THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 286.
The Governor of Antigua to the Lords Comnuissioners of Tralde andl
Source :--Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial.
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
June 8th, 1723.
I have been prevented by a very tedious sickness of which
I am but feebly recovered, of doing myself the honour of
imparting to Your Lordships the transactions of this govern-
ment for these two months past, though when I have had
my intermission from my fever, I have employed it in the
duties of my office. As 1 am still ver) weak 1 entreat Your
Lordships to accept of only some material points I have now
to present you with.
On the nIth May past H.M.S. Winchelsea, Captain Orm,
Commandant, arrived at Antigua having on board nine
pirates which he took on the Island of Tobago where Captain
Finn and the greater part of his crew had landed with an
intention to separate, the nine mentioned being surprised
by a party sent by Captain Orm in search of them in the woods.
Immediately upon Captain Orm's arrival at Antigua,
I went on board to take their examination and finding no
proof against them of piracy, I was obliged to take two persons
out of the nine who upon examination I found were forced
into the service of the pirates, to be evidence against the rest.
The remaining seven wcie brought to their trial on the
17th at the town of St. John's where 14 persons named by
His Majesty's Commission for the trial of pirates, sat as Judges.
Captain Finn who was an associate of the infamous
Roberts, the pirate, and the principal of these came first upon
his trial and the evidence was strong and plain against
him that he had been three years in the brigantine Good Fortune
which he commanded and had exercised several notorious
acts cf piracy ; he was accordingly convicted with six more
of his associates, five of whom were executed at high water
mark in the town of St. John's in Antigua.
One of the condemned persons being very penitent and
asserting upon his trial that he was forced from the coast
of Brazil into their service where he was a pilot ; he was
reprieved at the gallows and I, being thoroughly convinced
of his innocence, have since pardoned him. There was also
a Portuguese, one of the number taken at sea by the pirates
and proved to be forced on board by the evidence of two
Masters of ships, on which the Court of Admiralty acquitted
Finn the Captain of the pirates, is hung up in chains on
Rat Island in St. John's Harbour.
I do not hear of any more pirates in these seas except the
brigantine Good Fortune who has but twelve men aboard
her who ran away with that vessel whilst the rest of her crew
were on the Island of Tobago where His Majesty's ship found
the pirates and Captain Brand, Commander of H.M.S. Hector,
is in pursuit ot the rest of them on that Island.
It is the indefatigable care of Captain Brand and
Captain Orm in pursuing the pirates wherever they hear of
them, that the trade in these parts is so well secured from that
pest, for which they cannot be too much commended.
I have the honour to be with the greatest respect, &c.