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Basil Ringrose

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Title: Basil Ringrose  
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Subject: Charles Swan (pirate), 1680s in piracy, 1683 deaths, List of comic and cartoon characters named after people, Quartermaster
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Basil Ringrose

Basil Ringrose (about 1653) was a buccaneer, navigator, geographer and author.


  • Early life 1
  • First voyage 2
  • Second voyage 3
  • References 4

Early life

Ringrose was christened at St. Martin in the Field 1653.[1]

First voyage

Ringrose crossed the Isthmus of Darien in 1680 with a group of pirates.[2] While on this trip he created extensive charts of the islands, soundings, exhaustive nautical instruction and symbols to mark rocks and shallow water.[3] While fluent in Latin and French, he quickly learned Spanish to act as interpreter.[4]

Captain Bartholomew Sharp, Lionel Wafer John Cox, William Dick and William Dampier were also crew members. Dampier refers to Ringrose as an apprentice to a planter in Jamaica. At the end of the voyage, Ringrose and several crewmates took the maps and charts to Dartmouth to sell.[5]

Second voyage

In October 1683, Ringrose sailed on the Cygnet with Captain Swan, as the Supercargo.[2] Damper writes “He had no mind for this voyage, but was necessitated to engage in it or starve.” [4] On the Mexican coast in Santa Pecaque the crew looted the village. Capt. Swan sent 54 men with laden horses back to the anchorage, Ringrose being among them. They were set upon by Spanish soldiers and massacred.[6][7]

Basil Ringrose’s journal, which gives an account of the early part of this trip,[8] is now in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich England. His maps and charts have become “A Buccaneer’s Atlas” By William Hach a noted cartographer in London of the time. Colored, handmade copies of this Atlas were presented as gifts, one of them to Charles II. This volume was reprinted in 1992 as “A Buccaneer’s Atlas Basil Ringrose’s South Sea Waggoner A Sea Atlas And Sailing Directions of the Pacific Coast of the Americas, 1682 edited by Derek Howse and Norman J.W. Thrower.


  1. ^ South Sea Waggonier Pg.
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Preston, Diana & Michael. A Pirate of Exquisite Mind,1952. p. 60
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ David Cordingly pg .73 Pirates Terror on the High Seas-from the Caribbean to the South China Sea 1996
  8. ^
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