“In an honest Service, there is thin Commons, low Wages, and hard Labour; in this, Plenty and Satiety, Pleasure and Ease, Liberty and Power; and who would not balance Creditor on this Side, when all the Hazard that is run for it, at worst, is only a sower Look or two at choaking. No, a merry Life and a short one shall be my Motto.”
—Pirate Captain Bartholomew Roberts
Non-violence as a matter of protocol –
Well ….. if it became known that pirates took no prisoners, their victims would fight to the last breath and make victory both very difficult and costly in lives. Hmm, yes that actually make’s sense. If you could put the situation in perspective. If your going to die any whey right. Make the bastard pay ! Fight them earn every inch , every deck, every door. Fight them to the last man. Or woman, there were some ruthless and hearty women on some vessels. And then, just when the ship was about to be lost, the last crew member …..
.….would put a match to the remaining powder stores , and blow everyone to HELL ! ….
…ok , I was living in that moment for a minute. Looking around my sword …
In one well-documented case 300 heavily armed soldiers on a ship attacked by Thomas Tew surrendered after a brief battle with none of Tew’s 40-man crew being injured.
Thomas Tew, born in Newport, Rhode Island, was one of the first pirates to successfully sail the Pirate Round-around the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean and plunder the treasure ships of the Great Mogul of India.
In 1690, Tew moved to Bermuda to become a privateer. With a commission from Bermudas Governor Isaac Richier, he set sail to take a French factory on the Gambia River in Africa. But once at sea, Tew told his crew that there was little to be gained in Africa and great danger in gaining it. Instead, he offered them a much more lucrative choice: sail to the Red Sea and plunder the treasure-laden ships of the Great Mogul of India. The proposition was greeted with great cheers and the unified cry, A gold chain or a wooden leg, well stand by you!
Captain Tew and his pirate crew of forty, emboldened by their new commitment, had the audacity to attack a huge, heavily armed Mogul treasure ship laden with gold, silver, pearls, gems, spices, ivory, and silk. After a brief battle, the 300 turban-clad Indian soldiers dropped their muskets and scimitars and fell to their knees in surrender. No one in Tew’s crew was injured.
Tew sailed his eight-gun ship Amity to the tiny island of St. Marys, off the coast of Madagascar, where the crew careened the ship, restocked supplies, and divided the plunder. Every man received 3,000 pounds sterling ($3.5 million by todays standards) with a double share for Captain Tew. It was an amazing amount of wealth.
When Tew returned to Rhode Island after his adventure, he was welcomed as a conquering hero and invited to dine with the most prestigious families. He and his wife and two daughters were honored as the special guests of Governor Fletcher of New York. Every colonial wanted to see Tew’s riches and hear his tales of Arabia.
In 1694, Tew embarked on another voyage, promising his family it would be his last. Unfortunately, it was. Roving once again in the Red Sea, his sloop was one of a squadron of six pirate ships led by Henry Every attempting to overpower a fleet of Mogul ships. This time his rich dreams were not to become reality.
In September 1695, Tew met his gory demise during the very first exchange of broadsides with the Mogul ships great guns. His stomach was torn away with a cannon ball, and he was said to be holding his bowels in his hands as he hit the quarterdeck. With their famous captain dead, the crew panicked and surrendered their fate to the enemy.