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Nathaniel North

Sailor, Buccaneer, Pirate

Born: Unknown

Died: 1707

North was a crewman aboard a privateer attacking French shipping during the Nine Years' War. He was pressed into the royal navy but eventually made his way back to Jamaica where he once again set about privateering. He met again with the royal navy press gangs but escaped by jumping overboard and swimming to shore. Around 1696, he was with the privateer that captured the 18-gun "Pelican" off Newfoundland. The privateers next secured a commission to raid the French in West Africa but went to Madagascar instead. They intended to rob the Moors but had no luck finding any prizes. Determined to not return home empty-handed the pirates raided villages in the Comoro Islands, after which they returned to Madagascar.

Once at Madagascar, North was elected quartermaster and then cruised in partnership with Dirk Chivers and Robert Culliford in the Red Sea. It was during this time that the ship "Great Mohammed" was captured by the three, but Culliford and Chivers refused to share the large booty of gold coins with the "Pelican" saying that she had not joined in the battle. Disenchanted with the partnership, the "Pelican" left to pursue her fortunes along the Malabar coast of India. The pirates seized three small ships keeping one of the ships and renaming her the "Dolphin". During a hurricane, the ships were badly damaged and the pirates were forced to return to Madagascar for repairs. At Madagascar the pirates split their booty with each man receiving about 700.

North then sailed as quartermaster under Captain Samuel Inless who was given command of the "Dolphin". The pirates plundered a large Danish ship in 1699. The pirates then went to Saint Mary's Island to divide their loot. They arrived there in May and each received about 400. While at Saint Mary's Island, four British warships arrived. Rather surrender to the British, Captain Samuel Inless burned the "Dolphin". The British offered a pardon and several men accepted, but North not trusting the English commodore took a ship's boat and fled to Madagascar. North's boat was overturned during a storm and North swam 12 miles to shore losing everything he owned.

During the years 1701 to late 1703, North sailed as quartermaster with George Booth and after Booth's death with John Bowen. Late in 1703, Bowen retired at Mauritius. North was elected as captain of the pirates at Madagascar. The pirates intervened in native wars to gain slaves and women. At the beginning of 1707, North was once again quartermaster. This time under John Halsey aboard the "Charles". During this time the "Charles" captured two British ships. Halsey took one of the prizes and sailed back to Madagascar leaving North in command of the "Charles". North's stint as captain of the "Charles" was brief for she was wrecked on a reef a short time later. North made it home and was found sailing in Madagascar waters in 1709. Some years later, North was killed by local tribesmen.

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