|Pirate vessel. Wrecked in a Bay. C/O Tew. .....................|
The majority of the pirates that stopped at Madagascar were English, French or American and one of the earliest of the more famous pirates to arrive was Thomas Tew in 1693. Tew was master of an 8-gun sloop, the Amity and while England was at war with France in 1692, he received a commission from the governor of Bermuda to travel with another ship to Africa and attack the French slaving stations at Goori in Gambia. During a storm on the way there, Tew lost his partnered ship and decided to turn pirate. Tew puts Amity in at Madagascar more than once between 1692 and 1693 for supplies. Amity met and engaged an Arab galley in the Straits of Bebelmandebin in the Red Sea. The galley was laden with treasure bound for the palace of the Arab Grand Moghul and her crew put up very little resistance. Without injury to a single man, Tew's crew took the galley. Her cargo amounted to approximately 16 million modern US dollars. He set course back to the Cape of Good Hope, stopping at the island of St. Mary's on Madagascar to careened.
Amity sailed home, not to Bermuda but to Newport. They reached Rhode Island in April of 1694.
His reputation had be made with the enormous wealth allotted to his previous crew. In November of 1694, Tew's ship - again named Amity - set out across the Atlantic this time with two others Captained by Thomas Wake and William Want.
He sold the Amity, paid the crew, and then spent the next several months ashore, enjoying the notoriety that his exploits brought him.