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Manual Greed & Betrayal

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The Charles had been attacking England's allies, and therefore Quelch was put on trial for his life in what would be the first capital trial conducted by an English admiralty court sitting in North America. Quelch was tried, convicted, and hanged.

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During the proceedings and in the immediate aftermath, several questions were raised about the actions of the court. Governor Dudley presided at the trial, and at the start he acknowledged that it might be considered "a severe thing, to put an Englishman to death without a jury" p. Admiralty courts did not have juries, and this would be the first capital trial conducted in Massachusetts in which the defendant could not elect a jury trial. Furthermore, since trials of this sort were a novelty for America, the proper paperwork had not been prepared for them.

When the Privy Council learned of Quelch's trial, it scrambled to send the appropriate commissions to Massachusetts, retroactively authorizing the proceedings. Perhaps the most intriguing objection to Quelch's trial is one suggested by a letter that Dudley sent to the Privy Council telling why he felt compelled to publicize and explain the prosecution to the people of Massachusetts.

No such trial had ever been held before, he explained, and it seemed "very harsh to hang people that bring in gold to these provinces" p. Thus the trial raised various issues--relating to criminal procedure and the right to a jury, the establishment of administrative oversight and formal authorization for the administration of justice in the colonies, and the regulation of violence and depredation in the marginal spaces between the empires--that speak to concerns that have preoccupied historians in the last twenty-to-thirty years.

Clifford Beal, however, is not primarily interested in answering or building upon the work of recent scholars. He is not an academic historian, but rather a popular writer and a former editor of Jane's Defense Weekly.


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This is not exactly a historical monograph, but rather to use Beal's apt, if slightly vague phrase a work of "historical nonfiction" p. The book begins, "Although it was early afternoon, on a hot day in late May, the main taproom of the Noah's Ark in Boston's North End was dim and cool despite the sun shining through the wavy, paned windows" p. When I read these words, setting the scene for the story of Quelch's arrest, I wanted to know how Beal knew what the weather was like. I should not have concerned myself. The scene is entirely conjectural.

One hundred pages later I learned that "it is not recorded where Quelch was arrested" p. Quelch's Gold , from its beginning to its end, is a mix of history and fiction. One entire chapter, an entertaining account of Quelch's voyage from New England to Brazil, has vivid detail and virtually no documentary support.

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Beal is honest about this in his notes. In most passages of the book, Beal hides the speculative nature of his enterprise.

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Please download a browser that supports JavaScript, or enable it if it's disabled i. There we was. Sailing the seas in our sloop, booty packed away below deck, with visions of glory and riches dancing in our heads. A giant skull spawned in the sky to show us the way to more plunder. As we looked towards the floating skull we spotted another sloop on the horizon. We approached the sloop with plans of sinking it, but instead found a friendly pirate.

After some discussion, we decided that it'd be in our best interest to take the skull fort together. Our new friend asked if he could have all of the skulls from the fort so we told him he could take whatever he wanted. When we arrived at the fort we began slaughtering the skeleton hordes with no other pirates in sight.

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During the skeleton slaughter, I had been sneaking every gunpowder barrel from the island into our new maties ship. After the captain was defeated I took the key and waited at the door for our new pirate friend to see the treasure with me.


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While I did this me fellow crews-man waited for the signal in this foolish pirate's ship. As our pirate friend picked up the stronghold skull, I killed him by shooting him in the back with my blunderbuss, which signaled me crews-man to blow up his ship. His ship sunk so fast that he didn't get a chance to respawn. Instead he left us with a message saying, "Would it have killed you to share? You are the official cancer that plagues this game robbing someone on the Open Seas is one thing but befriending someone and then stabbing them with a back is something a pirate wouldn't even do.

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