Thomas Wake (pirate)

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Thomas Wake (died 1697) was a pirate from Newport. Active during the Golden Age of Piracy, he is best known for sailing alongside Thomas Tew to join Henry Every in the Indian Ocean, hunting the Moghul treasure fleet.

Newport, Rhode Island City in Rhode Island, United States

Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, located approximately 33 miles (53 km) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island, 20 miles (32 km) south of Fall River, Massachusetts, 73 miles (117 km) south of Boston, and 180 miles (290 km) northeast of New York City. It is known as a New England summer resort and is famous for its historic mansions and its rich sailing history. It was the location of the first U.S. Open tournaments in both tennis and golf, as well as every challenge to the America's Cup between 1930 and 1983. It is also the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport, which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and an important Navy training center. It was a major 18th-century port city and also contains a high number of buildings from the Colonial era.

Golden Age of Piracy outbursts of piracy in maritime history from the 1650s to the 1730s

The Golden Age of Piracy is a common designation given to usually one or more outbursts of piracy in the maritime history of the early modern period. In its broadest accepted definition, the Golden Age of Piracy spans the 1650s to the late 1720s and covers three separate outbursts of piracy:

  1. The buccaneering period of approximately 1650 to 1680, characterized by Anglo-French seamen based on Jamaica and Tortuga attacking Spanish colonies and shipping in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific
  2. The Pirate Round of the 1690s, associated with long-distance voyages from the Americas to rob Muslim and East India Company targets in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea
  3. The post-Spanish Succession period extending from 1716 to 1726, when Anglo-American sailors and privateers left unemployed by the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, turned en masse to piracy in the Caribbean, the North American eastern seaboard, the West African coast, and the Indian Ocean
Thomas Tew American pirate

Thomas Tew, also known as the Rhode Island Pirate, was a 17th-century English privateer-turned-pirate. He embarked on two major piratical voyages and met a bloody death on the second journey, and he pioneered the route which became known as the Pirate Round. Many other famous pirates followed in his path, including Henry Every and William Kidd.



In 1694 a number of Rhode Island pirate vessels prepared to take to sea, ostensibly for privateering. Among them were Tew (preparing for his second voyage), Joseph Faro, William Mays, Richard Want, and Thomas Wake in his 100-ton, 10-gun, 70-man barque Susanna [1] (sometimes Susannah or Susana), which had been fitted out in Boston. Wake had already accepted King James's general amnesty for pirates [2] and had been granted a privateering commission from the governor. Wake may have set sail from Rhode Island alongside pirate trader Tempest Rogers, who would later be accused of trading in William Kidd's looted East India goods. [3]

Joseph Faro was a pirate from Newport active during the Golden Age of Piracy, primarily in the Indian Ocean. He is best known for sailing alongside Thomas Tew to join Henry Every’s pirate fleet which captured and looted the fabulously rich Mughal ship Gunsway.

William May was a pirate active in the Indian Ocean. He was best known for taking over William Kidd’s ship Blessed William and sailing with Henry Avery.

Richard Want was a pirate active in the Indian Ocean. He is best known for sailing alongside Thomas Tew and Henry Every.

After a time at sea Wake, Tew, and the other three captains met with Henry Every's ship Fancy and awaited the treasure fleet. Most of the fleet slipped past in the night but two were straggling (including the massive and heavily laden Gunsway) and the pirates gave chase. Except for Faro's Portsmouth Adventure, the smaller ships couldn't keep pace with Every's 46-gun Man-Of-War and were unable to join the fight. As a consequence Wake and his crew received no shares of the enormous treasure haul. [4]

Wake and the Susanna visited Adam Baldridge's pirate trading post on Madagascar in 1695 (Baldridge called him "Thomas Weak"). [4] They careened the ship there and did some trading, but most of the crew took sick, and in April 1696 Wake, the ship's master, and many of the crew died of illness. William Kidd had been granted a commission in 1695 to hunt a number of named pirates, Thomas Wake among them; Kidd instead turned to piracy himself, but Wake died before they met. [5]

Adam Baldridge was an English pirate and one of the early founders of the pirate settlements in Madagascar.

Madagascar island nation off the coast of Southeast Africa, in the Indian Ocean

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

Careening practice of grounding a sailing vessel at high tide in order to expose one side of its hull for maintenance and repairs

Careening is the practice of grounding a sailing vessel at high tide in order to expose one side of its hull for maintenance and repairs below the water line when the tide goes out.

The remaining crew took the Susanna to Saint Augustine and joined with Captain Hore (John Hoar) on the pirate ship John and Rebecca. [6] The Susanna's ill luck followed them: when Hoar and his crew called at Baldridge's settlement in 1697 to consider retiring, the Malagasay natives began an uprising, and a number of pirates with their captains - including Hoar and many of his crew (some formerly Wake's) - were killed. [7]

Saint Augustin, Madagascar Place in Toliara, Madagascar

Saint Augustin is a town and commune in Madagascar. It belongs to the district of Toliara II, which is a part of Atsimo-Andrefana Region. The population of the commune was estimated to be approximately 15,000 in 2001 commune census. The mouth of the Onilahy River is near the town.

John Hoar was a pirate and privateer active in the late 1690s in the Red Sea area.

See also

George Dew (1666–1703) was a pirate, privateer, and buccaneer. He once sailed alongside William Kidd and Thomas Tew, and his career took him from Newfoundland to the Caribbean to the coast of Africa.

Related Research Articles

William Kidd Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean

William Kidd, also Captain William Kidd or simply Captain Kidd, was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians, for example Sir Cornelius Neale Dalton, deem his piratical reputation unjust.

Adventure Galley, also known as Adventure, was an English sailing ship captained by William Kidd, the notorious privateer. She was a type of hybrid ship that combined square rigged sails with oars to give her manoeuvrability in both windy and calm conditions. The vessel was launched at the end of 1695 and was acquired by Kidd the following year to serve in his privateering venture. Between April 1696 and April 1698, she travelled thousands of miles across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in search of pirates but failed to find any until nearly the end of her travels. Instead, Kidd himself turned pirate in desperation at not having obtained any prizes. Adventure Galley succeeded in capturing two vessels off India and brought them back to Madagascar, but by the spring of 1698 the ship's hull had become so rotten and leaky that she was no longer seaworthy. She was stripped of anything movable and sunk off the north-eastern coast of Madagascar. Her remains have not yet been located.

Captain Samuel Burgess was a member of Captain William Kidd's crew in 1690 when the Blessed William was seized by Robert Culliford and some of the crew, with William May named as Captain.

Dirk Chivers was a Dutch pirate active in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean during the 1690s.

The Pirate Round was a sailing route followed by certain mainly English pirates, during the late 17th century and early 18th century. The course led from the western Atlantic, parallel to the Cape Route around the southern tip of Africa, stopping at Madagascar, then on to targets such as the coast of Yemen and India. The Pirate Round was briefly used again during the early 1720s. Pirates who followed the route are sometimes referred to as Roundsmen. The Pirate Round was largely co-extensive with the routes of the East India Company ships, of Britain and other nations.


The Ganj-i-Sawai was an armed Ghanjah dhow belonging to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb which, along with her escort Fateh Muhammed, was captured on 7 September 1695 by the English pirate Henry Every en route from present day Mocha, Yemen to Surat, India.

Abraham Samuel, also known as "Tolinar Rex," born in Martinique, was a mulatto pirate of the Indian Ocean in the days of the Pirate Round in the late-1690s. Being shipwrecked on his way back to New York, he briefly led a combined pirate-Antanosy kingdom from Fort Dauphin, Madagascar, from 1697 until he died there in 1705.

John Ireland was a pirate active in the Indian Ocean. He is best known for sailing with Thomas Tew.

Robert Colley was an American pirate active near Newfoundland and the Indian Ocean.

Robert Glover was an Irish-American pirate active in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean area in the late 1690s.

Richard Glover was a pirate and slave-trader active in the Caribbean and the Red Sea in the late 1690s.

Richard Bobbington was a pirate active in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf in the late 1690s.

Thomas Mostyn was a sea captain and slave trader active between New York and the Indian Ocean, and later in the Caribbean. He was one of the traders employed by New York merchant Frederick Philipse to smuggle supplies to the pirates of Madagascar.

Edward Woodman was a pirate active in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.


  1. Geake, Robert A. (2013). The New England Mariner Tradition: Old Salts, Superstitions, Shanties and Shipwrecks. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN   9781625847041.
  2. "America and West Indies: December 1696, 11-20 | British History Online". BHO/British History Online. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  3. Office, Great Britain Public Record (1908). Calendar of State Papers: Colonial Series ... London: Longman. pp. 486–487. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  4. 1 2 Jameson, John Franklin (1923). Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period: Illustrative Documents. Macmillan.
  5. Brennan, Stephen (2011). The Best Pirate Stories Ever Told. New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc. ISBN   9781616082185.
  6. Marley, David (2010). Pirates of the Americas. California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN   9781598842012.
  7. Boogaerde, Pierre Van den (2009). Shipwrecks of Madagascar. New York: Strategic Book Publishing. ISBN   9781612043395.