A speech made upon the Condemnation of (1) Robert Tucker ... [et al] for Piracy, Wednesday, November ye 5th 1718

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Title

A speech made upon the Condemnation of (1) Robert Tucker ... [et al] for Piracy, Wednesday, November ye 5th 1718

Creator

Date

1718-11-05

Description

A legal opinion written by Nicholas Trott at the condemnation of 29 men on 2 counts of Piracy. The opinion indicates that these are men who could have crewed under both "Maj. Bonnett" and "Thatch". Of the original list of men, 22 were sentenced to death by hanging on November 8,1718 at White Point Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. Several pages are missing from the document including pages 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14.

Rights

Public Domain
All rights reserved
For access to this item, please contact the Charleston Library Society, 164 King Street, Charleston, SC.

Format

image/jpeg

Type

StillImage
Manuscripts

Language

English

Identifier

Ms. 360
1718_TrottCondemnationSpeech_001.jpg

Text Item Type Metadata

Transcription

Speech upon the Condemnation of Pirates.
Trott. (Safe

Charleston Library Society

Pirates executed in 1718
Charleston Library Society from Mrs Middleton Smith
A Speech made upon the Condemnation of
Robert Tucker,
Edward Robinson,
Neal Patterson,
William Scott,
Job Bayley,
John William Smith,
Thomas Carman,
John Thomas,
William Morrison,
William Lewis ats Evis,
Samuel Booth,
William Hewett,
John Levitt,
William Eddy ats Nedy,
Alexander Anand,
George Ross,
George Dunkin,
John Ridge,
Matthew King,
Daniel Perry,
Henry Virgin,
James Robins,
James Mullet ats Millet,
Thomas Price,
John Lopez,
Zachariah Long,
James Wilson,
John Brierly, &
Robert Boyd,
For Piracy
Wednesday November ey 5th 1718.
[page blank]

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You the Prisoners at the Bar, (1) Robert Tucker, (2) Edward Robinson, (3) Neal Patterson, (4) William Scott, (5) Job Bayley, (6) John William Smith, (7) Thomas Carman, (8) John Thomas, (9) William Morrison, (10) William Lewis ats Evis, (11) Samuel Booth, (12) William Hewett, (13) John Levitt, (14) William Eddy ats Nedy, (15) Alexander Anand, (16) George Ross, (17) George Dunkin, (18) John Ridge, (19) Matthew King, (20) Daniel Perry, (21) Henry Virgin, (22) James Robins, (23) James Mullet ats Millet, (24) Thomas Price, (25) John Lopez, (26) Zachariah Long, (27) James Wilson, (28) John Brierly, & (29) Robert Boyd, stand here convicted of Piracy.

You have been indicted but for two Acts of Piracy. But you know upon

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upon the Tryals it was fully proved against most of you, that you pyratically took Thirteen Vessels, since you joyned Majr. Bonnett, and sailed from Topsail Inlet in North Carolina.
So that many of you might have been convicted on Eleven more Indictments of Piracy.
Besides, several of you were proved to be Pirates before that Time, as belonging to Thatch's Crew, and so were Guilty of the several Piracies committed while you belonged to him.
You cannot but acknowledge that you have all of you had a fair and indifferent Tryal.
You were fully heard, not only as to all you could pretend to say in your own Defences. But also as to what you alledge in Mitigation of your Crimes.
And

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And indeed, when you saw that the Facts laid in the Indictment, were fo fully proved against you: Though most of you pleaded not Guilty, for Form-fake; yet in the open Court, upon your Tryals, most of you acknowledged the Facts charged upon you. Therefore no one can think but that you were all of you justly found Guilty; and your own Consciences will oblige you to acknowledge the same. So that there is not any of you that can complain of any Hardships at your Tryals.
As to the Crime that you are convicted of, which is Piracy: the Evil and Wickedness of it is evident to the Reason of all Men. So that it needs no Words to aggravate the same. And which is so Destructive of all Trade and Commerce between Nation & Nation: that Pirates are called Enemies to Mankind, with

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with whom no Faith nor Oath ought to be kept. And they are termed in our Law Brutes and Beasts of Prey. And therefore it is the Interest, as well as Duty, of all Governments to bring such Offenders to Punishment.
Though the Greatness of your Crime is such, that no one can think, but that the Sentence of Death that will now be passed upon you is justly due to you for the same. Yet as Pity and Companion, even to the worst of Criminals, when brought to Punishment, are natural to all Men, that have not flung off all Sense of Humanity, but much more firmly ingrafted in the Hearts of Chriftians: Therefore surely it cannot but be a very melancholy Spectacle to see so many Persons, in the Prime of their Years, in perfect Health and Strength, dropping into the Grave.
And which is a more sorrowful Consideration,

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down to the Sea in Ships, that do Business in great Waters:(d) These see the Works of the Lord, and his Wonders in the Deep. (e)For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy Wind, which lifteth up the Waves thereof.(f) They mount up to the Heaven, they go down again to the Depths, their Soul is melted because of Trouble.(g) They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken Man and are at their Wits end.(h) Then they cry unto the Lord in their Trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.(i) He maketh a Storm a Calm, so that the Waves thereof are still.(k) Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired Haven. But the practical Inference that he draws from these, is.(l) That Men should praise the Lord for his Goodness, and for his wonderful Works to the Children of Men.
But instead of having a Sense of God's Power and Goodness, in preserving you and others upon the Sea, your frequent Preservations hardened you into a Contempt of

(d) v. 24.
(e) v. 25.
(f) v. 26.
(g) v. 27.
(h) v. 28.
(i) v. 29.
(k) v. 30.
(l) v. 31.

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of the Danger you were in. And you thereby slighted your Deliverance. And though you could not but see the many natural Dangers that attend the Seas, and those that had occasion to go upon the same, yet you were resolved that you would contribute what in you lay to the Hazards,thereof, by the frequent Rapines and Murders that you committed. So that what the Prophet saith of the Pride of the Tyrians, may be applyed to you,(m) That you caused your Terror to be on all that haunt the Sea.
Although it may be, while you were in your seeming Prosperity, and went on in your committing Spoils and Robberies without controul, you might make(n) a mock at your Sins. And(o) say in your Hearts, God hath forgotten, he hideth his Face, he will never see it. Yet now that you see that God's Hand hath reached you, and his Power hath brought you to publick Justice. I hope your present unhappy Condition hath had that good effect
(m) Ezek. 26. V. 17.
(n) Prov. 14. V. 9. & c. 10. V. 23.
(o) Psal. 10. V. 11
94. V. 7.
64. V. 5. &
Job. 22. V. 13

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effect upon you, that it hath raised in you more serious Thoughts; and that you are now sensible of the Greatness of your Sins, and that you will sincerely repent you of the same.
As to the great Evil and Sinfulness of the Facts you have committed, surely you cannot but know, that it is one of the express Commandments of God;(p) Thou shalt not steal. And the Apostle St. Paul expressly affirms; That(q) Thieves shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But then remember, that to Theft you have added the Sin of Murder, in destroying those Persons that were sent by lawful Authority to suppress you, and to put a stop to your wicked Actions. For you being no way authorized to use the Sword, or to fight any one, every one of those Persons that fell by your hands were murdered; And their Blood now cries for Vengeance against you: For it is the Voice of Nature, as well as the revealed
(p) Exod. 20. V. 15.
(q) 1 Cor. 6. V. 10.

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revealed Law of God;(r) That whoso sheddeth Man's Blood, by Man shall his Blood be shed.
It is the Commandment of God, (s)Thou shalt do no Murder. And the Apostle enumerating several of the Works of the Flesh, amongst the redt reckons Murders; and these concludes with these remarkable words; (t)Of which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things, shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
And Murderers are threatened to have(u) their part in the Lake which burneth with Fire & Brimstone, which is the second Death. Words which carry that Terror with them, that considering your Circumstances, and your Guilt, surely the Sound of them must make you tremble.(w) For who can dwell with everlasting Burnings?
I suppose you all know that you must appear before the Tribunal of Christ; from whose infinite Knowledge none of your Actions
(r) Gen. 9 V. 6.
(s) Exod. 20. V. 13.
(t) Gal. 5. V. 21.
(u) Rev. 21. V. 8.
See. c. 22. V. 15.
(w) Isa 22. V. 14.
Two reaves of this speech have been put out here by some singular person but the whole speech will be found in 15 Nouvells Statements 1283 Vc

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so far presume to meddle out of my own Profession. You may have those Matters better explained to you by some of the Ministers of this Province, whom you would defire to attend you, and fit you for Death: And from them you may expect more full and particular Directions; (m) “For the Priest’s lips shall keep Knowledge, and you should fseek the Law at their Mouths; for they are the Messengers of the Lord: And(n) the Ambassadors of Christ,j and to them is committed the Word [or doctrine] of Reconciliation.
Thus having discharged my Duty to you as a Christian, by exhorting you to an unfeigned Repentance for your Crimes, and Faith in Christ, by whose Merits alone you must hope for Pardon and Salvation.
I must now do my Office as a Judge.
The Sentence that the Law hath appointed to pass upon you for your Offences,
(m) Mal. 2. V. 7.
(n) 2 Cor. 5. V. 19, 20.

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offences, and which this Court doth therefore award, is;
That you the faid Robert Tucker, Edward Robinson, Neal Paterson, William Scot, Job Bayley, John-William Smith, Thomas Carman, John Thomas, William Morrison, William Lewis ats Evis, Samuel Boots, William Hewett, John Levit, William Eddy ats Nedy, Alexander Anand, George Ross, George Dunkin, John Ridge, Matthew King, Daniel Perry, Henry Virgin, James Robbins, James Mullet ats Millet, Thomas Price, John Lopez, Zachariah Long, James Wilson, John Brierly, & Robert Boyd, shall go from hence to the place from whence you came, and from thence to the place of Execution, where you shall be severally hanged by the Neck, till you are severally dead.
And the God of infinite Mercy be merciful to every one of your Souls.

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On Saturday November ay 8th. 1718.
(1) Robert Tucker, (2) Edward Robinson, (3) Neal Patterson, (4) William Scott, (5) Job Bayley, (6) John William Smith, (7) John Thomas, (8) William Morrison, (9) Samuel Booth, (10) William Hewett, (11) William Eddy ats Nedy, (12) Alexander Anand, (13) George Ross, (14) George Dunkin, (15) Matthew King, (16) Daniel Perry, (17) Henry Virgin, (18) James Robins, (19) James Mullet ats Millet, (20) Thomas Price, (21) John Lopez, & (22) Zachariah Long were Executed, at the White Point– now Charles Town, according to the above Sentence.

Citation

Trott, Nicholas, “A speech made upon the Condemnation of (1) Robert Tucker ... [et al] for Piracy, Wednesday, November ye 5th 1718,” Charleston Library Society Digital Collections, accessed December 8, 2022, https://charlestonlibrarysociety.omeka.net/items/show/1238.