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PRIVATEERS AND PRIVATEERING

[Illustration: THE "INVENTION," FRENCH PRIVATEER]

PRIVATEERS AND PRIVATEERING

By COMMANDER E.P. STATHAM, R.N.

AUTHOR OF "THE STORY OF THE 'BRITANNIA,'" AND JOINT AUTHOR OF "THE HOUSE OF HOWARD"

WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS

London: HUTCHINSON & CO. Paternoster Row 1910

PREFACE

A few words of explanation are necessary as to the pretension and scope of this volume. It does not pretend to be a history of privateering; the subject is an immense one, teeming with technicalities, legal and nautical; interesting, indeed, to the student of history, and never comprehensively treated hitherto, as far as the present author is aware, in any single work.

The present object is not, however, to provide a work of reference, but rather a collection of true stories of privateering incidents, and heroes of what the French term "la course"; and as such it is hoped that it will find favour with a large number of readers.

While the author has thus aimed at the simple and graphic narration of such adventures, every effort has been made to ensure that the stories shall be truly told, without embroidery, and from authentic sources; and it has been found necessary, in some instances, to point out inaccuracies in accounts already published; necessary, in view of the fact that these accounts are accessible to any one, and probably familiar to not a few possible readers of this volume, and it appears to be only fair and just that any animadversions upon these discrepancies should be here anticipated and dealt with.

It has not been considered necessary, save in rare instances, to give references for statements or narratives; the book is designed to amuse and entertain, and copious references in footnotes are not entertaining.

It will be noticed that the vast majority of the lives of privateers and incidents are taken from the eighteenth century; for the simple reason that full and interesting accounts during this period are available, while earlier ones are brief and bald, and often of very doubtful accuracy.

Some excuse must be craved for incongruities in chronological order, which are unavoidable under the circumstances. They do not affect the stories.

There remains to enumerate the titles and authors of modern works to which the writer is indebted, and of which a list will be found on the adjoining page.

LIST OF MODERN AUTHORITIES

"History of the American Privateers and Letters of Marque in the War of 1812," etc. By George Coggleshall. 1856.

"Mann and Manners at the Court of Florence." By Dr. Doran. 1876.

"The Naval War of 1812." By T. Roosevelt. 1882.

"Studies in Naval History." By Sir John K. Laughton. 1887.

"The Corsairs of France." By C.B. Norman. 1887.

"Life Aboard a British Privateer in the Reign of Queen Ann." By R.C. Leslie. 1889.

"Robert Surcouf, un Corsaire Malouin." Par Robert Surcouf, ancien Sous préfet. 1889.

"The British Fleet." By Commander C.N. Robinson, R.N. 1894.

"The Royal Navy." By Sir W. Laird Clowes, etc. 1894.

"Old Naval Ballads," etc. The Navy Records Society. 1894.

"A History of the Administration of the Royal Navy," etc. By M. Oppenheim. 1896.

"History of the Liverpool Privateers," etc. By G. Williams. 1897.

"Naval Yarns, Letters, and Anecdotes," etc. By W.H. Long. 1899.

"A History of American Privateers." By E.S. Maclay. 1900.

"Sea Songs and Ballads." By C. Stone. 1906.

"Les Corsaires." Par Henri Malo. 1908.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

PAGE

INTRODUCTORY 1

TWO EARLY INCIDENTS

CHAPTER II

ANDREW BARTON 19

THE "AMITY" AND THE SPANIARDS 28

PRIVATEERING IN THE SOUTH SEAS

CHAPTER III

WILLIAM DAMPIER 35

CHAPTER IV

WOODES ROGERS 41

CHAPTER V

WOODES ROGERS continued 60

CHAPTER VI

GEORGE SHELVOCKE AND JOHN CLIPPERTON 75

SOME ODD YARNS

CHAPTER VII

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, OF THE "ALEXANDER" 95

THE CASE OF THE "ANTIGALLICAN" 96

CHAPTER VIII

CAPTAIN DEATH, OF THE "TERRIBLE" 106

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