From "The Rogue's Library" UNDER THE BLACK FLAG.BY DON C. SEITZ.I already had gotten this article from Jim.We will see how this works.The article is about 3 pages long.
OF WILLIAM FLY
In April, 1726, Captain Green of Bristol shipped William Fly at Jamaica as boatswain for
his snow, the Elizabeth, homeward bound... No sooner was the man well ensconced on
board than he began to sound out other members of the crew with the object of inducing
them to join him in seizing the vessel and turning pirate. He had, it would appear, seen
some service under the black flag and longed for more this time as a commander. A
majority of the men were in a short time .brought into accord and. at one o'clock on the
morning of May 27, :1726, Fly, being in charge of the watch, went up to Maurice Condon,
,who was taking his turn at the wheel, and warned himthat ifhe stirred from the post or
made a sound he would meet with instant death.The conspirators, who included beside
Fly, Alexander Mitchel, Henry Hill, Samuel Cole, and others, took charge of the ship Fly;
and Mitchel, each armed with a cutlass, then aroused the. capt in who had been asleep
in his cabin and ordered him to turn out. On asking the reason therefor the captain was
again told to turn out to save the trouble of scraping the cabin floor and rinsing it of his
blood. He was further informed that Fly was now in command.
Green made no resistance, but pleaded his uniform good treatment of all as a reason for
preserving his life, expressing a willingness to wear irons until he could be put on shore.
"Ay, to live and hang us," replied Fly. At this he was dragged from his berth and forced to
the deck,:where he again made an earnest. plea for his life, urging that he was not fit to
"die' with his sins on his soul.
"Since he is so devilish godly," cried Fly, "we'll give him time to say his prayers.I'll be
parson. Say after me, Lord have mercy on me..' Short prayers are best, so no more words,
and over with him, my. lads"
The retched skipper still cried for mercy; but was ruthlessly hurled over the side.In his
fall he caught the main-sheet and there clung, at which Thomas Winthrop, taking the
carpenter's broad-ax, cut off his hand, so that he dropped, into the. sea and disappeared
from view. Thomas Jenkins, the mate,.was brought to the deck and his prayers for his life
fell equally upon deaf ears and he, too, was seized to be thrown into the sea. Making some
resistance in his struggles, he was struck with the broad ax. Aim at his head failing, his
shoulder was deeply gashed and he was at once-hurled overboard.The poor man swam
about the ship, calling upon -the surgeon to throw him a rope, but that personage lay snug
in his cabin, well manacled by the mutineers. Some discussion followed as to the disposal
of the medico, but his life was finally spared in the belief that there might be need for his
Fly was now proclaimed captain and put in possession of the great cabin. A bowl of punch
was set upon the table and Maurice Condon, the helmsman brought down, a mutineer,
John Fitzherbert, taking his place at the tiller. The .carpenter and a seaman, Thomas
Streaton, not in the conspiracy, were also taken below, where Fly told them they were all
rascals who richly deserved to follow the captain and mate, but would be spared, at least
to the extent of not being killed in cold blood. They were accordingly placed in irons. A ship
coming within hail was found to be the Pompey, which had followed them ,from Jamaica,
whose master inquired after Captain Green's health and was told he was very well. The
wisdom of attacking the Pompey was debated and decided in the negative and the
Elizabeth, now called Fame's Revenge, put about-for the Carolinas.
Off Charleston bar they were discerned by Captain Fulker, of the sloop, John and Hannah;
lying within, who, thinking they might want a pilot, put out in, a small boat with his mate,
William Atkinson, and several other passengers, to bring her in. They were received on
board very civilly by Fly, who invited them into the cabin to partake of some punch: Once
in the cabin Fly told them he was no man to mince matters and that he and his companions
were gentlemen of Fortune. who had decided the John and Hannah was a better craft than
their own and he would save time and his life by bringing her out in exchange. To this end
he sent Fulker with six hands in a boat to bring the sloop outside to the Fame's Revenge
lying about mile off .off shore. The wind proving contrary, the sloop could not be moved
and the boat returned bringing Fulker. Atthis Fly flew into a violent passion and, after
cursing Fulker for a lying dog, when he gave the wind as his reason, ordered him stripped
and flogged, which was done with brutal thoroughness. Fly then said the vessel would
either be brought off or burned. The boat went in again and worked the sloop as far as the
bar, when she bilged and sank. The pirates's set the wreck on fire but the flames ran out
without doing their work.
Fulker and his friends begged to be put ashore and were told they would be transferred
to the first vessel encountered. On the 5th of June they sailed from the coast and on the
6th chased the John and Berry, bound from Barbados to the Guinea coast. The
Guineaman fled but was pursued through the night and overtaken the next morning, when,
the wind coming to a calm, she was easily captured. They found nothing of value on board
save some small arms, which were taken and six of the seamen impressed, while Fulker
and his companions were set on board, except Atkinson and the mate, who were detained.
Atkinson had, to the knowledge of the pirates, been master of the Bonita, a brigantine, and
knew the New England coast. He demanded his liberty, which was refused with a volley
of curses by Fly, which ended in the declaration that he would have to stay and perform
his duty as pilot, like an honest man.
After they headed for New England a coaster sloop was taken off the Delaware capes. Fly
put Atkinson on board of her with three of his own hands under orders to keep company.
This he did for twenty four hours, but when Fly found her of no use. she was released and
Atkinson was taken again on board of the snow, with instructions to pilot her into Martha's
Vineyard. Atkinson wilfully ran by, when Fly, finding their position to be beyond Nantucket,
threatened his life as an obstinate villain. He called for a pistol and would have killed him
on the spot, but Mitchel intervened and saved his life. Atkinson then changed his tactics
and began to ingratiate himself with the crew, with such success that they offered him the
command, as Fly was no better than a boatswain and not fit for the office. Atkinson, while
keeping them in this humor evaded the responsibility, but did not serve to halt the hostility
of Fly who several times wished him thrown overboard, but he was always protected by the
crew and much less roughly used. A fishing schooner was stopped and seized, her captain
and crew being dispossessed. To save himself the fisherman gave word of a better vessel
that was near.
Fly put six pirates and George Tasker, a forced man, on board the smack and sent her in
pursuit of the other, leaving with himself on the snow but three of his own men and fifteen
of the forcedseamen, thus being outnumbered five to one. Atkinson, on perceiving this,
took heart and resolved to capture the vessel and so free himself from the dangerous and
detestable bondage he endured. Several fishing boats coming into sight, he called to Fly
to come forward and observe them with his glass, which he did, leaving his arms behind
on the quarter deck. Two of the pressed men, Walker and Pembroke, quickly seized the
weapons and so .armed overpowered Fly. The three other's were easily secured. This was
all done by Atkinson and his two associates.The other pressed men stood inactive during
the proceedings. Atkinson now took charge of the snow and sailed her into Brewster, in
Barnstable County on Cape Cod, where they arrived June 28, 1729.On the fourth of July
following, Fly and his three companions, viz:Samuel Cole, George Condick, and Henry
Greenville were placed on trial in Boston, before a special court of the Admiralty, William
Dummer, His Majesty's Lieutenant-Governor, presiding, assisted by eighteen gentlemen
of the Council. All were found guilty of murder andpiracy and were hanged on the 12th
of July. Before going to the gallows the wretches were treated on July 10th to a sermon
by the Rev. Benjamin Colman, pastor of the Manifesto Church and a brother-in of Sir
William Pepperell. It was later printed under the Title:"!t is a fearful thing to fall into the
hands of a living Cod. A sermon preached to some miserable pirates . . . on the Lord's Day
Colman, in a footnote to his published sermon- observes: " Fly refused to come into public.
I moved the others for his sake to let me preach to them in private, but they said it was the
last Sabbaththey had to live and they earnestly desired to be in an assembly of
worshippers, that they might have the Prayers of many together over them, and that others
might take the more warning by them."
After death Fly was hung in chains at Nix's Mate at the harbor entrance where his bones
rattled a warning to reckless seamen for many a day thereafter. No record appears of the
seven sent away in the schooner.
Organized piracy now disappeared for the balance of the century.
When I receive the other articles from Jim, I will post them.