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British Privateers

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

March 30.—The predatory plan of the Tories that have lately infested the southern coasts of Massachusetts, is more extensive than was at first imagined. The infamous Brigadier Ruggles, a native of Massachusetts, flourishes with his royal commission at the head of this band of robbers. The direction of their motions is committed to this parricide. The noted Gilbert is his second. It seems the governmental folks at New York, heartily fatigued with having so many importunate hungry Tories hanging upon them, have come to a kind of compromise with these wretches. They are now to prowl for their own living. The British king allows them small armed vessels, and salt provisions; respecting other things they are to find themselves. Equipped upon so honorable a footing, they are to seek their pay, and maintain their families, by plunder and robbery. Their leader at Sandwich and Falmouth, Edward Winslow, of Plymouth, is a specimen of the future fate of many of them. He is gone back to Rhode Island with the gout in his stomach, occasioned by a musket ball, and probably will rob no more.1


1 New Hampshire Gazette, April 27.