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45 – SENTENCED TO BE HANGED AS A PIRATE, HE DIED A GENTLEMAN, RESPECTED BY FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS

This short text was written in English by Father Clarence d'Entremont and published in the Yarmouth Vanguard on November 7, 1989. Translation by Michel Miousse


300 years ago, on August 12, 1689, two Boston captains, Thomas Pound and Thomas Hawkins, anchored their ketch, the "Mary", about four miles below Fort Royal, in Portland, Maine, which Fort was under the command of Sylvanus Davis. They sent John Darby ashore to fetch water, as he was known to Commander Davis. He told the captain that the ketch had just passed Cap Sable when it was stolen by a private brigantine who had stolen some lead and most of their water and bread. He requested that a doctor be sent on board to take care of his master who had injured his foot. But when Davis learned that there was a Captain Pound and a Captain Hawkins on board, he immediately suspected that he was dealing with "rogues." Meanwhile, a number of Fort soldiers had planned to escape and join the ketch, taking weapons and clothing with them. Davis demanded that the soldiers be sent back to the Fort with the booty they had stolen. But Pound laughed at the request and not only refused to return any weapons or clothing (which had been stolen from sleeping soldiers) but threatened to go straight to the harbor and run straight for a sloop that was there. anchor.


There was no truth in what Darby had told Davis. The truth is that Thomas Pound had asked Thomas Hawkins to take him with his fishing boat to Nantasket, about 10 nautical miles southeast of Boston. They had just left Boston when Pound told Hawkins that his real goal was to become a pirate and asked him to join him, which he did. Pound would take over operations. It was that same day that they seized the ketch "Mary", leaving their fishing boat to the captain of the ketch, Allen Chard. Two days later, they were in Casco Bay*, when John Darby dismounted to fetch water and tell his home story to Sylvanus Davis.


After feeding on a calf and three sheep grazing on an island, Pound set sail for Cape Cod, and early in the morning of the 16th he encountered a sloop named "Good Speed" owned by David Larkin. As this ship was larger than the "Mary", it was stormed by the pirates, leaving the captain free on board the ketch. Pound told him to warn the Governor of Boston that if he attempted to come for them, each of his men would be executed.


While on Cape Cod, he sent some of the crew ashore where they killed four young pigs. Shortly after, they plundered another ship in Newburyport, north of Boston (on the New Hampshire border) with its 20 and a half barrels of flour, sugar, rum and tobacco.


Sailing out of Nantucket Sound, south of Cape Cod, the sloop encountered a northeasterly wind and was forced to deviate to Virginia. From there, Pound set out to fetch some other loot in the form of a ship's canvas, a piece of woolen clothing, and some dye, before returning to Massachusetts. On the way, Hawkins saw that they had been followed; but they finally escaped their pursuers.


Shortly after reaching Cape Cod, Thomas Hawkins, who was beginning to tire of Pound's maneuvers, managed to escape. He met Captain Jacobus Loper, a Portuguese whaler who was about to sail to Boston. At that time, Hawkins thought he would be safe and could escape the clutches of the law. But Loper figured he'd better turn him over to Boston authorities and soon Hawkins was locked up and housed safely in a jail.


A few days later, the ketch "Mary", which the pirates had stolen from Chard and later exchanged for the "Good Speed", was on its way to retrieve the "Good Speed", which was anchored in a cove, southeast of Cape Cod, where Pound was preparing to sail to Curacao, the Dutch colony near the South American coast. As soon as the "Mary" joined the "Good Speed." Pound in his surprise, climbed onto the deck with his sword in hand and shouted, "Come here poor stubborn people and I'll knock you out on the spot." When he was told that if he gave up now, they would give him a good deal, he replied: “Ah! Yes, Dogs, I will give you quarter upon quarter. But it wasn't long before Pound found himself injured by a projectile, as "several lives were taken." There were casualties on both sides. The pirates were finally captured and taken to Boston, there were 14 left. This was around the same time of year, exactly 300 years before. Most of them, including Pound and Hawkins, were convicted of felony, piracy and murder. They were condemned to “be hung by the neck until death follows. »


On January 20 (1690), the day the hanging was to take place, Hawkins had practically the noose around his neck, when someone ran to the hangman to tell him that the Governor had postponed the hanging. He was even completely pardoned, probably at the request of his sister, who had married a high-ranking officer of the colony. Eventually, all but one were pardoned, including Pound. Pound and Hawkins were subsequently placed aboard the 'Rose' for exile in England.


On reaching Cap Sable, the "Rose" was intercepted by a thirty-gun French privateer and a vigorous fight ensued. The Captain of the "Rose" was massacred along with several others; Hawkins eventually died of his injuries. Somewhat damaged, the "Mary" was still able to reach England without further incident.


Here, Thomas Pound was entirely forgiven for all the misdeeds he had been able to commit on the coasts of the American colony. He immediately wrote to Governor Andros of Massachusetts, who was in London, to give him the latest news from New England.


In 1691, he published in London “A New Map of New England”, now very rare and of which I am the proud owner of a copy; it served as the model for the other cards for nearly 50 years thereafter. On August 5, 1690, just a few months after his arrival in England, he was appointed Captain of the frigate "Sally Rose", of the Royal Navy. In 1697, his ship was stationed in Virginia, under the orders of his old patron, Governor Andros. In 1699, he retired and died in 1703, at Isleworth in the County of Middlesex, “a gentleman respected by his friends and neighbors. »


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