The famous pirate of Robert Culliford.


Who was Robert Culliford?

Robert Culliford was an English pirate, best known for being Captain Kidd's mate who stole his ship, "The Blessed William", in 1690. After this action, William May was elected the new captain of the ship and together with Culliford sailed to Madagascar and near by India before they jumped ship at the Nicobar Islands, heading back to New York.

William May received the command of the vessel "The Pearl" and Culilford was the quartermaster, sailing to Mangalore, India in 1694. Robert Culliford left "The Pearl" and signed on as a gunner aboard the Merchantman Josiah, the ship he seized two years later after leading a mutiny in Madras.

However, the crew recaptured the Josiah near Nicobar Islands leaving Culliford behind on the islands, the place in which he remained until Captain Ralph Stout rescued him. Robert Culliford joined Stout's crew aboard the "Mocha". In 1697, Ralph Stout was killed and Culliford was elected captain of the vessel.

Sailing to the Strait of Malacca, Culliford began to pursue the British ship Dorrill, but the crew of this ship opened fire and cut off the Mocha's main mast. Captain Culliford retreated to the Madagascar region and plundered numerous ships sailing near Saint Mary's Island, including a French vessel with 2,000 worth of cargo.

Meanwhile, Captain William Kidd divided his Quedah Merchant, sailing to St. Mary's Island to meet with Culliford. Old grievances were forgiven and Captain Kidd's crew joined Culliford in 1698, departing from the island to team up with Dirk Chivers in the capture of the Great Mohammed sailing in the Red Sea that year.

Along with Chivers, Culliford received a royal pardon, but once arriving in London, he was arrested and condemned for piracy arguing that his pardon was invalid. However, he was not hanged because his testimony was necessary during Samuel Burgess' trial, after which his name disappeared from the records, although, popular belief states that he served aboard a naval ship for the rest of his life.

Robert Culliford.

 The famous pirate of Robert Culliford.

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