John Taylor was an infamous 18th century pirate who got his start under the equally infamous Edward England. In fact he was originally his quartermaster on the Cassandra and was very popular with the crew. When England decided to return a captured British ship back to its captain, Taylor and the rest of the crew were furious. They mutinied against him and eventually removed England from his captaincy. After being elected captain in his place, Taylor and the crew continued to sail around the Indian Ocean and capture prizes there.
Capture of Nostra Senhora della Cabo
At Ile Bourbon off the coast of Madagascar, Taylor and another pirated named Olivier Levasseur commanding the Victory captured one of the most valuable ships in the entire pirate history named the Nossa Senhora do Cabo. In April of 1721, the two pirates captured the 700-ton Portuguese treasure ship containing the entire wealth of the viceroyalty of the colony of Goa. While heading back to Lisbon, the ship had been damaged in a storm and proved to be an easy capture for the pirates.
The ship was carrying the retiring Count of Ericeira, His Excellency Dom Luís Carlos Inácio Xavier de Meneses and the Portuguese ship was loaded with silver, gold, diamonds, gems, pearls, silk, spices, art and Church regalia. The ship was being repaired on the island and after a small boarding, the pirates made off with treasure valued at between than £100,000 to £875,000, with some accounts of £1,000,000. The loot was divided among the pirates of the Cassandra and the Victory. If these figures are correct this would equate to more than $400 million in todays currency.
Pardon & Fate
In 1722 Taylor and Levasseur separated after an argument and Taylor ventured into the West Indies with his ship the Cassandra. Eventually Taylor ended up in Panama by 1723 where he visited the Governor of Portobello. The Governor agreed to pardon Taylor and the crew in exchange for the ship.
No one really knows what became of Taylor after this point. He most likely had enough treasure to last him many lifetimes and probably like Henry Every he lived his life out on some private island sipping rum in a hammock like all pirates dreamed of.