Eric Cobham, pirate (fl c 1740-60). Based in Newfoundland about 1740 to 1760, Cobham, a native of Poole, England, and his wife, Maria Lindsay, plundered shipping in the Gulf of St Lawrence, their crimes undetected because they sank nearly every vessel captured and murdered the crews. Cobham retired to an estate in France and was appointed a magistrate. Maria, reputedly a sadist who delighted in bizarre executions, eventually went insane and died by her own hand or Cobham's. Before his own death, Cobham dictated his life story, which was evidently published posthumously. His heirs tried to suppress the book, but a fragmentary copy survives in the Archives nationales, Paris.