Caribbean Tales - Ships

Known Ships of the Area

A list of some known 'historical' pirate ships of the 'Golden Age' age of piracy and slightly before in the late 1600's, which operated around the Caribbean for some period of their life.

Adventure - A Sloop captured by Edward Teach (Blackbeard) and then captained by Israel Hands. Eventually ran aground with the Queen Anne's Revenge and was lost. She had 10 guns.

Adventure Galley - Captained by William Kidd in 1696. It was 38m long and also had 32 oars. The ship had hull leakage problems and was eventually abandoned. She was a 34 gun (12 lb) ship with a crew of about 150.

Antonia - William Kidd came across this becalmed ship in Mona Passage of south east Hispaniola. She had a fast sleek body, and Kidd bought(!) her for 3000 pieces of eight. He transferred the majority of his booty across from the failing Quedah Merchant and sailed away with 12 crewmen to New York. In June 1699 the ship sailed into New York.

Batchelors Delight - Captained by Edward Davis, it made many long pirate journeys for the four years of Davis' career. It sailed the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean. She carried 36 guns.

Blessed William - the pirate ship of William Kidd and Robert Culliford. She was a Brigantine.

Buck - A Royal Navy war Sloop, refer Delicia. She sailed away from Nassau with the Shark.

Charles - a Sloop given a privateering commision, built and fitted out specifically to take French ships, she was commissioned on the 13th July 1703 and captained by John Quelch.

Charles II - In 1694, a Bristol ship hired by the Spanish to attack French smugglers in Martinique who were trading with Spanish ports. The crew mutineed after not being paid for 8 months and renamed her Fancy.

Delicia - A 460 ton East Indiaman, she sailed out of the Thames on the 11th April 1718 with an escort of 4 naval ships, the frigates Milford and Rose, and the sloops Buck and Shark. The fleet was under the charge of Woodes Rogers on his voyage to New Providence. At Nassau, they dallied with Charles Vane before settling down in the harbour. Eventually the naval ships sailed off to greener pastures, leaving Rogers with the Delicia as his only guard ship.

Delight (sometimes called Batchelors Delight)- A former 12 gun Man-O-War in civilian service under Captain Hunt, she was captured by Edward Low in late 1723 and 4 guns were added. She was given to Francis Spriggs to command. He deserted shortly after.

Delivery (Happy Delivery)- Captained by George Lowther after a mutiny in May 1721. She carried 16 guns and 110 men. She was originally the Gambia Castle. Captured by the Eagle.

Diamond - A Man-O-War.

Eagle - a Sloop from Barbados run by the South Sea Company under Captain Moore. She discovered George Lowther careening the Happy Delivery, successfully fought the pirates, capturing all but 4.

Fame's Revenge - Captained by ex prize fighter William Fly. She was originally a Merchant ship, the Elizabeth, until Fly mutineed, and renamed her. His career lasted a month.

Fancy - Captained by Long Ben - Henry Avery. She was a warship of 46 guns with a crew of 150. Originally named Charles II.

Fancy - Captured at Port Roseway, a Marblehead Schooner captained by Francis Spriggs in 1722-23. When Low and Spriggs were separated when they were chased by the Mermaid, the two ships met up again. Spriggs failed to recognise Low and turned tail. Low, thinking the ship had been captured, opened fire, hitting the Fancy. Low ran up the pirate flag, and the mistake was found.

Flying Dragon - A Dutch warship captured by Edmund Condent in 1718.

Fortune - Captained by Bartholomew Roberts in July 1719. A 10 gun Sloop originally Portugese, Roberts was sailing it when the rest of his fleet was stolen by Walter Kennedy while he was busy elsewhere on the Fortune. With the Sloop, he captured an 18 gun Galley, which he then traded for a 28 gun French ship, each successively named Royal Fortune. The Fortune, with the French Royal Fortune attacked St Kitts, looting one ship and burning two ships in September 1720. The ship was repaired at Saint Bartholomew and captured many more ships. She was careened again near Hispaniola, and then replaced.

Fortune 2 - A sloop commanded by Edward Low, who was in company with Charles Harris in the Ranger 6. Together, they appeared off the coast of South Carolina, capturing the Crown, King William, and Carteret, plus a Brigantine. They then captured the Amsterdam Merchant, which they burned, and then took another ship. They took a number of other vessels, and while cruising off the Delaware on the 10th June 1723, they happened on a likely tagret and sailed after her. Only when they gained on her and opened fire, did they realise the error. The vessel was the Greyhound, who turned and put such a good shot into them, that Low & Harris turned and fled. The pirates out ran the Greyhound because they were using oars, but the Greyhound too took to oars, and caught up with the two ships. Placed between the two pirates, the Greyhound shot down the mast of Low's vessel, which promptly turned tail and ran. Harris was left trapped, captured, and condemned. Low sailed on, a maniac devil to any he came across. The Fortune 2 was said to be carrying over 150,000 pound worth of loot. With it he captured many ships, including a large French Vessel, which he fitted with 22 guns and kept. His fleet grew, until he captured the Merry Christmas, which became his new flagship.

Francis - An English warship captained by Charles Carlile, she found the pirate ship Trompeuse at Saint Thomas. She was fired on by either the Dutch fort, or the pirates, and a fight ensued. She set the Trompeuse on fire, and also destroyed another pirate ship in port.

Gambia Castle - George Lowther led a mutiny aboard this ship which had a crew of 110 men. Renamed the Delivery.

Good Fortune - Captured by Bartholomew Roberts in Late 1720. She was an 18 gun Brigantine with a crew up to 140 - 100 white and 40 black, and replaced his very suitable ship Fortune. This ship and the Royal Fortune 2 attacked a 52 gun French Man-O-War carrying the governor of Maracaibo. This ship he kept and renamed the Royal Fortune 3. When Roberts sailed to Africa, Thomas Anstis deserted on this ship.

Great Ranger - Captured by Bartholomew Roberts on the Ivory Coast in January 1722, and captained by James Skyrme. On February 5th, the ship chased the warship Swallow assuming it was a Merchant. They did not realise their mistake until they almost drew aside the Swallow, who turned on her, opening the gun ports and blasting at her. After realising its mistake and fiercely fighting for 4 hours, the captain losing a leg in the battle, she surrendered. The ship suffered a lost main top mast in the battle, and was severely mauled. Some of the crew preferred to blow the ship than be captured, but the powder barrel they chose was almost empty and the explosion only minor. She was a French 32 gun warship crewed by 110 (100 survived the battle - 59 English, 18 French and 23 African slaves) The ship was patched up on the spot and sent with the prisoners and wounded to Princess Island.

Greyhound - An English warship stationed in New York, captained by Peter Solgard. She went hunting for, and was chased down by, the pirates Charles Harris and Edward Low who out matched her. She stood her ground and in a running battle chased of Low and captured Harris in his sloop. She carried 20 guns and 120 men. Refer Fortune 2.

Happy Delivery - Captained by George Lowther, refer Delivery.

Henry - A Sloop pressed into service with the Sea Nymph to hunt Charles Vane, they came across Stede Bonnet's Revenge in the Cape Fear river mouth. In a battle punctuated with groundings, they captured the pirate. She carried 8 guns and 70 men.

John & Martha - She was captured and captained by John Martel in 1716. She was a 20 gun Galley. She was trapped ashore careening and burned by her crew with 20 slaves still on board.

Kingston - A vessel captured by Charles Vane in March 1719 and given to John Rackham to captain. The two quarreled over licquor aboard the Kingston, and Rackham sailed away. Two Sloops sent to find them overtook the Kingston, and Rackham was returned to Prividence Island.

La Trompeuse (The Deceiver) - A large French Merchant captured by Jean Hamlin in early 1682 (he used a Sloop with 120 men). She captured many English Merchants. For a time the ship is said to have cruised off Africa, but this could be a case of mistaken identity. She was next reported at Saint Thomas under protection of the Dutch governor. The English warship Francis found her there on the 17th July 1683. Either the Trompeuse, or the Dutch fort opened fire on the Francis, and in the ensuing fight, the Trompeuse was burned to the waterline.

Little Ranger or just (Ranger)- captured by Bartholomew Roberts in June 1721, and renamed Little Ranger, or sometimes just Ranger. She had 10 guns.

Mary Anne - An 8 gun Sloop captained by Sam Bellamy in 1717.

Mayflower - captained by John Bamfield. A small ship with only one gun(!), possibly of 100 tonnes in size. Used in the raids on Saint Eustatius and Saba in conjunction with Edward Morgan.

Mermaid - British Man-O-War encountered briefly by Edward Low in 1723. She chased after Low and his fleet, and was tricked into running aground on a hidden shoal.

Merry Christmas - A vessel captained by Edward Low at the time of his disappearance. She was captured in July 1723, and new gun ports cut in her hull to fit 34 guns. It became his headquarters ship, over the Fortune 2, upon which he flew his new flag, the red skeleton on black background. He was sailing with George Lowther at this time. Low is said to have been cast out from his pirate crew and replaced. The Merry Christmas was burned, the pirates sailing on in a Sloop while Low met his fate in French hands.

Milford - A Royal Navy Frigate, refer Delicia. She escorted Woodes Rogers to Nassau, then proceded on to the Leeward Islands.

Morningstar - Captured by Thomas Anstis in 1721, she was then mounted with 21 cannon and captained by John Fenn, who wrecked her.

Morningstar 2 - Captained by William Lewis, who claimed to received his strength from the devil. The crew consisted mainly of Frenchmen and negroes, the English being ejected.

New York Revenge's Revenge - Captained by Richard Worley in 1718, she had 6 guns and was captured by Governor Robert Johnston at South Carolina.

Oxford - 34 gun warship commanded by Edward Collier, it blew up during a drunken gathering of ships' captains in preparation for the raid on Maracaibo & Gibraltar in conjunction with Henry Morgan and others.

Pearl - Sixty of the crew from this naval vessel, under Captain Gordon, served aboard an unnamed and ungunned Sloop which was responsible for capturing Edward Teach (Blackbeard). They were led by Leiutenant Maynard in the venture. Together with the crew from the Lyme, on board the Ranger 2, they killed Teach and captured his crew.

Princess - A Merchant vessel on which served Bartholomew Roberts as third mate. She was captured by Howell Davis off the coast of Ghana, where she had stopped to pick up slaves for the Royal Africa Company, and the career of Black Bart was born.

Queen Anne's Revenge - A large well built Merchant ship captured by Edward Hornigold and Edward Teach (Blackbeard) between Martinique and Africa in 1717. It was captain Edward Teach's first ship, he fitted her with 40 cannon. Her first prize was the Great Allan, who was subsequently burnt. She had a crew upto 300 men. She then faced the 30 gun warship Scarborough, and after a long fight, the warship retreated in disarray. Teach sailed on in jubilation. The ship met up with Stede Bonnet's Revenge, and they sailed together. In mid 1718 the Queen Anne's Revenge and the Adventure ran aground on a sand bar at Topsail Inlet, North Carolina, and were lost.

Ranger - Captained by Benjamin Hornigold, and also the vessel on which Edward Teach (Blackbeard) served his apprenticeship

Ranger 2 - A small Sloop selected for the hunt for Edward Teach (Blackbeard) , her crew came from the Lyme under Captain Ellis Brand, who led the expedition and was presumably killed in the first pirate cannon fire, as the captain of this ship was killed.

Ranger 3 - Captained by George Lowther, she was a 10 gun Sloop.

Ranger 4 - A ship of Batholomew Roberts, she had 16 guns. It is possible this is really the Little Ranger.

Ranger 5 - A 6 gun Sloop captained by Charles Vane. She had a crew of 60.

Ranger 6 - A Sloop captained by Charles Harris in 1723, sailing with Edward Low in the Fortune 2. Refer to its description. She had 37 whites and 6 blacks in capture

Rebecca - A brigantine captured byEdward Low, and given to Francis Spriggs to captain in January 1722.

Revenge - Captained by Stede Bonnet - a 10 gun Sloop he bought in Bridgetown, Carolina, specifically for pirating with 70 paid seamen aboard. With her he captured the Anne of Glasgow, Endeavour of Bristol, Young of Leeds, and the Turbes from Barbados, which was burned. When Bonnet met up with Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Teach placed a man named Richards in charge of her instead. When two of Teach's ships, the Adventure and Queen Anne's Revenge ran aground in 1718, Teach gave command of her back to Bonnet who sailed her away and accepted the King's recent pirate pardon. He returned to sea to hunt for Teach, and unsuccessful, returned to pirating, renaming his ship Royal James, supposedly named after James II. After a series of adventures, the ship was careened. She was found out and set upon by two Sloops sent to find Charles Vane, the Sea Nymph and Henry. After a battle, the ship was captured.

Revenge 1 - Captained by John Phillip, an Atlantic pirate of 1724.

Rose - A Royal Navy Frigate, refer Delicia. At Nassau, she faced a fire ship before fleeing from it. She eventually sailed away from Nassau to work on lucrative convoy duties. She worked the British Leeward Islands, being in Barbados in early 1721 when the nearby French Governor requested the British Governor to supply a warship to help fight the incursions of Bartholomew Roberts. The Naval captain declared the Governor had no power over him, and that the governor should instead look to duties for the King rather than the French. The ship sailed off in the opposite direction to where Roberts lay.

Royal Rover - A Dutch tradingship captained by Howell Davis until his death in July 1719, and then captained by Bartholomew Roberts. Under Davis she had 32 guns and 27 swivel guns. After Roberts captured a valuable Dutch prize off Brazil, the Rover and another ship were stolen by Walter Kennedy who was in charge of the small pirate fleet while Roberts was elsewhere in another Sloop. He captured a couple of vessels off Brazil and Barbados. He sailed back to Ireland, but wrecked the Rover on the coast of Scotland.

Royal Fortune 2- A large Brigantine captured by Bartholomew Roberts and made into his flagship.

Royal Fortune 3 - A French 52 gun warship captured by Bartholomew Roberts in late 1720 which was carrying the Governor of Maracaibo. It had a crew upto 228, 48 of which were black.

Royal Fortune 4 - The Royal Africa Company's Onslow, captured by Bartholomew Roberts near Liberia in late 1721, becoming his flagship. The warship Swallow caught up with the her at Cape Lopez, Gabon, Africa, on the 10th of February 1722. The drunken crew were recovering from a nights carousing after a successful plundering the day before. The pirates boldly sailed at the Swallow, but grapeshot from the Swallow raked her, killing Roberts. His body was thrown overboard, and the Royal Fortune 4 fought on for three hours before surrendering. The captured crew consisted of 70 blacks, and 165 whites, of whom 54 were hung, 37 were convicted of lesser charges and 74 acquitted. No records of how many besides Roberts were killed in the final battle.

Royal James - Captained by Stede Bonnet, refer Revenge.

Scarborough - A 30 gun warship who sailed against Edward Teach's (Blackbeard) Queen Anne's Revenge and came off second best.

Satisfaction - Previously the Le Cerf Volant (The Soaring Stag) under Captain La Vevan, she was a 14 gun warship captured by Edward Collier in 1668. After the explosion of the Oxford, Collier took the Satisfaction on an 18 month cruise around Mexico. Presumably Collier also used the ship as part of his 6 ship fleet that raided Rio de la Hacha in 1670.

Sea Horse - A Man-O-War from Boston under Captain Durell, she sailed with the Greyhound after the inital encounter with the Fortune 2, looking to capture Low and end his reign of terror.

Sea King - A captured Brigantine in Bartholomew Robert's fleet, she carried 30 guns.

Sea Nymph - A Sloop pressed into service with the Henry to hunt Charles Vane, they came across Stede Bonnet's Revenge in the Cape Fear river mouth. In a battle punctuated with groundings, they captured the pirate. She carried 8 guns and 60 men.

Sea Nymph 2 - A Sloop captained by Phillip Lyn c1725.

Shark - A Royal Navy war Sloop, refer Delicia. At Nassau, she fled from a fire ship. Her crew suffered heavily from disease, the captain abandoning Nassau before his whole crew succumbed.

HMS Swallow - A 50 gun warship captained by Chaloner Ogle that captured Bartholomew Roberts and his pirate navy. They had been hunting pirates along the west Africa coast for a long time. Refer Great Adventure and Royal Fortune 4.

Tiger - A 30 gun ship captained by French buccaneer Le Sage and based in Saint Dominique. She sailed also to the west African coast where she plundered many Dutch Merchants and brought back great booty.

HMS Weymouth - Along with the Swallow, she hunted Bartholomew Roberts and his pirate fleet.

Whydah Galley - Captained by Samuel Bellamy. Wrecked in stormy seas off Cape Cod in May 1717. Crewed by 146 men with 28 guns.

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