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Pirates   By: (fl. 1724-1736)

Book cover

First Page:




With a Foreword and sundry Decorations by

C. Lovat Fraser



First American Edition

Printed in the United States of America

Printed in Great Britain by Billing and Sons, Ltd., Guildford and Esher.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN AVERY]



PAGE Foreword vii

The Life of Captain Avery 1

Captain John Rackham, and his Crew 17

Captain Spriggs, and his Crew 29

Captain Edward Lowe, and his Crew 37

Captain George Lowther, and his Crew 51

Captain Anstis, and his Crew 65

Captain John Phillips, and his Crew 77

Captain Teach, alias Blackbeard 87

Major Stede Bonnet and his Crew 101

Captain William Kid 117

Captain Edward England, and his Crew 135

Captain John Gow, alias Smith, and his Crew 145


Captain Avery frontispiece

Captain John Rackham facing page 19

Captain Edward Lowe " 39

Captain Teach " 89

Major Stede Bonnet " 103

Captain William Kid " 119

Captain Edward England " 137

Captain John Gow " 147



Time, though a good Collector, is not always a reliable Historian. That is to say, that although nothing of interest or importance is lost, yet an affair may be occasionally invested with a glamour that is not wholly its own. I venture to think that Piracy has fortuned in this particular. We are apt to base our ideas of Piracy on the somewhat vague ambitions of our childhood; and I suppose, were such a thing possible, the consensus of opinion in our nurseries as to a future profession in life would place Piracy but little below the glittering heights of the police force and engine driving. Incapable of forgetting this in more mature years, are we not inclined to deck Her (the "H" capital, for I speak of an ideal), if not in purple and fine linen, at least with a lavish display of tinsel and gilt? Nursery lore remains with us, whether we would or not, for all our lives; and generations of ourselves, as schoolboys and pre schoolboys, have tricked out Piracy in so resplendent a dress that she has fairly ousted in our affections, not only her sister profession of "High Toby and the Road," but every other splendid and villainous vocation. Yet Teach, Kid, and Avery were as terrible or grim as Duval, Turpin, and Sheppard were courtly or whimsical. And the terrible is a more vital affair than the whimsical. Is it, then, unnatural that, after a lapse of nigh on two centuries, we should shake our wise heads and allow that which is still nursery within us to deplore the loss of those days when we ran before a favouring "Trade" the very good chance of being robbed, maimed, or murdered by Captain Howel Davis or Captain Neil Gow? It is as well to remember that the "Captains" in this book were seamen whose sole qualifications to the title were ready wit, a clear head, and, maybe, that certain indefinable "power of the eye" that is the birth right of all true leaders. The piratical hero of our childhood is traceable in a great extent to the "thrillers," toy plays, and penny theatres of our grandfathers... Continue reading book >>

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