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How such a defence could have been conducted is another matter. Barring the summary in the plea roll being incomplete, it may have been that Greene deemed it unnecessary to introduce such content explicitly in court. And his tenure in Jamaican government had seen pirates sentenced to death. Greene quoted several excerpts from the book featuring material he deemed libellous. As noted above, this appears to be false Crooke would acknowledge this in his own apology, discussed below ;. What was deemed libellous seems unclear from this excerpt.

Henry Morgan Biography - Famous Pirate

Possibly a Bill of Middlesex was involved. His failure to answer the summons established his liability. The London Gazette reported:. Westminster, June 1. Crooke may not have gotten away as lightly as reported. Later, Charles Hatton, in a letter to his brother Viscount Christopher Hatton, volunteered details he had learned of the episode:.

About y e yeare ther came out a history of y e Buccaneers, printed in Flanders, in Spanish, pretended to be a translation from Dutch writ by one Esquemeling, a Dutch buccaneer, w ch Crooke a bookseller got translated into English and printed, in w ch Sr Henry Morgan was represented as a very barbarous pyrate.

Sr Harry brought his action ag t Crooke, proved all he did was by virtue of a commission of y e Governor of Jamaica and y e Kings authority, and recovered l or l damage from Crooke, about y t some [ sic — sum] I am sure Crook himself told me. After w ch , his History of y e Buccaneers wase looked upon as fabulous [i. Despite what some histories have indicated, Frohock noted, Malthus did not produce a post-lawsuit edition of The History of the Bucaniers with an apology from his press.

Frohock suggested it might have been in the form of a short, standalone pamphlet that perhaps some sellers or collectors inserted into copies of the disputed book. He had been unwise to rely on a Spanish translation, though he felt the lack of pre-publication licensing also invited the problem. Thus Morgan did not among other things :. Presumably both printers found being accused of libelling a knight of the realm, even an aged one then out of political favor, an intimidating ordeal.

Under any circumstances, the fact remains that the controversy of — culminated in a legal finding that Exquemelin did indeed libel Morgan. Memorandum that, on Saturday next after the morrow of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the term of St Hilary last past before the lord king at Westminster, there came Henry Morgan, knight, by John Greene, his attorney, and he produced here in the court of the said lord king then and there his certain bill against Thomas Malthus in the custody of the marshal, etc.

And there are pledges to prosecute, namely John Doe and Richard Roe. And in another place of the same scandalous and famous libel about the same Henry Morgan there are contained these false and malicious words following, viz :. And thereupon he brings suit, etc. And now at this day, namely Wednesday next after the quindene of Easter in that same term, until which day the aforesaid Thomas Malthus had licence to discuss the aforesaid bill, and then to answer, etc. On account that the same Henry remains against the same Thomas thereupon undefended, etc.

On account of which the same Henry ought to recover his damages against the aforesaid Thomas by occasion of the aforesaid premises. But because the court of the said now lord king does not know what damage the same Henry has sustained by occasion of the aforesaid premises, therefore the sheriff of Middlesex is ordered to diligently inquire by the oath of 12 upright and lawful men of his bailiwick as to what damages the aforesaid Henry sustained both by occasion of the aforesaid premises and also for his costs and expences made by him around his suit in this matter.

And he is to send the inquisition, which, etc, to the lord king at Westminster on Monday next after the morrow of the Ascension of the lord under the seal, etc, and the seal, etc, together with the writ of the said lord king directed to him. The same day is given to the aforesaid Henry there, etc. And the aforesaid Thomas in mercy, etc. The list of individuals who are owed thanks begins with Duncan Harrington of Lyminge, Kent for archival research assistance and for providing the transcription and translation of the Latin-and-English plea roll cited and reproduced herein.

Seipp, who provided generous assistance with aspects of English legal history, all of it liberally utilized herein.

Sir Henry Morgan: The Cunning Pirate (Pirate History Explained)

Please note that some interpretive statements herein incorporate input from anonymous peer reviewers that was received as this work circulated prior to publication. Sainsbury, ed. Hart, Admirals of the Caribbean Boston, , 99— Sharp … London, , — A translation of the report appears in Voyages and Adventures , — Such as Sainsbury, ed. Such as P. Beeching, Introduction to A.

A Life of Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer, with Occasional Reference to History

Exquemelin, The Buccaneers of America , A. The buccaneers were sometimes called freebooters or filibusters , the latter derived from filibustier , a French corruption of the former English term. Beeching, Introduction to Exquemelin, Buccaneers of America , 18— Frohock, Buccaneers and Privateers , 43, n. Martinich and K. Hoekstra, eds.

Malcolm, ed. Exquemelin as J. Such criticism was not unusual among printers producing competing works. See, for example, A. Kemp and J. McElligott, eds. McKenzie and M. Bell, eds. Kemp and McElligott, eds. Styan, Restoration Comedy in Performance Cambridge, , Baer, ed.


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Cruikshank, Life of Sir Henry Morgan , and — Exquemelin, Buccaneers of America , , —8, —51 and —3. Tomlins and B. Mann, eds. Major James Banister to Sec. Lord Arlington, 30 March , in Sainsbury, ed. Ringrose, Bucaniers of America. The Second Volume. London, , n. Derived from M. Seipp, 20 March March, Actions for Slaunder and Arbitrements London, , The book also broadly sets out what words could be actionable.

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Baker, Introduction to English Legal History , For modern legal definitions of these terms, see E. Nolfi, Legal Terminology Explained London, , The Court of Star Chamber, which existed until about , appears to have considered libel as a tort as well as a crime on some occasions T.

Henry Morgan Biography - Famous Pirate

Kelly, L. Karlin and G. Wegemer, eds. For introductions to this complex subject, see R. Helmholz, ed. Finkelman, ed. See also L.

Gregg, Queen Anne London, , 37; R. Hutton, Charles II , Cruikshank, Life of Sir Henry Morgan , 57, 65 and This alleged a fictional trespass by the defendant in that county, where Westminster was located. There would not be a jurisdictional reason for using such a bill to bring a defamation complaint against Londoner Malthus, though one still may have been used to convey tactical advantage to the plaintiff. For warrants issued in for the arrest of other English printers and writers for alleged libels, see McKenzie and Bell, eds.

Helmholz and T.

Sir Henry Morgan Biography

Thompson, ed. This can be computed as referring to 7 February Had the reference been to the Saturday after this period, it seems that the plea roll would have described it as occurring within the Octaves of the Purification, which referred to 9—15 February. See C. Cheney and M. Jones, eds. See W. Skip to main content. International Journal of Maritime History. International Maritime Economic History Association. Article Menu. Download PDF.

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