Edward Low (1690 – possibly 1724) is today remembered as one of the most notorious pirates in the Golden Age of Piracy. During his active years, he terrorized western coast of North America gaining reputation of an extremely violent pirate. Stories of his cruel management of captured ships and their passengers soon reached the governments of America and England, and they quickly marked Low as one of the most sought criminal of his age and slowly started organized fight against endless pirate fleets in Atlantic and Indian sea. Many historians still discuss the manner of Low’s death, and conflicting reports about the final months of his life.
Low was born in Westminster, London around 1690. As a member of a very poor family, she soon entered a life of crime. As he grow older, he took part in more and more serious crimes, until he eventually decided to leave England and find his luck in the new world. After he arrived in America, he drifted from city to city from 1710 to 1714, when he finally settled by marrying his wife Eliza Marble who died shortly after the birth of Low’s only daughter.
Death of his wife brought Low back into the criminal life of his youth. After shortly working as a dock worker and shipmate, he and his crew soon mutinied against their captain and took control of the ship. Low, now a pirate captain managed to capture several trade ships of the coast of Boston and New York, which gave him the funds to relocate to more lucrative waters of Caribbean. After arriving to the Grand Caymans, he soon became lieutenant for the well-known veteran pirate Captain George Lowther, who soon gave him control of his own large 6-gun Librantine ship called “Rebecca”.
As Low’s pirate career went on, his notoriety slowly rose. Of the coast of Nova Scotia he managed to capture 13 fishing vessels moored in the harbor of Port Roseway, where he picked one of the large fishing schooners to be his new flagship “The Fancy”. His exploits in the Caribbean brought the death of many of his prisoners, and tales of his crimes reached every corner of the Atlantic. Many surviving victims of his pirate attacks described Low as a psychopath who liked to inflict pain to others – he often chained, mutilated, burned, and even forced some captives to eat heart of their captain.
By the 1723 Caribbean authorities could not endure Low’s crimes anymore, and they dispatched a force to dispatch him as quickly as possible. 10 June Edward Low’s fleet suffered resounding defeat against English Captain Peter Solgardand his warship HMS Greyhound. Although battle resulted in the death of Low’s crew, he and the skeleton crew of The Fancy managed to escape. During the next year Low became even harsher toward the ships that he captured, until the point where his crew mutinied and left him marooned. According to some sources, he was found by the French who after finding out who he was promptly hanged him in Martinique. Other sources claim that he managed to escape, and that he lived the remainder of his life in Brazil.