Thursday, January 1, 2009

Affidavit of Philip Middleton

94. I. Affidavit of Philip Middleton, of London, mariner. He served on board the Charles, alias Fancy, under the command of Henry Every, alias Bridgeman, in April last, when she arrived at an island near Providence, whence a letter was writ to Mr. Nicholas Trott, Governor of Providence, promising, provided he would give them liberty to come on shore and depart when they pleased, to give him 20 pieces of eight and two pieces gold a man and the ship and all that was in her. There were no threats. Governor Trott replied in very civil terms and his assurances of welcome were made good on their arrival. A collection was made afore the mast of every sailor, 100 men besides boys, of the above sum for Governor Trott and sent to him by Robert Chinton, Henry Adams and two more. They sailed to Providence and delivered up the ship with what was in her to Major Trott who took possession of her in the Governor's name, and afterwards left her in the custody of the Governor's boatswain and a few negroes, with the result that she came ashore about two days later, though she had two anchors at her bow and one in the hold. As soon as Mr. Trott was in possession he landed the ship's cargo and stores. She had 50 tons of elephants' teeth, 46 guns, 100 barrels of gunpowder, several chests of buccaneer guns, besides small arms for the ship's use. She was firm and tight and making no water. She came ashore about noon in the Governor's sight and tho' James Browne and several others of Providence and several that had been of the ship's crew offered to weigh her with casks, no means were used to get her off. It was generally reported she was run on shore designedly. She was not bilged. She belonged to Sir James Houblon and Co. of London, and deponent verily believes Governor Trott knew as much. Jan. 30, 1697. Copy. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2.Nos. 47, 47 I.; and 25. pp. 309–312.]

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