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Robert Culliford

English Pirate

Born: Unknown

Died: Unknown

When the Blessed William was stolen from Captain Kidd in February 1690, Robert Culliford was amoung the mutineers that took it. William May was elected her new captain and in December he sailed for Madagascar, then went on the hunt near India. May and Culliford jumped ship at the Nicobar Islands and returned to New York. May was given command of the Pearl and Culilford her quartermaster. Together they sailed for Mangalore, India. When they arrived in October, 1694, Culliford left the ship and signed aboard the Merchantman Josiah as a gunner.

In June 1696, while the crew was at Madras, Culliford led a mutiny, seizing the Josiah. Near the Nicobar Islands, the crew retook the ship, marooning Culliford on the islands. Culliford was rescued by Ralph Stout, captain of the Mocha. Culliford joined Stout's crew, and when Stout was killed circa 1697 Culliford was elected captain.

Culliford sailed the Mocha for the Strait of Malacca and pursued the British ship Dorrill. When Culliford's crew closed in, the Dorrill opened fire, this act surprised Culliford and his crew. The salvo sheared off the Mocha's mainmast. Culliford retreated to Saint Mary's Island, near Madagascar, plundering several ships enroute. At Saint Mary's, Culliford plundered a French ship. His booty came to 2,000. While at Saint Mary's, Culliford also encountered William Kidd. Former grievances forgiven, the two enjoyed each others company, with most of Kidd's crew enlisting with Culliford. Culliford left Saint Mary's in late June, 1698.

Shortly after departing Saint Mary's Island, Culliford met up with Dirk Chivers. They joined forces and captured the Great Mohammed in the Red Sea in September of 1698. The Great Mohammed carried 130,000 in cash. While returning to Saint Mary's Island they plundered another ship in Feburary 1699.

While at Saint Mary's Island, 4 British warships arrived. The pirates were offered a royal pardon, which Culliford accepted.

Culliford went to London. He was arrested and tried for the piracy of the Great Mohammed, ruling that his pardon wasn't valid. He was saved from hanging because his testimony was needed in the upcoming trial of Samuel Burgess. Following the trial, Culliford disappeared from record.

Unsunstantiated rumors imply that Culliford decided to repent and next served aboard a naval ship under an assumed name.

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