Captain John Yeats

English Pirate

Born: Unknown

Died: Unknown

 Yeates sailed from the Bahamas in 1718 under the command of Charles Vane after helping to openly defy Woodes Rogers and the Royal Navy in New Providence.

 When Vane captured a sloop shortly afterwards, Yeats was given command of that vessel.  The ship served as a tender to Captain Vane's ship, but it was not long until the two men began to quarrel over command decisions. One evening while moored together at Sullivan Island, Carolina, Yeates, finding himself master of a fine sloop armed with several guns and a crew of fifteen men, and with a valuable cargo of slaves aboard, made the decision to slip his anchor in the middle of the night and sail away.

Yeates thought highly of himself as a pirate and long resented the way Vane treated him as a subordinate, and was glad to get a chance of sailing on his won account. Yeates having escaped came to north Edisto River, some ten leagues off Charleston, he sent hurried word to the Governor to ask for a royal pardon.

It is presumed that Yeates had no desire to give up the Pirate life, but a pardon was essential so as to clear him of any past criminal acts. This would allow Yeates to enter a lawful port and recruit new men, repair his ship, and sell any cargoes that he may have taken when he left Vane.

The Governor agreed to pardon Yeates, on the condition that Yeates surrender himself, his crew, and two negro slaves for lawful (although most certainly rigged) hearings. Yeates complied and he and his men were harshly chastised for their past actions but then immediately pardoned. The negroes in his ship's hold were returned to a Captain Thurston, from whom they had been originally been stolen (while with Vane).

Although Yeates mostly certainly returned to open piracy, there is no further historical mention of him from this point on.

Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page