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Pirates of the Caribbean...

Infamous pirates Lowe & Sprigs...



Item # 550863

March 19, 1726

MIST'S WEEKLY JOURNAL, London, England, March 19, 1726

It is always of great interest to find period newspapers which report on pirates of the Caribbean, although such newspapers are few & far between. Here is a great issue.

Page 2 has two reports from Jamaica. Pg. 2 also has several mentions of pirates, including two of the more notable pirates of the Caribbean, Lowe (Low) and Sprigs (see photo). The text includes:

"...The Stanhope from Jamaica run ashore in the Gulph of Florida, was refitted & brought home to Bristol. The Perry, of Bristol, taken a while ago by the Pyrates, is refitting at the Havanna; and also a New England ship that run ashore in the Gulph; the men of another New England Ship, taken & burnt by the Pyrates, are arriv'd at the Havana.
We have advice that Low and Sprigs, the noted Pyrates, being together in a sloop in the Bay of Honduras, were chaced ashore on the Island of Rattan by the Spence Man of War, who burnt the sloop; but the Pyrates themselves took shelter in the woods, where they were left."


Great to find period references to such pirates.

Wikipedia has interesting text on both Low and Spriggs:

"Captain Edward 'Ned' Low (also Lowe or Loe) was a notorious pirate during the latter days of the Golden Age of Piracy, in the early 18th century. He was born around 1690 into poverty in Westminster, London, and was a thief and a scoundrel from a young age. Low moved to Boston, Massachusetts as a young man. Following the death of his wife during childbirth in late 1719, he became a pirate two years later, operating off the coasts of New England, the Azores, and in the Caribbean.

He captained a number of ships, usually maintaining a small fleet of three or four. Low and his pirate crews captured at least a hundred ships during his short career, burning most of them. Although he was only active for three years, Low remains notorious as one of the most vicious pirates of the age, with a reputation for violently torturing his victims before killing them. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described Low as "savage and desperate", and a man of "amazing and grotesque brutality". The New York Times called him a torturer, whose methods would have "done credit to the ingenuity of the Spanish Inquisition in its darkest days".

As for Spriggs:

Francis Sprigg was a British pirate who, associated with George Lowther and Edward Low, was active in the Caribbean and the Bay of Honduras during the early 1720s.

Although much of his early life is unknown, Francis Spriggs was first recorded serving as a quartermaster for Captain Edward Low (possibly as part of the original crew members who left the service of Captain George Lowther). However, after being given command of the recently captured the 12-gun British man of war the Squirel (renamed the Delight shortly thereafter), he and Low apparently had a falling out over the disciplining of one of the crew around late December of 1724 resulting in Spriggs deserting with the Delight during the night."

One can only imagine what the owner of this actual newspaper thought when reading this issue hundreds of years ago. He or she was reading news as it was first reported--with this interesting report on pirates of the day.
Holding this issue is literally holding history in your hands!

How has such an issue survived through the years?
This issue was kept by a library in a bound volume since the early 18th century along with other issues of the same year, used by patrons and safely stored. Eventually this issue was likely microfilmed by the library then made available to the general collecting public.

This issue is complete as a single sheet newspaper. Fortunately, paper used back in the 1720's had a very high cotton & linen content so there is not the slightest bit of fragility nor age browning found on more recent newspapers. This issue can very easily be read & handled and turning the pages will not cause the slightest bit of harm.

This issue is complete in four pages and is in very nice condition.

Category: The 1600's and 1700's

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