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Captain John Bowen.

The practice of this South Sea pirate extended from Madagascar to Bengal. He commanded a good ship, the Speaker, a French vessel, owned by an English company interested in the slave trade, which Bowen had captured by a cunning ruse. He afterwards lost his ship off Mauritius, but was well treated by the Dutch Governor, who supplied doctors, medicine, and food to the shipwrecked pirates. After three months' hospitality on the island, Bowen procured a sloop, and in March, 1701, sailed for Madagascar. As a parting friendly gift to the Governor, he gave him 2,500 pieces of eight and the wreck of the Speaker, with all the guns and stores. On arriving at Madagascar, Bowen erected a fort and built a town. Shortly after this a ship, the Speedy Return, and a brigantine were so very thoughtless as to put into the port, and paid for this thoughtlessness by being promptly seized by Bowen. With these two vessels Bowen and his merry men went "a-pyrating" again, and with great success, for in a short time they had gathered together over a million dollars in coin, as well as vast quantities of valuable merchandise. The pirates then, most wisely, considering that they had succeeded well enough, settled down amongst their Dutch friends in the Island of Mauritius to a quiet and comfortable life on shore.


Taken from The Pirates' Who's Who:Giving Particulars Of The Lives and Deaths Of The Pirates And Buccaneers by Philip Gosse. Originally published by Burt Franklin of 235 East 44th St., New York 10017 in 1924 and in the public domain.

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