Thomas Pound

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Thomas Pound
A scan of a 1936 Jolly Roger Cups Pirate card of the pirate Thomas Pound.jpg
(presumed) England
Piratical career
Years active1689–1690
Rank Captain
Base of operationsCoast of New England

Thomas Pound (also Thomas Pounds and Thomas Ponnd; died 1703) was a so-called English pirate who was briefly active in the coastal waters of New England during 1689. Though convicted of piracy by the Massachusetts Colony, he was a loyal servant of the Massachusetts Governor Sir Edmund Andros and their recently deposed sovereign James II. This explains why the piracy charge was quickly forgotten upon his return to England.

Edmund Andros British governor of several North American colonies

Sir Edmund Andros was an English colonial administrator in North America. He was the governor of the Dominion of New England during most of its three-year existence. At other times, Andros served as governor of the provinces of New York, East and West Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.

James II of England 17th-century King of England and Ireland, and of Scotland (as James VII)

James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland, his reign is now remembered primarily for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it also involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown.


Early life

Born in England, Pound joined the Royal Navy and rose to become a junior officer and naval cartographer stationed in the colonial port of Boston, Massachusetts. One of Pound's maps has been preserved in the Library of Congress, depicting the New England coastline between Cape Cod and "Cape Sables" on modern-day Sable Island. [1]

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Library of Congress (de facto) national library of the United States of America

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the Library of Congress as the largest library in the world, and the library describes itself as such. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."

Cape Cod Cape in the northeastern United States

Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months.


On August 8, 1689, Pound was aboard a small vessel owned by Thomas Hawkins, in the company with six other passengers when it anchored off Lovell's Island and was boarded by five additional men. By pre-arrangement, Pound and the newly arrived men from Lovell's Island then seized the ship as their own. Hawkins willingly joined the pirates; [2] he was occasionally named in Pound's place in subsequent events. [3]

Thomas Hawkins was a pirate briefly active off New England. He was known for sailing with Thomas Pound.

Pound's first encounter as a pirate was unspectacular. Sailing along the Massachusetts Coast, he encountered a fishing vessel but failed to engage. Instead, Pound had his vessel hauled alongside and purchased a supply of mackerel for eight pennies. Turning north, Pound made port in Falmouth, Maine and supplemented his small crew with soldiers who had deserted from the local garrison. Returning to sea, Pound and his men then attacked the sloop Good Speed off Cape Cod and the brigantine Merrimack among other ships in the New England area. [2]

Falmouth, Maine Town in Maine, United States

Falmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 11,185 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.

An armed sloop, Mary, was soon sent out by the Massachusetts governor against Pound and his crew. [1] On 4 October, Mary discovered and engaged Pound's vessel anchored off Naushon Island. [1] In heavy fighting Pound suffered gunshot wounds and Mary's captain, Samuel Pease, was killed. [1] Outnumbered and outgunned, Pound and his crew surrendered and were taken back to Boston for trial. On January 13, 1690, Pound and Hawkins were found guilty of acts of piracy and sentenced to death. [4]

Naushon Island Island in the United States of America

Naushon Island, part of the Elizabeth Islands, is seven miles (11 km) long, just off Cape Cod, and four statute miles (6 km) NW of Martha's Vineyard. The island is owned by the Forbes family and is included in the town of Gosnold, Massachusetts. It is the largest of the Elizabeth Islands in land area at 19.18 km² and had a permanent population of 30 persons as of the 2000 census.


Pound was placed aboard a naval vessel bound for England, where his sentence would be carried out. However, the ship was mid-voyage when it was attacked by a French privateer. Pound was released to assist with the defence, and fought bravely on behalf of his captors. On the recommendation of his ship's captain, Pound received a commutation of sentence on arrival in England and was released from prison after a short incarceration. [4] Hawkins had been sent back to England on the same ship but was killed in the action against the French privateer. [5]

Pound's naval rank was restored and he was later given command of his own vessel, his brief piratical career apparently forgotten. He died in 1703. [6]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Ellis et al., 1886, p. 479.
  2. 1 2 Radune, Richard A. (2005). Pequot Plantation: The Story of an Early Colonial Settlement. Branford CT: Research in Time Publications. pp. 247–249. ISBN   9780976434108 . Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  3. Gosse, Philip (1924). The Pirates' Who's Who by Philip Gosse. New York: Burt Franklin. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  4. 1 2 Peterson 2002, p.19
  5. Marley, David (2010). Pirates of the Americas. Santa Barbara CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 638. ISBN   9781598842012 . Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  6. Dow, George Francis; Edmonds, John Henry (2012). The Pirates of the New England Coast 1630-1730. New York: Courier Corporation. p. 70. ISBN   9780486138145 . Retrieved 6 October 2017.


See Also

Further reading