1717 Piracy Case of the Vice Admiralty

Piracy on the High Seas

Richard Caverley, a terror along the east coast, was tried in the court of the British Vice Admiralty in 1717 for crimes of piracy. Caverley's associate, Jeremiah Higgins, had once been a crew member of the ship St. Stephen, but had abandoned this post for a life as a pirate.

This collection consists of three archival documents, which offer a piece of the case the Vice Admiralty built against Caverley. The testimony of an eye witness to Caverley's criminal acts is found in the examination of Jonathan Brodrick, who survived capture by Caverly, Palgrave Williams, Caverley's boss and captain of the pirate vessel Mary Anne, and Higgins. Secondly, former underlings of Caverley, John Russell and James Vine seek a pardon from the Vice Admiralty for the "error of their ways" in the Petition document. The last item is the arrest warrant for the pirate Richard Caverley, which includes a physical description for the officers of the law to better acquaint themselves with the criminal.

The original items displayed on this site had been digitized from the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration's Northeast Regional office in New York located at 201 Varick Street, NY, NY. This material belongs to a larger collection of court records pertaining to the Vice Admiralty from 1685 until 1775.

Valid XHTML 1.0!