Age of Pirates

Pirate Encyclopedia: Nathaniel North

During the Nine Years' War Nathaniel North was a member of crew aboard a French "privateer" ship, a privately owned and crewed vessel, but authorized by a government during wartime to attack and capture enemy vessels. The Nine Years' War was a major war fought in Europe and America from 1688 to 1697, between France and the League of Augsburg -- which, by 1689, was known as the "Grand Alliance".

He was made to join the British Royal Navy, but made his way back to Jamaica to continue his privateering work. He met again with the Royal Navy but escaped by jumping overboard and swimming to shore. Circa 1696, he was with the privateer that captured the 18-gun ship "Pelican" off of Newfoundland. The privateers next went to Madagascar, where they intended to rob the Moors but had no luck finding any ships. They returned to Madagascar, but before that, not wanting to return home empty-handed they raided villages in the Comoro Islands.

Once there, North was elected quartermaster, a supplier and provider of troops. He then sailed alongside Dirk Chivers and Robert Culliford in the Red Sea. During this time, the ship "Great Mohammed" was captured by the three. The "Pelican" crew soon disbanded from sailing with the other ships which refused to equally divide the booty from the Great Mohammed. Headed for the coast of India, the pirates seized three small ships keeping one of the ships and renaming her the "Dolphin".

De Grammont's fleet was damaged in a hurricane, so the pirates were forced to change course and make repairs. They went back to Madagascar for the project. Once there, the pirates divided up their wealth, with each man receiving about 700. After the storm, North sailed as quartermaster under Captain Samuel Inless, the newly appointed captain of the "Dolphin". After plundering a large Danish ship in 1699, they went to Saint Mary's Island to divide their booty, each share was roughly 400. During their stay at Saint Mary's Island, Captain Samuel Inless was forced to burn the "Dolphin," rather than surrender to four British warships which recently arrived. The British offered a pardon which several men accepted. Due to his lack of trust, North fled to Madagascar in a ship's boat. After his boat was overturned during a storm, he swam twelve miles to shore, saving only his life and nothing else.

North was again employed as quartermaster with George Booth from 1701 to late 1703, and after Booth's death with John Bowen. North was elected as captain after Bowen retired at Mauritius late in 1703. The pirates had several duties in Madagascar, while all the while they frequently intervened in native wars to gain slaves and women. The beginning of 1707 marked North as a quartermaster once again. Sailing under John Halsey aboard the "Charles." The "Charles" captured two British ships, of which Halsey took one of them, sailed back to Madagascar, and left North in command of the "Charles." His stint as captain was brief as he wrecked on a reef. North later sailed in Madagascar waters in 1709, and some years later, was killed by local tribesmen.

Copyright 2006 CleverMedia
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