The Ginge Club and the Pirates

Professor PinkPink’s been nagging me to publish an account of her adventures with the pirates, and because she’s a persistent little brute, I’ve decided that the only way to silence her is to let her have her own way.   I’ve agreed to write down the whole particulars, leaving nothing out except the whereabouts of Alleycat’s treasure cave, and that only because there is still treasure not yet brought to light. In the end she’ll probably force me to finish the story and publish it here in its entirely. She’s offered to dictate it to me chapter by chapter as the weeks go by and here, to get the ball rolling, is a link to the first 3 instalments.

The pirate (Barty Sharp) who figures in chapter 3 sailed with William Dampier and had a rather interesting career.  In something like 1697 (I forget the exact date) he returned from the sack of Panama and was arrested at the request of the Spanish Ambassador, put on trial, and escaped hanging by a hairs-breadth.  Having cheated the gallows, he purchased a derelict hulk that had been virtually abandoned on the shores of the Thames, fitted her out and hired a rag tag crew of scallywags and ne’er do wells, who sailed their rotten vessel into the channel, stole a flock of sheep from a farm in Dover and straightaway sailed for the West Indies, capturing a more suitable vessel en route.  It was probably around this time that he crossed swords with Susan Skew and met his match, so to speak. All this is supplied from memory. I read an account of Sharp’s adventures years ago in the Hakluyt series, but I haven’t checked the details in ages. There’s more about him in Basil Ringrose’s South Sea Waggoner, which you can find quite easily on the Web, and a few reference in Lionel Wafer Secret report, but most of the rest of the information you’ll find is quite inaccurate and if you want the truth the best thing would be to ask Pink.  She probably knows as much about him as anyone in these days.

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