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Crab, John (c. 1280–c. 1352), pirate and merchant, was probably born in Muiden in Flanders. Active as a pirate from at least 1306, he was the most notorious of the Flemish privateers who preyed on English shipping during the Scottish War of Independence. His nephew ...

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Croft, Thomas (c. 1435–1488), customs official, shipowner, and patron of Atlantic exploration, was the son of William Croft (d. 1439) of Croft Castle, Herefordshire, and Isabella, presumably a second wife. He was born during the 1430s, the youngest of four brothers, including ...

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John Hawley the elder (c. 1350–1408) memorial brass by kind permission of Becky Wright Photos; St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth

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Hawley, John, the elder (c. 1350–1408), pirate, merchant, and administrator, of Dartmouth, Devon, was the younger son of the first John Hawley who settled in Dartmouth some time before 1340. Hawley was elected mayor for the first time in 1374—the beginning of a career which would make him the richest and most important man in ...

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Wesenham, John (fl. 1333–1382), merchant, shipowner, and financier, was named after the Norfolk village of Weasenham, 6 miles east of Bishop's Lynn. In the early stages of his career his economic interest clearly centred on shipping and the grain trade, which in East Anglia...

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Wood, Sir Andrew (d. 1515), sea captain and merchant, served James III and James IV and, remarkably, was trusted by both kings. Wood first appears in royal records on 28 July 1477, already described as 'our lovet familiare serviture' Andrew Wood of Leith...