George Lowther Plunders Slaver 1723

Admiralty Report

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About George Lowther Plunders a Slaver 1723
This report is about the pirate George Lowther taking a Slave Ship off the coast of Africa. With so many anti-pirate fleets on the Spanish Main (South America) many pirates relocated to Madagascar a large island off the southeast coast of Africa. It was a lucrative area for plunder.

The Pirate George Lowther Plunders a Slaver. Below is the text of George Lowther Plunders a Slaver 1723.

Admiralty Report

The Princess Galley was nearing the end of a voyage which had taken her from London to the west coast of Africa where she had picked up a cargo of slaves to take to the English owned plantations on the island of Barbados in the West Indies. On September 14, 1723 she was approached by a sloop flying the black flag at her masthead. As the sloop drew closer, they saw that she was armed with eight guns on her main deck and ten swivel guns mounted along the rails. There were between thirty and forty pirates on board lead by the pirate captain George Lowther.

Captain John Wickstead set more sail and endeavored to escape, but the heavily laden merchant ship was no match for the faster sloop, which gained on her steadily and began firing her guns. At eight o’clock in the evening the pirates came alongside and the chase was over. Captain Wickstead was ordered to send a boat across. The merchant’s longboat was hoisted over the side and rowed across to the pirate ship. Several pirates jumped into the boat and were ferried back to the Princess Galley.

The next twenty-four hours were a nightmare for Wickstead and his crew. John Crawford, the ship’s surgeon, who was twenty-five, and the second mate, Goldsmith Blowers, twenty-four, were held down while lighted fuses were put between their fingers to force them to reveal the whereabouts of the gold. The pirates were soon in the possession of twenty-four ounces of gold, and proceeded to ransack the ship. They seized the gunpowder, pistols, the gunner’s stores and bosun’s stores. They removed two quarterdeck guns and two swivel guns and sent them across to the pirate sloop. Eleven black slaves valued at £500 were taken as well.

Two seamen with specialist skills were forced to join the pirate crew: they were the ship’s carpenter and the surgeon’s mate. Two other mates joined the pirates of their own accord by voluntarily signing the “Articles of Regulation” of the pirates’ ship.

Having stripped the Princess Galley of everything of value, the pirates sailed away.

September 14, 1723