International Talk Like a Pirate Day: Talk Like a Real Pirate 7

President. Mr. Castel, acquaint the Court of what you know in Relation to this Robbery of the King Solomon; after what Manner the Pyrate-Boat was dispatch’d for this Attempt.

Tho. Castel. I was a Prisoner, Sir, with the Pyrates when their Boat was ordered upon that Service, and found, upon a Resolution of going, Word was pass’d thro’ the Company, Who would go? And I saw all that did, did it voluntarily; no Compulsion, but rather pressing who should be foremost. …

President. So that Roberts forced ye upon this Attack.

Prisoners. Roberts commanded us into the Boat, and the Quarter-Master to rob the Ship; neither of whose Commands we dared to have refused.

President. And granting it so, those are still your own Acts, since done by Orders from Officers of your own Election. Why would Men, honestly disposed, give their Votes for such a Captain and such a Quarter-Master as were every Day commanding them on distasteful Services?

Here succeeded a Silence among the Prisoners, but at length Fernon very honestly own’d, that he did not give his Vote to Magnes, but to David Sympson (the old Quarter-Master) for in Truth, says he, I took Magnes for too honest a Man, and unfit for the Business.

A General History of the Pyrates, Captain Johnson

Privateer Day 2012

Photos: ACF

International Talk Like a Pirate Day: Talk Like a Real Pirate 6

“I cannot but take Notice of two among the Crowd, of those disfigured from the Blast of Powder just before-mentioned, viz. William Main and Roger Ball. An Officer of the Ship seeing a Silver Call [Whistle] hang at the Wast of the former, said to him, I presume you are Boatswain of this Ship. Then you presume wrong, answered he, for I am Boatswain of the Royal Fortune, Captain Roberts Commander. Then Mr. Boatswain you will be hanged I believe, replies the Officer. That is as your Honour pleases, answered he again, and was for turning away: But the Officer desired to know of him, how the Powder, which had made them in that Condition, came to take Fire. — By G—– says he, they are all mad and bewitch’d, for I have lost a good Hat by it, (the Hat and he being both blown out of the Cabin Gallery, into the Sea.) But what signifies a Hat Friend, says the Officers. — Not much answer’d he, the Men being busy in stripping him of his Shoes and Stockings. — The Officer then enquired of him, whether Roberts‘s Company were as likely Fellows as these. — There are 120 of them, answered he, as clever Fellows as ever trod Shoe Leather: Would I were with them! — No doubt on’t, says the Officer. — By G—– it is naked Truth, answered he, looking down and seeing himself, by this Time, quite stripp’d.”

A General History of the Pyrates, Captain Johnson

Privateer Day 2009

Photos: ACF

International Talk Like a Pirate Day: Talk Like a Real Pirate 5

“Lieutenant Maynard came to an Anchor, for the Place being shoal, and the Channel intricate, there was no getting in, where Teach lay, that Night; but in the Morning he weighed, and sent his Boat a-head of the Sloops to sound; and coming within Gun-Shot of the Pyrate, received his Fire; whereupon Maynard hoisted the King’s Colours, and stood directly towards him, with the best Way that his Sails and Oars could make. Black-beard cut his Cable, and endeavoured to make a running Fight, keeping a continual Fire at his Enemies, with his Guns; Mr. Maynard not having any, kept a constant Fire with small Arms, while some of his Men laboured at their Oars. In a little time Teach‘s Sloop ran a-ground, and Mr. Maynard‘s drawing more Water than that of the Pyrate, he could not come near him; so he anchored within half Gun-Shot of the Enemy…. Black-beard hail’d him in this rude Manner: Damn you for Villains, who are you? And, from whence came you? The Lieutenant made him Answer, You may see by our Colours we are no Pyrates. Black-beard bid him send his Boat on board, that he might see who he was; but Mr. Maynard reply’d thus; I cannot spare my Boat, but I will come aboard of you as soon as I can, with my Sloop. Upon this, Black-beard took a Glass of Liquor, and drank to him with these Words: Damnation seize my Soul if I give you Quarters, or take any from you. In Answer to which, Mr. Maynard told him, that he expected no Quarters from him, nor should he give him any.”

A General History of the Pyrates, Captain Johnson


Photo: ACF

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“When the Ship came out to Sea, Lowther call’d up all the Company, and told them, it was the greatest Folly imaginable, to think of returning to England, for what they had already done, could not be justified upon any Pretence whatsoever, but would be look’d upon, in the Eye of the Law, [as] a capital Offence, and that none of them were in a Condition to withstand the Attacks of such powerful Adversaries, as they would meet with at Home; for his Part he was determined not to run such a Hazard, and therefore if his Proposal was not agreed to, he desired to be set ashore in some Place of Safety: That they had a good Ship under them, a Parcel of Brave Fellows in her, that it was not their Business to starve, or be made Slaves; and therefore, if they were all of his Mind, they should seek their Fortunes upon the Seas, as other Adventurers had done before them. They one and all came into the Measures, knocked down the Cabins, made the Ship flush fore and aft, prepared black Colours, new named her, the Delivery, having about 50 Hands and 16 Guns, and … Articles were drawn up, signed and sworn to upon the Bible.”

A General History of the Pyrates, Captain Johnson

Photo: ACF

International Talk Like a Pirate Day: Talk Like a Real Pirate 3

“At last, after many doubts and disputes among themselves, they resolved to hazard the assault and their lives after a most desperate manner. Thus they advanced towards the castle, with their swords in one hand and fire-balls in the other. The Spaniards defended themselves very briskly, ceasing not to fire at them with their great guns and muskets continually, crying withal: Come on, ye English dogs, enemies to God and our King; let your other companions that are behind come on too; ye shall not go to Panama this bout. …

“One of the Pirates was wounded with an arrow in his back, which pierced his body to the other side. This instantly he pulled out with great valour at the side of his breast; then taking a little cotton that he had about him, he wound it about the said arrow, and putting it into his musket, he shot it back into the castle. But the cotton being kindled by the powder, occasioned two or three houses that were within the castle, being thatched with palm-leaves, to take fire, which the Spaniards perceived not so soon as was necessary. For this fire meeting with a parcel of powder, blew it up, and thereby caused great ruin, and no less consternation to the Spaniards, who were not able to account for this accident, not having seen the beginning thereof.

“Thus the Pirates, perceiving the good effect of the arrow and the beginning of the misfortune of the Spaniards, were infinitely gladdened thereat.”

The Buccaneers of America (1678), by Alexander O. Exquemelin, who sailed with Henry Morgan. See a virtual copy of this book on the Library of Congress’ website here.

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