Captain Christopher Condent


At the time of Woodes Roger's arrival in New Providence to assume the Governorship of the island and reform the pirate haven, Christopher Condent was quartermaster aboard a New York merchant's sloop. Apparently, the ship was either a privateer or pirate at this time, although the text is not very clear.
An Indian man, that the crew kept on board and much abused, bent on revenge for the mistreatment threatened to blow up the ship from the hold. Condent leaped into with a pistol and cutlass; the Indian fired his pistol at Condent, wounding his arm. Condent in turn fired and killed the Indian. Soon afterward the pirates took a merchantman, the Duke of York, and after some dispute the two ships split company, with Christopher Condent being elected captain of the sloop.
Setting course for the Cape Verd Islands Condent took a merchant laden with wine from Madeira. Coming to the Isle of Mayo he took the whole salt fleet, consisting of 20 sailing ships. It is at this point that we his cruel side and possibly gather some glimpse of why he turn to piracy. Condent set himself up over the salt fleet to administer justice to the officers of the ships. If any crewman of the ships had complaint against the officers' treatment of them, the officers were whipped and pickled. Taking what provisions and valuables he desired and augmenting his crew with forced men, he departed for St.Jago and captured a Dutch privateer. Renaming the ship the Flying Dragon, he took it for the pirate's use. The pirates headed next to the coast of Brazil where they took several Portuguese prizes.
The next ship taken was the Wright galley, commanded by one of Condent's townsmen, John Spelt. Condent kept the galley for some time as a consort. Additional prizes included another Portuguese merchant and a Dutch East Indiaman of 26 guns. With the three ships he made for the Island of Ferdinando and careened. After this he released Captain Spelt and several of the forced men, giving Spelt some cargo from the Portuguese ship they had taken. After a failed attempt to take a 70 gun Portuguese man of war, from which Condent's sailing skill helped them escape, they took another Portuguese ship and turned for the Gold Coast. Not before he practiced some more cruelty upon his Portuguese captives by cutting off their ears and noses as vengeance for Brazil's treatment of pirates.
Off the Guinea coast the pirates took a ship the Indian Queen and coming across a Dutch ship of 44 guns and English ship named the Fame in Loanga Bay, frightened both into beaching. Salvaging the Dutch ship they then headed for the East Indies taking an Ostend East Indiaman and Dutch East Indiaman before setting course for Madagascar and the Isle of St.Mary. After augmenting his crew with the stranded men of Captain John Halsey and joining with tow other pirates from the Island of Johanna, he took the Cassandra, an East Indiaman, and continued into the East Indies taking much booty. Touching at the Isle of Mascarenes, the pirates took a 70 gun Portuguese ship with the Viceroy of Goa aboard as a prize and sailed for Zanzibar where they took a Dutch fortification. Turning for St.Mary's they shared out the booty and broke up the company.
They sent a ship to the French governor of Mascarenes to petition for a pardon which was granted. Condent is said to have married the Governor's daughter and subsequently retired to St.Malo France to prosper as a merchant ship owner.

Posted by Under The Black Flag on 5:53 π.μ.. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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