Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 Captain Bartholomew Roberts

ROBERTS, Captain Bartholomew

Welsh pirate.

Born 1682. Died 1722.

Bartholomew Roberts

If a pirate is to be reckoned by the amount of damage he does and the number of ships he takes there can be no doubt that Captain Roberts should be placed at the very head of his profession, for he is said to have taken over 400 vessels. The only man who can be said to rival him is Sir Henry Morgan, but Morgan, although in some ways an unmitigated blackguard, was a man of much greater breadth of outlook than Roberts ever was, and, moreover, was a buccaneer rather than a pirate.

Roberts, like many other successful pirates, was born in Wales, not far from Haverfordwest. He is described as being "a tall black man," and was about 40 years of age at the time of his death. He was remarkable, even among his remarkable companions, for several things. First of all, he only drank tea—thus being the only total abstainer known to the fraternity. Also he was a strict disciplinarian, and on board his ships all lights had to be extinguished by 8 p.m., any of the crew who wished to continue drinking after that hour had to do so on the open deck. But try as he would this ardent apostle of abstemiousness was unable to put down drinking. If Roberts had lived to-day, no doubt he would have been on the council of the local vigilance committee. He would allow no women aboard his ships, in fact he made it a law that any man who brought a woman on board disguised as a man was to suffer death. Roberts allowed no games at cards or dice to be played for money, as he strongly disapproved of gambling. He was a strict Sabbatarian, and allowed the musicians to have a rest on the seventh day. This was as well, for the post of musician on a pirate ship was no sinecure, as every pirate had the right to demand a tune at any hour of the day or night. He used to place a guard to protect all his women prisoners, and it is sadly suspicious that there was always the greatest competition amongst the worst characters in the ship to be appointed sentinel over a good-looking woman prisoner. All quarrels had to be settled on shore, pirate fashion, the duellists standing back to back armed with pistol and cutlass. Roberts would have no fighting among the crew on board his ship.

Bartholomew must have looked the very part of a pirate when dressed for action. A tall, dark man, he used to wear a rich damask waistcoat and breeches, a red feather in his cap, a gold chain round his neck with a large diamond cross dangling from it, a sword in his hand, and two pairs of pistols hanging at the end of a silk sling flung over his shoulders.

We first hear of Roberts as sailing, in honest employ, as master of the Princess (Captain Plumb), from London in November, 1719, bound for the coast of Guinea to pick up a cargo of "black ivory" at Anamaboe. Here his ship was taken by the Welsh pirate Howel Davis. At first Roberts was disinclined for the pirate life, but soon changed his mind.

On the death of Davis there were several candidates for the post of commander, all brisk and lively men, distinguished by the title of "Lords," such as Sympson, Ashplant, Anstis, and others. One of these "Lords," Dennis, concluded an eloquent harangue over a bowl of punch with a strong appeal for Roberts to be the new chief. This proposal was acclaimed with but one dissenting voice, that of "Lord" Sympson, who had hopes of being elected himself, and who sullenly left the meeting swearing "he did not care who they chose captain so it was not a papist." So Roberts was elected after being a pirate only six weeks; thus was true merit quickly appreciated and rewarded amongst them.

Roberts's speech to his fellow-pirates was short but to the point, saying "that since he had dipped his hands in muddy water, and must be a pyrate, it was better being a commander than a common man," not perhaps a graceful nor grateful way of expressing his thanks, but one which was no doubt understood by his audience.

Roberts began his career in a bright manner, for to revenge the perfectly justifiable death of their late captain he seized and razed the fort, bombarded the town, and setting on fire two Portuguese ships so as to act as torches, sailed away the same night. Sailing to Brazil they found in the Bay of Bahia a fleet of forty-two Portuguese ships ready laden and on the point of leaving for Lisbon, and Roberts, with the most astounding boldness, sailed right in amongst them until he found the deepest laden, which he attacked and boarded, although his was a much smaller ship. He sailed away with his prize from the harbour. This prize, amongst the merchandise, contained 40,000 moidors and a cross of diamonds designed for the King of Portugal.

He then took a Dutch ship, and two days later an English one, and sailed back to Brazil, refitting and cleaning at the Island of Ferdinando.

In a work such as this is, it is impossible to recount all, or even a few, of the daring adventures, or the piratical ups and downs of one pirate. Roberts sailed to the West Indies devastating the commerce of Jamaica and Barbadoes. When things grew too hot there, he went north to Newfoundland, and played the very devil with the English and French fishing fleets and settlements.

His first ship he called the Fortune, his next, a bigger ship, the Royal Fortune, another the Good Fortune.

On two occasions Roberts had been very roughly handled, once by a ship from Barbadoes and once by the inhabitants of Martinica, so when he designed his new flag, he portrayed on it a huge figure of himself standing sword in hand upon two skulls, and under these were the letters A.B.H. and A.M.H., signifying a Barbadian's and a Martinican's head.

In April, 1721, Roberts was back again on the Guinea Coast, burning and plundering. Amongst the prisoners he took out of one of his prizes was a clergyman. The captain dearly wished to have a chaplain on board his ship to administer to the spiritual welfare of his crew, and tried all he could to persuade the parson to sign on, promising him that his only duties should be to say prayers and make punch. But the prelate begged to be excused, and was at length allowed to go with all his belongings, except three prayer-books and a corkscrew—articles which were sorely needed aboard the Royal Fortune.

The end of Roberts's career was now in sight. A King's ship, the Swallow (Captain Chaloner Ogle), discovered Roberts's ships at Parrot Island, and, pretending to fly from them, was followed out to sea by one of the pirates. A fight took place, and after two hours the pirates struck, flinging overboard their black flag "that it might not rise in Judgement over them." The Swallow returned in a few days to Parrot Island to look for Roberts in the Royal Fortune. Roberts being at breakfast, enjoying a savoury dish of solomongundy, was informed of the approach of the ship, but refused to take any notice of it. At last, thoroughly alarmed, he cut his cables and sailed out, but most of his crew being drunk, even at this early hour, the pirates did not make as good a resistance as if they had been sober. Early in the engagement Roberts was hit in the throat by a grape-shot and killed; this being on February 10th, 1722. His body, fully dressed, with his arms and ornaments, was thrown overboard according to his repeated request made during his lifetime. Thus the arch-pirate died, as he always said he wished to die, fighting. His motto had always been "A short life and a merry one." One good word can be said for Roberts, that he never forced a man to become a pirate against his wish.

On this occasion no less than 267 pirates were accounted for. The finding of the Honourable the President and Judges of the Court of Admiralty for trying of pirates was as follows:

To Servitude20
To the Marshallsea for trial17
Killed in the Ranger10
Killed in the Fortune3
Died in the passage to Cape Corso15
Died afterwards in the castle4
Negroes in both ships70

A number of the prisoners signed a "humble petition" begging that, as they, being "unhappily and unwisely drawn into that wretched and detestable Crime of Piracy," they might be permitted to serve in the Royal African Company in the country for seven years, in remission of their crimes. This clemency was granted to twenty of the prisoners, of which Scot was one.

A very impressive indenture was drawn up, according to which the prisoners were to become the slaves of the Company for seven years, and this was signed by the prisoners and by the President.



Born in London. A deserter from the Royal Navy. One of Captain Roberts's crew taken by H.M.S. Swallow, from which ship he had previously deserted.

In an account of his execution on board H.M.S. Weymouth we read: "Being on board a Man of War there was no Body to press him to an Acknowledgement of the Crime he died for, nor of sorrowing in particular for it, which would have been exemplary, and made suitable Impressions on seamen; so that his last Hour was spent in lamenting and bewailing his Sins in general, exhorting the Spectators to an honest and good life, in which alone they could find Satisfaction."

This painful scene ended by the condemned singing with the spectators a few verses of the 140th Psalm: at the conclusion of which, at the firing of a gun, "he was tric'd up at the Fore Yard."

Died at the age of 34.

ASHPLANT, Valentine

Born in the Minories, London. He served with Captain Howell Davis, and later with Bartholomew Roberts. He was one of the leading lights of Roberts's crew, a member of the "House of Lords."

He took part in the capture and plundering of the King Solomon at Cape Apollonia, North-West Coast of Africa, in January, 1719, when the pirates, in an open boat, attacked the ship while at anchor. Ashplant was taken prisoner two years later by H.M.S. Swallow. Tried for piracy at Cape Coast Castle and found guilty in March, 1722, and hanged in chains there at the age of 32.


Taken by Captain Roberts out of the Martha snow (Captain Lady). Turned pirate and served in the Ranger in 1721.

BILL, Philip

Belonged to the Island of St. Thomas.

One of Captain Roberts's crew. Hanged at the age of 27.

BUNCE, Charles

Born at Exeter; died at the age of 26.

Taken by Captain Roberts out of a Dutch galley in 1721, he joined the pirates, to be eventually hanged in 1722. He made a moving speech from the gallows, "disclaiming against the guilded Bates of Power, Liberty, and Wealth that had ensnared him amongst the pirates," earnestly exhorting the spectators to remember his youth, and ending by declaring that "he stood there as a beacon upon a Rock" (the gallows standing on one) "to warn erring Marriners of Danger."

CHURCH, William

Of the Gertrwycht of Holland.

At the trial at West Africa in 1722 of the crew of Bartholomew Roberts's, four of the prisoners—W. Church, Phil. Haak, James White, and Nicholas Brattle—were proved to have "served as Musick on board the Royal Fortune, being taken out of several merchant ships, having had an uneasy life of it, having sometimes their Fiddles, and often their Heads broke, only for excusing themselves, as saying they were tired, when any Fellow took it in his Head to demand a Tune." Acquitted.


Surgeon to the ship Elizabeth, taken by Captain Bartholomew Roberts's squadron. Gave evidence at the trial of George Wilson and another sea-surgeon, Scudamore, that the former had borrowed from Comry a "clean shirt and drawers, for his better appearance and reception." When visiting Captain Bartholomew Roberts's ship, Comry was forced to serve as surgeon on board one of Roberts's vessels.

DAVIS, William

A Welshman

Arrived at Sierra Leone in honest employ in the Ann galley. Quarrelling with the mate, whom he beat, he deserted his ship and went to live ashore with the negroes, one of whom he married, with whom he settled down. One evening, the weather being hot, and Davis being very thirsty, he sold his bride for some punch. His wife's relations, being indignant, seized Davis, who told them, being, perhaps, still a little under the influence of the punch, that he did not care if they took his head off. But his "in-laws" knew a more profitable way of being revenged than that, and sold him to Seignior Joffee, a Christian black. Soon afterwards Captain Roberts, in the Royal Fortune, arrived in the bay, and Davis ran away and joined the pirates.

Hanged at the age of 23.


Of Bideford in Devonshire.

At first a pirate with Captain Davis, he afterwards joined Captain Roberts's crew. Was tried for piracy at Cape Coast Castle in 1722, and found guilty, but for some reason was reprieved and sold for seven years to serve the Royal African Company on their plantations.

FERNON, William

A Somersetshire man.

Taken from a Newfoundland ship, he became a seaman aboard Bartholomew Roberts's Royal Fortune. Died at the age of 22.


Sailed as mate in the Samuel, of London (Captain Cary), which was taken in 1720 by Roberts, who made Glasby master on board the Royal Fortune.

Tried for piracy on the Guinea Coast in April and acquitted. Evidence was brought at his trial to show that Glasby was forced to serve with the pirates, for, being a "sea-artist" or sail-master, he was most useful to them. Twice he tried to escape in the West Indies, on one occasion being tried with two others by a drunken jury of pirates. The other deserters were shot, but Glasby was saved by one of his judges threatening to shoot anyone who made any attempt on him. Glasby befriended other prisoners and gave away his share of the plunder to them. When the Royal Fortune was taken by the Swallow, several of the most desperate pirates, particularly one James Philips, took lighted matches with which to ignite the powder magazine and blow up the ship. Glasby prevented this by placing trusted sentinels below.

GOSS, Cuthbert

Born at Topsham in Devon.

The compiler of these biographies regrets to have to record that this pirate was hanged, at the comparatively tender age of 21, outside the gates of Cape Coast Castle, within the flood-marks, in 1722. He was one of Captain Roberts's crew, having been taken prisoner by Roberts at Calabar in a prize called the Mercy galley, of Bristol, in 1721.


Of Blackwall, Middlesex.

Taken out of the Mercy galley and appointed carpenter on board the Royal Fortune by Captain Roberts. Condemned to be hanged at Cape Coast Castle, but pardoned and sold to the Royal African Company as a slave for seven years.

HARDY, Richard

One of Captain Bartholomew Roberts's crew. Hanged at Cape Coast Castle, West Coast of Africa, on April 6th, 1722, at the age of 25 years.

It is recorded that, owing to the lack of expert knowledge in the niceties of carrying out executions, Hardy was led to the scaffold with his hands tied behind him. This annoyed Hardy very much, and it is mentioned in the official account of his execution that the prisoner indignantly declared "that he had seen many a Man hang'd, but this Way of the Hands being ty'd behind them, he was a Stranger to, and never saw before in his Life."

HARPER, Abraham

Born at Bristol.

He was cooper on board Captain Roberts's Royal Fortune. When the pirates took a prize, it was Harper's duty to see that all the casks and coopers' tools were removed from the prize to the pirate craft.

Hanged at the age of 23, with the rest of the crew, in 1722.


Of Corfe Castle, Dorsetshire.

One of Roberts's crew; tried and condemned to be hanged in 1722, but reprieved and sold to the Royal African Company to serve for seven years in their plantations.


One of Roberts's crew.

HARRIS, Richard

A Cornishman.

One of Captain Roberts's crew and the oldest, being 45 years of age when he was hanged, an unusually advanced age to reach in this most "unhealthy" profession.

HOW, Thomas

A native of Barnstaple in Devon.

One of Captain Bartholomew Roberts's crew. Condemned to death for piracy, but reprieved and sold to the Royal African Company to work on their plantations for seven years.

JEFFERYS, Benjamin

Of Bristol.

Taken by Roberts in the Norman galley in April, 1721. Roberts allowed those of the crew who did not wish to join the pirates to return to the Norman, but Jefferys had made such friends on the pirate ship that he was too drunk to go, and also was abusive in his cups, telling his hosts there was not one man amongst them. For this he received six lashes with the cat-o'-nine-tails from every member of the crew, "which disordered him for some weeks." But Jefferys eventually proved himself a brisk and willing lad, and was made bos'on's mate. He was hanged a year later at the age of 21.


Taken prisoner by Captain Roberts out of the King Solomon, he joined the pirates.

JOHNSON, John, or Jaynson

Born "nigh Lancaster."

Taken out of the King Solomon. One of Roberts's crew. Hanged in 1722 at the age of 22.


One of Captain Roberts's crew. Hanged in 1722. Stated in his death warrant to be a native of Smyrna. Died at the age of 21.


From Whydah in West Africa.

Tried for piracy with the rest of Captain Roberts's crew, and hanged in 1722 at the age of 32. At his trial he pleaded that he did not enter with the pirates of his own free will, and called witnesses to prove that at the time he was captured he was so very drunk that he had to be hoisted out of his own ship, the Jeremiah and Ann, into the pirate ship in tackles.


Of Canterbury in Kent.

One of Captain Roberts's crew. Hanged at Cape Coast Castle in 1722 at the age of 21.

MAGNES, William, or Magnus

Born at Minehead in Somersetshire in 1687. Quartermaster of the Royal Fortune (Captain Bartholomew Roberts). Tried for piracy at Cape Coast Castle, and hanged in chains in 1718, for taking and plundering the King Solomon.

MAIN, William

One of Captain Roberts's crew. Hanged in April, 1722, at the age of 28 years.

MAIN, William

Boatswain to Captain Bartholomew Roberts in the Royal Fortune. Was blown up, the explosion being caused by one of the crew firing his pistol into some gunpowder when the ship was taken by H.M.S. Swallow in 1722.


One of Captain Bartholomew Roberts's men. Must not be confused with Edward Mansfield, the famous buccaneer.

A native of the Orkney Islands. At one time was a highwayman. Later on deserted from the Rose, man-of-war. Volunteered to join the pirates at the island of Dominica, and was always keen to do any mischief. He was a bully and a drunkard.

When Roberts's ship was attacked by H.M.S. Swallow and had surrendered after a sharp fight, Mansfield, who had been below all the while, very drunk, came staggering and swearing up on deck, with a drawn cutlass in his hand, crying out to know who would go on board the prize with him, and it was some time before his friends could persuade him of the true condition of things.

At his trial at Cape Coast Castle he said little in his defence, but pleaded that the cause of his backsliding was drunkenness. Hanged in the year 1722 at the age of 30.

MOODY, Captain Christopher

A notorious pirate. Very active off the coast of Carolina, 1717, with two ships under his command. In 1722 was with Roberts on board the Royal Fortune, being one of his chief men or "Lords." Taken prisoner, and tried at Cape Coast Castle, and hanged in chains at the age of 28.


One of Captain Bartholomew Roberts's crew. When the Royal Fortune surrendered to H.M.S. Swallow, Morris fired his pistol into the gunpowder in the steerage and caused an explosion that killed or maimed many of the pirates.


Acted as pilot in the Royal Fortune. Took an active part in taking and plundering the King Solomon on the West Coast of Africa in 1721.

Was tried for piracy with the rest of Roberts's crew, when one witness, Captain Trahern, deposed that the prisoner dressed himself up in the captain's best suit of clothes, his new tye wig, and called loudly for a bottle of wine, and then, very arrogantly, gave orders as to the steering of the captured ship.

Hanged at Cape Coast Castle in 1722.

PETTY, William

Born at Deptford.

A sailmaker in Captain Roberts's Royal Fortune when the King Solomon was taken and plundered in West Africa. Petty, as sailmaker, had to see that all the sails and canvas aboard the prizes were removed to the pirate ship. Hanged at the age of 30.


Of the Island of Antigua.

Formerly of the Revenge, and afterwards in the Royal Fortune (Captain Roberts). When the Royal Fortune surrendered in 1722 to H.M.S. Swallow, Philips seized a lighted match and attempted to blow up the ship, swearing he would "send them all to Hell together," but was prevented by the master, Glasby. Hanged at the age of 35.


Born at Lower Shadwell.

Boatswain in the King Solomon, a Guinea merchant ship. This ship, while lying at anchor in January, 1721, was attacked by a boatful of pirates from Bartholomew Roberts's ship, the Royal Fortune. The captain of the King Solomon fired a musket at the approaching boat, and called upon his crew to do the same, but Phillips called for quarter and persuaded the rest of the crew to lay down their arms and surrender the ship. Phillips eagerly joined the pirates and signed the articles, and was "very forward and brisk" in helping to rob his own ship of provisions and stores.

At his trial at Cape Coast Castle, he pleaded, as nearly all the prisoners did, that he was compelled to sign the pirates' articles, which were offered to him on a dish, on which lay a loaded pistol beside the copy of the articles.

Found guilty and hanged in April, 1722, within the flood marks at Cape Coast Castle, in his 29th year.

RICE, David

Welsh pirate of Bristol.

Taken out of the Cornwall galley by Captain Roberts, he served in the Royal Fortune. Tried and found guilty of piracy and condemned to death, but was reprieved and sold to the Royal African Company to serve for seven years in their plantations.

SCOT, Roger

Born at Bristol.

One of Captain Roberts's crew. Tried for piracy in April, 1722, at Cape Coast Castle, West Africa, after the great defeat of the pirates by H.M.S. Swallow. Condemned to be hanged at Cape Coast Castle, but pardoned and sold to the Royal African Company as a slave for seven years.


Belonging to Bristol.

Surgeon in the Mercy galley, and taken by Captain Roberts in 1721. It was a rule on all pirate vessels for the surgeon to be excused from signing the ship's articles. When the next prize was taken, if she carried a surgeon, he was taken in place of their present one, if the latter wished to leave. But when Scudamore came on board the Royal Fortune he insisted on signing the pirate articles and boasted that he was the first surgeon that had ever done so, and he hoped, he said, to prove as great a rogue as any of them.

When the African Company's Guinea ship, the King Solomon, was taken, Scudamore came aboard and helped himself to their surgeon's instruments and medicines. He also took a fancy for a backgammon board, but only kept it after a violent quarrel with another pirate. It came out at his trial that on a voyage from the Island of St. Thomas, in a prize, the Fortune, in which was a cargo of slaves, Scudamore had tried to bring about a mutiny of the blacks to kill the prize crew which was on board, and he was detected in the night going about amongst the negroes, talking to them in the Angolan language. He said that he knew enough about navigation to sail the ship himself, and he was heard to say that "this were better than to be taken to Cape Corso to be hanged and sun dried."

The same witness told how he had approached the prisoner when he was trying to persuade a wounded pirate, one James Harris, to join him in his scheme, but fearing to be overheard, Scudamore turned the conversation to horse-racing.

Scudamore was condemned to death, but allowed three days' grace before being hanged, which he spent in incessant prayers and reading of the Scriptures. On the gallows he sang, solo, the Thirty-first Psalm. Died at the age of 35.

SKYRM, Captain James

Welsh pirate.

Hanged at the advanced age—for a pirate—of 44.

Commanded the Ranger, one of Captain Roberts's ships that cruised in 1721 and 1722 off the West Coast of Africa. In the fight with the King's ship that took him he was very active with a drawn sword in his hand, with which he beat any of his crew who were at all backward. One of his legs was shot away in this action, but he refused to leave the deck and go below as long as the action lasted. He was condemned to death and hanged in chains.

SMITH, George

Welsh pirate.

One of Captain Roberts's pirates. Hanged at the age of 25.


Sailed as an honest seaman in the Onslow (Captain Gee) from Sestos. Taken in May, 1721, by the pirate Captain Roberts, he willingly joined the pirates. When Roberts was killed on board the Royal Fortune, Stephenson burst into tears, and declared that he wished the next shot might kill him. Hanged in 1722.

There were two men aboard Captain Roberts' ships named John Stephenson. The first was taken by Howell Davis at the same time as John Robert (later Captain Roberts) this Stephenson was 2nd Mate aboard the Princess & later became one of Roberts' Pilots. He is also the one who burst into tears when Captain Roberts was killed.

The 2nd Stephenson is the one who was in his early 40's, who came from Whitby. He is the one who was aboard the Onslow.

My thanks to V'léOnica Roberts for this information.

SUTTON, Thomas

Born at Berwick in 1699.

Gunner in Roberts's ship the Royal Fortune. At his trial he was proved to have been particularly active in helping to take a Dutch merchantman, the Gertruycht. Hanged in chains at Cape Coast Castle in April, 1722, at the age of 23.


Born at North Berwick.

One of Roberts's crew. Tried and hanged at Cape Coast Castle in 1722. On the day of execution Sympson was among the first six prisoners to be brought up from the ship's hold to have their fetters knocked off and to be fitted with halters, and it was observed that none of the culprits appeared in the least dejected, except Sympson, who "spoke a little faint, but this was rather imputed to a Flux that had seized him two or three days before, than Fear." There being no clergyman in the colony, a kindly surgeon tried to take on the duties of the ordinary, but with ill-success, the hardened ruffians being quite unmoved by his attempts at exhortation. In fact, the spectators were considerably shocked, as indeed they well might be, by Sympson, suddenly recognizing among the crowd a woman whom he knew, calling out "he had lain with that B——h three times, and now she was come to see him hanged."

Sympson died at the age of 36, which was considerably above the average age to which a pirate might expect to live.

WALDEN, John, alias "Miss Nanney"

Born in Somersetshire.

Taken in the Blessing, of Lymington, by Roberts in Newfoundland, he joined the pirates, and was later on hanged at the age of 24 in West Africa. Walden was one of Captain Roberts's most active men. On taking Captain Traher's ship, Walden carried a pole-axe with which he wrenched open locked doors and boxes. He was a bold and daring man, of violent temper, and was known amongst his shipmates by the nickname of Miss Nanney. He lost a leg during the attack on the Swallow. After the pirates took the King Solomon, Walden had to get up the anchor, but he cut the cable, explaining to the captain that the weather was too hot to go straining and crying "Yo Hope," and he could easily buy another anchor when he got to London.

WATTS, Edward

Born at Dunmore.

One of Captain Roberts's crew. Hanged in 1722 at the age of 22.

WATTS, William

An Irishman.

Hanged, at the age of 23, along with the rest of Roberts's crew.


"Habitation—nigh Plymouth."

One of Captain Roberts's crew. Deserted the pirates at Sierra Leone, but was delivered up by the negroes, and as a punishment received two lashes from the whole ship's company. Hanged at the age of 40.

WILSON, George

Surgeon and pirate.

Originally he sailed as surgeon in a Liverpool ship, the Tarlton, which was taken by the pirate Bartholomew Roberts. Wilson voluntarily joined the pirates. One day, being accidentally left on shore, he had to remain amongst the negroes at Sestos on the West Coast of Africa for five months, until he was eventually rescued by a Captain Sharp, of the Elizabeth, who ransomed Wilson for the value of £3 5s. in goods. Wilson was again captured by Roberts, and served with him as surgeon. At his trial for piracy at Cape Coast Castle in 1722, witnesses proved that Wilson was "very alert and cheerful at meeting with Roberts, hailed him, told him he was glad to see him, and would come on board presently, borrowing a clean Shirt and Drawers" from the witness "for his better Appearance and Reception: signed the Articles willingly," and tried to persuade him, the witness, to sign also, as then they would each get £600 or £700 a man in the next voyage to Brazil.

When the election of senior surgeon took place, Wilson wanted to be appointed, as then he would receive a bigger share of the booty. Wilson became very intimate with Captain Roberts, and told him that if ever they were taken by one of the "Turnip-Man's ships"—i.e., a man-of-war—they would blow up their ship and go to hell together. But the surgeon proved such a lazy ruffian, neglecting to dress the wounded crew, that Roberts threatened to cut his ears off.

At the trial Wilson was found guilty and condemned to be hanged, but his execution was withheld until the King's pleasure was known, because it was believed that owing to information given by Wilson a mutiny of the prisoners was prevented.

WOOD, William

Native of York.

One of Captain Roberts's crew. Hanged in April, 1722, at the age of 27.