Edward Low (Ned Low), a former Boston ship rigger, was known to be an
extremely cruel pirate. Even his own men described him as a maniac and brute. He
often forced his prisoners to eat pieces of their own flesh before killing them.
After capturing a Nantucket whaler, Low made her commander eat his own sliced
off ears, sprinkled with salt, before he killed him. When he captured the
Spanish galleon Montcova, he personally slaughtered fifty-three officers and
made one Spaniard eat the heart of another before killing him.
Low became well-known for his frequent voyages to the bleak Isles of Shoals
off the coasts of Maine and New Hampshire. Low is well-remembered for seizing
three Shoals fishermen and damming them to death. Considering himself a
fair-minded Jack-a-float, he promised the piscatorian three their freedom if
they would but call down evil thrice on the name of the Reverend Cotton Mather,
who was the common enemy of all pirates. They hated Mather, known for his
hell-fire and brimstone sermons against them, as much as Mather loathed the
Edward Low's own crew finally set him adrift in an open boat without
provisions. Two days later a French ship rescued him, but upon discovering who
he was, the French gave him a quick trial and hung him.