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 The Fate of Pirates 
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Post The Fate of Pirates
Broadside entitled 'Execution' from the National Library of Scotland.

"A Full, Authentic, and Particular Account of the Execution of PETER HAEMAN and FRANCOIS GAUTIEZ, who were Hanged, within, Flood-mark, at Leith, on Wednesday the 9th January, 1822, for the Piratical seizure of the Schooner Jane of Gibraltar..."

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Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:42 am
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From The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth (Volume III - 1875) by Charles John Palmer:

"In 1781 William Paine, a notorious pirate, who had long been the terror of all vessels navigating this coast, was hanged in London; but the body was sent to Yarmouth and gibbetted on a mound of sand on the North Denes, ever afterwards known as Paine's Hill, where the gallows remained standing down to the year 1804."

Mil, are you familiar with this area?

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susan


Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:44 am
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On another forum, a person stated that according to his research, the Royal Navy tended to kill pirates rather than keep them as prisoners (in order to bring them to trial), which would be a drain on resources. I question that statement. Sure...if the pirates refused to surrender, then I can understand killing them off. What if they did surrender though?

The navy regulations I found, said that pirates were to be held to be brought before a magistrate.

So, my question is, what did happen? Did the RN prefer to kill them all off instead of bringing them to justice? Did the pirates tend to fight to the death since they knew they would face severe punishment/death anyway?

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Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:09 pm
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From the 1730 Regulations and Instructions Relating to His Majesty's Service at Sea:

"When a Privateer is taken, great Care is to be had to secure all the Ship's Papers, especially the Commission; but if there be no legal Commission found on board, then all the Prisoners are to be carried before some Magistrate, in order to their being examined and committed as Pirates."

The wording is the same in the 1790 edition.

However, the 1806 edition states:

"If any Ship or Vessel shall be taken, acting as a Ship of War or Privateer, without having a Commission authorizing her so to do, her crew are to be considered as Pirates, and are to be carefully confined until an opportunity shall offer of delivering them up, to be tried by the High Court of Admiralty."

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susan


Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:09 pm
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susan wrote:
On another forum, a person stated that according to his research, the Royal Navy tended to kill pirates rather than keep them as prisoners (in order to bring them to trial), which would be a drain on resources. I question that statement. Sure...if the pirates refused to surrender, then I can understand killing them off. What if they did surrender though?

The navy regulations I found, said that pirates were to be held to be brought before a magistrate.

So, my question is, what did happen? Did the RN prefer to kill them all off instead of bringing them to justice? Did the pirates tend to fight to the death since they knew they would face severe punishment/death anyway?





This might be of interest in The Times of February 3rd, 1823, in an article headed "Piracy" and referring to three RN vessels headed for Cuba:


" ..... they fell in with the Hyperion frigate, Captain Lillicrap, proceeding to Jamaica with 82,000 dollars on board, and abut thirty prisoners, who had been taken out of a vessel suspected of acts of piracy ..."


So, those thirty suspected pirates had not been killed. Furthermore, it goes on to say:

" ..... on the 22nd (December) his Majesty's ship Scout, 18, Captain Wigston, arrived, having on board 11 English and 8 Frenchmen, taken out of a pirate schooner, which she run on shore in the bay of Honduras...."



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Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:16 am
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From the Hon. Charles Leonard Irby's bio in Marshall (Volume III):

"...on the 3d of Jan. 1827, his [Irby while in command of Pelican] boats, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Smith (b), captured, without resistance, the piratical schooner Afrodite, of 4 guns and 30 men, near Scardamoula, in the Gulf of Calamata."

A good part of the bio deals with Irby's search for and capture of pirate vessels in general.

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Sat May 03, 2008 4:47 pm
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susan wrote:
On another forum, a person stated that according to his research, the Royal Navy tended to kill pirates rather than keep them as prisoners (in order to bring them to trial), which would be a drain on resources. I question that statement. Sure...if the pirates refused to surrender, then I can understand killing them off. What if they did surrender though?

The navy regulations I found, said that pirates were to be held to be brought before a magistrate.

So, my question is, what did happen? Did the RN prefer to kill them all off instead of bringing them to justice? Did the pirates tend to fight to the death since they knew they would face severe punishment/death anyway?


I think really that there are too many examples of RN ships bringing pirate prisoners home to trial, and too few examples of them completely annihilating pirates to make any such statement. Even after Blackbeard's last fight, in which many RN men were killed or wounded, the surviving pirates who surrendered were taken home for trial.

In the face of any enemy it is almost always wise to accept his surrender rather than prolonging deadly combat. Some pirates fought to the death, but they were surely in a minority.

Dammit, killing a fellow who's trying to surrender just isn't English, what?

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Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:30 pm
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