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Who was George Booth?
George Booth was an English pirate during the later
part of the 17th century. He was one of the first active pirates in the Indian
Ocean and the Red Sea. He had such captain as John Bowen, Thomas Howard, and
Nathaniel North serve in his fleet of ships.
Not much is known of George Booth prior to his time
as a gunner aboard the Pelican about 1696 and then sometime later on the
Dolphin. Both of these ships were operated in the Indian Ocean.
In September 1699, the crew of the Dolphin was
trapped at Sainte-Marie Island by the British. At this time, the entire crew was
offered a pardon. Only a few of the pirates surrendered to the British fleet,
however, George Booth was one that escaped in the hopes of reaching Madagascar,
after setting the Dolphin afire. He did capture a French merchant ship after a
while by pretending to buy supplies in exchange for slaves. He was elected
captain by the crew and continued on their way to Madagascar.
A few years later, George Booth met John Bowen
another British pirate. They joined forces and together captured the Speaker.
The Speaker was a 450-ton slaver, which was carrying 50 guns. The capture
occurred close by Majunga in April of 1704. Booth and Bowen headed off toward
Zanzibar and landed there in 1710. As Booth and Bowen started ashore in
Zanzibar, they were attacked by Arab troops. George Booth was killed during the
fight. After this, John Bowen was voted captain of the small fleet of pirates.
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