In the early 1600's Peter Easton, also known as the Pirate Admiral, amassed a small fortune off the coast of Newfoundland while working as a pirate. Easton and his crew of almost 5,000 wreaked havoc up and down the coast of the North American Eastern Seaboard. Easton became a legend and no body of law was every able to stop his reign of piracy.
He began his career as a privateer, loyal to England and hired by Queen Elizabeth I to fight against the Spanish. However, when King James I assumed the throne of England in 1603, the war between Spain and England was over. King James I had signed a treaty with Spain and vastly downsized the British Navy, leaving Easton unemployed.
Easton then turned to piracy to survive and eventually established a home base in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1610. In Harbour Grace, Easton built a crew of pirates and acquired a fleet of ships that enabled him to control the waters off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1611, France made an unfruitful attempt to stop Easton's piracy empire but in the end he prevailed.
In 1612, Easton moved his home base to Ferryland, Newfoundland. In Ferryland, he plundered ships and recruited new pirates that served to enhance his empire. Easton and his crew were so fierce they even captured and plundered the ship that carried the Sheriff, Sir Richard Whitebourne, sent from England to arrest him.
Easton's greatest conquest was the capture of three Spanish ships that held such an amount of treasures for him and his crew, that he had amassed a fortune that would last a lifetime.
Amazingly, the Pirate Admiral was even pardoned by King James I for his acts of piracy, but letter of pardon never reached Easton in Newfoundland. Some years after 1614, Easton proceeded to disband his army and moved permanently to France. There he married into French nobility, and his wealth and marital status propelled him to the position of Marquis of Savoy. Remarkably, Easton managed to attain a fortune through piracy and theft, while remaining a widely respected citizen in France. He lived in France until his death many years later.