Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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INTRODUCTION                     li
lately gone to Sea to seek his fortune, and the fate of his followers in Villany Rewarded; or the Pirates' last Farewell(pp. 131, 133).
Avery's success fired others to imitate him. Captain William Kidd sailed from Plymouth in May 1696 in command of a privateer called the Adventure galley, equipped by private subscription, but with a commission under the Great Seal to seize pirates. Kidd, however, turned pirate himself, was arrested at Boston in July 1699, transmitted to England for trial, and hanged at Execution Dock on May 23, 1701. Captain Kidd's Farewell to the Seas was a popular song and set to a popular tune. The whole ballad is only to be found in Lord Crawford's collection, and to him the Society is indebted for permission to reprint it in this volume (p. 134).
During the last ten years of the seventeenth century pirates made the eastern seas and the ■coast of Africa as unsafe as the buccaneers had made the western. The ballad entitled The Caesar's Victory tells how an Indiaman successfully beat off five such adversaries (p. 129). The attack took place near Cape Verd Islands on October 31, 1686. A full account is given in Mayo's Medals and Decorations of the British Army and Navy, i. 61-6.
In the West Indies European pirates continued to be a danger much longer than in the East, and after the peace of Utrecht there followed a great recrudescence of piracy, which lasted for ten years or more. The exploits of these pirates are recorded, with a large mixture of fiction, in Charles Johnson's General History of the Pirates, published in 1724. On September 5, 1717, George I. issued a general proclamation for the suppressing of pirates, offering a pardon to all who surrendered before September 5, 1718 (Johnson, p. 7,3)- One of the most notorious,
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