Captain John Halsey


John Halsey, originally hailed Boston. As a privateers he raided French and Spanish shipping in 1704. In 1705 he received a new commission and turned pirate. He sailed to Madagascar in command of the Charles, which had 10 guns.
In late 1706, he was disposed by his crew who thought him to be a coward after refusing to fire upon a larger Dutch ship in the Indian Ocean. His crew was convinced the ship was nothing more than a merchantman. Halsey's intuition was correct however for the Dutch ship turned on the Charles and fired. Afterwards, Halsey was reinstated as captain.
Next in February, 1707 Halsey seized two coastal traders at the Nicobar Islands. Then Halsey sailed to the Straits of Malacca. He found little success there, as his crew was now afraid to fire upon any ship larger than their own after the encounter with the Dutch ship.
At Madagascar Halsey picked up more crew and Nathaniel North became Quartermaster. While visiting Mocha in the Red Sea, August, 1707, Halsey encountered a British squadron of five ships with a total of 62 guns. Halsey displaying immense courage and attacked the squadron. The largest of the British ships fled and the others scattered in all directions. Halsey captured two of the ships, taking £ 50,000 in cash and cargo.
In January, 1708, Halsey returned to Madagascar. A hurricane struck and destroyed his ships. Halsey was sick with a fever and died soon after. He was buried with great ceremony. Of the ceremony, Daniel Defoe quotes: "He was brave in his Person, courteous to all his Prisoners, lived beloved, and died regretted by his own People. His Grave was made in a Garden of Water Melons, and fenced in with Pallisades to prevent his being rooted up by wild Hogs."

Posted by Under The Black Flag on 7:30 π.μ.. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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