Edward Low

Edward Low

Edward Low
(also called Captain Ned Low/Lowe or Loe)

Born: around 1690
Died: 1724

Edward Low was born around 1690, a tough kid to a very poor family of thieves in Westminster, London. Even as a child he cheated and stole money from everyone around him, especially the footmen working at the nearby House of Commons.

As he grew older he took up burglary, just as his brother, Richard, had. Although his brother was not particularly lucky, getting caught in 1707 and being hanged in Tyburn. 
In 1710, having had enough of his life in London, Low moved to America and spent three or four years moving around the country, before he deciding to live in Boston, Massachusetts.

Here he met his wife, Eliza Marble, and they married in 1714. Then had a son, who sadly died as a young boy. Later, in 1719, Eliza gave birth to a daughter (Elizabeth), but she herself did not survive the birth, leaving Low the single father of a little girl.
Although he didn’t want to, Low then left his daughter in the United States and got himself a job (an honest job) on a boat as a rigger. A few years later, in 1722, he was employed as patron to supervise 12 man chop and collect a load of logs from Honduras and ship them to Boston for resale. But one day he and the men returned to the ship after a day of chopping and there was no food for them. Hungry, they complained to the Captain but he said they’d have to wait, and have a drink of rum instead. Low was not happy at this. So he picked up his gun and went to shoot the Captain - but he missed! Instead shooting dead another crewman, causing himself and his friends to be forced off the ship for mutiny.

The very next day, Low, leading the 12 other men, took over a different small sloop off the coast of Rhode Island (killing one man in the process) and became pirates. 
Shortly after the group met George Lowther, commander of a group of pirates on the Happy Delivery.

In need of a bigger crew, Lowther happily took on Low’s group of men and made Low a lieutenant. That was until a few weeks later when they captured a large ship from Boston and a selection of smaller ships from the Bay of Honduras, then, since Lowther now had more than one ship, he made Low a captain of one. Lowther and Low sailed together for many years, eventually splitting up around 1722, by which time Low had a bigger ship and around 44 crew members.

Over his next few years of piracy, Low became a truly feared pirate, especially for his horrendous torturing and needless killing (just like Francois L’Olonnais). Although in sharp contrast, because of his feelings towards his dead wife, Eliza, and the daughter he’d left behind, he refused to ever press-gang married men and always returned women safely to port.
He also became a very successful and smart pirate in the areas between Africa and Brazil, up to SE America.

Over his few years at sea, he’s believed to have caught and burnt over a hundred ships, and commanded dozens.
It’s not entirely clear whatever happened to Low, but in 1723 after a couple of acts that were considered to be cowardly, his crew lost faith in him and he either spent the rest of his life hiding out in Brazil or was set adrift by his men only to be found and hung by the French.


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