| July 12, 1726, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|William Fly Wikipedia
Captain William Fly (died July 12, 1726) was an English pirate who raided New England shipping fleets for three months in 1726 until he was captured by the crew of a seized ship. He was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts and his body publicly exhibited as a warning to other pirates. His death is considered by many to mark the end of the Golden Age of Piracy.
William Fly's career as a pirate began in April 1726 when he signed on to sail with Captain John Green to West Africa on the Elizabeth. Green and Fly began to clash until one night William led a mutiny that resulted in Capt. Green being tossed overboard; Fly then took command of the Elizabeth. Having captured the ship, the mutineers sewed a Jolly Roger flag, renamed the ship Fames' Revenge, elected William Fly as captain, and sailed to the coast of North Carolina and north toward New England. They captured five ships in about two months before being captured themselves. Following his capture, Cotton Mather tried, and failed, to get Fly to publicly repent.
William Fly and his crew were hanged at Boston Harbor on July 12, 1726. Reportedly, Fly approached the hanging with complete disdain and even reproached the hangman for doing a poor job, re-tying the noose and placing it about his neck with his own two hands. His last words were, roughly, a warning to captains to treat their sailors well and pay them on time - "Our Captain and his Mate used us Barbarously. We poor Men can’t have Justice done us. There is nothing said to our Commanders, let them never so much abuse us, and use us like Dogs." Fly urged that "all Masters of Vessels might take Warning of the Fate of the Captain that he had murder'd, and to pay Sailors their Wages when due."
Following Fly's execution his body was hung in chains (gibbeted) on Nixes Mate Island in Boston Harbor as a warning to others not to turn to piracy.