Adam Baldridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Adam Baldridge (fl. ca. 1685–1697) was an English pirate and one of the early founders of the pirate settlements in Madagascar.

Fleeing from Jamaica after being charged with murder, Baldridge sailed to Madagascar and, by 1685, had established a base of operations on the island of St. Mary's. By the following year, Baldridge controlled the inland waterway into St. Mary's having established a virtual stronghold overlooking the island harbor as well as protecting the settlements' warehouses. After he had subdued the local tribes, native chieftains would be forced to pay Baldridge to mediate between warring tribes.

By the 1690s, Baldridge's settlement had become a popular haven among pirates of the Mediterranean with Baldridge supplying pirates in exchange for high fees. Baldridge's trading supplies came from New York merchant Frederick Philipse, who chartered a number of ships under captains John Churcher, Thomas Mostyn, and others; Baldridge sent slaves back in return.[1]

Among his customers was Thomas Tew, who visited once in 1693, and whose ship the Amity visited again in 1695 after Tew had been killed attacking the Moorish ship Gunsway with Henry Every.[1] Baldridge had just traded with the merchant ship Charming Mary in August 1695, and only a few months later equipped the Amity (with the remains of Tew's crew) who left to hunt down the very same Charming Mary who'd just departed.[1]

Baldridge reportedly lived a luxurious and extravagant life on the island, which included his own harem of island women, until 1697 when he was forced to flee to the American colonies after the local tribes discovered he had sold a group of natives as slaves. A number of pirates were killed in the ensuing uprising, including John Hoar, Robert Glover, and the remainder of Thomas Wake's crew, who had cruised with Tew and Every.

According to William Kidd:[2]

"Baldridge was the occasion of that Insurrection of the Natives and the death of the pirates, for that having inveigled a great number of the natives of St. Maries, men, women and children, on board a ship or ships he carryed and sold them for slaves to a French Island called Mascarine or Mascaron, which treachery of Baldridges the Natives on the Island revenged on those pirates by cutting their throats."

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Jameson, John Franklin (1923). Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period: Illustrative Documents. New York: Macmillan. 
  2. ^ "Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period by J. Franklin Jameson". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 19 May 2017.