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Who was Edward England?
Edward England is known as one of the most generous and
merciful pirates of his day. Edward England was born in Ireland as Edward Seegar.
He began his pirating career when he was the first mate on a ship. A captain
called Captain Winter conquered the ship. Not long after the conquer, Captain
Winter had gained many of the crew’s respect and he became one of them.
Soon after, Woodes Rogers became governor of the
Bahamas and offered a pardon to all Caribbean pirates. England refused to accept
the pardon and was forced to leave the Caribbean and sail to Africa where he
continued his pirating. It was while in Africa that England took over the “Cadogan”,
which at the time was commanded by Captain Skinner. Skinner had many debts and
was an enemy of several of the men in England’s crew. For this reason, he was
tortured and killed. It was on this ship that England met Howell Davis, who
would later become a very successful and famous pirate. Seeing the skill and
ability that Davis possessed, England gave him command of the “Cadogan.”
Not long after that, England took command of the
“Pearl.” England renamed the ship the “Royal James.” The decision turned out
well for him as the crew became even more successful in this ship under the new
name and soon afterwards, England built an entire fleet.
In the spring of 1719, England once again changed
flagships and took the “Fancy” in exchange for the “Royal James.” The Dutch ship
proved to be even more powerful than his old ship. It was with this ship that he
travelled to Madagascar and made even more of a name for himself. The next year
he sailed to Johanna where his crew attacked two English ships and one Dutch
ship, all of which belonged to the East Indies Company. Two of these ships tried
to flee and were successful in doing so but another ship stayed to battle. This
ship was the “Cassandra”, captained by Captain James Macrae. After hours of
fighting, Macrae fled to the shore to escape and the “Fancy” was completely
demolished while many pirates were killed.
Captain Macrae spent several days in the woods
starving before he surrendered to the pirates that were searching for him.
England’s first mate, John Taylor, pleaded with England to let him kill Macrae
to seek revenge for the demolished “Fancy” and for the men that were killed.
However, England would not allow Macrae to be killed but he did take the
“Cassandra” as consolation.
England’s crew was outraged that they were ordered
to spare Macrae’s life. It was then that they raised mutiny against England and
left him abandoned on Mauritius with three of England’s loyal followers.
Miraculously, England was able to build a boat and he took his three men and
sailed to Madagascar. However, shortly after, Edward England died as a very poor
man. It has been said that he did not deserve this unjust death due to the fact
that he was such a merciful and generous pirate, not to mention the fact that he
was virtually unknown at the time of his death, after an especially successful
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