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The Story of a Newfoundland Pirate

Newfoundland is home to many historical figures, but perhaps none were as notorious as Scottish privateer and later pirate, Peter Easton.

Easton, as a highly successful privateer, was commissioned to protect English interests in Newfoundland early in the 1600s.

Easton's flagship was Happy Adventure. In 1604 King James I cancelled all letters of commission to privateers. Undeterred by the news, Easton continued his attack on vessels as though nothing had changed.

Easton attacked ships in many areas of the world. He was a frequent visitor to Newfoundland. In 1612 Easton arrived in Newfoundland with ten pirate ships and had his headquarters in Harbour Grace.

He raided English and foreign vessels and the harbours of Newfoundland as he went. He also managed to capture Sir Richard Whitbourne who was later released.

Over the years he spent in Newfoundland, Easton took an estimated 1,500 fishermen for his ships.

Peter Easton was a very successful pirate. He was never overtaken or captured.

The Duke of Savoy issued a proclamation in 1613 to make Nice and Villefranche free ports that would offer asylum to pirates. Easton went to Villefranche. He was active until 1620.


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