Next in my Leading Ladies and Gents series is an ordinary sailor who went on to become a ruthless pirate slayer and hero, (for some) of the nation… Woodes Rogers.
Rogers was born in Bristol c1679, beginning his career as a merchant sailor. In 1708 he led a privateering expedition, charged with the task of harassing Spanish ships throughout the Pacific. During the voyage, Rogers stumbled upon shipwrecked sailor Alexander Selkirk on one of the Juan Fernandez Islands, marooned there for four years. Selkirk’s story became the inspiration for Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
Rogers also raided a number of wealthy Spanish colonies along the coast of Peru, bringing vast riches and a Spanish ship back to England. As a measure of their esteem, the English government appointed Rogers as Governor of the Bahamas in 1717. At that time, the Bahamas was teeming with pirates who terrorised its waters and bribed the authorities to…
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