THE GRAND PIRATE, Or the LIFE and DEATH of Captain GEORGE CUSACK.
THE World hath been long en∣tertained with Accounts of High∣way-men and Land-Robbers, but Piracies and Sea-Robbers being for the most part either under the guard & protection of some States, that avowedly drive this infam∣ous Traffick, as they of Algiers and Salley do, or on the pretence of a Commission from some Prince engaged in a War with his Neighbours; therefore it is hoped that the fol∣lowing Account shall be received and read generally, since it contains some of the passages of the most signal Sea-Robber, that perhaps this Age hath known, who en∣courag'd with success, did with a most daring boldness, drive that cursed Trade for 15 years, and not daunted Page 4 with one misfortune, continued and improved in his vil∣lainous course of life, till at length this Captain George Cusack (for that was his name) was taken, and being found guilty of unparallell'd Crimes, was put to death at the Execution Dock on Monday the Eighteenth of Ia∣nuary, 1674. according to the Sentence past upon him.
GEorge Cusack Son to one Mr. Cusack of Granstowen in the County of East-Meath in Ireland, was bred a Scholar and a Roman Catholick, and was disposed by his Parents for a Fryer, but the wildness of his youth not agreeing with a Religious Life, made him first rob his nearest Kinsman Mr. Benedict Arthur of Sixty pounds and his Watch within two Miles of Dublin in the year 53; after which he went to serve as a private Souldier in Flanders, but the severity of that Discipline not a∣greeing with his looser temper, he did betake himself to Sea-Service in several Privateers, where he continu∣ed for some time in a private capacity; but after frequent removals, his first Rise was to the degree of a Gunners Mate aboard of Captain North, in a Voyage to Guinney; where being very mutinous, and usual punishments not being able to keep him in order, his Captain put him aboard the Gift Frigate, Captain Reynolds Commander, in whom he sayled to Barbadoes; and after his return entred himself a Midship-man aboard Sir Edward Spragge: by whom being employed as a Press-Master in the for∣mer Dutch War, amongst many others he prest one that was in the hands of the Bayliffs, taken by them upon Execution, and carried him clear away; for which and for being a grand Mutineer, he was afterward seized, and committed a Prisoner to the Marshalsey for some moneths.
But at last being set at liberty, and having resolutions Page 5 to raise himself by any sinister wayes, and determining to surprize and run away with the first good Ship he could get employment in, it so happened, that in the year 1668. being at Cadiz in Spain, he was entertained as Gunner aboard the Hopewell of Tangier, Captain Lam∣bert Bartholomew Welters Commander, a Vessel of about 250 Tuns, and 24 Guns, bound from Tangier to Vir∣ginia, and richly laden, who sayling from Cadiz the se∣cond of September, and the next day springing a Leak, thereupon by the general opinion of Officers aboard, it was thought best to put in at the Grand Canar•es to stop it, where meeting with contrary winds, they con∣strained them to make more Southerly. Upon the Eighth of October following at One of the Clock in the Morning, being in 24 Degrees and about 40 Minutes Northern Latitude, and about 220 English Leagues Westward from •erre, the said George Cusack, with one Richard Parslow, one of the Mates or Pilots, and several others of their Confederates, having privately armed them∣selves, fell upon the Watches, and by violence seized the said Captain Lambert, Thomas Power Merchant and Supercargo of the said Vessel, Daniel Gilson chief Mate, together with the Boatswain, Carpenter, Butler, and se∣veral others, having first through the great Cabbin door shot the Cabbin-Boy through the Thigh, and the Car∣penter upon the Deck through the Buttock, whom they also wounded in the Arm, together with the Boatswain, all whom this Cusack commanded unto the Round-house, placing Guards over them, where they apprehended e∣very minute to be murdered and thrown over-board; at last he hawled out the small Boat of tht Ship, and by violence forced into the Boat Captain Lambert, with the chief Mate, the wounded Carpenter, the Butler with three Seamen more, whom he exposed to the mer∣cy Page 6 of the Ocean, denying them the Long-boat, though they begged it upon their knees, without giving any reason for so inhumane an action, or having any pro∣vocation thereunto.
The said Thomas Power being commanded out of the Round-house with the rest, observing the said Cusack to be the principal Conspirator, desired to speak a few words with him before he was put off, who replied, God damme, what you have to say, say quickly; whereupon the said Power desired him to Pistol him there, rather than to expose him to the mercy of the Sea, for he had rather dye a sudden death, than a certain lingering one; but withall told him, he conceiv'd he had a better way for the saving of his life, for a day or two might be of use to him till he had taken an accompt of the Ships Cargo, & how she was stored with Water and Provision, which having done, he might Pistol him, or throw him over∣board at pleasure. Upon which the said Cusack forth∣with commanded the said Power into the great Cabbin, under the command of two Musquetiers, straitly char∣ging them upon pain of death to shoot him if he spoke to any man. The Boat being fired at by a small shot out of the Gun-room by one Edward Barry, and forced away, Cusack together with •ar•ow, the same day broke open Captain Lambert's Chests, and there divided betwixt them all the Goods and Money in equal proportion, together with all the things of value belonging to Cap∣tain Lambert in the great Cabbin, declaring their reso∣lution of running away with the Ships and Cargo, and of taking or sinking all Ships or Vessels they should meet with belonging to any Nation, English only excepted: promising to all persons aboard that joyned with them, their proportion and shares of the Ship and Cargo; to∣gether with all other Ships they should afterwards take Page 7 or surprize, according to the Lawes of Pleron: to which end he ordered to be drawn up in Writing an Obliga∣tion to himself as Captain, and the said Parslow as Lieu∣tenant, expressing the Resolutions of the Subscribers up∣on their Oaths to live and die with them in this their present design, to which there subscribed one Thomas Carre alias Richardson, formerly Gunners Mate, whom he now made Master; one Nathanael Estan alias Hillon, whom he made Masters Mate, Moses White made Boat∣swain; thirteen Servants (who all voluntarily entered themselves upon the said Voyage for Virginia) together with most of the Seamen, many of them not daring to refuse. The persons names not subscribing nor consent∣ing being Iohn Samuel the former Boatswain, sore woun∣ded; Iacob Marrelly the Chirurgion, Leonard Cornelly the Carpenters Mate, Iacob Cornelly the chief Boy, with three other Cabbin Boys, and Benjamin Wilbius servant to the said Thomas Power. All whom they forced along with them. The persons unwillingly or constrained∣ly subscribing the Writings were, Thomas Wildsmith, Serjeant Andrew Mattes, and one Clark of Tangier Sea-men. After the seizure of the Ship he possessed himself of all Letters and Writings relating to the Voyage, as well belonging to Captain Lambert, as also those in the possession of Thomas Power, except three Papers onely which Power hath concealed and reserved, almost all which he threw over board, lest any of them should discover his Piratical proceedings, and could not be per∣swaded to save a great large Bible that constantly lay upon the great Cabbin Table, from the mercy of the Waves, which whiles some of his own Crew endeavour∣ed to perswade him to, he replyed, You Cowards, what do you think to go to Heaven and do such Actions as these? No, I will make you Officers in Hell under me; and with that Page 8 threw the Bible out at the great Cabbin window, saying Go thou thy way Divinity, what have we to do with thee▪ Upon which he presently altered his Course, and set Say• for Guinney, intending there to convert the Cargo into Gold; in ten days time he run into fourteen Degrees and a half of Northern Latitude, but not being able to find the Cape de Verde Islands, and being ignorant whe∣ther he was to Windward or Leeward of any of them, and not having above a months fresh Water, he deter∣mined to Sayle full West, in hopes either of falling in with some of the Islands, or at worst to have the advan∣tage of a Trade Wind for Barbadoes, where he arrived the fourth of November following; during this passage, as also before, he often sollicited Thomas Power to close with him in his design, profering him not only his own goods, but the moyety of the Cargo besides, which Power refusing, wrought in Cusack such a jealousie of him, heightned with the discontents of his Confederates, that it was daily expected when Power should be murdered, and thrown over-board, being judged the only person that was in a capacity of discovering their piratical pro∣ceedings. The Boat with seven men forced to Sea, be∣ing concluded without fail lost, this merry Crew of∣ten drunk to them in Hell, though indeed they had more reason to conclude it nearer to themselves, which they were far enough from having any appre∣hension of, witness their daily Song, and their drunken bouts, which was
In this passage she espied a Sayl to Windward, to whom she gave chase some hours, supposing it to be a Portuguize from Brazile, whom they intended to make a prize of, but were out-sayled by her, before their ar∣rival at Barbadoes, where they determined to touch and sell for ready money, as much of the Cargo as they could, as also to carry as many men as they could get. They forced Power to draw up several Articles of their own dictating, to prevent the discovery of the Vessel, which they had likewise altered all they could, and now cal∣led her the Valiant Prince, pretending her to belong to Dublin, from whence she was freighted to Cadiz, laden with loose Pipe-staves,&c. by Cusack, Barshow, and o∣thers; and that there she invested the produce of her Goods in the present Cargo aboard, and was bound for Iamaica, and so back for Dublin; and that she hath lost her Boat at Sea in foul weather with seven men in it; when she sprung a Leak, that she touch't there to take in fresh Water, and to stop her Leak only: which pre∣tences being proclaimed at the Main-mast, it was decla∣red present Death to every man that gave out other∣wise; with Order to sayl forthwith.
At Carl•••• Bay the Fourth of November, they saluted the Fort with seven Guns, who returned one: without touching, they keep their Course for Speights Bay, where they hoped to Treat with more privacy and security; but before they arrived there, a Sloop with the Kings Jack and Ancient out, was making after them; CusacksPage 10 Vessel lay by for her, and upon her coming up, invited her Boat aboard, who examined Cusack whence he was, and whither bound, who answered as formerly agreed on. The Boat left one Thomas Fox aboard to bring him to an Anchor in Speights Bay, who immediately acquain∣ted Cusack with the safe arrival of the Boat, & the seven men in her that he pretended he had lost at Sea, and that if he touch't there, my Lord Willoughby would pre∣sently seize him; that Captain Lambert had acquainted my Lord with all particulars; and that there was a Privateer setting out, that was ordered to pursue and retake him; that the said Fox knew his design, and re∣solved to live and die with him. Upon which Informa∣tion Cusack called for a Pistol, and also Parslow fired at the small Boat of the Sloop, but neither going off, the Sloop steered away, which Cusack repented he had not either sunk, or forcibly carried away with him.
From thence he immediately resolved for Martinico a French Island, and about eleven a Clock the same night he was overtaken by a small Vessel manned out by my Lord Willoughby; who being to Windward, and within shot of Cusack, he fired about eleven Guns at her; upon which the Vessel immediately tacked and returned without firing a Gun; the next Day being betwixt Sancta Lucia and Martinico, and being be∣calmed towards the Evening, he espied a Katch ply∣ing to Windward, which he made towards all he could, but night coming on, he haled out and manned his Long-Boat with twelve men, whom he doubly armed, and commanded them to Board and take her whatso∣ever she was; the Long-Boat haling her, received this account, That she belonged to Flushing, and was bound to Sirenam, and desired them to keep off; upon which they durst not attempt her: but Cusack by this time Page 11 coming up (the Katch not altering her Course) hailes her himself, being within Musquet shot, and commands her to Strike, otherwise he would sink her; but recei∣ving no answer, he fired about ten Guns at her, besides some Small-shot, thinking himself sure of her; but in half an hours time she got the Windward and escaped; but what damage is uncertain.
The Eighth of November being Sunday, by break of day, with the King's Iack and Ancient out he came to an Anchor, betwixt the Town of Martinico and Carbat, giving himself out for a Man of War, bound from Lon∣don to Iamaica; that he intended to touch at, but had missed Barbadoes, and wanting Water and Wood touch∣ed there to supply himself, which all the men aboard were then to give out upon pain of Death. With these pretences he sent his Boat ashore to the Fort, in which returned aboard with him one Mr. Blake an English∣man, pretending himselfe an Interpreter, with two English-men more, and some French, who acquainted him, that the Governour was at Carbat at Church; and that it was both customary for others, and would be ne∣cessary for him to kiss his hands; assuring him of all fair accommodation there. Upon their importunity, to¦gether with the invitation of the Captain of the Guard (by whom he sent the said Governour a large Looking-Glass as a Present) he was prevailed with to go ashore, and presently commanded with him Thomas Power: the Church being near the Sea-side, and their Service then ended, the Governour Monsier la Bier (with many fol∣lowers) meets Cusac, who discoursed with him in French: Power it seems conceiving there was then before him a most fit Opportunity, not only to discover the piratical proceedings of Cusack, but to recover the Vessel and Cargo, and bring the Pirates to condigne punishment, Page 12 acquaints the Governour with the sum and substance of what has been here related touching the Ship in the pre∣sence of Cusack, which was interpreted to him by the Black in the presence and hearing of two or three En∣glish-men more and many French, desiring the Gover∣nour that he would secure Cusack, with the Boats Crew (who all alledged their Vessel a Man of War, and Power only a Passenger, whom they were to deliver at Iamai∣ca, to which they were all ready to give their Oaths) Power profering to make good the Truth of his accusa∣tion with his Life, and for the better satisfaction of the Governor, then produced the Orders and Instructions of his Principals, together with his Letter of Attorney, and Captain Lambert's General Bill of Lading, signed with his own hand, (which Papers, it seems, Power had pri∣vately secured) desiring they might be read; but Mon∣sieur la Bier would neither suffer them to be read, nor secure Cusack, nor protect Power, nor send for other Te∣stimonies from aboard, though he was earnestly entrea∣ted to do it; only ordered Power to draw up in writing what he had to charge Cusack with, and he would give him a farther hearing: Power not being believed, and being forced to shift for himself, Cusack with what men he could get makes haste aboard; and not daring to stay to weigh his Anchor, cuts his Cable the same night, and stands off to Sea, and the next Morning early sends his Boat ashore doubly arm'd to Leeward of the Town, and Waters and Woods by force, or at least by private connivence.
From thence he makes for Mountserrat, where he and the rest of his Confederates being under the sense of their own guilt, and knowing themselves fully discovered; endeavoured to piece up a kind of agreement with the Governour Colonel Stapleton, but not daring to trust themselves under his power, and being informed that my Page 13 Lord Willoughby was then upon his way for England, and intended to visit and strengthen the Leeward Islands in his passage, he withdrew himself to a small Island called Anguilla, where the Governour Captain Howel (being informed of their villany, by the dispersed intelligence of Power) upon his coming ashore seized him and his Boats Crew, the particulars whereof you have here exposed to your perusal as it was taken out of Cusacks own Journal, under his own hand-writing, by which you may not only discover the nature of the man, but from thence experi∣ence how custom in sin begets in some men an opinion of the lawfulness of their actions, though never so crimi∣nal, villainous or injurious.
December the 9th. 1668. I went ashore, says he, with five men to look after six men that runn'd from the Ship, and some five miles in the Country after I drunk a little Molby at Captain Hews, one Roch comes in and told me that two Dutchmen run away with the Boat, and hear∣ing this I arose to go away, and stept some 40 or 50 paces from the House, they told me if I went any further I was a dead man, then I did suppose I was betrayed; then came one suddenly and profered to lay hold on me, think∣ing that I had nothing but my Cane, with that I pull'd out a Pocket Pistol and bid him stand off; and so came through two of their ambushes, meeting in my way one of their Lieutenants, called Lieutenant Derrick, whom I trust in amongst the rest of his consorts in the wood, and so going along until my wearied leggs missing the path-way were forced into the woods, where they were sufficiently torn, till at last being very dry with such un∣satiable thirst, I found a puddle of rain water which con∣tained to the value of a pint betwixt two Rocks, sharing to every one his portion, we marched further, and being Page 14 troubled with the former thirst, we spied a House in the wilderness but the place a little plainer, where I espied a woman big with child, fearing to fright the woman we asked for some water which she tendred to us at our re∣quest, and withall taking notice of our wearied limbs to be scarce able to sustain our bodies treated me with a civil entertainment in her house, which was a Cup of cold water, being at that present more welcome to me than Gold, there I stayed for two hours to revive my thirsty soul which breathed for air, after this little space of time comes one Iohn Merideth, and one Bedhell, both Merchants who courted me to yield upon terms, and deliver my Sword and Pistols to them, and the Governour should do the same, to which I did give consent being unable to live in those solitary and rather venemous woods, where Mir∣wings & Musculers sting'd us as bad as Wasps, then honour was forced to yield to unworthiness, for as assoon as the Governor (or rather a Swine driver) had spied my Rapier in one of those Gentlemens hands he forced him to deli∣ver my Rapier and Pistols, and this finished, till the next day following he summonned me again, and I delivered my self up upon conditions that I should have all my cloathes and moneys belonging unto me in the Ship. But what could I expect of a rebellious and unworthy Ban∣dida which never did familiar himself with men, but with wild goats in those woods, he left me with one sute of cloaths and one shirt to my back, continuing among those Satyrs from the eighth day to the fifteenth, to requite my former kindness sent up with me two more, the Boat∣swain and another, all three in Irons, down a Shallops hold, denying me only to breath in the Hatch-way, as if that I had perpetrated the greatest murder in the world, which was a great vexation to my Spirit, which with great courage being never inferiour to any, overcame this villainous action with patience.
Page 15It would be too tedious to insert here the havock that was made of the Ship and Cargo and Stores, with the hard usage of Captain Lambert, and the Supercargo Power, the design of this Paper being only to pursue the life and action of Cusack who from hence was sent up in Irons to Barbado's where being committed to the Marshals Cu∣stody, and afterwards to the Common-Goal, he with se∣veral other Felons broke Prison, and seizing upon an empty. Boat ventured to Sea, and touching at an In∣dian Island or two to refresh themselves got down to Tartodos a French Island, where being arrived he met with an opportunity of surprizing another Ship to a grea∣ter value, the Particulars whereof you have as followeth.
A Frigat of 250 Tuns and 28 Guns mounted, called the Saint Ioseph, belonging to David Godfry of Lisbon Merchant, and others his partners then residing at Rochel, being laden with Campeach Wood, Varenus Tobacco, Coco, and other Merchandize to the value of 125000 pieces of Eight, whereof 20000 were in ready money, and being ready to sail in the Month of March 1669. whereof one Peter Asdel was Captain, and Stephen Goliard Merchant or Supercargo; who considering the hazard the Ship and Cargo might run by the Spanish Men of War in those parts, who make prize of all Ships but their own betwixt the Tropick, thought it convenient for the better security of the Ship to strengthen her with as many men as they could conveniently get, and amongst many others unfortunately received aboard George Cusack and his Fellows, who ha∣ving now been used and pretty well experimented in the Trade of surprizing, and having before-hand contrived and agreed upon their designed Treachery, the First of A∣pril following being the same night of their departure, they Page 16 fell upon the Master and Merchant, and the rest of the French aboard being 27 in number, whom having maste∣red and secured in the Hold, they immediately set Sayl for Carthagine, and there exposed them to the mercy of the Spaniards their sore enemies without any relief or maintenance in a most miserable condition, where they remained 17 Months in close Imprisonment; he and his followers in the mean time making for New-England, con∣clude they might now pass with more security and out of fear of discovery, the proprietors being in no condition to pursue them or disperse Intelligence concerning the fact; during this passage we may reasonably conclude their car∣riage and behaviour was not much different from that of their former, if we consider only the new name they gave the second Piratical purchase, calling her now by the name of the Flying Devil, as indeed she might be so term∣ed, as having none but Devils aboard her; however though the wind that fills Pyrats Sayls does in no case justifie their actions, they shortly after arrived safely up∣on the Coasts of New-England, where in a short time they disposed of the Cargo of their Vessel, and afterwards burnt the Hull, as will appear more particularly by the en∣suing Letter from thence.
Boston, N. E. Decemb. 23. 1673.
Mr. GEORGE NEVIL,
SIR, Yours by Mr. Tirry I received, and should have been glad without the recommendation of our Kinsman upon that common account of Courtesie and assistance, that the course of Commerce and obligations of humanity is due to strangers to have opportunities and means to have answered Page 17 your request; but as I was at Rochel when the Pyrat Cusack came into these parts, so I cannot particularly as quaint you with his negotiations here; but since my return home by proen∣rations from Mr. Bossereao an Agent from Rochel, I have been put upon enquiry after the concernment you recommended to me, and find that the Iurisdiction under which I live, viz. the Colonie, never countenanced the importation of any of his Commodities, but upon penalty of forfeiture interdicted the same, however some of the inhabitants of this place, and persons of considerable interest and estates concerned themselves with the person that purchased the Cargo, and landed and disposed of the same in the Colonie of New-Plimouth, and also made purchase of the Ship, and in exchange furnished the Py∣rate with a small vessel or two to transport himself & Comrades, and upon consider ation that the Frigat was not worth setting to Sea or not worthy to drink any other water, the Artillery, Ammunition, Sayles and Furniture• being secured they burnt the bottom. I understand that the common people of the Co∣lony manifested agreat dissatisfaction at the concernment of those that interested themselves, also that the authority resented the same, and took security from one Dominick Bodkin an Irish man, the principal correspondent with Cusack, to respond the claims of such as were concerned in the said Ship, and should in a year and a day prosecute the same; but the said term be∣ing elapsed and no demand made, his Bonds became void, and he by the improving of what his profit was there, is become ve∣ry considerable, and this year hath been here with a very rich Cargo; and had the order you intimate met him, it might possi∣bly have prevailed for some competent satisfaction; the Magi∣strates and People hearing a general displacency against those that were concerned, but him in particular, as being the only and immediate Agent; he is gone hence for Virginia and thence is intended for Flanders, with at least a 1000 Hogs heads of To∣bacco in two Ships upon his imployment; and in regard his Page 18 success here hath been so good, 'tis probable he may come here a∣gain. Hereby your self or friends may know how to govern their expectations, and wherein I may serve you or them I shall be ready to assure you I am
Your faithful friend and servant, Richard Wharton.
Cusack having thus altered the property both of Ves∣sel and goods, and being no doubt plentifully stored both with monies and rich goods, his insatiate desire still thirst∣ing after more, he could not forbear enlarging his own share, though with the loss of several of his own Crew, who being big with expectations of their proportions of the whole product, and being resolved to be more than ordinarily merry ashore, at parting he gives them a small sum of money to that purpose, and whilst they were in the height of their merriment, he with the rest of his Countrymen and principal Confederates make all the Sail they could, leaving their Fellows as empty of their hopes, as full of their liquor, a pleasant but not sufficient reward for such villains. Hence he steers his course for Ireland, and though report gives an accompt of some small depre∣dations he was guilty of in his way thither, yet I am unwilling to trouble the Reader with matters of uncer∣tainty, his whole life being a series of continued Vil∣lainies, of which there are too many and too true in∣stances.
Being therefore arrived in Ireland, and having dispo∣sed of the product of his ill gotten purchases as he thought most convenient, and that the might follow his old trade with less suspicion, he provides himself with an old Greenland Shallop, and with others of his Crew putting Page 19 to Sea, in Saint George his Channel, they meet with a Malligo Ship of Twenty four Guns, fraighted by own Mr. Fleming, and bound for Glasco in Scotland, whom they made towards all they could, and coming up with her pretended themselves to be Shipwrackt men, and were ready to starve for want of sustenance, the Captain out of pitty received them aboard as distressed men, and having plentifully relieved them with all things necessa∣ry, little expecting so sad a return of his kindness, they according to their wonted custom seized the Vessel, and carried her for Galloway in Ireland, where they dispo∣sed of her and her Cargo, and sent the Captain and his men in the Greenland Shallop to the mercy of the Seas, who by Gods providence got the English shores.
But now his many and frequent Piracies having ren∣dred him notorious in those Seas, he thought it most safe to retire himself for some time within land, and to that end having provided himself with Horses, he associates him∣self with a Company of Tories, and after many robberies, he could not forbear falling upon the House of one Willi∣am Chanvelly a Quaker, for which some Months after he was apprehended and committed to Prison in Dublin, where putting in Bail for his appearance the Term fol∣lowing, in the interim he made for England, acquaint∣ing his Bail that he was gone thither to endeavor to pro∣cure his pardon, which if he obtained he would then re∣turn in certain weeks, otherwise he must shift for him∣self.
After his private abode in England for some time, he went over for Holland, where prying to and again for some advantage, and pretending to have deserted the French Service, and that he intended for England, having se∣veral associates along with him he became acquainted Page 20 with one Simon Harcourt, who was taken on by one Mr. Calhoon owner of the Ship Robert, for Master of that Ship upon a Voyage to Newcastle, with whom confederating for the surprize of the Vessel, they accordingly effected their design as particularly appears by the depositions following.
Edward Creswel of London-derry maketh Oath, that about the first day of July last past, being aboard the Ship, called the Robert, one Mr. Calhoone being owner, the said Ship being bound from Amsterdam to Newcastle, one Symon Harcourt being Master, did take in one Smith, alias Dixon, alias Cusack, with se∣veral others of the said Cusacks Companions, pretend∣ing them selves to be passengers, and the said Ship being at Sea, this Deponent did often observe the said Har∣court and Cusack and the rest of the pretended Pas∣sengers whispering together, which gave this Depo∣nent cause to believe, that the said Harcourt and Cu∣sack, and the rest of his pretended Passengers, did intend to surprize and seize the said Ship; soon after one of Cusacks Companions (this Deponent being a∣sleep) came to him with a Sword drawn in his hand, and did awake this Deponent striking him over the▪ face with the flat of his Sword, and calling him Dog, Swearing several Oaths, using the Deponent in a very ill manner, and said the Ship was their own, and that they seized her by Vertue of a French Commission, and afterward came up with three Ships, two Swedes, and one Dane, and Robb'd them, leaving them not so much as Victuals to maintain them for Twenty four Hours, having taken their Sails, Cables and Anchors, leaving them to the mercy of the Sea, and one Main-Sail; and having begged on their knees for their Fore-Sail, and Page 21 Anchor, in a passion they let their Water go out of their Casks which was more dear to them than their Victuals, he bidding them go, the Devil would furnish them with Sails and Anchors; this Deponent having humbly begged for a Sute of his own Cloaths, after all being taken from him but his Shirt and his Drawers, Cusack with his Sword drawn caused him to leap over board, and if the Danes Boat had not been near, (whom they had Robb'd) this Deponent had been drowned; and this Deponent further maketh Oath that they took out of the said Swede Ship, a parcel of Dollars to the value of 1000. as this Deponent on Oath believes, with much other Merchant goods; It was made out upon Oath by the Master of the said Swede Ship, before the Council of Elsenore, that he did take out of the said Ship all the Victuals and Water, excepting half a Barrel of Water and a little broken Bisquet, and left them but with one Sail and one Anchor, and that the said Ship was left to the mercy of the Sea, having fourteen days Sailing to Elsenore.
Jurat. the 22 day of September, 1674. coram me,
Being possessed of the Vessel, soon after that he sei∣zed another Ship called the Saint Anne of 500 Tuns, bound from Norway to London with Timber and Deals, chiefly belonging to Captain Shorter of the Bank-side; and at the same time seized an old Fly-Boat belonging to a Dane, which after having plundred and taken a∣way her Fore-sayl, with one Anchor and a Cable, and utterly disabled her, he put the men into her that be∣longed to the Saint Anne, and turned her adrift, whom it pleased God, after much hazzard and hardship, to send safe ashore near Yarmouth; but he immediatly say∣led Page 22 with the Saint Anne to Aberdeen in Scotland, where (having disposed of parcel of her loading by the way) he sold her and her remaining loading for betwixt 2 and 3 hundred pound, though she was esteemed worth about three thousand pound: after which he came to the Thames, and had the confidence to come to an Anchor betwixt the Forts at Gravesend, where he continued two nights and a day; but not finding himself secure there, he re∣tired to Lee-Road, where he lay nine days before any discovery was made of him; but notice being given to one Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy, (who was the man that took him) by the Owner of the Ship Robert of her sur∣prize, and Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy receiving inti∣mation of her being at Lee, obtained a Warrant for her apprehension from the Court of Admiralty, which was accordingly executed, as appears by the following De∣position.
James Dalton of Saint Giles in the Fields, in the County of Middlesex, maketh Oath, that he this Deponent on the twenty fourth of August last came to Lee with Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy, about ten of the Clock in the Evening, and the said Colonel Kennedy then ha∣ving a Warrant from the Iudge of the Admiralty to seize a Ship called the Robert, this Deponent then knowing her to be a Robber or Pirate, for he sailed in her when she belonged to one Mr. Calhoone the right Owner, and was on board her when she was surprised by Captain Cusack, alias Smith, alias Dixon, who then came as a Passenger in her from Amsterdam a∣bout June last; about four Leagues from the Fly, the said Smith, alias Dixon, alias Cusack, seized the said Ship; and a few hours after came up with three Ships, viz. two Swedes and one Dane, and robbed them of Page 23 their Sayls, Anchors, Merohandize, and Provisio••, leaving nothing but one Sayl and Anchor to each▪ and left them to the mercy of God and the Sea, and 〈◊〉 into Alford Creek, and sold the Plunder there, this Deponent being then one of the Ships Company; all which this Deponent in formed the Iustice of in the pre∣sence of the said Lieutenant Colonel Kennedy whe• they came to him with the Warrant of Admiralty to seize the said Ship: and further, that he was a noto∣rious and desperate person, he cared a•t what he did. And this Deponent too then desired the said Iustice to be very careful of the Prisoners which he had on 〈◊〉 out of the Ship, for they would use all violent and de∣sperate means to carry off the said Ship, their lives being at stake: and the said Iustice replyed, they were all honest men, the Ship should not be taken away, he would secure it, which he said in presence of Colonel Kennedy and one Mr. Dermot and others; notwith∣standing that the said Iustice did say, that he had a suspicion of them the next Morning after the Ship came.
Jurat. 18. die Septemb. 1674. Coram me,
The said Ship-Robber being thus secured at Lee, and his Sayls brought ashore, and secured there also, Cusack at the same time being absent upon new designs for more purchase, but hearing how things went, makes all the haste he could to Lee, where he and his Comrades partly by force, and partly by connivence, repossest themselves of Ship and Sayls, and turned the man ashore that was in possession of her; Colonel Kennedy then being with the Judge of the Admiralty for a special Page 24 Warrant: which being obtained, he returned with one of his Majesties Yachts, and Mr. Ioynes the Marshal of the Admiralty, who pursued the said Vessel, and found her at Anchor near the Essex-shore, waiting for more of their Comrades to come aboard. When Cusack saw the Kings Yacht and Colours, he would have engaged, but his men would not: he being on the Deck with a Pistol in each hand, swore God dam him that he should be hanged, which was to the great grief and loss of many a Merchant, that his Oath was not sooner kept, and to the good of o∣thers so soon, leaving his Ship plentifully victualled with fresh Meat; for he and his Crew the two Nights they were gone had stolen a number of Sheep from Essex, ac∣cording to their wonted custom, whereof some killed, some alive were found aboard: he was constrained with the rest to submit himself a Prisoner, and from thence was brought and committed to the Marshalsey in South∣wark.
It now remains, that I give you an Account of the Try∣al and Sentence of this famous Pirate, which cannot be better taken than from the Accompt then, which followeth.