Here is some information on the Tew Family

Family Crest to Pirate Flags


We are extremely proud to be part of the "Tew Legacy".... currently "gone legit" but still selling guns and ammo. and in remembrance of our ancestors even Rum from New England.

The family name is carried on with Newport Distilery's Tew's Rum while our Company Emblem still bears the pirate standard 

Origin of the Tew Surname

This surname derived from the small english village of Great Tew in Oxfordshire, England, which, in turn, derived its name from the old english word for ridge, which is "tiew". There are three villages in close proximity, Great Tew, Little Tew, and Duns Tew, the former of which is situated next to a long, running hill, or ridge. In England, among the surname variants appear Tewe, Tiew, and Tew

Capt. Thomas Tew, privateer turned pirate and friend to Governor Ben Fletcher of New York. He was likely born in Maidford, Northamptonshire, England before emigrating to the colonies as a child with his family. Captain Tew lived in Newport, Rhode Island, and based himself in Madagascar in the Red Sea, a popular hunting ground for 17th century pirates.  Along with french Pirate Capt. Misson, he created Libertalia. Captain Kid, before he himself turned pirate, was commisioned by King William the 3rd to hunt down pirate Thomas Tew.

Captain Johnson said "Tew, in Point of Gallantry, was inferior to none."


In November, 1694, Tew bought a new letter of marque from Fletcher and set out for another pirate cruise. His crew numbered thirty to forty men at departure this time.  However, by the time he reached Madagascar, he apparently increased his force to 50 or 60 men.

Arriving at the Mandab Strait at the mouth of the Red Sea in August, 1695, Tew found several other pirates hoping to duplicate his prior success, including Henry Every in the powerfully armed warship Fancy. Tew and the other pirate captains decided to sail in concert. In September, 1695, a 25-ship Mughal convoy approached the Mandab Strait, slipping past the pirates during the night.

Tew and his fellow pirates pursued. The Amity overtook one of the Mughal ships, believed to be the Fateh Muhammed, and attacked it. Tew was killed in this battle, reportedly disemboweled by a cannon shot. Demoralized, Tew’s crew surrendered immediately, though they were freed later when Every’s Fancy captured the Fateh Muhammed.

The final resting place of Tew’s remains is unknown, but he is said to be the father of Ratsimilaho, a man who created a kingdom on the east coast of Madagascar. In addition, it has been claimed that Tew was one of the named founders of the mysterious and possibly fictional pirate colony of Libertalia.

Captain Thomas Tew's Treasure Chest Captain Thomas Tew's 17th century treasure chest is the only authentic pirate treasure chest in the world. With its intricate exterior carvings and an elaborate hidden lock mechanism, this 400-year-old chest is a hefty 150 lbs. empty.  Experience the Thomas Tew treasure chest for yourself on display at Pirate Soul.

Tew's Armory
1443 Stone Jug Road
Rome PA 18837