Captain John Phillips’ Articles 1724



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.

john_phillips-forces liquor-on-prisioner
Captain John Phillips forcing wine on a prisioner


Crew of the Revenge
Captain John Phillips

I  Every Man Shall obey civil Command ; the Captain shall have one full Share and a half of all Prizes ; the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain and Gunner shall have one Share and quarter.

II  If any Man shall offer to run away, or keep any Secret from the Company, he shall be marroon’d with one Bottle of Powder, one Bottle of Water, one small Arm, and Shot.

III  If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the Value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marroon’d or shot.

IV  If any time we shall meet another Marroner that Man shall sign his Articles without the Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.

V  That Man that shall strike another whilst these Articles are in force, shall receive Moses’s Law (that is, 40 Stripes lacking one) on the bare Back.

VI  That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoak Tobacco in the Hold, without a Cap to his Pipe, or carry a Candle lighted without a Lanthorn, shall suffer the same Punishment as in the former Article.

VII That Man shall not keep his Arms clean, fit for an Engagement, or neglect his Business, shall be cut off from his Share, and suffer such other Punishment as the Captain and the Company shall think fit.

VIII  If any Man shall lose a Joint in time of an Engagement, shall have 400 Pieces of Eight ; if a Limb, 800.

IX  If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer present Death.