The famous pirate of James Ferguson.


Who was James Ferguson?

Curiously, James Ferguson was a Scottish man of science who was involved in piracy. Ferguson was born in Paisley, Scotland, although a few dates come into play when it comes to the life of this surgeon-pirate.

All the facts about Ferguson’s early life are a mystery and as an active pirate, just sparse reference has been found, including an artifact recovered from a shipwreck resembling an old syringe that might have belonged to James Ferguson.

Ferguson worked as a surgeon aboard the ship "Whydah" commanded by Captain Samuel Bellamy, an English pirate best known as "Black Sam" or "Black Bellamy". Dr. Ferguson was not actively involved in piracy and he never captured any booty, but curing sick or wounded pirates with the limited medical resources available in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Having Ferguson aboard the Whydah was "advantageous" due to the lack of antibiotics because he simply cut parts of their bodies off, cauterizing the wound with a red hot ax while patients were awake, procedure that was always "better" than just to let them die.

As other people involved with pirates were considered pirates themselves so Dr. Ferguson was usually referred as to just another pirate that deserved to be hanged, especially because Captain Bellamy was one of the most successful pirates in the West Indies.

As other Scottish, Dr. Ferguson disliked George I, who became King of Great Britain in 1714. George I was the first Hanoverian King (a royal dynasty from Hannover, Germany) and founder of the British House of Hanover. The Hanoverians were the ruling dynasty for the next 200 years an even under greater German influence when Queen Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert of the House of Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha in the 19th century.

The Scottish tried to conjure the power of Germans in Great Britain into joining to their English allies in an effort to restore the exiled Royal House of Stewart starting up a rebellion in 1715, in which the name of the pirate Dr. James Ferguson was recorded.

The revolt failed and Ferguson escaped punishment. He returned to the sea aboard the "Whydah", where he drowned with all the crew after the ship sank during a storm off Cape Cod in 1717, facts known through the words of Thomas Davis, one of the two only pirates that survived the shipwreck.

James Ferguson.

 The famous pirate of James Ferguson.

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