Captain Avery – Notorious Pirate

London was enthralled in Defoe’s time  by the exploits of the pirate Captain Avery, the only English pirate who escaped capture and trial. Defoe wrote about Avery in a short booklet, The King of the Pirates, 1719 and in A General History of the Pyrates, 1724, These accounts carry a good deal of factual information about Avery; so much so that the reader is bound to think that, perhaps, the couple had met.

I believe that they did meet. In this column over a period of twenty months I shall tell their story in successive episodes. Can the truth of Avery’s relationship with Defoe really be told? You will be the judge of that.

Captain Avery and Daniel Defoe

Chapter 1 – My Crime

The climax of my career at sea was a stunning sea battle and a victory in the face of overwhelming odds. As I lie on my bed I can hear the roar of the cannon, the hiss of bullets and the cries of many men some exultant and others despairing. And not for a minute but for many hours and at times when we looked to have failed. It took the fierceness and resolution of a motley assembly of men, my men, to achieve the impossible. Continue reading

Chapter 2 Beginnings Accounting for one’s own life is a leery matter. Of course, I can tell you a little or a lot. What though did I tell my dear Biddy? You can imagine it. I wished her to think … Continue reading