Thomas Sutton (pirate)

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Thomas Sutton (1699-1722) was a pirate from Berwick, Scotland, active off the coast of Africa. [1] He was best known for sailing alongside Bartholomew Roberts.

North Berwick town in Scotland

North Berwick is a seaside town and former royal burgh in East Lothian, Scotland. It is situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, approximately 25 miles (40 km) east-northeast of Edinburgh. North Berwick became a fashionable holiday resort in the nineteenth century because of its two sandy bays, the East Bay and the West Bay, and continues to attract holidaymakers. Golf courses at the ends of each bay are open to visitors.

Bartholomew Roberts Welsh pirate

Bartholomew Roberts, born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy as measured by vessels captured, taking over 400 prizes in his career. He is also known as Black Bart, but this name was never used in his lifetime.



General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates - Captain Bartholomew Roberts with two Ships, Royal Fortune and Ranger General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates - Captain Bartholomew Roberts with two Ships.jpg
General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates - Captain Bartholomew Roberts with two Ships, Royal Fortune and Ranger

Thomas Sutton had been a gunner aboard Howell Davis' 32-gun Royal Rover as they cruised off the Gold Coast taking a number of prizes in 1719. Davis tried tricking the governor of Principe into boarding his ship; the governor saw through his deception, turned the tables, and had his soldiers ambush and kill Davis as he came ashore. The Rover's crew elected former prisoner Bartholomew Roberts as their new captain. Sutton continued sailing with Roberts, even as Thomas Anstis and Walter Kennedy abandoned Roberts by stealing the prize ships he had given them to command.

Howell Davis Welsh pirate

Howell Davis, also known as Hywel and/or Davies, was a Welsh pirate. His piratical career lasted just 11 months, from 11 July 1718 to 19 June 1719, when he was ambushed and killed. His ships were the Cadogan, Buck, Saint James, and Rover. Davis captured 15 known English and French ships.

Gold Coast (region)

The Gold Coast was the name for a region on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa that was rich in gold and also in petroleum, sweet crude oil and natural gas. It now forms the country of Ghana.

Thomas Anstis English pirate

Thomas Anstis was an early 18th-century pirate, who served under Captain Howell Davis and Captain Bartholomew Roberts, before setting up on his own account, raiding shipping on the eastern coast of the American colonies and in the Caribbean during what is often referred to as the "Golden Age of Piracy".

Roberts took a large number of prize ships and amassed a huge crew during his cruises. In 1721 near the coast of Guinea two French ships pursued Roberts but were themselves captured. Roberts renamed one Little Ranger and gave command of it to James Skyrme to use as a storeship; the other, Comte de Toulouse, he renamed Ranger and selected Thomas Sutton as captain. [2]

James Skyrme was a Welsh pirate best known for Captaining two of Bartholomew Roberts’ prize ships.

The fleet captured a number of other vessels near Sierra Leone and Liberia, stopping in December 1721 to careen on Annobon. There Roberts gave command of the Ranger to James Skyrme. In February 1722 Roberts's Royal Fortune and its two escorts were intercepted by the warship HMS Swallow under Captain Chaloner Ogle. The ensuing battle was fierce; Skyrme was maimed and Roberts was killed, and all three ships were captured.

Sierra Leone republic in West Africa

Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests. The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature. Sierra Leone has a dominant unitary central government. The president is the head of state and the head of government. The country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area. These regions are subdivided into sixteen districts.

Liberia republic in West Africa

Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its northwest, Guinea to its north, Ivory Coast to its east, and the Atlantic Ocean to its south-southwest. It covers an area of 111,369 square kilometers (43,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 4,700,000 people. English is the official language and over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous ethnic groups who make up more than 95% of the population. The country's capital and largest city is Monrovia.

Chaloner Ogle Royal Navy admiral of the fleet

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Chaloner Ogle KB was a Royal Navy officer and politician. After serving as a junior officer during the Nine Years' War, a ship he was commanding was captured by three French ships off Ostend in July 1706 in an action during the War of the Spanish Succession.

Imprisoned, Sutton was chained in the hold next to a man who prayed constantly. When the man said he hoped to achieve Heaven, Sutton responded:

"Heaven, you Fool, did you ever hear of any Pyrates going thither? Give me Hell, it's a merrier Place; I'll give Roberts a Salute of 13 Guns at Entrance." [3]

Ogle took the prisoners to Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, where most were tried and convicted. Some were sentenced to labor in the mines or simply hanged. Sutton had been among a group of Roberts' officers known as the "House of Lords" - sailors who had stayed with Roberts since his early days - and had been called "Lord Sutton". [4] In the end he was among 18 pirates hung "in chains", gibbeted:

Cape Coast Castle fortification

Cape Coast Castle is one of about forty "slave castles", or large commercial forts, built on the Gold Coast of West Africa by European traders. It was originally built by the Swedes for trade in timber and gold, but later used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Other Ghanaian slave castles include Elmina Castle and Fort Christiansborg. They were used to hold slaves before they were loaded onto ships and sold in the Americas, especially the Caribbean. This "gate of no return" was the last stop before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Ghana Republic in West Africa

Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.

"YOU Dav. Simpson, William Magnes, R. Hardy, Tho. Sutton, Christopher Moody, and Val. Ashplant.
Ye, and each of you, are adjudged and sentenced, to be carried back to the Place from whence ye came, from thence to the Place of Execution, without the Gates of this Castle, and there within the Flood-Marks, to be hanged by the Neck till ye are dead.
After this, ye, and each of you shall be taken down, and your Bodies hanged in Chains." [5]

See also

Battle of Cape Lopez

The Battle of Cape Lopez was fought in early 1722 during the Golden Age of Piracy. A British man-of-war under Captain Chaloner Ogle defeated the pirate ship of Bartholomew Roberts off the coast of Gabon, West Africa.

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  1. Sanders, Richard (2007). If a Pirate I Must Be...: The True Story of Black Bart, King of the Caribbean Pirates. New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc. ISBN   9781602390195 . Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  2. Humanity, History of. "Infamous Pirates | Bartholomew Roberts". Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  3. "Quotations From Real Pirates". Owlcation. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  4. Conlin, Dan (2009). Pirates of the Atlantic: Robbery, Murder and Mayhem Off the Canadian East Coast. Halifax: Formac Publishing Company Limited. p. 32. ISBN   9780887807411 . Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  5. Johnson, Captain Charles (1724). The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Pyrates, by Daniel Defoe. London. Retrieved 7 June 2017.