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Time Periods => 1600-1800 => Pirate Life => Topic started by: Sterling on August 18, 2008, 01:25:56 AM
On June 14 of 1747 several Spanish privateers (privately owned warships with a government sponsored license to attack enemy shipping) from St. Augustine entered Beaufort harbor and made off with several small ships. At the time a militia of only 13 men were posted in the town to protect the area. The Spanish easily escaped.
Only two months later on August 26 the Spanish privateers reappeared. Their intention this time was to take the town. Major Enoch Ward and fifty-eight militiamen responded but were driven from the town. The citizens fled leaving behind everything for the privateers to pillage.
Three days later Colonel Thomas Lovick and Major Ward had collected more men and counterattacked, driving the Spanish out. It is said that without the help of close to 100 farmers and locals, the militia may not have prevailed.
Local folklore suggests that several Spaniards died, three tried and two hanged, and were buried in the Old Burying Grounds, also known as Queen Anne's Cemetery.
On August 8, 2008, pirate hunters and pirates, the Crewe of the Archangel along with Blackbeard's Crew (Hampton, VA), The Devil Men of Cape Fear, the Shadow Players and the Carolina Blackflaggers, along with Cascabel and Braze pulled into the Beaufort Historic Site, set up camp and took over the town once again.
Friday night's fish fry dinner was highlighted by Living History demos which covered everything from Navigation to Indentured Servitude. Blackbeard's cutter remarked that every time he looked up from one demo he was swarmed by more and more spectators. The crowds were out with some folks traveling over three and a half hours just to see the crews. Saturday was hot but everyone was ready for the invasion battle. The main street was blocked off as the pirates made their way down the road to the invasion spot where they began to harass the locals, while others boarded a 2/3 scale replica of a Brigantine, the Meka II, a long boat and several gigs. We were rowed out to a small island first, disembarked and spent some time with the local boaters. The harbor was packed with boats anchored to watch the event.
But soon we were back on board and rowing to join the pirates that were battling it out with the local ladies armed to the teeth with their frying pans and large wooden spoons. As we landed the local militia, captained by Maddogge himself, attacked while the Meka II battled the fort. The Shadow Players launched into some very impressive sword play and the shooting began, but alas, just like the Spanish did many years ago, the pirates were not to win and several of us were captured as the rest were rowed away in the gigs. We were marched back through the camp and returned to sit in shackles before the jail awaiting trial.
Governor Horatio Sinbad, angry to be interrupted during his afternoon tea ordered Coxswain Dutch to be flogged and Captain Sterling to be hanged as an example to other pirates who might be foolish enough to attempt another attack on the town. Dutchie endured his ordeal before the captain was dancings from the strings when a shot from the crowd wounded the hangman. Although the captain was recaptured to swing another day, several other pirates escaped and the hangman recruited all the kids to track them down. Many were retaken and placed in the jail to await punishment at a later date.
The blood thirsty crowds were packed into the event grounds and were some of the nicest folks we have ever run into, thanking us again and again for coming out and putting on the event. The evening wound down with a wonderful ball at the local Maritime Museum with a fantastic display of Don Maitz's piratical artwork and an exhibit of the recent findings from Blackbeard's ship Queen's Anne's Revenge and then a harbor cruise by moonlight.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v702/leighcollins/08%20Beaufort/08Beaufort003.jpg) too early in the morning
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll156/michaelsbagley/NorthCarolina/DSCF1918.jpg) Maddogge talking about period weapons
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll156/michaelsbagley/NorthCarolina/DSCF1917.jpg) Mickey Souris rolling cartridges
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v702/leighcollins/08%20Beaufort/08Beaufort001.jpg) Bess Hagarty, an indentured servant in the stocks
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll156/michaelsbagley/NorthCarolina/DSCF1919.jpg) Dutchie fighting for his life
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll156/michaelsbagley/NorthCarolina/DSCF1922.jpg) Preparing for the hanging
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll156/michaelsbagley/NorthCarolina/DSCF1925.jpg) standing before the governor
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll156/michaelsbagley/NorthCarolina/DSCF1930.jpg)the flogging of the Coxswain
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll156/michaelsbagley/NorthCarolina/DSCF1933.jpg) The captain's last words was a spit in the hangman's mate's (Rats Reiley) face
(http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j267/captsterling/hanging-2.jpg)but the hangman, Captain "Maddogge" de Dogge of the marines, has the last word
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v702/leighcollins/08%20Beaufort/08Beaufort019.jpg) Haunting Lily in her finest
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v702/leighcollins/08%20Beaufort/08Beaufort028.jpg) Pressed man Mickey Souris and his lovely new wife Kate
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v702/leighcollins/08%20Beaufort/08Beaufort029.jpg) Dutchie and his lady love Grace, man can she heft a frying pan...
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v702/leighcollins/08%20Beaufort/08Beaufort024.jpg) Captain Sterling's daughter Sarah and Midshipman Joshua Merriweather
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v702/leighcollins/08%20Beaufort/08Beaufort027.jpg) Rats and Maddogge giving the wax dummies a run for their money
Maddogge, Rats and Mickey Souris playing in the sand
Fighting over the prettiest local
And Mickey wins his lovely wife back
Thanks to Maddogge, M. Souris, Haunting Lily and H. Sinbad for the use of their photographs
Thanks for putting together this great montage of photos of the event!
And thanks again for having us along on this one. Always a pleasure to sail with the Archangel Crewe.
I have more coming...Hatchetmeg took a bunch of the crewe in action (note no real fighting pictures YET) just waiting for her to recoup a few days from surgery.
And having you and Kate is a pleasure, hell we'll bash ye over the head any time we send out the press gang.