.S.SHOREHAM and in coming out of the James River engaged the Pirate ship. Captain Guittar fought under a blood red flag. (Interesting, I wonder where our "Jolly Roger" came from? -FOC) Peter Hayman Esquire was slain. After an engagemen which lasted from 6 to 8 hours, John Lympany, a passenger from the PENNSYLVANIA MERCHANT, was ordered by Lewis Guittar to swim aboard the SHOREHAM to inform H.E. the Governor that there were English prisoners aboard his ship and that they and the ship would be blown up unless H.E. was prepared to grant Quarter to Guittar and his men if they surrendered. The Governor gave his promise. About 124 pirates were taken prisoner and some 25 to 30 pirates were slain. Between 40 and 50 English prisoners were liberated. (23 pp)
2. 5 August 1700. Information by 2 members of the crew of H.M.S.ESSEX, Captain John Aldred, commander taken in London concerning events in Virginia leading to the capture of the Pirate Ship LA PAIX and Guittar and his crew. An account of the fight is given. They identify the members of the crew then lying in the Marshalsea prison (4 pp)
5. 5 August 1700. Information of Captain John Aldred age 27 Commander of the ESSEX,which was careening in Elizabeth River in Virginia when he was informed of the Pirate Ship lying in Lyn-Haven Bay by the captain of a ship chased into the river by the pirate. Captain Aldred tells how he, together with the Governor and others, went aboard H.M.S. SHOREHAM, Captain Passenger Commander, and describes the fight. He is able to identify a few only of the prisoners in the Marshalsea but does identify Lewis Guittar as the Captain (3 pp)
8. 4 September 1700 Information of Joseph Man,age 38, of Jamestown Virginia a servant to H.E.Francis Nicholson Esqre Governor of Virginia, shows that he was with the Governor at Colonel Wilson's house on 27 April 1700 when, news of the pirate ship arrived. He was present at the fight and gives an account of the negotiations between Lewis Guittar and the Governor with regard to terms of surrender. Guittar first demanded a Pardon but finally surrendered on the Governor promising Quarter and referring Guittar and his men to His Majesty's mercy.(3 pp)
10. l2 September 1700. Examination of John Hoysley (or Halsey) age 42, of Boston, New England showing that he was aboard a sloop trading between Curacoa and Hispaniola when it was captured in February 1700 near a place called Old Harbour. The Sloop was run ashore and the captain and the crew got ashore among the Spaniards but Hoysley remained aboard and was taken prisoner by the pirates and taken aboard their ship. The sloop was set afire and an account of the subsequent activities of the pirates is given and an affirmation that he, Hoysley, was always a prisoner aboard the pirate. He is unable to identify any of the pirates by name.(4 pp)
11. 11 September 1700. Further Information by William Hunt stating that he has visited the Marshalsea that day and identified Jacques Troost as a member of Guittar's crew. (1 p)
13. 17-26 September 1700 This document contains the Examination of Lewis Guittar and 83 members of his crew, each is numbered individually and the whole (including a copy of H.C.A.l/26.21) runs to 90 foolscap pages.
(1) Lewis Guittar, age 33 of Brittany states he had lived in St Domingo for about 20 years when he was taken by a "Parcell" of pirates and after a time forced to be their Captain, some 5 months before being captured by the SHOREHAM. He records the capture and plundering of 3 Dutch vessels and. then a meeting with another pirate ship off the coast of St Domingo commanded and manned by Frenchmen, some of whom came aboard his vessel. They then sailed and captured 2 English vessels and then in the month of April sailed for the coasts Virginia and captured further vessels, which they plundered, and finally reached the River of Virginia. He then recounts the fight with the SHOREHAM and speaks of the promise of Quarter given him under the hand and seal of the Governor.
(2) Peter Jollyboy, age of 20, of Nantes states he was living in St Domingo about a year and, being ill, decided to return to France and was offered a passage in the pirate ship to the Cap Verde Islands. Instead the ship sailed for Virginia capturing other ships on the way and taking provisions out of them.
(3) Albert L'Abbe, age 22, of Picardy in France states he was servant to a chiurgien in St. Domingo and that he and his master were captured by the pirates and forced to go with them. (A "Chiurgion," Latin for surgeon, was an uneducated person who removed diseased limbs. These were not of a class with physicians! -FOC. See Steven Gill in colonial York Co., VA who could not even sign his name!)
(4) John Gourdet, age 16, of Nantes states he was captured in his boat off St Domingo and forced to go with the pirates.
(5) Soi Mondy, age 16, of Nantes describes being shipwrecked with 19 comrades about the middle of March 1700. They reached a rock and existed on it until rescued by a ship which turned out to be the PEACE, Captain Guittar's ship. By that time l2 of their number had perished on the rock. He denies that he and 5 companions now in the Marshalsea had anything to do with the pirates' activities.
(6) Isaac Couhison, age 17, of Saintonge in France (7) Francis Delavigne of Nantes (8).Francis Blaine,age 10, native of St Domingo all allege that they were captured and forced to go with the pirates.
(9) Benoit Pelletier, age 33, of Lyons gives an account of his own travels from Nantes to Martinique and St Christopher's where he lived with a Jesuit, until the latter died, then he started for St Domingo.where his brother lived and found a passage aboard a boat which had a crew of nine in October 1699; three of whom are not now in England as prisoners. They sailed from St. Christopher's and, after taking provisions from 2 French ships, sailed on for St Domingo and met a Shallop with 5 men on board who had been in an English pirate ship, but the English and French disagreeing the English had cut the French throats and only these 5 had escaped, which 5 knowing that their boat was a French pirate came on board and sailing along the coast seized several hunting parties who they took with them. Finally they took a small boat with 2 hunters aboard, to wit Lewis Guittar and his servant. Guittar refused to be of their party saying he did not design to be of that trade. But they, knowing who he was, seized him. Benoit and his colleagues, knowing who he was, agreed that Lewis Guittar should be their captain. He goes on to give particulars, similar to those of other prisoners, of capturing and plundering ships and then recounts the capture off Tortuga of a Dutch ship of 14 guns. They renamed this ship the PEACE and left their own boat in it's favour. The statement then corroborates the statements of several of the previous prisoners including the account of the shipwrecked mariners rescued from a rock given by Soi Mondy (6) above and ends with the encounter with the SHOREHAM.
(10) James Latout age 20,(ii) Simon ? age 20 of Champagne,
(12) James de Trevot, age 21, of Normandy add. little new to the statements already given. All say they are innocent of piracy and were forced to join the ship's company.
(13) Garrett van Asperen, age 45, of Flushing states he was cook of a ship called the ORANGE Commander, Captain La Franca from Flushing to the Spanish West Indies. On the passage they were taken prisoner on 9 January last past by Guittar who took brandy,. provisions and several parcels of goods out of the ship and about 14 guns and also took van Asperen and several of his comrades by force but delivered back the ship to Captain La Franca.
(14) Reynol Hunco, age 25, of Anjou (15) . Francois le Sansoir, age 20, of Roanne (16) Rene Penche, agel6, of Nantes; (17) Michel Pelletier..a native of~St Domingo (18) Peter Chevallier, age 19, of Lyons (19) John Foutmont, age 22, of Poictou (20) Christopher Gill, age 23, of Anjou (21) Claude Proue, age 35, of Rochefort (22) Peter Champon of Gascony (23) William Sallon, age 30,of Poictou (24) Peter Lester, age.25, of Brittany (?5) John Anthoine, age.27, of PetitGuave in America either state they were hunting in the woods of St Domingo or survivors of the Shipwreck who were clinging to the rock when taken aboard the Pirate ship of which Lewis Guittar was captain. No new information is furnished but several allege that Jean Dubois, mate of the ship, the Chirurgeon and Peter Maingnonau. the gunner were leaders among the pirates.
(26) Jean Dubois, age 45, of Nantes gives a different story; he was mate of a French ship trading at first between French ports and then from Bordeaux to St Domingo and from there to Jamaica. After sailing from Petit.Guave in St Domingo they were captured by a French pirate ship commanded by one Captain flelony who seized and plundered the ship and took by force Dubois himself, the chirurgien, and Peter Maingnonau with 3 others of the ship's company. Subsequently they met the PEACE, Lewis Guittar's ship, and some exchange of crews took place. - They were aboard the PEACE about 5 weeks before the engagement with the SHOREHAM tpok place.
(27) John Johnson, age 20 of Amsterdam: (28) Peter Monepacier, age 28, of La Rochelle (29) Leonard Poullard, age 21, of Bordeaux (30) Elias Dupois of Rochefort (31) Francis Prouslin, (alias Fontbolle), age 46, of Rochelle (32).Charles Deymouth, age 36 of Normandy (33) Peter Bois, age.21, of Poitou (34) Jacques Morreau, age 27 of Saintonge (35) Julien Lashorn, age 52, of Nantes (36) Peter Gow, age 25, of Anjou (37) John Ranou, age 30, of Anjou (38) Francois La Vie, age 23, of St Christopher's (39) John Robert, age. 31, of Dauphine all make statements similar in form and content to the examinations of the earlier prisoners.
(40) Michel Daniell, age 19, of Brittany tells how he sailed from La Rochelle as a mariner in the merchant ship LARIOTTE on a voyage to the Islands of America and being at anchor at Sta Cruz was plundered by a French pirate under one Captain Bernard who took several men out of LARIOTTE including Michel Daniell himself. Fifteen days later they met with Lewis Guittar and his servant in a small boat and took them on board. Guittar was immediately made Captain and Bernard went ashore.
(41) John Jurang, age 19, of Brittany: (42) Phillippe Tottmar, age 36, of Nantes, (43) Peter Lacroy, age 24, of Saintonge( 44) Peter Provensall, age 20, of Marseilles all in their Statements show that they were either carried off from their merchant ships or seized when engaged in hunting or fishing expeditions off the coast of St Domingo by the pirates.
(45) Francois Hubart, age 21, of Paris gives in his examination a long and detailed story of his capture on the way to Curacoa by pirates under Bernard. Parts of it are impossible to decipher but he confirms much of what earlier prisoners have stated and gives the names of various members of the Crew stating that some were unwilling to serve as pirates and gives their names. He also gives the names of various places in St Domingo where the hunters referred to by other prisoners were seized and ends with a description of the pirates' activities off the Coast of Virginia.
(46) Jerome la Chapaille, age 30, of Orlsan in France: (47) Peter du Pompian, age 23, of StMalo tell the usual stories of how..they were forced to join the pirates.
(48) Jeost de Maaster, age 39, of Flanders (49) Claude Lachenay, age 22, of St Christopher's (50) Jean Roulier, age 17, of Martinique a11tell the same-story: Joost de Maaster was the owner of a bark of 10 tons called the FRANCIS at Curacoa. Having taken dry goods aboard they sailed to trade with the Spaniards, Lachenay and Roulier being members of the crew, about the end of December 1699. Their destination was Porto Rico but, having broken their mainmast, they had to go into the Yaruba river in St Domingo to refit. Their ship was captured by a Spanish one and the crew took refuge from the Spaniards ashore. Later finding a small boat they went aboard and along the coast and then met Captain Guittar's ship; only discovering, after they had gone aboard, the ship was a pirate; they were kept forcibly on board.
(51) Laurence Kirjean, age 39, of Brest states he was one of the company shipwrecked on the rock.
(52) Germain Gill, age 17, of Normandy states he was out hunting in St Domingo when seized by the pirates.
(53) Francois le Conte, age 23,of Paris told the same tale but adds he was very sick the whole time he was aboard
(54) Statement by examining magistrate that Nicholas Vingro was too ill in the Marshalsea to be examined.
(55) Statement by examining magistrate that he was informed by the Keeper that Stephen Espine, a prisoner to be examined, had died.
Here follows a copy of the quarter given by Governor Nicholson to Captain Guittar and his company.
"Virginia Whereas Captain Lewis Commander of the Loy Pastre hath proposed to surrender himself and men and ship together with what affects thereunto belongeth provided he may have quarter which I grant him on performance of same and refer him and his men to the Mercy of my Royal Master King William III whom God preserve. Given under my hand etc. Ffr Nicholson "
The above written is a true copy of the original in the custody of Capt Lewis Guittar signed Richard Crawley.
(56) Francois Waamore (alias Armann), age 22, of Lyons France states he was seized when hunting in St Domingo
(57) Francis Paris, age 21, of Paris states he was hunting in the woods of St Domingo when he was captured by Capt Delony and his men at a place called Rocheau Bateaux and continued with him about 5 months. He gives the names of all those who became pirates willingly, and describes captures of Dutch and French vessels and finally the meeting with the French pirate ship the PEACE. The crew was given the choice of continuing with Captain Delony or going with Captain Guittar to the South Seas. Paris decided to go with Guittar and gives the name of a number who decided the same way. He then describes how Guittar sailed along the coast of St Domingo seizing small boats and their crews to make up his complement to 140 persons.
(58) John Le Vigne, age 41, of Gascony confesses he was seduced by fair words and fine promises by one Bernard to go pirating.
(59) John Johnson, age 20, off Amsterdam states he sailed from Amsterdam about June 1699 in a ship called the PEACE- a Dutch ship- as cabin boy to the Master laden with merchandise for Surinam and afterwards they sailed to St Thomas and back to Surinam; after leavin there for Tortuga, most of the crew being ashore, the ship was taken by Capt Lewis Guittar who left his own boat to the Dutch but Johnson was forcibly detained as a cook was needed. Later they captured a Flushinger and took van Asperen out of her and made him Cook and Johnson his assistant. The events of the Coasts of Virginia are then described.
(60) Andrew Rodding, age 20, of Lyons, (61) Charles Boy, age 22, of Saintonge (62) John Bidall, age 21, of St Malo all tell the same story of hunting or being by chance on the coast of St Domingo and being persuaded to go aboard a ship which afterwards was found to be a pirate.
(63) Peter Mainguenau, age 26, of Oleron in France states he was. a gunner in the PETER JOSEPH; Captain, Isaac Monager, which belonged to the Governor. of St Domingo and by his order trading with the Spaniards, but in passage they fell in with a pirate under Captain Delony who seized their ship on 22 Dec. 1699 plundered some of its cargo and took by force Mainguenan and 5 more of the Company against their will, Capt.Delony giving them all a Note signed by him saying that this was so. The rest of his story is much the same as that given by other prisoners.
(64) John. Poictevin (alias Vigne), age 27, of Poitiers in France (65) Abraham Moriset, age 25, of Rochelle (66) Oliver Silvester, age 25, of Nantes (67) Anthony Court (alias La Croix), age 30, of Orange (68) Francis Jusme, age 36, of Tours all state that either they were hunting in the woods of St Domingo or were rescued from the rock on which they were shipwrecked as earlier prisoners stated. The last named Jusme however goes on to allege that many of his fellow prisoners taken out of captured ships made no refusal to join up with the Pirates. He names the exceptions.
(69) Jacques Randon, age 21, of Brittany (70) Peter Mosieres, age 20, of Provence (71) Michael Andereen, age 25, of Norway add nothing new to the statementsmade by other prisoners.
(72) Francis Sonnier, age 26, of La Havre, a mariner from the PETER JOSEPH supports much of the statement of (63) Peter Mainguenau and (68) Francis Jusme.
(73) Isaac Croisier, age 22,of St Domingo (74) John Mourean, age 23, of Poitou (75) Lewis Bonsou, age 27, of Languedoc (76) Francois Boye, age 19, of Saintonge all tell the hunting or fishing story.
(77) Jacques Lion de Lisle, age 32, of Poitou, but resident at Cap Francis St Domingo, puts himself, forward as a man of substance who was seized by pirates when aboard a boat when any seeking timber to enlarge his house. He refused to have anything to do with the pirates but, in spite of this, they detained him to act as chirurgien because their own was sick. The pirates promised him a note to say he was detained by force.
(78) Peter Clerge, age 30, of Paris states he was a chirurgien by profession and gives an account of his activities up to the time of the seizure of the ship, PETER JOSEPH in which he was chirurgien, by Capt Delony in December 1699. He and several others were taken aboard the pirate by force and Captain Monager of the PETER JOSEPH was given notes signed by Delony that these individuals had been taken against their wills. When the ships of Delony and Guittar met, the latter forced Clerge into his ship as he was without a chirurgien and Delony being commander of the weaker vessel was forced to allow him to go.
(79) John Tramon, age 33, of Marseilles (80) John Juranson, age. 36, of Sweden (81) John Moraille, age 22, of Bordeaux are 3 prisoners who admit they were members of the pirate crew.
(82) Peter Le Pontaine, age 22, of St Mao tells the hunting story.
(83) Peter Loumer (alias Grand Maison), age 26 of Poiton states that he was a Cook at St Christopher, but being a Protestant was persecuted by the Jesuits. He was minded to go to an English island but could not get permission from the Governor. One of his master's friends, one Bernard, offered him a passage and got him aboard a ship. Thereafter Bernard seizing a cutlass also seized the ship and made himself master and cut the cable. Afterwards on the Coast of St Domingo they met with Capt Guittar under whom Bernard had formerly served and who was persuaded to be of their Company and sailed for Tortuga where the PEACE was captured and into which they transferred.
(84) Raphael Imber, age 21, of Provence tells the hunting in St Domingo story. (90 pp).
12. 17 September 1700 Information of John Ralse of Boston, New England, a mariner. He swears that he has had his examination of 12 September read over to him and it's contents are true and that he has this day seen and identified at the Marshalsea, Newgate and at Doctors Commons a number of prisoners identified by name whom he identifies as being Lewis Guittar and members of his crew. He states that 3 of them were not actual pirates. (2 pp)
21. 29 April 1700. The original of the promise of Quarter given by the Governor, of Virginia to Lewis Guittar. Set out in full earlier). (1 p)
23. N.D. Indictment of Lewis Guittar and other persons for piracy against the PENNSYLVANIA MERCHANT. Document in Latin: endorsed "True Bill," (2.pp). (A true bill means that the court found sufficient evidence to send them to trial. In the U.S.A., this would entail a Grand Jury examining the evidence to see if it was sufficient to justify a jury trial. I assume something similar was true in England at this time. -FOC)
24. N.D. Indictment of Lewis Guittar and others for piracy. against the INDIAN KING. Document in Latin, partly illegible endorsed "True Bill." (2 pp)
25. N.D. Indictment of Lewis Guittar and others for piracy against the NICHOLSON. Document in Latin, partly illegible: endorsed "True Bil1." (2 pp)
33. N.D. Jury panel for Francis Bonnier and others. (1 p)
34. N.D. Jury panel for John La Vigne and others. (1 p)
35. N.D. Jury panel for John Jourant and others. (1 p)
36. N.D. Jury panel for PeterMompacier and othere.(l p)
57. N.D. Jury panel for John Dubois and others. (1 p)
38. N.D. Jury panel for Lewis Guittar and others. (1 p)
42. N.D. Indictment of John Dubois and others for piracy against .the PENNSYLVANIA MERCHANT. Document in Latin: endorsed "True Bill." (2 pp).
43. N.D. Indictment of John Dubois and others for piracy against the INDIAN KING. Document in Latin: endorsed "True Bill.".(2pp). - -
44. N.D. Indictment of John Dubois and others for piracy against the NICHOLSON. Document in Latin endorsed "True Bill." (2. pp)
46. N.D. Jury panel in the case of Reynert Huno and others..(l p)
Piracy against the GUNSWAY
15. 19 October 1700. The Examinations of David Evans, age 32, of Pennsylvania a mariner and Tulagh Sulivan, age 32, of West Jersey a tobacco planter.
(1) David Evans states that in July 1697 he was tried at the Old Bailey and acquitted of having been with Captain Evory the pirate. He then went to Wales to visit relations and from thence to Bristol where he shipped himself to Virginia in the English ship the ANTELOPE, George Lawson Commander, intending to go to Pennsylvania. He went by land and arrived in February 1698. In the following May Colonel Markham, the Deputy Governor, committed him to prison and he was kept there -about 2 years despite the evidence of 3 masters of ships who had been present at his trial. He was then sent home a prisoner to England. He states he was well acquainted with Turlagh Sulivan, now a prisoner, who was one of Captain Evory's men and came aboard in the East Indies perhaps upon the Coast of Malabar. He, Evans, being a prisoner in Evory's ship was not aware of what was going on and cannot say whether any ship was taken by Evory after Sulivan came on board or whether Sulivan had any part of the purchase they got or not.
(2) Turlagh Sulivan states that he served 7 years to a planter in Pennsylvania and coming out of his time shipped aboard the DOLPHIN, Captain Want Commander. They set sail from Pennsylvania in the Fall of 1694 deciding to cruise upon the Spanish. They then decided to sail for Madagascar where they spent a fortnight. -Sailing from there they sprang a leak and there was fear of sinking when a New England brigantine and another ship appeared. Captain Want and 8 others went aboard the brigantine which refused to take any more. Sulivan and the remaining crew had to hail the other ship which was Capt Evory's and ask to go aboard as their own vessel was sinking. Capt Evory promised to set them ashore at the first English port. He was aboard Evory's ship about 3 months. During that time Evory took 2 Moorish vessels and put Sulivan and all the "Landsmen" from the DOLPHIN into the smaller vessel. While Sulivan was in the small Moorish ship Capt Evory took a large Moorish ship called the GUNSWAY. He states he had no part in the capture of either ship. They set sail and reached Providence, whereupon he took the first opportunity to visit Justice Hollinshead of West Jersey and acquaint him with the whole matter and gave information of such of Evory's men as he knew. (7 pp)
46. N.D. Indictment of Turlagh Sulivan for piracy against the. GUNSWAY. The document is in Latin: endorsed "True Bill. : (2 pp) (FOC- The jury considered him a pirate too!)
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Copyright The Library of Virginia, all rights reserved. My OCR software made plenty of errors on this, and I may not have found them all. I scanned a typewritten copy of these old English public documents. Please send any errors, corrections, conjectures, updates, etc. to Dr. Frank O. Clark.