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Rep. Lundy Field Soc. 48




Flat l , Downs House, 77 High Street, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex BN6 9RE

The history of piracy is often hindered by the inadequate and negligent referencing of original sources, a problem frequently encountered when preparing the paper which this gazetteer supplements (Harfield 1996, see pp. 66, 68 , 69 for quoted exampl es of inadequa te referencing). The purpose here is to present a gazetteer of original sources relating to piracy associated with Lundy to help those wishing to pursue a more in-depth study of the subj ect. Additionally three appendices illustrate other types of relevant contemporary reference to Lundy. Almost inevitab ly with the hi story of an island such as Lundy it is tempting to fo cus on the dramatic and th e sensational at the expense of mundane yet necessary d etail. The only counter to this is to balance the mom entous with the monotonous by examining original sources. For piracy these are many and begin with the medi aeva l Liberate Rolls [Lib. Rs] Patent Rolls [Pat. Rs.] and the Close Rolls [Cl. Rs]. The Public Record Office [PRO] where they are archived has published these records in multi-volume series . With the Tudor and Stu art administrations came an increase in the survi val of records if not also an increase in the machinery of bureaucracy. State papers and letters were meticulously copied a nd filed. These too, are stored in the PRO . Being too voluminous to publish in their entirety, these have been catalogued and described in a published series called th e Calendar of State Papers [CSP] which is sub-divided into Dom estic [D], Foreign [F] , Irish [!] , Spanish [S] and American and West Indian [AWl] affairs (to nam e just those of relevance here). Some academic libraries have access to microfilms of th e original documents. Included in these state papers are references to documents archi ved in collections outs ide the PRO. Since these calendars were publi shed over many years inevitably there were many editors both general and specialist. Different publishers undertook the work on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Despite this variety, a standard fom1at was maintained, and for the bibliographical purposes of thi s paper the date of docum ent and the Rolls Series in which it appears have been used as the princ ipal means of referenc ing, with specific document numbers being cited as a supplem entary means of identification. These catalogues usuall y have suffi cie nt detail to be used in their own right and have been so used here. Indeed the rubric publi shed in the preface to each vo lume dec lares thi s to have been a major consideration when publishing: "The Master of the Roll s considers th at, w ithout superseding the necess ity of consulting th e originals, every Editor ought to fram e hi s calendar in such a manner that it shall present, in as condensed a f01m as possible, a conect index of the contents of the papers described in it ... th e entries should be so minute as to enable the reader to di scover not only the ge nera l contents of the originals, but also what they do not contain" [original em phas is: Inst ructions to the Editors reproduced in all Calendars].


The PRO has also published the Acts of the Privy Council 1542-1783 [APC] , another important source of information about the issues with which the government of the day was dealing. The High Court of the Admiralty [HCA] had jurisdiction over acts of piracy. Since papers relating to the business of the HCA are unpublished (although some of the work of the court has been subject to individual academic thesis such as Senior 1976), the researcher must consult the thousands of original HCA documents which are being consolidated in a single archive within the newly-extended PRO at Kew. The surviving condition of some of these original documents is poor. Some are written in English , others in Latin, and although a few printed proformas were employed, most of the documents are in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century manuscript. A speculative search for references to Lundy was not feasible for the purposes of this paper and where HCA evidence is cited it is based on the work of other authors. Most of the records relating to piracy deal with crimes committed in and around the Thames area, not least because the HCA was bas_ed in London (Senior 1976, II 0-112; Andrews 1964, chapter 2, summarises the mechanics of the HCA; Berek man 1979, presents some individual trials). To these major government sources can be added miscellaneous early scholastic works such as Charles Johnson's General History of the Pyrates originally published in 1724 (subsequently edited and republished; Schonhorn, 1972 but see also, Gosse I 932, 185-6, and Harfield 1996, fn .2). The National Maritime Museum library has over 400 books and pamphlets on piracy and privateering. There are also ships' logs, captains' letters, and the depositions of seamen and pirate victims that are archived in various collections (Cordingly 1995, II 0, 321 ). And in County Record Offices there survive occasional and individual documents of particular interest, two examples of which will be discussed below. The original sources for the main period of piracy in British waters (from the High Middle Ages to the end of the Stuart monarchs) are bountiful, the references to pirates contained within them numerous. It is a measure of Lundy's very minor role that references to the island are few, and references to pirates using the island rarer still. In the 241 years covered by the published APC, which record a great many instances of the Privy Council dealing with some aspect of piracy, there are just four references to Lundy. In all types of sources Lundy is frequently refened to only as a location context for actions and ship movements at sea within the vicinity of the island. In all, 66 references were found relating directly to pirates: 23 (34%) are location references only. Three individual episodes account for 24 references, (the Marisco, Salkeld and Biscayner episodes, although Marisco's status as a true pirate is challenged elsewhere, Harfield 1996, 67-68; gazetteer references 1-9, 14-21 , & 38-43 below). The different sources provide different perspectives. The CSP(D) focuses on home affairs as seen by the English administration. From this source comes a hint of the problems presented by pirates based in Ireland which had some impact on the waters around Lundy. But it is only a hint. For greater detail the CSP(1) must be consulted. A foreign perspective is offered in the CSP(S) which contain copies of the correspondence from Bernardino Mendoza, Spanish Ambassador to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, to his sovereign , King Philip. Mendoza 's astute observations reveal aspects of English piracy that might otherwi se have been lost. There is therefore much piratical material sufficient to sustain several post-graduate


research projects. It is not claimed that this gazetteer is exhausti ve; there may yet exist other individual and isolated sources, such as the interrogations di scussed below, of which the present author is as yet unaware. But what this gazetteer does offer is a guide to the most readily available sources for piracy relating to Lundy. It is necessary to conclude with a short note about dating. For the period covered by this gazetteer (and up until 1752) the Julian (Old Style) Calendar was in use in Great Britain a lthough the Gregorian (New Style) Calendar had been adopted in much of continental Europe since 1582. For many purposes the new year in Great Britain began on 25111 March during this period; however the compilers of many of the edited sources cited have adopted the Gregorian convention that the year dates from I st January whilst retaining the day and month of the Juli an year. In this gazetteer the year is ass umed to start from I st Jan uary as this is the convention that readers will be most familiar with. Thus the Salkeld episode which lasted for no more than 23 days beginning in March and ending in April , is dated in the gazetteer as hav ing occurred entirely in 16 10. Strictly speaking, the episode j:Jegan at the end of the year Salkeld wou ld have recognised as 1609, and concluded a week or so into the new year, 1610. Readers who refer to the original documents for the Salkeld episode will encounter references to March 1609 and April 161 0.





Reign of Henry III The Marisco episode 18.6.1237 Pat. Rs

21 Henry III membrane 6 No mention of Lundy but descriptions of William de Marisco's attacks on merchants in the Irish Sea.


28.9.1237 Pat. Rs

21 Henry III membrane 2 No mention of Lundy but orders to recover goods stolen from Irish merchants by Marisco.




21 Henry III membrane 9 Reference to William de Marisco and malefactors taking prisoners at sea.




21 Henry III membrane 2 Reference to Jacob Hood, victim of Marisco.



Matt. Paris volume IV, pp.l93-7 Episodes concerning William de Marisco in chronicle form.



Pat. Rs

26 Henry III membrane II Appointment of Walter de Bathonia, sheriff of Devon, to keep the coast clear from the incursions of the king's enemies staying on the isle of Lunday. (No mention of Marisco ).



Pat. Rs

26 Henry III membrane I Od Mandate to all persons in Devon, to take speedy counsel how the parts towards the isle of Lunday may be guarded, so that they may not suffer damage by the king's enemies who maintain themselves in that island; knowing that unless they do this, the king has given orders Henry de Tracey, Reginald de Valle Torta, Philip de Bello Monse, and Geoffrey Dinault to keep the peace at their expense by the counsel of the sheriff and to manfully resist the wiles of the said [unidentified] enemies.


23.6.1242 Lib. Rs

26 Henry III membrane 5 Arrangements for Henry de Tracey to keep Lundy, and for Marisco to be conveyed with other prisoners to London . Seizure of an unfinished galley being constructed by Marisco on the island.



25.7.1242 Lib. Rs

26 Henry III membrane 3 Arrangements concerning some of the Lundy prisoners taken with Marisco.

[There are many other references to Lundy, and the arrangements Henry III made to secure the island but none relates directly to pirates.]

Reign of Henry VIII I 0 22.5.1534 L&P, F&D 25 Henry VIII, doc. 354 Charles V, King of Spain, letter to Chapuys Report of3 Spaniards set ashore on Lundy by English pirates and left to starve. Rescued by a French ship.


31.7.1537 L&P, F&D 29 Henry VIII, doc. 393 Instructions to Vice-Admiral Sir John Dudley to patrol the coastal waters for privateers from the Isle of Wight to Lundy and back.

Reign of Edward VI 12 23.2. 1549 APC

Number 23 of 33 articles of High Treason against Sir Thomas Seymour, High Admiral of England: "that you not only had gotten into your handes the strong and dangerous Isles of Sylly, bought of divers men, but that so muche as lay in your power you travailed also to have Londay."

Reign of Elizabeth I 13 7.3.1560 CSP(F)

E I , 1559-60, doc.834 Description by Capt. John Donner of an occasion in April 1557 when his ship was attacked by English pirates ''fifteen miles distant from Lundy Isle".

Reign of James I [The Salkeld Episode] 14 28.3.16 10 Sa!MS 2 1 docs 194, 144; 195, 142 Report by the Earl of Bath to the Privy Council concerning Sockwell's [Salkeld's] seizure of Lundy, including the testimony of John Tanner & Thomas Clarke whose ship [belonging to one Alexander of Weymouth, c.f. 18 below] was seized by Salkeld wh ile he was based on Lundy. Also the testimonies of Deo Deolphus and Arison of Ancusan. 15 10.4.16 10 Monson

Ceci l MSS cxcv, 146 Sir William Monson sent to Bristol ready to sail against Salkeld.


Found his intended ship unserviceable. [Duplicated in Sal MS 2 1, 195, 146]. 16

11.4. 1610 SalMS2 1 doc. l95, 147. Plans to capture Salkeld.


15.4. 1610 Sal MS 2 1 doc. 128, 116 Letter fro m th e Earl of Bath to the Privy Council concerning George Escott, who was seeki ng recompense hav in g been allegedly taken by Salkeld and having escaped from th e latter's base on Lundy.


17.4. 1610 CSP(D)

Jl liii, doc. lOO Deposition of William Young, taken prisoner by Salkeld. Records that_Salkeld pillaged Milford Haven, then seized a barque from Appledore, and anoth er from Weymouth belonging to one Alexander, and a third belonging to George Escott which was bound for France from Bridgewater. Other vessels also attacked. Records details of Salkeld 's taking possession of Lundy in defi ance of the king on the 23'd March (although he had kept prisoners on the island since 13 1h March) and the fact that Salkeld declared him self king of the islan d. Led by George Escott some prisoners including Young, escaped.


19.4.1610 Dow n MS

SP Flanders, Min . 1. 39 Letter from John Beaulieu to William Trumbull.

"Lundy island has been taken by a pirate, 1 hear by Capt. Sackwe/1 [Salkeld], and ransacked, but now they have forsake n it . .. 20

19.7 .1610 CS P(I )

2 1 2 1.9.1 6 10 CSP(l)

J 1 1608- 10 doc. 8 18 (SP Ireland, vol. 229, 114) Unconfi rmed report of Salkeld's death . Jl 1608-10 doc. 871 (SP Ireland, vol. 229. 124) Confirmation of Salkeld 's death .

[end of Salkeld episode] 22

1- 15.9. 16 12 NDRO

23 26.9. 16 12


Bl /46/350 Interrogation records of John Seath (a li as Finch), Thomas Peryman, Thomas Smyth , Roger Adams & John Hoare, captu red near Mi lford Ha ve n after piracy com m itted in th e Road of Lundy. Bl /6 16 Letter from th e mayor & aldem1en of Barnstap le to Sir William Godolp hin and the justices of Cornwal l co ncernin g th e above interrogations and the impri sonment of the pirates at Exeter.


Reign of Charles I 24

18.8 .1625 CSP(D)

Cl v, doc.55 Mayor & alderman of Bristol inform the Privy Council that three Turkish pirates have surprised and taken Lundy and all its inhabitants.


25.8.1625 CSP(D)

Cl v, doc.78 Charles Harris aboard the Phoenix in King Road near Bristol reporting that " the surprise of Lundy by Turks most untrue."



.. -CSP(D)

Cl v, doc.8 1 Sir James Perott, Deputy Vice Admiral, to William, Earl of Pembroke: infonnation about the Turkish pirates. Includes the deposition of Nicholas Cullen who stated that the Turks took about 60 prisoners from Mount's Bay church. They continued on Lundy a fortnight. He saw the Turkish ship lying in the Road of Lundy.



25.4. 1628 CSP(D)

C l cii , doc.20 Capt. Richard Fogg aboard the StJames in King Road: "a French man-of-war has taken some barques off Lundy."

28.4.1628 Yonge

In his di ary Walter Yonge recorded "4 French ships took a bow 26 sail of ships in Severn and other parts of the coast, and took also the Isle of Lundy and rifled it, and so left the shore."

29 2.5.1628


C I ciii , doc.l4 Capt. Richard Fogg at Plymouth: "Could not see nor hear of the French man-of-war who has done spoil of( the Isle of Lundy,.

30 30.6. 1630 CSP(D)

C I clxix, doc. 67 Capt. Richard Plumleigh at Plymouth reporting 20 sa il s of Biscayners around Land's End. Some attempted to land at Lundy, but were repulsed by the inhabitants.


4. 7. 1632


C I ccxx, doc. I I Robert Kitchen at Bristol reportin g that both he and Mr Brooke, Master of the 9th Whelp, had been informed that English pirates were active around Lundy.

32 9.7.1632


C I CCXX , doc.39 Ca pt. Francis Hook e at Bristol reporting that he was awaiting supplies. "OntakillR them will hasten to sea, for the merchants repol'l that many barques have been pillaged by a pimte o[( Lundv.'' Further notes that lack of adequate suppli es has seriously hin43

dered those in the king 's service against pirates. 33 22.7.1632 CSP(D)

C I ccxxi, doc.20 Capt. Richard Plumleigh sets sail to ply around Lundy in the hope of meeting the pirate Nutt [possibly the pirate referred to in the preceding entry].

34 29.7.1632 CSP(D)

Cl ccxxi, doc.52 Capt. Richard Plumleigh at Plymouth Sound reporting that he awaits a pilot for the Irish coast. Once the pilot is aboard he "intends to set sail for the Severn, and to ply about the Isle of Lundy, where he hears that Nutt :S vice admiral lies, expecting the return of the Irish merchants from the fair. Nutt is on the coast of Spain, but is daily looked for at the Long Island [Ireland], where his wife stays his coming."

I 0.8.1632 CSP(D)

Cl ccxxii, doc.33 Plumleigh now in the Bristol Channel near Lundy. [Doc. 37, dated 13.8.1632 puts him at Lundy on 5.8.1632.]

36 ? 4.9.1632 CSP(D)

Cl ccxxiii, doc.5 Plumleigh at Stidwales Bay reporting that Nutt & his crews were refitting their ships and selling their "piratically gotten goods" on the Isle ofBute [Scotland] . Plumleigh sailed to engage Nutt on the open seas but Nutt escaped in his faster ships. Plum leigh set "his course for Long Island, and thence to Lundy and Caldy, which are the pirates' dens."


Cl ccxli, doc.3 Plumleigh at Beaumaris [Wales] reporting that he has "sent the Ninth Whelp into the Severn to clear that coast ofpirates for on his coming up they left St George :S Channel and betook themselves to Lundy and the Welsh Islands."


15.6. 1633 CSP(D)

[The Biscayner Episode] 38 30.7. I 633 CSP(D)


16.8.1633 CSP(D)

Cl ccxliii, doc.48 Sir Barnard Grenville & Ralph Byrd report that a Biscay man-ofwar had landed 80 men on Lundy on 16th July where they met little resistance. An islander called Mark Pollard was killed. The Biscayners stole victuals and made off, robbing a pinnace of George Rendall at anchor off Lundy. C I ccxliv, doc. 68 Lords of the Admiralty forward the above reports to Lord Deputy Wentworth suggesting that the Biscayners recently captured by Pluml eigh were the same persons responsible for the Lundy incident. 44



C I ccxliv, doc. 69 In case it was not the same Biscayners the Admiralty Lords sent the same reports to Capt. John Pennington. He was sent to the 'Narrow Seas' [the English Channel] to try to catch the Biscayners who were acting under the pretence of letters of reprisal.


24.8.1633 CSP(D)

C I ccxlv, doc.20 Pennington reporting to the Admiralty that he set out as instructed but was forced back by bad weather. Notes that the pirates lie mostly along the mouth of the Severn, in St George's Channel and upon th coast of Ireland. They are seldom within the Narrow Seas because of the presence of the navy.

42 24.9.1633 CSP(D)

Cl ccxlvi, doc.69 Lords of the Admiralty discuss the outrages committed on Lundy and in Ireland by the Biscayners.


11.10.1633 CSP(D)

C I ccxlvii, doc.63 Lords of the Admiralty writing to the Lord Deputy of Ireland to assert that Capt. John Bromfield of the StJohn of St Sebastian is not considered to be a consort of the Biscayners who attacked Lundy, so his ships are to be released.

[End of the Biscayner episode] 44 28. 1. 1634 CSP(D)

Cl cclix, doc.52 Lewis Gwillim of Bristol reporting to Capt. Thomas James (Ninth Whelp) hearsay accounts suggesting that two pirates are staying at Lundy [possibly sailing off the island rather than staying on it] "to rob the barques which go from Bristol to Ireland and Wales". Request help from Capt. James in clearing them.

45 24.2.1634 CSP(D)

C I cclx, doc. I 0 I Capt. James: " the merchants who trade in small barques between Bristol and Ireland are vety fearfid of Capt. Pronoville, seeing he is grown desperate, and has put himself into a small vessel or clinker. Believes he was one of them chased about Lundy."

46 26.6.1 634 CSP(D)

C I cclxx, doc.29 Sir John Pennington aboard the Charles in Plymouth reporting one or two Biscayners "which lie pilfering [victuals] between Lundy, and Mounts Bay, which rob small vessels that trade between !-:eland, Wales and that place."


4 7 18.3.1635 CSP(D)

C I cccxvi, doc. 52 (enclosure) Examination of Christopher Pige of Plymouth, captured by Turkish pirates and forced to pilot their men-of-war. Reported that they frequented French, English and Irish coasts and went up as far as Lundy.

The Commonwealth 48 31. 1.1654 CSP(D) L&P vol. 78, doc. 2 I 5 Capt. Joseph Cubitt aboard the Portsmouth at Falmouth reporting 5 dead and 19 wounded in heavy fighting at sea with a Brest manof-war. Discovered that 19 Brest ships "lie about Lundy and the Land's End, and send their prizes to Brest." 49 18.3. 1654 CSP(D) Commonwealth vol. lx viii , doc.2 Generals Blake & Penn reporting to the Admiralty Committee: "we have taken men out of the Martin. Merlin. Drake, and Nonsuch. to man the Sovereign. and sent the three latter back to their stations, leaving the Martin to ply about Lundy, for securing trade between the Welsh and Irish coasts, which we hear by General Monck is infested with Brest pirates." 50

1.5.1654 CSP(D) L&P vol. 82 doc.? Capt. Cubitt aboard the Portsmouth at Ushant: "Rescued two vessels taken near Lundy by one Sadelton . Hears there are five Brest ships out."


22.5 .1654 CSP(D) L&P vol. 82, doc. 129 Capt. William Ledgant aboard the Little President at Plymouth : "Since he lay off Lundy, has been chasing Brest men-of-ww ; but they escaped."


I 0. II. 1654 CSP(D) L&P vol. 90, doc. 59 Capt. Peter Bowen, the Mayflower: "plying at his station, met 5

merchant ships bound up in the Severn, and as these were some Brest men-of-war about, convoyed them to Lundy, and gave notice to the Lizard and Nicodemus at Crooks Haven ." Reign of Charles II 53 3.6. 1667


C2 cciii , doc.3 6 P. Manaton, Barnstaple, reporting "some small Flushing privateers which lie skulking near the Isle of Lundy have taken six small barques belonging to Cornwall, coming from Ireland. laden with bullocks, sheep, wool and tallo w."


54 6.6.1667


C2 cciii, doc. I 03 John Man, Swansea reporting "some French privateers lying

about Lundy Island took a trow, kept the master, and sent the men on shore at Barnstaple, to procure money for the redemption ofthe vessel and lading, taking out of her 100 sheep and other provisions for themselves." 55

13.6. 1667 CSP(D)

C2 ccv, doc.9 [the same] reporting " three French privateers near Lundy Island

put a terror into all vessels that were there, or that would come there; much shooting has been heard for three or four days past." 56 9.6.1672


C2 311 , doc.43 Small Dutch capers [privateers] reported in the western approaches. "One as high as Lundy."

Reign of William & Mary Finch

doc.408 Report of a privateer off Scilly, which had, a few days previously, seized the St Michael, I 0 leagues off Lundy.

58 22.6. 1692 Finch

doc.41 0 Report of 2 privateers laying off Lundy which had taken 20 ships in I 0 days. No ships dare use the Bristol Channel with serious economic consequences for the West Country, southern Ireland and South Wales.

59 8.8.1692

doc.691 Report of 2 privateers operating between Lundy and Waterford.

57 6.6.1692



19.5. 1694 CSP

SP(D) W &M5, 83 Robert Yale, Bristol writing to Sir John Trenchard: lack of naval protection allows the French privateers to block the Bristol Channel. For want of any naval patrolling for two months; " our

coast trade is entirely stopped." 61



W3 SP 44, doc.! 00 Lord Jersey reporting Capt. Kidd and other pirates "lately seized in New England'' arrived at Lundy as prisoners en route to London. Escort awaited from Lundy.

Reign of Anne 62 9. 7.1 703

CS P (AWl) doc. 899 Robert Livingston reporting to the Coun cil of Trade & Plantation from C lo ve ll y that he sailed from New York aboard the Thaetis on


2nd June and made Lundy on 8th July near where the ship was caught by the French pirate Capt. Francois Ia Marque of Rochaux who "us 'd us very barbarously" when searching the vessel and all those aboard, even their pockets. Livingston was seeking relief for his losses to this pirate who he described as "a great plague to these parts". The pirate sh.ip had a crew of 50 with six guns and four pattereros. 63

15. 12. 1703 CSP(D)

A (SP D, I) 363, doc. I 54 The Palm Tree of Bideford chased from Lundy to the harbour mouth by a French privateer where she was captured. The captain ransomed her for £100.

64 7.3.1704 CSP(D)

A (SP D, I) 364, doc.36 Capt. Camocke, aboard HMS Speedwell, Kin sale, reporting that Capt. Lawrence of HMS Penzance is cruising off Lundy hoping to intercept one Loftus, an Irish merchant living in Brest or Port Louis, who trades pirate goods at Cork, Waterford and Youghall.

65 7.5.1709 Treasury

cxiv, doc.9 Petition of Thomas Jones stationed on Lundy, claiming he was often1 robbed there by French privateers.

66 ? .9 or I 0.1 709 Leake Report from Capt. Camock that II French privateers were cruising between Dungannon and Lundy preying on trade between Ireland and the Severn. The wool trade particularly affected.

THE INTERROGATION OF FIVE 'LUNDY' PIRATES Deposited in the North Devon Record Office [NDRO] are two documents concerning a policing raid organised by Pentecost Doddridge, the mayor of Barnstaple, against pirates pillaging in the vicinity of Lundy in the late summer of 1612 (nos. 22 & 23 above). These documents are a record of the investigative interviews conducted with the suspected pirates during September 1612 (NDRO Bl /46/350), and a letter from the mayor to the justices of Cornwall summarising the result of the investigation (NDRO B 1/616). The latter was considered, and slightly misinterpreted, by Cotton (1886), whilst the former has previously been publicly discussed only in passing (Harfield 1996, 65). The documents give an insight into the varied backgrounds of those who took to piracy and who, as a consequence, may have encountered Lundy .during their piratical careers. Five suspected pirates were interrogated. The first gave hi s name as John Seath, although he was identified as John Finch by one of the other suspects. It is as John Finch that Doddridge referred to him in the letter to the justices, and by which name he will be referred to below.


Interviewed on the I st September, Finch stated he was a shipwright from Woolridge in Kent who had sailed from there in midsummer on a London barque bound for Milford Haven, then Dublin . Returning to England, Finch left the vesse l and joined another ship at Plymouth for a voyage that took him as far as Mamora on the Barbary Coast. This voyage witnessed various acts of piracy committed against other European ships and ended back in Ireland where they off-loaded their stolen cargoes. Finch reported that about mid-August he left Kinsale, Ireland, in a small barque accompanied by the Escott brothers, George, Gregory and Arthur. Putting in at Oyster Haven just along the Irish coast to the east, the barque took on board as many as forty other crewmen and some passengers and set sail for Lundy "to take what they could cany". In the Road of Lundy Finch states that they seized a London ship, a Clovelly fishing vessel, and a small barque from the Isle of Wight from which they stole cash. From Lundy nothing other than a solitary goat was taken: whether lawfully or unlawfully is not apparent. Making their way to Milford Haven, Finch and his gang there seized another vessel, the Richard from Barnstaple, itself only recently returned having been attacked and seized by pirates off Newfoundland. As they sailed away from Milford Haven Finch was detained by the Mayor's boats. In using an alias Finch was presumably hoping to persuade the authorities that the pirate leader had escaped them and that he was only a crew-member. The least forthcoming of the suspects was Thomas Pe1yman , from Lambourne in Berkshire, whose testimony was short and revealed very little. He had joined Finch's company in Kinsale having sailed from St lves originally. He was questioned on the same day as Finch . Thomas Smyth of 'Knotford' [Knutsford, Cheshire] was not interrogated until 15th September. For some years since he had lived in southern Ireland, and had joined Finch's ship as a means by which to travel to Cornwal l, there allegedly to recover a debt owed him. He confirmed that the vessel left Kinsale with just a few passengers including the Escott brothers who called the prisoner claiming to be Seath by the name Finch. Smyth estimated about twenty-five men joined the ship at Oyster Haven, together with a few other passengers, one of whom was subsequently left on Lundy. He also confirmed that they seized a London ship and an Isle of Wight pinnace off Lundy before sailing to Milford Haven. There they took a Scottish merchant ship and a vessel from Barnstaple recently returned form Newfoundland. Among the items they stole from other ships were cables, an anchor and carpenter's tools. When arrested Smyth was in possession of a pair of stolen silk stockings. Smyth also gave the mayor intelligence about one Captain Middleton's plans to sai l for English waters with more pirates from Ireland. Roger Adams, from Totnes, had sailed as far as Newfoundland where he briefly joined the crew of the pirate Easton before forsaking him and joining the crew which seized the Richard, returning to Milford Haven only to be seized there by Finch and his gang. John Hoare from Somerset was examined on the 7th September. He had sailed to Ireland on a ship of which Arthur Escott was master. This appears to have been a legitimate trading trip conveying Welsh coal to Ireland. From Kinsale Hoare stated he sailed with Arthur Escott, and Escott's two brothers, George and Gregory, together with Finch, Smyth and Peryman . Hoare stated that some sixty men joined the vessel at Oyster Haven before they sailed directly to the Road of Lundy. There they remained a fortnight taking the London ship and the Isle of Wight pinnace aforementioned. These they sailed to Milford Haven where the Escotts took


a Scottish merchant vessel, and Finch seized the Richard taking with him from the Isle of Wight pinnace a cable, an anchor, a compass, carpenter's tools and books including the Bible. These five, sometimes conflicting, testimonies illustrate a number of points. Ordinary seamen could expect to engage in both British coastal trade and trans-Atlantic trade. A journey in one direction could be as a crew-member of a legitimate vessel on lawful business whilst the return journey could be as part of a pirate crew. The role required was that of a seaman; whom they worked for almost did not matter. Seamen had to make what they could of such employment opportunities as presented themselves. Pirates seized whatever was of value to them, either luxury items for later sale or else items vital for the good functioning of their ships. Lundy seems to be important primarily in that it provides a navigation reference point. When Finch spoke of going to Lundy to carry away what they could, he may well have been talking about the Road of Lundy as much as the island itself. These. men were pirates. What interested them more was what they could steal from shipping, not what they could steal from an island of limited economic value. Their one reported trip ashore in a fortnight of sailing in the vicinity of Lundy seems to have been for no other purpose than to off-load one passenger and acquire a goat for fresh meat. Had they been interested in raiding the island per se, they could presumably have carried away far more, unless there was nothing on the island worth the trouble. Clearly they did not intend to use the island as a base, but sailed nearby knowing that other shipping would be using the island as a navigation point. The Escott family appear to have operated in both legal and illegal sea faring. It is a possibility, no more than that because at present there appears to be no corroborating evidence, that the George Escott in this episode is the same George Escott of Somerset who 'escaped' from the pirate Salkeld who briefly occupied Lundy two years previously during the summer of 1610 (Harfield 1996, 68-69). The link at present seems to be no more secure than the fact that John Hoare also came from Somerset and the fact that the Bristol Channel is the setting for both episodes. Although much of the evidence for Escott's connection with Lundy in 1610 portrays him as an innocent victim of piracy, if it is the same individual in 1612, the evidence of these five testimonies indicates that he and his family themselves indulged in piracy when it suited them. This is typical of the south-west gentry in the seventeenth century. Doddridge himself profited considerably from privateering under letters of marque before James I prohibited such activities. The letter sent by Doddridge to the justices of Cornwall reporting on his investigation omits any mention of John Adams. Adams was aboard one of the ships seized at Milford Haven by Finch and his gang, and in this respect appears to be a victim which may explain why Doddridge makes no reference to him. Nevertheless Adams also lived in the twilight zone between lawfu l sea faring and piracy. Before sailing .back from Newfoundland he was involved with Easton, a notorious North Atlantic pirate, and there is some suggestion (admittedly by Finch perhaps wishing to divert attention from himself) that Adams was among a pirate crew which seized the Richard of Barnstaple as an act of piracy off Newfoundland before sailing it back to Mi lford Haven where it was then seized by Finch and the Escotts. The letter (NDRO Bl /616), in a hand difficult to read, indicates that Doddridge had some concerns over his witnesses and whether or not he would secure punishment for the prisoners. The pirates were taken to Barnstaple and there lodged in the common gaol. A John Lewes of St lves had been aboard the London vessel seized by Finch together with one Andrew of St


Keverne, a mariner. Both these men, it was reported, could "give very pregnant evidence for the king against the said pirates". Doddridge earnestly implored the justices "to send for and bind over the said Lewes and Andrew, to give evidence against the prisoners" at Exeter castle "as without such evidence they think these fellows (as notorious rogues as any in England) will escape punishment", (see also Cotton 1886, 196). The outcome of this case apparently has been lost to history. This minor episode escaped the attention of royal bureaucrats whose work is now preserved at the PRO and in the various published Calendars. There may have been many similar such occurrences of wh ich no record whatsoever survives. If Lundy played a larger part in piracy, then surviving documents do not reveal any evidence of it. The evidence of these two NDRO documents is of little real significance other than to place in context that which is presented so professionally in the published calendars . They are important not so much for the evidence they reveal, but for indicating some of the local detai l which may have been lost. Appendix I The following are some examples of references to Lundy during the period when piracy was at its most intense which demonstrate steps taken to protect shipping from pirates in the seas around Lundy. A 1.1

5.12.1652 CSP(D) L&P

A 1.2 23 . 1. 1655 CSP(D) L&P

A 1.3 6.6.1655


A 1.4 27.7.1655 CSP(D) L&P

A 1.5 8.2.1659


A 1.6 13.4.1659 CSP(D) L&P

vol. 29, doc . 91 Capt. Robert Clarke led a convoy via Lundy. vol. I 03 , doc. 113 Capt. Peter Bowen, the Mayflower, escorted 3 merchants from the Carribean and 5 from the French coast up the Severn but they were blown to Baltimore, Ire land. Th~nce to Lundy where he left them for Milford Haven . vol. II 0, doc. 41 A convoy from Bristol had to turn back to replace lost cables having got only as far as Lundy. vol. Ill, doc. !50 Capt. Peter Bowen, the Mayflower, Caldy Island, ordered to convoy a ship carrying Lady Southwell to Lundy (probably as far as Lundy rather than to land her on the island if the next two entries arc a guide). Commonwealth, cci, doc. II (enclosure) Lundy referred to as a staging post for convoys. Ships from France bound for Bristol are escorted as far as Lundy. vol. 211 , doc. 45 Capt. Sam Sharland, the Fox, Lundy: plans to convoy twelve vessels laden with corn for Bristol & Minehead from Ireland as far as Lundy. 51

AI.? 24.1.1673 CSP(D)

C2 340, doc. 152 Capt. Henry Clarke, aboard the Nightingale, Milford Haven: tried unsuccessfully with his convoy to ply for Lundy between 2 and 12 [o'clock] but blown off course to Milford Haven.

Appendix 2 The following examples illustrate some of the policing measures taken. There is sometimes ambiguity as to whether the measures were to be taken against pirates, privateers or a hostile navy. A2.1 25.2 .1 595 APC

Instructions to the Lord Lieutenant to enjoin Barnard Greenvile to make his island of Londey defensible.

A2.2 9.5.1596

Letter from the Privy Council to Greenvile about his reluctance to fortify the island, warning him that if he neglects defence the island will be seized by the crown.


A2.3 12.5. 1651 CSP(D)

C'wealth, xv, Council of State, Days Proceedings 12 Capt. Deane (navy) on or sailing near Lundy.

A2.4 2.2.1653


C'wealth, xxxiii, Council of State, Days Proceedings 29 Lord Protector Cromwell orders four files of musketeers to Lundy, purpose uncertain.

A2.5 14.3.1654 CSP(D)

C'wealth vol. lxvii, doc. 81 Generals Blake & Penn writing to the Admiralty Committee suggesting the Irish Squadron should ply near Lundy. vol. 83, doc. 54 Capt. Richard Cowes, aboard the Cat Pink, sail ing in the King's Road near Bristol: "has been plying between Kinsale, the Lands End and the Isle of Lundy,for guard of those seas and intercepting the enemy, but was forced by weather to bear up for Milford. "

A2.6 12.6.1654 CSP(D) L&P

A2. 7 20.11. 1654 CSP(D) L&P vol. 90, doc. II 0 Capt. Thomas Penrose, the Nonsuch, Milford Haven reporting that he plied about Lundy but was blown off course, lost some sai ls, and returned to Kinsale. A2 .8 2.1. 1655

CSP(D) L&P vol. I 03, doc. 3 Capt. Matthew Browne, the Wren Pink appointed to station between Scilly & Lundy to look for enemy ships .

A2.9 20.7.1655

CSP(D) L&P vol. Ill , doc. 105 Capt. Matthew Browne, the Wren Pink. Milford Haven: was 52

plying Scilly and Lundy but forced to put in for repairs. Warned that he did not have sufficient funds to keep the ship afloat through the winter. A2. 10 13.3. 1656 CSP(D)

C'wea1th vol. cxxiv, doc. 32 Admiralty Committee issue a warrant protecti ng from impress a barque, her master and 4 crew beloz;ging to Lundy.

A2.ll 6.8.1658

CSP(D) L&P vol. 192, doc. 77 Ca pt. Sam Sharland, the Kin sale, Milford Haven: plying Irish coast, Lundy and Lands End . No trace of enemy ships.

A2.12 7.9.1658


Commonwealth, clxxxii, doc.98 Capt. Sam Sharland, the Kinsale, continuing to ply Lundy and StGeorge's Channel. No trace of enemy ships.

A2.13 9.9.1658


Common wea lth, clxxxii, doc. 98 Capt. Richard Cowes, the Paradox, Milford Haven: pl ying between Kinsale, Lundy, Lands End and Caldy. No trace of ships.

A2. 14 21.6.1667 CSP(D)

C2 ccvi , doc. l 24 John Maurice, Minehead: "Lundy Island is vel)' slenderly

guarded; four or five men fi'om a vessel riding on a cross wind crept over the gates. and went to the peoples ' houses before they saw anything. If the Dutch should take the island, it would block up the Severn, and a dozen good men could secure it from the world." [But see entry 60 in the main gazetteer, the Bristol Chann el could be blocked by ships without seiz ing Lundy.] A2. 15 16.6. 1693 CS P

SP(l) Kin g 's Letter Book I , 467 Ea rl of Nottingham to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland: the St Andrew, 52 gun s, wi ll cruise for twenty days between Lundy & Scilly and for another twenty days off Cape Clear.

Appendix 3 T he following are exam ples of the practical problems faced by the authorities when try ing to combat piracy nea r Lundy. A3. l 26.8. 1658

CS P(D) L&P vo l. 192, doc. I 09 Capt. Sam Sharland, the Kin sa le, co ntinues to ply Lundy and Milford Haven , but has too many leaks "to lie at sea" .


A3.2 23.1. 1659

CSP(D) L&P vol. 207 , doc. 84 Henry Richards, the Grantham , reporting that Capt. Gyles Marsh, sailing from Jamaica, sought from the lord of Lundy, Sir John Ricketts, the services of a pilot to get them to Bristol , but was stranded on the island because severe weather tore his ship away from her cables.

A3.3 20.12.1675 CSP(D)

C2376,doc.34 John Man, of Swansea, reporting three great ships sheltering from a large storm near Lundy. [The next day Philip Langon at Plymouth wrote of "vety tempestuous" weather for eight days , " much wreck (sic) seen floating near Falmouth." John Powell, at Milford Haven , stated that the bad weather was causing a loss of sh ippin g and all li ves and cargo.]

ABBREVIATIONS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY Original Sources APC- Acts of the Privy Council. HMSO, London Cl. Rs- Calendar of Close Rolls , HMSO, London CSP- Calendar of Stale Papers .. HMSO, London , various series : America & West Indi es [AWl] , Domestic [D], Foreign [F] , Irish [!] , Spanish [S]. CSP (L&P)- Calendar of State Papers (Letlers & Papers Relating to the Navy) Incorporated in the rear of the CSP vo lumes. Down MS- Hi storic Manuscripts Commiss ion , Report on the Manuscripts o(lhe Marquess of Downs hire. 2. Papers of William Trumbull the Elder. HMSO, London Finch - Historic Manuscripts Commission, Report on the Manuscripts of" the late Allan George Finch. HMSO, London L&P, F&D- Lellers and Papers . Foreign and Domestic of Hem y VIII. HMSO . London Leake - The Life of Sir John Leake. Rear Admiral of Great Britain by Stephen Martin-Leake , Nava l Record Society 53, Ed. G. Calendar Lib. Rs. - Calendar of Liberate Rolls. HMSO, London Matt. Paris- Mallh ew Paris, Monk ol St Albans . Chronica Majom IV 1240-/247, Rolls Series. Kraus Reprints for the HMSO, London, Ed. H. Luard Monson - The Naval Tracts of Sir William Monson. mlume 3, Nava l Record Society 43 , Ed. M. Oppenheim NDRO- North De von Record Office Pat. Rs- Calendar of Patent Rolls . HMSO , London Sa l MS - Hi storic Manuscripts Commission , Colendar o{ the !14alll1Scriflt.l' of :he Mnst Honourahle Marquess o{Salishun •. HMSO, London 54

Treasury - Calendar ofTreaswy Papers. HMSO, London Yonge- Diary of Walter Yonge Esq. JP and MP for Honiton: written at Colyton and Axminster; Co. Devon fi'Om 1604 to 1628. Camden Society, London, Ed. G. Roberts [With the exception of the NDRO references all the above sources are part of multi -volum e series published ove r a number of years. ]

Secondary sources Andrews , K. 1964. Elizabethan Privateering: English Privateering During the Spanish War 1585- 1603. Cambridge University Press : Cambridge Berckman, E. 1979. Victims of Piracy: The Admiralty Court 15 75- 1678 . Hamilton: London C hante r, J. & Wainwright, T. (eds.). 1900. Reprint of th e Barnstaple Records. Barnes : Barnstaple. Cotton , R. 1886. An ex pedition against pirates. Transactions of the Devonshire Association/ 8, 184-196. Cordingly, D. 1995. Life Among The Pirates: the Romance and the Reality. Little, Brown & Co.: London Gosse, P. 1923. The Histmy of Piracy. Cassell: London Harfield , C. 1996. In the Shadow of th e Black Ensign: Lundy 's Part in Piracy. Annual Report ofthe Lundy Field Society 47, 60-71. Schonhorn, M. (ed) . 1972 . Daniel Defoe: A General HistOJ )' of th e Pirates. Dent: London Senior, C. 1976. A Nation of Pirates: English Piracy in its Heyday. Da vid & Charles: Newton Abbot


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