Baugh (Bagh, Bough, Boghe), William (c.1587–1619?), pirate, was probably born in England. He was a ‘rear-admiral’ of the confederation of North Atlantic pirates c.1611, when many were sheltering in Ireland from the attempts of governments to eradicate piracy in northern European waters. He has been described as ‘particularly ruthless’ (Senior, 25); his crew once prevented him from executing an insubordinate member. Driven from Orkney and Munster to north Africa, Baugh accepted an offer of pardon and, pending its issue, returned (1612) in his ship Lion with booty to Leamcon and Kinsale, Co. Cork. While under a protection issued by the lord deputy, Sir Arthur Chichester (qv), he used largesse to cultivate good relations with officials, troops, and population, and was said to have become engaged to the daughter of Capt. Skipwith, the local commander. However, Sir William St John, authorised by the privy council in London, arrested him despite the protection. A settlement was arranged; Chichester undertook to compensate Baugh for goods taken by St John, with further payment to dissuade him from resuming piracy. The funds, however, were handled by Sir John Bingley (qv); Baugh received only £40 instead of £1,100 and died ‘of discontent’ in prison for debt, a. October 1619. The case epitomised governmental weakness in peripheral regions; a lack of coordination between law, policy, and administration; and the equivocal relationships of pirates and officials in both kingdoms.
HMC, Salibury papers, xxii, 99–100; C. M. Senior, A nation of pirates: English piracy in its heyday (1976); J. C. Appleby, ‘The “affairs of pirates”: the surrender and submission of Captain William Baugh at Kinsale, 1611–1612’, Cork Hist. Soc. Jn., xci (1986), 68–84; D. D. Hebb, Piracy and the English government, 1616–1642 (1994)