Sunday, June 19, 2016

Captain John PIGOTT, Collector of Customs in Bermuda.

[One of two portraits of Captain John PIGOTT painted in Bermuda in 1753 by the artist Joseph BLACKBURN.
Now in the possession of the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.]

The American Antiquity Society published, in its April 1936 Journal, an article by John Hill MORGAN and Henry Wilder FOOTE, entitled "An Extension of Lawrence PARK's Descriptive List of the Work of Joseph BLACKBURN," which up-dated an earlier List published by them in 1923, specifically naming an additional 17 portraits painted in Bermuda that were not in the original PARK list. These included portraits of Captain John PIGOTT (numbers 102 and 103) and of his wife (number 104), using an extension of the numbering used in PARK's first list.
At pages 35-37, MORGAN and FOOTE wrote:
"102. JOHN PIGOTT (number 1).
"SUBJECT: John PIGOTT, a son of John PIGOTT of London, was in Bermuda as early as 1743, when he received from Governor Allured POPPLE a grant of a house lot, "Style Point," at St Georges, for a yearly rent of " peppercorn, payable at the Feast of St John the Evangelist, or as the sum may be demanded.
"He was Collector of Customs for many years and represented St George's in the House of Assembly in 1746. On 29 December 1745, he married Fanny, daughter of Governor Francis JONES. In 1762, after his return to England, he was appointed Agent for the Bermuda Government."
They identified the background as being Hamilton Harbour, looking towards Paget, and stated that the house on the opposite shore was named "Inwood," the residence of  his father-in-law, Francis JONES.
They further recorded that the second John PIGOTT portrait was almost identical to the first, but with several differences in the boats in the background, and in the costume (the lace at his wrists was ruffled in 102, and plain in 103).
They also recorded that Frances (Fanny) JONES was born on 14 September 1729, daughter of Francis JONES, President of the Council.

The following mentions of John PIGOTT are to be found in "Bermuda in the Old Empire," by Henry C. WILKINSON, Oxford University Press, 1950.
At page 209, in conjunction with Governor William POPPLE having difficulties with his justices in November 1748, with the result that jurors would not be sworn and the courts forced to close; and justices of the peace, as parish assessors, not striking rates or taxes, resulting in no internal revenue collection, etcetera:
"Then, strange as it was, Captain John PIGOTT, the collector of customs, for some private interest of his own, appeared to be in collusion with these justices, and there was no end of these nefarious tricks in sight. (fn 3)

"Footnote 3 - Minutes of Council in Assembly, 13 January 1748-49, 2 May 1749 and 19 November 1751. John PIGOTT, the father of the Captain, had been a close friend of the POPPLEs in England (will of A. POPPLE)." 

Alured POPPLE, an earlier Governor of Bermuda (from 1738 to 1744), was an elder brother of the William POPPLE mentioned above. Alured made his will, dated 15 Apr 1738, at St Margaret's, Westminster, before heading out to his posting (see below), and one of the witnesses was John PIGOTT, of London.
I don't know what evidence WILKINSON had to assert that the will witness was the father of Captain John PIGOTT - perhaps he had read MORGAN and FOOTE's article? My own thinking is that it could instead have been the Captain himself.

POPPLE and his family embarked at Gravesend on 25 April 1738, bound for "...his government of Bermuda" [Daily Gazette, 27 April]. It is possible that John PIGOTT may have travelled with the family, especially if he was a relation (see next below); but if not, then it appears he arrived in Bermuda sometime during the following twelve months - the Bermuda Council Minutes, dated 5 October 1739, in a meeting presided over by Governor POPPLE, noted that Captain PIGOTT had "..sent twelve men to Queen's Fort and six men to Southampton Fort."

Further, Alured POPPLE offered John PIGOTT a house lot grant in Bermuda, which offer he accepted in 1743; and POPPLE also proposed John PIGOTT, a "...Navill Officer," as Receiver of Tonnage Money in Bermuda, in the room of Thomas SMITH, deceased, although I do not yet have a date for this event.

Alured POPPLE died in Bermuda on 17 November 1744, after contracting a fatal illness while attending the funeral of John LEWIS, Collector of Customs at Bermuda; his funeral was widely attended, the pall-bearers were the President (Francis JONES) and five of the senior Councillors, and ".. Master Harry POPPLE, only Son of the deceased, and Captain PIGGOTT, a Relation of the Family's, walked next to the Corps, as Chief Mourners" [Daily Gazetteer, London, Thursday 13 June 1745].
I have so far been unable to find any PIGOTT connection in the POPPLE family tree.
Which might therefor be on his (PIGOTT's) maternal side, ruling him out as being a possible son of my Captain John PIGOTT of Antigua (died in 1710) by his wife Frances PROCTOR.
And later again, we find another appointment, perhaps in consequence of POPPLE's earlier proposal:
"Last week, John PIGOTT, Naval Officer, of Bermuda, was appointed Collector of Customs, in the room of John LEWIS, deceased" [Penny Evening Post, London, Friday 15 May 1745; and Gentleman's Magazine].

Michael JARVIS, in his "In the Eye of All Trade: Bermuda, Bermudians and the Maritime Atlantic World, 1680-1783," N. Carolina, 2010, at page 539, wrote:
"In the 1740's, the Bermuda Council maintained that only vessels loading or unloading cargoes in Bermuda were obliged to enter: vessels arriving and departing in ballast thus do not appear in Bermuda's NOSL, making it impossible to estimate the number of vessels implicated in smuggling through their ballast voyages...
"POPPLE's 1741 waiter was John LEWIS, who was supposed to board incoming ships at the west End and remain with them until they entered St George's to stop them landing cargoes en route. In practice, several vessels often arrived simultaneously, making LEWIS's task impossible. Since his position was unsalaried, LEWIS was susceptible to bribes. POPPLE found that his English born collector, John PIGGOTT, who '...carries on [trade] under other people's names,' abetted Bermudians in their smuggling. PIGGOTT publicly once called POPPLE ' impudent son of a bitch' for questioning his meagre effectiveness. (POPPLE in the B.T., April 9, 1750, CO 37/17, folios 60-63.)"
Clearly, the POPPLE Governor in 1741 was Alured, and in 1750 was his brother William. But either way, this is not a polite way to address a man who appears to have been a relation!

WILKINSON makes further mention of John PIGOTT at page 231-32, in connection with the Seven Years War, as it affected trade in Bermuda:
"From Bermuda's point of view, the entry of Spain in the war of 1762 brightened the prospects considerably. Privateering was again attractive. Vessels from elsewhere sought commissions. One of the first to apply at St George's was a ship owned by John PIGOTT, now a well-to-do merchant in London, and the colony's agent."

I presume, from the context, that PIGOTT's ship was seeking a Naval commission to legally employ privateers to protect his ship against the French, or pirates who were again beginning to harass Bermuda's sea-trade traffic.

And again, at page 240-41, in conjunction with punitive Royal Navy measures taken in 1764 against Bermudan's collecting salt on Tortuga, in which close to 100,000 bushels of the harvested salt were confiscated:
"The depredations stirred great animosity in Bermuda, and the legislature hurried to petition the Crown. John PIGOTT, as agent, exerted himself, and the Secretary of State spent three hours considering the difficulties of the salt-gatherers. But, as PIGOTT reported, he made little headway until he remarked that the naval action was really one of black-mail to force Bermudans to pay for an armed escort..."

This salt problem appears to have remained a subject of contention until June 1769, when John POWNALL, of the Board of Trade and Plantations in Whitehall, wrote to Benjamin FRANKLIN, Dennys De BERDT (Agent for Massachusetts), Robert CHARLES (Agent for New York), Joseph SHERWOOD (Agent for Rhode Island) and John PIGOTT (a London Merchant, and Agent for Bermuda), requesting they attend a meeting called by the Earl of Hillsborough to discuss:
"...irregularities committed by Masters of Bermuda Vessels raking salt at Sal Tortuga to the prejudice of Vessels from the other Colonies employ'd in that Traffick."

Being alive in 1769 has entirely eliminated him from any possibility of being my own ancestor, the Dublin M.P., who died in 1763. But in 1764, the Secretary of State was George MONTAGU, the 2nd Earl of Halifax, and a brother-in-law of a brother-in-law of the Captain John PIGOTT who married Constantia Maria BURGOYNE in London in 1730.

There is a possibility this could have been the Captain John PIGOTT who was mentioned by his nephew Robert PIGOTT, the former Inspector-General of Customs and Excise in Dublin, in his 1808 Petition for reinstatement of his pension rights which he addressed to Sir Arthur WELLESLEY:
"...and your Memorialist's only surviving uncle Captain John PIGOTT, after many years foreign service, returned to Ireland in the year 1761, with his brother-in-law the Earl of Halifax, then lord Lieutenant, and died when your Memorialist was an infant."
There is also every possibility that this was the Captain John PIGOTT who was named in the 1760 Hand-list of Voters for Maryborough, as exerting influence over a number of the voters.
But there is no evidence to establish whether this Captain John PIGOTT was Irish; nor whether he was the subject of this article.

In 1772, Henry LIVINGSTON, of the parish of St Mary's, Jamaica, Planter, made his will, in which he wrote:
"What sugar is made in my right, is shipped to London, consigned to Messrs Richard DRAKEFORD and John PIGOTT, Merchants, to whom I am under great obligations."
Whether this is the former Captain from Bermuda is not yet established, but once again, it is a possibility.

No details have yet emerged relating to Captain John PIGOTT's death.
A John PIGOTT, Esq, died in August 1770, at Charlton, in Kent, "...formerly a Commander in the Royal Navy" [General Evening News, 25-28 August] - this could connect, as we know that when he was appointed Collector in Bermuda in 1745, he was identified as a naval officer.
Another John PIGOTT Esq, died at Woolwich in November 1771 [General Evening News, 23-26 November].
There is, likewise, no evidence that I have yet found to indicate whether he and Fanny had any issue.

[Portrait of Mrs John PIGOTT (Fannie JONES) painted in Bermuda in 1753 by the artist Joseph BLACKBURN.
Now in the possession of the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.]

There was a Frances PIGOT, Widow, of the parish of St Mary, Rotherhithe, County Surrey, whose will was dated 21 May 1764, and proved P.C.C. on 2 July 1764, and who bequeathed her share in two sloops, the "Fanny" and the "Speedwell" to her daughter and grand-daughters. I immediately suspected this Frances's former husband had been involved in the Maritime trade, as a ship owner, perhaps having set out on his mercantile career as a ship's captain - could this have been the former Fanny JONES?
But I see that she could not have been, as Captain John PIGOTT was still acting as Agent in London for the Bermuda Merchants. Frances made mention of her daughter Frances JEFFERIES, the wife of Edward JEFFERIES (he married her at Gillingham, Kent, on 4 April 1752), her grand-daughters Frances and Elizabeth JEFFERIES, her grandson Thomas JEFFERIES, her brother Robert LOCK, and her son Thomas LOCK. This does tend to confirm that she could not have been Fanny JONES.
Further, an addendum overwritten in the Probate grant, dated 8 August 1788, notes that a further administration of the effects of Francis PIGGOTT, late of the parish of St Mary, Rotherhithe, had now been granted to Rev Edward JEFFERIES, the lawful attorney of Ann LOCK, the relict of the Thomas LOCK mentioned in Frances's will, now residing at Newcastle, County Limerick, in Ireland.
In addition, there was a John PIGGOTT, of Paradise Row, Rotherhithe, Attorney, who was buried at St Mary's Rotherhithe, on 28 June 1778; his will, dated 25 May 1776, was proved P.C.C. on 9 August 1776, naming his wife Susanna PIGGOTT; his probate grant was further endorsed on 9 March 1772, when unadministered goods were subject to a further grant, naming Susanna STEWART formerly PIGGOTT, the wife of William STEWART (he married her at Leyton, Essex, on 24 March 1777), and the relict of the said deceased John PIGGOTT.


Francis JONES was born in Newgate, London, on 7 April 1675, a son of Francis JONES and Thomasine COMELEY (they were married at Newgate on 29 December 1673); he died at "Inwood," Paget, Bermuda, in 1714; he married Mary SHERLOCK (born in Bermuda in 1683, a daughter of Samuel SHERLOCK and Hester STOWE); she died at Paget in 1735; they had issue:
1. Francis JONES. See [A] below.
2. Elizabeth JONES; married BUTTERFIELD, with issue - Mary and Nathaniel BUTTERFIELD.
3. Deborah JONES; married WHITE, with issue  two sons and three daughters.
4. Mary JONES; married Thomas PARSONS, with issue - Thomas PARSONS Junior.

[A] Francis JONES, born in Bermuda, 1698; he died at Paget, Bermuda, in 1776; he married firstly, Elizabeth DARRELL; he married 2ndly, Jehoaddan TUCKER; with issue by Elizabeth:
     a. Esther JONES; living in 1789; married at Bermuda, 19 October 1749, John HARVEY.
     b. Thomas JONES; died at Bermuda, 1804; probably married Mary HARVEY; her portrait painted by Joseph BLACKBURN in 1753.
     c. Mary Jane JONES; married Dr George FORBES, M.D., of Bermuda.
     d. Elizabeth JONES; married as his second wife, Cornelius HINSON, with issue a daughter Sarah Rebecca, born 1769 - his daughter Martha (by his first wife) was by 1786 the wife of John GILBERT, as mentioned in Cornelius's will, proved P.C.C.
     e. Francis JONES; his portrait painted by Joseph BLACKBURN, ca 1753.
     f. Nathaniel JONES.
     g. Millicent JONES; married GILBERT.
     h. Anne JONES; married HILL.
     j. Fannie JONES, born at Bermuda on 14 September 1729; died in England; married John PIGOTT (see above).
     k. Debora JONES, born 1740; died 1765;married John STILES, with issue a daughter Sarah and a son John Junior.
Many of the details for this family are recorded on the LAWRIE/NEWMAN/DARRELL family tree on


William POPPLE, born 1665, a son of William POPPLE and Mary ALURED (they were married in Yorkshire by Consistorial License in December 1663 - Mary may have been buried at St John at Hampstead, Camden, on 17 November 1722, a Widow); of Westminster; appointed Secretary to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, 14 April 1707 [Post Man and Historical Account, London, 22-24 April], to succeed his father; he died at Hampstead, in May 1722 [Weekly Journal or Saturday Post, 23 May 1722], and was buried at St John at Hampstead, Camden, on 16 May; he was of the Parish of St Clement Danes when he was married, by Consistorial License dated 20 Aug 1698, at All Hallows, Staining, on 6 September 1698, to Anne LAVIE, Spinster, of the Parish of St Dunstan-in-the-West (she was born in 1673); she died in 1730; they had issue:

1. Henry POPPLE, born about 1695 (this date appears to be unlikely, given the marriage date for his parents three years later); Clerk to the Treasurer to Queen Caroline, 1728-1737 (at a salary of £400 pounds a year); Under Treasurer to His Majesty and Agent to Colonel COPE's Regiment, 1734; Deputy Treasurer to Her Majesty's Household, June 1735, when he presented the Queen with a copy of his Map of His Majesty's Plantations in America, "...which met with her most gracious reception" [London Evening Post, 3 June 1735]; Chief Clerk in Her Majesty's Treasury, September 1736; Agent of the Independent Companies Abroad, and to Colonel CORNWALLIS's Regiment of Foot, 1739; said to have left London for Bermuda in April 1739; he died at Bordeaux, France, 27 September 1743, "...a few days since" as "...late Cashier to the Queen's Treasury and Agent to several regiments"  [General Evening Post, London, 6 October 1743].
Henry was married on 19 November 1734, by License dated 15 November, to Anne MOORE, daughter of the late Sir Joseph EDMUNDS-MOORE of Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, with a fortune of £6,000 pounds; her will, dated 19 January 1748, was proved P.C.C. on 28 January 1748, naming her late grandmother Dame Anne MOORS (she was a party to Anne's marriage settlements dated 18 November 1734), her sons Henry and William POPPLE, and daughter Magdalen Augusta Isabelle POPPLE, all aged under 21.
Henry and Anne had issue:
     a. Elizabeth POPPLE, born at the Queen's Treasury, Scotland Yard, London, 1 September 1736 [Daily Gazetteer, 2 September 1736], and baptised at St Martin-in-the-Fields, 24 September; died before 1748.
     b. Henry Strickland POPPLE, born at Westminster, 1 October 1737, and baptised at St Martin-in-the-Fields, 29 October; probably died young.
     c. Henry POPPLE, born 18 March 1739, and baptised at St Martin-in-the-Fields, 30 March; named in his mother's will, 1748.
     d. Magdalen Augusta Isabella POPPLE; named in her mother's will, 1748; she was married at St Mary's parish church, St Marylebone, on 18 December 1774, to John LAMBERT.
     e. William POPPLE; named in his mother's will, 1748.

2. Alured POPPLE, born 22 June 1699, and "...a ete battize par M. JOUNEAU" at the French Huguenot Church at Hungerford Market, in Castle Street, Westminster, on 23 June, " presentee au batteme par M. and Mme POPPLE, grand pere et grand mere du dit enfent"; Alured succeeded his father, under a promise of the reversion of that position in his father's lifetime, as Secretary to the Board of the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations; appointed to a Commission of the Peace for the County of Middlesex, December 1727 [Daily Journal, 6 December 1727]; appointed Governor of the Bermudas, September 1737, to succeed Mr HOPE, Esq (and was succeeded as Secretary to the Board of Trade and Plantations by Thomas PELHAM Junior, the M.P. for Lewes in Sussex) [Daily Gazetteer, 22 September]; POPPLE made his will at St Margaret's, Westminster, on 15 April 1738; ten days later, he and his family embarked at Gravesend, 25 April 1738, on his voyage to his post in the Bermuda Islands [Daily Gazetteer, Thursday 27 April]; he died at Bermuda, 17 November 1744, "...after a week's illness, universally regretted on account of his mild and just Administration" [Penny London Post, 8-11 March 1745]; he was survived by his wife and "...three small children"; interim Administration of his estate was granted in London on 12 March 1744-45, to William POPPLE, Esq, lawful attorney for Mary POPPLE, the Widow, then residing in the Islands of Bermuda.

Alured was married at St Anne's, Soho, Westminster, 26 December 1723, to Mary KENT (born in 1704); she proved his will on 27 October 1746, after her return to England; she died in 1773; her will, dated 27 April 1768 (then of Crown Court, parish of St Margaret's, Westminster), was proved P.C.C. on 13 November 1773, and named her sister Sophia POPPLE (5 guineas for mourning, and pictures of the LAVIE family), her brother Robert KENT, cousins Sir Robert NETTLETON and Mrs QUIRK, daughters Marianne MATHIAS and Catherine DRAPER, and son Henry POPPLE (Executor).
Alured and Mary had issue:
     a. Marianne POPPLE, born in 1724; a "...small child" in 1744 (?); she died in 1799; she was married at Whitehall Chapel, in October 1752, to Vincent MATHIAS, Esq, Chief Teller under the Receiver-General of His Majesty's Customs.
     b. William Alured POPPLE, born at Whitehall, 24 May 1729, and baptised at St Margaret's, Westminster, 13 June; probably died young
     c. Robert POPPLE, born at Westminster, 6 October 1730, and baptised at St Margaret's, 27 October; probably the son who, "...on Saturday last died of the small pox" at "...his father's house at Hammersmith, 5 November 1736, as "...the son of Alured POPPLE, Esq" [Daily Gazetteer, 8 November 1736].
     d. Catherine POPPLE, born at Hampstead, 17 November 1731, "...a few days since" [Daily Advertiser, 30 November 1731], and was baptised at St Margaret's, Westminster, on 12 December; a "...small child" in 1744; living 1768; married at the parish church of SS John and Martin, Beverley, Yorkshire, on 15 September 1760, to William DRAPER.
     e. Henry POPPLE, born at Westminster, 7 January 1733, and baptised at St Margaret's, 21 January; a "...small child" in November 1744, when, as "...Master Harry POPPLE, only son of the deceased", he walked beside his father's corpse as one of the chief mourners [Daily Gazetteer, 13 June 1745]; possibly appointed Lieutenant, 36th Regiment of Foot, in 1758 (John PIGOTT also served in this regiment, and afterwards settled in Compton Chamberlain, Wiltshire - a Dysart in Queen's County PIGOTT); as executor, Henry proved his mother's will in November 1773.

3. William POPPLE, born in 1701, the third son; possibly appointed in January 1729 as Searcher of the Customs in the Port of London (in the room of Mr CONGREVE); entered the Cofferer's Office, January 1735 (to succeed Captain CHARTERS, deceased); appointed in October 1737 as Solicitor and Clerk of the Reports to the Right Honourable the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations; appointed in March 1745 to succeed his brother Alured as Governor of the Bermudas; died at Hampstead, 8 February 1762; he was married, by Marriage Bonds and Allegations (London and Surrey) dated 20 February 1766, to Anne TOLSON, a daughter of William TOLSON and Margaret MATHEWSON.

4. Sophia POPPLE; lay "...dangerously ill at Whitehall" in October 1749 [Whitehall Evening Post, 19-21 October]; she evidently survived, and died on 2 September 1778 [MUSGRAVE's Obituaries], and was buried at St John at Hampstead, Camden, on 9 September.


Captain John PIGOTT was attacked near his house by three footpads in or near the Strand, in London, in the early hours of Friday morning, 24 May 1745. The General Evening Post of 23-25 May carried the following report:
"A little after Twelve o'clock last Thursday night, at the end of Villars-street in the Strand, John PIGOTT, Esq, was robb'd of forty four Guineas, eighteen or twenty Shillings in Silver, a silver repeating watch, by three Men who seized him by the throat; one held a Pistol to his head, another a small sword to his Breast, and the third a Hanger over his head; and notwithstanding the great Booty they got, abused him much."

An early arrest was made, as reported in the Penny London Post of 27-29 May 1745:
"Yesterday a most notorious Thief was seized by several of the City Officers, he being violently Suspected to have committed, with other Accomplices, a great many Street-robberies; and carried before Mr Alderman ARNOLD at Guildhall, he said his name was Thomas WOOD, but would make no confession. However, the Alderman committed him to Newgate, on the oath of John PIGGOT, Esq, on a violent suspicion of being concern'd with two others, in assaulting him early last Friday morning at the End of Villars-street in the Strand, and robbing him of a silver watch, value 20 pounds, besides a large Quantity of Money. They abus'd this gentleman in a mots inhuman Manner, and have committed many Robberies lately."

This may have been a matter of false identification, as subsequently, several men were charged with the same offence, but Thomas WOOD was not one of them (perhaps it was an alias), as reported in the Westminster Journal, on Saturday 8 June 1745:
"On Wednesday morning... Thomas ST LEGER and William KELLY were committed to Newgate by Alderman COCKAYNE... on the oath of Mr DAY, the Constable, on a strong suspicion of being concern'd in robbing Capt PIGGOT a few days since."

And a third man was also implicated, but again, it was not Thomas WOOD, as the General Evening Post reported on 4-6 June 1745:
"Yesterday... was committed... Likewise William KELLY and Thomas ST LEGER, otherwise SELLINGER, for feloniously being concerned with one Patrick CAVE (in the same place) in assaulting John PIGGOTT, Esq, of Villars-street, York Buildings, near his own house, and robbing him of a silver-repeating watch value 20 pounds, and 4 guineas."

Justice took its course, and the sentences were reported in the Daily Post on Friday 12 July 1745:
"Yesterday, 21 prisoners were try'd at the Old Baily, four of whom were capitally convicted, viz. William KELLY, Thomas ST LEGER, and Patrick CAVE, for robbing John PIGGOTT, Esq, of his watch and forty guineas in the Strand..."

The executions of two of the convicted followed soon after, as reported in the Penny London Post of 26-29 July 1745:
"On Friday... William KELLY and Thomas ST LEGAR, for robbing Capt PIGGOT at the End of York Buildings in the Strand, were executed at Tyburn."

Clearly this could hardly have been Captain John PIGOTT of Bermuda, who was at that time attending to his business in Bermuda, having been a principal mourner at the funeral of the late Governor, Alured POPPLE, in late November 1744, and being promoted into the post of Collector of Customs in Bermuda in May 1745 (unless he had returned to London in the meantime, and had yet to set out back to Bermuda to take up is new appointment?).
Perhaps it was instead the former Captain with the BURGOYNE spouse, on a visit to his old haunts in London, and on leave from his second BABINGTON alias JOHNSTON wife in Dublin?

Nevertheless, the trial report in the on-line Central Criminal Court files records one very significantly different detail - the identification of Captain PIGOTT. There, he is recorded as Thomas PIGGOT, and this is what he had to say:
"Thomas PIGGOTT. On Thursday the 23rd of May, I supped with some West India merchants at the King's Arms Tavern, in Lombard street. About eleven o'clock we paid the bill, and ordered the waiter to get a Coach. We waited the return of the porter, but no coach could be got. Between 11 and 12 it being a fine star-light night, I put my sword and cane under my arm and walked. When I had just got beyond Somerset house, I saw KELLY and ST LEGAR behind me; and there was a drunken soldier before me, who staggered so, that he hindered my passing; when I found I could not easily get by, I whipped into the street in order to pass by him; then KELLY and ST LEGAR followed me; when I came to one of the dark passages in the Strand, I stopped to let them pass me, for I thought they wanted to walk faster than I; and when I stopped, they stopped. I thought it was done out of complaisance. When I came to Buckingham street in the Strand , I turned down four or five yards, thinking it was Villars street where I live, but seeing the gate at the end of the street, I found my mistake, and returned; at the end of the street in the Strand, that poor man Cave looked me full in the face, KELLY seized me with his left hand by the throat, and put a pistol or something like it to my temples, and thrust it as hard as he could against them, and swore by his Maker if I spoke a word he would blow my brains out. I said don't use me ill, it is not in my power to resist you, gentlemen, I see what you are about, and I cannot hinder you.
"Q. Who were then present?
"PIGGOTT. They were all three present, and KELLY said, D--n you, you son of a b----h, do you speak, by G-d if you do, I'll murder you; upon that I was quite silent, and made no reply. He still kept hold of me by the collar; then he took hold of my watch string, he could not easily get the watch out, so he tore open my breeches, and took the watch out and put it into his pocket. Then he put his hand into my right hand pocket, and took out all my silver and brass, I believe about 10 s. He searched with his hand on the side of my breeches, till he felt the purse; by his hurry I thought he would have torn the purse out. I said you may take it, he said, D--n you, you son of a b---h, you shall give it me, and I gave him the purse with 40 odd guineas; I think there were 44 guineas and a half in it. As soon as he had got that, he put his right hand upon my shoulder and turned my face down towards Buckingham street, and he swore by his Maker if I made a noise or offered to follow him, he would murder me, and bid me go down that street. Just as I turned the corner I received a stroke on the left side of my neck with some weapon, which I suppose was done with a design to knock me down.
"Q. Had ST LEGAR any weapon?
"PIGGOTT. While KELLY was robbing me, ST LEGAR stood just before me with a drawn sword, and held the point of it close to my breast, and CAVE stood on the left hand with a drawn hanger over my head. I did intend to purse them, and I should certainly have overtaken them before they came to the watch, but my breeches being unbuttoned hindered me. I called to the watch, and said I was robbed by three men, and the watchman said they were just run by him; he asked me if I thought I should know them again, I said, yes; he said go home and change your clothes and follow them, but I thought they would certainly be housed before I could do that. I acquainted Mr BOWLEY, the watchmaker in Lombard street with the robbery, and concluded to advertise my watch, with ten guineas reward; he advised me not to advertise it as stole, but as lost, and then I might possibly have it again. I advertised it on Saturday the 25th of May. Mr HALL seeing the advertisement that morning, went to Mr BOWLEY, and told him that such a watch had been offered to him to be pawned to him for three guineas, and he refused to take it in. Mr HALL's boy found out where the woman lived who pawned it, in Scroop's court against St. Andrew's church in Holborn. Mr HALL's boy went with me to CAVE's house, (for this woman was CAVE's wife.) I told her if she did not let me have the watch I would send for a constable, and send her to Bridewell. Then she said she had it of one ST LEGAR. I found by examining her, that KELLY and ST LEGAR lodged at CAVE's house; I sent for a case of pistols, and waited a whole day over against the house, but none of them came. A woman gave intimation to CAVE's wife, that KELLY was in trouble about a watch; I had information of a place of resort, and went with a woman to one RADDY's, in Catharine street in the Strand, in order to find out KELLY's wife, for HALL's boy followed the boy WOOD [*], who came for KELLY's wife. But when they found they were watched, WOOD run away, and KELLY's wife was housed at RADDY's. As I was talking, I discovered WOOD, and told him I believed he was an accomplice, and if he would not make a discovery, I would take him up.[* This Wood was in custody upon this account.]
"He said, did I rob you, what business have you to take me up? I sent KELLY's wife to the Counter that night, and went to RADDY's again to look after these fellows; and RADDY told me, if you get your watch again, and some part of the money, I believe you will be easy: I said I should be glad to have my watch again, but as to my money I did not expect. I told him by what he had said about the watch, I knew him to be an ill man, and I would take care to get him punished; and he said, master, if I am rightly informed, every part of the money is in KELLY's wife's drawers: I said I would not go about it at that time o'night for fear of being knocked on the head; and I said, if you don't assist me in taking these fellows, and shew some degree of honesty, you shall be punished. He afterwards informed me, that the boy I had taken up [WOOD] had the watch. I went to the boy to the Counter, and he told me he had lain upon the ground all night, and I gave him two shillings for his lodging: then he told me the watch was at one Sarah HOLLAND's in Stewart's Rents in Dirty Lane, in a cushion, in a two armed chair, in a paper. I went there, there was a great mob, and with much persuasion and many promises they let me into the room; when I got into the room, I went directly to the two armed chair, and found the watch in a white paper in the inside of the cushion among the hair. Patrick CAVE was apprehended, and desired to speak to me; he was going to say something to me, I said, I do not want you to say any thing, for I know all your faces very well; and he said he would give me information where the other people were, and I believe he did all that was in his power to find them out.
"KELLY and ST LEGER were taken the 5th of June in the Minories for an assault, in knocking down a bricklayer's man for looking at them: they were carried to the watch-house without Aldgate, and safely conveyed to the Counter by Mr DAY the beadle of Portsaken Ward; there was a powder horn and a brass ball found in KELLY's pocket.
"CAVE. I would ask the Gentleman, whether I did not offer to come to him if he would not molest me, and went to Esquire PIGGOTT, and told him all I knew.
"PIGGOTT. When I came to RADDY's house, RADDY said I am very glad you are here, for I have received a message from Cave, that he is under a vast concern, and cannot eat or drink, and that he would be glad to see you if you will promise not to take him that night; I told him I would not take him that night; he came and we had a great deal of talk. I did design to admit that man [CAVE] an evidence, but I was told my recognizance would be estreated, and I must prosecute.
"Edmund HALL. I am a pawnbroker in Gray's-Inn Lane. Sarah CAVE brought this watch to me, and wanted three guineas upon it. I asked her whose it was; she said it was a gentleman's: I told her I did not chuse to lend any money upon it without seeing the gentleman: she came again, and said, what signifies seeing the gentleman; but I would not have any thing to do with it. I sent my boy to DAWSON's at Furnival's-Inn Cellar, and there was a man in a livery [which I take to be CAVE] and the woman gave the watch to him.
"William PARROT. My master said he would not lend any money upon it without seeing the gentleman, and he bid me go with her; she was unwilling I should go; I went with her to Furnival's-Inn Cellar, and the prisoner Patrick CAVE came and confabulated with me some time, and Mrs CAVE gave the watch I believe to Patrick CAVE himself, and then she said the gentleman does not care you should see him, and so you may go back again. My master seeing the advertisement, said, the watch the woman brought, is stole. I went to Mr BOWLEY's, and told him what had happened, and I found Mrs CAVE, out in Scroop's Court in Holborn. I said, Mrs CAVE, you must give a particular account how you came by this watch, or you will bring yourself into further trouble, and then she said she had it from ST LEGAR.
"Patrick CAVE. As I was coming home to my own house from my master's at Lambeth after twelve o'clock, I saw Mr PIGGOTT pass by, he was dressed well: I had my master's hanger under my arm, and I saw KELLY and ST LEGAR in the Strand, and I came up with them. I was there to be sure. Mr PIGGOTT advertised the watch, and my wife owned she had it, I gave it to her. I lived with Mr WARD about four years, and had a good character, and never was concerned in any such thing before; and when I met him, I told him I would do him all the service I could, and inform him of the haunts of the persons who were concerned with me, and so I did.
"ST LEGAR. I never was concerned in any robbery with either of them.
"KELLY. I have nothing to say, but I leave myself to God and your Honours.
"CAVE. ST LEGAR came into my house, took a watch out of his pocket, and laid it upon the table. I was surprised how he should have a watch, because I never saw one with him before: the next day I was desired by Mr ST LEGAR to pawn this watch.
"ST LEGAR. It is very hard she should say I gave her the watch, when CAVE gave her the watch.
"Q. Did your husband give you the watch, or did ST LEGAR give it you?
"CAVE. ST LEGAR gave me the watch.
"William KELLY, Thomas ST LEGAR, Patrick CAVE, guilty. Death .
"Sarah CAVE guilty as an accessary.
"The Prosecutor recommended Patrick CAVE to the Court for mercy."
[Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.2, 23 June 2016), July 1745, trial of William Kelly Thomas St. Legar Patrick Cane Sarah Cane (t17450710-27).]

I suppose the big question here is whether the Press Reporters fabricated the Captaincy title as well as the given name of John? And it is interesting to note the censored language used by the footpads, when the missing letters are inserted, is identical to the phrase that Captain John PIGOTT used to describe William POPPLE in 1750. Not that this proves anything, other than that Sea Captains appear to have had a "colourful" vocabulary.

However, here again, from another item on the same web-site, it appears that even the Old Bailey could not record details consistently, and the robbed man has become Robert PIGOTT:
"Thursday the 18th day of July the report was made to their Excellencies the Lords of the Regency, when their Lordships were pleased to pardon Patrick CAVE, and to order the other three for execution.
"William KELLY, Thomas ST LEGAR and Patrick CAVE, of the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, were indicted for violently assaulting and putting in fear of his life Robert PIGGOT, Esq, and taking from him his watch and forty guineas, the property of the said Robert PIGGOT, Esq."
[Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.2, 23 June 2016), Ordinary of Newgate's Account, July 1745 (OA17450726).]


The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser published the following item in its issue of Thursday 12 February 1767:
"Saturday night last, about 12 o'clock, Capt PIGGOT, formerly in the West India trade, was coming up the road behind St George's church in the East, he was attacked by a single footpad  and knocked down; but the Captain recovering, rose and knocked the footpad down, and then proceeded on;
but soon after two more came up, knocking him down, cut him in several places, robbed him of a gold watch and a purse containing upwards of six guineas, and then threw him into a ditch, leaving him for dead."
A later issue of the same newspaper, dated 2 March 1767, reported the committal of Daniel HOBBS for "...robbing Capt John PICKETT of a gold watch."

Now this one could not have been the Captain John PIGOTT who had married Constantia Maria BURGOYNE in 1730 - he is confidently connected with the death of the Irish M.P. in Dublin in December 1763.
But, it could well have been the above Captain John PIGOTT who spent some years in Bermuda.

And, once again, the details are recorded on-line:
"267. Daniel HOBBS was indicted, for that he on the king's highway, on John PICKET, Esq, did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and violently taking from his person a gold watch, value 20 l., a cornelian seal set in gold, value 2 l., a gold mourning ring, value 10 s.. a clasp pocket knife, value 6 d., five guineas and a half, and 13 s. in money numbered, the property of the said John, February 8.
"John PICKET, Esq; About a quarter past twelve at night, on the 8th of February, I was on foot alone, coming from Ratcliff; and between that and Goodman's-fields , I was either pushed down, or knocked down by a man; I believe it was the latter; I cannot swear to the man; I thought there were two men, but am not sure; I saw no arms; I can't remember the man said any thing to me before I was down.
"Q. Had you been drinking?
"PICKET. I had.
"Q. Can you tell whether you was tripped up, or how?
"PICKET. I certainly was struck down; I made no resistance.
"Q. Did the man ask you for your money?
"PICKET. No, he took it when I was down, without asking; he took my gold watch, and mourning ring, five guineas and a half, and 14 or 15 s. in silver from me.
"Thomas GARDNER. I received a letter from Mr ALSORTH of Isleworth, wherein he acquainted me there was a gold watch with my name, No 3341. had been offered to a neighbour of his for four guineas and a half, I went there after the watch was delivered into my hand, I knew it, having made it for the prosecutor, and he gave me twenty-six guineas for it; I asked for the man that had it; the woman said he was at her house; we sent for an officer, and he was taken at the Red Lion there it was the prisoner at the bar he had a cockade in his hat, was a ma[indecipherable word] we searched him, the first thing taken from him was a clasp knife; the prisoner was then charged with robbing the prosecutor; it was asked whether he had any body with him in this affair; he said there was nobody but himself, that the gentleman was very much in liquor, and he followed him, and when he attacked him he tell like a log upon his back, and then he took the watch and things from him; I asked him after the ring, he said he had it about him; then he took it out of his pocket in a purse, and delivered it, we took him before Sir John FIELDING, and he committed him.
"John LEWIS. I am headborough and beadle of the parish of Isleworth; I took this clasp knife out of the prisoner's pocket on the 18th of February; (the watch, ring, purse, and knife, produced and deposed to by prosecutor) I was sent for to the Red Lion, there was the watchmaker, and they had the prisoner there; they charged him with robbing a captain on the highway; the prisoner said he was the man, and mentioned the several things he had taken from him; but said, the captain may say what he will, I took no more money from him than two guineas, two half guineas, and about 12 or 13 s.
"Eleanor ANSEL. My mother keeps the Red Lion at Isleworth; the prisoner brought a watch and desired me to say it by for him; (she is shewed the watch) I believe it to be the same but cannot swear to it; I laid it by, and after that delivered it to my sister, the next witness.
"Anne Catharine PRUDA. I received this watch (I believe it to be the same) of my sister, and delivered it to a boy to carry to Mr ALSORTH.
"Mr ALSORTH. Mrs ANSEL sent this watch to me, to get the opinion of a gentleman at Isleworth of the value of it; he informed me it was a gold watch of value, and advised them not to buy it; I saw the knife, purse, and ring taken from the prisoner, which the prosecutor swore to.
"Prisoner's defence. I am quite innocent of the affair; I asked liberty of my captain to come to London, he granted me two days. I went into New Gravel-lane, and returned the next morning. I picked these things up upon the road.
"Guilty. Death."
[Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.2, 24 June 2016), April 1767, trial of Daniel Hobbs (t17670429-66).]
The sentence was commuted to Transportation for Life.