Articles were an important agreement between the crew and the captain of any pirate vessel because they spelled out the conditions under which the crew would agree to sail with the pirate captain. A privateer’s ship did not have Articles because they were governed by naval regulations which they seldom followed. Privateers were little better than pirates.
Below is the text of Captain George Lowther’s Articles 1729.
George Lowther & His Company
The Captain is to have two full Shares; the Master is to have one share and a half; the Doctor, Mate, Gunner & Boatswain, one Share and a quarter.
He that shall be found Guilty of taking up any unlawful Weapon on Board the Privateer, or any Prize, by us taken, so as to strike or abuse one another, in any regard, shall suffer what Punishment the Captain and Majority of the Company shall think fit.
He that shall be found Guilty of Cowardice, in the Time of Engagement, shall suffer what punishment the Captain and Majority shall think fit.
If any Gold, Jewels, Silver, &c. be found on Board of any Prizes, to the value of a Piece of Eight ; & the Finder do not deliver it to the Quarter-Master, in the Space of 24 Hours, shall suffer what Punishment the Captain and Majority shall think fit.
He that is found Guilty of Gaming, or Defrauding another to the Value of a Shilling, shall suffer what Punishment the Captain and Majority of the Company shall think fit.
He that shall have the Misfortune to lose a Limb, in time of Engagement, shall have the sum of one hundred and fifty Pounds Sterling, and remain with the Company as long as he shall think fit.
Good Quarters will be given when called for.
He that sees a Sail first, shall have the best Pistol, or Small-Arm, on Board her.