Thomas Pound

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This article is about the English pirate. For the Jesuit brother and poet, see Thomas Pounde.
Thomas Pound
Born (presumed) England
Died 1703
Piratical career
Years active 1689 - 1690
Rank Captain
Base of operations Coast of New England

Thomas Pound (also Thomas Pounds and Thomas Ponnd) (died 1703), was an English pirate who was briefly active in the coastal waters of New England during 1689.

Early life[edit]

Born in England, Pound joined the Royal Navy and rose to become a junior officer and naval cartographer stationed in the colonial port of Boston, Massachusetts. One of Pound's maps has been preserved in the Library of Congress, depicting the New England coastline between Cape Cod and "Cape Sables" on modern-day Sable Island.[1]


On August 8, 1689, Pound was aboard a small privately owned vessel in the company with six other passengers when it anchored off Lovell's Island and was boarded by five additional men. By pre-arrangement, Pound and the newly arrived men from Lovell's Island then seized the ship as their own.

Pound's first encounter as a pirate was unspectacular. Sailing along the Massachusetts Coast, he encountered a fishing vessel but failed to engage. Instead, Pound had his vessel hauled alongside and purchased a supply of mackerel for eight pennies. Turning north, Pound made port in Falmouth, Maine and supplemented his small crew with soldiers who had deserted from the local garrison. Returning to sea, Pound and his men then attacked the sloop Good Speed off Cape Cod and the brigantine Merrimack among other ships in the New England area.

An armed sloop, Mary, was soon sent out by the Massachusetts governor against Pound and his crew.[1] On 4 October, Mary discovered and engaged Pound's vessel anchored off Naushon Island.[1] In heavy fighting Pound suffered gunshot wounds and Mary's captain, Samuel Pease, was killed.[1] Outnumbered and outgunned, Pound and his crew surrendered and were taken back to Boston for trial. On January 13, 1690, Pound was found guilty of acts of piracy and sentenced to death.[2]


Pound was placed aboard a naval vessel bound for England, where his sentence would be carried out. However, the ship was mid-voyage when it was attacked by a French privateer. Pound was released to assist with the defence, and fought bravely on behalf of his captors. On the recommendaton of his ship's captain, Pound received a commutation of sentence on arrival in England and was released from prison after a short incarceration.[2]

Pound's naval rank was restored and he was later given command of his own vessel, his brief piratical career apparently forgotten. He died in 1703.


  1. ^ a b c d Ellis et al., 1886, p. 479.
  2. ^ a b Peterson 2002, p.19


  • Peterson, Mark A. (2002). "The Selling of Joseph: Bostonians, Antislavery and the Protestant International, 1689-1733". Massachusetts Historical Review. Massachusetts Historical Society. 4. JSTOR 25081169. 
  • Ellis, George E.; Winsor, Justin; Porter, Edward G.; Deane, Charles; Peabody, Andrew P. (May 1886). "May Meeting, 1886. Diaries of Sullivan's Expedition: General Sullivan's Expedition: Journal of William McKendry: Maps of Boston Harbor: The Boston Port Bill: Dr Belknap's Protest: Memoir of John Langdon Sibley". Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Massachusetts Historical Society. 2. JSTOR 25079647. (Subscription required (help)). 

Further reading[edit]

  • Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. 1932.
  • Edmonds, John Henry and George Francis Dow. The Pirates of the New England Coast 1630-1730. Toronto: Courier Dover Publications, 1996. ISBN 0-486-29064-6
  • Peffer, Randall S. Logs of the Dead Pirates Society: A Schooner Adventure Around Buzzards Bay. Dobbs Ferry, New York: Sheridan House Inc., 2000. ISBN 1-57409-095-X
  • Seitz, Don Carlos, Howard F. Gospel and Stephen Wood. Under the Black Flag: Exploits of the Most Notorious Pirates. Mineola, New York: Courier Dover Publications, 2002. ISBN 0-486-42131-7