Infamous Pirates > George Booth

George Booth

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

George Booth (?? - 1700) was a famous English pirate and Pirate Rounder who plundered ships in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. His is famous for spawning the careers of Thomas Howard, Nathaniel North and John Bowen and was one of the pioneers of the first Pirate Round.

The first records of his existence are as a gunner aboard the Pelican in 1696 and later aboard the Dolphin in the Indian Ocean. This would have meant he served right alongside Nathaniel North from the very beginning and was a privateer during the Nine Years War and originally started his career out of British Jamaica.

While a gunner on the Dolphin they were trapped in the harbor at Ile Saint-Marie by four massive British man-o-wars in September of 1699. The pirates were offered a pardon by the British however, Booth, North and others refused the pardon and burned the Dolphin, escaping on the longboat back to the haven at Madagascar.

They soon captured passing French merchant ship by pretending to want to trade them alcohol and other trade goods for slaves. Taking the new ship as their prize, the pirates elected Booth as captain and they continued on to Madagascar. It was here that Booth would join forces with John Bowen and capture the massive 450-ton, 50-gun slave ship named the Speaker near the island of Majunga in April of 1699.

Death & Legacy

Booth claimed the Speaker as his new flagship and they sailed towards the port of Zanzibar to acquire supplies and goods. The Arab troops in the city attacked Booth and Bowen and Booth was killed in the fighting. Bowen managed to escape back to the ship and the crew voted him quickly as captain.

Booth is mostly famous for helping to really spawn the career of Bowen and later North when he would get killed. North would serve alongside Booth from the very beginning and eventually gain his own captaincy after his previous two captains died. Overall George Booth was one of the most prosperous and influential of all the pirate rounders and helped perpetuate the idea that the East Indies and the Pirate Round was a prosperous place to ply their trade.

Pirate Rounders

First Pirate Round

Second Pirate Round

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

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