ESSEX, Captain Cornelius. Buccaneer.
In December, 1679, he met with several other well-known buccaneers in four barques and two sloops at Point Morant, and on January 7th set sail for Porto Bello. The fleet was scattered by a terrible storm, but eventually they all arrived at the rendezvous. Some 300 men went in canoes and landed about twenty leagues from the town of Porto Bello, and marched for four days along the sea-coast.
The buccaneers, "many of them were weak, being three days without any food, and their feet cut with the rocks for want of shoes," entered the town on February 17th, 1680. The buccaneers, with prisoners and spoil, left the town just in time, for a party of 700 Spanish soldiers was near at hand coming to the rescue. The share to each man came to one hundred pieces of eight. In 1679 Essex was brought a prisoner by a frigate, the Hunter, to Port Royal, and tried with some twenty of his crew for plundering on the Jamaican coast. Essex was acquitted, but two of his crew were hanged.
A negro. Hanged at Kingston, Jamaica, on February 7th, 1823. Made a moving harangue to the spectators from the gallows, ending with a prayer. Of the ten pirates executed this day, Eucalla showed the greatest courage.
EVANS, Captain John. Welsh pirate.
Was master of a sloop belonging to the Island of Nevis. Afterwards being in Jamaica and out of employment, and berths being scarce, he decided to go "on the account," and in September, 1722, rowed out of Port Royal in a canoe with a few chosen companions. They began piracy in a small way, by paddling along the coast and landing at night to break into a house or two and robbing these of anything they could carry away.
At last at Dun's Hole they found what they were looking for, a small Bermuda sloop lying at anchor. Evans stepped aboard and informed the crew of the sloop that he was captain of their vessel, "which was a piece of news they knew not before." Going on shore, Evans stood treat to his crew at the village inn, spending three pistols on liquid refreshment. He so took the fancy of the publican by his open-handed ways that he was invited to call again. This Evans and his companions did, in the middle of the same night, and rifled the house and took away all they could carry aboard their sloop.
Mounting four guns and christening their little vessel the Scowerer, they set sail for Hispaniola. Good luck immediately followed, as on the very next day they took their first prize, a Spanish sloop, an extraordinarily rich prize for her size, for the crew were able to share a sum of £150 a man. For a while all was coleur de rose, prize after prize simply falling into their hands. But an unhappy accident was soon to bring an end to Evans's career. The boatswain was a noisy, surly fellow, and on several occasions the captain had words with him about his disrespectful behaviour. The boatswain on one of these occasions so far forgot himself as not only to use ill language to his captain but to challenge him to a fight on the next shore they came to with pistol and sword. On reaching land the cowardly boatswain refused to go ashore or to fight, whereupon the captain took his cane and gave him a hearty drubbing, when the boatswain, all of a sudden drawing a pistol, shot Evans through the head, so that he fell down dead. Thus was brought to a tragic and sudden end a career that showed early signs of great promise. The boatswain jumped overboard and swam for the shore, but a boat put off and brought him back to the vessel. A trial was at once held, but the chief gunner, unable to bear with the slow legal procedure any further, stepped forward and shot the prisoner dead.
The crew of thirty men now shared their plunder of some £9,000 and broke up, each going his own way.
EVERSON, Captain Jacob, alias Jacobs.
In January, 1681, Sir Henry Morgan, then Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica, received information that a famous Dutch buccaneer, Everson, was anchored off the coast in an armed sloop, in company with a brigantine which he had lately captured. This was more than the ex-pirate Governor could tolerate, so he at once set out in a small vessel with fifty picked men. The sloop was boarded at midnight, but Everson and a few others escaped by leaping overboard and swimming to the shore. Most of the prisoners were Englishmen, and were convicted of piracy and hanged.
EXQUEMELIN, Alexander Olivier, or Esquemeling in English, Œxmelin in French. Buccaneer.
A surgeon with the most famous buccaneers, Exquemelin will always be known as the historian who recorded the deeds of the buccaneers in his classic book, "Bucaniers of America, or a true account of the assaults committed upon the coasts of the West Indies, etc.," published by W. Cooke, London, 1684. This book was first published in Dutch at Amsterdam in 1678, then in German in 1679, in Spanish in 1681. Since then almost innumerable editions and reprints have appeared.
The author was a Fleming, who arrived at Tortuga Island in 1666 as an engagé of the French West India Company. After serving for three years under an inhuman master he became so ill that he was sold cheaply to a surgeon. By the kind treatment of his new master Exquemelin soon regained his health, and at the same time picked up the rudiments of the craft of barber surgeon. He was in all the great exploits of the buccaneers, and writes a clear, entertaining, and apparently perfectly accurate first-hand account of these adventures. He returned to Europe in 1674, and shortly afterwards published his book.