(Un) Known pirates and criminals of the seas
Lawrence Eliot *1545?? - +1600?? English Pirate.
He was a member of Francis Drake's crew since 1570 and participated in all of his journeys in the Caribbean. Together, they pillaged many Spanish ships, towns and settlements.
He was also on the GOLDEN HIND (PELICAN) shipyard of Vice-Admiral Francis Drake on a journey around the world in 1577-80.
In 1588, he participated in the successful attacking of the Spanish Felicissima Armada (Invincible Armada, Grand Armada). See Don Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y de Zúñiga-Sotomayor, en el Palacio de Medina-Sidonia.
In 1589 he took part in the English Armada (Contra Armada, Invencible Inglesa) to Spain and Portugal under the command of Admiral Francis Drake. The invasion finished as a complete catastrophe. See Maria Mayor Fernández de Cámara y Pita.
Peter Easton also Eston *1570 - +1619?? The English captain, admiral and pirate, operated along the east coast of North America, the Bristol Channel and Caribbean. He became a legend in his lifetime.
Peter Easton came from an aristocratic family which was loyal to the English crown during crusades. In his youth he served and grew up on ships of the Royal Navy.
In 1602, Easton received the Corsair Law from Queen Elizabeth's 1st. He got command over three warships to assert peace and law at Newfoundland, because most of the local fishermen also supported piracy. His flagship was HAPPY ADVENTURE.
On the way, they captured the Dutch pirates who had captured the Irish refugees from a sunken ship. One Easton's officer fell in love with one woman and they settled in Bristol's Hope in Newfoundland. The legend of Princess Sheil NaGeer and Gilbert Pike was created about this relationship. Easton was also supposed to atack foreign ships, especially the Spanish Golden Galleons, and received their cargo. But he was not able to turn away local fishermen from piracy and change the overall situation.
As a result of the war of England against Spain in 1604, Peter Easton and his fleet did not get any money and therefore they turned to piracy. King James I. Stuart sent a young captain, Henry Mainwarring, to catch Peter Easton and stop his piracy. This action failed because Henry Mainwarring himself joined his pirate fleet. Easton had a base on the Oderin Island in Newfoundland It was a horseshoe-shaped cove and the anchored ships were protected by the high hills. At the entrance, he built a fortress which was discovered by Captain Tavener during the exploration of the island in 1713. The ruins of the fortress are still visible today.
Around 1610, his fleet operated in the Bristol Channel in England and the Channel. He soon controlled most of ports and shipping. He cooperated with the powerful Killigrews family from Falmouth, Cornwall, who supported Easton financially and they shared the profit from piracy.
In 1612 Peter had a fleet of ten ships with the main port in Harbor Grace, Newfoundland. In the following years, he pillaged ships and colonies in North America and the Caribbean. At the same time he added other ships to his fleet. After pillaging about thirty ships at St. John, they captured captain Sir Richard Whitbourne. He was released on condition that in England he would negotiate a grace for Peter Easton and his men. Grace was truly granted to them, but they did not know about it.
It is estimated that Easton's crew had about two thousand sailors, some of them were Newfoundland fishermen and a fleet of up to forty ships.
During the next two years of impatient waiting for grace, he made an expedition to the fortress of San Felipe del Morro in Puerto Rico, which was also unsuccessfully attacked by Francis Drake in 1595. Here, Easton's pirates captured the Spanish golden galleon SAN SEBASTIAN full of gold. They returned to Harbor Grace.
In the years 1612-1614 he was so dangerous that the governors of Coast Colonies could not ignore his presence. A combined fleet of French and Spanish ships was sent to destroy Peter Easton's fleet at Harbor Grace. They met at Conception Bay. The pirates eventually managed to defend the attack and escape. It is supposed that the forty-seven pirates who died in this battle were buried in Bear Cove near Harbor Grace. Easton moved his base to Ferryland, where he built a house which still stands. From here he managed the attacks on the passing ships.
Later, he sailed off to pillage the Spanish ships at the Azores. Then he joined in an alliance with the ruler of the Ottoman Empire and in Algiers. They pillaged the Spaniards along the Berber coast in the Mediterranean Sea. He then divided the huge wealth by paying shares to the all men of his fleet, which he dismissed and he went to rest/retirement.
Peter Easton, with many millions in gold and the title of Marquis of Savoy, settled in the town of Villefranche-sur-Mer in Savoy, Italy, the present-day French Riviera. He lived here to high age.
Today, one room in the Museum is dedicated to Peter Easton at Harbor Grace.
Texts: P. Patočka, P. Steinhardt, H. Prien
Translation: S. Harasimová
Graphic design: M. Gorejová
Updated: September 24, 2020
Sources: see ZDROJE