The famous pirate of Thomas Tew.


Who was Thomas Tew?

Thomas Tew was one of the most famous Red Sea pirates although little is known about him until he came to Bermuda in 1692. It’s said that he came from a wealthy family on Rhode Island and that he served as a privateer on British ships. As privateer, he was the captain of “Amity Venture.”

Tew was given orders by the Governor of Bermuda to attack French ships and colonies along the coast of Africa. In Gambia, he was supposed to attack a French factory along with Captain George Drew and the Royal African Company. However a terrible storm raged and destroyed Captain Drew’s ship. Tew decided to forego the plan of attack and instead become a pirate. He needed to persuade his crew that this was a good plan but that was done easily enough as they believed they could make more money as pirates and it would be less dangerous than the original plan.

Tew and the crew started travelling to the Red Sea when they met a great Indian ship. This ship held three hundred soldiers, along with a very large crew. Drawing deeply on their courage, Tew and his men decided to attack the ship. They won the battle and each of Tew’s men, along with Tew himself, left the fight three thousand pounds richer! The surviving prisoners then informed Tew that their ship had been a part of a fleet and there were many other ships. Tew wanted to attack those ships as well but the crew had decided that wasn’t a good plan and so, they left the other ships untouched and settled on Madagascar.

Not long after they had settled, Tew decided that he had had enough of piracy and he went back to Rhode Island to try and obtain a pardon. He received his pardon but later decided that the life of a pirate was his fate. He took command of another ship and started to sail once again to the Red Sea in 1695.

Along the way he tried to conquer a great ship belonging to the Great Mogul. This was a very courageous act however, the Great Mogul was travelling with heavy artillery and Thomas Tew died in the battle.

Thomas Tew.

 The famous pirate of Thomas Tew.

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