John Evans (pirate)

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For other people named John Evans, see John Evans (disambiguation).

John Evans (died c. 1723) was a Welsh pirate who had a short but successful career in the Caribbean.

Evans was the master of a sloop operating from the island of Nevis until he lost his employment there. For a while he found employment as a mate of ships sailing from Jamaica. This was a time when there was a surplus of seamen, so that wages were low and berths scarce, and towards the end of September 1722 Evans and a few friends decided to try their luck at pirating. They started by leaving Port Royal in Jamaica in a rowing boat and going ashore on the north side of the island to raid some houses.

A few days later they found a small sloop at anchor and commandeered her, giving her the name Scowerer. They sailed to Hispaniola, where they captured a Spanish sloop which proved a rich prize: when shared out the booty came to 150 pounds per man. They went on to take a number of other ships, adding to their own crew by inducing many of their crews to join them. A Dutch sloop which they captured was commandeered. They then headed for the Grand Caymans to careen.

Here an incident put an end to Evans' career as a pirate. The captain had trouble with the boatswain of his ship, and several times had words with him. The boatswain responded by challenging the captain to a duel with pistols and swords when they reached land. When they did reach land, Captain Evans reminded the boatswain of this, but the latter now refused to fight. Angered at his cowardice, Evans gave him a beating with his cane, which provoked the boatswain into producing a pistol and shooting the captain through the head, killing him instantly. The boatswain tried to escape but was captured and killed by the rest of the crew. Without their captain, the crew decided to disband, sharing booty worth 9,000 pounds between them

References[edit]

  • Johnson, Charles (1724). "A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates" (1998 ed.). Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-732-0.