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J. K. Laughton

revised by Nicholas Tracy

McArthur, John (1755–1840), seaman and author, details of whose upbringing and parents are unknown, entered the navy in 1778 as assistant clerk on the Eagle on the North American station. On her return McArthur was moved into the cutter Rattlesnake, and on 22 March 1779 was promoted purser for his gallantry in boarding a French privateer in an engagement off ...

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Plunkett, Thomas (b. c. 1612, d. in or before 1654), naval officer and privateer, was born in Ireland, although no evidence survives of his parents or family background. Details of his married life and early career are also sparse. His wife (possibly called ...

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Rous, John (1702–1760), privateer and naval officer, was born on 21 May 1702 at Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, the son of William Rouse (Rows) and Mary, née Peachie. He was notable among Massachusetts privateers in the war of 1739–48, and for his connections to a quite remarkable cross-section of society in both ...

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Spavens, William (1735/6–1799), seaman and autobiographer, was born in Stewton, near Louth, Lincolnshire. In May 1754, at the age of eighteen, his curiosity about distant lands prompted him to apprentice himself to the master of the snow Elizabeth and Mary, trading between Hull...