Myrth MacThoi

Myrth MacThoi, a most notorious offender, famous for stealing Watches from Ladies Sides in the Churches, for which she has been several times Transported, has been taken and is committed to Newgate.  She lived many years in this town, was a great frequenter of plays, and used to be remarkable for distributing oranges (sexual favors) to all who would accept them.--  The Post October 6, 1722


As the above news article describes, Myrth was well known with to law.  She came to Town (London) looking to continue her apprenticeship where she "contracted acquaintance with all manner of wickedness."

After several transportations to the Americas, she was taken once again, this time by the famous Jonathon Wild and cheated at the Tyburn Tree.

Prior to her death, Myrth confessed her life to the "Bishop of the Cells" as the Ordinary as Newgate was known colloquially.

It is her confession that provides the most detailed accounts of Fugmore Bay where the MacThoi operated a harbor for pirates and privateers alike.

Her confession was published in "The Ordinary of Newgate, His Account of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words of the Malefactors who were Executed Tyburn." (These confessions along with sermons from the Ordinary were sold before during and after the executions to benefit the populace.  All proceeds went to the Ordinary.  It provided the basis for stories and songs of the time, not excluding some work of Daniel DeFoe--the ed.)

Her first offense was stealing woolen caps.  Later stealing lead shingles from roofs, this time in the guise of a man, calling herself Merle Van Gelt.  Her theft of linens from her mistress home led to her first many transportations to the Americas.  There she would labor as an indentured servant.

After little more than a year, she escaped.  Under the alias of Merle Van Gelt, she found a ship for England.

Her confession claimed that "it's a wicked world in all meridians." The ship was taken by pirates.  Most of the crew, herself included signed articles rather than be marooned.  She worked the pirate ship for several years before breaking company with it and going ashore at Jamaica.

From there she made her way to the pirates den of Fugmore Bay.

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Clan MacThoy's webpage is a production of the
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Copyright 1998-2001 The Northwest Hellcats
Created: May 9, 2001
Last modified: September 12, 2006