User:Rich Farmbrough/DNB/B/a/Basil Ringrose

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{{subst:Quick infobox|Basil Ringrose||1686|}} Basil Ringrose (died 1686), buccaneer and author, seems to have gone out to the West Indies in quest of fortune in 1679. In the beginning of 1680 he was with the buccaneers at their rendezvous in the Gulf of Darien, and, throwing in his lot with them, took part in the sack of Santa Maria, the attack on Panama, and the cruises, fighting, and plundering along the coast of South America during the next eighteen months under the command of Coxon, Harris, and, more especially, Bartholomew Sharpe During this time Ringrose's position among the adventurers seems to have been in no way distinguished. He was occasionally in command of a boat or some small party, but never appears as a superior officer. His important share in the transactions was the keeping a detailed journal, in which he described not only the events of the warfare which they waged, but the internal history of their force—the hardships, labours, quarrels, jealousies, and divisions—simply but graphically. To all this he added descriptions of the natives they consorted with, of the places they visited, charts of the harbours, sketches of the coasts, headlands, or objects noteworthy for the mariner, forming a record which, though much less extended, may compare with the narratives of William Dampier During the greater part of 1681 the ship commanded by Sharpe, in which Ringrose served, was by herself, and in August she began a voyage towards the south. In November they passed through the Straits of Magellan, and anchored at Antigua on 30 January 1681–2. Thence Ringrose took a passage to England, and landed at Dartmouth on 26 March. While at home he prepared his journal for the press, and in 1685 it was published as a second volume of the 'History of the Buccaneers', with a preface, in which the anonymous editor justly praises the curiosity and genius of the author. Early in 1684 Ringrose sailed on another adventure to the South Seas as supercargo of the Cygnet, fitted out by some London merchants to trade with the Spaniards. On arriving in the Pacific, however, her captain, Swan, found the trade virtually refused; and meeting with Edward Davis (fl. 1683–1702) at the Isle of Plate—a favourite haunt of the buccaneers—in October 1684, he formed an alliance with him, threw the greater part of his cargo overboard, and waged war on the Spaniards. In February 1686, with about a hundred men, he captured a small town near Santiago in Mexico, possibly Tepic, from which the Spaniards fled. Swan collected a quantity of cattle and provisions, and on the 19th sent it down to his boats under an escort of fifty men. On the way they fell into an ambuscade of the Spaniards, and were all slain, among them Ringrose. According to Dampier, who styles him my ingenious friend, Ringrose had no mind to this voyage, but was necessitated to engage in it or starve.[DNB 1][DNB 2][DNB 3][1]


  1.  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain

    J. K. L.

    (1896). "Ringrose, Basil (DNB00)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 48. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 0.

DNB references[edit]

These references are found in the DNB article referred to above.

  1. Ringrose's Journal in volume ii. of the History of the Buccaneers, 1685
  2. it has been frequently reprinted. The original manuscript, apparently in Ringrose's handwriting, is in the British Museum (Addit. manuscript 3820). The printed version is not in strict verbal agreement with the manuscript, but appears to be essentially the same
  3. Dampier's New Voyage round the World (Voyages, volume i.), pages 137–271.

External links[edit]


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