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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

"Capt. Charles Johnson" was indeed Nathaniel Mist


Stationers' Company Archive, London, Entries of Copies, 28 April 1710 to 25 September 1746, p. 317.

About the author of A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates (1724):
From Quest for Blackbeard - "The most important detail, perhaps, appears that [Nathaniel] Mist’s foreman John Wolfe registered A General History in 'His Majesty’s Stationers’ Company' on June 24, 1724 'for Nathaniel Mist.'* Almost certainly, Mist authored A General History [he certainly owned the copyright] and he profited substantially from the publication. Indeed, A General History seemed to have been his financial lifeboat – at least for a few years [after his imprisonment and fines]. 
* Arne Bialuschewski, “Daniel Defoe, Nathaniel Mist, and A General History of the Pyrates,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA), 98 (March 2004), pp. 25n14, 26 (from: Stationers' Company Archive, London, Entries of Copies, 28 April 1710 to 25 September 1746, 317 (see above picture); Mist owned 100% of the book, too). 
We should note here that Nathaniel Mist was a Jacobite-loving anti-government publisher (think: Fox News) who had been recently jailed and fined for his now-first-amendment-supported propaganda. Not that the propaganda was anything but harmful to Great Britain's reigning monarch. Only two years after publishing A General History, Mist fled England for France to avoid further trouble with the government. Arne Bialuschewski adds further:
In September 1728 an anonymous pamphlet entitled Mist’s Closet Broke Open appeared, which contained a number of epigrams that were published to ridicule Mist after he had taken flight. Its contents are of minor importance, except for the fact that there are two references to Captain Charles Johnson. The first comprises “Sea-news from Capt. Johnson to Mist,” the second is a fictional letter from Mist to Johnson.By that time, it seems, the connection between the fictitious captain and the Jacobite was an open secret in the publishing business.
Professor of Literature Dr. Manushag Powell of Purdue University assures us that this book was written as historical fiction or a "counterfactual" as she puts it.. Furthermore, Daniel DeFoe - sometime author of occasional articles appearing in Mist's newspaper, Weekly Journal or Saturday Evening Post - reputedly "authored" a cheap knock-off of A General History the year after Mist published it. DeFoe, however, never copyrighted this... which makes you wonder how he got later credit for it. Politics may have helped, as he was a spy for Lord Sunderland - keeping an eye on Mist and his anti-government writing! Jacobites often paid dearly for their treasonous efforts and Mist, of course, fled to France in 1726!
A General History is filled with corrigendums, or "things to be corrected, typically an error in a printed book," if we presume it to be an actual history. It is best viewed as historical fiction. How can we possibly treat Nathaniel Mist or any of his acquaintances as an historian or his uncited suspect secondary novel as an actual "history" in the face of this overwhelming evidence? There are a plethora of primary documents available from which to gain more trustworthy pirate history - many of them used and then, elaborated upon - even stretched into outright lies - by Mist! I often joke that my historical fiction, Fountain of Hope, could be looked at as "A General History of Florida" one day, based on this same criteria... some may even propose that time travel is real, based on that erroneous assumption! I assure you that - so far - it has not been proven and I never intended Fountain of Hope to be actual history, even though I loaded it to the brim with historical fact - a novelist's tactic to gain more realism. The polemical Mist, on the other hand, did indeed expect his readers to consider A General History to be just that! After all, he called his novel a "history," didn't he?

Monday, April 05, 2021

Who was Pirate Jasper Seager and Did he Use an Alias?

These details reference those pirates involved in the taking of Cassandra, an East India Company vessel under the command of James Macrae in the summer of 1720, in the bay of Anjouan or Johanna, just off the north-western tip of Madagascar.

First of all... Jasper Seager was NOT the same pirate as Edward England! 

Why would anyone think that, anyway? "Jasper" is no nickname for "Edward" that I've ever heard! "Seager" doesn't sound anything like "England." Presumably, some writers assume that pirates used aliases and this explains the comparison.

I read this all the time in various references - presumably because people today anachronistically believe that pirates used aliases on a regular basis. They really did not. There are a couple of rare examples, but it was by no means a common practice. Moreover, the common reference of "alias" in records of this time period simply meant "also known as" - perhaps a nickname commonly used - and was not a term necessarily to indicate an attempt by them to hide their true identity by taking on a completely different name. That's more of a 20th and 21st-century assumption about criminality and the modern concept of "alias."

Yes, pirates committed crimes, but the 18th century was far from a crime-free time period - much more crime-ridden than society today. The British government of older times often endorsed criminality themselves and often openly outside of Great Britain and especially in America - the land "beyond the lines of amity!" So, let's put this England-Seager false comparative assumption to rest once and for all!

Primary-source records - indeed, eyewitness accounts - can assure us that Jasper Seager and Edward England are not the same man:

John Barnes, the 1st mate of Greenwich, captain Richard Kirby, while in Johanna Bay, wrote in his journal entry for August 7, 1720 that Greenwich, Cassandra, and an Ostend vessel (220-ton Stahremberg, Capt. Richard Gargan) came under attack by two pirates: 46-gun French-built Victory, commanded by "Capt. England" and 36-gun Dutch-built Fancy, captained by "Capt. Seager." Barnes clearly understood that there were two different pirate captains named England and Seager.

Barnes' journal entry for August 7, 1720

Again, note that John Barnes' journal was an eye-witness account - and, therefore, a primary record! Most of the secondary sources - especially non-cited references, lacking in source notes - are definitely NOT primary sources! In my opinion, many 18th-century newspaper articles are highly suspect secondary sources - often derived from hearsay, printed quickly, and with little or no vetting. Many of those not trained in proper historical research techniques can misunderstand these subtle, but important, distinctions. Thus, a lot of popular pirate literature are bursting with errors and false assumptions.

I cannot say this enough, but Charles Johnson's counterfactual hit-piece A General History of the Pyrates is clearly secondary - quite faulty - and NOT a primary source! Yes, it was all that was handily available for nearly 300 years, but that fact does not magically give it precedence over valid primary sources readily available now! It also did not stop thousands of writers elaborating greatly upon the untold facts - again, over 300 years!

There are quite enough primaries available today that make using faulty references like Johnson's quite ill-advised (~175 transcribed primary records are available for all to use on the "Pirate Reference" tab of my website at Nothing in print can be trusted without detailed valid citations to indicate precisely where the author got his information. Otherwise, it might as well be rumors, religion, hearsay but certainly not history!

Okay... climbing down from the soapbox....

From Sailing East: West-Indian Pirates in Madagascar:

Jasper Seager is an historical enigma. His name does not appear in documents related to this particular group of pirates before sailing to Madagascar in 1720. He appears not to have come from the African Coast with the others. Still, he assumes command of Fancy, and possibly as commodore over both of the two ships that take Cassandra. If his name had not appeared in Chief Mate John Barnes’ journal from Greenwich as the captain of Fancy on the dated entry for 7 August 1720, before hostilities began on the 8th, he would not have been considered as all that important. His credit from historians is undeservedly and comparatively slight after taking Cassandra. He is not as perceptible in most narratives after the pirates take the Viceroy’s ship (see Chapter Five) at La Bourbon, despite the Viceroy’s own account – Richard Lasinby’s account, of course, came from aboard Victory and not Cassandra, then under Seager’s command. 

Owing purely to speculation, Seager may be regarded as an older man of great experience, perhaps already a pirate inhabitant of Madagascar when the others arrived. It is known that one Thomas Seager was in Henry Every’s crew, had not returned with others, and had possibly settled on Madagascar in the mid-1690s.  Perhaps another Seager served in Every’s crew or in Kidd’s? To his credit, Charles Johnson predicted that Edward England’s crew searched for Every’s old crew when they arrived at Île Saint-Marie. Evolving from this reasonable speculation, it may also be that later pirate crews [in the East Indies] consisted of mixes between elder pirate residents of Madagascar and the recent arrivals to the island. Charles Grey also alludes to this in Pirates of the Eastern Seas. As an older pirate residing on Madagascar who once possibly served with Henry Every, Jasper Seager could have been viewed by these younger pirates as legendary as Every himself. It should be noted that an early article by Grey, published in Bombay, India on the “Taking of Cassandra” gave Jasper Seager the primary credit for her capture, not Edward England. Indeed, from Barnes’ journal, it was Seager in Fancy who engaged Macrae for so long and so diligently while England in Victory chased Kirby’s Greenwich.

John Barnes Journal - entry for August 8, 1720

The entry in my Dictionary of Pyrate Biography for Jasper Seager is as follows:

Seager, Jaspar – possibly found at Madagascar by Edward England et al when they arrived in 1720; may be related to Henry Avery’s crewman, Thomas Seager; commanded Victory at Island of Johanna in the East Indies [Anjouan Island in the Comoros, NW of Madagascar], Edward England in Fancy with Richard Taylor aboard took East Indian vessel (8 Aug 1720; 17 Aug 1720 in misprinted Post Boy article) Cassandra, Capt. James Macrae [Mackra in Post Boy], 380 tons, 26 guns, 76 men (left Portsmouth, England 21 Mar 1720) – England is deposed by his crew and left at Madagascar – England then retires on Ile Saint Marie; Possibly an older man, Jasper Seager was made captain of Cassandra; met with Bombay Fleet, late 1720; proceeded to Dutch fort of “Cochins” [southwest coast of India, burial place of Vasco de Gama], Christmas 1720; see greater detail in Olivier LeVasseur and Richard Taylor; word that seven Indian ships sought them and hid at uninhabited island called “Morashes” [Mauritius] – cleaned and caulked badly leaking Victory; Seager in Cassandra, Taylor as quartermaster and LeVasseur made captain of Victory, Feb 1720; LeVasseur and Seager went to “Don Maskareene” [island group just east of Madagascar - Mascarene Islands: Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodrigues] – made for Bay of Bourbon or St. Denis, Réunion and arrived c. Easter Sunday [13 Apr; Moor says 8 Apr], 1721; Luís Carlos Inácio Xavier de Meneses, Viceroy of the East Indies, sailing on a Portuguese vessel, Nossa Senhora do Cabo [Guelderland - Vierge de Cap[1]] from Goa to France, after weathering a storm that blew down all masts and left them with 21 canons, captured by LeVasseur in Victory and Seager in Cassandra [Ericiera calls her Fantasie, variant of "Enchantress," a synonym for the meaning of "Cassandre"] in Bay of Saint-Denis, Isle de Bourbon (a booty equivalent to ten million Euros today, in diamonds, gold, silver coin, bar or ingot), 11/16 April 1721; to leeward [west] of island, captured Dutch ship City of Ostend (former Greyhound), 21/26 Apr 1721; arguments over the Nossa Senhora do Cabo ensued - returned to Madagascar with City of Ostend to clean and sell slaves - desired to split company; Seager died at Madagascar while avoiding British fleet under Comm. Matthews - Olivier LeVasseur took his place as captain of Cassandra.[2]

[1]Research conducted by Baneto and Verazzone at Les Archives Nationales Portugaises de la Torre do Tombo. LISBOA – Portugal,; This royal frigate was named after the DNS Zeelandia, DNS Gelderland and DNS Galderland. It was a second-class warship and was bought and renamed the Nossa Senhora do Cabo (“Our Lady of the Cape” called Vierge de Cap or “Celebrate the Cape” in Dutch by Comte d’Ericiera) by Portugal in 1717.

[2]“Captain Mackra’s ship taken by Edward England, Post Boy, 25 & 27 Apr 1721, “Richard Lazenby, a prisoner of Taylor,” “The Examination of Richard Moor, 31 October 1724 (addenda 5 November 1724), HCA 1/55, ff. 94-97,” “The Examination of John Matthews, 12 October 1722, HCA 1/55, ff. 201-21” in E. T. Fox, Pirates in Their Own Words (Fox Historical, 2014), 271-276, 276-285, 207-213, 192-195; “Jaques du Bucquoy” in Alfred Grandidier, Collection des Ouvrages Anciens concernant Madagascar, Vol. 5(Paris: Comité de Madagascar, 1888), 61-72; L. Robert, “Description, in general and in detail, of the island of Madagascar, made on the best memoirs of the old officers who lived in this island [at] the Port Dauphin; all checked exactly on the spot by the sieur ROBERT; Part 1. The discovery of the island. - 2nd part. The detail of each kingdom or provinces. - 3rd part. The Dauphin Port. - 4th part. The rancidity of the pirates; the great advantages that there would be in forming colonies there." (1730), No. 196, Manuscript 3755, Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque du Service Historique de la Défense, Bibliothèques de la Marine (Vincennes, Val-de-Marne, France), 4th part, ff. 109-117; La Gazette de Paris, Bureau d'adresse (Paris), 23 May 1722;“Relation of Count Ericiera” in G. Cavelier, Le Mercure, May 1722, 54-68; both translated by Baylus C. Brooks.


Saturday, April 03, 2021

Ancestry of Pirate Henry Jennings

Would it surprise you to know that pirate Henry Jennings is part of a wealthy family of Bermuda and grandnephew of Perient Trott whose other grandchild, Vice-admiralty Judge Nicholas Trott of South Carolina, tried and hanged Stede Bonnet and other pirates for piracy?

The Jennings are also founding fathers of the modern United States, with connections to the grandfather of President George Washington! 

Presenting the surprising genealogy of Henry Jennings:

The original immigrant to Bermuda was Richard Jennings, his will - as listed in Early Wills of Bermuda: 1629 - 1835 by Clara F. E. Hollis Hallett shows:

Capt. Richard Jennings' purchased - mostly from Capt. William Sayles - the maximum amount of land possible for residents on the tiny island of Bermuda: 250 acres.

Richard Jennings may have plotted to take over the government of Bermuda, yet in three years had become a member of the Bermudan Council. He also sold land there to a “Mr. Carter” in England that, in 1656, belonged to Capt. Lawrence Washington, “High Sheriff of Virginia” and great-grandfather of later U.S. president George Washington. The survey of 1663 includes part of his 250 acres of land (the most allowed in tiny Bermuda) in ten properties:

Capt. Jennings' two sons, Richard II and John inherited that property about 1669: Richard II in Smith's Tribe and John in Southampton Tribe.

Bermuda by J. Blaeu. 1647-49

The pirate Henry Jennings descends from John Jennings and Sarah Richards in Southampton Tribe. As the Early Wills of Bermuda shows:

John's will - written in 1684 and probated in 1688 - and compared to information from his father's will, shows that his brother Richard Jennings II had likely married Mary White, the sister of Anthony White. Richard Jennings II captained Charles Gally, cut logwood at the Bay of Campeche, and lost his vessel to pirate Francis Fernando in 1707. The interesting part is that Henry Jennings was later one of ten Jamaican privateers that included this same Francis Fernando!

In 1700, Richard Jennings II made a call at Charles Town, South Carolina and left this notation about his father's will of 1690, including his mother's remarriage to Robert Hall of Bermuda:

Richard Jennings' Will info from South Carolina Probate Records in 1700

John married a Trott, daughter of Perient and Mary Trott and sister of Perient Trott (brother also of Samuel and Nicholas Trott - the later governor of the Bahamas who traded with pirate Henry Avery). John Jennings' only male child was John.

John Jennings, son of John also appears in Early Wills of Bermuda:

 Here, we first see Henry appear, along with brothers Daniel, Richard, and Benjamin and sisters Mary and Sarah. John made this will in 1733 and died in 1740, so was very much alive when his son Henry had gone to the new town of Kingston in Jamaica:

Christian Lilly's Survey of Kingston, Jamaica in 1703

Henry Jennings had purchased two lots in Kingston. He was listed innocuously in shipping records as a mariner involved in “trade.”

British engineer Christian Lilly made a plan (shown above) of the new town of Kingston which included names of subscribers for town lots. “H Jennings” appears twice: one lot on the east side of Orange Street and another on the lower part of King’s. 

As master of Seaflower in 1710, he collected logwood from the Bay of Campeach – like his cousin Richard Jennings III in Charles Gally - and traded slaves on a minor scale to Jamaica. 

Henry was one of many “sugar drovers,” one who had been recorded losing a sloop Diamond, of four guns, in Jamaica in January 1712.  

Colin Woodard found him in “Bathsheba” of Jamaica in Boston’s customs records on July 7, 1715, just a few weeks before the hurricane that year. 

Henry Jennings in Shipping Records of Jamaica

Henry Jennings in Massachusetts Shipping Records of 1715 - located by Colin Woodard and also shows Henry Timberlake - later taken by Edward "Blackbeard" Thache and Benjamin Hornigold in Delight, late 1716.

In only a few months, perhaps influenced by his “Sea Dog” heroes, Henry Jennings became an American pirate legend. Captain John Balchen, of HMS Diamond, wrote to Admiralty Secretary Burchet from Jamaica on the 13th of May, 1716, describing Henry Jennings’ official commission from “Lord Hamilton… for suppressing of piracys.”  Balchen said Jennings sought to capitalize upon the spilled Spanish treasure, not take pirates. Jennings and Wills, guided by their heroes, greed, and holding little regard for the Spanish even in peacetime, stole recovered treasure directly from their salvage base camp on the Florida shore, rather than simply fishing the wrecks in English waters - the more legal route. Trouble was that most of the treasure was on the La Florida or Spanish coast! Jennings would gather together another fleet to go after – not just wrecks – but foreign vessels that he possibly learned about from the Cuban Deputy-governor del Valle’s letter to Hamilton. 

It seems that hunting foreign treasures was about all the English had the desire to do in the West Indies!

By early 1718, Henry returned to his old home place in Bermuda after his short, blatantly illegal run as a pirate. There, he may have contented himself with the family’s smuggling and slave business. Gov. Bennett, who may have been glad to have him back in local business, wrote to the Board, specifically mentioning “Capt. Henry Jennings one of them (who left off that way of liveing [piracy] some months since) has arrived here who with seven others [who] have surrendred themselves.”

Shortly afterward, a Henry Jennings was found sailing in March 1719 from Jamaica to Philadelphia. The next year, the wealthy maritime warrior operated again as a privateer from Bermuda in the next war with Spain, carrying three prize vessels into New York with cargos of “Snuff, Sugar, Oyle Soap, and European Goods.” In 1723, he was captured by another pirate named “Evans” and held prisoner until a quarrel broke out among the pirate crew. Jennings and other “forced men” retook the ship and sailed it back to Bermuda. The Jennings family operated as merchants, slavers, smugglers, and privateers, making their usual runs to Philadelphia, Jamaica, and New York, yet faded from the shipping records by the 1730s. 

Capt. Richard Jennings III of the Somers Islands and a few other captains named Jennings operated sparsely in Bermudan traffic for the following decades. In 1742, as the aging owner of Henry Jennings & Company of Bermuda, this Henry dabbled in the earliest family business, transporting slaves from Africa to the West Indies in the ironically-named Friendship. While likely pirate and mariner Henry Jennings died before 17th of December 1750, a younger “Capt. Henry Jennings” of sloop Ranger, a vessel owned by “Richard Downing Jennings and Henry Jennings of Bermuda” also traded to Philadelphia in 1767.  

The Jennings’ family businesses of smuggling, piracy, and slavery in America – Johnson’s “Commonwealth of Pyrates” – probably continued right up to the American Revolution and beyond. They may even have shared runs with the smuggling Hancocks of Revolutionary-era Boston. 


Most of the genealogy is new research of mine, but the latter detailed part was adopted from the 2020 E-edition of Quest for Blackbeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World



Monday, March 22, 2021

Spotswood's Failed Attempt to Steal Spanish Treasure!


Three views of Mammon, Greed, or John Milton's "Devil of Covetousness" It's quite obvious how "Mammon's" appearance changed through time from the 18th century until now - from a little-feared miserly old man to finally corrupting into the actual Devil himself! The beast of Mammon matured after the United States confidently became a nation.

Americans are absolutely obsessed with and covetous of property. But, why? Have Americans always been greedy, or was this a learned behavior?  Property had special meaning to the population of a land-starved island nation like Great Britain - America's motherland. Property became the basis for the freehold, franchise, or the right to vote - actual political power over others. As the British Isles filled with people, this power became a premium and localized in the hands of only a few. It's estimated that, in the eighteenth century, only 3% of the population of Great Britain had the right to vote - a right so absolutely cherished by Americans today - a right then solely dependent on property ownership. 

How did that change - specifically for America - as opposed to Great Britain - and a new nation of Mammon-worshiping property-owners evolving from that land-starved island nation? 

LAND! Pure power - glorious dirt that glittered like silver or gold treasure! America was thought by Europeans to be virtually unlimited in land. It was a dream or utopia to all Europeans, but especially to island-dwelling Protestant Englishmen.

Only one problem: that vast unlimited land - that access to ultimate power - was already possessed by Catholic Spain. This was an annoying fact to not only previously (before the Spanish Armada failure of 1588) power-starved Englishmen, but also the Native American or Indians who had first lost their land to the Catholics the century before! 

Of course, Indians lost more than just land - their remarkably tolerant Creator also suffered great discrimination and abuse by all Christians! Indians might find solace in the fact that Christians just as often abused each other - it seems that Protestants and Catholics rarely got along and appeared to truly worship no god at all, but greed itself - treasure, or Mammon, the "Devil of Covetousness!"

How was the land-starved Englishman to obtain a piece of Spanish America? For the English in 1663/5, it was merely an act of claiming Spain's territory - yeah, just saying, or writing on paper that they owned it!


Clearly, actual possession meant having to steal it, as the Spanish had done to the technologically less-advantageous Indians and created the piratical land "beyond the lines of amity" in the first place!

Owing to the fact that the Atlantic Ocean most obviously blocked their way, theft on the water, or piracy and marine raids were the chosen methods of the greedy Englishman to relieve Spain of its stolen property - to possess it for themselves, not to return it to its rightful owners, of course.

Of course, the idea of "property" evolved a bit in this martial Mammon-loving American atmosphere into more than just land - thanks to sugar or "White Gold." Slaves - the engine of sugar wealth - also became precious objects to be possessed. Specie, of course, was always valuable, as the non-imaginary measure of value itself. That the United States inherited Mammon's capitalism from its early piratical English forebears reveals itself in the American "dollar" named and valued after the Spanish "piece of eight" dollar. The older generation of American today may remember referring to a quarter dollar as "two bits" or 1/4 of "eight bits" or the traditional division of Spanish "piece of eight" coins into eight parts or "bits."

But, stealing Spain's wealth - silver and gold cobs, or Spanish dollars and jewels - while it resulted in little enduring power, it still provided immediate benefits of instant wealth, the quick and gratuitous path to Mammon! Not to mention that it would deliver further blows to the Catholics! British citizens of means invested regularly in privateer and wreck-fishing enterprises to steal Spain's treasure. 

One Spanish wreck in the late 17th century afforded a small group of five English investors - including the king himself - a chance to make virtual fortunes... enough for one of them to build a new mansion in Kent! This was only one Spanish treasure ship!

On July 30, 1715, a hurricane crossed through the Windward Isles and slammed directly into La Florida at precisely the same moment that Spain's long-held-up treasure fleet, consisting of eleven treasure galleons with three years worth of the income for Seville aboard, passed through the straits of Florida on their way home. Eleven treasure ships were blown against the shallow shores, spilling 14 million pesos worth in silver alone... not to mention whatever value the gold and jewels might add to this golden siren's lusty song!

Mariners from all across the Atlantic community jumped to the altar to worship Mammon - or covet some treasure for themselves.

One of those men by the name of Josiah Forbes, mariner of Philadelphia, made a fateful provisioning call at Virginia on his way back from the Florida wrecks. The acting governor of Virginia - of gentlemanly stature - even royal, owing to his family connections to the ruling King George I - was Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood. 

Spotswood, perhaps for the first time, glimpsed the massive proceeds possible from the wrecks in Forbes' hull and, of course, held him on suspicion of piracy - if for no other reason than to keep him in Virginia. He later wrote - attempting to formalize his decision to hold his prisoner - that Forbes had  since been discovered to have been imprisoned by the Spanish and having escaped them before sailing for Virginia. There you have it! Forbes was already a criminal to their "friends" the Spanish!

Despite all the warnings - and being possessed by Mammon - the corrupt idea probably leapt from Spotswood's greedy brain that he might get some of that treasure for himself! And... of course (tongue firmly planted in cheek), to further the national goals of Great Britain - God Bless the King!

There had also been rumors of much competition - a great many mariners of every sort collecting on the island of New Providence to fish the very same wrecks. They also raided vessels who had already fished the wrecks and took their treasure - I mean, why do the dangerous job of diving when you didn't have to? Not to put too fine a point on it, but many upstanding gentlemen lost many a good slave that way...

Another thing that Spotswood must have considered: How long would the treasure hold out with that many people fishing it up from the sea floor? Spotswood had to act quickly if he would benefit from this golden opportunity...

Still, the acting chief of Virginia was far too genteel and could not fish the treasure himself. So, he chose another man - a partner of sorts - to take care of the dirty business for him. 

Capt. Harry Beverly, styled - after 1720 - of "New-lands," or the newest lands of his 32,000 acres, or his plantation in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, would build a vessel and sail for such a king's ransom in Spotswood's stead.

Beverly was a man of means - son of Major Robert Beverly - an original immigrant in 1663 (coincidentally, when Carolina first claimed Spain's New World territory). Harry was then a first generation American born to the gentlemanly immigrant Beverly family of Beverly, Yorkshire. The Beverlys became founding fathers in Virginia, along with other allied families such as Carters, Armisteads, Churchills, and Fairfax. They became ancestors of great statesmen and presidents of the United States!

There would be many investors in this venture as well as Spotswood - all rich and some, just as wealthy as Spotswood. Indeed, Beverly's entire family had hoped for a piece of the coveted Spanish wealth as evidenced by his step-sister Elizabeth Churchill's notation in her will of 1716 "if Mr. Harry Beverley brings back any money or other returns from the wrecks, her share should go to certain of her grandchildren." The "other returns" may have referred to silver and gold plate or jewels. All treasure was most welcome. 

The Beverly's were already quite wealthy - Harry himself, of course, owning as many as 32,000 acres of land at the time of his death. So, the expected immense fortune in specie only sparked a side-diversion for these early wealthy Americans - they did not need the money. But, adventure was in the offing! For Beverly, this expedition would resemble an international playboy's fancy, if you will. 

Beverly needed help building his vessel and engaged his step-brother Walter Keeble - less than ten years apart in age and likely close for most of their 30 something years, as of 1716. Together, according to CO 137/12, they had a square-sterned sloop constructed on the Piankatank River, on the south side of their then Middlesex County residence. Spotswood armed this sloop Virgin with eight cannon from his own colonial stores, obviously anticipating trouble in those Spanish waters. 

Sloops offshore at Virginia

Spotswood would have to be politically delicate. The English and Spanish were then at peace. The War of the Spanish Succession or Queen Anne's War had just ended in 1714. The original claim of Carolina in 1663/5 would take time to actualize. Any theft from the Spanish had to be covert, so as not to begin another international incident - not right away, at any rate. The war had been a long one and the king undoubtedly did not want to start again so soon. They must at least pretend to honor the treaty while getting whatever they could of the treasure. 

On 15th of June 1716, Lt. Gov. Spotswood commissioned Beverly's Virgin and gave him instructions... these instructions (in CO 5/1317), of course, mention the source of the treasure first:

Whereas I have Received Information that divers Ships Richly Laden having been cast away in the Channel of Bahama & other...

The all-capitalized part about "Ships Richly Laden" I'm sure never went unnoticed. And, then, his wording proceeded to his competitors:

... and that under pretence of fishing for the Said Wreck'd Goods, divers persons as well his Majesties Subjects as others have Assembled themselves with their Vessells armed and equipped in Warlike manner, commiting depredations & other Acts of Hostility, upon the Spaniards & other Nations in Amity with His Majesty [at peace; Treaty of Utrecht] and that the Said persons have also taken possession of the Island of Providence, and intend to  Strengthen themselves there under a Governor of their own choosing...

Oh, Spotswood's words made him appear quite concerned about their Spanish neighbors! Well, he was a royal official who should at least appear to be doing his duty!

As to Bahamian pirates - or, his challengers for the treasure - the literately loquacious Spotswood never made any pretense about his disgust for these wannabee usurpers of authority and "low-life" commoners in his lengthy diatribes. Annoying for such a refined gentleman as he, these "ne'er do wells" occupying New Providence and fishing his wrecks were a nuisance to all - and a threat to all legitimate attempts to steal/fish the treasure!

On 23rd June, Beverley departed from Virginia. According to Spotswood in his complaint to the Board of Trade, Beverly's voyage did not go well from the start:

... two days after he left the Capes of Virginia he mett with a strong wind at South West, which carry'd him into the latitude of 28d. 40m. and longitude of 6 degrees [east - approx. longitude of Bermuda] from the said Capes, where on 5th July he found himself close by a ship and a sloop, which proved to be a Spanish man of war called the St. Juan Baptista, commanded by Don Joseph Rocher de la Pena...

... The man of war fired three shots at Beverley's sloop (which had the English colours flying on board) and then ordered him to come on board, where (without ever looking into his papers or so much as asking for them) only demanding from whence he came, he was made prisoner and his boats crew confined apart. The men of the Spanish ship immediately went on board his sloop, beat and stript all the men[,] broke open their chests, plundered and carry'd off all the cargo, and brought the men [as] prisoners on board the man of war, where they were forced naked as they were to work as the Spaniards ordered them, except Beverley himself, and Mr. Peter Whiting and George [Keeble] his officers.
On the 30th they arrived at Porto Rico, where the Spaniards sold most of the goods belonging to Beverley's sloop, and then on 11th May, they came to St. Domingo.
At both which places Beverley[,] conscious of his honest intentions, desired a trial but was denyed, untill they should arrive at La Vera Crux, whither the Spanish Commander declared he intended to carry his prisoners. It appears also by the letters from Beverley that he had sent divers letters to the Governour of St. Domingo, setting forth his case, and praying for a tryal, but no answer was returned, neither was Beverley or any of his men suffered to go on shoar or permitted to speak to anyone at either of these places, and since 14th Aug. Beverley nor any of his men have been heard of.

Spotswood seemed to scream out to his fellow Englishmen, "Oh, the horror!"

Apparently, Rocher and the Mexican government never believed Beverly's protestations of innocence. Only six months before, Jamaica's anti-pirate privateer Henry Jennings simply walked onto the beaches of the Spanish territory of La Florida - at St. Sebastian Inlet, even below the 29th parallel or the southern limits of the Carolina "claim" - and stole all the treasure already recovered by their salvers and spiking their cannon as they left - for good measure. This was clearly an act of war - it appeared that Jennings was not so worried about restarting the just-ended conflict and again violating the treaty! 

This fact never seemed to cross Spotswood's or Beverly's mind... that the Spanish were already pissed and would take action against any English vessel they might! The Spanish could have opted to declare the treaty null and void after Jennings' Christmas 1715 raid of their treasure - on their own land! What made the Englishmen so sure that the Spanish would just let them take what they wanted and then shake hands - maybe tip back a few mugs of Sangria - with Beverly?

After all, the English pirates and terrorists in Campeche, Mexico had just been expelled from Laguna de Terminos by the Barlovento Squadron out of Vera Cruz that summer, too! By 1716, the Spanish had had quite enough loss from these Englishmen!

Maybe Spotswood hoped that Beverly would just not get caught stealing Spanish property - or treasure. Might it be that Spotswood and Beverly simply took the chance of missing Rocher or any other Spanish Man-of-War that might be out there in the wide-open seas. Beverly was possibly secretly ordered by Spotswood to just take what he could and hightail it back to Virginia. The "official commission" of going after Bahamian pirates might have been simply a ruse to avoid later legalities if caught. We'll likely never know since Beverly never even made it to New Providence before he was captured!

===== update: 3-24-2021 ==============================

In CO 137/12, a letter from Beverley's crew dated December 9, 1716, a few months after arriving at Vera Cruz tells that Beverly intended to go the Bahamas after more treasure from the Spanish wrecks, since they "in hopes to find a Wreck there, having found three Saylors Chests on the Shore among these Islands." Beverley's crew later opted for a piece of the action, as opposed to monthly wages, hoping that the chests were full of treasure. The Spanish undoubtedly suspected Beverly and crew of another operation similar to Jenning's. Still, Beverley, in his next letter of March 6th, 1717, suggests that Lt. Gov. Spotswood's intel of the sea chests ashore at New Providence came to him in May 1716 - the month before commissioning Beverly and Virgin. Therefore, it's likely that Spotswood wanted to collect that Spanish money - not to help the Spanish with their pirate problem. 


Virginia "privateer" Capt. Harry Beverly eventually made it back to his base of Virginia... but, only after the Spanish had thoroughly satiated their anger at Henry Jennings, Harry Beverly, Alexander Spotswood, or any other Protestant heretic thief that might have hoped to steal from them. They ruined the English plans of Spotswood, sold their merchandise, and condemned Virgin. What's more, Rocher and his Barlovento Squadron from Vera Cruz, Mexico most likely captured these annoying English criminals often! Many wreck-fishing vessels must have been condemned at La Vera Cruz.

Jamaican Gov. Lord Archibald Hamilton attempted the same trickery against the Spanish with his ten-privateer fleet in winter of 1715 - to "hunt pirates" - following the wreck of the Spanish fleet in the hurricane earlier that summer. The result was that Henry Jennings - one of those privateers - outright violated the treaty and invaded Spanish La Florida, angering Spain and causing a backlash against English aggression.

I rather think the Spanish had every right to imprison these English terrorists - if one believes in the traditional real (in the sense of property) precept of ownership being 9/10ths equal to possession. 

Some Americans today might disagree with me on anachronistic terms because today, we merely view the victims here as Spanish and Catholic and know that the English successfully stole their property - now, Americans own La Florida!

But, aren't those Americans thieves and racists? Just like the Spanish before them? And we grew up in a nation of piratical Mammon worshipers, so our angry anti-Catholic, anti-Spanish opinions might be skewed by race, greed and the capitalistic profit motive.  

A General History of the Pyrates perhaps said it best when it called America a "Commonwealth of Pyrates!"

I agree. America is the quintessential nation built by greed, Mammon - the commonwealth, the land "beyond the lines of amity!" To the victor go the spoils! 

Only now - after gaining possession of Spain's property - American thieves and racists claim to be democratic and pretend to respect each others' opinions.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Anne Bonny, Possible Neighbor of the Thaches of Spanish Town, Jamaica?

"Anne Bonney" illustration from A General History of the Pyrates

Ever since the pirate trial of 1720/21 at St. Jago de la Vega, or "Spanish Town" Jamaica, historians have contemplated the only two female pirates ever mentioned in the modern (and, of course, disputed) Golden Age, from 1715-1726. Mary Read and Anne Bonny have fascinated thousands for at least three centuries!

Spanish Town, of course, was the colonial capital of the fairly fresh English colony of Jamiaca - having been taken from the Spanish in 1655. Thus, the oft-used named of "Spanish Town" for the captured Spanish capital of St. Jago de la Vega. 

Most modern assumptions stem from Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates, which has, in recent years, come under a great deal of scrutiny. Also, it's author was more than likely Nathaniel Mist, a controversial newspaper publisher, often jailed for supporting the Jacobite cause (not unlike MAGA dissension in America today). 

Jacobites desired to place James III, the "Pretender," (Donald Trump in this analogy) back on the throne of England. Parliament (similar to our Congress) prevented James III from succeeding his sister Anne in 1714, but Jacobites still saw the "Pretender" as the rightful King of England and rebelled twice in 1715 and 1745. 

Most scholars presume that pirates of the Caribbean and in the Americas more generally, held a strong fascination with Jacobitism - especially the early iteration in 1715. Still, how durable that fascination actually was is a matter of debate. It is known that pirates at least identified with the "Pretender" and his Stuart royal family, reflected in the naming of their vessels, like "Revenge," "Royal James," or the two pirate ships named "Queen Anne's Revenge." 

Anne Bonny rose into legend over that 300 years since the 1720s - something of a tricentennial, in fact. Due to the scarcity of records - especially from former pirate strongholds such as Jamaica or the Bahamas - many scholars have relied quite loosely upon questionable sources such as Johnson's - or Mist's or the ubiquitous flood of popular literature about them since - most all based on one source: A General History

Based in A General History and owing to this flood of popular literature since, Anne Bonny's supposed history has blossomed from being virtually unknown to... the daughter of William Cormac, a man reputed to have "first moved to London to get away from his wife's family, and he began dressing his daughter as a boy and calling her 'Andy.'" 

A great deal of literary license over the centuries by numerous authors - all hinging upon A General History - a book called by literary scholar Dr. Manushag Powell a "counterfactual" (think: "alternative facts" or, at best, historical fiction) - culminated in this extraordinary passage found on Wikipedia:

When Cormac's wife discovered William had taken in the illegitimate daughter and was bringing the child up to be a lawyer's clerk and dressing her as a boy, she stopped giving him an allowance. Cormac then moved to the Province of Carolina, taking along his former serving girl, the mother of Bonny. Bonny's father abandoned the original "Mc" prefix of their family name to blend more easily into the Charles Town citizenry. At first, the family had a rough start in their new home, but Cormac's knowledge of law and ability to buy and sell goods soon financed a townhouse and eventually a plantation just out of town. Bonny's mother died when she was 12. Her father attempted to establish himself as an attorney but did not do well. Eventually, he joined the more profitable merchant business and accumulated a substantial fortune.

It is recorded that Bonny had red hair and was considered a "good catch" but may have had a fiery temper; at age 13, she supposedly stabbed a servant girl with a knife. She married a poor sailor and small-time pirate named James Bonny. James hoped to win possession of his father-in-law's estate, but Bonny was disowned by her father. Anne's father did not approve of James Bonny as a husband for his daughter, and he kicked Anne out of their house.

However, it is known [but, not really] that sometime between 1714 and 1718, she and James Bonny moved to Nassau, on New Providence Island, known as a sanctuary for English pirates called the Republic of Pirates. Many inhabitants received a King's Pardon or otherwise evaded the law. It is also recorded that, after the arrival of Governor Woodes Rogers in the summer of 1718, James Bonny became an informant for the governor [also, unsupported - the Calendar of State Papers - the usual source for this info, does not seem to notice James]. James Bonny would report to Governor Rogers about the pirates in the area, which resulted in a multitude of these pirates being arrested. Anne disliked the work her husband did for Governor Rogers.

While in the Bahamas, Bonny began mingling with pirates in the taverns. She met John "Calico Jack" Rackham, and he became her lover. He offered money to her husband James Bonny if he would divorce her, but her husband refused and apparently threatened to beat John. She and Rackham escaped the island together, and she became a member of Rackham's crew. She disguised herself as a man on the ship, and only Rackham and Mary Read were aware that she was a woman until it became clear that she was pregnant. Rackham then landed her at Cuba where she gave birth to a son. She then rejoined Rackham and continued the pirate life, having divorced her husband and married Rackham while at sea [possibly - but her actual husband's name might have been Fulford].

Seriously?? I have to say that this elaborate tale depends on absolutely NO primary sources - unless you consider A General History to be a primary source, which I - and Dr. Powell - do not - up until we get to the line "Bonny, Rackham, and Read stole the ship William, then at anchor in Nassau harbor, and put out to sea." 

How do we know this? Because the Boston Gazette issue of October 17, 1720 printed an ad by Gov. Woodes Rogers of the Bahamas, searching for the absconders! Williams' owner Capt. John Ham probably wouldn't stop bugging Rogers about it: 

Boston Gazette, 17 Oct 1720, page 3

Note the name "Ann Fulford alias Bonny." She was known on the Bahamas by both of these names. The term "alias" did not usually mean she was hiding from the law. It simply meant "another name for" or "also known as." Her married name - whether ecumenically or common law - was probably Fulford.

For example, George Washington's wife might have been called "Martha Washington alias Custis."

So far, no "theory" explains this "Fulford" name. If I have to say it... that the article is a valid primary source - and one that does NOT depend on A General History - from a contemporary who knew these people - and was responsible for apprehending them... well, let's just say that Woodes Rogers had to know what he was talking about! He deserves more credit than to be completely ignored!

The court records from the Spanish Town Trial mentioned Rackham, Bonny, Read, Vane, and a great number of other pirates captured by Jonathan Barnet, a privateer of Jamaica since at least 1715 - the time of the wreck of eleven Spanish vessels known as the "Plate Fleet" today - or specifically from Gov. Archibald Hamilton's response in November 1715 to the massive flood of pirate activity that followed the hurricane of July 30, 1715 and the spilling of millions of pieces of eight on the shallow shores of La Florida - in easy fishing distance - a virtual fortune for anyone who would risk his neck to fish it or take it from others who had. And, a great many mariners took that chance!

Many of the "wreckers" who filled the streets of Nassau, New Providence Island in the Bahamas to fish those wrecks came from New England, England, both Carolinas, Virginia, Bermuda, Antigua, and yes - Jamaica! From all over the Atlantic World!

Until my exposure to the historical community of the Jamaican Anglican Church Records - available on microfilm since 1960s and online for the past decade at, almost no one searched Jamaica looking for any pirate's origin... the island just sat there - in the Caribbean - certainly noticed by most 18th century writers - even by Johnson - but never accessed by anyone since!

I found Edward Thache's family there in the capital city of Spanish Town through those records. So, what about Ann Bonny? What about Mary Read?

Well... just from the Anglican Church records in the Thache's church of St. Catherine's Cathedral come these records for Bonny, researched by me on

1695 July 1 - Burial of Mary Bonny

1698 Nov 22 - Phillip & Ann christen child Mary

1699 Feb 9 - Phillip & Ann christen child Elizabeth

1700 July 19 - Burial of Edward Bonny [son or brother of Phillip?]

1701 June 6 - Burial of Annie a child [father unknown]

1702 May 17 - Burial of Mary Bonny [likely 1st dau. Mary of Phillip & Ann, ch. 1698]

1704 Nov 12 - Phillip & Ann christen child Mary [married Sir Simon Clarke & d. 1762]

1710 April 6 - Phillip & Ann christen child John

1713 April 5 - Burial of Ann, a child

1714 Sep 1 - Burial of Mary, a child [child of another Bonny?]

1714 Nov 16 - Burial of James, a child

1718 Aug 19 - Phillip & Ann christen unnamed son [John? Thomas? or William?]

1726 June 30 - Burial of Sarah Bonny

1732 Oct 16 - Burial of John Bonny [son of Phillip & Mary, ch. 1710?]

1733 Dec 29 - Burial of Ann Bonny [who is this? next man buried was from "gaol" - coincidence?]

1736 Jan 14 - Burial of William Bonny Mul. [mix of European with African]

1748 March 15 - Phillip & Ann Bonny {man & wife buried in one coffin} [appar. died the same day]

1748 April 22 - Burial of Thomas Bonny

1748 April 27 - Burial of Charity Bonny free child [presumed of African ancestry]

---------updated 2/21/21----------------------------

Vere Parish shows numerous Read/Reed/Reids, but only one baptism for Bonny: 

"Bonny - Mary, Dr.[daughter] of Willm. & Thoma... born Jan 7th. bapts. April 4th 1707"

Note: the family of Gordon Bonny cannot be fully explored as the Anglican Church records from St. John's Parish - like most remote Jamaican parishes - did not begin until later - in this case, 1751.


There were more records already researched from the Register General's Department there:


Will proved: 6th December 1777
Date within document: 3rd August 1773

Persons Mentioned, Places Mentioned

Edward Clarke [planter] [testator], Hyde Plantation, Trelawny, Jamaica
Thomas Worth [godson] & son of Thomas Worth Chief Justice of Jamaica, Mount Pleasant St John, Middlesex in Jamaica [home of William Bonny]
Robert Cooper of London [friend], Hyde Cheshire, England [home of George Clarke]
The Governors of the College of the province of New York, Swanswick plantation in St James, Jamaica
Mary Clarke [daughter], Land in the province of New York, America owned by Edward Clarke
Anne Clarke [daughter]
Mary Bonny [Anne, Edward & Penelope Clarke's mother]
William Bonny [Mary Bonny's father]
Penelope Clarke [daughter]
Edward Clarke
George Clarke [brother]
William Innes of London [Merchant & friend]
Edward Clarke [grandson & son of George Hyde Clarke]
George Hyde Clarke [son]
Samuel Williams Haughton [son in law]
Helen Camberbarh[?] [daughter in law]
Elizabeth Cork [Sister]
Mathew & Letitia Cork [nephew & niece]
Ballard Beckford [nephew]
Susanna Beckford [daughter of Ballard Beckford]


This is the will of Edward Clarke who appears to have owned Hyde Plantation in Trelawny at the time of his death in 1777 and lands in the province of New York State. He appears to have had a brother, George, living in Hyde, Cheshire in England and various children whose mother was Mary Bonny also a grandson, Edward, son of his son Edward Hyde Clarke... [the will goes on interminably long, so I'll stop it here.]

Also, INDEX TO DEED BOOKS - JAMAICA 1669-1797 showed James-Bonny transactions for Phillip Bonny (who's wife was Ann):

Phillip Bonny Sold land in 1715 to Henry James - Vol. 54, f.92
Phillip Bonny Sold land in 1727 to Henry James - Vol. 76, f.19

And, "Jamaican Landowners in 1754" show:

Bonny, Philip, St. Catherine 533, St. John 194, Total 727 [acres]
Bonny, Gordon, St. John, 200 [acres]


Phillip Bonny was the most well-known Bonny of Jamaica, having been officially appointed to government positions there - why he appears in the capital city, no doubt - as per Calendar of State Papers:

September 1703, 11-20

Sept. 15th - Writ of election and return for the parish of St. Katherine's read. It was resolved that Noah Delauney* was duly elected a Representative in the room of Henry Brabant, who was expelled the House. Ordered that the writ and return be entered in the Minutes of this House. The return is signed by Jno. Hickman, Provost Marshall, Henry Willis, John Hanson, Beaumont Pestell, Wm. Parker, John Palmer, Edward Rowland, Geo. Fletcher, Tho. Powell, Richd. Bradford, John Morris, Phillip Bonny, John Ellis, senr., John Ellis, Matt. Gregory, Robt. Nedham, Wm. Nedham, Tho. Flower, Richd. Masters, Bartho. Fant, Tho. Mercer, Arthur Sparke, John Bancks. [C.O. 140, 7. pp. 107–112.]

*"Noah Delauney" or Noah Delanmey or Delanney was a probable godfather of one of Edward and Lucretia Thache's children in 1704. 


Phillip, who owned 727 acres and plantations in at least two parishes, also earned a place in the MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS JAMAICA - PARISH OF HANOVER.

Page 329


M. M. Sculptured by Flaxman.

(The remainder of the inscription is a general character of the deceased.)

Sir SIMON was 7th Baronet; lie married Anne Haughton.* He was the eldest of six children of Sir Simon, 6th Baronet, by his wife Mary, daughter of Philip Bonny, of Jamaica. Philip Clarke, a younger son of the 3rd Baronet of that name and family, held the office of Patent Clerk of the Crown, in Jamaica, in 1722. The 5th Bart. was an officer in the Navy, in 1730, but was transported to Jamaica, for a highway robbery committed by him and another man, near Winchester, and died in the former island, without issue, in 1736, whereupon the eldest son of Philip, Clerk of the Crown, above mentioned, succeeded to the Baronetcy.

These records show a definite family group with a government official Phillip and Ann as the parents and multiple children, having arrived in the island at the beginning of the 18th century (Like Edward and his first wife Elizabeth Thache, Phillip & Mary were not born or married on Jamaica - so, probably in England or another island). Phillip could have had brothers Edward and Gordon (living in St. John's Parish), too. 

1733 burial record for Ann Bonny in St. Catherine's Parish, Jamaica

It is at least as possible that Anne Bonny could be from this family - and perhaps maybe why she was spared the hangman's noose - well, for that reason as well as pregnancy. The Anglican Church burial record for "Ann Bonny" on December 29th, 1733 may show an Ann not immediately related to Phillip and his wife Ann herself, but may be a daughter of the Edward mentioned as dying there in 1700 or perhaps a daughter of Gordon in St. John's Parish, or William in Vere Parish, and both may be related to Phillip. She might very well have shacked up with some Fulford guy on New Providence Island while hoping for massive riches of her own. The family and the Jamaican Anglican authorities never recognized the marriage and simply recorded her with her family as "Ann Bonny!" John, William, Thomas, or Charity - only one male of whom is Phillip and Ann's - could be her child.

David Fictum in "Colonies, Ships, and Pirates: Concerning History in the Atlantic World, 1680-1740" writes "A record of burials in St. Catherine, Jamaica, notes the death and burial of a Mary Read on April 28, 1721." Yes. And, there a lot of Reid, Reed, Read family names in Jamaica - quite a few in St. Catherine's Parish. Two "Mary Reed"s were christened in St. Catherine's in the mid 1680s and another slightly older in St. Andrews. It may be that she's also from Jamaica. Note that the infamous female pirate's entry reads "pirate" immediately after her name, leaving little doubt who she was! Time to erase the "unknown" added to most of her times of death in secondary sources!

Just down the page, noted for June 28th, also shows "A Pirate from the prison." 

That Anne Bonny escaped the gallows seems unusual at best. But, perhaps not if she had family there in the capital town - especially a government official - her freedom may have been purchased... or at least a sentence reduced. I should also note that it was rare for a pirate to be buried in Christian fashion and noted in an Anglican burial record. Their bodies were usually left hanging in a gibbet for the birds to peck on - like Rackham himself - or on a beach below the low water mark, so as to eternally damn their souls to hell! 

St. Catherine's Parish Burial Records, April 28, 1721 for "Mary Read pirate" - note that the incidental "pirate" part should not appear in the digitized transcriptions or finding aid on the genealogical website, but only by viewing the actual record itself.

I can say that Fulford is not a name found on Jamaica - but, it is on nearby Barbados - and there were men from every part of the Atlantic World in Nassau, New Providence - a small backwater shanty town seething with masses of greedy mariners at the time!