Infamous Pirates > Thomas White

Thomas White

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Background

Thomas White was a sailor who was forced to join the crew of John Bowen and originally served in the Royal Navy and ended up in Plymouth. He then moved to Barbados where he commanded a small ship. His ship was captured by French pirates in 1698 who were in turn later conquered by John Bowen and his crew.

White refused to join Bowen and was made a slave aboard their crew. He was shared between Bowen and his partner George Booth. When their ship was wrecked during 1701 the pirate crew split up and White became a free man. Deciding to become a full blown pirate he soon joined the crew of Thomas Howard aboard his pirate ship the Prosperous and was elected to the position of quartermaster. Howard and Bowen together went on to capture several ships in the Indian Ocean on the first Pirate Round in 1703 and earned a large amount of treasure in the process.

After their successful voyage the pirates retired in both India and Ile de France. However, some of the pirates continued to pirate under the command of Nathaniel North and set sail for the pirate haven of Madagascar. While en-route the ship was blown off course towards Cape Dauphin and when White and thirty other members of the crew went ashore to gather supplies North abandoned them.

In 1704 White found a small ship abandoned on the island and was elected captain of the remaining pirates. They set sail and managed to capture several Indian ships along with a Portuguese merchant ship in the Red Sea. They next managed to capture two British ships in August of 1706 and each pirate raked in about £1,200 from each ship making them all very wealthy men in the process. White would next join the crew of John Halsey as his quartermaster in 1707 and would partake in all of his voyages. Thomas White died on the island of Madagascar from likely alcohol poisoning due to drinking too much along with possible tropical illnesses reported by his associates.

Sources

Primary Sources

Johnson, C. (1728). A General History of the Pyrates (2nd Ed., Volume II). London, Great Britain: T. Warner.

Johnson, C. (1728). A General History of the Pyrates (2nd Ed., Volume II) - Of Captain Thomas White. London, Great Britain: T. Warner.

Secondary Sources