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Edward England

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Edward Seegar
Biographical information


Ethnic group







First Mate (formerly)

Also known as

Edward England[1]

Weapon(s) owned


Ship(s) captained or crewed

Pearl/Royal James


Brethren Court

Behind the scenes

Edward Seagar, better known as Edward England, was a notorious Irish pirate who operated on the Seven Seas during the early 18th century. He was one of the most luminary pirates in history.[2]


Edward Seegar was born in Ireland at the end of the 17th century. His career as a pirate began while he was working on a sloop as a first mate. During a trip from Jamaica to Providence , the ship was taken by a pirate Captain Christopher Winter. Soon after, he gained pirates confidence and became one of them. He changed his name to Edward England to cover his tracks from the colonial authorities.

In 1718, the Bahamas were brought under British rule by Woodes Rogers. Captain England made his escape to the African coast and the Azores and Cape Verde Islands, where he and his fleet captured several vessels themselves. Captain England traded his sloop for a larger vessel, the Pearl which he renamed the Royal James.

Edward England flag

Edward England's pirate flag.

He returned to Africa in the spring of 1719, and on the way to the Cape of Good Hope took ten more ships, three of which they released after plundering, and four of which they burned. They kept two of the ships for their own pirate fleet, the Mercury and the Katherine. These two ships left England's fleet and headed for the Caribbean, and England took two more ships, the Peterborough and the Victory, of which he kept only the latter.

Edward England and his mate John Taylor sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and into the Indian Ocean, after careening in Madagascar. In 1720, it was from there that England exchanged the Royal James for a new flagship - the Fancy, a newly captured thirty-four gun Dutch ship.

England and Taylor returned to Madagascar in August 1720, where they got into a conflict with a Dutch ship and an English ship belonging to the East India Trading Company. Taylor took on the Dutch vessel, while England pursued the English one, until its captain James MacRae ran it aground. The cargo of Cassandra, taken by England, was valued at £75,000. However, this booty came at a cost of ninety deaths aboard the Fancy. For this catastrophe, Taylor wanted revenge upon the now-ashore crew of the Cassandra, but England decided to let the men sail away on the Fancy. This caused Taylor to lead a mutiny, during which he had Captain England and three others marooned upon the island of Mauritius, near Madagascar. England and the men managed to fashion a small boat out of scraps of wood and sail to the nearby Madagascan St. Augustine's Bay. England ended up having to beg for scraps of food, and died in 1720.

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

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