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Aaarrgh! There be a Pirate in the Family Tree!

Posted by on September 17, 2012

Next time you are at Disneyland in California look for my cousin Henry on the wall at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It turns out that Sir Henry Mainwaring is a distant cousin of mine and an actual pirate who sailed the seas of Newfoundland, Canada, Strait of Gibraltar, and Morocco and raided Spanish, Portuguese, and French ships. On 4 June 1614, off the coast of Newfoundland, Mainwaring, in command of eight vessels, plundered the cod-fishing fleet, stealing provisions and taking away with him carpenters and mariners. In taking seamen, Mainwaring would pick one out of every six. In all, 400 men joined him willingly, while others were porstmen. Sailing to the coast of Spain, Mainwaring then took a Portuguese ship and plundered her cargo of wine, and he later took a French prize and stole 10,000 dried fish from her hold.

But Sir Henry’s wild pirate lifestyle nearly broke a tenuous peace between England, Spain and Portugal, So King James threatened to send a fleet to kick Mainwaring’s butt. For some reason, Henry had a change of heart and stopped living the pirate lifestyle. He was pardoned by the King and even went on to become a Knight on 20 March 1618! He was commissioned in the Royal Navy, and later he was elected Member of Parliament from Dover in 1621. Mainwaring became Vice-Admiral before leaving the navy in 1639

Check out this blog about the Pirates on the wall

Henry Mainwaring was one of 7 children by Sir George Mainwaring of Natwich, and grandson (or perhaps Nephew, not sure which) of Sir William Mainwaring . George Mainwaring is my 17th great grandfather (mother’s side), and I am related to him through his daughter Margaret (sister of Henry the pirate).

Sir William was a knight and has this nice effigy of him in a church in Cheshire, England. As it turns out, Cheshire is also the location of the town of Dutton from whence I get my last name.

Sir William - Nice hair!!

Sir William – Nice hair!!

Check out the church and more details of Sir William at this Cheshire Information link.

You can find detail on Sir George Mainwaring here.

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Update: a distant cousin in Australia also related to Mainwaring wrote this blog with more information: http://ayfamilyhistory.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/a-pirate-in-family-tree.html

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Joey Dutton

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