Captain John Evans

English Sailor & Pirate

Born: Unknown

Died: 1724

John Evans started upon his pirate career in September of 1722. Up to that time he had been legitimately involved in a variety of sailing jobs from master of a sloop belonging to Nevis to work as a mate sailing from Jamaica. Due to a lack of berths on ships at the time he and a band of three or four others rowed out of Port Royal in a canoe. Their first illegal acts were simple robbery of houses near the shore, but this was not entirely to their liking and they greatly desired to secure a true ship and move their work out to sea.

They made good their plans when they encountered a sloop, belonging to Bermuda, lying at anchor in Dunns Hole. Having taken the ship they put into at a little village and proceeded to ransack a local tavern of any and all goods that they desired. The next day they set sail for Hispaniola in the sloop, which they renamed the Scowerer. Their first true prize as pirates was a Spanish sloop. After this they set coarse for the Windward Islands, where they captured the Dove, a ship bound from New England to Jamaica, off Puerto Rico, captained by a Captain Diamond. They forced the Dove's mate into service and added three others to the crew. After releasing the Dove, they set into one of the islands for fresh water and supplies.

The next prize was the 200 ton Lucretia and Catherine, Captain Mills, off the island of Disseada on January 11th. This done they went to the little island of Avis, intending to careen their hull and clean. However, before they could begin they sighted a sloop and gave chase, but failed to catch the ship, being slowed by the Lucretia. They were then nearer the island of Ruby, and so decided to careen there. This design was again forestalled as they ran up with a Dutch sloop and captured her. This new sloop being more to their liking than the Lucretia, they released the Lucretia and kept the sloop. The Scowerer and captured sloop set sail for the north coast of Jamaica and soon captured a sugar drover, before driving to the Grand Caymans, again with the intention of cleaning their hulls.

Prior to making landfall, the boatswain and Captain Evans exchanged ill language, and the boatswain taking offense challenged Evans to a duel. When the sloop arrived, however, the boatswain refused to go ashore and pursue the duel. Captain Evans, angered by the man's cowardice, beat him about the shoulders and back with his cane, upon which the boatswain drew his pistol and shot Evans in the head. The boatswain then jumped overboard and tried to swim to shore, but he was soon picked up by the Scowerer's crew.

The crew, so angered at the death of the captain resolved to torture the man, but were unable to fulfill the threat as two of the crew shot him first. Lacking a willing candidate to take over as captain the crew set ashore at the Caymans with 9,000 pounds to be split among the 30 crew members. Evans and his crew seemed to be doing pretty well, if it had not been for the unfortunate death of the captain at the hands of one of the crew, we can speculate that Evans might be a little more well known today.

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