Infamous Pirates > James Kelly

James Kelly

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration


James Kelly (?? - 12 July 1701), also known as James Gilliam was a famous British pirate that was active on the first pirate round in the 1690's and was a close associate of William Kidd. He served aboard Kidd's ship and was present during the mutiny aboard the Mocha and the murder of Captain Edgecomb in his sleep.

After assuming command of the East India ship, Kelly and the rest of the crew of the Mocha continued to capture several ships in the Indian Ocean on the pirate round. He was arrested along with Kidd when they returned to New York City and eventually transported back to London where he was tried for piracy.

While in prison James Kelly would author the book A full and true Discovery of all the Robberies, Pyracies, and other Notorious Actions, of that Famous English Pyrate, Capt. James Kelly, which contains the first known sighting of the Galapagos Islands before it was officially discovered by the Europeans. He would share the same fate as his compatriot his compatriot William Kidd and later be executed on 12 July of 1701.

Pirate Rounders

First Pirate Round

Second Pirate Round


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources