Peter Easton

Peter Easton, pirate (flourished 1602-15). He was a privateer in Elizabeth I's navy who lost his commission on the accession of James I in 1603 and turned to piracy. He looted shipping in the English Channel until 1610, when he withdrew rather than fight Sir Henry MAINWARING.

Easton, Peter

Peter Easton, pirate (flourished 1602-15). He was a privateer in Elizabeth I's navy who lost his commission on the accession of James I in 1603 and turned to piracy. He looted shipping in the English Channel until 1610, when he withdrew rather than fight Sir Henry MAINWARING. He arrived in Newfoundland in 1610, built a fort at HARBOUR GRACE, and for several years plundered fishing fleets and settlements and recruited Newfoundland sailors into his private navy. He destroyed a Basque fleet intent upon capturing Harbour Grace, attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean, raided Puerto Rico, and captured the Spanish plate fleet in 1614. Pardoned by King James, Easton abandoned his Newfoundland base and settled in Savoy. He bought a castle at Villefranche, became "Marquis of Savoy," and lived the rest of his life in luxury. There is a monument to this Newfoundland folk hero at Harbour Grace.


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