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A full and true Discovery of all the Robberies, Pyracies, and other Notorious Actions, of that Famous English Pyrate, Capt. JAMES KELLY, …

James Kelly

The text of a broadside published on the eve of his execution. Although Kelly makes but a single passing reference to Galápagos in his account, the full text is presented here so that his description of the voyage from Virginia (highlighted) can be compared with those of Cowley and Dampier. Bracketed roman numerals indicate Dampier's equivalent chapter, and [/VIII] indicates the point at which the comparison ends. Bracketed text indicates corrections, modern equivalents, missing words. Some long sections have been broken into paragraphs for readability. Most spelling and punctuation follows the original text.—JW.

In or about the Year 1680 I Shipt my self with Capt. Tho. Arnoll, my first going out of England in the Ship Viner about 330 Tuns, bound for Ginua [Guinea]. That Voyage I proceeded till I came to Germany, [?] where lay the Norwich Man of War, who seiz'd upon our Ship, and made a Prize of her. [III] Then I Shipt my self on Board of the Dolphin, Capt. Yankee Commander upon the Privateer account; the Ship was then lying in Bull-Bay, [Bull Bay, Jamaica] between Port Royal and Galliss [unknown], so the Ship having occasion of Sailes, Riging and many other necessaries, we sent a Ship into Jemaco [Jamaica (Kingston?)] loaded with Sugar, for to purchase the necessaries, that we had occasion of the Sugar taking from the Spaniards; But the Man that was put in trust with the Ship was seiz'd on and Man'd, and fitted out for to take our Ship, or our Consort; that was the Ship Buneto: Capt. Jacob, he came out on the Sunday Morning, which was a thing not usual, and when he came near the Ship, he show'd as the Sign, which he was ordered to do if all was well; the Sea Breese then setting in, he could not fetch the Ship, so he fetcht a Trip off, and our consort then riding to Windward, the other Ship tackt, and when he came within small Arm, that of our consoft, he hoisted the Kings Jack upon his Insignet Staff and call'd his Men upon Deck, which were about 70 Red Coats; then laid our Consort on board, their Men for the most part being Drunk.

So our Consort was taken, and when the Men see they were betrayed, they tumbled into the Canoe till their was so many that overset her and put them all to swiming, the Soldiers Fired at them and killed them most in the water, but them which were on board; they seiz'd on the Ship and abused them inhumanly, in somuch that if a Man had a Ring on his Finger, they would bite the whole Finger off: from thence we took our departure; not being willing to Fight against English Colours, and arrived at high Spainyolo [Hispaniola]. Then we met with a Privateer Capt. John Williams Commander, whom we Joyn'd with, so we Sail'd toward the Coast of Cathergeen [Cartagena], and in our way our Consort spying a Leak so he was forc'd to bear away to the Desambilloes, [Sambala's Islands (now San Blás)] and a Day or two following our Ruther [rudder] unhung, but mannaging her with her head Sails, we fetcht the Island Forto [Isla Fuerte], and when at Anchor we hung the Ruther again, from thence we Sail'd to the Frinds Islands [now San Bernardo, off Cartegena], which lyes off of Point Pickeroon, there we set a Man to look out upon a high Tree, he spyed a Spanish Pereoago [periagua (canoe)], so the Canoa went out for to take her, but could not come up with her, so came on board again, and a fresh going went in, and one Man being acquainted with the Creek where the Pereoago went in, and lay all Night, and took her the next Morning, she had on board Magazeen Goods and Brandy, from thence we Sailed to the River of Grandee [Rio Grande, Colombia], and from thence we Sailed to Senego [Sincalejo, Colombia?] and took it from the Spaniards, from thence we went to a great Indian Town near St. Mark [San Marcos] and took it, and one of our consorts meeting with the Beef Stantion, left 20 Men to secure the Castle [cattle?]; and while we were in the Town we were disguis'd at Sankto Mark; and raising all they could they Assaulted us and fell upon the Men that kept the Beef Stantion, and Slew all but 3 or 4, and they all were wounded save the Docter, so we hearing Guns Fired, we assailed out of the Town and came to the Beef Stantion, and found all the Men Dead save them 3, or 4 above mention'd, so return'd again to the Town; we made all ready to return to our Ship, and coming down the Spaniards lay in Ambush, but the Prisoners we then had, we kept in the middle of our Company, so marching down we took an Indian, who inform'd us that an Ambush was laid for us in such a Place; so when we came near the Ambush we Fired a Valley [volley], and they answer'd, so when they were discharg'd, we Sallyed in upon them and broke their Ambush, but having several Men Wounded but none kill'd, we then marcht down into the Ship with no more Damage.

From thence we took our departure intending for Sand Bay [unidentified, between Santa Marta and Riohacha], where we arrived and ride for some days, then spyed a Ship, she proved to be a Spaniard coming from Sancktoago on Cuby [Santiago on Cuba], loaden with Sugar, Sweet Meats and Tobacco bound from Cathergeen, but coming up with her Fired at us, and we at her again, we had 120 Guns and 8 Patareerers [patereros (swivel guns)], she had 80 Men or more each double Armed, we between 40 and 50, but having a long dispute with her till each of our Men Fired two Cattuch Boxes away, doing much damage on each side, but at length took her and went to Royal a Hatch [Riohatcha, Colombia], there we put the Capt. and all that was living on Shore, so took our departure for High Saniously [Hispaniola] at the Isle of Ash [Île à Vache, Haiti]. We met a Dutch Ship and put the Kings Tents on Board of her, desiring a Commission, which they granted, the French there living, then went towards the Coast of Cathergeon where we soon arrived, & there met a Dutch Man lying off Point Canoa, we Fired a Shot thwart his fore Foot, but he did not mind it, then we came on his Broad-side, and he Fired a Broad-side upon us, and Shot out a Head of us, but we kept him Company all that Night, and in the Morning about 10 of the Clock we took him; then Sailing to our Commission Port with the loss of a great many men, there we put on Shore the Kings Tents our men then being English, French and Dutch gave the French our share of the Man of War; for their share of the Prize, some Men going a Shore to get Water and get Ballence [ballast?], were seiz'd on by the French, who likewise Man'd the Man of War and a Bark of Longer [barco longo (long boat)], and came off and took our Ship from us and turn'd us ashore,

[illegible] or provisions we knew not, But we were forced to Grabble pattatoes out of the Ground with our Fingers; then Capt. Trustan [Tristian, in Dampier] came to me being formerly acquainted, he was Capt. of the Barko Longo, he asked me if I would go on Board with him, if he did give me any Arms and what I had on Board, only my part in the Ship he would not, to which I consented, then he desired me to get him some able Seamen, which I did, so came on Board, then Capt. Yankee Ordered Capt. Trustan in the back of Longer [the barco longo], and Jacobs in the Prize to go to Potty Guavos [Petit-Goâve, Haiti], and going about we met with a North Wind, and the Prize was put to Leward as we thought and we got into Caimcetus [uncertain], when the weather broke up, we went to Neepe [uncertain] there our Capt. went on Shore, and said he would send me a Bumboat with Brandy, Lime-Juice and Sugar, accordingly she came and we bought Brandy and Sugar, then the Frenchmen made a Bowl of Punch by the Main Hatch, and we by the Binacle, but before [that] we concluded to take the Vessel, only waited for an oppertunity, now we thought no better time could present, so I and Randal Hicks was pitcht upon, to secure their Arms in the hold it fell to my turn to go first down, then I Provided Arms for him and my self, then out did [did our] People rise against them on the Deck, having no Arms only Hand Spikes and Billets and such like, the Frenchmen seeing our Men Feirce Jumpt down the Hold thinking to get their Arms, but we prevented them and handed the Arms upon the Deck, and carried them aft, then cut the Cable in the Horse [hawse] and sent Hands up to lose the Sails, having but little Wind and could not get off Shore, we call'd the Frenchmen upon Deck, and made them Ship all our Ores [oars] and Bank her off, then having a fine Breese of Wind, we put the Frenchmen on shore to Windward of Rantan [Cabo San Román, Venezuela], then made the best of our way to the Isle of Ash, but meeting an English Ship belonging to Jemaco sent the Cornoa [canoe] on Board Sam. Cemthan Commanded her, John Cook then being Commander of our Ship;

I being well acquainted with Capt Cemthan went on Board of him with his Canoa, and I acquainted him how our business was, and how our English Men were turn'd on shore and likewise desired him to go in with his Kings Jack Ancient and Penant, and to demand the Men on Board, I going my self in with him, so Captain Cemthan went on Shore and demanded the English Men that was left heir by Capt. Yankee, his request being granted 2 or 3 came on Board with Capt. Cemthan, and then I showed my self to them and Certified them how all things was so, so one of them went on Shore and acquainted the rest how all things were, and they all came on Board: From thence we went up to Meriso [Montserrat?] & there met a French Ship about 200 tunn loaden with Wine; then went to Statia [Sint Eustatius] and took a Dutch-man in the Road lying unrig'd, loaded with Sugar and much Brandy; from thence to the Rimagodose, there lay a new English Pink who was beat over a Reefe into a Pond by bad Weather, Bound for Jemaco, so Man'd the Long-Boat to search out a Channel, we found a narrow Channel about the breadth of the Pink; the Men then belonging to the Pink were delighted to go on Shore, but we coming on Board, Clapt a Spring upon her Cable and Cast her, then lose the Sails and Cut the Spring, but going through the Channel, we stuck at length, with great trouble we got through, then we sunk our back of longer [barco longo] off Turteloy, then sailed for Virginia in the Pink: [IV] my Lord Culpepper then being Governor we sent our Master to him for admittance in, then said my Ld. if you can show any thing from any Port for what [you have] done, I will grant your request, we then show'd him our French Commission, and then sent him a present and remained there some time, then took our departure in one of our Prizes for Cape Deverde [Cape Verde] Islands, but meeting the Portsmouth Pink, who was taken by the Dutch the last Holland Wars, where we plundered her, soon after arrived to Cape Dorvord [Cape Verde], from thence to Suraclone Guinea [Sierra Leone], there took a 2 Dutch Ships, of one we made a Man of War, mounting 36 Guns in here, our own Ship we burnt, the other we gave the Dutch Men.

From thence toward the South Sea, where we soon arrived; the first Ship met with us was Capt. John Eaton in the Ship Nicholas with 20 odd Guns, but he had French Colours and we English up. [We] exchanged several shot, she not being [seeing] our English Colours, we being downing upon her she made our Colours, she made Friends and Joyn'd Consorts, then we Sailed to Wansanandus [Juan Fernandez], [V] from thence to the Coposses [Lobos], here see a Sail & took her, and Chandler held our Ship by her, lying here some time. Came 3 Spanish Ships, then we took 2 being deep loaden [but] the other light, but all with Provisions and Sugar, then Sailed to Gulipillos [Galápagos] there laid up Provision for store. From thence to Port [illegible] Vallice [Golfo Dulce?] then Waterred [and] from thence to Amipolo [Amapala, Honduras]. There made a hulk of the Prize and lay Guard Ship while Capt. Eaton Careen'd;. Then he for us, from thence to the Southward, but not agreeing parted, then sailed to [VI] Plato [Isla Plata, Ecuador], Eaton meeting us there would have joyn'd us again, we would not; then we went to the Southward, [VII] but finding no Purchase went to Pene [Islas Perlas, Bay of Panama], now riding there came a great many French Men, some English with them, the French we gave a Prize that we took, but the English we took on Board our Ship, the mean while the Spaniards fitted out a Fire Ship from Poneman [Panama] but coming off about the Dead time of the Night, we made our Pottebague [??] and met her, demanding her to come to Anchor, they would not, but coming nigh to their Ship went into their Cannon and set the Ship on Fire, but she fell in between our Ship & the Fireship & did no damage. Then came over 500 English Men, & some time afterwards came the Spanish Almado [Armada] to take us, we fought the Almado from Sun rise to Sun Set, they being 9 Sail, we 2. Then meeting about 4 Sail, whom the English Men met and took, [VIII] we joyn'd and Sail'd to Rialaba [Ria Lexa], and landed and took the City La__m [León] lying some time in the City, but getting little or no Purchase we return'd again, for we were depriv'd, for they had carryed the Money and Goods into the Country.

[/VIII] From thence I went to Barbados, from thence to Jemaco. In a small time after King William was Proclaimed, and [we] were with the French; so I shipt myself in a Privateer, Captin Thomas He_rison Commander: But he and his people not Agreeing, they would not go were he would have them, they having some shares in the Ship, would go were they Pleased Themselves; the Captin not willing to go with them; left this ship, went on board the Dimond Slupe [Diamond sloop]. We went toward the Mederas [Madeira], I James Kelly being then Commander, where we arrived, then took Poosa [?] but did no harm, only taking Profision; from thence to the Canarys, where came the Vice Consul, who we detained as a Prisoner, till such time as he had confest the strength of the Town and how we should take it, and what quantity of Men there was, which he agreed, but we could do no good, so from theence to the Cape Deverds, and took a Portagees out of Sancto Oago [Sao Tiago, Cape Verde], lying in the Road bound for Brasel. Loading with Reime [?]; then Sail'd to Fogo, and put the Prisoners Ashore from thence to the Island Boare [Is. Brava?], made a Hulk of the Prize, and Creen'd the Ship. And then Sail'd for the East Indias, arived at Madages [Madagascar].

And From thence we Sail'd toward Chancy [?], expecting to Touch at the Chean Sumar [?], but the night before we made Achean [Achin, Northern Sumatra], we lay by; then the Men Rose, and took the Ship in there owne Possesion and kill'd the Captain. The Conspiracy was first made by his own Men, he using them so Cruely formerly; then being told the new comers which being 9 consented, but I understanding they had a mind to kill the Captin would not consent, when the Ship was going to be taken, by perswasion I took the Gunroom, not thinking they would kill the Captin, I being a Commander formally [formerly], some would have had me Captain; but by reason I would not consent to kill Captain Eachcom, others would not. The next Morning made Sail toward the Chean, when Night, we ask'd who would go Ashore them that would, only 2 or 3 detained on force, when the Boat went on Shore them that was on board, took up Armes; then Sail'd for Merga [Mergui Archipelago] in the King of Syarns [Siam] Country, came to an Anchor at an Island, the Commander going on Shore with some Men; but when on Shore, happened to meet with some of the Men we left at Achean, our Captain then went to the Governer, who being very Inquisitive to know from whence we came, the Captain Resolved him, and askt him whether we might have the liberty to Clean our Ship there, the Governer said, he could not, but desired to go to the Vice Roy, where he went, who granted him necessary leave to clean our Ship; then Departed Sailing toward Lincombar [Nicobar] Island, there we Wooded and Wattred, and got such necessarys as the island afforded. From thence we Sail'd to the Coast of Pumatra [Sumatra], there we took a Portugalls Ship Bound to Chancnoako [?] with the Vice King on Board, then met with Captin Hide bound to China, company Trading Ship came from Bumbay [Bombay], so Sailing up to him, he asked what we wanted [and] we said what he had; but neither Ship nor he, then he said you must Fight for it, so we did, doing much Damage on both sides, parted; after took several Chanseeses [Chinese?], one great Ship, we Carried to the Negrese in the King of Peguse Country, there Detained two English Ships belonging to Madeross [Madras?] till our Ship was Careened; mean time come on the King of Syames Ships, then fitted the Bregaten [brigantine?], and took her, and put the Men on Shore, from thence to Cape Cormerans [Cape Comorin, India], and there met two Portugese Ships from Chaney [China?], took one, the other fled; then took Captain Wilicks belonging to Bangal [Bengal] & Sunk her for fear of being discovered, detaind the Men on board till our Cruse was out, then took a Moars [Moorish?] Pink, the Captin went on Shore, at the Kings Island [Ceylon?], Desiring to Trade with them, they would not, then took several of the Island, and then to the Coast of Sumatra, for to look for a watering Place, but met a Mallayan Privateer, we clapt them on board with the long boat, but they kill'd all our Men, but three, and two of them were Wounded, so left her making the best of our way to Madegascar then we left the Ship, and Dwelt on Shore, till Captain Kidd came when his Men left him we went on board the Moekoa; so I went Home along with him and then was put in Prision, where I remaind till I was call'd to my Tryal at the old Baily, before the Court of Admiralty the 21th of June last; where I was found guilty of Pyracy, tho I deny'd it, by Endeavouring to insinuate, that I was then at the Isle of Rhod. [Rhode Island?] in new England, but justice taking place, I received Sentance of Death. I made all the Intrest possible for a Repreeve to both the Sheriffs, and other Magistrate, but finding all hopes of a Pardon inefectual; I applyd my self to Devotion in order for my Souls Welfare. I do Confess I was on board when Captain Edgcomb was kill'd, and did consent to the Seizing the Ship, but not to his Death, tho I knew he was kill'd while I was below Deck;

I had something more to say; but tomorrow being the Day of my Execution; my thoughts are took up on things of a higher moment; I desire that this Paper may be Printed and Published, to prevent all false and Sham Accounts that may (perhaps) be set forth in my Name, to Impose on the Publick.

And I hope this my sad Fate, will be a warning to Lude Sea Men, and notorious Pyrates, whatsoever.

I am the unfortunate,

James Kelly

July the 11th 1700.

Printed According to Order.