Fan of Full Fathom Five? Be sure to check it out at its new home!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Book Review: Clifford Beal. "Quelch's Gold: Piracy, Greed and Betrayal in Colonial New England"

Quelch's Gold: Piracy, Greed, and Betrayal in Colonial New England

From H-Net The Tale of John Quelch, Privateer or Pirate In the southern-hemisphere summer of 1703-04, John Quelch commanded the Brigantine
Charles in a series of attacks on Portuguese shipping off the Brazilian coast. The Charles had sailed from Marblehead, Massachusetts the previous August, and it returned to its home port with a huge quantity of gold in May, 1704. Soon thereafter Quelch was arrested. He claimed that he had been operating as a legitimate privateer, but there were difficulties with this story. He had a commission from Massachusetts Governor Joseph Dudley, but it was addressed to the ship's original captain. Quelch had taken over the Charles only after that man fell ill, became incapacitated, and died under slightly suspicious circumstances. Another problem with the commission was that it authorized the Charles to operate only against Spanish and French shipping, with no hint of any action against the Portuguese. But the biggest difficulty stemmed from the alliance that had been formalized between England and Portugal just weeks before Quelch's arrival on the Brazilian coast. The Charles had been attacking England's allies, and therefore Quelch was put on trial for his life in what would be the first capital trial conducted by an English admiralty court sitting in North America....

Sure sounds like a great read.

No comments: