As a carpenter, he sailed for Newfoundland in a ship that was captured by the pirate Anstis in the Good Fortune. Very soon he reconciled to the life of a pirate and was appointed as a carpenter to the ship.
After returning to England he quit the country again. He shipped himself on board a vessel at Topsham for Newfoundland. He ran away at Peter Harbor and hired himself as a splitter to the Newfoundland cod fishery.
On the night of August 29, 1723, he stole a vessel in the harbor and sailed away with four others. Phillips was chosen captain. They drawn articles and were sworn to upon a hatchet.
Soon they took several fishing vessels, from which they augmented their small crew. They had the good fortune to take prisoner an old pirate John Rose Archer, who had served under famous Blackbeard. They promoted him to quartermaster.
Then they sailed to Barbados, but for three months they did not see any ship. Finally they met twelve guns ship from Martinique. The hunger drove them to attack even so big ship as this. Luckily for them the French crew surrendered without firing a shot.
After this, they took several vessels. Phillips quickly developed into a most bloody pirate, butchering his prisoners. His carrier ended with a mutiny of his crew, Phillips being tripped up an then thrown overboard. He drowns off Newfoundland on April 1724.
During the nine months he accounted for more than thirty ships.
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