Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/290

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DEVONSHIRE CHARACTERS

Carew, Knt.., are printed two letters written by Queen Elizabeth in the year 1564, directing Sir Peter—"forasmuch as that cost of Devonshyre and Cornwall is by report mucch hanted with pyratts and Rovers … to cause on or twoo apt vessells to be made redy with all spede in some portes ther about." In the apprehension of such pirates, with her characteristic economy the Queen bargains that the parties "must take ther benefitt of ye spoyle, and be provijded only by us of victell." She goes a little further in thriftiness, and suggests that possibly "ye sayd Rovers might be entyced, with hope of our mercy, to apprehend some of the rest of ther Company, which practise we have knowen doone good long agoo in the lyke."

Although Lundy is not specified in this as the rendezvous of the pirates, we know that at this time it was so.

In the year 1587 the authorities of Barnstaple appear to have undertaken on their own account a raid upon the pirates who were accustomed to shelter themselves under Lundy Island.

Connected with the "setting forth of divers men from this town to apprehend divers rovers and pirates at Londey," the following items of expenditure in the municipal records show that the expedition was not unsuccessful: "Paid to six watchmen for watching the prisoners that were taken, 12s 1d. Paid for a watch put, and for candlelyght for the same prisoners, 11d. Paid for meat and drink for the same prisoners, 2sh."[1]

Stow tells us that a batch of ten sea-rovers were hanged at once at Wapping. They distributed among their friends their murrey velvet doublets with great gold buttons and crimson taffeta, and great Venetians

  1. W. Cotton, "An Expedition against Pirates," in Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1886.