Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Pirate's Life & Ironic Death

Thomas Pound and Thomas Hawkins were indicted by a grand jury for piracy. Among the grand jurors was my 9th great-grandfather, John Capen. 

Pound had initially hired Hawkins to take him on a fishing vessel to Nantasket but soon after they were under sail, revealed his true purpose of becoming a pirate and invited Hawkins to join him in his venture. Hawkins agreed. They abandoned the fishing vessel and confiscated a ketch, the “Mary.” Sailing into Casco Bay (Portland, Maine), they sent a man ashore with a fictional tale that they had been attacked and needed assistance. They stole the arms and clothing of the soldiers who came to help them and also took a calf and three sheep. As they sailed for Cape Cod, they “traded” ships for a larger sloop, the “Good Speed,” owned by David Larkin. 

Pound taunted the governor of Boston and said that anyone who dared to come after the pirates would die. Near the New Hampshire border they relieved another ship of its cargo of flour, sugar, rum, and tobacco. Eventually a Nor’easter forced the ship away and it sailed to Virginia. Hawkins and Pound had a falling out and Hawkins attempted to escape on a Portuguese whaler but the captain, Jacobus Loper, decided that turning Hawkins over to the authorities in Boston was a better idea. Shortly thereafter, Pound and fourteen other pirates were captured after a battle with authorities that left both sides with casualties. 

The pirates were found guilty of piracy and murder and sentenced to be “hanged by the neck until they be dead.” At the last possible moment, word came that Governor had postponed the hanging and eventually Pound and Hawkins were exiled rather than executed.

Now for the ironic twist, the “Rose,” carrying Pound and Hawkins into exile was attacked by a French privateer armed with thirty guns. Hawkins would die from his wounds after this battle near Cape Sable Island (off Nova Scotia).  Pound faired much better and ended up a country gentleman in England and died in 1703.

John Capen - on grand jury for Thomas Hawkins
James Capen & Hannah Lawrence
James Capen & Elizabeth Call
James Capen & Sarah Pinson
Thomas Capen & Mary Wyman
Thomas Capen & Mary Abbott
Timothy Capen & Sarah K. Abbott
Edward Abbott Capen & Mary Jane Abbott
Fanny May Capen & Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Edward Abbott Capen & Mary Jane Abbott were second cousins - Timothy Capen's sister, Deborah was Mary Jane's grandmother. Deborah married William Ackley - their daughter, Sarah Ackley married John Abbott and they were the parents of Mary Jane. 

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