Category Archives: Privateering

Church of St Michael and All Angels, East Coker, Somerset, England

Plaque in  St Michael and All Angels, East Coker, Somerset commemorating William Dampier d. 1715

Location

Church of St Michael and All Angels, East Coker, Somerset, England

Transcript

'In memory of William Dampier, Buccaneer, Explorer, Hydrographer. Thrice he circumnavigated the Globe, and, first of all Englishmen, explored and described the coast of Australia. An exact observer of all things in Earth, Sea, and Air, he recorded the knowledge won by years of danger and hardship in Books of Voyages and a Discourse on Winds, Tides, and Currents which Nelson bade his midshipmen to study and Humboldt praised for scientific worth. Born at East Coker 1651 He died in London 1715 and lies buried in an unknown grave. The world is apt to judge of everything by the success, and whosoever has ill fortune will hardly be allowed a good name.' [Small plaque alongside main one commemorating 300th anniversary of the landing of William Dampier in Australia, New Holland 4 Jan 1688.]

Details

Type: Plaque
Materials: Brass

People

Dampier, William
Age:
Date of Death: 1715
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Pirate. Hydrographer
Organisation:

Extra

Notes: Born at Hymerford House, East Coker 1651.

Christchurch, Newgate Street, London, England

Memorial formerly in Christchurch, Newgate Street, London commemorating Sir Kenelm Digby d. 1665

Location

Christchurch, Newgate Street, London, England

Details

People

Digby, Kenelm
Age:
Date of Death: 11/6/1665
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Privateer
Organisation:

Extra

Notes: Destroyed with church in Great Fire.
Bibliography: 'International Society for the Study of Church Monuments Bulletin' no. 6, p.103 (1982).

St Mary's Church, Rotherhithe, London, England

Memorial at St Mary’s Church, Rotherhithe commemorating Roger Tweedy d. 1655

Location

St Mary's Church, Rotherhithe, London, England

Transcript

'Roger Tweedy Esq was interred in the middle ile of this church, in the year 1655. He gave by will two shillings every Lords Day for ever, to be distributed among 12 poor seamen or seamen's widows in bread: the officers of this church to take care to distribute it, and those nearest of kin to him to enquire of its disposal; and if not performed according to the will to take it into their hands. In commemoration of Mr Roger Tweedy who living was Landsmen's councellor, seamen's glory, schism's scourge and truth's living story. His soul a ship, with graces fully laded / Through surges deep did plow, and safely waded. / With Principles of Faith his ballanc'd mind / Did steddy sail 'gainst Blasts of boist'rous wind / of doctrine falce which furiously did blow / Like rowling waves, to toss him to and fro / This sayling ship did precious wares distribute / in every port, as the acknowledg'd tribute / of Christ his king, love's crane did weigh the council, contribution he did pay / At Rotherhithe hee did at length arrive / and to the poor his tribute fully give / And in this Port he doth at anchor stay / Hopefully expecting Resurrection's Day'

Details

Type: Wall tablet
Position: North wall
Materials: Black marble
Vessel: George Bonaventure

People

Tweedy, Roger
Age:
Date of Death: 1655
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Privateer
Organisation:

Extra

Notes: 1629 Master of the privateer 'George Bonaventure of London'. He left a charitable bequest.
Bibliography: A.E. Daniell 'London's Riverside Churches' (London, 1897) p. 247.

Main Street, Lower Largo, Fife, Scotland

Statue at Lower Largo, Fife commemorating Lieutenant Alexander Selkirk RN d. 1721 – the inspiration for the character of Robinson Crusoe

Location

Main Street, Lower Largo, Fife, Scotland

Transcript

'IN MEMORY OF ALEXANDER SELKIRK / MARINER, THE ORIGINAL ROBINSON CRUSOE / HE LIVED ON THE ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ IN COMPLETE / SOLITUDE FOR FOUR YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS. HE DIED / 1723 LIEUTENANT OF HMS WEYMOUTH AGED 47 YEARS / THIS STATUE IS ERECTED BY DAVID GILLIES / NET MANUFACTURER ON THE SITE OF THE / COTTAGE IN WHICH SELKIRK WAS BORN' [on plaque below the statue]

Details

Description: Selkirk depicted full-length in a niche, dressed in skins.
Type: Statue
Position: On side of building
Materials: Stone, bronze plaque beneath
Vessel: HMS Weymouth

People

Selkirk, Alexander
Age: 45
Date of Death: 1721
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Original of Robinson Crusoe. NMM library catalogue gives his dates as 1676-1721.
Bibliography: David Saunders 'Maritime Memorials & Mementoes' (Yeovil, 1996) p. 146 (photograph).

Town church, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands

M4219Large.jpg

Location

Town church, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands

Transcript

'Sacred / To the Memory / of Captain NICHOLAS LE MESSURIER / Commander of the Private Ship of War the / Bellona of Twenty Guns, belonging to this Island / Who, being on a Cruise, in the Night of the Twelfth / of February 1759, fell in with a large French East / India Ship, and in the Morning by dawn of Day / Gallantly Attack'd and Engag'd Her, but about an / Hour after was unfortunately Slain. / The Privateer being greatly Shatter'd in her Masts / and Rigging, having several Shot between Wind / and Water, and many Men kill'd and Wounded / was oblig'd to Sheer off, after having greatly / Shatter'd the Enemy. /He was a Native of this Island. Born on the 16th of May / in the year 1731, and always behav'd like/ a Brave and Diligent Officer; to whose Memory / the Owners of the Privateer have erected this / Monument out of Gratitude for his good Services / Restored by a few Guerseymen 1906'

Details

Description: The memorial has a curved pediment with a shell at the apex. The pilasters are topped with reliefs of sunflowers. There is a curved arch above the inscription, carved with shells and foliage. On the apron, a carved cartouche with a crossed sword and victor's palm branch behind it. The architectural surround is in coloured marble.
Type: Wall monument
Position: Near the west door south aisle
Materials: Marble
Vessel: Bellona

People

Le Messurier, Nicholas
Age: 27
Date of Death: 13/2/1759
Cause of Death: War casualty
Rank / Occupation: Captain
Organisation:

Extra

Notes: Sighted 2010 Barbara Tomlinson.

St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth, Devon, England

Memorial in St Saviour’s Church, Dartmouth, Devon commemorating privateer captain, Roger Vavasor d. 1696

Location

St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth, Devon, England

Transcript

‘Memoriae Sacrum / Rogeri Vavasor Qui fortiter / Se defendendo & public Patriae / Inimico oppugnando magnanimae / Succubuit Morti / Vicesimo octavo Die mensis Martij / Dom 1696 / Et / Iuxta hunc Locum / Conduntur Reliquiae / Henrici Vavasor Filii / Unici Rogeri supradicti / Spe Resurrectionis Generalis / Qui / Obiit secundo Die Mensis Sept / Dom 1727 / Anno / Aetat 36’ [Translation] Sacred to the memory of Roger Vavasour who, bravely defending himself and attacking the common enemy of the fatherland succumber to a hero’s death on 28th March 1696, aged 34. And next to this place are interred the remains of Henry Vavasour, only son of the above-named Roger, who died on the 2nd December 1727 aged 36.

Details

Description: In grey marble. At the top, a broken segmental pediment supporting allegorical figures, with an urn in the centre. The inscription table is flanked by putti supported on brackets, family arms below.
Position: Aisle
Artists: John Weston of Exeter [signed]
Vessel: Nicholas

People

Vavasor, Roger
Age:
Date of Death: 28/3/1696
Cause of Death: War casualty
Rank / Occupation: Captain
Organisation:

Extra

Notes: Privateer captain- see letters of marque HCA26/2/167.

All Saints Church, Lower Edmonton, London, England

M3030

 

Memorial to Robert William Eastwick d.1865, at Edmonton

Location

All Saints Church, Lower Edmonton, London, England

Transcript

'SACRED/TO THE MEMORY OF/ROBERT WILLIAM EASTWICK ESQRE / OF 39 THURLOE SQUARE, LONDON / WHOSE REMAINS ARE INTERRED OPPOSITE THE SOUTH DOOR OF THIS CHURCH / HE WAS BORN ON THE 25TH JUNE 1772 / AND DIED ON THE 31ST DECEMBER 1865 / AGED 93 YEARS 6 MONTHS AND 6 DAYS / HE WAS MASTER'S MATE IN THE 'INCONSTANT,' FRIGATE IN 1788 / WAS 5TH OFFICER OF THE 'BARWELL' EAST INDIAMAN IN JANUARY 1792 / WAS ONE OF SEVEN WHO ESCAPED FROM THE WRECK OF AN AMERICAN SHIP / IN AUGUST 1792 AT CAPE NEGRAIS ON THE COAST OF BURMAH / WAS CAPTAIN OF THE 'ENDEAVOUR' WHEN TAKEN AT BALASORE ROADS / BY THE 'LA FORTE' FRIGATE, AND WAS RECAPTURED / BY THE 'LA SYBILLE'; IN THE CELEBRATED ACTION OF THE 28TH FEBRUARY 1799. / WENT UP WITH SIR JOHN MALCOLM'S MISSION TO PERSIA IN 1800 / WAS WITH GENERAL WHITELOCK'S EXPEDITION TO BUENOS AYRES IN 1807 / COMMANDED THE 'GANGES' WHICH BROUGHT TO ENGLAND LORD MINTO'S DESPATCHES / ANNOUNCING THE SUPPRESSION OF THE MADRAS MUTINY IN 1809 / WAS ONE OF TWENTY SURVIVORS, WHO ESCAPED FROM THE WRECK OF THE 'ELIZABETH' / AT DUNKIRK, IN 1810, WHEN 360 PERSONS PERISHED, / AFTER BEING IMPRISONED FOR SOME MONTHS, HE WAS LIBERATED / BY THE EMPEROR NAPOLEON / WAS CAPTURED AFTER A SEVERE ACTION, IN WHICH HE WAS WOUNDED. / BY THE AMERICAN PRIVATEER 'ANACONDA' IN 1812 / COMMANDED THE 'ASIA' WHEN WRECKED ON THE COAST OF HOLLAND IN 1826 / HE WAS A SKILLFUL AND FEARLESS SAILOR, AN HONEST, ENERGETIC, SELF-DENYING MAN / AND A SINCERE CHRISTIAN / THIS TABLET HAS BEEN ERECTED AS A TOKEN OF LOVE / BY HIS WIDOW AND CHILDREN / "THE LORD GAVE AND THE LORD HATH TAKEN AWAY / BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD" JOB 1 21'

Details

Description: Guns, four flags and an anchor carved above the inscription panel. Arms and motto 'IN CRUCE FIDES'
Type: Wall tablet
Materials: White marble
Artists: Gaffin, T
Vessel: Inconstant, Barwell; Endeavour; Ganges ; Elizabeth

Event

1793-1802 French Revolutionary War

People

Eastwick, Robert
Age: 93
Date of Death: 31/12/1865
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Commander HEIC
Organisation: Honourable East India Company

Extra

Notes: Eastwick was buried in the churchyard at Edmonton opposite the south door of the church. Due to changes, that area was built over for a new aisle 25 years later but the Eastwick family vault may still survive.
Bibliography: Frederick Teague Cansick 'Epitaphs of Middlesex' (London, 1869) vol iii, p. 164; W.H. Coates 'The Old Country Trade'(London, 1911) 108-110; Robert William Eastwick 'A master mariner: being the life and adventures of Captain Robert Eastwick' (London, 1891)
Photographer: Photo by Robert Musgrove

St James's Church, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England

Wall tablet at St James’s Church, Toxteth, Liverpool commemorating Captain George Pemberton d. 1795

Location

St James's Church, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England

Transcript

'To the memory of Captain George Pemberton, Commander of the ship Wilding of Liverpool, who died on the 20th day of November 1795, of the wounds he received in a most gallant action with a French privateer, of superior force when bound on a voyage to Jamaica, in which Captain Pemberton did Honor to the character of a British sailor by destroying the enemy's ship and preserving his own. This monument is erected by the order of Moses Benson in testimony of the high respect he entertained for Captain Pemberton during many years faithful service'

Details

Description: Carved with a kneeling figure by an urn.
Type: Wall tablet
Vessel: Wilding

People

Pemberton, George
Age:
Date of Death: 20/11/1795
Cause of Death: War casualty
Rank / Occupation: Master
Organisation:

Extra

Notes: From a MS in Liverpool Record Office, Compiled by James Gibson d. 1886, vol. 3, p. 24.
Bibliography: Gomer Williams 'History of the Liverpool privateers and letters of marque with an account of the Liverpool slave trade' (Liverpool, London, 1897) p. 337.

Fitzford end of Plymouth Road, Tavistock, Devon, England

Statue in Plymouth Road, Tavistock, Devon depicting Sir Francis Drake d. 1596

M5542Large.jpg

Location

Fitzford end of Plymouth Road, Tavistock, Devon, England

Transcript

'ARMADA 1588, ' SIR FRANCIS DRAKE / THE FAMOUS NAVIGATOR AND ADMIRAL / WAS BORN IN CROWNDALE IN TAVISTOCK / PARISH ABOUT 1542 / AND DIED AT SEA 1596 / THIS STATUE BY JOSEPH EDGAR BOEHM / WAS ERECTED IN 1883 / THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF HASTINGS / NINTH DUKE OF BEDFORD.'

Details

Description: Full-length holding compasses, globe behind. Three bas-reliefs on the base depict the game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe, his knighting by Queen Elizabeth and Drake's burial at sea. Cast by Drew & Co/Moore & Co, Thames Ditton, Surrey.
Type: Statue
Materials: Bronze
Date Erected: 27/9/1883
Artists: Joseph Boehm

People

Drake, Francis
Age:
Date of Death: 28/1/1596
Cause of Death: Infectious disease
Rank / Occupation: privateer; explorer
Organisation:

Extra

Notes: A statue of Sir Francis Drake by Andreas Friedrich had been erected at Offenburg in Germany in 1854. Confusing him with Sir Walter Raleigh, it credited him with introducing the potato to Europe. This statue was destroyed prior to the Second World War. The Tavistock statue was the first to be put up in England.
Bibliography: R.G. Harry 'Tavistock Sir Francis Drake's Statue and Medal'.

All Saints Church, Bakewell, Derbyshire, England

Tablet dedicated to Jonathan Brunt in Bakewell, Derbyshire d. 1779

Location

All Saints Church, Bakewell, Derbyshire, England

Transcript

'To the memory of / JONATHAN BRUNT Junr / late surgeon on board the Sturdy Beggar / Privateer of Liverpool / who was wrecked in the Atlantic Ocean / off the island of Fayal / where he died in September 1779 / aged 19 years'

Details

Description: Roman capitals and lower case lettering. Moulded border surmounted by cornice.


Type: Tablet
Position: Exterior of south wall.south porch
Materials: Slate
Vessel: Sturdy Beggar

People

Brunt, Jonathan
Age: 19
Date of Death: 9/1779
Cause of Death: Vessel Loss
Rank / Occupation: Surgeon
Organisation:

Extra

Recorder: M Bartlett, Cavendish NADFAS, 1993