Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/291

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THE PIRATES OF LUNDY

laid with broad gold lace, "too sumptuous apparel," Stow remarks, "which they had worn at the seas."

In 1608, a commission was issued to the Earl of Bath, who took the depositions of three persons at Barnstaple, to the effect that the merchants were daily robbed at sea by pirates who took refuge in Lundy. In 1610, another commission was issued to the Earl of Nottingham to authorize the town of Barnstaple to send out ships for the capture of pirates, and the deposition was taken of one William Young, who had been made prisoner by Captain Salkeld, who entitled himself "King of Lundy," and was a notorious pirate.

On 31 August, 1612, the town of Barnstaple sent out a ship and a bark—the John of Braunton and the Mayflower—to capture pirates who had robbed a London vessel and also a pinnace of the Isle of Wight, in the roads of Lundy. It is satisfactory to learn that the offenders—"as notorious Rogues as any in England"—were caught at Milford Haven, brought to Barnstaple, and lodged in Exeter Gaol. What their ultimate fate was is not known.

In 1625, the Mayor of Bristol reported to the Council that three Turkish pirate vessels had surprised and taken the island of Lundy, and had carried off the inhabitants, to sell them as slaves, and that they were threatening Ilfracombe.

In 1628, it was the headquarters of some French pirates. In June, 1630, Captain Plumleigh reported that "Egypt was never more infested with catterpillars than the Channel with Biscayers. On the 23rd instant there came out of St. Sebastian twenty sail of sloops; some attempted to land on Lundy, but were repulsed by the inhabitants."

In 1632, a notorious buccaneer, Captain Robert Nutt,