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Elfrith, Daniel (fl. 1607–1640), privateer and colonist in the West Indies, was active in the Caribbean from 1607. Nothing is known of his earlier life. He was memorialized by Alexander Brown in his Genesis of the United States (1890) as 'the man who carried the first rats to the ...

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Fynn, Henry Francis (1803–1861), mariner and settler in Natal, was born in London on 29 March 1803, the son of (Henry) Francis Fynn (d. 1831), a shipowner originally from Donegal in Ireland who traded between the Dutch East Indies and Cape Colony...

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Hayes, Edward (b. c. 1550, d. in or after 1613), seaman and promoter of colonization, was probably born in West Derby, Lancashire, the son of Edward Hayes and his wife, Alice, small landowners in Lancashire. His father moved into Liverpool before 1567 and established himself as a merchant, and the younger ...

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Newport, Christopher (bap. 1561, d. 1617), privateer and colonist, was baptized at Harwich, Essex, on 29 December 1561, the son of Christopher Newport, himself a Harwich shipmaster, and his wife, Jane. Young Christopher was serving on the Minion of London in 1580 when he jumped ship at ...

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Ratcliffe [Sicklemore], John (d. 1610), mariner and colonist, is a mysterious figure. His family name appears to have been Sicklemore; why he chose to call himself Ratcliffe remains a riddle. His patent abilities as a mariner and his evident willingness to gamble at speculative ventures most likely account for why officials in the ...

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Somers, Sir George (1554–1610), privateer and colonial adventurer, was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, the son of John Somer (as the name was then spelt) and his wife, Alice (d. 1591). He first comes to notice in 1587 when he used prize money to buy ...

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Vassall, John (d. 1625), shipowner and colonial adventurer, was of French descent; his family, probably Huguenots, originated from near Caen in Normandy. Little is known of his parents or early career, though he apparently acquired a reputation as a competent authority on maritime matters, and was consulted by the ...

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Whitbourne, Sir Richard (1561–1635), seaman and publicist for Newfoundland, was born and baptized on 11 June 1561 at Bishopsteignton near Newton Abbot in Devon, the son of John Whitbourne, yeoman, and his wife, Agnes. Serving as an apprentice between 1575 and 1583, probably to ...