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Who was Dirk Chivers?
There is no information of the early life of Dirk
Chivers, but it is know that he was a Dutch privateer who signed on as a crew
member of the Portsmouth Adventure in 1694 under Captain Joseph Farrell, sailing
from Rhode Island to the Red Sea.
In mid-1695, Chivers and Captain Farrell helped
pirate Henry Every in the capture of two ships with a rich booty aboard, an that
occurred action after they were sailing back to Rhode Island at the time in
which Farrel's ship was wrecked near Mayotte, in the Comoro Islands.
Chivers and other crew members decided to stay in
Mayotte while Farrell continued on to Rhode Island aboard Every's ship. In late
1695, Chivers signed aboard the 28-gun ship Resolution under Captain Robert
Glover, who remained in the Red Sea for several months until he was involved in
a mutiny against Captain Glover.
Glover's former crew elected Chivers as their new
captain aboard a recently captured Arab ship named Rajapura. Captain Chivers
renamed this ship as "The Soldado" and for the next year he successfully
plundered several ships, capturing rich booties and valuable prizes before he
teamed up with privateer John Hoar it the seize of two East India Company ships.
Captain Sawbridge was captured inside one of these
ships, but his continuous moaning and complaints forced Chiver's crew to sew up
the captain's lips with a sail needle. Indian vessels were ransomed and burned
after the governor of Aden refused to pay for it.
In 1696, Chivers and Hoar sailed to Calcutta and
captured new prizes at this harbor. Later they seized 4 vessels and demanded a
ransom of £10,000 for their return, but they obtained 10 Indian ships sent by
the governor against privateers so they opted to flee with no prize, heading up
to Saint Mary's Island, where they stayed the summer of 1697 for repairs.
Back to the sea in 1698, Captain Chivers captured an English ship obtaining only
a deal in exchange for rum. Later that year, Chivers teamed up with Robert
Culliford in the capture of the Great Mohammed with £130,000 worth of booty and
renamed this vessel as "The New Soldado".
When Chivers returned to Saint Mary's Island in
1699, four British battleships arrived to offer him a royal pardon that he
accepted, returning to live on the merchantman Vine until his death.
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