Of Captain Thomas Tew

King's Commission to William Kid for the Capture of Captain Tew and Others

Captain Kid's Commission

"William Rex,
William the Third, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To our trusty and well beloved Captain William Kid, Commander of the Ship the Adventure Galley, or to any other the Commander of the same for the Time being, GREETING; Whereas we are informed, that Captain Thomas Too [Tew], John Ireland, Captain Thomas Wake, and Captain William Maze, or Mace, and other Subjects, Natives or Inhabitants of New-York, and elsewhere, in our Plantations in America, have associated themselves, with divers others, wicked and ill disposed Persons, and do, against the Law of Nations, commit many and great Pyracies, Robberies and Depredations on the Seas upon the Parts of America, and in other Parts, to the great Hinderance and Discouragement of Trade and Navigation, and to the great Danger and Hurt of our loving Subjects, our Allies, and all others, navigating the Seas upon their lawful Occasions [Occupations]. Now KNOW YE, that we being desirous to prevent the aforesaid Mischiefs, and, as much as in us lyes, to bring the said Pyrates, Free Booters and Sea Rovers to Justice, have thought fit, and do hereby give and grant to the said William Kid, to whom our Commissioners for exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral of England, have granted a Commission as a private Man of War, bearing Date the 11th Day of December 1695, and unto the Commander of the said Ship for the Time being, and unto the Officers, Mariners, and others, which shall be under your Command, full Power and Authority to apprehend, seize, and take into your Custody as well the said Captain Thomas Too, John Ireland, Captain Thomas Wake, and Captain William Maze, or Mace, as all such Pyrates, Free Booters and Sea Rovers, being either our Subjects, or of our Nations associated with them, which you shall meet with upon the Seas, or Coasts of America, or upon any other Seas or Coasts, with all their Ships and Vessels; and all such Merchandizes, Money, Goods and Wares as shall be found on board, or with them, in Case they shall willingly yield themselves; but if they will not yield without fighting, then you are by Force to compel them to yield. And we do also require you to bring, or cause to be brought, such Pyrates, Free Booters, or Sea Rovers, as you shall seize, to a legal Tryal, to the End they may be proceeded against according to the Law in such Cases. And we do hereby command all our Officers, Ministers, and other our loving Subjects whatsoever, to be aiding and assisting to you in the Premisses. And we do hereby enjoin you to keep an exact Journal of your Proceedings in the Execution of the Premisses, and set down the Names of such Pyrates, and of their Officers and Company, and the Names of such Ships and Vessels as you shall by Vertue of the Presents take and seize, and the Quantities of Arms, Ammunition, Provision and Lading of such Ships, and the true Value of the same, as near as you judge. And we do hereby strictly charge and command you, as you will answer the contrary at your Peril, that you do not, in any Manner, offend or molest our Friends or Allies, their Ships, or Subjects, by Colour or Pretence of these Presents, or the Authority thereby granted. In Witness whereof we have caused our Great Seal of England to be affix'd to these Presents. Given at our Court of Kensington, the 26th Day of January 1696, in the seventh Year or our Reign."

With this Royal commission, Captian kid sailed out of Plymouth in May 1696 in a galley called the Adventure equiped with thirty guns and a crew of eighty men. His first port of call was New York where he increased his company to 155 men, offereing every man a share of what was taken, after reserving 40 shares for himself and the owners. He next sailed to Madera, where he took in Wine and other necessities, then to the Cape de Verd Islands' of Bonavista and St. Jago, where he took in salt and other provisions. Then in February 1697, just nine months after leaving Plymouth, he reached Madagascar, the hunting ground of the pirates he seeked...