Thomas Paine (privateer)

Thomas Paine (Privateer)

Thomas Paine (privateer)

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Thomas Paine (16321715) was a colonial American privateer who, during the late 17th century, raided several Spanish settlements, including his raid with Jan Willems who together looted Rio de la Hacha in 1680 as well as driving the French out of Block Island. Although a subject of Great Britain, he was associated with many prominent Dutch privateers of the day including Jan Corneliszoon.

A resident of Jamestown, Rhode Island, he had received a commission from Jamaica's governor Sir Thomas Lynch which instructed him to “seize, kill, and destroy pirates” however, in 1683, he joined the privateers John Markham, Jan Corneliszoon, Conway Woolley and a French Captain Bréhal in a raid against the Spanish town of Saint Augustine, Florida in March 1683. In command of an 8-gun bark, the Pearl, Thomas Paine led his crew of sixty men under the command of Captain Bréhal who possessed a French privateering commission, obtained from Jacques Nepveu, sieur de Pouanéay and governor of Saint Domingue.

As did the others, Paine sailed under a French flag as the fleet arrived off the Florida coast. However, finding the Spanish had prepared for their arrival in advance, they were forced to withdraw eventually abandoning their raid after looting the surrounding area (although they did release several captive before their departure) .

Returning with Bréhal and Markham to New Providence, they were reportedly wanted by governor Robert Lilburne who wanted to detain both Markham and Paine for...
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