Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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1               SONGS AND BALLADS
captured Panama in 1668, were little better than pirates (though some of them had commissions of a sort from the Governor of Jamaica), but they confined their activity to the Spanish Main and the South Sea. The new pirates, however, frequented the eastern even more than the western seas, and avowedly preyed on the commerce of all powers. One of the most famous of these was Captain^ Avery, upon whom in 1720 Defoe published a pamphlet entitled The King of Pirates; being an account of the famous enterprises of Captain Avery, the mock king of Madagascar. In 1713, under the name of Arviragus, he was made the hero of a play called The Successful Pirate. Earlier still there was published the Life and Adventures of Captain John Avery now in Madagascar, 1709. The ballad gives the pirate's name as Henry Every, but Avery is the commoner form. In May 1694 an English merchant ship,, the Charles the Second, commanded by Captain Gibson, was lying near Corunna. She was a stout vessel and carried forty guns. Avery persuaded the crew to mutiny, set the captain on shore, baptised the ship the Fancy, and sailed for the East Indies. Amongst other prizes he captured on September 28, 1695, a ship called the Gunsway, belonging to the Great Mogul. This led to reprisals, and the seizure of the factories of the English in India. On the application of the East India Company a pro-, clamation was issued on July 18, 1696, declaring Avery and his crew pirates, and offering a reward for their apprehension. Five of the crew were seized on their return to England, tried at the Old Bailey, October 29-November 6, 1696, and duly hanged. Others were arrested later. The com­mencement of Avery's career is commemorated in A copy of verses composed by Captain Henry Avery,