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Fortunately for Campbeltown, he continued north and then engaged a British squadron off Flamborough Head on September 23, McCatter and most of the crew came from The Port of Rush, just to the north of Dublin - not to be confused with the town of Portrush. Both before and after events, fishermen from Rush were invited to Campbeltown to teach the locals the art of lining for cod and ling.
A loaded pistol point directly at his chest quickly changed his mind! He had been fighting for many years in India and had married a sweet young lass and was bringing her back to Islay with all the jewels and spoils he had taken in his fightings, the whole of his wealth was on board the packet.
One, Daniel, a bachelor, had died in and was succeeded by his brother Walter, who had married earlier, in In , both Ryan and McCatter were caught and sentenced to be hung at Execution Dock in London, both were reprieved and eventually pardoned. Whether he was ever paid or not too remains something of a mystery for McCatter was entitled to prize money amounting to nearly two million livres, more than any other privateer captain.
John Paul Jones and the Privateers
In and there was a total of but 33 ships for the two years. Read Free For 30 Days. John Paul Jones and the Privateers. Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles.
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Aiman Ilham. Cuentos Para Ti. Narendra Kumar. So Torris and the Dubliner came up with a simple solution, an unemployed merchant seaman from Boston called Stephen Marchant would be the nominal captain and front-man for the operation. Ben Franklin was told the Black Prince was sailing under an American captain. But it was a twenty-five-year-old Dubliner, a pirate, smuggler and wanted man, who was really calling the shots.
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The Black Prince went to work, sailing from Dunkirk in June and quickly snapping up eight British prizes which were sailed back to the French port of Morlaix. In July, Ryan and his ship captured a further thirteen British coastal trading vessels, which were stripped of their cargoes and then ransomed back to the English owners.
A Waterford brig a quick and highly-manoeuvrable ship with two square-rigged masts called the Sally-Anne was one of eighteen vessels brought into the ports of Morlaix and Dunkirk after a particularly productive cruise to the waters off the South West coast of England. In September, the Black Prince , which now included another Rush man as officer, one Patrick Dowling, went on a longer cruise, all the way up to the Outer Hebrides off the far north west coast of Scotland to seize an impressive thirty-four prizes.
Privateers like Ryan would go to such lengths as making their ships look scruffy, ill-handled and as different from a tautly sailed and obviously disciplined and dangerous man-o-war as possible. It was only when you got up close to the cutter that you might notice the extra gun-ports, the odd, evil-looking crewmen packed on deck and the murderous swivel guns bolted to the rails. By then it was usually too late.
Ryan and his crew were close enough and well-armed enough to threaten a broadside that would blow your ship to matchsticks. If you resisted and they were able to board with cutlasses, flint-lock pistols and deadly musketoons a primitive form of shot-gun, often loaded with glass or old nails they would make short and bloody work of any resistance.
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Worthy prizes were sailed back to friendly ports to be stripped, sold or ransomed back to their owners. Ryan, the smuggler, contraband runner and sometimes fisherman, knew the waters around Britain and Ireland like few others. Benjamin Franklin was impressed. There was consternation in London, where the Black Prince was now causing great dread and distress to the merchants and money men of the City. By this stage, the nominal American captain Marchant had given up his paper command and returned to the US, to leave the Irish to get on with the job. Ryan, who had been ill, now wanted to come out of the shadows.
Together with Torris, he wrote to Benjamin Franklin seeking permission to outfit a new privateer with the Rush man as captain, sailing, officially for the first time, with an American commission. Franklin was now in on the secret. He realised that he had been hoodwinked by Torris and Ryan. But the Founding Father was impressed. He recognised in Ryan the kind of successful, leader of men who could get the job done.
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And it was war, whatever the legal niceties. Ryan is tried for treason and piracy, convicted and sentenced to hang until King George grants mercy after hearing the pleas of Queen Marie Antoinette, an admirer of the young mariner, to spare the Irishman's life.
After the war Ryan returns to France but he has no money, no ship or crew and has no prospects until one day he meets an ambitious entrepreneur named Joseph Bonaparte and his younger brother, a major in the French Army, named Napoleon Help Centre. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join.
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