Infamous Pirates > John Fenn

John Fenn

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

John Fenn (?? - May 1723) was a famous pirate of the Post Spanish Succession Period who sailed with Bartholomew Roberts and later Thomas Anstis. Not much is known about his early life until he started sailing with Roberts around June of 1719 until April of 1720. After this he joined Anstis who split with Roberts after gaining captaincy over the Morning Star, a 21-gun ship.

Anstis took off with the ship in the night on 21 April 1721 and left Roberts on the west African coast in order to head back to the West Indies to raid colonial shipping lanes. Fenn would remain with Anstis in the Caribbean and they captured three to four merchant ships off the coast of Hispaniola and British Jamaica along with Martinique during the month of June.

After their brief foray into piracy in the Caribbean, Fenn and Anstis attempted to plead with King George I into giving them a royal pardon by attempting to say they were forced into piracy by Bartholomew Roberts. The two pirates decided to camp off the coast of Cuba on an uninhabited island and await a response. After nine months of hearing nothing the two decided to resume piracy in August of 1722.

However, right after they departed the island the pirates ran into problems as Fenn's ship was smashed on Grand Cayman island during a tropical storm and Fenn may have possibly lost his right hand. Anstis managed to rescue Fenn and some of his crew when two British man-o-wars came into view and chased he pirates.

The pirates managed to outrun the Royal Navy until the wind died down and they managed to row themselves to freedom aboard the Good Fortune. They managed to escape to the Bay of Honduras where they quickly captured a frigate to replace Fenn's wrecked ship. Next Fenn and Anstis set sail for the Bahamas and captured several ships in the ensuing months.

Capture & Death

However, eventually while Anstis and Fenn were careening their ships off the coast of Tobago in April of 1723 the authorities caught up to them and they were engaged by the HMS Winchelsey. During the ensuing naval conflict Fenn's new ship was lost and he was forced to retreat into the interior of Tobago. He was captured one day later and brought to Antigua where he was found guilty of piracy. Him and six of his crew were executed the following month.

Bartholomew Roberts Gang

Bartholomew Roberts Crew

Sources

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