The Legend of a Lady

“She knew that this was happiness, this was living as she had always wished to live.”  Daphne du Maurier, Frenchman’s Creek   The setting: Cornwall, England in the 16th century. The players: Sir John and Lady Elizabeth Killigrew The plot:  Lady Elizabeth vs. Queen Elizabeth I The Killigrews were rich members of the English aristocracy.  In…

All The Queen’s Men

“If England had not used the services of privateers and pirates during its long struggle with Spain, there is some likelihood that people today in North America would be speaking Spanish rather than English.”  Robert Earl Lee, Blackbeard the Pirate They were called the “Sea Dogs.” Queen Elizabeth I was surrounded by dynamic, brilliant, intrepid and…

Letters of Marque

“The sun shines on me just the same as on the other; and I should like to see the clause in Adam’s will that cuts me out of my share in the New World!” Francis I of France, 1494   Christopher Columbus may have been the discoverer of the New World in 1492, yet his…

A Merry Life, But Short

“In honest service, there are commonly low wages and hard labour; in this – plenty, satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power.  Who would not balance credit on this side, when all the hazard that is run for it, at worst, is only a sour look or two on choking?  No, a merry life and…

The Pirates Are Coming

“The HISPANIOLA still lay where she had anchored; but, sure enough, there was the Jolly Roger–the black flag of piracy–flying from her peak.”   Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island   Pirates, the very name strikes both dread and fascination deep within our hearts.  We fear them, because of their ruthless disregard for those who stood in their…

There Are More Stories

“A baggepype wel coude he blowe and sowne, And ther-with-al he broghte us out of towne.” Canterbury Tales, General Prologue According to Suetonius, a Roman historian during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire, Nero played a type of pipe known as the Roman reedpipes, “with his mouth as well as his armpit.” In…