George Booth (pirate)

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For other people named George Booth, see George Booth (disambiguation).
George Booth
Born England
Died 1700
Piratical career
Type Pirate
Years active 1696-1700
Base of operations Indian Ocean, Red Sea
Commands Speaker

George Booth (died 1700) was an English pirate who was one of the earliest active in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. His crew included the prominent captains Nathaniel North, Thomas Howard and Booth's eventual successor, John Bowen.

He is first recorded as a gunner aboard the Pelican about 1696, and later on the Dolphin, both operating in the Indian Ocean.

While he was a gunner on the Dolphin, she was trapped at Sainte-Marie Island by a British fleet in September 1699. The crewmen were offered a pardon by the British commander. Some of the pirates accepted the offer, but Booth and others after burning the Dolphin. They captured of a French merchant ship by pretending to wish to trade liquor and other goods for slaves. Booth was elected they captain, and the pirates sailed to Madagascar.

Booth encountered fellow British pirate John Bowen, and joining forces, they captured the Speaker, a 450 ton, 50 gun slave ship, near Majunga in April 1699. As captain of the newly captured prize, Booth eventually sailed towards Zanzibar and arrived towards the end of 1700. While going ashore for provisions, Booth and Bowen were attacked by Arab troops and Booth was killed in the fighting. After the death of Booth, Bowen was voted by the crew to replace Booth as captain of the small fleet.


  • Ellms, Charles. The Pirates Own Book: Authentic Narratives of the Most Celebrated Sea Robbers. Dover Publications 1993 ISBN 0-486-27607-4
  • Seitz, Don Carlos, Howard F. Gospel and Stephen Wood. Under the Black Flag: Exploits of the Most Notorious Pirates. Mineola, New York: Courier Dover Publications, 2002. ISBN 0-486-42131-7

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